We are all temporary, so if you want to reach into the future and make a difference long-term there’s one thing you can do…
Invest in people…
In Luke 16 there is an interesting parable of a dishonest manager, and he’s the hero!
He was not managing his master’s wealth very well and so “the writing was on the wall” as he realized that his future was not very bright, but then he had an idea:
I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’
He didn’t try to stash money away, it wasn’t his. He didn’t try to flee the country, where would he go. No, his plan was much more than this. What he did revealed that he understands the nature of the world, the only real resource any of us has is people. He treated people right, regardless of their finances or wealth, and he was rewarded for it.
The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness.
This is not a blueprint for how to effectively work in the business world today, it is a parable to illustrate the reality that people are our most important resource.
One of my favorite verses of scripture, that I come back to time and time again, is the Apostle Paul illustrating this point. This is how pastors can build a ministry that is not about them, and that will outlast them:
what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
It is not enough to amass buildings and followers, you have got to invest into people, and pour the Gospel into their lives.
- Barnabas invested in Paul… (cf. Acts 11:25-26)
- Paul invested in many young men…
- Timothy was to search for faithful men to invest in the same way…
- Those faithful were to continue the process…
- And so on until today…
There is a church today because Barnabas, Paul, Timothy, and the rest understood this concept.
Do not simply build your own “kingdom,” invest in people, they are our greatest natural resource, that’s how we can build the kingdom.