I've been reflecting today on my role as someone who empowers others. I think we've falsely limited the use of this word to the church setting. We speak of empowering others for ministry, equipping people for works of service, delegating jobs and tasks to other people to get them involved in helping to accomplish the mission of the church. These are all good things and should happen within the local church. But what about the other areas of life? What about my family? What about my friends outside the church? What about your co-workers? What about your neighbors? This is the photo that has served as my desktop since my dad's passing in early January. As I've looked at it over the last several months I am reminded of the need to empower. Here's one man (the one clearly sucking his stomach in) empowering three other men to live life.
Sure, my dad could have just done everything for us. He could have cut the grass himself, he could have fixed the hole in the wall after one of our many angry brother fights, by himself. He could have changed the oil alone, he could have built the barn or the deck all by himself without any help from us at all.
Likewise, he could have forced us to create our own school projects all by ourselves without any help at all, he could have chosen to not show us how to handle a gun properly, he could have left us in the dark when it came to roofing a house, he could have left us all by ourselves, groping around in the darkness to figure out life on our own. But he didn't. He empowered us. He showed us the ropes, he guided our hands, he laughed when we made a mess of things, he likely cried when we really made a mess of things, but he knew, as we should also learn that it's all just part of empowering.
My father could have just plugged one hole. He was even good enough to plug several holes at once. But he realized that by empowering us, he was able to multiply his hole plugging ability. One man chose to divide his time in order to multiply his effectiveness and ultimately his impact.
Here's the even greater part about multiplication, it's hard to stop once it's rolling.
Think for a minute about the lives that will be impacted by those that are represented in just this photo alone. One man's impact on three lives now impacting eleven other lives. You see empowering people has a trickle down effect. Those that have been empowered can't help but want to empower others. It feels great to be empowered but an even greater feeling exist when you're the one doing the empowering.
So what about you? Who are you empowering? Empowering shouldn't be limited to the church setting. We can empower neighbors, co-workers, class-mates, anyone and everyone we come into contact with. Teach, develop, train, better others, guide people. Learn to divide and then multiply.