May 11, 2023
A journalist tried to pull the legs of a late Yoruba leader and popular Nigerian presidential aspirant about how he felt having failed in his 1979 presidential aspiration while his son Oluwole had won a seat into the Lagos state house of assembly. ‘I am happy my son won. I don’t know about you but I want my son to be greater than me’. This silent hope and prayer of all real fathers rings so true of our saviour’s hopes as his ministry on earth was winding down. He who believes in me, the works that I do shall he do and greater works than these shall he do because I go to my father (John 14:12).
It was very clear that He hoped, prayed and planned that His followers would do much more than He did to impact the world with good.
Real fathers are not envious of their children’s success, but rather celebrate them. They see their children’s success as theirs. This takes me to July 17, 2016 as I sat in the audience, video recording the graduation ceremony of our first daughter. My wife was unavoidably absent as she was at the same time attending the graduation of our second daughter in another university. ‘I will dance when I am called’, she had said. Their Indian chancellor had offered hugs to as many of them as wanted and created an atmosphere of fun and celebration. Tears of joy welled up in my eyes and one or two dropped as I was overwhelmed with joy on my seat. I felt like I finally graduated university, a childhood ambition of mine that was never fulfilled. As a father, I know the joy of living our dreams through our children for whom we are willing to sacrifice our very lives as we truly see them as extensions of our very being. I believe this is just a result of our humanity which is a derivative of divinity and yet not a full expression of it due to the fall of man. Yes, in Christ’s redemption we find restoration but its perfection is still reserved for the future.
Paul admonished his son Timothy to transfer what he had learnt from him to those who would transfer it to others also(2 Timothy 2:2). It’s great to be a hero but much greater to be a hero maker. Like earthly parents, we have to grow spiritually to the place where we begin to take delight in our children doing greater exploits than we have done. We just become reproducers of reproducers who produce more than we do. We must take delight in their successes and own it as much as they do, even as we give all the glory to God who is the true doer of all things but only uses us as vessels of mercy. In their book ‘Hero Maker’, Dave Ferguson and Warren Bird defined a Hero Maker as ‘A leader who shifts from being a hero to making others the hero in God’s unfolding story’. The late Dr Myles Munroe said ‘the goal of leadership is to make itself increasingly unnecessary’. By empowering others, we delegate responsibilities and authority to them, thereby diminishing our own involvement in operations.
“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Greatness in the kingdom of God is not measured only by the impact of our service on people but through others. As soon as Jesus resurrected, rather than stay around, he left and allowed His disciples to visibly lead what would be the greatest love of God upon the face of the earth. His greatest apostle of the era now tells his own disciple to commit everything he had handed to him in doctrine, impartation and practice to others who will do the same to others. This would create 4 generations of wonder workers on the earth. Your greatness will not be measured in heaven nor history by your direct impact but your impact through others. When the annals of history are written, May your footprints remain on the earth till Jesus comes back to take his people to heaven. Do not just be a hero but a hero maker.

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