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Ownership. Responsibility. Either way you slice it, it’s something we should all see the weight of as followers of Jesus. From the very beginning of scripture in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve ownership over the garden. They got to name animals, cultivate and keep the ground, and reap the rewards of God’s goodness and their work ethic. Now, we all know how that story went down. Things went well for a while, sin entered the picture, kicked out of the garden, and life as we know is set in place. We went from ownership to blame shifting in the blink of an eye.

But here’s the thing. God never stopped tasking his people with ownership. Luke 16:10. Romans 12:6-8. Luke 12:48. The list goes on and on. That means ownership is an essential piece to the life of a believer and for the life of those in leadership.

Good leadership requires ownership. There’s no way around it. Today I want to provide a few thoughts on ownership. Take it and apply it in whatever setting you’re in. Our role in the church. Our role in the workplace. Our role as a parent. Our role as a spouse. Our role in our community. We all have spheres in which we live. Ownership happens everywhere.

  • Show initiative: Ownership begins with movement. Being proactive is one of they ingredients to being someone who sees what needs to be done…and does it. If I want my kids to grow up to love Jesus…I’ll show initiative in helping them grow that way. If I want my company or organization to have a certain culture, I’ll begin setting the tone for that culture, hiring in that direction, etc. You can’t lead with ownership if you never take a step.
  • Admit Mistakes: One of the great challenges for a leader is to always put on the persona that we have it all together all the time. If we take an honest assessment of ourselves, we see that idea fall flat on its face. We make mistakes every day. There is no escaping it. Our co-workers, staff teams, spouses, kids, friends all need to see us living out humility in front of them. We’re not perfect. “For leaders, the humility to admit and own mistakes and develop a plan to overcome them is essential to success. The best leaders are not driven by ego or personal agendas. They are simply focused on the mission and how best to accomplish it.” – Extreme Ownership  
  • Serve well: Nothing screams ownership like laying down your agenda to serve others. One of the encouragements I would give those in the workplace is to build in to your week an opportunity to serve others in different departments. I love seeing our staff team work together to pull things off. It’s fun seeing a Small Groups team member serve our college/student teams. It’s a beautiful display of “we’re in this together, moving the same direction, united by the same mission.”
  • Be Early: I’ve always bought into the idea that if you’re on time…you’re late, and if you’re early…you’re on time. I have a fear of being late. I used to show up to school 20 minutes early and just sit in the parking lot and wait. It wasn’t a fear of missing out, just a fear of not being where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there. In fact, this drives my wife crazy. I’m the guy that has to be at a “drop in at any time between 6-8pm” party at 5:45pm. It’s a flaw, I get it. But it’s not always a flaw. It essential I believe, to being a good team member. About 6-7 years ago I ran across this blog from Greg Savage titled “How did it get to be OK for people to be late for Everything?” A solid read. Brace yourselves, he hits hard. When you arrive early, you serve each other well by honoring others time.

Let’s be a people who take ownership of our vocation, our calling, and our lives. Be early, serve well, admit mistakes and take initiative. Do it for the glory of Jesus!

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