It happened AGAIN this morning. I looked on twitter and found yet another minister taking not so subtle shots at other ministries. I wanted to scream at my phone. . . “stop!” I didn’t, as the people in this Asian McDonald’s would have probably run in terror. However, [Read more…]
I woke up this morning only to find out via Facebook that my football coach from high school is retiring this week. Yes, I had several coaches, but only one who I still think about. All of my coaches were an important part of my high school years, but there is only one who I refer to as a major “life influence” even to this day.
Today is Halloween. Not unlike most, I have had my share of Halloween revelry over the years. Friday night, as a matter of fact, the other Americans and several local Asian friends will have our own Halloween party. Always fun to see the utter confusion of the local people when a small group of foreigners are walking around this city in random costumes.
Today, however, my mind goes back to a faithful day in the sleepy college town of Wittenberg, Germany on this date exactly 496 years ago to the day. If you are a Christian, this day was one of the most important in history for you.
As I sit down to type this, I am tired. After three weeks of constant motion, jumping of time zones, meetings, meetings, and more meetings, I am finally back in Asia. It’s been a great few weeks, but they have been intense in every imaginable way. As a result, I am fatigued.
I would like to say that this fatigue with which I am currently stricken is unusual. It is not.
Perhaps my worst habit (some would say addiction) is that of overwork and/or over activity. This is actually a result of an unhealthy outworking of a wonderful blessing in my life.
You see, I really have enjoyed my jobs and calling over the years. When you enjoy your vocation, it often does not feel like work. This is a great thing for me.
As a result, I am prone to running, running, and more running until I can run no more. I crash. . .and it is not pretty.
My worst “crash” came about 5 years ago. [Read more…]
Please pray for our church. Some awful stuff has come out about our pastor. It is really upsetting. Pray for him. Pray for our church. Very confusing.
At the break, I checked the internet only to read of adultery and other moral failures. He had left the church and was unrepentant for his actions. My heart broke. Today, I read that it is not only this pastor, but two others from the same city (Orlando, Florida). My heart breaks.
My heart breaks for the many people that follow these men. My heart breaks for their families, their children, their wives. My heart breaks because this is yet another example of churches whom will be marred in internal conflict, while the world around them is in need of the Savior they worship. My heart breaks.
My heart ALSO breaks for these three men.
I am privileged to know and be friends with many wonderful Christian leaders; pastors and organizational leaders of all types. Unfortunately, I have received a call on several occasions [Read more…]
As I wrote a few weeks ago, Howard Hendricks has now passed into eternity. Most do not know his name; however, I will never be the same from my two encounters with him.
Some of my purpose in writing this blog is to simply process life and think through important values in a more intentional way. This is one of those cases.
Though I never met Howard Hendricks personally, he has helped form several of my most valued life priorities.
“Leadership with a purpose”
From early on, I seemed to demonstrate qualities and characteristics of leadership. It had mainly been demonstrated in athletics and academics up until that point. I enjoyed leadership. As a young follower of Christ Jesus, Howard Hendricks taught me the value of “leadership with a purpose”.
I completed his series of lectures on the topic and had a vision for being a part of leadership within the church of Christ. He gave me a heart to impact the world around me with the Gospel, not merely cash leadership in for selfish gain.
Howard Hendricks gave me a vision for behind the scenes leadership and its massive value. In this world of celebrity Christian leaders, Howard Hendricks was content to be in the background, building [Read more…]
Isn’t it strange that we live in a day where we can have people deeply impact our lives on a personal level without ever having met them? I could rattle off a sizable list of men and women whom have helped mold and shape my world view, even my personality, whom I have never met. This morning, I am thinking about one such man.
I woke up this morning only to see on Twitter that Howard Hendricks passed away in America while I was asleep in Asia.
Howard Hendricks was introduced to me by my campus ministers at Georgia Tech, Howie Espenshied and Danny McKinney. My faith was new and untested, yet my passion and zeal was rocket ship high. Howie or Danny, I can’t remember which one, gave me a set of tapes on leadership by Dr. Howard Hendricks. He was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and was a major influence on large a number of the top Christian leaders from the past 50 years.
I inhaled that series of 4-5 lectures on leadership. From that time, I learned two values that have permanently changed
Thank you for all of your feedback on my last post, The inevitable pain of loneliness . . . I am going to write a follow-up to it in a few days. However, here I wanted to get some of my thoughts down on a different subject that is important to me.
A little while back, I was trying to help a friend in a very difficult situation with his wife. They are back in America and not even from Atlanta, so I don’t have the advantage of seeing them on a regular basis. However, it was clear to me, as is the case pretty much with all such instances, that there was blame to be laid on both parties. The husband was in a rough situation, no doubt. However, he was also part of the problem.
I tried to help out as best I could. I tried to sympathize with him on where he had been wronged by his wife, and she clearly had wronged him. He appreciated this. However, when I also tried to get him to own some of his fault in the situation, he immediately rebuffed and became angry with me.
“You don’t understand me. . . you don’t understand my situation!” he literally yelled at me. When I asked him who does understand his situation and even tried to point him to others whom I thought could help them out, he then let me know that NO ONE understood his situation.
I am not married. I did not completely understand his situation. However, my friend had fallen into what is clearly one of the biggest and most detrimental lies you [Read more…]
The phrase “it’s lonely at the top” is cliché and a bit trite, but it does speak to a much broader danger. As I talked about in “‘it’s lonely at the top’ – Leadership Isolation” (click here if you have not read that article), there is a real and present danger of individuals involved in leadership to become lonely in life. Many times loneliness puts leaders on a course spiraling towards isolation and this often ends in colossal moral failures of any and all varieties.
In my experience of both leading and in being directly exposed to high level leaders in the business, education, ministry, and non-profits worlds, I feel that some of the reasons that leaders become dangerously isolated are the following:
- No one knows the extent of your job – the higher one gets in organizational leadership, the less direct oversight they have. With this comes greater freedom in scheduling and even in setting up job responsibilities of the leader. His/her bottom line is the health and growth of the over-all organization. If it is growing and thriving, then everyone trusts that the leader is doing his job well. They are generally left alone. What happens [Read more…]
Popularity, to some extent, is often what brings people into positions of leadership. Whether it is to the position of CEO, president of a country, student government, the garden club, or the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, popularity plays some role in people being placed in positions of leadership. You advance at work by being popular with your bosses, in politics by having more votes than anyone else, and at school by having the most friends. You even gain “leadership of a family” by being popular with your girlfriend to the point of her agreeing to marriage. Then it comes time to lead and the followers (employees or voters or teammates or. . .) want their absolute way in everything. I’m no different in times of being subordinate to people.
Leading based primarily upon popularity will eventually end in the failure of the leader. Leadership is anything but a popularity contest. Leadership 101 is that “you can’t please everyone, every time.” It is my experience that in leadership, though, this doesn’t go nearly far enough. In reality, with very few exceptions, it should be “you WILL disappoint someone every time.” Just as there are multiple sides to every story, there are also going to be multiple opinions of every leadership decision. True leadership is making what you are confident is the right call and moving forward to execute this decision. Nothing more, nothing less.
24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with [Read more…]