After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
Thoughts for Today:A few years ago David Packard and Bill Hewlett (yes, the founders of Hewlett Packard), wrote a book titled "The HP Way." In it they coined a phrase, "Management by Walking Around." The principle goes like this: "In interpersonal work environments most of the time you only see what the other person is presenting. Since they know your expectations, they will manage their presentation so as to satisfy you. On the other hand, when you walk around you get to witness what people are actually doing."
Paul was a great example of "Management by Wandering Around" and indeed may have been the original model behind Packard and Hewlett's concept. We find in our passage today that Paul would not just plant a church then hope it grew untended. Instead he knew that each individual church would face multiple challenges, pressures and difficulties. He understood his role as a leader was to be present, ever vigilant, and always strengthening. It is only by attending, watching, and listening that we will truly know what is going on. In our modern world, third party reports, emails, graphs and charts will only let us know when a project is already off course, not before.
This principle not only applies to the workplace and ministry, but also to child rearing and marriage. If you planted a beautiful garden but then walked away and didn't come back for a year, what would you expect to see when you returned? A bunch of dead plants and weeds right? It would be a miracle if you found anything different, yet so many times a job, ministry, child, or spouse is taken for granted, ignored or neglected and then we wonder why and how things got off course. We need to be more like Paul, walk around more, and witness what is actually going on. Personal presence is one of the most important components of effective leadership.
Questions to Ponder:If you were to look at your relationships as a garden, which have you neglected? Is it your marriage, your son or daughter, maybe it's in the workplace where you've stopped trying? It's important to know what's going on with the people in your life, so pick up the phone, go to soccer practice, visit your child's classroom, go shopping with your wife (or play golf with your husband). Invest in your relationships and they will be more rewarding.