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06.06.2017 Feature Article

A Good Leader Is a Master at Giving Himself Wholly

Opinion The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills
The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills

The wisdom of a serpent is the wisdom of giving itself wholly to its task. A serpent gives itself wholly to its vision and purpose. You should watch a snake using its whole body to kill its prey. Pythons, anacondas and boa constrictors kill their prey by constricting their prey with the entire length of their body. The snake tightens its coils around the prey to suffocate it.

… give thyself wholly to them; …

1 Timothy 4:15
A serpent is a slim long tube that moves sleekly on the ground. And yet, it is able to kill and swallow huge four-legged antelopes. It is a wonder to watch a python swallow a huge antelope together with its horns, hoofs and head. What an amazing creature that is able to overcome another animal ten times its size. What kind of wisdom is this? What kind of wisdom does a serpent use?

Indeed, it uses its entire body to engulf its prey. Each time a captured animal takes a breath, the snake tightens its hold. The snake squeezes so tightly that its prey cannot breathe.

Snakes give themselves wholly to the killing of their prey. What has God called you to do? Pastors should give themselves wholly to the ministry. Many people do not give themselves fully to the ministry. Give yourself totally to your God-given work. Do not be impressed by ministers of the gospel who proudly tell you about the business they do on the side. You must have a special calling to be involved in para-business hybrid ministries! The Bible tells us to give ourselves wholly to the ministry. If you give yourself wholly to the ministry, you will see a great difference in your life.

Perhaps, if you were to give yourself wholly to ministry, you would become more anointed and help many more people. Perhaps if you were to give yourself wholly to the ministry, many more people would be saved. Your hybrid ministry is not yielding the results that it should. Paul did not encourage para-business ministry hybrids. He said you should give yourself wholly to the ministry and to the call of God.

Jesus gave himself fully to the ministry and bore much fruit. Our Lord Jesus was a carpenter. At a point, He laid aside carpentry, and went fully into preaching, teaching and healing. What would have happened to us if He had continued to build a para-carpentry hybrid ministry? Where did we learn to develop these hybrid ministries? 'Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…' (Philippians 2:5)

Peter gave himself fully to the ministry and bore much fruit. Peter was a fisherman. But a time came when he had to stop fishing and follow the Lord. That was full time ministry. Peter said, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” '(Mark 10:28)

Paul gave himself fully to the ministry and bore much fruit. Paul was also a tent maker. But a time came when he gave himself wholly to the Lord and the benefits were seen by all. He considered every other thing, apart from the call of God, as pure rubbish. 'More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ' (Phil 3:8).

I hear you ask, “How can I give myself wholly?”

  1. To give yourself wholly is to give your heart to the Lord. People who give themselves to the ministry but do not give their hearts are just miming and acting. God is not interested in actors. He wants people who are serving Him from the heart. Would you not want the same if you were God?
  2. To give yourself wholly is to give your intelligence. Were you good at school? Did you do well in Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry or Statistics? God can use your intelligence and it will make a big difference to the ministry. Look around and you will see that ministries, which also use their minds and intelligence, last much longer than those who do not.
  3. To give yourself wholly is to give your temperament. Are you a choleric or a melancholic person? Use it for the church. I have used my personality to develop the church into a worldwide and structured denomination. The melancholic part of my temperament has helped me to structure a complicated network of churches. The choleric aspect of my temperament has helped me to work with speed and to take decisions that are necessary for true advancement.

You will be amazed at the yield when you give yourself wholly. The Bible says that when you give yourself wholly, your profiting will appear to all.

…give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

1 Timothy 4: 15
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Dag Heward-Mills
Dag Heward-Mills, © 2017

This author has authored 99 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: DagHewardMills

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