Written by Shawn Naylor

I just sat down, which makes me smile. You see, I just finished barbecuing lunch for the whole family: sautéing onions, sautéing mushrooms, cutting vegetables, then preparing the plates of food for the children and keeping them on task of eating (Which is a full-time job in itself). Then it was cleanup time.

Fortunately, the dishes in the dishwasher were clean and needed to also be emptied, as well as the clean dishes in the sink. Then I cleaned the counter and put the kids to sleep for a nap… All I wanted to do was sit down. Yet now I find myself writing this article, haha! Once I sat down, thoughts came flooding into my head about my father.

Now I know for some of you reading this, “father” is not a good word or memory. Maybe they were abusive or not present in your life. In my case, my dad was neither of those things. My dad gave and gave and gave. To be honest, I think he gave more than doing dishes, making food and putting us to sleep for naps. There were moments when we said “Thank you” and there were moments when we didn’t even recognize what he did, but he did it nonetheless. This demonstrates to me what an excellent leader can be and must do. The dictionary defines the word

An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else
regarded as more important or worthy.

In this this “me first” culture, “live your dreams now” culture, “it’s your life” culture, this word has all but left our vocabulary and our day-to-day actions. I find this interesting. If we have the fathers from yesterday, the good ones, and ultimately Jesus who demonstrated sacrifice on a whole other level, then why is it that we rarely see it? When we do see that level of sacrifice, we so desperately wish that someone would demonstrate that level of love for us. Being a leader and living out the call that Christ has called you to sacrifice is essential.

absolutely necessary; extremely important; Vital; Basic.

How many of us approach leadership with sacrifice as an essential part of our skillset? God sees it as important—in fact it is pleasing to him that we sacrifice for the benefit of others. There is a Bible verse that gives us no wiggle room on this essential ingredient: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16)

Is our leadership one that is self-seeking or is it a leadership that wants to do good for others and share the successes of others who may not even say “thank you” or give anything in return. Remember that when Jesus went to the cross for all of mankinds’ sin, he knew that people would not say “thank you” or give their hearts in return, but he died for them nonetheless. You will do things in leadership that people will say thank you for and other times they won’t even know what you did. Keep doing it, even if it is making food or doing more dishes!