by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2011
I was privileged to observe a Christian leader modeling humility on my mission trip to Mexico. Though she was the pastor of our women’s ministry and had seniority over the pastor leading our trip, she yielded (relinquished one’s possession of position of advantage or point of superiority) to the leader who had positional authority over the mission group. She insisted on being treated like any other team member and being called by her first name without her pastoral title. She put on silly clothes and makeup in order to be transformed into a clown for the children’s ministry program.
Sadly, I have also witnessed the opposite. Assigned to our mission trip to Argentina, the director of video production in our church struggled to yield his control to the trip leader. He expressed his frustration at having to wait at the connecting airport until the whole group was present for instruction from the leader. He opted out of the first night of in-country team briefing where valuable information about the next day’s schedule was discussed. He ventured off from the team to capture background video footage without informing the trip leader. Happily, I can report that through the love and example of our team members, this person had a turnaround moment half way through the trip.
As a child, Jesus yielded to his parent’s authority. “And he went down with them [Joseph and Mary], and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them…” (Luke 2:51 NKJV) He understood that God had set up a structure of authority on earth. Because Jesus was always obedient to the Father, He submitted to the positional leadership of this part of his life as a pattern for us to follow.
Your trip leader takes his responsibility very seriously. He is accountable to church leadership for your welfare while on the trip whether you are a pastor, director, elder or church member. He wants to be able to say exactly what Jesus said to God, “While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost…” (John 17:12a CEV)
KESHER PRAYER (connection): Lord, I choose to honor my leader on this mission trip, which is Your work. He labors hard to ensure I am physically and spiritually well on the mission field. I will yield to my trip leader, show him great respect and wholeheartedly love him because you have placed him in authority over me on this brief journey. Amen. (I Thessalonians 5:12-13)