Take Up The Towel

By Stephen Boyce

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Leadership isn’t about being the first or the boss. It is about becoming a vital part of something that is worthy of your time and effort.

It isn’t about being a star in a star-struck world. I want to encourage you to shoot for something higher, something greater. I want to encourage you to become the right hand to someone. Become a Timothy to a Paul. Become a Joshua to a Moses. Become a Ruth to a Naomi.

When Jehoshaphat needed to hear from the Lord, He asked “Is there no prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of the LORD through him?” An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.”

Become an Elisha to an Elijah. Go be somebody’s right hand.

Jesus taught us the greatest among us wasn’t the first among us, but the servant. He taught us, not to take up the lead, but to take up the towel. When you become someone’s right hand, you learn what it means to strengthen the hands of another. You learn what it means to serve in secret and be rewarded openly. You learn what it means to be loyal, to be a support, to be a friend.
The kingdom of God has no totem poles, no journey to the top, no top rung. The kingdom of God is too important for that. There’s too much work to be done… too many lives at stake. You will never know how to lead a team until you truly know how to be on the team.

God will lead you to the person he wants you to become the right hand to.

And when He does, you will soon discover that this person is flawed. This person is not perfect, maybe not even smart, and not all that organized. Exactly. That’s why you are the perfect right hand to this person. You can make this person shine. You can strengthen and encourage. You can organize and gather up the loose ends. You can put on the towel and be the Elisha… and God sees what’s done in secret and rewards openly. Go be somebody’s right hand.

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Jesus said I and the Father are one. If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. It was a statement of unity. Independence is the big thing in a world that has no unity. Every man for himself—being an individual—I am my own man. I have my own ideas—I need to express my uniqueness. –Even if it means never achieving anything of significance?

When people remark to me about New Life, the church I’ve pastored for 27 years, they don’t remark about the buildings, or even the accomplishments, the campuses, the high school, the TV program, they don’t ask how we got this property or how to start a campus, they ask how we have such teamwork. They ask how we have so many quality leaders working alongside each other, all connected to the mission.

The Bible says a two-fold cord is not easily broken- that 2 can chase ten thousand. In a world where everyone is trying to be first, go be second, be somebody’s right hand. If any mantle is to be passed on, let it be the towel.