Disciple-maker, this is question is for you. Who is the hardest person you ever had to lead?

You are thinking of a name or seeing a face right now. The one who pushed your buttons, tested the extent we can love the unlovable…Don’t we all have those in our lives!

But no, it’s not them.

Are you ready for the answer?

It’s you.

Yep, you read that right.

The hardest person to lead is you.

God Starts with the Individual

Before God called a group of people into covenant with Him, He first called one man, Abraham. God spent time dealing with Abraham. He allowed Abraham to work through his insecurities, grow in his faith and learn to trust Him in deeper and deeper ways.

It is no different with us. If we want our churches to grow, it first begins with you and me.

It begins with leading ourselves in the areas of our lives that no one sees.

The Back Stage and Front Stage

In theatre, there is always the front stage and the backstage. The front stage is where the performance happens, it’s what the audience sees. Or rather, it’s what we want the audience to see.

The audience never sees the backstage. If you have ever taken a peek behind the curtains, you know it’s a dark place. Usually cluttered and messy, a far cry from the pristine of the front stage.

Yet that’s where the most important things happen – the seamless coordination of set changes, the well-oiled synchronisation of actors, the perfect timing of lights and music. What you see on the front stage depends a lot more on what happens backstage than you think.

Our lives are the same. People see what we do and how we live all out in public view. But the backstage are the deep places of us that no one else sees. It is the heart of our being that often get neglected.

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. – Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)

Lead Yourself

Before we lead anyone else, we must first lead ourselves.

How is your backstage life? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

1. What or who are you fascinated with?
It’s time to take stock of what or who occupies your mind.

What can’t you stop thinking about? Is it the church building you wish you had? How to bring your church beyond the 100 member congregation you have been stuck at for so long? How to raise enough funds for that new wing?

Don’t focus on church growth methods and programs. Be fascinated with Jesus. He alone defines success.

2. How is it with your soul?
It is not about how much we have done but who are we becoming.

How well have you loved? When was the last time you repented, offered grace and gave mercy? Do you desire God the same way you did when He first called you?

We become who we behold. Spend time beholding Jesus and that is who we will become.

3. How are things at home?
Character is who we are when no one is watching. We often let our guard down with our families. There are no filters, just the essence of our true self. We hate to admit it, but they see the real us.

How is your relationship with your spouse and you children? Don’t want to go there? But we must.

Disciple-making begins at home.

Our Christianity begins at home. Before the church and community, God entrusted you with your family. This is where disciple-making begins.

Prosper in Your Soul

The Apostle John said these words in 3 John 1:2,
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

More than the work we do, it is more important that our soul be healthy and prosper.

Take some time to look inside and lead yourself to the heart of Jesus before leading others.