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Blind Spots

Posted on Sep 04 at 12:32pm

We recently bought a new car, new to us at least. So far so good. We like a lot of things about it, but I especially like the rear-view mirrors. Yes, of all things, the rear-view mirrors…. I always have hated the fact that when driving you only have one mirror for a second glance to look behind you before you change lanes. There is always that slight bit of nervousness as you change lanes, hoping no one is in your blind spot.

Well, this car has two different rear views. Like many newer cars, it has a little tiny concave mirror for your blind spot. The only dangerous thing about it is that I have to stare at it a bit longer – definitely not good. Noticing the blind spot is what’s most important.

It’s what you don’t see that can, or will, kill you.

Christ followers are all like the old mirrors – we all have blind spots. We have sin areas of our lives that dangerously go unnoticed. Let’s all remember something about our blind spots… other people see them. Like driving down the road, it’s the car behind that sees your blind spot. In the same way, it’s often your family and closet friends that see your sin.

So what do we do about our sinful blind spots?

First, we ask God to reveal our sin to us. It is His spirit alone that convicts and brings about change. Let’s say what David said in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, oh God, and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way of the everlasting!”

Second, we must ask others. Now that’s crazy, right? Imagine asking someone very close to you, “Do you see any sin in my life that I might not see?” This crazy, yet powerful question will change the trajectory of your life – it might even save you from a crash.

Ask for their honest response and then humbly accept whatever they say.

It takes guts, but it’s worth it.


Confession

Posted on Aug 28 at 09:02am

It’s hard for leaders to really confess their sins. There is a bit of pressure, voiced or unvoiced, to have all their ducks in a row. There are high expectations and sometimes unattainable ones for leaders. This reality stinks, but it’s true.

Yesterday I sat in a Life Group (what we call our Sunday School) that brainstormed about the qualities we want to see in our leaders for about ten minutes. The large whiteboard was quickly filled. Most of the words did not surprise me at all: vision, passion, delegation, charisma, dependable, articulate, and the list went on… I want to share, however, a word that never makes the list.

Confession.

No word on the board gave any room for leaders to really be themselves. They are real people with real struggles. I believe healthy leaders are authentic and transparent enough to talk about their struggles… i.e., confession of sin.

So, allow me to lead out. I am dry. I am in a season of my life that needs the hand of God and His joy. I am pursuing Him today for greater joy and a renewed sense of passion. We all need this renewal. I am clinging to this verse, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” – Matthew 5:6.

It’s ok for you to be real. Say what needs to be said. Confession often does the opposite of what you may think. Confession builds trust. Your followers want someone they can trust. If you are honest about your struggles, they’ll still follow. Maybe even closer…


LEADnow Leadership Dinner – August 11, 2013

Posted on Aug 10 at 01:44pm

Notes from Paul

Matthew 28:16-20

1. Gathering: Importance of Culture on Sundays

2. Growing: Investing in people beyond Sundays

Campus Crusade on components of Discipleship

Leadership in ministry: No Discipleship w out Relationship

3. Going: Seeking to see the lost reached

Video


Life Groups – What’s With the Name?

Posted on Jul 22 at 01:17pm

That’s just it. This is the reason we call it Life Groups. We want every group that meets both on and off campus to be a picture and reality of life. Life Groups need to be a place where our people can share life together. As followers of Christ, we need a place to bring our joys, as well as sorrows. We need a place to confess sin and ask hard questions. We need a place to counsel and be counseled. We need a place of no pretense where we can set our worries and anxieties aside and simply be with and grow in the body of Christ.

Every group should be centered on the teaching and application of the Word of God and centered on Christ-filled community. Yet in order to see this vision fulfilled, we must model the very qualities we want to see in our Life Group. As leaders, it starts with us.

Be real and share your life with others…

Be hungry to know Jesus and make Him known in your world…

If you are not involved in a Life Group, there is no better time than now. We all have a great need to be with the people of God and grow in Him together.


Working Hard For Your Sabbath

Posted on Jul 11 at 08:06am

Notice my title does not say working hard “on” your Sabbath. It’s clear from Scripture… God wants us to work hard and then rest! Honoring the Sabbath and treating this day differently is a big deal. After all, it made one of the first lists God gave to His people about how they were to live. Let’s look at what God told His people long ago.

“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…” Deuteronomy 5:12-14

Now I am going to ask you to do what I don’t like for authors to do. Read it again. That’s right, read the passage again. Don’t ignore that request like I often do. After you read the passage again, you can continue.

God said it plainly didn’t He? He designed work and rest. He intends for us to treat this day as holy. Why did He design it this way? Since this is a blog and not a dissertation, I’ll be brief…

If you are like me, your pace of life actually hinders your pace of rest. We work too hard and too long! Sometimes the busier we are, the further we get from God. Intentional rest paves the way towards intimacy with God.

In order to enter the place of rest God has designed for us, we must work hard to protect this special time of rest. Only you can draw the boundaries. Only you can say “no” to answering the phone call or an incoming email.


Cry Baby

Posted on Jun 18 at 01:04pm

One of my biggest pet peeves is whining. It really drains the life out of me. To be honest, I can only take a few minutes of listening to someone whine before I really want to leave and find a new conversation.

Sometimes it actually bothers me that I do not have more patience with it. I wrestle and wonder if it is really my problem. Maybe I am not compassionate enough. Perhaps I am being selfish and impatient to listen to the needs of others. While both of these statements may be true, let me make a clear point.

Leadership requires hopeful optimism. No one wants to follow a whiner. Who, by complaining, will win a crowd over? I know everyone needs a safe place to share their heart of frustration and discouragement, but leaders must be careful. I know this may seem obvious, but listen closely…

Most leaders will not lose favor because of their public pouting; most will lose favor little by little, because of their private whining. It’s behind closed doors where the words slip by and the trust leaks. It’s when a leader vents just a little bit too much that people begin to question not only the leader, but the whiner as well.

We (you and me) must be really careful to share hopeful optimism as we serve those we follow, as well as those we lead.

God has something to say about it, too. I will wrap up this post with the words of Paul.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29


Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Posted on Jun 12 at 04:32pm

It’s sad, but true. The task of ministry often clouds my responsibility to shepherd and love the people of God. I get so busy doing “ministry” that I often neglect the needs of people. How is this possible?

It’s easy to get so wrapped in my own little world that I neglect people. The opposite should be true. I should get so wrapped in meeting the needs of people that I neglect the other administrative tasks. Yet, one is pressing and the other is not. To me it is much easier to show up at the office and check off a list. It often is more quickly satisfying to check the list off than it is to meet someone’s felt need.

Here is my point: The more leadership you carry, the more likely you are to drown in the responsibilities and get away from your people. You move from one meeting to the next and from one checked box to the next. All the while one of the most important things we could be doing is making a phone call or a visit.

We have a “what do I need to give my attention to today?” mentality, don’t we? I suggest we move towards a “who do I need to give my attention to today?” mentality.

It’s an “out of sight, out of mind” sort of thing. If it is not before us, it will be behind us. We are in ministry because of people, not the processes or systems we put them through.


Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water

Posted on May 30 at 12:30pm

Ok, so I really didn’t mean it. I have always heard the phrase, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Yet unfortunately we often do. When this statement is mentioned or referenced, there seems to be a clear warning about throwing out the good when you actually meant to only throw out the bad.

Click the title to read more…


My Biggest Project

Posted on May 21 at 12:56pm

There is always something to work on, or in the case of ministry, someone to work with, isn’t there? We plow from one project or objective to the next sometimes barely hanging on.

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A Cup of Coffee

Posted on May 11 at 06:02am

No this isn’t about Starbucks, even though I might be addicted. I read this article today and I could not stop thinking about its significance. It is profound and simple at the same time.

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Like a Boxer

Posted on Apr 30 at 05:08am

So I really don’t think I have ever watched more than one round of boxing at a time.  Maybe I did when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, but that’s another story.

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Guilty as Charged

Posted on Apr 19 at 11:50am

My blog up to this point has been full of confessions. Here is another. I am guilty as charged. Like many leaders, identifying, developing, and executing the plan consume my time. All the while we forget why we are doing what we are doing.

Click the title to read more…


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