“If you want to get the best out of someone – you must look for the best that is in them.” Unknown
I have heard, as I am sure you have, people generally find what they are looking for.
If we look for the worst, we will find it quickly. The same is true when we look for the best.
The question leaders must consider and answer is “what are we looking for?”
Jesus told the apostles to “lift up their eyes and look, the fields are white for harvest.” His words are just as true today. If we are not looking we will never see the need or act upon it.
How do leaders develop this ability?
Humility. The way we look at ourselves affects the way we look at others.
Compassion. When the distress of others touches our heart to act, demonstrating mercy, we are beginning to understand the work of Jesus.
Discovery. The more we learn about God the more we discover about ourselves and the need to look at others through His eyes.
What are we looking for today? Think Souls!
Saturday will bring an end to 2011 and Sunday begins 2012.
A large portion of our population will make “new year’s resolutions.” What is it about the ending of one year and the beginning of another that entices us to make resolutions?
If there is something we need to do, physically or spiritually, and it is good for us, why would we wait to begin?
If we need to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, spend time with family, get involved with the church, or develop a better relationship with God, why wait?
The beginning of the week, the start of another year, or accomplishing a goal does not justify procrastination.
Oddly enough the majority of people who make new year’s resolutions will not keep them. In fact, there are those who make resolutions with no intent of ever keeping them.
Now is the acceptable time.
Now is the day of salvation.
Now is all we know with certainty.
Reflecting on the past year and looking ahead into the new should motivate us to act now!
At one time or another, most of us have felt like we were caught between a rock and a hard place? The idea was expressed by Paul in writing to the church at Philippi.
To go on and be with the Lord was far better in Paul’s eyes. To remain on in the flesh was beneficial for the church. Paul felt torn between the two and, thus, caught between a rock and a hard place.
The middle brings interesting thoughts to mind.
One can be caught in the middle, between two friends.
Children can be in the middle, born between two siblings.
There are also followers of Christ who, religiously, try to walk in the middle of the road, with no conviction of truth.
Spiritual leaders may find themselves like Paul, desiring to be with the Lord, but realizing the necessity to remain on in the flesh for the benefit of the church.
However, leaders cannot afford to be in the middle of the road regarding God’s word. Leaders need dedication and confidence to move others from point A to point B.
After a recent 12-15 inch snowfall, I found the muscles in my back quite sore. Perhaps it has something to do with the hour of shoveling. It also reminds me of the need to stretch those muscles, applying a little ice and heat.
Once I start stretching I am quickly reminded of several important lessons.
I need to stretch, because I used (and perhaps overused) muscles I have not worked in a while (at least since the last snowfall).
Stretching helps in the overall recovery of the muscles involved in the work.
Consistent stretching over a few days brings growth and strengthening of the muscle.
Stretching is the ability to make longer and wider without tearing or breaking. The best approach is to only stretch a little at a time, hold for about 6-8 seconds and then relax. The repetition allows for the development of flexibility and relief.
When leaders use the idea of stretching the vision, the goals, and the development of the team, the result brings needed recovery, growth, strength, and creating flexibility.
Overall, there is benefit in the repetition of the process. Stretching develops quality leaders.
Leaders must be technically proficient.
On the surface, we would assume if someone is in a leadership position, they would naturally be proficient. Sadly, this is not always the case.
There are two primary areas where this principle has direct application.
First, leaders need to know their job. They need to know what they are supposed to do. Imagine the challenges when a leader does not know their job responsibilities, or when others are not allowed the same opportunity. The result of either is destructive for the overall production of the group and task.
Proficiency occurs when leaders know and fulfill their job and allow others to do the same.
Second, leaders need to be familiar with the job responsibilities of others. Leaders must know the job responsibilities of others and provide accountability for the work. Without such progress becomes dependent on leadership carrying on the work alone. The result creates conflict and lack of productivity.
From a spiritual perspective, a good description would be sheep without a shepherd. When everyone knows their role and works to fulfill it, the church of Christ functions according to the descriptive body defined in Scripture.
Styles of leadership exist by the handfuls. A Google search reveals thousands of articles written on various styles of leadership.
My thoughts were quickly drawn to the idea of transformational leadership. The idea is self-explanatory, leadership that transforms the people around them, shaping the direction of the future.
However, what really had my attention was the method demonstrated in this style of leadership.
Transformational leadership characterizes leaders who have integrity and exemplify consistency in their example. This style of leadership encourages, supports, and helps followers look beyond their own self-interests and focus on the good of the team. They notably inspire others.
The article went on to say; “in short, transformational leaders are exceptionally motivating, and they are trusted.” The result accomplishes great things.
Of all leadership styles, this one connects true to the heart of spiritual leadership.
What style of leadership characterizes you and me? Are we transforming others to live closer to God?
Are we striving to transform the lives of others by the character we demonstrate in leading them to heaven?
There are some days in the year a little more special than others. This is one of those days.
I could list a number of reasons, but I will share one. Twenty-six years ago today a precious girl was born into our family. I remember my tears of joy over having a daughter and the excitement of our third child.
My wife and I have been blessed to see this beautiful girl blossom into an incredible young woman.
She is now grown, married and has children of her own.
I am thankful God has blessed us with such a wonderful family. I am thankful to have been given the opportunity of watching the changes in our baby girl who has grown into an even greater woman.
As I reflect on the past twenty-six years I am reminded of how important spiritual leadership is in the family. I am proud of her and her husband, along with their desire to raise three (and soon to be four) children with the same spiritual foundation.
Happy Birthday to a very special woman. Your mom and I love you!