November 29, 2023
In the previous issue we looked at how serving leaders surrender money, seeing themselves as stewards of the financial resources entrusted to them. The second principle that guides serving leaders in relation to money is focused on how they get, or secure, money. Serving leaders recognize that without money, they cannot accomplish their mission. They recognize that their stewardship involves a responsibility to think carefully about how their money is obtained. Serving leaders secure money to serve others. This includes the organization, the people on their team, clients, vendors, and their community. As they think about getting money, they consider verses like these:
“A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare” (Prov. 21:6).
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23, NIV).
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint” (Prov. 23:4).
These verses, and others, indicate that there are correct and incorrect ways to get money and establish guidelines for how serving leaders secure money.
Serving leaders secure money by working well.
“All hard work brings a profit….” Serving leaders are not afraid of hard work! They are willing to give the time and effort that is needed to earn money.
Some leaders use their role to get out of work, believing that leadership is getting others to do the work. But serving leaders understand that they lead well by working well. They set an example to others with their commitment to work hard. They think and make financial plans and decisions that require hard work to accomplish. They work to establish financial integrity in their organization with appropriate safeguards for those involved in handling money. Then they serve by getting busy and working hard!
Serving leaders secure money by balancing well.
Serving leaders work hard but they also have “the wisdom to show restraint.” Some leaders never stop working in their pursuit to get money. But serving leaders recognize that the connection between hard work and profit can quickly lead to an imbalanced life so they learn how to show restraint. They find ways to say “enough” and when it is time to stop they leave the office and turn off the cell phone or computer. This allows them to spend time with their family, engage in other activities including their own need for exercise and sleep. Because they see themselves as stewards they take diligent care of the money under their control, but they don’t allow the money to control them and they understand when it’s time to stop work!
Serving leaders secure money by treating well.
Serving leaders serve their organizations by treating the persons in the organization well. Many leaders see workers simply as bodies for production and are not concerned about their personal lives. But serving leaders value those who work with them and refuse to make money at their expense. They seek to pay wages that are as generous as possible while also safeguarding the financial integrity of the organization. Serving leaders understand that treating people well actually benefits the profitability of the organization by increasing employee engagement and productivity.
For further reflection and discussion:
- Is my life a good example of hard work? In what way does this impact my leadership?
- Have I established appropriate financial safeguards in my organization to protect myself and others from temptation and to encourage integrity in finances? If not, what do I need to do?
- In what ways am I tempted to work too much? How does this impact my relationships with family, friends and my own health and wellbeing? What do I need to change this week to begin to show restraint?
- How well do I treat people under my leadership? Am I as generous towards them as possible? Where I am not able to provide more financial benefit to them, do I look for other ways to honor them as people and see that they are well treated?
- Consider these additional verses related to finances and stewardship: Proverbs 1:19, 6:10-11, 13:11; Luke 14:28, 16:9-11; James 5:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 10, 12. What more do you learn about how you interact with money as a serving leader?
Until next time, yours on the journey,
In the next issue, we’ll examine how serving leaders share money.