“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Ben Franklin
No matter what age group, this thought has application.
As parents raising children, how powerful to think about training children by involving them. Far too often, the television and video games become the tool of choice to keep children occupied. Leadership means a step up to engage children by getting them involved so they learn.
As educators, the same lesson applies. The tendency is to simply lecture, providing information. We have become a society good at giving the facts. However, what is missing is application, and even more so, the involvement of students in the learning process.
As spiritual leaders within the church, we need to learn the value of this thought in helping the church move out of complacency and apathy. People will not learn if the only exchange is by telling them. In most cases, people forget before they reach their car.
Let us take leadership to a new level, involving others to learn. Engage others in application of the biblical and godly principles that bring growth.
The thought of this Psalm is extremely comforting. God is our strength and refuge. As such, He is the help that is present when we face trouble.
As we consider the application of this Psalm, there are so many areas in our lives today where it fits.
When the trouble we face is one of loss: a friend, family member, position, possession, or health; God is the help we need.
We are comforted in knowing God is the help provided in the times we suffer most, but where does this help come from?
God’s help comes from His word. Throughout scripture we find strength, comfort and guidance to help us in times of trouble.
God’s help comes through prayer. It is not by accident that scripture indicates we are to cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares for us.
God’s help comes from others. One of the best ways leadership is demonstrated is through providing strength, comfort and guidance.
We receive great peace from God when we apply these three areas during those times of trouble.
Few areas are more challenging than considering what happens when leadership fails. The main reason is because it is accompanied by a loss of trust and respect.
The task before leaders is learning what to do to regain trust and respect when it has been lost.
We begin with considering three negatives: 1) do not try to ignore or deny the failure, 2) do not attempt to cover the failure up, and 3) never blame someone else for the failure (this only worsens the situation).
Instead, there are four positives needed: 1) admit the failure (chances are the followers already know about the failure), 2) be specific about the failure (a general statement does not speak to an understanding of the consequences associated with the failure), 3) ask for forgiveness (saying this is essential to regaining trust and respect is an understatement), and 4) give a step by step plan for overcoming the failure (it is one thing to admit the failure, but another to know how to deal with and overcome the failure).
Additional areas could be considered, but a simple upfront approach is where the healing begins.
Three words describe the word for this week: occupy, attract, and involve. These words have reference to someone’s interest or attention, but all three are key to understanding the need for leaders to engage others.
Occupying the interest or attention of others indicates we are holding or we are situated in such a position to keep others focused and connected.
Attracting demonstrates we are bringing others to a place where they can participate in the project or venture associated with the need.
Involving others means we are including others in the experience by their participation with the whole of where we are leading.
When considering our leadership, if we are engaging others, we simply need to ask ourselves if we are holding their interest and attention, bringing them to a place where they are included and can participate in the experience of working together to achieve the goal.
If we are not doing so, then we have to wonder if we are really engaged as leaders.
To necessitate spiritual growth, then leaders must be engaged and engage others.
Today is Memorial Day. The final Monday in May each year is set aside as a day to remember the men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.
The freedoms we enjoy in this country are due to the dedicated men and women who are on the alert, willing to serve when needed, and can find themselves in dangerous situations, at times with the cost of their lives.
I am thankful for the example of leadership provided by these men and women. During a time in history where we easily forget what has been done in the past, and often unaware of current events, today is a day to remember.
Family members, several good friends, and a number of acquaintances have served in branches of the Armed Forces. To each of them I say, “Thank you!”
Thank you for caring enough about the country where you live to serve.
While we as a country honor your service on this day each year, please know you are always remembered and appreciated.
“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” Douglas MacArthur
Three words stand out in the first thought expressed by MacArthur: confidence, courage, and compassion. Each of these qualities is a vital part of developing the type of leaders needed within the church.
The last thought expressed is one of the most powerful in establishing true spiritual leadership. The one word that stands out concerning the thought of aligning one’s actions with intent is integrity.
If leaders today will demonstrate the type of qualities identified by MacArthur, along with the integrity to demonstrate and stand behind those qualities, their leadership will always have the strength to point others to the God who brought them to this position.
Few areas of leadership take greater priority than developing the type of character that possesses and demonstrates the integrity behind these qualities.
During my life, especially when viewing my children and grandchildren, I can relate strongly to the idea of looking for and awaiting answers for the various trials experienced in life.
Fear, anxiety and frustration can take control quickly. However, we can eliminate these concerns when we learn where to go to find the needed answers during such times.
This raises a needed question when talking about leadership. Where do leaders go to find answers?
When adversity occurs, where will the answers be found?
When questions arise, how will the answers be discovered?
Leadership involves providing guidance, direction, encouragement, support, and knowing how to give answers to help others overcome their fears, anxiety and frustration. Where can a leader go to find the answers?
Prayer is always a good place to start.
Spend time listening to God’s word.
Counsel the wisdom of others.
Learn the value of trusting in others.
Admit mistakes when they occur.
Never miss the opportunity to learn. The more we learn the more we are prepared to provide answers for the questions plaguing others.