Building a Legacy
May 16, 2016
Many choose to step back from senior leadership or veteran positions, but still want to offer insight, mentoring, and valuable coaching to those coming up behind them. That’s where the Nav Encore Mission comes in.
Our Nav Encore Leadership Team recently had a lengthy discussion about Numbers 8:23-26, a passage that talks about “retirement” as it relates to the Levites and their priestly service at that specific point in time. We wondered about its relevance for us today.
Here’s the passage in the Amplified Bible:
Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is what applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall enter to perform service in the work of the Tent of Meeting, but at the age of fifty years, they shall retire from the service of the [tabernacle] work and serve no longer. They may assist their brothers in the Tent of Meeting to keep an obligation, but they shall do no [heavy or difficult] work. Thus you shall deal with the Levites concerning their obligations.”
This passage spotlights the role and calling of the Levites, who began their work of service for the Lord at age 25 and were instructed to retire from the tabernacle work at age 50. This makes some sense when we realize that their job likely involved heavy physical labor as well as having a major responsibility with the Tent of Meeting. But after “retiring” and passing the work on to younger leaders, the older Levites not only received permission, but were encouraged to assist their brothers in their work.
The Hebrew word for retire (shuwb) in this passage means “to back off, to withdraw, to turn back, to retreat.” Depending on one’s calling, gifting, season of life, current circumstances, and God’s specific leading, I’m sure there are many helpful principles that could be gleaned from this passage. Could it be that one principle presented in this passage is that it’s okay for veteran leaders to ‘back off’ of major responsibilities in order to empower younger leaders to learn, grow, and serve in these roles? In this case, veteran leaders are encouraged to continue, but in an assistance role rather than in a primary position of leadership.
One conclusion for now is that Nav Encore is a place for veteran, mature Navigator staff! Many of our staff have turned over major responsibilities to others yet are eager to come alongside our younger brothers and sisters to offer help and insights. Indeed we have much to offer in terms of coaching them when they ask and mentoring them in life and ministry.
What a joy it is to invest in these future leaders and trust God for generational impact far beyond what we can see ourselves doing. We gladly take on this privilege in the new roles God gives us!
With all this in mind, whom in your sphere of influence could you make time to encourage? How can you help and encourage those coming up behind you?
Bob Reusser directs the Nav Encore Mission of The Navigators. You can learn more about his ministry here.