“If men would consider not so much wherein they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feeling in the world.” Joseph Addison
The power of this thought affects everyone of us. Our culture seems to thrive on the right or opportunity to disagree and argue. The result leads to dissension, division, discouragement, and disorder.
Leadership requires a different focus. This does not mean we will agree with everyone. Nor does it mean that it is wrong to disagree with others. Also, we must understand there will be times when we are required to discuss these differences by approaching the other person.
Aside from the fact charity increases and less anger exists, we must remember that we will see more success by starting where we agree before moving into areas where we differ.
The difference made in leadership and the far-reaching influence of leaders is determined by the manner in which differences are handled.
In order to make the greatest impact, let us begin by focusing on where we agree.
These two words present an interesting contrast of thought. By definition, progress represents an onward or forward movement toward a specific destination, and progressive represents a gradual step by step development.
In recent years, however, the idea behind these words has taken on a new understanding, meaning, and application.
Progress is categorized as a more positive attribute associated with the growth and development of an organization.
Progressive tends to fall into an area that describes the image of a gradual – step by step – movement away from a conservative foundation to a more liberal approach.
Obviously, we are aware of numerous emotions attached to the direction associated with both words. Considering the original definition of these words, however, points to a significant development in relationship to our leadership.
When leaders advance with a gradual step by step approach in an effort to move toward a destination, the opportunities for long lasting success are more secured.
Quick movements tend to only satisfy short-term needs and rarely last.
Progress and progressive are two sides of the same coin that, when used appropriately, bring long-term results that make a difference.
Before a few weeks ago, these numbers did not represent much. However, 7.8 now has a profound meaning to everyone.
7.8 reminds us life is fragile.
7.8 reminds us there are needs greater than our own.
7.8 reminds us earthly treasure is temporary.
7.8 reminds us God is all powerful.
7.8 reminds us of the need for leadership.
How will leaders in Nepal respond? How will the leadership of the world respond? How will the leadership of the Lord’s church respond?
Tragedy often brings opportunity, opportunity met with physical provision. Will we be satisfied to send money, food, water, and clothing?
This tragedy should remind us of the opportunity to help people prepare for a far greater destruction, that is the destruction of the earth. It will be an event exceeding 7.8.
Sadly, there were no warnings when the earthquake hit Nepal. Thousands of lives were lost and thousands more injured.
Remember, meeting the physical need first often opens the door for spiritual opportunities. Spiritually, the opportunity is ours. God’s word warns us of a great day coming. All will stand before His judgment throne. Are we prepared and are we preparing others?
Technically, relevance is simply defined as “closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand.”
Considering the avenues by which relevance is applied extend far beyond the idea of a few defining words.
In the areas of education, one of the motivating factors that contributes to learning is the relevance of the material. When the objectives are clearly relevant, students are more driven to learn.
On a spiritual level, if the millennial generation is to be reached, we must show how the word of God is relevant. The message never changes, but how we present the relevance of the message does change.
Engaging others to follow our leadership hinges on the application of relevance.
Regardless of the area we address, leaders must be closely connected. The destination where we are leading others requires a vision and direction appropriate for the matter at hand. This is relevance!
The beauty of God’s word is the fact it was written with every generation in mind. The challenge is relevance.
Leading as God designed requires an understanding of how to make the message relevant.
One of the common concerns today, at almost every level, involves the future of leadership. Who will lead? What direction will leadership take us? How are we training leaders for tomorrow’s need?
An idea refers to a thought or suggestion for a possible course of action, an aim or purpose. Over the next few weeks we plan to focus on suggestions, ideas designed to prepare stronger leaders for the future.
Resources abound when considering plans for growing leaders. The key is partnering the right resources with the right people at the right time.
A few of the ideas we want to explore over the weeks ahead include: building character, developing vision, strengthening relationships, goal setting and achievement, and problem resolution / conflict management.
These represent only a few needed areas when training leaders for tomorrow, but they provide a valuable foundation to secure the future of leadership.
While we cannot explore the depths of each area over the course of a few weeks; hopefully, the material will lay down a few principles that will guide the path for stronger leadership training as we prepare for the future.
“If an egg is broken by outside force, Life ends. If broken by inside force, Life begins. Great things always begin from inside.” Jim Kwik
Who are we at the core? What is the central focus of our life? How does our integrity measure up in a world influenced by deceit and greed?
In addition to today’s thought, when the inside force breaks through we find a strength able to withstand the dangers that threaten from outside forces.
Without a doubt, outside forces will come. Sadly, they are not always directed by expected sources. There are times when those closest to us present the greatest threats. This is where leaders must display the depth of their inner strength.
Here are three words that provide possibilities for developing this kind of inner strength:
1) Trust: We need to trust that God is working in and through our lives to accomplish His will.
2) Conviction: We need a conviction that the direction chosen is the right path to walk.
3) Willingness: Our desire must be great enough to do whatever it takes to reach our goal.
Why are laws made to enforce wearing seat belts? Is it possible they are made simply to raise additional funds for the city justifying “click it or ticket”? Unlikely, but it would not be hard to convince some folks.
Regardless of our like or dislike of seat belts and affiliated laws, seat belts were designed to protect drivers and passengers in the event of accidents. Yes, I know of those who would have died had they been wearing a seat belt. I also know of those who would have died without them.
I am not looking to debate the benefit or detriment in wearing seat belts. However, it raises an important thought for leaders.
Spiritual leaders are to provide protection in the event of temptation, trial, struggle, and weakness. Our influence should create confidence in our ability to protect. What does this mean? Think about the similarities with the seat belt.
1) We must be there when the need exists.
2) We must connect with people to be useful.
3) We must protect without being uncomfortable.
4) We must create a signal when someone is unprotected.