The law of the picture says that people do what people see. When leaders show the way with the right actions, their followers copy them and succeed.
Great leaders always seem to embody two seemingly disparate qualities. They are both highly visionary and highly practical. Their vision enables them to see beyond the immediate. They can envision what’s coming and what must be done. Leaders possess an understanding of how:
Mission provides purpose-answering the question, Why?
Vision provides a picture-answering the question, What?
Strategy provides a plan-answering the question, How?
Leaders are practical enough to know that vision without action achieves nothing. They make themselves responsible for helping their followers to take action. That can be difficult because followers often cannot envision the future as the leader does. They can’t picture what’s best for the team. They lost track of the big picture. Why? Because vision has a tendency to leak.
Leaders are stewards of the vision. What should they do to bridge the vision gap between them and their followers? The temptation for many leaders is to merely communicate about the vision. Communication is certainly important. Good leaders must communicate the vision clearly, creatively, and continually. The leaders’ effective communication of the vision makes the picture come alive.
Good leaders are always conscious of the fact that they are setting the example and others are going to do what they do, for better or worse. In general, the better the leaders’ actions, the better their people’s.
The leaders who make the greatest impact are often those who lead well in the midst of uncertainty. Andy Stanley, an excellent leader and communicator, has addressed this issue. A few years ago at the Catalyst conference for leaders, he said the following:
Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership. Rather it indicates a need for leadership. The nature of leadership demands that there always be an element of uncertainty. Increased responsibility means dealing with more and more intangibles and therefore more complex uncertainty.
Nehemiah’s ability to solve complex problems grew out of his manner of seeing the problems-as a systems thinker. Peter Senge wrote, “Systems thinking is a discipline of seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots.
Two elements of systems thinking made a difference for Nehemiah. He saw “the subtle interconnectedness that gives living systems their unique character,” and he saw the “structures” that underlie complex situations.” For a primer on systems thinking, read Nehemiah 1-6. You will see Senge’s elements of systems thinking powerfully at work.
You will discover that building the wall wasn’t an easy project. It certainly wasn’t problem-free. It’s okay to have problems; it’s not okay to ignore them. Problems are a fact of life for any system. How big those problems become will be determined by the leader’s willingness to address them. Things rarely work themselves out. The longer a problem goes unaddressed, the more complicated it becomes.
If God has birthed a vision in your heart, there is too much at stake to allow your system to become misaligned. Understand how this particular problem relates to the overall goals and objectives of the entire system. That’s the key relationship-between the crisis and the vision of the whole system- that will prevent problems from becoming personal.
In resolving difficult problems, remember some of the things we’ve discussed in previous chapters. Lead without being manipulative or authoritarian; maintain your integrity at all costs; resolve differences in person; believe the best in others. Failure to do these things would contribute to discord in your business or family. And this discord could ultimately derail the entire system. Maintaining your moral authority allows you to confront problems when they surface among the system. Additionally, you will be a better leader, husband, wife, employer or whatever other role God has chosen for you at this time.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So often I remind those I speak to, to keep the faith. It’s going to be okay. We often talk about trust in God. We also commonly discuss the scripture of Matthew 6:33 (“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”) What we don’t discuss very much is the detriment of worry to our lives which was the basis of Jesus’ teaching that includes this verse. Yes, you have sent up a prayer to the Father with such confidence that he is the God of solutions and unraveling messes but in the same evening you worry yourself to sleep wondering if he even heard your prayer. Every time I write or speak, I try to convey what I feel He wants to tell you. You have to obtain that blessed assuring confidence in him that he has brought you this far and shown you the miraculous already in a short amount of time (if you are willing to soften your heart to see it). But then, you say, “Okay Lord, if it was you that last time, just do this one more thing and I will be sold out. I won’t worry anymore, and I will trust in You, and You will be my God.”
I always claimed worrying as a productive measure in my life. WRONG! Worry changes nothing. You don’t add one day to your life by worrying about or even one minute. In fact, worrying shortens your life – heart burn, unnecessary stress, heart problems, anxiety, and the list goes on. Here are the statistics on what we fret over: 40% of it will NEVER happen, 30% of the time what people are worrying over is something in the past that cannot be changed, and 12% of people focus their attention (and worry) on the opinions of others that cannot be controlled.
We are not fretting over the right things. I think if we could look into the Throne Room of Heaven, we would see that the Lord is up there saying, “If you are going to worry, why not be concerned about pleasing me? I am the Lord your God… I am the only one that can change anything for your good anyway.”
Look at Matthew 6:27. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Jesus is saying worrying is irrelevant. STOP. THINK about it… WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SOLVED A PROBLEM BY WORRYING ABOUT IT? I have never heard someone say, “ I was behind on my bills, so I worried my way out of debt.” IT DOESN’T WORK! Sleepless nights, bottles of pill, stress induced vomiting, IT DOESN’T WORK! Money will not appear on your desk, bills will not get paid, illness will not be healed, kids will not stop acting up. WORRY DOESN’T WORK – GOD DOES!!
Turn to God. Lay your troubles on Him (I Peter 5:7).
Let Him show you the way.
Let Him take care of the problems.
Let go and let God.
I know this may seem silly, but wherever you are, whatever you are doing, say, “GIVE IT UP.” Now say, “GIVE IT UP FOR JESUS!” You may have never heard or done this before OR you may do this quite often. This has a name – REPUTATION! We have to give this up for Jesus in order that He may shine through us. You can’t keep your reputation and still have the miraculous unfold for the next chapters of your life like rushing floodgates.
How about the man that God chose to be Jesus’ earthly father – Joseph. Here is a man that is opposite Mary (he was her fiancée). He sees an angel, marries a pregnant girl, and leads his family to Bethlehem and Egypt. He does much, but says nothing. A small-town carpenter who never said a Scripture-worthy word. Was Joseph the right choice? Doesn’t God have better options? An eloquent priest from Jerusalem or a scholar from the Pharisees? Why Joseph? A major part of the answer lies in his reputation: he gives it up for Jesus. Matthew 1:19 says, “Then Joseph (Mary’s husband), being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” With the phrase “a just man,” Matthew recognizes the status of Joseph. He was what was called a tsadiq (tsa-deek), a serious student of the Torah. Nazareth viewed Joseph as we might view an elder, deacon, or Bible class teacher. Tsadiqs studied God’s law. They supported the synagogue, observed holy days, and followed the food restrictions. For a common carpenter to be known as a tsadiq was no small thing. Joseph likely took pride in his standing but Mary’s announcement (I’m pregnant) jeopardized it. Mary’s parents, by this point, have a signed a contract and sealed it with a dowry. Mary belongs to Joseph; Joseph belongs to Mary. Legally and matrimonially bound.
Now what? What’s a tsadiq to do? His fiancée is pregnant, blemished, tainted… he is righteous, godly. On one hand, he has the law. On the other, he has his love. The law says stone her; love says forgive her. Joseph is caught in the middle. But Joseph is a kind man. Verse nineteen says, “Not wanting to disgrace her, he planned to send her away secretly.” A quiet divorce was what he planned. How long would it stay quiet? Likely not long. But for a time, this was the solution. THEN comes the angel. “verse 20 says, “While he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
Joseph gave it up for Jesus. He swapped his tsadiq diploma for a pregnant finacee and an illegitimate son and made the big decision of discipleship. He placed God’s plan ahead of his own.
God grants us an uncommon life to the degree we surrender our common one. Matthew 16:25 says, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will loose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.” Would you forfeit your reputation to see Jesus born into your world?
Jesus himself did the same thing… Phillipians 2:7-8 says He, “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbles Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Christ gave up his reputation. No one in Nazareth saluted him as the Son of God. He did not stand out in his elementary-classroom photograph sitting on a throne, or wearing a crown. His friends knew him as a woodworker, not a star hanger. His looks turned no heads; his position earned him no credit. In the great “lowering of Himself” we call Christmas, Jesus gave up heavenly rank and crawled out among the hay and horse stall of this earth because you and I were worth it! Hard to comprehend – yet a principle that must be duplicated for you to step into the river of your destiny!
There are many types of countdowns we hear about and see in this life – the space shuttle before take off, the oven timer when those Christmas cookies are just about done, the due date for a baby! A countdown is a period of time that is designated to determine an outcome or event…
What about the count that takes place when the boxer is lying face down on the canvas and the ref is counting? This is the moment of truth! Everyone is watching… Who is going to be the champion? What will be the fate of the one people thought would win? This is a defining moment in his professional and maybe even personal life. Do we not have the same countdown going on right now in our life? There is a clock ticking somewhere counting down our very seconds. The question shouldn’t be, “how many are left?” but rather, “what am I doing with what I have left?” This is your DEFINING MOMENT!
Let me introduce you to Louis, the nine year old son of a harness-maker. Louis loved watching his father work the leather and make harnesses. He told his father that someday he wanted to make harnesses. The father’s response, “why not start now?” and so he did. Louis’ father handed him a piece of leather with a design on it and told him to “hammer and follow this design, but be careful that you don’t hit your hand.” Excited, Louis began to work, but when he hit the hole-puncher, it flew out of his hand and pierced his eye! He immediately lost sight in that eye. Later, the sight in the other eye failed and Louis was left completely blind.
A few years later, Louis and a family friend were sitting outside when the friend handed Louis a pinecone. As he ran his sensitive fingers over the cone, an idea came to him. He became enthusiastic and began to create an alphabet of raised dots on paper so that the blind could feel and interpret what was written. Thus, Louis Braille opened us a whole new world for the blind – all because of an accident!
What are you going to do with your circumstances? Your countdown? You are so much more important to the Lord than some space shuttle taking off! You have a choice to do something with your countdown. This is your capsule in time to prepare. The second half of your life does NOT have to be the same as the first.
To be effective with your countdown, you might want to become a student of it…gives a new meaning to the word student doesn’t it? Even companies respect this type of situation. If they are going to launch a new product, they determine a launch date; they have a countdown called a pre-launch period where they get all their affairs in order – come up with all these marketing approaches – advertising campaigns – book all these trade show dates, etc. They will really study and meditate with this time. They take it as serious as the millions of dollars they have invested into this product. Launch day will be a moment of truth! What will you do with your serious situation?
Number One: First, make the choice. Deuteronomy 30:15-19 says, “15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.” Pretty straight forward – choose life! In fact, Jesus says in John 10:10 that He came to give us life & that more abundantly! God wants so much for you! He is an abundant, overflowing, more than you can contain God!
This choice is between Christ or Satan. Matthew 6:24 says there are two masters in this world; we cannot serve them both. Joshua 24:15 plainly says to decide this day whom you will serve.
My prayer is that you choose the Lord. It’s for your own benefit. You were designed for this. You may wonder why you are having such a tough time out there… You weren’t designed to live that life! God loves you. Don’t miss your appointment with Him. He wants to meet you NOW no matter where you are reading this! He has been stood up enough on Sunday mornings, or when you should be in prayer, or maybe when you committed to read your Bible. Stop standing God up. Meet Him, know Him; love Him!
God will let you continue to stand Him up until your death. Talk about a countdown! Saved or unsaved, we will all keep his appointment.
Number Two: John 15:5 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” A concordance will show you that abide means to “take up residence.” That means to truly live there. Someone reading this needs to take up residence in Christ! Get to know Him! Get comfortable with Him. Abide in Him. When I say take up residence, I mean don’t just exist there. Get involved. You don’t pull up in your driveway and ask someone for directions to garage. You don’t study the blueprints of your house to find your way to the kitchen – you walk in there and help yourself to the fridge and cabinets. This is what the Lord wants you to do. Abide…live…in Him. Some of us have been “patty-caking” him too long, doing just enough to “get by.” STOP getting by and get in the game!
Rose Bowl 1929 – Georgia Tech vs. University of California. A player recovers a fumble and in his confusion proceeds to run the other way. A teammate is able to stop him before he scores a touchdown for the other team. The half ends and all the players go into the locker room. Everybody is wondering what the coach is going to say. The player is in the corner with head hung low covered by a towel, crying. The team is ready to go back out for the second half and to the team’s amazement, the coach announced that everyone who started the first half would start the second half. Everyone left except the player in the corner. He wasn’t going to leave. The coach called him again and saw the tears streaming down his cheeks. The player said, “Coach, I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you. I’ve disgraced the University of California. I can’t face the crowd in the stadium again.” The coach walked over and put his hand on the player’s shoulder and said, “Get up and get back in. The game is only half over.”
God is expectantly pacing the porch of heaven looking across the land to see who is going to step up- no only for their own life, but the lives of so many others! This is your defining moment! Are you going to surrender and see the God of more than you can contain pour the blessings of life on you? He will do the work, you just do the leaning. God works it out when you give it to Him. Put it on Him. He can handle it. When you come to the altar and lay is down, then you have clarified surrender! Now a true resurrection can take place in you. Do you believe? This is your opportunity… an opportunity to make your second half better than the first! The real coach believes in you! This is your opportunity – will you take it?
All of us have the ability and the privilege to choose our attitudes, no matter what the circumstances. Over time autopilot takes over because of the preprogramming we’ve done. It is vital for you to understand that you can choose your own thinking, As you understand that you can choose your own thinking. As you learn to think like God thinks, it enables you to partner with Him in accomplishing whatever you need.
What redemption does not do. Limited redemption –be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Either you conform or you transform. I’m afraid of being trapped on the street corner of my experiences and not growing past the culture that has so shaped me. I’m afraid of not living. The world is bigger than your world and that reality-don’t die on the street corner of your perspective. Don’t settle for that corner that shaped your ideas.
We were all born with a built-in death warrant, which is our sin nature, because we have inherited this sin nature from Adam because of his actions, but when we came to Christ we are not sinners anymore. Don’t just talk about God, but engage with the world to evangelize the world in your own special way from your special corner of the world where the Lord has placed you for that particular moment, week, or month in your life. Redeemed people have the very evidence of redemption.
You will never bring the Giant down without the commitment, If I just go to college, that I will get a job and get jobs forever. That wasn’t the truth. People in America are finding that everywhere they go. And then, I used to think that if someone had an education you would really get something in a staff member for that-they have the information but they don’t have the character, dedication and the tenacity to perform. I’d rather hire someone that had the guts-had the commitment-in a perfect world I’d love to have both, but if I had to choose, I’d rather have someone that just has a real commitment-because those people can go back and learn.
Intensity is an interesting thing. Some people don’t think of themselves as intense until they find something they care deeply about. Oftentimes we can be intense about the wrong things. I can get really intense when someone cuts me off in traffic; what a waste. We should be intentional about our intensity. Our intensity must purposefully be directed at things that really matter and purposefully not directed at things that don’t.
But don’t be intense about the wrong things. I want to make sure I am intense and focused when working on the things that matter. If I am willing to lose my voice yelling for someone else to be successful on the football field, I should also be serving in my leadership role with great intensity. I should be engaged in conversation with my wife of thirty years with even more intensity than when we were dating. I should pursue friendships and my spiritual walk with fervor. I should be passionate about work that matters,
Leaders must remember that although there are many cause-driven people who are waiting to be drawn into a mission by a visionary leader, there are also plenty of community starved people who need to be welcomed onto a team where they can be nurtured and loved. Only then will they be motivate to answer the call of a cause. Without tender care they will hold back, but if shepherded lovingly they will joyfully pursue almost any kingdom purpose with loyal dedication. The shepherd has to speak in order for them to recognize His voice.
We are on a constant quest for truth and beauty of a changed life. We will find fresh ways to communicate the gospel to the postmodern mind. Postmodernism is the intellectual boundary between the old world and the other side.
Christ gave up his reputation. No one in Nazareth saluted Him as the Son of God. He did not stand out in his elementary-classroom photograph, demanding no throne to sit on in the classroom, or crown to wear on the playground. His friends knew him as a woodworker, not a star hanger. His looks turned no heads; His position earned him no credit. In the great “lowering of Himself we call Christmas, Jesus gave up heavenly rank and crawled out among the hay and horse-stall of this earth because you and I were worth it? Hard to comprehend-yet a principle that must be duplicated for you to step into the river of your destiny!
Now this dream or vision-one of the most important ways you can tell if a dream or a vision is from God is that it will always be bigger than you are. A vision from God is orchestrated by God. You can undertake extreme measure to see Him and you’re that interested in seeing Jesus, you will see Him not only at a distance, but also up close. He will invite Himself to your house. It will change your life.
When the mantle hits, it is the still small voice of the Holy Spirit that will say, “this is your moment dear. RUN after that prophet! Always be in a state of readiness and expectation. God’s power collides with our potential. DIVINE CONNECTION. ALSO realize that destiny-defining moments take place in ordinary, everyday circumstances. In order to be trusted with a destiny-defining moment, we need to be good stewards of the unique moment we have been given right now.
When you implement Discipline 1 you start by selecting one or at the most, two extremely important goals, instead of trying to significantly improve everything all at once. We call this a WIG-a wildly important goal to make it clear to the team that this is the goal that matters most.
This is the discipline of leverage. It’s based on the simple principle that all actions are not created equal. Some actions have more impact than others when reaching for a goal. And it is those that you want to identify and act on if you want to reach your goal. Whatever strategy you’re pursuing, your progress and your success will be based on two kinds of measures: lag and lead.
Lag measures are the tracking measurements of the wildly important goal, and they are usually the ones you spend most of your time praying over. Lead measures are quite different in that they are the measures of the most high-impact your teams must do to reach the goal. In essence, they measure the new behaviors that will drive success on the lag measures, whether those behaviors are as simple as offering a sample to every customer in the bakery or as complex as adhering to standards in jet-engine design.
Discipline 3 is the discipline of engagement. In principle, the highest level of performance always comes from people who are emotionally engaged and the highest level of engagement comes from knowing the score-that is, if people know whether they are winning or losing.
Cadence is a balanced rhythmic flow. This discipline is where execution really happens. The first three disciplines set up the game, but until you apply Discipline 4, your team isn’t in the game. It is based on the principle of accountability. That unless we consistently hold each other accountable, the goal naturally disintegrates in the whirlwind.
The cadence of accountability is a rhythm of regular and frequent meetings of any team that owns a wildly important goal. These meetings happen at least weekly and ideally last no more than twenty to thirty minutes. In that brief time, team members hold each other accountable for producing results, despite the whirlwind.
Well, how badly do you want to win your race? Well Paul looked at his divine destiny that lay before him like a runner looks at the finish line. Rather than approach his spiritual race lazily and half-heartedly, Paul did everything within his power to preach the Gospel. If it meant getting a job on the side in order to be able to preach, that’s what Paul did (Acts 18:3). If it meant becoming as a Jew in order to be able to preach to the Jews, that’s what Paul did (1 Corinthians 9:20). And if it meant becoming as those without law to win those who were without law, that’s what Paul did (1 Corinthians 9:21). He became all things to all men in order that he might win some to the Lord (1 Corinthians 9:22). Paul suffered hardship, persecution, lack, cold, hunger, nakedness, homelessness, trouble from false brethren, trouble from true brethren-on the city, in the wilderness, and even at sea. Paul never lost sight of the fact that he was called of God and that he would one day account for what he did with that calling. The finish line was always before him! He kept one thing foremost in his mind and preeminent in his thinking: I must obtain the prize. I must fulfill the purpose for which I was born. I must achieve the plan of God for my life.
If the term stewardship makes you think of sermons you’ve endured about church budgets and building programs, think again. In the ancient world, stewardship was not a religious term, but rather was one of the key functions of commerce. Almost every business concern had a steward who served somewhat like an ancient chief operating officer, running the daily affairs for the master of the house. Simply put, a steward was someone entrusted with the management of someone else’s affairs.
Stewardship means to hold in trust for another. In a business setting, Peter Block defines stewardship as “the willingness to be held accountable for the well-being of the larger organization by operating in service rather than control of those around us.
John 1:12 says that “As many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” All who believe in him are born again and have two natures. The new one is the new man in Christ, opening up a whole new source of power. The old nature still wants to sin.
Both natures are alive. Which one is dominant depends on which one you feed the most. If you feed the old nature the food of the sin-sick culture that surrounds us, don’t be surprised when the weaknesses of your temperament dominate you. If however, you feed your new nature the spiritual food of the Word of God and things pertaining to God, your new nature will become so dominant it will overcome the natural weakness of your temperament, enabling God to make maximum use of your inherited strengths or talents.
For a long time, people thought there were only two leadership styles-autocratic and democratic. In fact, people used to shout at each other from these two extremes, insisting that one style was better than the other. Democratic managers were accused of being too soft and easy, while their autocratic counterparts were often called too tough and domineering.
Managers who restrict themselves to either extreme are bound to be ineffective “half managers”. Whole managers are flexible and able to adapt their leadership style to the situation. The truth is all of us are at different levels of development, depending on the task we are working on at a particular time. To bring out the best in others, leadership must match the development level of the person being led.
It’s important not to pigeonhole people into any particular development level. In reality, development level does not apply to the person, but rather to the person’s competence and commitment to do a specific goal or task. In other words, an individual is not at any one development lever overall. Development level varies from goal to goal and task to task. An individual can be at one level of development on one goal or task and be at a different level of development on another goal or task.
How many times around here have you heard us say “take ownership”? George Bernard Shaw, said “This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” Business leaders today want their employees to be fully engaged in their work rather than simply going through the motions.
First of all remember that everyone has a name and likes to hear it. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. The great Dale Carnegie recognized that a person’s name may be his or her most valuable possession. We are to be compassionate, and cannot afford to be even perceived as being anything but Christ-like.
I want tis ministry to know that we are not fixed permanently on who is doing what. I have to take a step back and have an open mind. I want you to know that this ministry will evolve as the Lord leads. We are imperfect beings trying to do a perfect work.
If you are having the adjustment of your life, then maybe the one who gave you life in the first place will help you. But don’t clam up, and just exist. Don’t hold in. Reach out. If not for the relationship between you and that other person, do it for the ministry. Do it for your family. Failure will not be part of our vocabulary. Failure cannot be a part of your equation.
You have laws that are at your fingertips and those laws give you rights to certain victories. Oh, by the way, you don’t have to be perfect along the way. Back to God’s Formula, look at the word first. That’s a lot. That is checking my motive, and I haven’t had those checked in a long time, even by myself. You see you would have to get close to me to get into any of that, and that has hurt in the past. There is someone who knows about being hurt. You might say Jarrod, I’m not going there because you might do the same thing. Go to Him, you can trust Him. He has never hurt you. You might have blamed him a time or two for something, but did he deserve it?
Now for some of us this message means to take a deep look at some things. Get right in the middle of some of your daily decisions. For some of us it means taking time and writing out the basic categories of your life and really looking at some remarks you would report right now from your heart and change it. See I feel that we all have calendars that are so full on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that we get caught in Satan’s trap of aimlessly meandering. I implore you today to reach down and spend some time. Number one, if you actually do this, then it will show that your family and household are worth the five minutes it takes to do this. Next, if nothing comes in your mind about how you can improve at all in any of these areas, then we all want you to come up here and tell us how we can learn from you….
We are to take on meeting the conditions of the Lord’s promises if we are to experience the rewards of those promises. People would much rather see a sermon than hear one. If you tell me you are truly changed, then we will be able to see it. We will become more convinced with more days that go by than anything. When people talk about someone who has changed, they talk about what they always used to be like, and that they are never like that anymore. Alcoholic/addicts aren’t used to that.. Your body and mind are so influenced by the world, that, regardless of your intentions you will go back unless you are intensively proactive. That is why I am so insistent on you taking it to the next level.
You can’t just get better-you must be transformed
You can’t just improve-you must become unrecognizable
You will not make it otherwise!
You’ll never be able to stop someone who is dedicated-it’s time to stand up be willing to fight for it willing to work for it and wrestle for it. You may have made some mistakes-that means nothing-the same with Levi-same thing-but Moses went to the mountaintop and he asked the question and said who is on the lords side-no one said anything but here comes Levi and he said I am on the lords side-David made mistakes, Paul made mistakes, Abraham made mistakes-but they stayed dedicated. Don’t survive the lion and the bear and be taken down by the act of mediocrity. Speaking of Levi God blessed him because he never gave up. You don’t have to be talented, just be committed-you may be beat up on Tuesday, and beat up on Wednesday, but you will have a victory Thursday or a Friday because Jesus said you suffer with me you will reign with me. Everyone say this is going to be my day, because I’m redeemed, and since I’m redeemed, I’m committed.
Suppose that neck deep in a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” you resolve to give it a chance. You choose not to drink or work or worry it away but give it a fair shake. You trust more. Stress less. Amplify your gratitude or mute your grumbling, and what do you know? Before long the day is done and surprisingly decent. You do not yet have tomorrow. Unless you accelerate the orbit of the earth or convince the sun to rise twice before it sets once, you can’t live tomorrow today. You can’t spend tomorrow’s money, celebrate tomorrow’s achievements, or resolve tomorrow’s riddles. You have only today. This is the day the Lord has made.
Be still. Let your daily practice be one of listening. Instead of begging for the direction, be still. It is a guarantee if you have the vision, it will pull you forward. It will be compelling enough-you can believe it. Stop talking ,stop posting it on facebook-and listen.
If you find that your altar has been torn down or has fallen down then you need to rebuilt it, not on a new foundation but on that original foundation and not by yourself but with God’s help. The foundation of repentance and forgiveness. The foundation of faith and grace. The foundation of His word and prayer. The foundation of obedience. The foundation of fellowship with other believers and regular corporate worship. Listen to the words of Jesus’ younger brother Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit.
The team-building leader knows the vision and understands how to achieve it, but realizes it will take a team of leaders and workers to accomplish the goal. Team-builders have a supernatural insight into people that allows them to successfully find and develop the right people with the right abilities, the right character, builders know how to put these people in the right positions for the right reasons, thus freeing them to produce the right results.
When the appropriate people have been placed in appropriate positions, the team-building leader says to the appointed team, “You know what we’re trying to do. You know what part of the mission you’re responsible for. You know what part the rest of us around the circle are responsible for. So-head out! Get on with it! Work hard in your department.
Who Is Your Toughest Leadership Challenge?
Recall the first five chapters of Mark’s Gospel. Do you remember Jesus’ pattern of intense ministry activity quickly followed by time set aside for reflection, prayer, fasting, and solitude? Jesus repeated that pattern throughout his ministry. In our terms, Jesus was practicing the art of self-leadership. He knew he needed to go to a quiet place and recalibrate. He knew he needed to remind himself who he was and how much the Father loved him. Even Jesus needed to invest regularly in keeping his calling clear, avoiding mission drift, and keeping distraction, discouragement, and temptation at bay.
This is self-leadership. And nobody-I mean nobody-can do this work for us. Every leader has to do this work alone, and it isn’t easy. In fact, most leaders avoid it. We would rather try to inspire or control the behavior of others than face the rigorous work of self-reflection and inner growth.
Let me tell you-Pastors are let go every day. Business leaders are let go every day. Coaches and CEO’s are let go every day. Whether things are their fault or not-whether the situation can be turned around or not-self leadership will have to be relied on to continue and fight another day-say self investment.
Watching the news the other night, I saw soldiers that were fighting in Iraq. Many of them were interviewed and asked their thoughts on whether they thought they should be pulled out of Iraq and brought home. All of them said no way! Everything we have fought for over the last 3 years would be for nothing. Everything we have worked for would go to waste. Everything those soldiers have died for would have become meaningless. If you are a student at Teen Challenge that has struggles and sometimes feels like throwing in the towel….This message is for you. Don’t you dare even entertain the thought of stopping now. Don’t’ you dare let the tears that you shed go to waste. Getting through those days and nights of crying was priceless.
Don’t believe the yardsticks of the world. Don’t believe anything other than what the Lord tells you. Now, keep in mind that he will commonly tell you standards morals and values through his word and his church and people he has in place for certain seasons in your life.
Success does not signal God’s love. Struggles don’t indicate the lack of his love. Don’t believe it. 1 John 4:16-god is love. Notice this scripture has nothing to do with the word “you” in it. Others love you because of you, your dimples or your charm. Not God. He loves you because He is He. Because he decides to. self-generated, uncaused, and spontaneous, his constant level of love depends on His choice to give.
You don’t become an effective leader by default. You must be intentional. And you must work from your strengths. Discovering your purpose starts by discovering your strengths. Why? Because people’s purpose in life is always connected to their giftedness., you are not called to do something you have no talent for.
Improvement is always related to your ability. The greater your natural ability, the greater your potential for improvement. I’ve known people who thought that reaching their potential would come from shoring up their weaknesses. If you work really hard you might work your way up to mediocrity. Nobody admires or rewards mediocrity. Only your best will add value to others and lift them up.
Discover your uniqueness, then discipline yourself to develop it. Like myself I strive to be a motivational teacher, not just a speaker. For the last decade of my life, I have disciplined my life to develop that uniqueness.
Whenever you see people who are successful in their work, they are in their strength zone. Good leaders help others find their strength zones and empower them to work in them. The best leaders specialize in matching these two up!