When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Matthew 2:13-15
The fourth best practice of a leader is Enabling Others to Act. In the passage above, the angel of the Lord enabled Joseph to protect the baby Jesus from Herod’s efforts to kill him.
When you apply this concept to your Christian best practices, the question boils down to whether you give others what they need in order to learn about Christ or grow in their faith. They might need friendship, an invitation to study scripture, prayer, or invitations to events at your church.
Often, we might do well in the above areas, but what happens when you talk to them about your faith? Do you give them an open opportunity to say what they think or do you focus on what they should think? “Let me tell you what this means,” might be an innocent approach that shuts down the other person before they get a chance to explore their own thoughts. Many people are searching and are afraid of saying the wrong thing.
In a recent conversation, a colleague mentioned he wanted to go to church. His family had been unable to do so for two years because they have a special needs child. Their church wasn’t equipped to deal with the needs of his child, so this family that needed spiritual support, couldn’t get it. How heartbreaking. In this case, not only does the church not enable this family, and others like them, to attend, but this family hasn’t enabled the church to help them either. When I asked if they had discussed this problem with their church, he admitted they assumed there was nothing the church could do, so he hadn’t tried. I encouraged him to talk to them about their needs.
At Christmas, more than any other time, the world enables Christians to confess their faith. The world is losing some of that openness, but we haven’t lost this spiritual battle, yet.
What do you do in order to encourage others with the news of Christ’s salvation, not only now, but throughout the year?
For previous post in the best practices series:
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