Monday, June 29, 2009

Is Your Private Life Insipring?

Privately Uncommon

We all want to be people who are remembered for something. Our heart beats for success and signifigance. We try to accomplish this by doing something great. The secret to starting a movement that will be remembered forever is "being" something great.

Great leaders have inspiring private lives. They are uncommon in their pursuit of growth, knowledge and excellence. They rarely get caught up in doing a bunch of things. They stay focused on becoming through personal growth and sacrifice.

Here is the point: Uncommon men do daily what common men do occasionally.

I remember driving home from Dianna's house one night while we were still dating. I called my primary spiritual mentor up on the way home. He told me he was at the local airport praying. He said, "I was sitting at home eating cookies and watching CSI with my wife. I determined that watching CSI and eating cookies would not propel me to my destiny."
This conversation radically shaped my spiritual walk. I then began to make the same comment to myself about things that were not propelling me to my destiny.

Do the people around you catch you on lengthy fasts and in depth prayer? Do the people around you attest to what great lengths you go to in order to learn and grow? Are you trying to wow people by a great gift or inspire them by a great private life characterized by integrity? Are you busy coaching little league teams, hanging out at parties, surfing the internet for hours or maybe being lazy? What are your "cookies and CSI?"

Be inspiring in your private life and you will not have to work people up publicly to try to follow you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Danger of Being Impressed with Yourself Part 2

There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance.
Overconfidence is actually a very bad thing when people look at our lives for guidance.

Sardis was a church that Jesus mentioned in the book of Revelation. Sardis was a city that was located on the top of sheer cliffs. The residents did not believe it could be taken captive by a foreign enemy because of the city's remote location. Because of this attitude they stopped paying attention to their foundation. Their foundation of the city's walls began to have big cracks. One night an enemy climbed through the cracks of the walls and hid in ambush. When the people of Sardis woke up, they were surrounded by enemies.

Being impressed with ourselves comes from an overconfidence in our gifting rather than character. This causes cracks.

I see many ministers who are so impressed with themselves that they think their church in their city is the only church God is speaking to or using. Because of this overconfidence many leaders fail to take care of what really matters....their character. Being over impressed with ourselves causes us to leave the foundational principles that change us.

We become to busy to spend long amounts of time in prayer. We become more focused on a performance instead of our private life. We don't value people. Our ministries are jobs instead of callings.

What cracks in your foundation are you overlooking?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Don't Be So Impressed with Yourself

I was talking with a pastor friend the other day. He asked me how things went at my last ministry time. I commented, "It was very powerful." I was speaking of God's blessing on the ministry time, but it seemed like he took it as me being arrogant. He responded, "I bet so, of course, you were ministering." I caught on and clarified what I meant and then we laughed. But I talk to some young ministers and they are so impressed with their messages and ministry times. All they talk about is themselves and how impressed they are with themselves. When someone ask you about your speaking engagement or times of ministry is it, "I....," or is it, "God...?"

Here is the point. Leaders who start movements are not overly impressed with themselves.

Leaders who begin movements know a simple truth. There are always those who are not as good as you when it comes to skill. There are many on your same level and there many more who are much better than you.

Catalytic leaders don't compare themselves with others or even themself with themself. They compare their work and ministry with the potential God has placed in them and the level of obedience they operate in.

Remember, you are only as good as the last time you spoke, ministered, performed or led. Find mentors who are not overly impressed with you and let them speak into your life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Movement before the Movement

Preparation Awareness

Great leaders, especially those who start movements, are aware of God preparing them for the next season of their lives. The Alaskan bull moose prepares for the coming fall by eating as much as possible. I would love to do that! He gains weight and become enormous. Why does he do that? He has to fight with others of his own kind in the fall. When their antler lock, the heaviest one will win by shifting weight.

I have faced some great temptation lately. During this time I began to call out to God to speak to me. I felt the Lord say, "You are preparing for the fall. You need to become 'heavy' in your spiritual life so you can walk victoriously in the battle. Don't wait for the battle to start preparing."

Leaders understand this principle: God is always interested in the next season of your life. Tests are not to learn. You never went to school hoping to learn during a test. You wanted to pass so you could advance. Tests are meant to see if you are ready for the next level. When you are facing tests and trials you can be sure that God is seeing if you are prepared for the next season or level.

Leaders who start movements are always living in the next season through preparation.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sluggish Movements by Sluggards

In my personal study last week I came across Proverbs 26:13-16. This is the most concentrated information we have on what Solomon calls a "sluggard." This interested me. I began to break this down and found 4 core values of sluggards. I have deemed this as, "The 4 Sayings of a Sluggard."
How do we remain in "sluggish movements?" Check out the 4 sayings of sluggards.

1. Blame Outside Circumstances for their Incompetence.
13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!"
So... The Sluggard says, “It is not my fault, I am just a victim.”
Commentary: The point is that the sluggard fabricates a crisis which prohibits him from doing what he didn’t want to do anyway. His reasons, while unsatisfactory to others, are compelling to him.
It is never the sluggard's fault. As leaders we take responsiblity for ALL that goes on. Don't blame your people.

2. Breed Procrastination in Every Opportunity.
14 As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.
So...The Sluggard says, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.”

Procrastination is one of the greatest signs of a sluggard.

3. Brisk at Getting in Over Their Head.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
The Sluggard says, “I will be alright without a plan.”
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
Think about your use of credit cards, your house payments, your hasty financial decisions.

4. Blows off (or refuses) all Wise Counsel in Making Decisions.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.
So... The Sluggard says, “I will make my own decisions, I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do.”

You learn two ways: your personal mistakes or by someone elses mistakes. Find those who have been before you.