Wednesday, May 1, 2013
5. Joshua: Leaders lead and inspire by example.
In Joshua 24:15, after leading his people into the Promised Land, in one of the most inspiring speeches of the Old Testament Joshua places two choices before the children of Israel. “But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living” (HCSB) Joshua said, “You have two choices. Choice one: Serve the God who brought you into the land. Or choice two: serve the false gods of other peoples. And then, Joshua leads by example by revealing his choice. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (ESV).
Because the people believed in Joshua’s leadership, they follow his example. “Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God” (Joshua 24:16-18 ESV). Joshua didn’t have to force or threaten them; by his example he inspires them to follow his lead.
6. David: Leaders are willing to face giants head on.
The story of David and Goliath may be the most famous story in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 17, the Israelites are being humiliated by the Philistines and their 9-foot tall giant - Goliath. Goliath taunts the Israelites and challenges them to send him one man and, if that man should defeat him, the Philistines would become their servants. David, a small shepherd boy who will not even fit into the armor he is provided, volunteers. When Goliath mocks him, David says, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (v45 ESV). He then takes a stone, slings it at Goliath, striking him in the forehead and knocks the giant to the ground - dead. Leaders understand where their real strength comes from. Therefore, they don’t run from problems, they face them head on.
7. Isaiah: Leaders rise to the occasion
In Isaiah chapter 6, God lays out a need for someone to go and speak for Him. God has a message and needs a messenger. Isaiah responds, “Here am I. Send me!” God issued a call for someone to go. Isaiah saw it as an opportunity to make a difference for the glory of God. Leaders don’t wait for someone else to step up when something needs done. They take initiative. Leaders rise to the occasion when the occasion calls for a leader.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
1. Noah: Leaders do what’s right even when no one else is.
In Genesis 6, because of humanity’s wickedness God decides to blot out the human race and start over. “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” because he was “a righteous man, blameless in his generation” (Gen 6:8-9). “Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation” (Gen 7:1). In a world of unrighteousness Noah was willing to stand alone and do what was right because it was right. Leaders do what’s right even when no one else does.
2. Abraham: Leaders take risks.
“The LORD said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Gen 12:1) Abraham lived in Ur in Chaldea with his family. God tells him to leave his homeland and take his family with him and go to a land which God will lead him to. God does not tell Abraham where He is sending him. He simply tells Abraham to go. To put it another way, Abraham is instructed to leave his comfort zone and march into unknown territory. Thomas Stearns Eliot wrote: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” Leaders are willing to take risks in order to grow to their maximum potential.
3. Joseph: Leaders maintain integrity.
The story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37 is powerful. He was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. His father was told that he was killed by a wild animal. He was falsely accused and thrown into prison because he refused to sleep with his owners wife. Leaders are consistently faced with circumstances which tests their integrity. Although Joseph was wrongly imprisoned, he maintained his values. Two full years passed before Joseph was presented with an opportunity to get out. Ultimately, Joseph became the leader of all Egypt–second only to the Pharaoh. Because he maintained his integrity God used him to save an entire race of people.
4. Moses: Leaders can take criticism.
Leaders are loyal to their followers even when their followers complain and criticize. When Moses was leading the Israelite’s in the wilderness, numerous times they complained and blamed God and/or him for their hardship. Several times God wanted to wipe the people out and start over. But Moses interceded for the people and prayed for God to have mercy on them. Most people would have said, “Ok God, wipe them out.” Moses demonstrates that effective leaders love and care for their people even when the people are unlovely and criticize them.
Monday, April 15, 2013
As you pour yourself into developing followers to be leaders you can multiply yourself exponentially. Leaders who develop followers grow their organizations only one person at a time. But leaders who focus on developing more leaders will multiply their growth because for every leader they develop they also reap the fruit of that leader’s followers. In other words, add ten leaders to your organization and you have the results of not only your leadership, but the results of ten other leaders. You have growth from not only those who follow you, but also from those who follow the ten leaders.
Effective leaders who really want to see their organizations grow focus not so much on gaining followers, but on developing the followers they have to be leaders.
How did Jesus grow His church? By developing ordinary men to become extraordinary leaders. We find the process He used in Matthew 10. Here is the process He used.
1. He called them. (vv1-4)
2. He commissioned them. (vv5-6)
3. He equipped them. (vv7-8a)
4. He empowered them. (v 1)
5. He prepared them (v14)
6. He encouraged them. (v15)
7. He evaluated them. (Luke 9:10)
Here is the progression of equipping leaders:
I do it - you watch.
I do it - you help.
You do it - I help.
You do it - I watch.
You do it.
How do you equip leaders?
Monday, April 8, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
I immediately thought of Ecclesiastes 3:1 which says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” How do I balance the meetings on the calendar with phone calls that need to be made, the sermons that have to be written, and so many other tasks that call for my attention? I knew, especially for that week, I needed to be a good steward of my time.
Four Tips For Keeping Your Life In Balance
Set Your Priorities
A simple to-do list does not work when you have so many responsibilities. You need to have a prioritized to-do list. You must constantly be asking and answering the question, "What matters most?" You need to identify what is really most important.
Get it Together
In other words, “Get organized.” You need to find a system that works for you. I use Google Calendar and Google “Go Tasks” to help me keep it together. It does not matter what system you use. What matters is that you have a system that works for you. Some people can use notes on index cards very effectively.
Learn to Delegate and Empower
There are some things that only you can do. There are many things that you do not have to do. When you have weeks like mine described above, you can't do everything that needs to be done. Therefore you must delegate some tasks, including important ones, and empower others to accomplish them so that you are able to focus your time and attention on what is most important.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Continuing on the topic of personal growth and development from last week, I want to share with you something I read several years ago but was reunited with this week. It’s called “The Ten Commandments of Personal Growth.” It is by Dave Early from his book 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders.
1. Make the choice to be an ever-growing person.
2. Focus your activities and set some goals.
3. Gather any needed tools.
4. Develop a plan that fits you.
5. Schedule the needed time.
6. Sow before you hope to reap.
7. Make yourself accountable.
8. Share what you learn with others.
9. Associate with growing people.
10. Put what you learn into practice.
Sample Growth Goals
Grow mentally by:
• Reading a _____________ a _____________.
• Listening to _______ CD’s, podcasts, etc. a ______________.
Develop spiritual fitness by:
• Reading the Bible ____ minutes daily or _____ chapters daily.
• Praying ______ minutes daily.
• Journaling _____ minutes daily.
• Leading family devotions _______ minutes a day, _____ days a week.
• Fasting ____ days a month.
Increasing physical fitness by:
• Exercising _____ minutes ______ days a week.
• Sleeping ____ hours a night.
• Eating less ____________ and more ____________.
Investing In relationships with:
• Spouse ___________ minutes a day/hours a week.
• Children __________ minutes a day/hours a week.
• Apprentice ________ minutes a day/hours a week.
• Other ____________ minutes a day/hours a week.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I don’t know of anyone who would admit that they do not want to grow. Yet, most people I know do not grow. For some it’s because their desire to grow is nothing more than vocal. For others, it truly is heartfelt but they don’t know how. I have found that if I am going to grow, I have to intentionally create a personal growth plan; a plan that I can follow each day to help me get where I want to be.
Personal growth and development are like going on a journey. You need to know where you want to go and you need a map or plan to get you there. .
Here is how I developed my growth plan for 2013.
Step 1: I determined areas that I wanted to focus on this year. For me it was my walk with Christ, the growth of my church through multiplication, my preaching, and the equipping of others in leadership.
Step 2: I determined what resources I would need. I knew I would need books, CD’s, podcasts, or websites, conferences, journals, and people. Books and trade magazines I need to read. Speakers, I need to listen to on CD, podcasts, or the web. And finally people I want to invest in.
Step 3: I set goals. The goals I set for this year include:
∙ Reading my Bible through in one year.
∙ Reading one book per month.
∙ Reading 2 journals per month.
∙ Reading every day.
∙ Listening to one leadership lesson per week via CD, podcast, or webcast.
∙ Listening to one sermon per week via CD, podcast, or webcast.
∙ Attend one Leadership Conference.
∙ Attend one Bible or Church Growth Conference.
Step 4: I started gathering the resources. I picked a daily Bible reading plan that would take me through the Bible in a year. I determined I wanted to read two books on leadership, two books on church growth through multiplication, two books in the area of spiritual growth, and one book on mentoring others. There are always books that come along that might not fit into my plan but really catch my interest because of where I am in my life. So I don’t pick a book for every month.
I started looking at websites such as www.amazon.com and Christianbooks.com to see what books are available in the areas of my interest. Once I found a book that interested me I read the reviews to see what others were saying about that book. I also looked to see what books other leaders are reading and recommend. I don’t buy the books immediately. I either put them on my wishlist on the site or I write the name and author down on my notepad app on my Ipad. I buy them when I’m ready to read them. I already subscribe to a number of journals, so picking those out was not an issue.
I know which preachers I like to listen to and already have their websites bookmarked on my web-browser, so that part was easy as well. I watch or listen to the leadership lessons and the sermons while I’m on my elliptical every morning. I will meet this goal with no problem.
I constantly receive email, postal mail flyers, and brochures for conferences. From these I choose which conferences I will attend. I believe everyone should have at least one conference on their personal growth plan.
There it is. My personal growth plan. It’s simple. The plan for the whole year took less than two hours to develop. I now know where I’m going in my personal development and how I’m going to get there.
Do you have a growth plan? If so, share it with me. If you do not, it’s not too late for 2013. Take some time in the next week to develop your plan.