“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” Douglas Lawson
I have loved this quote for a long time. I keep it on my desk as a reminder of what my leadership needs to be focused on doing.
The culture of our world is increasingly more and more about me. The result is a take mentality. What develops is a generation that is never satisfied and always wanting more. The insatiable drive to only please self becomes the motivating factor for every decision.
However, leaders cannot afford to allow this mindset to permeate their thinking or leadership.
Will it be easy to overcome the influence of a cultural mindset and redirect the thinking to a more giving society?
No! It will not be easy, but it can be done. Where it all begins is with me! When I develop a giving mentality, then the influence of leadership begins to change the attitude of others.
If we can help change one at a time, then eventually, the cultural norm will enjoy a lasting legacy.
If it sounds like I am complaining…well, maybe I am. However, we all reach points in life where we just want to take a break, get away, relax, recharge, and recuperate to some degree.
The question should not be when do I get a break, but why do I need a break?
Stress! The number one reason for needing a break is the stress of work, family, responsibilities, etc. Because stress takes its toll mentally, emotionally and spiritually, we need to be aware of how to deal with and overcome stress.
Time! Between work and family, time is a precious commodity. The world does not seem to be slowing down. To hesitate can put us behind where we need to be. If we could just slow down we might find the time we use is more productive.
Fatigue! Everyone gets tired. Too often, we tend to overwork, overeat, exercise less, stay up late, get up early, and push to beat the deadlines. The result brings fatigue.
We all need to think about the warning signs and learn when to take a break to better prepare ourselves to lead.
Before we can answer the question, we have to know what the “it” is talking about.
Do we have the heart for leadership? Our leadership is about influence, passion, character, vision and much more. If we have the heart for leadership then we do what is necessary to prepare ourselves in each area to grow and develop appropriately.
Do we have the heart for challenges? Without exception, leaders are going to face challenges. While some will always be more difficult than others, they are challenges nonetheless. When we have the heart for challenges, we begin preparing before the challenge happens. We also seek wise counsel before making decisions affecting the challenge.
Do we have the heart for people? Good leadership involves people and no two people are the same. Having a heart for people means being a part of their lives and being transparent to them with our own. Connecting with people raises leadership to incredible heights and makes an eternal difference.
Not everyone has the heart for it. However, those who have a heart for leadership change the shape of tomorrow.
What is the latest project you have been working on in your career, personal life or family?
How would you evaluate the progress of the project?
Have you determined when the project will be completed?
Will the project have benefit to others, or is it just a matter of personal satisfaction?
Why did you start this project originally?
Did you determine what it would cost to complete the project?
Do you have the same enthusiasm for the project as when you started?
When do you make time for working on the project?
Does the project come before family, friends, or work?
Who else knows about the project and how did they learn about it?
Where do you hope to be when the project is completed?
Is there a possibility the project has distracted you from the most important purpose in life?
I know I have asked numerous questions, but our projects can help or hinder us in our leadership. If we are not asking the right questions, we may even be unaware of the affect our projects have on our relationship with others.
I used to help build houses. It amazed me how few construction workers gave thought to the person who came behind them in the work. They appeared to be trying to get the work done quickly, save as much time or money as possible, and let whoever comes next worry about it.
We must guard against such attitudes in leadership.
Souls are at stake and if we are not considering what and who comes next, then the structure will not last.
As preachers, do we consider the preacher who follows us in a congregation? Are we thinking about the challenges they will face because of our decisions?
Elders, what comes next when you resign or pass away? What condition will the leadership of the church be in when the current eldership is gone?
Deacons, the same is true for you. What comes next in the church when you are no longer serving?
The list could go on, but I think you understand. We need to be thinking NOW about who will follow us and work to resolve necessary issues, so that who comes next will enjoy something better.
“It is difficult to see the hand of God at work in our lives, if the only place we ever go is to the super market and the service station.” Dorsey Traw
Nothing is more powerful than seeing God’s hand at work in our lives. The sheer joy of looking at past or present situations and knowing opportunities have been opened.
Considering the depth of brother Traw’s statement is a reminder of how limited or reclusive life can become when the only places we visit are narrowed down to one or two.
Leadership never takes place in seclusion. Our influence as leaders is directly related to being involved in the lives of others. Here is where the real heart of seeing God’s hand at work changes our perspective.
If we are ever going to make a dent in the spiritual transformation of the world around us, then we must get out and get involved in making a difference in the lives of people.
I urge us all to pray more fervently, lift up our eyes and look for the opportunities, and step up to lead others to our Lord.
One of the great blessings of working at Bear Valley is hearing men speak during chapel. Recently, Wayne Roberts came and delivered a wonderful lesson where he shared advice he had been given over the years.
He noted one specific area I want to focus on in today’s post. It was advice given by Ed Wharton several years ago regarding the need to pay attention to the little details of scripture.
Spiritual leadership involves a number of significant areas within the church and our world. It can be easy to lose sight of the little details only to focus on what appears to be the much larger, big picture, ideas of scripture and the work.
There are times it may be a word, phrase, or suggestion, but paying attention to those little details brings a wealth of blessings to our leadership. We will find it also provides a great blessing to those who are following.
While we are pouring the time over scripture in study this week, let us make sure to spend time to observe and pay attention to the little details God intends for us to learn.