Leaders and the Unknown

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Leaders are the ones who run headfirst into the unknown. They rush toward the danger. They put their own interests aside to protect us or to pull us into the future. Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours. And they would never sacrifice what is ours to save what is theirs. This is what it means to be a leader. It means they choose to go first into danger, headfirst toward the unknown. And when we feel sure they will keep us safe, we will march behind them and work tirelessly to see their visions come to life and proudly call ourselves their followers. -Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • What a weekend at Revolution Church
  • I love the first day of a series
  • And yesterday did not disappoint
  • As you can see here
  • Katie and I taught together on what it means to be made in the image of God
  • The implications of this is not just for women and how they see themselves, but also for men and how they see themselves and the world around them
  • Lots of people getting prayed for after the sermon
  • Love seeing that
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • We also celebrated baptism yesterday
  • Love hearing the stories of life change and seeing the power of the gospel
  • Nothing like it
  • We also had one of our highest attendances ever
  • Love seeing our volunteers jump into action and helping guests park and find seats
  • We are getting ready to kick off our next FPU class
  • If you want to change your finances, get out of debt, plan for the future, go here
  • Friday, I got to perform the wedding of Joey and Bernadette Morrin
  • So fun being a part of their wedding
  • The weather was incredible for an outdoor wedding in Tucson
  • I’m blown away the emails I’ve gotten about the Beautiful series so far
  • It seems like it is definitely striking a chord
  • It’s sad the bondage that many women live with
  • I’m talking this Sunday about how to be free from your past as you move forward into your future
  • So many people let their past be a compass for their future and it is heartbreaking
  • All of this makes me really excited to kick Fight off in a few weeks and talk to men
  • I’m sad that this Sunday is the last football game in a long time
  • Love football season
  • Thankfully the Olympics start soon afterward
  • My kids can’t get over how excited they are for the Olympics
  • Having lunch today with a new Revolutionary
  • Love meeting new people at our church and helping them get better connected
  • Say a prayer that this coming Sunday is even bigger than this past Sunday
  • Lots of freedom waiting to happen as we apply 2 Corinthians 5:17 in our lives
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Links for Your Weekend Reading

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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My latest post on The Blog of Manly: How to set goals and accomplish them.

Since we’re now into January and the luster of New Years Resolutions has begun to wear off, I felt like its time to share some ideas on how to set goals and keep them. Resolutions are just that, goals. They are hopes for the future. In December we look at our lives, the things we don’t like about them and set a goal to change that specific area of our lives.

The title makes it clear someone is really important—and that someone is you. God is Not Mad at You, Reposition Yourself, Your Best Life Now, Become a Better You, It’s Your Time… I’m noticing a trend here. Someone’s a pretty big deal, and apparently that someone is me. I feel so much better now. It’s advice that could easily be confused with the message from a fortune cookie.

Brian Howard on How to free up 8 hours in your week.

11 traits of churches that will impact the future.

To reach a changing culture, the church needs to change. Rapidly. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t need to change the message. Just the method. One is sacred. The other is not. What isn’t as clear is what the future church will look like, and what kind of characteristics will mark those churches. However, I think a few trends are becoming clear. Not all of these might be correct, but I think the following eleven traits describe the kind of churches that will have a significant impact a decade from now.

Ron Edmondson on 7 ways a wife is injuring her husband without even knowing it.

It’s an emotional injury. Sometimes those are the worst kind of hurts. The person doing the injuring: His wife. And she…most likely…doesn’t even know she’s doing it.

What one pastor would like to ask President Obama concerning abortion.

Let your husband love you. Great words for wives and moms.

I get it. The kids have been climbing on you all day. One or both of your boobs have been exposed 87% of the day and you’re sick of being clawed at, sucked on, licked, punched, kicked, pulled, snotted on, cried on, spit up on, pooped on, and peed on. You’ve wiped butts and noses and counters and walls all day. You’ve battled attitudes and arched backs and Dora the Explorer since dawn and you’re tired. So. So. Tired. I know. I really really do.

Taylor Gahm on The Gift of Inadequacy (This has a warning on language but the ideas he shares are really good)

More NFL Lip Reading (so funny)
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Enjoying Now

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I don’t know if it is because I am getting older or because I just preached through Ecclesiastes and was reminded every week in that series that life is short, you aren’t promised tomorrow, you live, you die and are forgotten.

I’ve had a lot of conversations recently with people who are itching to get into the next stage of life. Whether they are in high school and want to get to college, are in college and want a job, are single and want to get married, or they are married and want kids, they want to retire, want their kids to move out. Whatever season they are in, they are ready for the next one.

I understand the thinking.

Some seasons are hard. I remember having 3 kids under 3 and a half. We couldn’t wait until the next season.

It is easy to push your kids to grow up, get better at things, get older so life is a little easier.

I was reminded of this the other day at T-Ball practice with my boys. One of them loves baseball, the other is getting used to it. Partly because he is 4 and still learning what it means to play a sport. It is easy to get frustrated at this. As a parent, you want them to succeed, you paid for them to do this and you aren’t doing something else. Since we’re at practice, let’s play.

This thinking is easy.

In doing so, I’ll miss this time. I’ll miss playing T-Ball in all its glory and frustration if I push for the next season to hard. There will be a time when we won’t get to play baseball, my boys will think I’m not cool anymore.

While it is good stewardship to learn from the past and look towards the future to make wise decisions. Too often, we skip the present and miss God’s gifts right now.

Maybe you are single as an evidence of God’s grace to you. Maybe you aren’t ready to get married, the other person isn’t ready. Maybe God wants you to wait a little longer to have children, or maybe that isn’t his plan for you right now.

Wherever you are right now, how do you see God’s grace in the place you are in?

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Leaders are Future Oriented

I’ve been reading through The Truth about Leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner and they make the point that one of the main things that separates leaders from followers is that leaders are future oriented. What they point out is that the main thing people want to know about leaders is who are you, what is your character like as a way of deciding if they will follow someone. The second thing they want to know about leaders is, “What is your vision?”

Leaders are custodians of the future, they need to have the capacity to imagine and articulate future possibilities.

To do this, you need to spend time thinking about the future. You need to schedule time that is uninterrupted to read, think, and pray about the future.

Michael Hyatt said,

Vision is the lifeblood of any organization. It is what keeps it moving forward. It provides meaning to the day-to-day challenges and setbacks that make up the rumble and tumble of life. This is where leadership makes all the difference. Leaders is more than influence. It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build – and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better futre. It comes down to pointing the way and saying, “C’mon. We can do this!”

The Tension of Leadership

This morning I was meeting with some leaders at Revolution and we were talking about the tension of leadership. Leaders live in two worlds:  the one of reality, where their church or organization is, and the other is the one that is not yet, the world they are moving into.

To lead well, leaders must live where their churches are and they must lead them to where they are going. Which means they must have a strong grasp on reality and the present, as well as where they are going. Too many pastors seem to coast into the future, not sure where they are going, not sure how they will get there.

It is easy to spend too much time in either the present or the future and miss out. You can get too far ahead of your church which means you will have a difficult time getting into the future. You can spend too much time in the present and not see a vision for where you are going and get stuck in the details of just doing church.

It is a balance. It is the tension of leadership.

How Idols Work with our Past, Present & Future

“When idolatry is mapped onto the future – when our idols are threatened – it leas to paralyzing fear and anxiety. When it is mapped onto the past – when we fail our idols – it leads to irremediable guilt. When idolatry is mapped onto the present life – when our idols are blocked or removed by circumstances – it roils us with anger and despair.” – Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods