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I Got Nothin’ – What’s a Steward Leader to Do?


Christian Leadership AllainceBy Dr. John R. Frank, CFRE

As I was preparing to write this blog I thought to myself, “I got nothin’.” I was empty. I had no thoughts running around my head to share and start someone thinking.  And then I put myself once again in the place of a leader who desires to be a good steward and asked myself the question again.  What does a steward leader do when they haven’t got anything to give?

Let’s take a look at this from several different directions.  Most of the time, we as leaders are seldom empty. Seldom are we at a point where no idea or options come to mind. But some times it happens. We are empty. We feel weak. We feel exposed. We do not have the strength or the quick answer.

And then the scripture, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2nd Corinthians 12:10) (many times it is quoted when I am weak, then he is strong) came to mind.  It is where Paul tells us that God is able to do his greatest work when we are weak, in hardships, persecuted, and well, empty!   This dichotomy is a difficult one for leaders. We do not want to show or share weakness. We do not want anyone to see we may not have the quick answer.  But that is exactly what Paul writes that we should do. We must let God know we are weak and we need him to be our strength!

I have more compassion for pastors as I get older. I see that we as the church have demanded that they never be “empty” with answers, attitudes, endless hours, and strength.  Yet, as I get older and hopefully wiser, I see that being empty is a sign of a great steward leader. We put unrealistic expectations on pastors and many leaders in the ministry.

A steward leader will recognize what the emptiness is.  The emptiness could be insecurity, fatigue, or just a lack of knowledge to face the immediate situation.  And this is when God desires to step into our emptiness.  He desires to fill the weak emptiness with himself, his power, his peace, and all through his Holy Spirit.

But when we are afraid to be empty, pride is filling our space. And we know the Holy Spirit will not force himself into a prideful soul.

So maybe when you are up against the wall, and your soul feels empty – rejoice and say – I got nothin!  And then relax and let him fill you will just what you need – more of him.  Let us together as steward leaders put down our false bravado and admit weakness. This will welcome in his power, his resources, and his peace.

In our efforts to lead in this world, we use the tools and thinking of this world. But as steward leaders we are not of this world. We are to use the tools, thinking, and power of the spiritual world to empower us to steward all that has been entrusted to us.

The good news?  We do not have manufacture those tools, resources, or power. They are his to give and they are promised to us as we draw closer to him.  Let him fill the void. It is his power that fills us when we open our spirits to our loving God. He does not have the expectations and evaluations of a leader that we do. He sees us as his children that need his touch.

So next time you feel empty and wondering if you “got nothin’,”  just open your soul to him and let him fill you up!  He will make you the steward leader he wants you to be. For the weaker we are, the stronger he can be in us and through us.

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Dr. John R. Frank, CFRE is the founder and president of The Frank Group and the Stewardship Summit.

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