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LESSONS FOR LEADERS

Enjoy the ministry of Kevin Bond "Leadership Prayer"

A 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.

MLK 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."

This 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)

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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 soar.

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 is ego-driven.

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.

There 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.

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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. OZ Chambers

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THE CORRECTABLE CHRISTIAN LEADER

Refusing 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."

Mark 10:42-44

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. Sittser concludes.

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 15:8-9).

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 (italics added).

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 rebellion.

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 over Israel.

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 the LORD."

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 heart.

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 submits.

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 to others.
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.

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DOES IT HAVE TO BE LONELY AT THE TOP?

Building committed relationships with peers provides the accountability and encouragement that keep a leader from falling.

By Paul Stanley

Could 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.

I 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.

Things 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 like this?

There 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.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS

Beware 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

Few 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.

Several 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.

Over 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.

We 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.

Two 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. 4:9-10

THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT

But 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" (Hebrews 10_24-25).

A 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.

As 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.

THE FAITHFUL WOUNDS OF A FRIEND

All 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 or inadequate.

Several 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.

On 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."

I 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.

That 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.

DEVELOPING PEER RELATIONSHIPS

With 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.

Many 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.

Time 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.

Among 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.

In 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."

Each 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.

—Discipleship Journal

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QUOTES FOR LEADERS
QUOTES OF THE HEART FOR LEADERS


Quotes on Leadership and Vision

"If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere." - Henry Kissinger

"You 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

"Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small steps." David Lloyd George

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Quotes on Leadership Character

"Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change." - Peter F. Drucker

"A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity." - Baltasar Gracian

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy." - Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing." - Albert Schweitzer

"The 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.

"I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod." - Sir Winston Churchill

"Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader." - General George S. Patton Jr.

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - John F. Kennedy

Quotes on Leadership and Management :

"People 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

"Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall." - Stephen R. Covey

"You manage things; you lead people." - Grace Murray Hopper

Quotes on the Leadership Process

"The 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

"People are persuaded by reason, but moved by emotion; [the leader] must both persuade them and move them." - Richard M. Nixon

The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, The Leader of the Future, (c) 1996
Leaders grow; they are not made.

Christina Baldwin
To work in the world lovingly means that we are defining what we will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against.

Robert K. Greenleaf
The only test of leadership is that somebody follows.

Lance 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.

More 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.

Unknown
Blessed is the leader who seeks the best for those he serves.

Peter F. Drucker
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.

Robert L. Payton
American philanthropic custom owes much to leadership by business and professional people.

Lao Tzu
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.

Chinese proverb
An army of a thousand is easy to find, but, ah, how difficult to find a general.

Lao Tzu
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 among men.

Donald H. McGannon
Leadership is action, not position.

Fred Smith
Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not obligated.

Anon
A real leader faces the music, even when he doesn't like the tune.

Mary D. Poole
Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.

Marian Anderson
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.

James L. Fisher
The main characteristics of effective leadership are intelligence, integrity or loyalty, mystique, humor, discipline, courage, self sufficieny and confidence.

Harold J. Seymour
Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker
Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

Harold J. Seymour
When the leadership is right and the time is right, the people can always be counted upon to follow—to the end and at all costs.

Charles deGaulle
A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.

Unkown
A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
A good leader can't get too far ahead of his followers.

Tacitus
Forethought and prudence are the proper qualities of a leader.

Tom Landry
Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.

Max DePree
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.

Warren Bennis
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 meaning.

John F. Kennedy
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

Edgar Powell
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.

James L. Fisher
Leadership is the special quality which enables people to stand up and pull the rest of us over the horizon.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Manual on military leadership
Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience.

Chinese proverb
He who cannot agree with his enemies is controlled by them.

Donald H. McGannon
Leadership is action, not position.

Bernd Brecher
There are many elements to a campaign.Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two.

Anthony T. Dadovano
A good leader is not the person who does things right, but the person who finds the right things to do.

Talleyrand
I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.

Abigail Adams
Great necessities call forth great leaders.

Charles S. Lauer
Leaders don't force people to follow—they invite them on a journey.

Harold S. Hulbert
Children need love especially when they don't deserve it.

Ralph Nader
I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

Jesse Jackson
Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together.

Knute 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.)

John Maxwell
The first step to leadership is servanthood.

Max DePree (The Art of Leadership)
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.

Walter Lippmann
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.

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THE MUSIC IN THE ADORATION


THE ADORATION IN THE SERVICES (MUSIC)

By: John Butler
Adapted from the
—Bible Biography Series

Following 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.

1. THE MUSIC IN THE ADORATION--2 Chronicles 29

Much 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.

THE MAKERS OF THE MUSIC

"And 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.

THE MOMENT FOR THE MUSIC

"When 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.

THE MESSAGE IN THE MUSIC

"Hezekiah 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.

THE MERRINESS IN THE MUSIC

"And 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.

THE MAJESTY IN THE MUSIC

"The 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 Biography Series

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THE UNLEADER


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

True 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.

In 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.

10 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.

11 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

Both 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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