We are all busy, there are many things competing for our time and energy. Leadership can be defined as having influence in someone elses life. If you have faith in Jesus Christ you are also a spiritual leader, because now you are an ambassador for God. The influence we have with people, whether it’s at work, home, school or church is often a reflection on what daily habits we have.
Jesus gave us a great example of things we can do to stay focused on the right things and keep the right perspective on life. It’s easy to drift and be consumed by the day to day activities of life unless we develop these essential habits. So here are five things we can observe in the life of Jesus that can contribute to our development of faith, character and leadership.
I hope these are habits that become a normal part of your life. I encourage you to take small steps toward applying these habits into your daily, weekly and monthly routines. If you do it will transform your leadership and your relationships.
Some Thoughts on Commitment
We are all committed to something or someone. For those of you who are married I hope you are committed to one another. Some are committed to their careers, their families, their religion, their politics. Some are also committed to Jesus Christ.
All of us are at different levels or degrees of commitment in each of these areas. You could also call this maturity.
Some examples of people that were committed:
What are you committed to? Is it something that will last beyond you? Is it going to make the world a better place? Is it something you want to be remembered for?
I believe that we are all spiritual beings and that our spirit will live forever, long after our bodies die. We spend forever somewhere either in the presence of God or separated from him forever. Because of that belief, I am committed to helping people grow in Faith, Character and Leadership. Faith in Jesus Christ, developing the character of Christ and leading like Christ. That is what will change the world and bring hope to the hopeless. That is what will change a person, a family, a workplace, an organization, a city, a state, a country and the world.
Here are some guiding principles when it comes to commitment:
SO WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT DIFFERENCE MAKERS ARE COMMITTED TO?
WHAT ARE YOU COMMITTED TO?
This past week I spent 6 days working with Hope Reigns doing disaster flood relief in West Virginia. This is the third trip I have done with Hope Reigns. They are a division of Eight Days of Hope a non-profit organization that helps communities rebuild after a disaster.
Every morning the volunteers gather and someone shares a message or devotional and we pray together before heading out to the projects. In the evening after we eat together we have a time of worship and a message and more prayer.
On Monday July 4th I shared a devotional with the volunteers in the morning. We had been talking about the heart of God and understanding how amazing his heart is. Here is what I shared:
As I think about the heart of God I have to think about my own heart. My heart is not perfect like God’s, I have stuff in there that is not good. Things like anger, greed, envy, lust and pride just to name a few.
Of course Jesus changed everything when it comes to our spirit and our heart. He made is possible once again to be at one with God. To be reconciled to Him and a part of God’s family. God’s heart is for us and His desire is for all to be reconciled to Him.
When we make the decision to have a relationship with Jesus. When we believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, that he took the sins of the world on himself and died on a cross for those sins and then three days later rose from the dead overcoming sin and death, our spirit is changed. We now have a part of God in us, the Holy Spirit resided in us. That is when our hearts start to change.
We begin to see the world differently, we see people differently, we have a new perspective on life. We are no longer slaves to sin because Jesus is now our Master.
Romans 8:26-28 says: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them”
So since we have the Holy Spirit with us and for us and in us, we have a great advantage in life. Over time as we mature in our faith and relationship with Christ. Our heart changes, those things that were in there begin to become less and less and we have more of the Spirit in us. In Galatians Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit and below is a listing of those fruits and a definition, the opposite and the counterfeit.
Be filled by the Spirit:
Definition – To serve a person for their good and intrinsic value, not for what the person brings you.
Opposite – Fear: self-protection and abusing people.
Counterfeit – Selfish affection. Rescuing someone but really rescuing self. Attracted not to a person, but to how this person’s love makes you feel about yourself.
Definition – Delight in God and his salvation
Opposite – Hopelessness, despair.
Counterfeit – Happiness that come because of the gift, not the giver. Mood swings based on circumstances.
Definition – Confidence and rest in the wisdom and sovereignty of God more than your own.
Opposite – Anxiety and worry
Counterfeit – Indifference, apathy, not caring about something. “I don’t care.”
Definition – Ability to take trouble (from others or life) without blowing up. To suffer joyfully.
Opposite – Resentment toward God and others.
Counterfeit – Cynicism. Self-righteousness. “This is too small to be bothered about.”
Definition – Practical kindness with vulnerability out of deep inner security.
Opposite – Envy. Unable to rejoice others joy.
Counterfeit – Manipulative good deeds. “Right hand knowing what left hand is doing.” Self-congratulation and self-righteousness
– Goodness. (Integrity)
Definition – Honesty, transparency. Being the same in one situation as another.
Opposite – Phoniness; hypocrisy.
Counterfeit – Truth without love. “Getting it off the chest” for your sake.
Definition – Loyalty. Courage. To be principle-driven, committed, utterly reliable. True to one’s word.
Opposite – Opportunist. Fair-weather friend.
Counterfeit – Love without truth. Being loyal when you should be willing to confront or challenge.
– gentleness. (humility)
Definition – Self-forgetfulness.
Opposite – Superiority: self-absorbed
Counterfeit – Inferiority: self-absorbed, self-consciousness.
Definition – Ability to choose the important thing over the urgent.
Opposite – A driven, impulsive, uncontrolled person.
Counterfeit – Willpower through pride
So we have the heart of God in us and The Holy Spirit is active every day in our lives. We have everything we need to live life to the fullest and to deal with anything that comes our way.
This past Sunday I spoke briefly about some of the local organizations that we support. Here is some information on those organizations.
Each campus at NewPointe has a local missions budget that allows us to support and partner with local organizations and help people in our community. Here in Millersburg we have a partner relationship with several organizations. Some we support monthly with a financial contribution and some we work with by providing volunteers, promotion of their services and fundraisers.
We work with organizations that are well run, that help people in need and that are Christ centered.
The three organizations we support financially on a monthly basis are:
We support and promote these organizations as we are able, through one-time donations, volunteers, promotion and participation with events they organize:
I want to encourage you to be generous and give to NewPointe so that we can continue to support these organizations or give directly to them. If you have any questions you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently read through & discussed James Kouzes & Barry Posner’s book called The Truth About Leadership with a group of guys. Here are some of my nuggets I took away from the book:
I hope you can also learn from some of these quotes. It may be a reminder or a new challenge. We are all leaders to some degree whether at home with our families, at work, at church or in your community. I’ve heard this many times and I believe it that everything rises and falls on leadership. Lead On!
Twenty “I Cans” of Success
As we approach the end of another year I can’t help but reflect on this past year. It was filled with good times, bad times, positive emotions and negative emotions. I cried and I laughed. I opened up and I shut down. I made some good decisions and I made some bad decisions. I got angry and had a negative attitude and I was filled with joy and had a positive attitude. I also learned a lot this past year about leadership, my relationship with God and the baggage that I still tend to carry.
If you’re like me this can describe almost every year. However every year I like to ask myself if I have grown in my faith, character and leadership in this past year. For me it’s a big yes this year. Probably more than many other years because of the amount of change I experienced at work. Here are some of the lessons I learned or went deeper in understanding.
Keep growing in Faith, Character and Leadership.
I first heard this quote from John Maxwell: “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” If you don’t have influence you can’t be a leader. So if you have influence with anyone, you are a leader. If you’re married, a parent, have a job, serve on a committee, play on a team or have friends your a leader. Some people have obvious leadership positions and oversee or lead a large number of people. While others may only have influence with a few people or their immediate family. No matter how many people you have influence with, there are some essential qualities when it comes to leadership and developing increased influence. These essentials will help you at work, at home and in the community, wherever you have influence.
I could include many other things but these five essential qualities give any leader the foundation needed to increase their influence and therefore their leadership. For me I need to ask God for help in all of these areas. Everyone can improve in these essentials and when you do you become a better person and a better leader.
When it comes to communicating with your spouse or anyone you are close with, the five love languages are a great place to start. If your spouse feels loved then communication tends to be better and easier. If they do not feel loved, communication will breakdown.
So let’s take a look at the five love languages. You can read more about these in Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages
A compliment speaks a Thousand Words! – It’s nice to get compliments from your co-workers, your boss, your friends, your parents or your children, but nothing compares to a compliment from your spouse.
Control that Biting Tongue – Words can kill, damage and destroy.
Dispel Dominance – Real love makes requests, not demands.
Talk less, listen more
Gifts: a Remembrance, a Symbol of love
The Gift of Self
In Everything you do, do it for Love
Hold her when she cries
Touch as if it’s always the first time
Talk to your spouse about what their love language is and what yours is
Tell your spouse what is most meaningful to you – don’t make them try to figure it out – (Women)
All of these are important even if it’s not a primary language
Start today, tonight before you go to bed.
At some point in everyone’s life they ask themselves the question “Why am I here? What’s the purpose for my life?” Those are great questions and we should all wrestle with those to discover the answers. As I’ve worked through those very questions I keep coming back to these three things: Faith – Character – Leadership
My Life Focus: Sincere Faith, Humble Character & Servant Leadership
The first area of focus or purpose in my life is my faith. We all have faith in something. I have chosen to put my faith in Jesus Christ. He is the most important relationship that I have in my life. Because of my faith, my perspective on life, the world around me and the people around me is much different. I believe that everyone is more spiritual that physical. Our spirit is who we really are and it lives in a temporary body. I also believe that our spirit will live forever, so even after our body stops working our spirit goes on. We will live forever somewhere, either in the presence of God or separated from him. That is why I put my faith in Jesus Christ, because he paid my debt, forgave all my sins and stands in my place before God. Because I have a relationship with Christ I know where I am going to spend forever.
The second area of focus for my life is humble character. To me character is about the qualities that a person is known for. When someone says your name what are the things that come to their mind? These qualities can be both good and bad. When you think about what people will talk about at your funeral, that is a good indication of what kind of character you have. For me, I want those things to reflect these qualities: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. Our character is always under construction because no one is perfect. In my life I make mistakes, fail, sin, have bad thoughts and do or say things I regret. I sometimes have a bad attitude or respond to stressful situations in inappropriate ways. What I try to do though is learn from those setbacks and bad moments. Developing our character takes work, pain and struggle but it is totally worth it in the long run.
The last area of focus in my life is servant leadership. Leadership has been a hot topic for a long time, yet servant leadership is not nearly as popular. Most leaders would agree with the idea of serving the people around them, yet most people prefer to be served instead of serve others. As a leader my main focus needs to be on setting the people around me up to win. Creating space for them to learn and grow by allowing them to do what they are good at and coaching them on what they are not good at. Servant leadership is about doing what is best for the organization, family or church rather than what is best for me. Again this is easy to say and hard to do because we all have selfishness in us. Our tendency is to look out for ourselves, make sure our needs and wants are met before we think about meeting the needs and wants of other people. Changing that mindset takes work, focus and failure. The question I try to ask myself is what would the people around me say if they were asked is Chad a servant leader?
My hope is that these three things will inspire you to pursue your life purpose and focus. Never stop growing.