Monthly Archives: April 2014

A Biblical Precedent… Part 3

The life of Jesus established several precedents for the purpose of characterizing our leadership.

One of the major precedents exemplified by Jesus was His pursuit of God’s will. Numerous times we find Jesus claiming that He did not come to do His will, but the will of the One who sent Him.

One of the most famous statements made by Jesus is found in the garden during the intense agony of knowing the outcome awaiting. Here, in this moment with the Father, He cries out, “if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

His submission to the will of the Father provides us with a precedent the remainder of scripture reminds us to follow.

Our prayers should express our desire to follow according to the will of our Father.

Our suffering directly demonstrates the example of Jesus’ suffering.

Our daily walk should reflect the teachings of His will outlined throughout His word.

Examining the precedents established by Jesus explains how we might characterize our own lives in setting a precedent for others.

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Leadership Word Of The Week…Ontogeny

Go ahead and look it up. The background of this word is in biology and the meaning is significant to the role of leadership.

Ontogeny is the process of an individual organism growing organically.

Thinking of the church as an organization creates numerous challenges to the living and growing organism God intended.

By contrasting what the church is and is not, Eddie Cloer describes the church as “a living organism. The church which Christ established is living and vibrant with God’s life and blessings; it is not a manmade group which is energized completely by man’s wisdom, designs, and activities” (1993, 17).

We understand the need to care for, protect, provide, and strengthen plants, animals, and human life because they are living organisms and proper growth only occurs when we put these areas into practice.

How much more so would God want us to demonstrate the same toward His church?

Even if we never see the word “ontogeny” again, and you may be praying you do not, let us practice the necessary areas to produce growth of the one organism that required the life of Jesus.

Cloer, Eddie. 1993. What Is “The Church?” Resource Publications: Searcy.

Survey Says…

As a popular game show, Family Feud boasted the famous line, “Survey says…”

Contestants work to provide answers to questions that are the most popular answers given by people who were surveyed.

Most of us may never participate in a survey of like nature, yet we need to constantly get involved in surveying our lives.

When we consider the nature of our influence within our homes, what would the survey say is the priority of our life?

When we examine our character as demonstrated on the job, what would the survey say about the quality of our work ethic?

When we look at the consistency of our worldview, what would the survey say about the consistency of what we believe and practice?

When we take into account our approach in reaching out to others, what would the survey say about the “type” of people we seek to influence?

The list of questions could go on. We need to understand the value of surveying each area of our life and measuring how we live by the example provided in Jesus.

Adhering to that standard supports positive survey results.

Leadership Thought Of The Day…

“Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done.” Bo Bennett

Eliminating the word “can’t” from our vocabulary is vital to the development of strong leadership. We have all heard someone say, and perhaps said ourselves, “it can’t be done.”

The limitations built around this word paralyze the growth and development of God’s people: individually and collectively.

How many avoid the opportunity to teach a class, preach a sermon, lead a prayer, take a mission trip, help someone in need, or stretch their education by using the word – “can’t.”

Instead of shackling ourselves with these limitations, consider the difference made by realizing what can be done. With God, all things are possible.

The way we see our families, the church, the world, and even ourselves takes on a new perspective when we realize what we can do.

We must never approach our development as Moses; “who am I that I should go and deliver this people?”

Instead, we need the Isaiah syndrome; “Here am I, send me.”

Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Is There A Place For Contentment?

Contentment has a positive and negative perspective when placed along side the concepts framing leadership.

The thought has been expressed in various ways, one of which is to “always be content with where we are, but never who we are.”

The idea is to accept and be content with what we have and where we are in life, but we should always hunger to grow and improve in our personal development.

Concerning contentment as it relates to material possessions, Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Content makes poor men rich and discontent makes rich men poor.”

A little research reveals a host of information regarding an application to personal growth and development as leaders. Several websites focus on the “learning leader.”

There is a place for contentment, but let us never allow contentment to follow a path of complacency and a “comfortable with the status quo” way of thinking.

The spiritual application is related to several passages, such as Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi (Phil. 4:11-12). The contrast in being content or discontent makes the difference in how we approach the future of leadership.

A Biblical Precedent… Part 2

Some of the greatest lessons on leadership are based on biblical precedents. These lessons are designed to help us follow biblical teaching and practice God’s design for leaders in every generation.

One of the precedents, as simple and overused as it may be, involves the nature of our influence. Jesus said we are the salt of the earth and light of the world (Mt. 5:13-16).

Throughout the letters written to specific individuals and the various churches of God’s people, the word salt is used twice (Col. 4:6; Jas. 3:12). In both passages the use of salt is connected to the tongue. The use of the tongue is powerful. Words spoken carelessly and without thought can destroy our influence and once destroyed is difficult, if not impossible, to regain.

In the context of Matthew 5, Jesus identifies the use of light as it is reflected in our actions, the good works seen by others who will glorify God. The significance of what we do preaches a stronger lesson than what we say. A picture paints a thousand words.

The nature of our words and actions establish leadership precedent worthy of following.

Leadership Word Of The Week…Extraordinary

Depending on how our word of the week is pronounced, it could be extraordinary or extra – ordinary. The idea involves the unusual or remarkable.

The reason this word stands out is because of how God works through ordinary men and women in the Bible and makes them extraordinary.

Consider the “burning bush.” Intrigued with this sight, Moses approached to examine what he had never seen before. Here, on God’s mountain, he learned how something as ordinary as a bush can be extraordinary when it is on fire with divine activity.

We are just ordinary human beings. There is nothing special about any of us, until God becomes a part of the equation. This is where our influence changes and leadership begins..

When we are on fire with the divine activity of God in our lives, everything changes. This is not a miraculous intervention, sign, or demonstration of the paranormal. Rather, it is simply an understanding of who God is and what He has done for us, having delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.

Now that is extraordinary.