#376 It’s None of Your Business: Surrender it

June 19, 2024 

Leaders influence and impact the realm where they have authority. This may be at home, in their office or department, in the church they lead or in the business they operate. They naturally feel a sense of ownership of that entity, especially if they founded the organization or business*. But serving leaders recognize that the business is not their business. They view their business as reflected in the following scriptures.  

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Ps. 24:1, NIV). 

‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty  (Haggai 2:8).  

6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).     

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:7).  

Serving leaders see themselves as stewards rather than owners, they surrender ownership of their business/organization and it deeply impacts the way they lead.  

Serving leaders surrender the organization by acknowledging God’s ownership.   

God loudly declares that everything in the world is His! The land and the financial resources all belong to Him. This includes property deeds, bank accounts, property, equipment, etc. God allows His people to use His property for the time that they are alive. Serving leaders recognize that they are simply stewards of what He has entrusted to them. They seek to be responsible and faithful for what they have to manage whether little or much.  

Some leaders see themselves as owners and work in the business to bring profit to themselves. They take full responsibility for all that happens and focus on success as they define it. But serving leaders acknowledge God’s ownership. They are grateful for the opportunity to manage the organization and seek to do it with excellence. But they do not carry the weight and pressure of ownership. They find peace in being stewards.  

Serving leaders surrender the organization by acknowledging others’ contributions.  

Paul openly acknowledged that his success was dependent on the contributions of others. He “planted” but Apollos “watered” and ultimately God was the one “making it grow.”  

Some leaders only recognize their own contributions and tie their effort to the success of the organization. They start early and stay late because they think that without their diligence the organization will fail. But serving leaders acknowledge that success is not the result of one person’s efforts, but the work of a team. They gladly point out the contributions that others are making to the organization’s growth and ultimately give God the credit for the healthy growth they experience.  

Serving leaders surrender the organization by acknowledging their gifts.     

Paul acknowledged that he planted seeds that produced fruit. But he also recognized that the gifts he possessed were a gift from God, not something he produced on his own. Some leaders see themselves as superior to others and take credit for their own gifts. But serving leaders acknowledge their gifts as a blessing from God. They do not minimize how they are gifted, but they also do not take personal credit for that which they have received.   

Remember, it’s not your business! Serving leaders serve their organizations by surrendering ownership.  

For further reflection and discussion: 

  • How do I view ‘my’ organization, as mine or God’s? Do I feel pressured to make things happen and tie the success of my organization to my value as a person? How can I daily live in the reality that it all belongs to God?  
  • When I reflect on the success experienced in my organization, do I look first at my own contributions, or do I focus on the contributions of others? How can I acknowledge the contributions of my team this week?  
  • Reflect on Paul’s words, “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” This week, how can I thank those who invested in my own growth and development? (Think about teachers, mentors, persons who opened doors for you, introduced you to significant relationships, those who believed in you before you produced results, etc.)  

Until next time, yours on the journey, 

Jon Byler 

*Note: In this series we’ll use “business” to apply to any type of organization whether for profit or non-profit. The principles of this series apply to for-profit enterprises, non-profits (such as churches or NGO’s) and any other domain of work and service.   

In the next issue, we’ll examine how serving leaders shape the business.