Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are You Scared?

For many people, October is a scary month. Why? Because it's the beginning of a change in seasons. It's a transition toward thinking about the holiday season that is fast approaching. And because of Halloween. This post is not going to be about Halloween and my opinion of it. I'll just say that we don't do Halloween at our house and leave it there.

I'm more fascinated with the idea of "fear." Not so much because I am afraid but because of some of the things I have read lately in the Bible. Just this morning I read Nehemiah 7:1-2, which says, "1 After the wall was finished and I had set up the doors in the gates, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. 2 I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most." (NLT) Why did Hananiah fear God more than most and why was that such a big deal, so big a deal that Nehemiah mentioned it as he introduced him to us?

Understand that this "fear" mentioned here is not so much "terror" as much as reverence and respect. Much like the "fear" of a coach or your principal in school or some other authority. You are not really afraid of them, you are more afraid of messing up and disappointing them. You want them to be pleased with you so you carefully, respectfully do what you should in order to make them happy.

While there is no way to know why Hananiah feared the Lord more than others, we can draw some insight as to why it was important.

According to John Maxwell, leadership genius, everything rises and falls on leadership. In other words, your organization, team, home, etc, will only be as good as its leaders. So it makes sense that if we want those things to be the best they can be, we need the best leadership we can find. Nehemiah knew that one of the most important characteristics of the leaders he appointed was a healthy fear of the Lord. He wanted the leaders to be so in tune with God's leading and so aware of His power that they did not dare do anything without His approval and leadership. Leaders who truly fear the Lord are leaders who effectively lead others to God's Best.

So What?

Check your fear level. Don't be afraid that God is going to strike you dead if you mess up a little in your leadership. Instead, be afraid of missing out on His Best for you and those you influence. that fear should guide every decision you make, every step you take, and every word you speak.

I pray that we will all be known as those who fear the Lord more than most.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Plug It In

One of our staff members, who shall remain nameless in this post, recently brought their phone to me saying it was not working. We tried everything we could think of to make it work and it would not do anything. Staff Member took the phone to the phone store and was told to purchase a $75 dollar warranty plan then file a claim. It would take a day or two to get a loaner phone and then the company would try to fix or would replace the broken phone. I thought that was a little odd so I called my friend who works for the same company and he told me to bring the phone in and he would see what he could do.

I drove 45 minutes to the other side of Little Rock last night before going home to have dinner with my family to get this problem solved.

The store employees took the broken phone and my phone and were going to swap out my phone for a new on and give Staff Member my old phone. That would save us money and get everything resolved (my plan was the only one eligible for an upgrade). As the clerk was beginning this process, my friend took the broken phone, got a power cord, and plugged it in to the wall.

The phone sprung to life! It has worked fine all night and was given to Staff Member this morning with the following instructions: Plug it in!

So What?

Do you feel broken? Are you having a hard time "powering on" today? Have you tried everything you can think of and still you feel empty and powerless?

Plug in to the Power Source today by spending time with God. Talk to Him and let Him talk to you. Read His word and apply it to your life. Allow His Spirit to direct your thoughts and decisions as you go through your day. I guaran-dog-tee you that you will find the power you need to experience His Best today.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.He is my shield, the power that saves me,and my place of safety. Psalm 18:2 NLT

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oink Oink Cough Cough

Did you hear that "oinking" sound? It was coming from my house. Yep, I had the flu!

Now it may or may not have been swine flu, but it was flu. Hit me hard Thursday night but I am back at work today.

I actually missed church Sunday. The first time I can remember missing because I was sick and certainly the first time I have missed since we launched Midtowne.

But things went off without a hitch in my absence. That's good stuff.

I have learned several things in my illness as related to my role here at Midtowne. I learned that it can be done without me. We can't build churches on people or personalities. It has to be built on a love for God and a love for people. My absence helped me see that we are doing OK in that area.

I also learned that the people at Midtowne will always step up when needed. With a cold, rainy Sunday and lots of illness in the community, people still showed up and stepped up to fill in where needed. We had more volunteers out than ever before yet we had more people willing serve than we wound up needing.

One other thing. I learned that different is good. So far, I have not had anyone tell me that they liked the way I do things better (or less) than the way Dave lead us on Sunday. That's a very good thing. It's not about me. It's not about a style or a personality. Dave and I are very different and different is good. It's not a matter of good or bad, better or worse, it's just different, period.

So What?

Leadership is not following a person, it's following a purpose. Yes, there has to be a person to carry the banner of the purpose. A person to teach, train, equip and encourage the team, but when it all comes down, you better make sure you are leading people to a purpose and not to a person.

Glad to be back but glad to know that I can be gone. I love this place, its leadership, and people. But mostly, I love our Purpose and the One who is the inspiration and gets the glory for it.