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Leadership
Do you have a limp from God?  God must often break us deeply to truly use us greatly. Jacob got his name changed at the climax of the pressures he had been living with.  God forced him to face his character issues.  He carried a limp after that, as a reminder of the Lord’s severe mercies.  But he also carried more of the favor of God. God was not only birthing a nation through the man, He was making the man a demonstration of the process He uses to make His servants fruitful. Fruitfulness usually must take place inwardly before God risks doing much with us outwardly. And fruitfulness, among other things, is a product of brokenness. I don’t really trust a man who doesn’t have a limp somewhere. If you haven’t been through some storms, failures, and persecutions, I wonder if anyone really knows what you’re made of?  If there’s not brokenness, there’s very little room for God’s pure power to be understood and demonstrated. I think this is why Paul said, “For this reason I delight in persecutions, trials, afflictions….For when I am weak then I am strong…” 2 Cor 12.  He understood what I call the law of acknowledged weakness. Paul definitely walked with a limp! Somebody once said, “Before God can use a man greatly, He must first break him deeply…” I think it’s true.  Only I would say that we must let God define what being used “greatly” looks like!  If we’re broken by our Lord, we begin to look at things differently and don’t necessarily concur with the world’s definitions of significance and success anymore. Actually, anything God is in is great! The old hymn says, “little is much if God is in it…”  I don’t say this so that we will put limits on God, but so we can be freed from worldly preconceptions that often hinder us really hearing what God is saying.  Let God be God and everyman a liar.  His opinion alone matters. Some of the greatest servants of God in the Bible were overlooked or rejected in their own settings.  For every Elijah who is a public figure (unpopular, nonetheless), there are 7,000 humble servants of God who have not bowed the knee to Baal (Rom 11:1-6). God is pleased to keep most of us in obscurity.  After all, though God went public in His Son, the Father hath no man seen.  He’s happy to be hidden. But obscurity will one day be reversed. God in his wisdom keeps many of His choicest servants hidden…until the last day.  That’s when the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

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Great post over at leadershipnow.com based on a new book called The Trust Edge. Here are eight pillars to form the framework for building trust and overcoming barriers in your leadership. I think these are vitally important in your ministry work: Clarity. Clarity starts with honesty. People trust the clear and distrust the vague. Communicate clearly and frequently. Compassion. Think beyond yourself. There are four keys ways we show we care: listen, show appreciation, be engaged, and serve others. Character. Have high morals and be consistent in your thoughts, words, and actions. Always ask, “Am I doing the right thing?” Competency. Humility is the first step in learning. Create a regular plan for staying competent and capable. Commitment. Great leadership demands sacrifice. The people who stick with you when things are tough are the ones you can really trust. Connection. Trust is about relationships. In every interaction we increase or decrease trust. Be genuine, be grateful and avoid gossip. Contribution. You must deliver results to be trusted. Give attention, resources, time, opportunity, and help. Consistency. Probably the most important pillar of all as it gives meaning to all of the other pillars. You will never get one big chance to be trusted in your life; you will get thousand of small ones. Just one inconsistency can change people’s perspective. Read more here… Thoughts? Todd
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Leadership
Character is built choice by choice, decision by decision. And it is eroded the same way. We often don’t stop to think about how each choice builds on the last until it’s too late. It is a worthwhile practice to think about your choices and where they are leading you on a daily basis. Ralph Waldo Emerson put it well: “The force of character is cumulative.” In a October 2002 Fast Company article—The Secret Life of the CEO: Is the Economy Just Built to Flip?—Jim Collins, explains how character erodes: These were the people who, in the presence of an opportunity to behave differently, got drawn into it, one step after another. If you told them 10 years ahead of time, “Hey, let’s cook the books and all get rich,” they would never go along with it. But that’s rarely how most people get drawn into activities that they later regret. When you are at step A, it feels inconceivable to jump all the way to step Z, if step Z involves something that is a total breach of your values.” via Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: How Character Erodes. // Is this not how most pastors fall?  A small step from A to B… and before you know it, they’re at Z and didn’t think they would EVER do THAT. Guard your heart (and your actions today).  Whatever step you’re on… take a couple steps back. Todd
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Leadership
Shannon O’Dell writes:  Momentum is a powerful adversary for any organization. As a leader you will either FEEL momentum or FUEL momentum. You have only a moment with momentum, unless you can learn to sustain it. Every opportunity in life (notice there is an IF in the middle of Life) is a moment for potential growth, energy, winning and excitement. You must attack the opportunity, then go 100% after sustaining it. Shannon suggests 5 things to help sustain momentum… #1 Character Who you are in the dark is what will kill or fuel your momentum. As a leader you will be hammered during momentum. Derailment is found when the leader bombs morally, maritally or mentally. So put up the guard against secret sin. Character defects HALT momentum. By the way there is no “secret sin”, God is watching (ouch). It is not how high you can jump that really matters, it’s how you land. Acts 9:22 “His momentum was up now and he plowed straight into the opposition” #2 Consistency Stick with what brought you the momentum. For Brand New Church, it is reaching the lost, the last and the least…not reaching the saved. Many churches do a great job reaching the saved and we need them, but within our local body momentum is built in reaching the lost. Matthew 4:23 “People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering.” Everything we do must be consistently around developing moments of significant life change. Things won’t look the same and you will not use the same methods every time, but the purpose and goal must be the same. #3 Catch It Your best friend is Momentum, but it can be your worst enemy. You can ride it like a wave, but you must know how to catch the wave or it will pummel you into the reef. There are two more than Shannon writes about.  To read about them, you’ll need to visit his blog, Breaking all the Rurals, right here! What do you think?  What have you done in YOUR ministry that enabled you to KEEP momentum going?
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