training leaders

Posted: April 25, 2010 in Leadership

Training leaders beside you and under you on how to do your job is a vital task in leadership. There will be times when the leader will be absent and the position needs to be filled by someone who is capable. If the ship begins to sink while you are away, there are two things happening. First, the leader standing in your place cannot adequately sail the ship because they have not been given the proper tools to work with. Second, the leader standing in your place cannot effectively sail the ship because they have not been trained on how to use the limited amount of tools that were given to him.

From time to time the ship will get hit and begins to take on water while sinking—don’t panic, there is always a learning curve as long as the ship still floats. The leaders job is to take the sinking ship and make it float again. There is no time to port and repair the ship. You are at sea and time demands a sudden change of plans—repair the ship at sea. Once afloat, show the team everything it takes to keep it floating. Sinking ships always point back to the captain, not the sailors. That’s why everything rises and falls on leadership.

Insecurity within the leader can be a third reason why the ship begins to sink. Insecurity rises within a leader when one leaves their post and another stands in their place and things begin to fall apart. The leader feels they are needed and wanted so they don’t train others to do their job effectively. It keeps the employees begging for the leader to come back. Once insecurity has set in, pride is always sure to follow. A leader needs to feel secure enough about their position and leadership to the point that everyone thrives and succeeds while you are away. If the team wins, you win, but if the team loses, you lose. Feed a leader that has a desire to win and model it for them so they know how to win. That is the key to true and great leadership.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

time is money

Posted: October 30, 2008 in Time Management

I make it a habit in my life to continually increase my knowledge in the area of leadership. One of the things I have learned while walking down the road of leadership is that if you are not a man of character, all is lost. One of the ways that has helped build my character is what I like to call “The 5 Tips of the Leaders Toes.” They are as follows: Time, Talent, Treasure, Tongue, and Testimony. Walk with these five things in check and your character as a leader will stand the test of time. Without them, you will fall. Speaking of time; I want to spur you on by opening your eyes to the cost of time.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” He further stated, “Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.” King Solomon—the wisest man to ever live—said in Proverbs 10:4 “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Jesus even said in John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Suppose a bank would credit your account each morning with $86,400 to spend that day. Any balance left at the end of the day could not be added to the next day’s amount, but would be canceled. What would you do? Of course, you would make every effort to spend the entire amount each day. Each of us has a time account in the Bank of Heaven. Each morning God deposits 86,400 seconds in it. They are ours to invest for Him that day. When the ends, that day’s allotment of time is completely gone.

Our daily walk is made up of these choice seconds given to us by God. The important question is not the amount of time we have, but how we spend it. We must make a wise investment of it. Every day is ours to use or lose.

“Wasted time is more fatal than wasting money. For money can still be acquired, but time is gone forever.” ~ Unknown

in case of emergency

Posted: October 27, 2008 in Prayer

Is this our mentality about prayer and reading the bible—“in case of an emergency”? Have we as Christians reduced the basic daily routine of a quiet time down to whenever it is convenient for us? Have we arrived on the battle lines without weapons because they are burdensome and weighing us down? Why is it that we have such a hard time having a consistent daily quiet time?

I admit at times, prayer and reading the bible was laborious and boring. My attitude was, “I’ll read and pray when I need to or when time allows.” That was not only painful to write, but as I reflect back on how I felt at the time, it makes me sick at my stomach. How could I ever treat my personal time with Almighty God with such a flippant attitude. I would read and pray only when I needed something from God like direction, healing, or money. Many times, prayer was so foreign that I didn’t like praying in front of people because I didn’t know how to talk to God. I love what John Piper says in his book, Let the Nations be Glad, when he writes. . .

So I do not tire of saying to our church, The number one reason why prayer malfunctions in the hands of believers is that they try to turn a wartime walkie-talkie into a domestic intercom.

Until you believe that life is war, you cannot know what prayer is for. Prayer is for the accomplishment of a wartime mission. It is as though the field commander (Jesus) called in the troops, gave them a crucial mission (“Go and bear fruit”), handed each of them a personal transmitter coded to the frequency of the general’s headquarters, and said, “Comrades, the general has a mission for you. He aims to see it accomplished. And to that end he has authorized me to give each of you personal access to him through these transmitters. If you stay true to his mission and seek his victory first, he will always be as close as your transmitter, to give tactical advice and to send in air cover when you or your comrades need it.”

But what have millions of Christians done? They have stopped believing that we are in a war. No urgency, no watching, no vigilance, no strategic planning. Just easy peacetime and prosperity. And what did they do with the walkie-talkie? They tried to rig it up as an intercom in their cushy houses and cabins and boats and cars – not to call in fire power for conflict with a mortal enemy, but to ask the maid to bring another pillow to the den.”

The battle is before me, my enemy is eagerly waiting, the trumpets have sounded, the marching has begun, flaming arrows have lit the sky. Stay with me Lord Jesus. I need You!

“What you do before sunup determines whether you have victory before sundown.”
~ Lester Roloff

caution! highly flammable

Posted: October 7, 2008 in Preaching

Preaching with passion is a quality that the average church congregation desires to see in the sermons their pastor preaches. Nobody likes to sit through a 30 to 45 minute sermon that is screaming BORING. Many times people catch up on naps they missed during their busy work week. Many draw on the bulletins, color pictures, pass notes, text message, blatantly talk, and pass the time by going to the bathroom for 15 minutes with the hopes that the sound system quit working and the dry monotone sermon is cut short. What is wrong with today’s preaching? I’m glad I asked. What is wrong with preaching today is the fact that preachers are not preapproved containers. Allow me to explain.

There are signs at gas stations that read: “Warning! To avoid risk, only pump gas into preapproved containers.” Gas is explosive and flammable, and it should be stored in the proper container. A proper container is one that is designed to hold or transport gas. When it comes to the Holy Spirit and preaching, I believe God puts a similar warning sign on the container that transports the Word and the Spirit: “Warning! To avoid risk, only preach from pure and holy containers that are approved by God.”

Preachers who are saturated in the Scriptures and filled by the Spirit need a new warning label as they preach: “Caution! Highly flammable and theologically combustible. Contents can radically alter your life. Listen carefully and use only as the Spirit convicts you.” Talk about passion. If only preachers could stand up in the pulpit every Sunday morning and preach like Jeremiah when he said in chapter 20 verse 9, “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name, then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.'” Let us as preachers remember, God ignited our fire when He saved us from our sins, but it is our job through the power of the Holy Spirit to keep that fire burning.

“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.” ~ Charles Wesley

____________
Heisler, Greg. Spirit-Led Preaching: The Holy Spirit’s Role in Sermon Preparation and Delivery (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2007), 67-68.

good eats – “OK Cafe”

Posted: October 2, 2008 in Restaurants

Today I ate at a lip smacking good ole country home cooking restaurant with Pastor Johnny Hunt—pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA—and Bert Ross—leadership development at the North American Mission Board. I had never eaten at this restaurant and asked what was good to eat. Johnny Hunt leans over and says, “It’s Cracker Barrel on steroids! Eat anything on the menu and you will not be disappointed.” That statement was soon realized when my empty plate sat before me. I ordered the Roasted Turkey, Gravy and Cornbread Dressing with two sides—Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes. This food is so good it will make a june bug pull a bush hog—that’s country talk. Hundreds of seats. Don’t ask where the bathroom is; it’s a maze so get a map. The restaurant also accommodates a to-go-bar. Grab what you want and leave without the wait.

Contact information:
1284 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30327
404-233-2888

www.okcafe.com

crossroads of uncertainty

Posted: October 1, 2008 in Uncertainty

I just finished reading a couple of chapters on the subject of uncertainty in a book I am currently reading. An interesting fact is that everyone at any given time will face uncertainty before they die. There is a particular bone chilling, heart stopping, mind boggling paralysis that overcomes us when we stand face-to-face with uncertainty. Our natural tendency is to always know what is up ahead and around the corner so we can plan accordingly. We always want or try to be in control of our lives, our dreams, and our futures, but yet feel out of control when our plans don’t happen the way we expected. We fight for the remote control of our futures. Question—Has any of the plans you made for yourself unfolded perfectly for you or have you traveled down roads you didn’t even know existed? The thing is, you now stand at a crossroads that will take you in multiple directions and you haven’t a clue as to which way to go. It could also be that you have come to the end of the road and you feel like turning around, but God is calling you to blaze a new trail and you are gripped with uncertainty. Andy Stanley writes,

“Leadership is all about taking people on a journey. The challenge is that most of the time we are asking people to follow us to places we ourselves have never been. There aren’t any photographs—we are left with word pictures, metaphors, and illustrations. There are no maps to guide us—we are left to cut a trail. Yet as we move forward into the uncertainty before us, we sense the need to turn occasionally and assure those who follow.”

Whatever decision you are presently facing while at the crossroads of uncertainty, remember this; your goal should not be to eliminate uncertainty. Instead, you must develop the art of being clear in the face of uncertainty. Don’t be afraid of saying, “I don’t know.” Until you know, wake up each morning and report for duty and ask the Commander and Chief for your orders, because He knows the plans He has for you.

“Every success is usually an admission ticket to a new set of decisions.” ~ Henry Kissinger