God trusts His work to ordinary men and women. He always has. Even when Jesus Christ walked the earth, He called upon questioning, stumbling men to organize and lead His church.
Because His mission is two-fold. He both wants His children to be loved and led, and He wants to teach us to do the loving and leading.
Brenden was recently called to serve as a zone leader in his mission. I’ve been thinking about what to write about the topic, and I’ve hesitated.
I was a leader for a good part of my mission. I generally felt like I knew what to do, and was doing a good job. But as life causes us to do, I look back and realize that there are a thousand ways that I could have served better.
But I tried. And in the trying, I hope that those I served were blessed. I know that I was blessed, and that God wanted me to have experiences that would cause me to grow.
Missionaries should emulate the Savior in their leadership. He led with compassion. He trusted those He led. He was a perfect example of what “manner of men” they should become.
That’s a hard standard for young men and young women who are serving missions. Something that helped me wrap my mind around how I should lead was a question I asked myself constantly: what can I do that will help strengthen this Elder or Sister long after his or her mission is over?
It was ambitious to presume that I could bless others in that way, but looking at things through that lens caused me to be more compassionate and encouraging. It caused me to reflect on how I could help those around me feel joy in the Lord’s work.
I was serving best when I thought of the parents of the missionaries in my stewardship, and what kind of experience they hoped their son or daughter was having.
God doesn’t call all of His children to positions of leadership. He knows us as individuals, and He understands what experiences we need for our eternal benefit. He occasionally puts us in trying situations, in which we are led by questioning, stumbling men and women. That’s also an experience that could be for our eternal benefit, if we endure it well.
No matter what our calling is in His vineyard, the key is to work, motivated by love of God and our brothers and sisters. If we lead and follow humbly and mercifully, He will make us more than we could ever be without Him.