Faith, Love & Health

Archive for the category “Leadership”

Conquering My Writers Block

Well I finally have a couple of minutes to post something on my blog and now I am having a blog writer’s block.  I know that no one else has this problem.  I read the best way to overcome writers block is to write, so here I go….

I have been crazy busy lately working on TrueLife, family and personal goals and when I do have a minute left to do something I feel the need to do nothing!  So here is a couple of updates on my life:

#1: I am still running!  Yeaaa!  I will run my 6 mile goal this week if all goes well.  I wanted to already run it this weekend, but I haven’t motivated myself to get back into the routine.  Here are a couple things that I do to keep me motivated as I run:

– listen to running podcast ( Trilogy, 4 Feet Running, and 2 Gomers are the main ones I listen to.)

– I have a running log ( I got a copy from this site: http://thinnmann.com/runlog.htm)

– I Facebook my progress, this keeps me accountable.

– My number one motivation is one of my Life Goals.  I want to live to be 80 years old (It will be year 2054 – yeaa)  I know that God may change this goal, I may live to be older or younger, but at least I have a target and a plan in place now!

#2: Church Planting is going great at TrueLife Church!  God has brought an amazing team of people together and that has been a blessing!  Our leadership team has been working on 2009 plans and with that comes a huge task list.  It can be scary to look at everything we are planning on 09, but the exciting part is what God is doing through the things that are happening within our community.

#3: I think the hardest part of my life right now is having a limited time to spend with the family.  They have been troopers, and we all have been creative in how we use our time together.  We all had a wonderful Thanksgiving together and made great memories as we put the Christmas tree up and decorated the house.

I think the next time that I l write, I will write about is some of my life goals that I have been thinking through this year. (I have broken my blogger’s writers block!)  So I want to encourage you to think through what goals do you want to achieve with the limited time that God has given you?  Until next time:0)

Life Learner

 I was listening to Ed Young being interviewed by Brian Houston.  One of the things that Ed says every leader should do is “go after the ask.”  I’ve also heard him say, “the big ask question.”  So what is ask?  ASK means….Always Seek Knowledge.  The way I phrase it is that we should be “life learners.”  None of us have reached the place in our life where we need to stop reading and learning from others.  We should seek out people who are being successful in their field of expertise and learn from them. 

Ed Young continued with this thought by saying, that is why he is always trying to engage in conversation and to ask the right people the right questions to continue to grow as a leader.  So what are the right questions.  Well each field of business is slightly different, but the main question should be “how do you reach your main target goals.”  This could be people groups, finacial goals, or as simple as golfing – if that is really simple.  (For me, not so much.) 

I remember there was a time in my life where I tried to learn something new everyday….and it’s time for me to continue down an old path and be a “Life Learner.”  (I think the second part to this blog should be about filtering what we have learned and applying successful principles without loosing our own identity. )  What are your thoughts? 

Community Within The Local Church

I’ve been thinking a lot about community within the local church.  What does it look like?  I know some central values must be in place: Trust, honest communication, care and acceptance of diversity.  Due to us being imperfect people,  it seems like we mess up this thing called community, but maybe community is suppose to be messy.  It’s an environment filled with individuals who look, think, and act different then we do. 

The key to community is accepting and caring for everyone.  This is where I think community gets difficult.  It is esaier to accept people who are like us, but how about people who are marginalized, hurt or the polar oppisite, secure – strong energetic leaders?  Community says that everyone belongs.   Though we don’t always agree with everyone within community, we can communicate that we care for each other.  But how?  The first step is showing that you are interested by interacting and engaging in conversation.   Go out of your way to meet people.  Then we must take the next step and include those within community in our lives.  Spend time together, eat together.  At least that is what I like to do.  Many of us get stuck here.  We develop a relationship with a person or a couple that we like and we stop trying to build other relationships.  Community is an ongoing process where we all engage in building relationships and continue to be an extention of God’s love to those within our community. 

What are you experiencing within your community?  How is community being built within your local church? 

Heman

I remember when I was growing up in the 80’s watching the television show – Heman!  He was the most powerful man in the universe that battled the evil forces of Skeletor! Though Heman was a fictional character on TV, the boy in me wanted to believe that there was such a man with powers to fight the forces of evil.  As I have been going through the book of 1 Kings I found another Heman who has great strength in wisdom and in leadership.  Check out what scripture says:

Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.  1 Kings 4:30-31

The musicians, the descendants of Asaph, were in the places prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun the king’s seer. The gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their posts, because their fellow Levites made the preparations for them. 1 Chronicles 35:15

As we see in scripture Heman was full of wisdom.  He was the grandson of Samuel and son of Joel.  We also see that King David and King Solomon used Heman’s wisdom in making decisions about organizing events.  We don’t know in detail everything he did, but we do know that he was a great leader.  I’m sure there were many who looked up to Heman in his day and would aspire to be like Him. 

We also see in 1 Chronicles 16: 41-43 that Heman had a background in music.  We see that Solomon had him along with others, oversee the sounding of the trumpet, cymbals and other instruments.  I’m not sure about you, but I’m not going to appoint a person who has no idea about music over the orchestra.  That would be disastrous! You would never know what kind of sounds would come from them!  I would want someone who has shown he has the ability to lead my orchestra. 

 Heman isn’t recorded as the strongest man battling the powers of darkness, but we do see that he is a leader, full of wisdom -He was ranked just below Solomon, and a worshiper!  This guy was making a difference by embracing the gifts that God had given him and used them to impact a nation and a people as he served the kings of Israel. 

Get Motivated

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Last week I had the opportunity to attend a business motivational conference at the RBC Center here in Raleigh, NC.  They had a couple of speakers that had some good leadership thoughts that I wanted to pass your way.

The first person that I want to highlight on is Coach Roy Williams from UNC.  He shared some of his favorite quotes that he uses with his team.  Here are a few of his thoughts: 

“Persistence prevails when all else fails.”

 “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust the sails.” 

“Great opportunity comes from those who take advantage of small ones.”

“Nothing great is achieved without enthusiasm.”

“The speed of a Thoroughbred can be measured by a watch, but the speed of the race measures the heart.”

“Everyone has the will to win, champions are those who prepare.”

“A winner makes commitment, a loser makes promises.”

” A man must live with himself, he must see that he is in good company.”

“It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.”

“Do not condemn your neighbor unless you have walked in his moccasins for two full moons.”

“Good teams have good players, great teams have great teammates.”

“He who climbs the highest is those who helps others up.”

“We don’t have to be alike to be together, but we must be together to be affective.”

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”

“Success is a journey not a destination.”

“One of life’s great pleasures is doing what others tell you, you cannot do.”

“Focus, sacrifice, work together”

“Play together, work hard, plat smart, recruit”

The second person that had some great leadership thoughts is Gen. Colin Powell

1.  Set clear goals for those serving with you. Have a clear mission and strategy.

2.  Take care of those who work for you. 

– Help them to be more skillful

– Equip them

– Recognize and reward hard work and accomplishments

3.  Find the weak part of the organization. 

– The key to a strong organization is strong leaders.  If you cannot develop those who are working with you then you must release them and find the best leaders for that area.

– Build a solid bond of trust within the organization.  I believe this is built by being consistent in your leadership, honest in your dealings, showing care by equipping and listening.  This element of trust is not built overnight, it takes leaders handling hard situations with care and handling them with integrity.  I have worked with those who have not  handled situations well and I  have lost trust and respect for their leadership. 

4.  Face reality don’t ignore it! 

– Change things that aren’t working well. 

Well that is all I’m going to highlight on for today.  Hope some of these great thoughts and insights inspire you to be a better leader and follower.

Church Marketer – Tychicus

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I am really intrigued by the staff that Paul had around him to help him serve the many churches that he ministered to.  One of the guys that Paul speaks about is a faithful church marketer.  Now he isn’t going around making billboards or t-shirts, but he is promoting Paul’s ministry by going around to churches sharing what God is doing in Paul’s ministry.  He would of probably been a guy Church Marketing Sucks would have highlighted on there papyrus blog.  The marketer that I am talking about is Tychicus.  He is mentioned five times throughout scripture, but let’s focus on a couple of those scripture to take a window peek at his life. 

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. Colossians 4:7-8

Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing.  I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.  Ephesians  6:21-22

Acts 20:4  2 Timothy 4:12    Titus 3:12

Tychius was not only a marketer, but he was an encourager, a great communicator, administrater and someone that Paul could trust and depend on.  This marketer had multiple jobs within his area of ministry like many of us do today. 

When I see who Paul had surrounding him in his ministry, it makes me ask myself, who do I have on my ministry team?  Most of us have a couple great leaders that are working with us, but for others it is time to begin building your ministry team. We limit ourselves and our ability to do things with excellence when we choose to do things by ourselves.  We all need administrators – those who can organize, marketers, encourager’s, and those who have great communication skills to help us get the message out about what God is doing within our ministry.  This doesn’t happen overnight, we must first begin by identifying who we already have on our team, all we need to do is find the ministry area that fits them, and help empower and equip them to be affective.  When we do this our ministry will begin to reach people we could have never reached alone. 

Demas

no Turning Back

One of the hardest parts of ministry for me is investing into a person’s life for a season and a couple years down the road they make a choice not to follow Christ.  They begin connecting with wrong relationships that lead them astray or they just choose that the pleasures of this world is more valuable then following Christ.  So today let’s look at Demas who was one of Paul’s followers who abandoned him after ministering with him for 2 years. 

 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. Colossians 4:14

Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.   Philemon 1:23-24

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.  2 Timothy 4:9

Many of us have heard Bible stories of the rich young ruler who had to chose to follow Christ and he didn’t, but I found a guy named Demas who was a co-labourer with Paul.  Demas went through many difficult situations with Paul, we know this because Paul held Demas in high regards, and was even imprisoned with Paul for the sake of the Gospel.  What is so hard to comprehend is when a person has been exposed to the miraculous, has sat under personal teachings of Paul and even stood up for his faith; he chose to deny Christ and follow after his own fleshly desires.  I’m sure Paul was sadden as he shared the news of his once companion in the good fight of faith and now has been deserted. 

The thing we must always remember is that Demas didn’t deny Paul, he denied Christ and made a personal choice to follow the world.  We in our ministries must not take the choices of those serving with us personal, it is spiritual.  The enemy would like nothing better than to make those who are serving in our ministries to stumble and follow after their fleshly desire, we must never stop believing in prayer that God would keep our people strong and do our best to equip each one of them. 

Who’s Your Timothy

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I was reading Philippians this morning and thought I would share it with you.

19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.  -Philippians 2:19-22

 

Do you have someone in your ministry that takes interest in others more than themselves?  This type of person is very unique, and has a very special relationship with the leader that  he or she serves with.  I believe the terminology that Paul used is, his son Timothy.  Timothy wasn’t really Paul’s biological son, but he did have a spiritual father / son relationship with Timothy.  Just like a biological son looks, acts and many times takes on the same interest as the father they are raised by, so it is with a spiritual father son relationship.

 

Is there someone in your ministry that you are fathering to work in the trenches of ministry with you?  This individual is someone that we give extra time to and help develop this person’s potential in ministry.  Now this relationship isn’t a church cultivated relationship, but someone that is brought in and is part of your life.  In today’s terminology we call it, mentoring, but I believe this type of relationship is more than guiding and developing, it is reproducing who you are as a minister of the gospel into another person’s life.  It is sharing your life, ambitions and having this special son or daughter in your life to share in the ministry that God has given you.

 

I can’t say that I really have this type of relationship with anyone right now, but today I am asking God to show me who this person might be so I can begin taking steps to cultivate this relationship. 

Traditional or Modern?

ministry

I was reading in Matthew 13:15 today and it is interesting to me that each person grew to deafness and then they closed their eyes! (I think this is a clear picture of what is happening within many ministries today.)

How many of us are growing deaf or have closed our eyes to what God is trying to do in our life or through our life?  Some of us are in this condition due to our hearts being dulled by traditional opposition and we have just quite listening to what God has told us because we are tired of fighting against traditional ways of trying to reach the modern culture.  

I believe that if we are going to be affective ministers of the gospel, we must “STOP” and listen to what God has been trying to say to us and be obedient to what He has said to us.  This means that we must live out our faith- reach those that you have been called to, we cannot continue to do ministry within the same framework that many of us have been raised in.  

I still see multiple cultures within our society; we have the Jews- traditional church attendee in America and the Gentile- those who are the post-modern/ post-churched.  Many traditionalists are doing a great job reaching the traditional believer, but some are blind and deaf to the voice of God because they are trying to reach a Gentile people within the Jewish structure….it doesn’t work!  

As we look into scripture we see that Paul was reaching the Jews and Peter was reaching the Gentile people.   It would have been a nightmare if they worked together trying to reach their target people within the opposing structures of their target people group.  Why should we think that it is any different for us as we are trying to reach our people groups?  The struggle between the traditional and the Emerging is in my opinion the individuals trying to reach opposing people groups within the structure of the traditional or vice-versa.  It will never work!

So this all leads me to ask who have you been called to?  Reach the people that God has called you to, but do it because God has spoken to you and He has called you to.  He hasn’t called you to do ministry within any structure, but to do ministry within the structure that best reaches the people God has called you to!  Who are you called to reach?

My Values

my values

I heard a quote the other day that stated, “How you spend your time is the clearest indicator, especially to other people, what’s important to you.”   How you spend your time is also a true measurement of what you believe in. Whatever you say your #1 value is must line up with your calendar.  How much of your calendar day is wrapped up with what you say is your value?  It is obvious to me that I value blogging.  Almost everyday I focus on this addicting way of communication. 

The best way to gauge your life values is by journaling how you spend your time each day.  Start when you wake up and end the journaling process when you go to bed.  If you say being with your family is a value, how much time do you spend with them?  One ministry value that I say I have is mentoring others, but how much time do I spend growing and developing leaders?

There are some healthy values that we need in our life, but maybe we have not thought through how to make it part of our life.  Maybe they are not natural values that we possess, but as we begin applying these values that are unnatural to our lives, our unnatural values transform in us to be a natural value. 

The bottom line is what do you say is your life values…do they line up with your calendar?

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