“Behind every fruitful church is a dying pastor.”
He made this statement while preaching on 2 Corinthians 4, a chapter in which Paul exhorted his readers to not lose heart. The idea behind the statement is one that is pervasive in lots of other texts as well:
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).
Something has to die in order for something else to live.
Of course, we know that this is most importantly seen in the death of Jesus: Jesus died so that all who believe in Him might live. But it occurs to me, especially in light of CJ’s comment, that this principle is applicable in all areas of leadership.
In particular, it applies to dads.
That’s part of the responsibility of leading a family, and it works itself out in all kinds of ways:
- Dads, you wake up earlier than anyone else in the house so that you can have the family devotion ready at the breakfast table. You die to your desire for sleep so that the kids might have life through the Word of God.
- Dads, you choose to learn all you can about basketball even though you don’t enjoy playing so that you can help coach your son or daughter’s team. You die to your desire for your children to be interested in the same things you are so they might have life in their own God-given talents.
- Dads, you choose to get up day after day and go to work even though you think you might want to quit your job. You die to your desire to see your own dreams fulfilled in order that your family might live and thrive in security.
In short, fathers, you are dead men walking.
This is yet another way that we, as the leaders of our home, are also the ones who are the most willing to step to the front of line to take the hit.
Dying is more than just being willing to give up our lives for the sake of those we love. It’s fleshed out in a thousand little choices day after day whereby we take the sacrifice joyfully into ourselves for the sake of another.
Death, in this sense, isn’t just one big choice. It’s something continually done. And because it is, the only real way we are able to take the tiny pin pricks of death over and over again is by remembering that Jesus has done so for us.
He died. We live. And now He has entrusted the work of dying to us.