the ministry of Kevin Bond "Leadership Prayer"
SALUTE TO LEADERS Everybody can be great because anybody can
serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You
don't have to make your subject and verbs agree to serve. You
only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.
Leaders are dreamers. While some of our dreams are realized,
others never come to fruition. But I read a wonderful quote
that I want to share with leaders today. It comes from an incredible
leader, Bishop Desmond Tutu.
"When your dreams turn to dust---vacuum."
quote sums up all the broken and shattered dreams you as a leader
may have had and will ever have. BUT KEEP DREAMING! Remembering
always that, "Leaders Lead, and Leaders are the last of the
worlds greatest Dreamers!"
LEADER, I Honor and salute you today! LEAD! Keep moving forward!
Through your efforts GOD is well pleased!
R U SAVED? (click here)
ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE
Aspire to Inspire Before You Expire Quite a mouthful isn't it?
Say it fast and you'll trip over the words most likely. I saw
this phrase on a church marquis as I was driving and it sparked
my interest to the point that I thought about what it could
mean. Here are my thoughts.
To aspire simply means to have a yearning or desire to do something
and strive to do it. An aspiring individual is ambitious, hopeful
and enthusiastic. This is the kind of person you'd want as a
team player in your business for he would keep spirits up and
the momentum flowing. Inspire on the other hand refers to the
spirit of encouragement as well as the ability to stimulate
creative activity. It is that internal spark needed to make
things happen – basically to get off the sofa and get into action.
An inspiring individual is uplifting, stimulating, exciting
and motivates. This person can light the fire needed to begin
the action. This is exactly what a coach does – lights a fire
within their client to make changes. What is a coach? Simply
a guide who ascertains a perspective outside the life "game"
that the client is in the midst of. As a player in the middle
of the game it is hard to see all perspectives since that person
is concentrating on their position and viewpoint. An outsider
can often see the greater picture and offer new thoughts while
encouraging and stimulating the individual into action.
As individuals travel their life path they often find themselves
in a place of feeling stuck. Perhaps they've been playing their
life "game" for a while and are tired of the same playing field.
Change is necessary but they can't see the big picture because
they're still on the playing field. Or maybe they simply want
to do something more rewarding and different. Perhaps you've
been in this place; maybe you are there right now.
Inspiring someone to make changes and become "unstuck" so they
can move in a new direction in their life is such a rewarding
endeavor. Supporting an individual who needs to know someone
cares can uplift both individuals to a place of inner satisfaction.
As a wholeness coach, helping people see their potential and
gain understanding that if they can imagine it they can do it
is the most fulfilling aspect of my life. Watching an individual
make positive changes in their life and see the smile spread
across their face once they "get it," does indeed make my heart
But we can take inspiration a step further and reference a deeper
meaning. Inspiration can also refer to divine guidance. In this
context it means breathe into or draw into the lungs as the
breath of life. Inspiration here is the flow of a divine energy
that enters one's thoughts and heart easily without any forethought
or contemplation. My books come in this way and I'm sure most
authors would attest to this kind of inspiration while writing
their works. In fact, I am routinely influenced with divine
wisdom every day of my life and cannot imagine life without
this guidance. An inspired life such as this leaves the ego
outside of the equation for the most part.
I believe that allowing yourself to become inspired and then
sharing your thoughts, words and actions with others so that
you inspire them in some way, is the ultimate fulfillment in
this lifetime. We each came here with a gift to share and our
responsibility is to uncover it with inspired guidance, allowing
inspiration to help it unfold, and then taking inspired action
to do it. Inspired living is spirit-driven whereas a usual lifestyle
Perhaps you've been nudged to move forward in a new direction
– change your vocation, write a book, take some training, open
a new business – but you are hesitating because you doubt you
have the time, resources or capabilities to do it, or you're
simply in a state of fear about moving in this new direction.
You are most likely receiving divine inspiration and if you
follow that guidance it will bring you amazing results that
will include peacefulness and inner fulfillment. Maybe you've
felt guided to help others in some way, to support, love, guide
or encourage them on their journey.
is no joy greater than knowing you inspired someone into action.
Many leave this planet with their music still inside them, and
what a tragedy that is. Maybe all they needed was someone to
inspire and stimulate them, to believe in them and help them
see their potential. What a gift that would be for that person
to receive. And think how awesome it would be if you were the
giver of that gift!
So in summing up the meaning of the phrase aspire to inspire
before you expire, it simply says to have the desire to arouse
and positively influence an individual into action so that they
fulfill their innermost desires before they die and leave this
planet. And it also applies to you – allowing inspiration to
flow through you so that you too experience an inspired life.
As always, the choice is yours! Be the inspiration!
By Carolyn Porter, D. Div.
MOTIVES VS. ACTIONS DISPOSITION AND DEEDS
"Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of
the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the
kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:20 The characteristic of a disciple
is not that he does good things, but that he is good in motive
because he has been made good by the super-natural grace of
God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being.
Jesus Christ came to put into any man who would let Him a new
heredity which would exceed the righteousness of the scribes
and Pharisees. Jesus says - If you are My disciple you must
be right not only in your living, but in your motives, in your
dreams, in the recesses of your mind. You must be so pure in
your motives that God Almighty can see nothing to censure. Who
can stand in the Eternal Light of God and have nothing for God
to censure? Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that
by His Redemption He can put into any man His own disposition,
and make him as unsullied and as simple as a child. The purity
which God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within,
and that is what Jesus has undertaken to do by His Redemption.
No man can make himself pure by obeying laws. Jesus Christ does
not give us rules and regulations; His teachings are truths
that can only be interpreted by the disposition He puts in.
The great marvel of Jesus Christ's salvation is that He alters
heredity. He does not alter human nature; He alters its mainspring.
THE CORRECTABLE CHRISTIAN LEADER
to admit to your mistakes can take you out of the race.
By Penelope Stokes
"Tell me honestly, do you really believe one word of all
that?" skeptic George Bascombe asks the young curate Thomas
Wingfold in George MacDonald's novel The Curate's Awakening.
The agnostic's mocking question baffles the young pastor and
sends him on a desperate quest for a truthful answer.
As Wingfold begins to discover the truth about Christ, he faces
a personal dilemma: as a minister of the church, he has deceived
his congregation by preaching his uncle's sermons to them. Under
deep conviction, he determines to make amends for his deception
and confesses his fault before his people, concluding:
"But, brethren, my own garden is small and is in the middle
of a bare hillside. It has borne no fruit fit to offer any of
you. And also my heart is troubled about many things, and God
has humbled me. I ask you, therefore, to bear with me for a
time while I break through the bonds of custom in order to try
to provide you with food. Should I fail in this, I shall make
room for a better man." (George MacDonald, The Curate's
Awakening, Michael Phillips, ed. (Minneapolis:Bethany House,
1985), p. 57.)
In past years the world's system of leadership has offered an
example radically different from the humility and vulnerability
demonstrated by the young curate Wingfold in MacDonald's novel.
We have been told to "win through intimidation," to
"dress for power," to "use our clout."
Christians bemoan the insidious secularization of Christianity:
materialism, humanism, moral compromise. Yet another more subtle
and therefore more dangerous philosophy threatens the faith:
the old Machiavellian principle that might makes right, that
leaders are not subject to question, challenge, or correction.
Despite so-called "good" motivations and goals, however,
the power politic sometimes espoused by the world's leaders,
the calculating manipulation of others—even for "higher"
purposes—has no place in Christian ministry. When Jesus
caught His disciples arguing about who would be "first"
in the Kingdom, He rebuked them, clarifying the distinction
between people of the Kingdom and people of the world:
"You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the
Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise
authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants
to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever
wants to be first must be slave of all."
Christ's system of leadership proclaims a message fundamentally
different from that of the unbelieving world: To be first, be
last. The way to up is down. The key to leadership is servanthood,
vulnerability, crucifixion. In short, Christian leaders must
be willing to admit and confront their mistakes and failures
rather than covering and denying them. To be truly Christlike
is to be fully human, vulnerable, tractable, as the Son of Man
chose to be.
"All people," says Jerry Sittser in The Adventure,
"are teachable some of the time. The most arrogant athlete
is willing to learn from a famous coach; an intellectual snob
will study under a great scholar." (Jerry Sittser, The
Adventure (Downers Grove, Ill. Inter Varsity Press, 1985), pp.
150–151.) But "some of the time" is not enough
for the man or woman who wants to be useful in the service of
Christ. Jesus says we must become as little children, and children
are eager to learn, to "do right," to grow. Pride,
in contrast to childlike faith, hinders true teachableness.
Pride sets up categories—'superior' and 'inferior'—that
prevent us from learning from the little people who are often
the most able to enlarge our worlds. Pride causes us to reserve
the right to decide when, where, how, and from whom we will
learn. That leads not to wisdom, but to arrogance, and ultimately
to ignorance. (Sittser, p. 151.)
The problem of the unteachable leader is not a new one. The
Old Testament offers two starkly contrasting examples of men
anointed to be leaders of God's people: Saul and David, Israel's
first two kings. Saul is described as a man who stands "head
and shoulders" above everyone else in Israel. He has great
potential, but through seemingly minor acts of disobedience
and self-will, Saul enters into a pattern of pride and rationalization,
and God ultimately rejects him as king. David, on the other
hand, is a man plagued by turmoil, difficulty, struggle, and
self-confessed sin. Yet God Himself declares, "I have found
David son of Jesse a man after my own heart" (Acts 13:22).
Saul and David, both anointed kings over Israel, were both overtaken
by pride and sinned against God. Yet their sins had widely different
outcomes in their lives. What accounts for the difference? The
Scriptures seem to indicate that God's rejection of Saul and
acceptance of David relate directly to each man's response to
the correction that comes to him from God.
SAUL: THE PROCESS OF RESISTANCE
From the time the people demand a king (1 Samuel 8) and Samuel
anoints Saul, the handsome young ruler has a choice for obedience
or disobedience. Saul, however, begins to act out of pride and
self-centeredness, even to the extent of taking upon himself
the responsibility of burning unauthorized sacrifices before
the Lord (1 Samuel 13).
The account of Saul's confrontation with the prophet Samuel
in 1 Samuel 15 describes Saul's ultimate descent into disobedience.
Step by step, through rationalization and resistance, the king
works his way into complete inflexibility before the Lord. The
process of his resistance is hauntingly familiar to anyone who
has ever rebelled against God.
Command. "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy
everything that belongs to them" (1 Samuel 15:3). The command
of the Lord is straightforward, direct, and clear.
Disobedience. But when Saul goes forth to carry out the command
of the Lord, he falls prey to the rationalization of "partial
obedience": He spares Agag the king and the best of the
sheep and cattle and calves and lambs, because he and his men
were "unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that
was despised and weak they totally destroyed" (1 Samuel
Pride. When Samuel, informed of Saul's disobedience by the Lord,
comes to confront him, he finds evidence of Saul's pride. "Saul
has gone to Carmel," Samuel is told. "There he has
set up a monument in his own honor" (1 Samuel 15:12).
Deception. Seeing that Samuel has caught up with him, Saul goes
out to meet the prophet, saying, "The LORD bless you! I
have carried out the LORD'S instructions" (1 Samuel 15:13).
The king has become so accustomed to deception that he lies
not only to the prophet of God, but to himself as well.
Confrontation of sin. "What then," Samuel responds,
"is this bleating of sheep in my ears?" (1 Samuel
15:14). Samuel cannot condone the king's "logical"
departure from the command of God, for he knows that in God's
sight, partial obedience is disobedience. He confronts, directly
end specifically, the sin of Saul's disobedience.
Rationalization. Face to face with the prophet's rebuke, Saul
has two options: to submit and repent, or to be stubborn and
rationalize his behavior. He chooses the latter option with
a classic "pass the buck" maneuver: "They spared
the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your
God, but we totally destroyed the rest" 1 Samuel 15:15
Confrontation of principle. Samuel confronts the king once again,
this time emphasizing not the specific sin that has been committed,
or even the cause of the violation, but the spiritual principle
of obedience—a principle Saul cannot understand. "To
obey is better than sacrifice," Samuel declares, "and
to heed is better than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22).
God's interest lies not in the outward appearance, in excuses
or logical solutions, but God's interest lies not in the outward
appearance, in excuses or logical solutions, but in the inner
heart of a person, in one's predisposition for obedience or
Resignation. "I have sinned," Saul finally says (1
Samuel 15:24). But his admission implies resignation rather
than repentance, for he continues, "Please honor me before
the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me"
(1 Samuel 15:30).
Clearly, Saul's interest lies more in the appearance of righteousness
than in the heart of repentance. He resists the correction brought
to him by God through His prophet. Thinking himself superior
to Samuel—and even to God Himself—in judging what
is right, Saul refuses to acknowledge his need for discipline,
goes his own way, and finds himself rejected by God as king
DAVID THE PROCESS OF CORRECTION
David, unlike Saul, demonstrates a response to discipline that
leads to correction and growth, the principle described in Hebrews
12:11: "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and
peace for those who have been trained by it."
Clearly, we may experience discipline without benefiting from
the training it was designed to bring about in our lives. The
distinction lies in our response to the Lord's discipline: whether
or not we choose, as David does in 2 Samuel 11; and 2 Samuel
12, to submit to the process of correction.
Sin. 2 Samuel 11 presents David, now king in Saul's place, beginning
to enjoy the privileges of his position. Attracted to the beautiful
Bathsheba, he summons her to his chambers. When she becomes
pregnant, he sends her husband, who could reveal that he is
not the baby's father, to certain death in battle. The final
verse of 2 Samuel 11 notes, "The thing David had done displeased
From a human standpoint, Saul's sin may seem much less serious
that David's—after all, David commits murder to cover
for his adultery. Saul merely fails to respect the word of the
Lord and to carry out God's command exactly as it was given.
God, however, "sees the heart" of man—and David's
response to His correction clearly indicates the bent of his
Confrontation. In a scene filled with dramatic tension, the
prophet Nathan goes to David—sent, 2 Samuel 12:1 specifies,
by the Lord Himself. Standing before the king, Nathan delivers
a parable: A rich man, having many sheep and cattle, refuses
to slaughter one of his own for an out-of-town guest. Instead,
the man steals his poor neighbor's one ewe lamb, the family
pet, to roast for the guest's meal. David, thinking his sin
is hidden, steps into Nathan's trap and condemns I himself.
"You are the man!" Nathan says 2 Samuel 12:7. "Why
did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in
his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and
took his wife to be your own" 2 Samuel 12:9.
Conviction. At the point of Nathan's confrontation, David faces
the same choices Saul had to make: to resist the correction
and rationalize his actions, or to submit, acknowledging the
validity of the rebuke, and repent.
David chooses the latter option. "I have sinned against
the LORD," he says to Nathan 2 Samuel 12:13. The king's
immediate response to the realization of his sin is acceptance.
He does not defend himself, rationalize, or attack the prophet
who has brought the word of rebuke. He recognizes that the word
of correction comes, in truth, from the Lord Himself, and he
Repentance. Once David recognizes his sin, he wastes no time
in humbling himself before the prophet and the Lord. He accepts
responsibility for his actions and submits to the Lord's chastening.
"The LORD has taken away your sin," Nathan tells him.
"You are not going to die. But because by doing this you
have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son
born to you will die" 2 Samuel 12:13-14.
David accepts the Lord's judgments and responds positively to
the discipline placed upon him. Though his sin is great, his
heart is turned toward God, and God restores him.
THE CLOAKING DEVICE
On a popular episode of TV's Star Trek series, Captain Kirk
and the men and women of the starship Enterprise encounter an
unexpected disadvantage in battle. The Romulans, enemies of
the Federation, have devised an effective cloaking device that
renders their vessels invisible. As the battle proceeds and
the Enterprise fights against the unseen foe, Captain Kirk comments
to Mr. Spock, "They can't keep it up forever, Spock. The
cloaking device will soon drain their energy banks."
As Christian leaders we far too often drain our energy banks
by trying to keep our cloaking devices operative. Like Saul,
we seek to justify ourselves, defending our reputations, explaining
our actions, deceiving others and ourselves. But self-justification
can never lead to peace and growth. "Therefore, since we
have been justified through faith," Romans 5:1 declares,
"we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
If we seek to justify ourselves, we will never have peace: we
will always face another action to be rationalized, another
behavior to be defended. But if, like David, we acknowledge
our guilt and accept the justification that God offers through
Christ, Jesus Himself becomes our defense, and we need no other.
To be correctable means to let down our cloaking devices, to
cease trying—as Saul did—to maintain our own reputations,
to allow change to come into our lives through correction. The
correctable Christian leader is vulnerable, both to God and
Contrary to Machiavelli's description of leadership, real strength
lies in vulnerability, in authenticity, in transparency. For
others to follow our example, they must see who we are—with
all our faults, sins, and uncertainties. Accepting correction
is not weakness, but great strength, as Sittser confirms:
Humility sets no boundaries. It gives God the freedom to teach
us whenever, wherever, however he wishes. Sometimes janitors
have a few things to say to scholars, grandmothers to children,
teenagers to their parents, sinners to saints, donkeys to the
Balaams in this world. Humility embraces knowledge, whatever
the source is; its goal is not superiority, but conformity to
Christ. (Sittser, p. 151.)
RECEIVING CORRECTION WITH GRACE
Rebuke or correction from the Lord comes to us in two basic
ways: directly, through the Word and the conviction of the Holy
Spirit, and indirectly, through a human channel speaking and
applying the Word. Saul and David both provide examples of the
second type of correction, and their responses to that correction
give us guidelines for receiving correction gracefully:
1. Let down the defenses. We need to resist the temptation to
defend ourselves or attack the one who brings the correction.
Saul rationalizes his behavior, while David openly allows himself
to be called to account for his actions.
2. Listen, and take seriously the word that is spoken. When
we maintain a defensive posture, we rarely listen to what others
are saying. Saul, when confronted by Samuel, does not hear the
correction and therefore does not profit from it.
3. Evaluate the correction. Some corrective confrontations may
not be valid—they may arise out of misunderstanding or
misapplication of the biblical principles of discipline. But
all should be carefully considered in light of biblical truth.
4. Accept or abandon. If the correction is valid, we are wise
if we respond like David, saying, "I have sinned,"
for true correction leads to spiritual maturity and holiness.
If the accusation is invalid, we can simply let it go, recognizing
that God alone holds authority to judge.
5. Be thankful. "The corrections of discipline are the
way to life," Proverbs 6:23 says. Loving discipline leads
us to deeper fellowship with God, and friends who accept such
responsibility in our lives should be highly treasured.
For the Christian leader—pastor, Bible study leader, campus
worker, discipler—openness to correction proves essential
to becoming a true shepherd of the flock of God. The Lord nowhere
calls us to be sheepdogs, herding, lording it over those under
our authority. He calls us as shepherds, servants, examples
of Christlikeness. None of us will ever "arrive";
if we begin to believe that we must always be right, never challenged,
never corrected, we cease to recognize our dependence upon the
grace of God.
If we choose, like Saul, to defend our selves, rationalize our
actions, blame others, and work to maintain the appearance of
righteousness, we will become hardened, intractable, unteachable.
But if we take David as our example, caring more about our relationship
with God than appearances, we will remain pliable to His Spirit,
teachable. And we will attract others who will see the image
of Christ manifested in our willingness to submit to Him.
IT HAVE TO BE LONELY AT THE TOP?
committed relationships with peers provides the accountability
and encouragement that keep a leader from falling.
you call him and try to talk some sense into him?" asked
the desperate voice on the other end of the phone. Bob, the
thirty-year-old youth pastor of a solid, growing church, had
just run off with a young woman in his ministry. He was married
and the father of two children and responsible for a booming
discipleship ministry with seventy teenagers. His ministry affected
the whole church and was stirring many of the adults and leaders
to new levels of commitment.
only saw Bob twice a year, when I visited his area. He was always
eager to get together and learn about the discipling ministry.
The pace of his life was intense and exciting, and I became
concerned for his personal and family life. The time demands
of his ministry were stealing needed hours with God and His
Word. I had expressed my concern about this and he agreed to
rearrange his schedule and priorities after the hectic summer
months, when things would settle down.
never do settle down and Bob never made the adjustment to his
schedule that he needed. I found out later that Bob had been
struggling with his marriage, his future, and his role within
the church structure. The pastor and some of the deacons were
aware of his marriage problems and even arranged for Bob and
his wife to get away for a week and receive some marriage counseling.
With close, supportive church leadership and constant contact
with committed young people, how could Bob fall into such a
desperate situation and make a foolish and devastating decision
are many men and women who are like Bob . . . committed and
surrounded by many believers, yet left to deal with their problems
and needs all alone. Bob had good people to relate to organizationally
and spiritually both above him and below him, but what he really
needed was a few close peer relationships that would provide
protection and encouragement on a personal level. Meaningful
peer relationships are vital for each of us and especially to
the growing leader.
then of your own hearts, dear brothers, lest you find that they,
too, are evil and unbelieving and are leading you away from
the living God. Speak to each other about these things every
day while there is still time, so that none of you will become
hardened against God, being blinded by the glamor of sin.
Hebrews 3:12-13 TLB
believers set out to do evil or walk away from the living God.
Rather, it happens subtly over a long period of time. Therefore,
the writer of Hebrews challenges us to protect one another and
"speak to each other about these things every day."
Satan is a deceiver, and in the midst of busy schedules and
many responsibilities, we can easily begin to drift away from
our commitments and intimacy with Christ. The person who is
best able to detect this in us and who feels most free to discuss
it is a peer.
years ago, I met with a very gifted and successful young couple.
They were both trained professionals and were experiencing rapid
promotion and financial growth. Yet, they were living simple
lives and were very committed to spending time with each other
and in the Word, as well as having a ministry among their peers
and in their church. Knowing that their lives reflected some
tough decisions they had made and apparently continued to make,
I wondered what the key to their faithfulness was. They were
eager to share it.
a period of time, they had built friendships with two other
couples who shared their commitment to Christ and a desire to
live out His lordship in their lives. They also shared the commitment
to minister to their peers in the marketplace. As they discussed
these two commitments, they realized how vulnerable they would
be to conform to the "yuppie standards" in their professions.
As their income would increase, they would be tempted to raise
their standard of living and upgrade their dress and their vehicles.
They also understood that there would be competing time demands
that could easily squeeze out their commitments to be with their
families and study the Word of God. So, they made a covenant
to pray for each other and to come together regularly to tell
about their progress and openly discuss their needs. In addition,
they challenge one another about decisions and time priorities.
all make commitments. Few of them last more than a couple of
weeks. It is difficult to see these commitments become a part
of our lives when we try to carry them out alone. We need another
brother or sister in Christ who shares that same purpose. When
we covenant with a friend to help protect each other from falling
away from our commitments, we greatly increase our chances of
achieving our goals.
are better than one, because they have a good return for their
work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity
the man who falls and has no one to help him up! —Eccles.
POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT
protection is not enough. We need encouragement to keep on even
when circumstances are working against us. The writer of Hebrews
challenges us to "consider how we may spur one another
on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one
another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching"
leader at any level experiences certain reservations in openly
talking about his personal needs, struggles, and dreams. Although
we may not purposely hide these from our leaders or those whom
we lead, it is difficult to overcome the inhibitions we have
about letting those at other levels know all we are thinking
or experiencing. Our peer relationships are not in "the
chain of command," and this allows us to be freer to reveal
our feelings. In addition, in a peer relationship, we build
upon shared needs and experiences resulting from belonging to
the same age and social group.
a peer draws close to you, you begin to share the things that
are on your hearts. It is from this vantage point that a peer
can truly encourage you with specific and appropriate words
or actions. The fear of rejection or becoming vulnerable is
replaced by trust, which allows an openness to challenge, correction,
and counsel. Such a relationship can be a great source of mutual
encouragement as friends urge one another to believe God, affirm
ideas and new directions, and resolve to obey His Word.
FAITHFUL WOUNDS OF A FRIEND
leaders need honest feedback on ideas, decisions, and actions
taken, and confrontation on issues of personal character and
consistency. It has been my personal experience, and that of
many other leaders I have interviewed, that feedback and confrontation
are best gained through peers who observe me frequently and
with whom I meet regularly. I can expect certain input from
my leaders or from those whom I lead, but it is often guarded
years ago, Tom, Bill, and I began developing healthy peer relationships.
We each desired to walk with God and be faithful in obeying
Him in the context of our families and work. We started out
by enjoying some social time together as well as meeting regularly
for breakfast in order to share prayer requests and discuss
verses we had memorized. Over a period of some months, we experienced
God answering prayer and a greater openness with each other.
As our level of sharing deepened, we each realized a greater
degree of protection and encouragement that was not available
through any of our other relationships.
one occasion, I had to make an unexpected business trip to another
city over a weekend when my son's high school basketball team
was playing an important rival. Tom went to the game and was
surprised that I was not there. It was an exciting game, and
my son turned in an outstanding performance which led to his
team's victory. As the fans spilled onto the court after the
game, Tom ran out and embraced my son and told him what a great
game he played. He added, "Boy! I sure wish your dad was
here to see this one!" My son just nodded back and muttered,
"Yeah, that would have been great."
returned on Monday and on the next day I met with Tom and Bill
for our usual breakfast. Tom gave me all the exciting details
of the game and told me how well my son had played. Then he
looked at me and asked, "Did you really have to go away
this weekend?" I nodded and explained that it was unavoidable,
but Tom persisted, "I'm concerned about your traveling
so much and what it might be doing to your family." He
recalled other important times that I had been gone and my son's
reaction when he commented how good it would have been if I
had been there to see the game. We discussed my situation a
bit further and then prayed together.
night when I got home I had a long talk with my son and then
with my other children. They confirmed what Tom had observed,
and I learned that in fact my son was hurt because I had not
been at the game. As a result of our family discussion, I radically
changed my travel schedule and placed a far greater priority
on my involvement with the kids' activities when I was home.
Tom and Bill helped me work through this situation and of course
were praying for me continually. Needless to say, it was a turning
point in my relationship with my teenage children and contributed
to a close bond with my son. My leaders, friends at church,
and those whom I led did not have the closeness, insight, and
commitment to make the personal contribution that Tom made.
Such is the value and uniqueness of a meaningful peer relationship.
all that can be gained from peer relationships, what prevents
us from developing them? Over the last few years I have found
that only one out of every ten middle-aged males has a close
peer relationship characterized by openness, mutual commitment,
and a sense of personal accountability. Six out of ten women
in the same age bracket enjoy a meaningful friendship. The three
most common excuses given for not developing peer relationships
are fear of revelation, time constraints, and pride.
hesitate to open themselves up to others for fear that once
they have revealed themselves, others may not like what they
see. But by attempting to cover our needs and weaknesses, we
lose the help that would be available to us to overcome them.
People are not looking for a perfect disciple, rather a progressing
one. Becoming vulnerable requires security in Christ—the
certainty that He has accepted me and loves me just as I am.
Christ knows and accepts my needs and weaknesses, and I'm finding
out others do too.
will always be a hazard to forming quality friendships—there
is so much competition for the few hours of each day. No one
has surplus time available, so peer relationships are a matter
of choice and priority. If developing meaningful friendships
is a high priority for us, we will make time for it. The reward
will far exceed the sacrifice.
American adults, especially males, there seems to be a myth
that we are created to be self-sufficient. However, the contrary
is true; we are created to be interdependent creatures. We need
each other. The one who insists on "going it alone"
is doomed for failure. The sooner in life we realize this, the
greater chance we have of becoming all that Christ would have
us be. Pride has caused collapse and failure in many gifted
and talented people.
my studies over the last few years, I have learned that those
leaders who have neglected to develop a network of meaningful
peer relationships have fallen when the responsibilities and
pressures increase. The fall can usually be attributed to relational
conflicts, character deficiencies, family problems, or some
combination of these. An effective peer relationship can prevent
these unfortunate plunges. We have only to look into our recent
history of political, industrial, and religious leaders to see
how true this is. A consultant who has moved among Washington's
political and business leaders for the last thirty years affirmed
this observation and soberly added, "If a leader has not
developed these peer relationships and learned to draw upon
them before he or she gets to a high position, the chances of
ever developing them at that point are virtually zero."
of us must continually ask ourselves these questions: Who truly
knows me—my struggles, needs, dreams, etc.? Do I have
a peer relationship that is marked by trust, mutual commitment
and openness, and am I experiencing personal protection and
encouragement through this relationship? If the answers to these
questions are unsatisfactory, then we must take action to initiate
change. Peer relationships are not just a social matter, but
a matter of defeat or victory.
OF THE HEART FOR LEADERS
Quotes on Leadership and Vision
you do not know where you are going, every road will get you
nowhere." - Henry Kissinger
gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in
which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do
the thing you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt
be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't
cross a chasm in two small steps." David Lloyd George
doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can
change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
on Leadership Character
becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced
of their own infallibility, unable to change." - Peter
single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity."
- Baltasar Gracian
is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without
one, be without the strategy." - Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf
is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only
thing." - Albert Schweitzer
ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments
of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact,
if anything, I am the prod." - Sir Winston Churchill
willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality
in a good leader." - General George S. Patton Jr.
and learning are indispensable to each other." - John F.
on Leadership and Management :
ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The leader
works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads,
and the boss drives." - Theodore Roosevelt
is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership
determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall."
- Stephen R. Covey
manage things; you lead people." - Grace Murray Hopper
on the Leadership Process
first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last
is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become
a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful
leader." - Max DePree
are persuaded by reason, but moved by emotion; [the leader]
must both persuade them and move them." - Richard M. Nixon
Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, The Leader
of the Future, (c) 1996
Leaders grow; they are not made.
To work in the world lovingly means that we are defining what
we will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against.
The only test of leadership is that somebody follows.
Secretan, Industry Week, 10/12/98
Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it
is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of
oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences,
not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it
is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers
the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.
than anything else today, followers believe they are part of
a system, a process that lacks heart. If there is one thing
a leader can do to connect with followers at a human, or better
still a spiritual level, it is to become engaged with them fully,
to share experiences and emotions, and to set aside the processes
of leadership we have learned by rote.
Blessed is the leader who seeks the best for those he serves.
Leadership is not magnetic personality—that can just as
well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing
people"—that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a
person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's
performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality
beyond its normal limitations.
American philanthropic custom owes much to leadership by business
and professional people.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good
when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him....But
of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his
aim fulfilled, they will say, "We did it ourselves.
An army of a thousand is easy to find, but, ah, how difficult
to find a general.
Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal;
avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader
Leadership is action, not position.
Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not
A real leader faces the music, even when he doesn't like the
Leadership should be more participative than directive, more
enabling than performing.
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs
of those who would be affected by it.
The main characteristics of effective leadership are intelligence,
integrity or loyalty, mystique, humor, discipline, courage,
self sufficieny and confidence.
Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step
with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.
Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked;
leadership is defined by results not attributes.
When the leadership is right and the time is right, the people
can always be counted upon to follow—to the end and at
A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve,
which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited
A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great
leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.
A good leader can't get too far ahead of his followers.
Forethought and prudence are the proper qualities of a leader.
Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to
do, to achieve what they want to achieve.
Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the
heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful
leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice.
Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart
of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she
makes a difference to the success of the organization. When
that happens people feel centered and that gives their work
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
No organization is stronger than the quality of its leadership,
or ever extends its constituency far beyond the degree to which
its leadership is representative.
Leadership is the special quality which enables people to stand
up and pull the rest of us over the horizon.
Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something
you want done because he wants to do it.
on military leadership
Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study,
education, training, and experience.
He who cannot agree with his enemies is controlled by them.
Leadership is action, not position.
There are many elements to a campaign.Leadership is number one.
Everything else is number two.
A good leader is not the person who does things right, but the
person who finds the right things to do.
I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than
an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.
Great necessities call forth great leaders.
Leaders don't force people to follow—they invite them
on a journey.
Children need love especially when they don't deserve it.
I start with the premise that the function of leadership is
to produce more leaders, not more followers.
Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It
must bring sides together.
Rockne - Professional Football Coach
I have to get the most energy out of a man and have discovered
that it cannot be done if he hates another man. Hate blocks
his energy and he isn't up to par until he eliminates it and
develops a friendly feeling...(towards all his teammates.)
The first step to leadership is servanthood.
DePree (The Art of Leadership)
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other
men the conviction and the will to carry on.
MUSIC IN THE ADORATION
THE ADORATION IN THE SERVICES (MUSIC)
Adapted from the
—Bible Biography Series
the offerings for the atonement of sin, Hezekiah then arranged
for adoration of God in the worship services at the Temple.
Hezekiah had the sequence right. First, it was the atonement
for sin; then it was adoration for God. The atonement is that
which brings adoration of God. Soul salvation always brings
much praise to God. To look into the adoration of God that occurred
in the worship services in the Temple, we note the music in
the adoration and the multitude in the adoration.
THE MUSIC IN THE ADORATION--2 Chronicles 29
of the adoration in the Temple worship services was expressed
by music. Music is still prominent in worship in our churches.
Thus we should not be surprised that Satan has so corrupted
the music at church, for corrupt music does not bring much adoration
for God. To look into our text regarding the music in the adoration,
we note the makers of the music, the moment for the music, the
message in the music, the merriness in the music, and the majesty
in the music.
MAKERS OF THE MUSIC
he [Hezekiah] set the Levites in the house of the Lord . . .
to sing praise unto the Lord" (vv. 25, 30). The musicians
were Levites. Not all Levites were musicians just as not all
Levites were priests. But all the musicians of the Temple came
from the Levites. These musician Levites were skilled in making
music. They not only "sang praises" (v. 30), but they
also played musical instruments (v. 25) to accompany the singing
of praises. Verse 25 mentions three of the instruments used—cymbals,
psalteries (lyres—similar to harps), and harps. Verse
26 adds a fourth instrument when it says that some of the Levite
priests played "trumpets." The lesson to note here
is that these musicians were capable in music and called for
their task. We have too many making music in our services, however,
who are very short on ability, training, and calling. These
music makers do not bring much adoration to God but rather sore
ears to the listeners and a distraction to worship. Volunteer
choirs are too often a distraction to the worship of God rather
than a help to worship. Much that is called special music in
our churches is anything but special. Churches need to major
on congregational singing and skip the "special" music
if individual talent is lacking in church. Parading a bunch
of music makers across the rostrum of a church who can not perform
well is not honoring to God. Musicians do not need to be professional
to perform in front of the church congregation, of course; but
they must be capable. We do not want every Tom, Dick, and Harry
preaching at church; and we should not have every Tom, Dick,
and Harry performing special music at church. Hezekiah did not
call for a volunteer choir and orchestra. Rather, he put those
in the choir who were especially gifted, trained, and sanctified
to be in the choir. Let our churches do likewise.
MOMENT FOR THE MUSIC
the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began . . . all
this continued until the burnt offering was finished" (vv.
27, 28). The burnt offering, like so many of the offerings in
Israel's worship, spoke of Calvary. "Calvary is the true
fountain of song" (Maclaren), and this is emphasized by
the fact that the music in the Temple services started when
the burnt offering began and finished when the burnt offering
had completely burned. When Calvary comes on the scene, the
song begins in the heart. When we have Calvary we will have
a carol; but when we do not have Calvary in our doctrine, we
will not have a carol in our heart. The Psalmist describes exactly
what happens when a person is redeemed by Christ's work on Calvary
when he said, "He brought me up also out of an horrible
pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and
established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth,
even praise unto our God" (Psalm 40:2,3). When we are delivered
from the pit of hell through Jesus Christ, a song comes into
our heart. So when the burnt offering, which is symbolic of
Calvary and its deliverance of souls from Divine judgment, began
then the song of praise also began. The world tries to ape this
song, but their song is not a song of the saved but a wail of
the lost soul. The noise of the world's songs today certainly
shows the turmoil in the unredeemed heart. The loud, discordant,
and foul sounds and foul words of rock music only emphasize
the great sinfulness of mankind. But the great hymns of the
faith are a different story. Contemporary Christian Music (CCM)
is an attempt to integrate the wretched music of the world with
Christianity, but it only reveals the degenerate condition of
man. It is man's attempt to produce a song of redemption without
having the soul redeemed.
MESSAGE IN THE MUSIC
the king and the princes [the "rulers" of verse 20]
commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the
words of David, and of Asaph the seer" (v. 30). This command
of Hezekiah guaranteed that the message in the singing would
be doctrinally sound! You read the psalms of David and of Asaph
in the book of Psalms, and you will find great messages indeed!
Their words are not cheap words like those you hear in much
of our modern music. Rather, they are God-honoring words which
are sound doctrinally. The Messiah, the great oratorio of George
Frederic Handel which is still performed frequently at Christmas
time though it was composed in 1742, has a message like Hezekiah
wanted in the songs in the Temple in that it is entirely composed
of great Scripture texts. The words are no cheap ditties of
the degraded music so popular in our churches. The great hymns
of the past were likewise filled with words of great spiritual
thought. Churches need to be careful about their message—not
only the message of their ministers but the message of their
musicians. If we do not want our ministers preaching cheap trash
in our churches, then let us be consistent and stop all the
cheap trash in the message of our music at church.
MERRINESS IN THE MUSIC
they sang praises with gladness" (v. 30). The Psalmist
said that we were to make a "joyful noise unto the Lord"
(Psalms 100:1). This the musicians were doing in the worship
services Hezekiah had ordered at the Temple, for what was going
on in the worship services at the Temple would bring great spiritual
joy. It would cause the Levites to sing with joy. When we get
right with God, it is not the end of joy—as the world
thinks—but the beginning of true joy. When people are
redeemed and when there is spiritual revival, joy comes to the
heart of the redeemed and of the revived. No one gives true
joy to the heart of man as Jesus Christ does. "Thou hast
put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn
and their wine increased" (Psalm 4:7). The world, of course,
has no appreciation for the joy that comes from the Lord, so
they think "getting religious" means losing joy. How
wrong they are.
MAJESTY IN THE MUSIC
Levites . . . sang praises . . . and they bowed their heads
and worshiped" (v. 30). The conduct of the Levites in their
making music at the Temple worship services which Hezekiah ordered
was reverent and holy. The Levites were not acting like the
world by dancing around on the rostrum in inappropriate dress
with evil body movements like the unholy musicians often do
in our churches today. The behavior of many of the musicians
who perform at church today is often despicable. They draw attention
to themselves and defy reverence by their immoral gyrations
and garments. Screaming into microphones, bathed in psychedelic
lighting, strumming a guitar while drums bombard the eardrums
to the breaking point, and wiggling around in sexual suggestive
ways is not majestic behavior that honors God in any way shape
or form! The Levites sang and had music instruments, but they
also "bowed their heads and worshiped" which means
they put on an entirely different performance than many of our
modern musicians do at church today. The adoration of God by
the conduct of the Levites followed and evidenced atonement.
In contrast, the conduct of the musicians today lacks true adoration
of God and shows their great need of atonement. —Bible
The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people
to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge
and ability. Fred A. Manske, J
DIOTROPHES-A PORTRAIT OF AN UNLEADER
leadership is something that is truly lacking in our society.
The bible clearly defines Godly leadership, but every once in
awhile it points out to us what Steve Farrar in his book Finishing
Strong calls the UNLEADER.
the passage below notice the characteristics of an ULNEADER
and be sure to steer clear from them. KB
9 I have written briefly to the church; but Diotrephes, who
likes to take the lead among them and put himself first, does
not acknowledge my authority and refuses to accept my suggestions
or to listen to me.
So when I arrive, I will call attention to what he is doing,
his boiling over and casting malicious reflections upon us with
insinuating language. And not satisfied with that, he refuses
to receive and welcome the [missionary] brethren himself, and
also interferes with and forbids those who would welcome them,
and tries to expel (excommunicate) them from the church.
Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does
good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or
experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not
know Him at all]. 3 John 1:9-11
the heart and mouth must be watched. The temper and spirit of
Diotrephes was full of pride and ambition. It is bad not to
do good ourselves; but it is worse to hinder those who would
do good. Those cautions and counsels are most likely to be accepted,
which are seasoned with love. Follow that which is good, for
he that doeth good, as delighting therein, is born of God. Evil-workers
vainly pretend or boast acquaintance with God. Let us not follow
that which is proud, selfish, and of bad design, though the
example may be given by persons of rank and power; but let us
be followers of God, and walk in love, after the example of
our Lord. —Matthew Henry Concise
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