A question that has been in my mind recently is: Who am I bringing on?
When I look through the Bible I see that… Moses brought on Joshua, David brought on Solomon, Elijah brought on Elisha, Barnabas brought on Paul, Paul brought on Timothy – and we could list more!
The Bible chronicles people who invested in others. So who am I bringing on? Who are you bringing on?
Bringing others on is not just about succession. It’s not just about who can take over after me. Although, we do always need to think about that. If you dropped dead tomorrow, who would pick up what you’re doing? Who have you trained up? So succession is not unimportant, but bringing others on is more than that – it’s really about POURING YOUR LIFE into someone, or a small group of people (like Jesus did with 3 people in particular – Peter, James and John).
Bringing someone on is about encouraging, training and developing. Ultimately, it’s about GIVING of your time, energy and money to see someone reach their potential. Your most important investment, I suspect, of those 3 things (time, energy, money) is your time. The theologian & philosopher Albert Schweitzer, said:
It’s good to give time to a project… but are you giving your time to people? That’s where the greatest investment is, with the biggest potential pay-off.
We get in an inside look into such an investment in Paul’s letters to Timothy. 2Tim 2:1-10 says:
1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
We need to ask ourselves if we are people who do what Paul does with Timothy here in 2 Tim 2:
- Do we have people we’re encouraging (v1) to be strong in the grace of Jesus?
- People (v3) we’re telling to hang in there, as they suffer, or struggle?
- People we’re praying for, and telling them they’re doing well, as (v5) they train like an athlete or (v6) they work hard like a farmer?
- Are we, like Paul in v10, ‘enduring everything’ not for our own sake,
but for the sake of OTHERS.
That’s what it’s about: investing in OTHERS.
As I think back, I’m aware that I’ve had many people invest in me over the years. 2 particularly important people for me have been my dad and my training Vicar when I was a Curate – David Williams. What about you?
There’s a well-known UK business organisation set up to help businesses thrive. It provides tools, resources and a ‘standard’ of excellence for businesses to attain to. You may have heard of it. It’s name is not Investors in Business.
No, they realise the key to a successful business is investing in PEOPLE –
Hence their name: Investors in People.
Similarly, if we want to see the Kingdom of God thrive, the best place for us to invest is in PEOPLE.
I suspect people have invested in you: parents; a teacher; a mentor; a friend. Hopefully people still are. You may need to be asking the Lord for someone wise and mature to invest more in you. That’s not a bad prayer to pray.
BUT what I REALLY want to ask you is this: who are YOU investing in?
Who are you bringing on?