“Alright, now when we get the boat to the edge of the dock, you’re going to have to jump! I can’t put the boat right up against the dock, so when I get there, everyone has to jump off very quickly!” he shouted. My other friend got to the edge and waited for the boat to get close enough for her to jump. “Okay now, jump! Jump! JUMP!” he barked repeatedly. My friend jumped—and missed the dock completely, falling into about four feet of water between the boat and the pier. “GET HER OUTTA THERE!!” he screamed at those of us still dry and on the boat. We reached down and pulled her up, but between silent laughs, we all just shook our heads: that’s what it was like to spend time with our ruler friend.
Rulers have one motivation: administrating and leading others to complete projects. Rulers gravitate to positions of authority and responsibility because they are so good at bringing teams together and delegating tasks to complete a project. Rulers are also great at using imperfect people to achieve things—they are loyal and want loyalty in return.
However, when you are known as God’s empire builder, a few things can trip you up in your walk! Here are three things for rulers to remember as they use their motivations in their daily lives to build up the body of Christ.
- Integrity is essential—don’t skimp on ethics. Rulers sometimes fail to follow the “letter of the law” when completing tasks, especially if “no one gets hurt” and the end justifies the mean for them. However, God calls us all to model integrity, and rulers should embrace doing things the right way—not cutting corners or using unethical means to carry out the tasks assigned. Be careful not to tolerate compromise too much (see Solomon, who was the gift of ruler).
- Serve people—don’t just use them to complete tasks. Rulers can become so concerned with completing projects that their team members may feel used. Rulers must remember to celebrate their team and recognize their needs as much as the needs for the task. Although he was completely absorbed in rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah also cared for the people who worked with him to complete this task, which compelled the people to work with all of their heart (Nehemiah 4:6).
- Get your legitimacy from God—not from having authority over others. Because of their gift for leading others, rulers can draw a false sense of legitimacy from the authority they have over other people. We must remind them to dig deeper into their relationship with God to secure their legitimacy and submit to God’s calling and leadership in their life. Nehemiah responded to God’s call to rebuild the wall but was never far from the Lord during the task. He relied on God’s strength, not His own!
As rulers choose God’s plan for their lives instead of their own, they will begin to walk in fulfillment and establish generational blessings for their family and ministry and build an empire that will far outlast their life!
Do you know any rulers? How can you encourage them as they grow in their gift?