Unknown Leaders


She was a desperate woman. She’d been sick with a blood disease for twelve years, making her an unclean member of her society. Even though she had spent all her money seeking a cure, no doctor had an answer. Every day that she survived, her hope disappeared by the time she lay down that night. Day after day, month after month, year after year, one decade into the second one . . .  the agony continued.

We don’t even know her name—but, God did, and He did something about this woman’s desperate condition.

Somehow, you see, this woman heard something about Jesus (Mark 5:27). Somebody said to her something like, “I’ve heard Jesus is coming through your town. You’ve got to get to Him.” Perhaps he or she added something like, “I’ve heard He can give legs to the lame, sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. I’ve even heard that He can raise the dead. I repeat: you’ve got to get to Him.”

We don’t know that witness’ name, either. Whoever it was, though, was God’s instrument to change a woman’s life.

The woman did indeed get to Jesus, despite her having to break social mores to touch the garment of the rabbi—and her life would never be the same. Jesus did in an instant what no other doctor could do in over a decade. He alone could provide physical healing and spiritual cleansing, and His name has been magnified through that miracle to this day. Our neighbors and the nations who read this story in the Gospels today will once again hear of the power of Jesus in the recorded text.

The story speaks of two people whose names are not included in the record: a hurting woman and a Jesus-proclaimer. Both are critical to the story, but neither is the center of that story. No, the focus of the story is the one whose name is included—Jesus, the Son of God. After all, He’s always been the story.

What does this story mean for us today? We have the global responsibility and privilege of getting the gospel to non-believers among 8 billion people in the world—most whose names we do not yet know, and whose names will likely never be recorded in history books. They need Jesus, however, and we get to play a role through serving as missionaries or supporting those who go. The nations may never know our names or our contributions, but that must be okay with us. We are still not the story.

Closer to home, we live out our callings by shepherding people whose names we do know, and who view us as their spiritual leader. The danger we face is that we will fall into the trap of leadership pride, seeking recognition and delighting when others know our name and recognize our work. The danger is that we will want our names in the story even when we say we don’t.

Our Church Answers team is delighted to offer you the best resources so you will be the strongest leader you can be for God’s church. It is our prayer for you and for ourselves, though, that all of us will minister to others without concern that our names get recognition in the process. The story is still about Him.

And, it always will be.

Posted on June 12, 2024

Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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