This is a premise I have lived by for years and years. My father served in the United States Marine Corps when he graduated from college and we grew up with the understanding you take care of the men first. By that he meant you have those under your charge eat first, tent first, because you are responsible for the health and vitality and effectiveness of your men. My dad was a focused and disciplined man, his edge was the result of childhood poverty and it steeled him for life. We had inspections in our house on Saturday mornings. He would literally walk around the house and we had to have our rooms, the living areas, and the basement and garage neat and tidy. But the overarching theme of his parenting was being responsible for your men. We were his men, and he watched out for us.
In Boy Scouts I would teach the younger boys to obey the commands of their patrol leaders, they needed to learn to work within the framework of the chain of command so that when they are patrol leaders they would understand the importance of taking care of the needs of the younger scouts. I would remind the patrol leaders about their first campout and the help they needed and received from the patrol leader. I would badger the oldest scouts to re-enter the patrol and demonstrate to the younger boys what obedience looked like since they had seen it from the patrol leader’s eyes. What goes around comes around, because it really is two sides of the same coin isn’t it?
It seems that this is true in evangelism also. If you are obedient to God’s covenant then you are able to lead people to Him. If you are trying to set your own terms then it impairs your ability to lead people to Him. There is a formerly mainstream protestant denomination that has struck out on its own and it’s membership is in a precipitous decline. Is there a correlation? Hmmmmm…..