Here's a scary thought: What if God called you to give beyond your comfort level? Would you be afraid? Would you try to explain it away or dismiss it as impractical? And in the process, would you miss out on a harvest opportunity for which God had explicitly prospered you in the first place?
Author has developed a routine of daily emotional debriefing with his kids as he tucks them in at night. To encourage the habit of keeping uncluttered, open heart, he starts with basic questions asking whether anyone has hurt them or made them angry to help them process at an age-appropriate depth. As they mature, he will add questions.
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To ensure that we are leading with our feet firmly planted on the soil of what is, we must live by the seven commandments of current reality: Thou shalt not pretend. Though shalt not turn a blind eye. Thou shalt not exaggerate. Thou shalt not shoot the bearer of bad news. Thou shalt not hide behind the numbers. Thou shalt not ignore constructive criticism. Thou shalt not isolate thyself. Attempting to lead while turning a blind eye to reality is like treading water: It can only go on for so long, eventually you will sink. As a next generation leader, be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. And if you don't like what you see, change it.
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Leadership is not always about getting things done 'right.' Leadership is about getting things done through other people... When a leader can't find someone to hand things off to, it is time for him to look in the mirror. We must never forget that the people who follow us are exactly where we have led them.
As a leader it is your job to protect the missional integrity of the Jesus gathering to which you have been called. It is your responsibility to see to it that the church under your care continues as a gathering of people in process; a place where the curious, the unconvinced, the sceptical, the used-to-believe and the broken, as well as the committed, informed and sold-out come together around Peter's declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
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Just as Jesus predicted, what originates in the secret place won't always remain a secret... How do we guard - or maybe it would be more appropriate to say, guard against - our hearts? How do we monitor what's going on in that secret place that has the potential to go public at any moment?
So what do you do when you are stuck? The first thing I do when I am stuck is pray. But I'm not talking about a quick, Help me Lord, Sunday's a comin' prayer. When I get stuck I get up from my desk to head for my closet. Literally. If I'm at the office I go over to a corner that I have deemed my closet away from home. I get on my knees and remind God that this was not my idea, it was His... None of this is new information to God... Then I ask God to show me if there is something He wants to say to prepare me for what He wants me to communicate to our congregation. I surrender my ideas, my outline and my topic. Then I just stay in that quiet place until God quiets my heart... Many times I will have a breakthrough thought or idea that brings clarity to my message... Like you, I am simply a mouthpiece. Getting stuck is one way God keeps me ever conscious of that fact.
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