Using the life of David as a basis for this insight the first point is: Don’t wait for God to bring you those who look good. David was driven out of Saul’s presence due to Saul’s envy of him. While David lived in the caves of Adullam men came to him who were in debt, distressed and discontent.
The second point for leaders is: our role is to make them look good. We need to provide opportunities for these people to flourish in their God given gifts. In the past I have heard church leaders say to the church that the congregation’s role was to serve and facilitate the leader’s vision. But Ephesians 4 is quite clear in declaring that the role of the five-fold ministry is to equip the believers to do the works of service. This is the route to developing mature Christians. To equip means more than to preach a message to them every week on Sunday. To equip someone we as leaders are to prepare them to accomplish something. That means they have to be able to replicate what you do. Students in a medical college do not simply listen to lectures, graduate and begin practicing on people. They have hands on experience under the watchful eyes of those who are training them. The church has to embrace this practice.
David developed mighty men of God, men of renown. 2 Samuel 23 tells us about them. Verse 8 says: “These are the names of David's mighty men: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.” Can you imagine a man with only a spear killing 800 men at one time? It makes the fantasy action movies look lame in comparison. There were many more men you can read about in that chapter of 2 Samuel.
We need to look at these ‘in debt, distressed and discontented’ people God has sent us through His eyes. Before David ever fought a battle King Saul was looking for someone to play music skillfully to calm him during evil spirit inflicted moods he was having. One of his servants put forth David as a candidate saying, ‘He is a brave man and a warrior’. (1 Samuel 16) He declared David’s qualities while he was yet unproven. Saul’s servant saw what David could be and spoke it out as reality.
It is the same ability some young women have when they accept the pursuits of young men for their hand in marriage. He may have no visible means of employment, may not be finished training, may be lacking in confidence, or even unaware of what he could do. But she can often see what her parents are blind to.
David could see potential in these men who came to him at the caves. We need as leaders to see the potential that God has formed within them. Remember God told Samuel that man looks at the outward appearance but He looks at the heart. Let our prayer be: “God reveal their heart to me.”
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