Bishop Dag Heward-Mills

“And he said unto them, ‘Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean’,” Acts 10:28.

A person is likely to naturally relate to people who are most agreeable to him. Sometimes, it is easier to relate to people who are just like ourselves. Peter was so rigid in his understanding of leadership that he restricted his ministry to a small group of Jews. But God had a bigger plan for him. God wanted him to reach many other people. There are far more people who are different from you than those who are like you!

A leader is someone who is trying to get people to follow him. If you are a leader, you must make sure that you have people following you. Otherwise, you are not a leader. You must realise that your “type” of person is a limited species upon this earth.

You are not likely to find many people in your age group, with your background, your colour or your accent. If you want to succeed as a leader, you must realise very early that you need to be able to relate with all kinds of people, especially people who are not like you. To the weak you must become weak, and to the strong you must become strong.

“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you,” 1 Corinthians 9:22, 23.

This was Paul’s experience which he shares with every leader. He recognised that there were weak people he needed to lead. To those people, he became as weak to be able to relate to them and save some. There were many different categories of people he had to relate to. To all these different people, he became as their different sorts so that he would by all means achieve his aim of saving some of them.

If you have been raised up to be a leader, how many people will have a similar background to what you are exactly?

Examine your background and all your special circumstances. You will realise that not many people are exactly as you are. To become a leader of many people you must relate with people who do not have your background. Many of my friends have had a very different background. But I relate with them naturally and easily. It is a necessary trait to develop as a leader.

If you are a highly educated leader, learn to relate to others who are not as educated as you are. If you are a leader with a poor educational background, rise up and relate with all kinds of people, including rich and educated people. Do not drive away all the educated people because of your lack of education. You can educate yourself! Do not be surprised by ingratitude!

“Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” John 10:32.

Jesus experienced ingratitude. He was killed by an ungrateful mob of Jews. Every leader comes face to face with ingratitude. People are not grateful for the services you render them. It will not take you long to discover this. Many years ago, I found out that people whom I loved could turn around and hurt me. Men that I had trained did not remember that they had been helped. However, I have continued to believe in people and to trust people. I have no choice. If I begin to retaliate because of ingratitude, I will lose my place in the ministry.

After ministering for more than 30years, I have seen pastors experience many evil things. Jesus was murdered for His good deeds. He was exchanged for an armed robber. But he never responded to the evil spirit of ingratitude. Do not look to people for gratitude. A leader looks to God for rewards.

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free,” Ephesians 6:8.

The Scripture teaches that your rewards depend on God and not on the people you helped. God is the only one who can reward you adequately. Do not expect much from people; expect your rewards from God.

Do you consider yourself to be a leader? Ask yourself, “What type of person am I? What type of person am I not?” Make a decision to relate with every type of person and it will be a blessing to you.