Jesus’ Leadership style:
He valued people. He communicated DIRECTLY and clearly to His #team members – a.k.a the Disciples. He didn’t depend on layers of bureaucracy and angels or assistants to send out memos or take messages so He wouldn’t actually have to deal with people Himself. He chose to live AMONG them not ABOVE them.
I highly recommend the free YouVersion reading plan, “Learning to Lead Like Jesus”. I just finished the short reading and video for day 1 and have gleaned so much already!
So much change in this world – that’s a fact. But the stronger fact is that the God who created this world is greater and stronger than ANY change. He is so great, in fact, that not just one Name can describe Him. There are so many Names of God in the Bible. And each Name is a reflection of a facet of Who He Is. And I’m thinkin’ that at least one of those Names meets you right at that point of your need right now. These wonderful Names are throughout the bible, but here’s a link to a great little resource. It’s a printable calendar with 30 Names of God so you can wrap yourself up in who God is by focusing on a different name of God each day.
And I’ve also put together a YouTube mix of some old and new favorite songs of mine that help me focus in on the Names of God. It’s hard to stay “down” while singing along with these. It helps the most shaken and lonely parts of your soul remember who HE is. And sometimes… that’s all we need to know.
When we learn to keep everything we do simple, focused, and intentional – we are in the company of the some of the best and most brilliant thinkers and achievers in all history. Of course, because President Lincoln was leap years ahead of his time in so many ways… it is not surprising that he ran his campaigns and his country in a highly efficient manner. Lincoln implemented a highly productive team approach to provide maximum value for every U.S. Citizen long before business and industry defined Lean and other methodologies.
When my Jeep needs work, I prefer to take it to my “Jeep Guy” because he is not only a great mechanic, but an expert in Jeeps who was trained by the manufacturer. It just makes more sense to take “Jeepers” to someone who, given the right parts, can build a Jeep from the ground up. (Yes, I name my vehicles and sometimes have long conversations with them…. Don’t judge me).
It makes sense for us when something in our physical life needs repair or maintenance to take it to the manufacturer or someone trained by the manufacturer for that specific product. In fact, some manufacturers will not honor the warranty on their product if you do otherwise. It simply makes sense that the designer of thing is best equipped to get that thing back into its optimal state.
So why do I – and perhaps you, too – often go to everyone but our Designer when something is “off” in our own bodies, spirits, or lives? A line in the Bible “jumped off the page” (or, rather the iPhone screen) for me this morning and got me thinking about all this. Because, really… “Shouldn’t people go to their God for help”? HE designed us and know better than anyone how to heal, direct, sustain, and protect us. Yes, He may and does use many others, from friends to physicians, in our healing process. But we should go to the HIM first rather than the THEM! And just like my “Jeep Guy” might refer me out to a specialist for some types of work (like when I am able to have her transformed into a giant Jeep with big tires that can drive through 4 feet of mud without getting stuck), I will still go to him first for direction.
So let’s operate in the same mindset with something a whole lot more valuable, timeless, and irreplaceable than a vehicle. Let’s go to our Maker first. Because as Tasha Cobbs Leonard said in this incredible YouTube Clip of a worship service she led, “All the strength and the peace and the joy that you need is at the feet of Jesus.”
“The people will say, ‘Go to the fortunetellers and wizards who mumble and chirp like birds. Ask them what to do.’ But I say, ‘Shouldn’t people go to their God for help? Why go to the dead to get help for the living?'” – Isaiah 8:19 ERV (Holy Bible: Easy-to-read Version)
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” – President Abraham Lincoln, after being asked for advice on how to become an attorney.
This is not likely to be the last Abraham Lincoln quote you see from me as I am reading Team of Rivals. It is my drive time audiobook listen right now. Although I am only several hours in to over 40 hours of listening – I am learning so much already! I am gaining a new appreciation for this great leader and the incredible team he selected.
In my industry, Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, there are many programs that teach team training. And that’s a good thing. In this and many other industries such as air transportation and manufacturing, the high reliability produced by great teamwork does much more than create successful popular businesses. It can literally save lives.
My idea of a high functioning team is one in which miscommunication rarely occurs and when it does it is quickly clarified so all members are working from the “same playbook” and “dancing to the same beat” once again. This correlates well with the research coming out of the Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality arenas which aggregate data from adverse patient care incidents across the country. The most commonly identified causitive factor of adverse events in healthcare is breakdown in communication, a.k.a poor teamwork.
However, I sometimes wonder if we spend too much time teaching complicated methodologies on what it takes to be a winning team. I saw this simple acronym come across my LinkedIn feed today (unsure of original source of the quote) that summed up great teams in one little square on my cell phone screen.
So… I have been thinking a lot about why we in our abundance-filled Western culture seem to be unhappy and struggling much of the time.
A couple things have recently helped me wrap my head around this a little bit more and got me thinking maybe we become so miserable because we are simply living life out of order.
We are designed to be still and centered on the inside (spirit and emotions) while being busy and productive on the outside (physical realm) in order to create more beauty in this world our Good Father God has left in our hands. The way I have gotten this beautifully-designed order all mixed up is by living much of my life with a busy mind and spirit (filled up with chatter, clatter, and worry) while my body has been motionless (stuck in the bed or on the couch practically paralyzed from stress and fear. Now I am learning the importance of staying spiritually and mentally in a state of rest, stillness, and “centeredness” while staying in a strong forward-press with the rest of me!
So what has been helping me learn recently to “flip-flop” my life operations back to a pattern of peace on the inside and productivity on the outside?
First, Derrick Golden, Pastor of my Amazing Church (yes, that’s really my church’s name – and for good reason!) in my beautiful city McKinney, Texas, has been teaching a series called Intentional Faith University (simply click the link to listen to the teaching) which has served as a timely reminder for me to focus on the faithfulness of my Father, God, rather than the seeming impossible obstacles that sometimes seem to close in on our lives.
Next, I make a point to surround myself with those who inspire and motivate me rahter than those who fill me with negativity that contradicts the truth my Father, God, has laid out in His Word (a.k.a. The Bible). And that includes being very selective about what I read and follow on social media.
But some social media contributors can be a very positive influence in your life. One of my favorite Instagram pages is @PlanetBossThings from the owner of Boss Things Apparel. And today this picture was shared on that page which went right along with all the motivation and inspiration Holy Spirit has been pricking my heart with lately.
So, I challenge you… I challenge me… let’s make our tomorrows different and better than our yesterdays by working hard to be still and settled on the inside while active and productive on the outside. I know it won’t be easy because it’s a new way of living and thinking. But I know it will be worth it.
So, my cute hiking boots got all muddy today – and that’s a good thing. I’ve been battling discouragement after some doors slammed shut recently as I seek out my next professional adventure. To be honest, my initial Saturday plans involved staying in bed and moping all day. But I got up and went to my Amazing Church‘s Serve Day to work on a Habitat for Humanity home in my city. Sometimes serving others is the #BestAntidepressantEver. Sometimes you’ve just got to lace up your boots, tromp through the mud, and get past yourself.
The words below are a really good little read. So as you’re figuring out what to do on this Sunday morning, take a minute to read it while you sip your coffee or lie in bed surfing social media (as I’m doing right now). Then let’s get up and go to church. Or, better yet…. Let’s get up and BE the church! Does the Church Still Matter?
From “Outcry: God’s Heart for Your Church” 14-Day Devotional (available for free on the YouVersion Bible App)
The Church is in the middle of a season of critique. It’s hard to find positive news articles about the Church. We see viral blogs about how the Church is missing it with millennials. Or about how we’re in decline. Or even dying.
I remember being in the middle of planning for the first tour. We were writing the first promo video to introduce the world to OUTCRY. We already had Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Kari Jobe, Bethel, Crowder, and Passion signed up, so the task felt weighty, to say the least. But in one moment, while pacing around my hotel in Redding, I felt God fall on me, and I began to write. I wrote from the perspective of the Church as Jesus’ bride.
Then I wrote a line on the paper (actually, on my iPad!) that stopped me in my tracks. I wrote, “She is not dying. She is not in decline. Her best days are ahead.” As I read it back, I could just hear the skeptics saying, “Get real, Ryan! Haven’t you seen the statistics? Get your head out of the sand and accept reality!”
But God’s reality is not our reality. It is not swayed by public opinion or research.
It’s easy to find what is wrong with the Church. But God has chosen the imperfect to carry his message of perfect love. His ways are not our ways, and the Church is powerful and eternal… because God says she is.
Prayer: God, remind your bride that she has a glorious future. Remind me that I am on the winning team. The Church is sure because you are sure. Lift my eyes to see the Church as you see her. Amen.