Have you ever observed the past upsetting the future? This can happen in a number of ways: being in the wrong place at the wrong time, painful experiences that haunt you down the road, poor decisions, failed relationships, inappropriate behavior, moral failure, and the like. The bad thing about the past upsetting the future is that our past should compliment our future, not delay, sidetrack, or cause defeat as we face it.
I recently spent time with a group of pastors walking through John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. I found myself comparing Jesus’ leadership with those advocated by John Maxwell. One principle, in particular, stood out like a golden nugget as I considered Jesus’ leadership. That principle was Empowering Others.
On a blog devoted to professional speakers, the author gave advice about “that great killer story you love to tell,” and then “the heart-rending windup.” I imagine every speaker wants one each of those in his messages.
Then, the blogger dropped the bomb.
Have you ever been guilty of impulsive leadership? Impulsive leadership happens when you plan an activity as an afterthought or in a hurry. Most often these occur because the activity is expected or the calendar dictates. For instance, if you serve in a location where a fall revival is a part of the church tradition, impulsive leadership can creep in. And the results will show your impulsiveness.
“Mr. Jon,” my young son asked, “what is the purpose of Skyler’s life?” I gasped with embarrassment that he would ask such a question, and then thanked God for our friend’s response. “Skyler’s purpose is to bring glory to the Lord.” Jon’s daughter Skyler is confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, yet, her dear father sees a deep purpose in her life - to glorify God. No matter our life’s situation, no matter how much or little we think we can accomplish, God has big plans for us.
Our approachability is vital. Our integrity is at stake.
“Did you read my email?” A ministry friend asked me this question – he was following up on an earlier promotion that had sent me. At times like this you have several choices: lie, act dumb, or admit the truth. By the time the question was posed (truthfully) I could not remember the email correspondence. My answer was, “I cannot remember getting the promotion.”
Are you ever guilty of worshipping yourself? What a disturbing possibility! In his book, Dangerous Calling, Paul David Tripp says, “Perhaps in ministry there is no more potent intoxicant than the praise of men, and there is no more dangerous form of drunkenness than to be drunk with your own glory.” (p. 167)
MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOUR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS. Little did those accepted for this job out of the thousands who applied realize how true those words would eventually become.
Years ago I cut an article from a magazine entitled, “In Spite Of.” The writer, J.B. Fowler, was editor of a Christian newspaper. Fowler referenced people who had significant life accomplishments “in spite of” challenging circumstances. Some of the examples he used included:
Have you ever been envious of another church or another minister? Come on, all of us have been affected by such emotions!
As a young preacher I sometimes dreamed of walking in Billy Graham’s shoes. As a pastor I sometimes dreamed of leading the next Saddleback. Our desire to reach such heights varies in intensity and scope, but it is there.
Woundedness: a condition this side of heaven we will all face from time-to-time. Pastors are not immune. I’ve been hurt and you probably have been as well. If you’re a wounded pastor right now because of what someone in your church or family said or did, what should you do? Consider these five critical choices that can help you deal with your hurt.
“But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to become first among you shall be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43-44)
People do not want to follow.
Sorry about that.
Ask anyone clamoring for high political office. They do not want to acknowledge you as their leader and themselves as your followers. So, if you have a yearning to be a leader of people, you automatically have chosen an uphill task.
Several days ago I found myself riding a wave. A wave is one of those times when you feel high, emotionally, spiritually and physically. During this phase I relish ministry and enjoyed little things, such as listening to a favorite preacher.
Email has become endemic to our culture. Without it, it would be difficult to communicate as much as it seems that ministry and the marketplace require. I receive scores of emails every day and I know some pastors and leaders who more than 100 a day. YIKES! It can be a useful tool if used correctly. But it can also be a deadly tool if used poorly. If you want to make matters worse with people you know or within your organization or church, these 12 practices will definitely get the results you want.