Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12, likens the body of Christ to the human body—one body, many parts.
One of the parts he mentions is the foot. Over my 63 years as a Christian and my involvement in many aspects of ministry with many different roles, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a “Foot” in the body of Christ.
Allow me to explain.
I believe my role is to offer a gentle, but firm, kick in the rear when needed.
It’s been said that a pat on the back goes a lot further than a kick in the pants; but, at certain times with different people, a kick in the pants can go a long way and is called for!
For around a dozen years I was on the pastoral staff of our Savior’s Community Church in Palm Springs, California. Mike Coppersmith (now living in Georgetown, Texas) was the Lead Pastor during those years. I would preach from time to time and we concluded that when Mike preached he would comfort the afflicted but when Dave preached he would afflict the comfortable!
Hebrews 10:24 (ESV) reads: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”
Fred Smith (not the Fred Smith who founded FedEx) but Fred Smith the Christian businessman from Texas who was a prolific author and regular contributor to “Leadership” magazine once said that his purpose statement was “He Stretched Others.”
For me, my role is to both “Stir Up” AND “Stretch others.”
Many years ago, we had Ray Ortlund and his wife Anne speak at a Navigator conference in Colorado Springs, where Susan and I lived from 1984 to 1988 while I worked at The Navigator headquarters. I recall vividly Ray sharing with us that he said to his wife that he loved her just the way she was but that he loved her too much to leave her that way. This is the way God loves us and it’s also the way I view my role as a Christian leader who is all about leader development.
I love the people I coach and work with just the way they are; but I’m highly motivated to not leave them that way but, rather, want to both stir them up and stretch them to be all they can be for the glory of the Lord and for the Kingdom.
I wrote a post earlier this year entitled The 2 sides of exhortation
In this post I unpack the understanding that there are two aspects to the word as it’s used in the New Testament. It means both to encourage but also to challenge.
I’m at my best when I’m challenging Christians and Christian leaders by exercising my “Foot” gifting and wiring. I function like a sports coach who sees the true potential in a player and wants that player to reach their full potential and capacity thereby making their best contribution to the team. I want to both encourage and challenge leaders which I try to do through these posts.