We must learn common leadership principles, but power is released as we become true to our God-given personalities–Harold Myra
Every leader is a unique individual! I know that is not a ground breaking statement, but it is a necessary principle that each leader needs to grasp. Too often we attempt to make ourselves a copy of a great leader that we want to emulate only to find that we fall short of their success. Why? Because we are not them!
Certainly development and growth is a necessity in the life of the leader and the way to do that is through observation and application of general principles we see in others. However, to simply copy another leaders style of leadership will not guarantee success. Every principle we learn must be processed through our own individual personalities and strengths.
God created the world with such incredible diversity and that diversity is exactly how God wants our churches, businesses, and positions to be handled. Never blindly mimicking another leader, but striving to be who God created you to be and develop your strengths and talents. You will find that “hitting your sweet spot” in leadership comes much easier by being you!
The need for relationship in leadership positions is often a neglected component that many leaders feel they do not have time for. The busyness of the tasks of which they fill their days with have often pushed out the all important task of building relationship. Whether it is with their team, their customers, their family, or in my case, in the area of ministry…their congregants. Too often the all important responsibility to get to know those who we work for, work with, or minister to can easily be swallowed up with tasks that could easily be delegated to others within the organization or church.
Over the years, as I have observed pastors and leaders, I have noticed a trend. Many leaders are so concerned with the success that is determined by numbers, they often find themselves isolated from the people they serve. This isolation puts the leader in danger of depression, anxiety, burnout, and being relationally starved. Those who find themselves isolated must find a way to reverse the trend. How?
1. Adjust your schedule to allow for relationships–Add in time for impromptu relationship building
2. Delegate responsibilities that others can fill–free up your time to make contacts through phone calls, emails, cards, and visits.
3. Make your time spent with family and friends your highest priority–these are the most important earthly relationships you have, make sure you spend quality time with them.
It is my prayer that I will continue to learn what to delegate in my ministry so that the all important responsibility to know people and have relationship with them will be the hallmark of my leadership and ministry. The greatest success anyone can have is quality relationships!
What are you doing to build relationships?
Happy New Year! 2012! Each new year comes with the anticipation of new directions, new opportunities, new challenges, and a renewed look at the priorities of life. Each new year is like pressing a reset button in my life as I begin to contemplate and dream about the possibilities of what could be in the coming year. This anticipation always gives me great energy when I begin a new year. This year is no different.
Yet I cannot ignore that fact that with the possibilities and opportunities that will be available for the coming year, will also bring challenges that must be met and dealt with along the way. While dreaming can create a tremendous amount of anticipation for what is ahead, I cannot ignore the preparation that is necessary to meet those challenges which accompany the dream. That is why I must take an honest evaluation of my personal disciplines and prepare my heart and mind for the task ahead. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves.”
It is easy for us to dream, it is difficult to discipline ourselves to meet the challenges that lie ahead. We can crash and burn when the challenges become overwhelming, or we can rise to the occasion with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Too many potentially great leaders have crashed and burned because they did not take the time to learn, understand, and apply wisdom to the challenge. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 2, that we must make our “ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” (Prov 2.2-6 ESV)
Do whatever it takes to get knowledge, understanding and wisdom, and you will find the challenges will become less threatening to the dream in your heart!
What are you doing to prepare for the new year?
Last Sunday I made mention of the passage of scripture in Matthew 6.33 where it says to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Since that message, this scripture has been rolling through my mind.
Verse 33 is the main point in a collection of passages on worry. But it is more than receiving things of this world that we are in need of to relieve our stresses. Rather there is a higher priority that is emphasized here. The priority of seeking God, His kingdom, and His righteousness. Therefore, we don’t seek the things of this world (even though God knows that we have needs), but if we put Him as a priority in our lives, he takes care of the rest.
Behind this scripture is an underlining desire that God has in His relationship with us. For Jesus is encouraging us to have a relationship that is close with the Father while at the same time, God’s heart’s desire is to have close communion with each and everyone of us. Jesus demonstrated this desire when He chose the apostles and it was said of him that He “appointed the twelve so they might be with Him…” (Mk 3.14 ESV). To be with Him, isn’t that God’s desire for all of us! What an incredible thought…the God of the universe longs to be with us!
How? Ps. 145.18 says “the Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (ESV). All you have to do is make your call to Him and He will draw close to you. What an incredible promise has been made to all mankind.
May we have the faith to believe that God longs to have relationship with us and then diligently seek Him with all our hearts. To make that our priority will bring about the relationship that our hearts long for…a relationship with our creator.
Let your legacy be that of Enoch’s…that you walked with and pleased God.
Tonight as the TFA family gathered together to support and embody the vision that God has given us as a church, I came across a verse that gripped my heart and became the center point of the message that I shared with them. It is a verse that challenged the Israelites to move forward in rebuilding the temple, because their desire for building their own lives they had left the temple to another day. As God implores them to build, He gives a promise: “‘The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” Haggai 2.9 (ESV)
As we look forward to building additional facilities in the future there is a promised blessing that is coupled with following God’s vision for us. The future will be greater than the past. As awesome as God has been to us in the past, I can only imagine what God has prepared for us in the future. Not to mention the peace that He gives to those who follow His will!
In your life, you may be faced with challenges that may seem bigger than what you can handle, but if you are seeking and following God’s will for your life, this promise is for you as well. God has a plan for your life and that plan includes his blessings that your future will be greater than your past not only in this life, but most certainly in the life to come. As an added bonus, He gives peace to those who makes Him Lord of their lives.
Put your trust in Him and make Him Lord of your life and you will experience His blessings, His Glory, and His peace!
During the summer season, vacations abound. Many are finding much needed rest in very scenic locations. Many of my friends on Facebook have been posting pictures of beaches, mountains, ships, and lakes giving a glimpse into what people like to do as they desire to find rest and retreat from the stress of everyday life. No doubt, vacations (or days of rest) are needed times to rejuvenate us for this quick paced, high stressed world. But simply getting away and changing the environment is not the only key to finding the strength we need.
The Psalmist looks to the mountains, in chapter 121, and begins to contemplate where his strength comes from. Does it come from the mountains? No. He realizes that as great as the mountains are, His strength ultimately comes from God. His relationship with God is the most important part of gaining strength for the challenges that face his life. After all, God is the one who made not only the mountains, but also everything in the heavens and everything on the earth. If God is strong enough to create all things, isn’t he able to give you strength to live life? Certainly!
Vacations and days off are an important part of gaining strength and refocusing on the challenges of life. But don’t leave God out of the equation. If you want to truly find rest…let God join you in your rest. You will find that strength will abound with the Creator along!
Today when I posted my daily proverb on twitter, I chose the scripture that says, “Without good direction, people lose thier way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” (Prov 11.14 msg) I have always found Proverbs to be a wealth of information and wisdom concerning life, but this morning as I meditated upon this passage, I am reminded of the fact that each one of us lead in one capacity or another. We lead in our homes, workplaces, church, or even among our friendships. Our influence makes an impact in all our relationships whether they are for the good or bad. Therefore if our desire is to lead in a positive way, we must make a commitment to learn. A leader must be a learner!
As I have observed leadership in action, I have tried my best to learn those successful traits I see in others, and apply them to my own leadership. On the other hand, I have had the opportunity to observe bad leadership and have used it as an opportunity to learn what not to do! Typically those who lead positively, make every effort to invest in good counsel, to constantly be learning. On the other hand, bad leadership usually knows it all and will not recieve counsel. Leadership is not about having all the answers, rather it is about recieving good counsel so that it can be passed on.
May you develop the life long discipline of learning so that your leadership may have a positive impact on a world around you!