So, who is the hero in your story? Is it you, or are there others? Do you work to be a hero or a heromaker?
I recently met a young man who I think is the exception to most everybody’s rule. He started ministry in a support role. His job was to make a hero of another man. He’s now into church multiplication and disciplemaking. He says his primary tool for success is his ability to make heroes out of others.
The very cool element in this story is the guy who he used to support. His former boss made the switch from hero to heromaker. He’s an anchor at the end of what looks like a very long chain of modern heroes of the faith. It was his ability to switch from the hero in his story to the heromaker investing in the guy that I met that made a whole lot of disciplemaking possible.
Who Gets The Most Attention?
As this story unfolds, the younger man will garner lots of attention due to the number of churches coming out of his ministry. The old guy is well known—you may have read his books. But a decade from now people will read whatever the young guy writes. The older man may well be forgotten at that point—we all will be, one day.
Think about this, your own grandchildren will forget you. If you’re lucky enough to meet your great-grandchildren they will only hold faint memories of you. But your offspring will be your legacy—your only lasting one. What you invest in the next generation is the treasure you take to heaven. You and I should make the most of our lives and make more of those who follow us.
Consider the two men in this story. As a young man, the one lived to make the other known. Then the older guy showed enough maturity to sponsor the younger man and make him into a hero by the things he said publicly. When the young man carried on the tradition lives flourished. I don’t know the older man but I know this, “He is ultimately responsible for the success of people he may never meet.” Deep in his heart when he hears their story, he can say to himself, “Well done…” I want to live like that. Do you?
Don’t Wait Until They are Useful
The key to widespread influence is always to spread the credit around. I spend lots of sermon time building up the unsung heroes in our church and movement. That inspires others to love and good deeds–the kingdom grows. Don’t make people wait until they are useful. Learn to bless the barely useful into productive members of your team and you’ll prevail in a dark world.
Five Practices of Heromakers
Dave Ferguson and Warren Bird will soon publish a book called “Heromakers.” In it they detail five practices that define most heromakers. You may think of a couple of others, but try these:
- HeroMaking Practice 1: Multiplication Thinking–You are interested in leveraging your efforts by equipping than by doing.
- HeroMaking Practice 2: Permission Giving–It is easy for you to make a lot of short bets on others. You’re more prone to say, “Yes,” than “No.”
- HeroMaking Practice 3: Disciple Multiplying–You share what you know with others who will gain the spotlight by using what you taught to touch the world. You spend the time necessary to apprentice your disciples, unlike some leaders who say, “I leave that to others.”
- HeroMaking Practice 4: Gift Activating–You hand off leadership easily. Read Matthew 28:17. Some of the eleven present still doubted Jesus even after spending time with him after the resurrection. Bless and activate the barely blessable.
- HeroMaking Practice 5: Kingdom Building–You are more interested in how many laborers you can send into the harvest (away from your campus) than the number you can gather to fill roles in your church. You’re thinking about the ends of the earth.
Exponential.org is doing a series of “heromaker interviews.” They lead up to next year’s Heromaker Conferences. You can catch more of this story and others by clicking here.
To watch more than 50 other (very short videos) including Francis Chan, Neil Cole and Ed Stetzer click on http://exponential.org/heromaker-video-series/
Heromaking and Handing Off
I wish you could have visited our church last Sunday. It was my last day as the lead pastor (something I’ve done for more than four decades). The final handoff was to, Corey, a friend who I’ve been privileged to disciple since the mid-1980s. We’re tight friends.
After Corey & Lisa moved to Japan, where he pastored for 17 years, we stayed close, often seeing each other more often in various Asian nations than in Honolulu. You could say that the Hope Chapel Honolulu “pastoral transition” has been going on since around 1987. The fun thing about our service last Sunday would be to watch the two of us working hard to make heroes out of each other.
Corey is a hero to me and to anyone that knows him. The church is already growing under his leadership. The same can be said of Zac Nazarian and Carl Moore–two men who succeeded me in other churches. They are my heroes. But deep in my heart I have a special joy, not in taking credit for their deeds as they are their own men, however I do rejoice that I had some small part in helping them get to where they are today. Heromaking pays off when your head hits the pillow at night…
SO WHO WAS A HEROMAKER TO YOU? Honor them by telling their story in the comments section below: