Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Don’t Drink It!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

In John 3, the followers of John the Baptist tried to get him to drink the heart-numbing elixir of jealousy and envy when they said, “the one who you said is the Messiah is baptizing people, too.” They must have been living the thug life because they asked John: “Do you want us to put in some work and stop him?” In other words, they wanted to somehow stop Jesus’ success. John told them to slow their roll. Now, he could have been dragged into the numbers and success game, but John didn’t drink the cancerous libation. He responded with a line that is unnatural for me, but it is a principle that I need to rehearse and learn daily: “I am filled with joy at his success.”(NLT) Let’s be honest; It’s not easy being filled with joy for someone else whose . . .

ministry is larger than yours
budget is bigger than yours
popularity is greater than yours
books outpace yours
blog gets more traffic than yours
songs get played more than yours
networks are stronger than yours
living the life that should be yours
marriage is happier than yours
job pays more money than yours
body looks better than yours
enjoying the success and blessing that should be yours
checks have more zeros than yours

And the list goes on, doesn’t it?

I hear people saying all the time: “I work just as hard and spend just as many hours as they do, working on my craft, honing my skills, and being faithful to God and my family, but I don’t experience the same success.” Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem fair, does it?. Yet, John said: I am filled with joy at his (Jesus) success. So, how can I be filled with joy at the messianic status and success of others? Here is what I’m learning:

1. God gives each different gifts and niches in ministry.
2. I have to be faithful to and thankful for what God has given me.
3. We’re on the same team and playing for the same generous Coach.
4. Celebrate the success of others every chance I get.
5. Jealousy and envy are sins that prevent me from being fully present where I am.

Have you ever been tempted to drink the elixir of jealousy and envy? How difficult is it for you to be filled with joy at someone else success? What lessons are you learning?

Popularity: 15% [?]

Giving You the Best That I’ve Got

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The one thing I desire in ministry and in life is to give God the best that I’ve. I don’t always succeed, but I aspire to give him my best. How can we be sure that we are giving God the best we’ve got? Here are three very important questions that can help us to achieve maximum effectiveness in ministry and life.

Question #1: What is the motive of  your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose the approval of God over the praise of people.

Question #2: How are you mastering your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose excellence over mediocrity.

Question #3: What is the measure of your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose the eternal over the temporary.

Which question(s) and answer(s) spoke to you the most? Which will you choose focus on over the next seven days?

Popularity: 6% [?]

Dangers to Ministry Leaders

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Danger1 Dangers to Ministry Leaders

I have been in ministry a number of years, serving in small, midsize, and large churches. There are ministry mine fields all over, and one misstep can ruin your family, ministry and influence that God has allowed you to develop. Here are some DANGERS to ministry leaders that I have observed over the years. Our ministries are in danger when:

1. We love ministry more than we love Jesus and the people to whom we minister.

2. We are busy with busyness than busy enjoying the joy of our salvation.

3. Our spouses and families get our leftover energy instead of our best selves.

4. Our spouses and children see more joy in our faces for ministry than for them.

5. We begin to believe and embrace our own press clippings.

6. Our primary motives for ministry are applause, recognition, and idolization from our peers.

7. We allow our accomplishments to cause us to accept and live with “reasonable” sins in our lives.

8. We allow our abilities and gifting to cause us to become less dependent on God.

9. We allow our addiction to success to cut our appetite for our desire for Jesus.

10 We allow work to replace solitude and activity to replace prayer.

11. We let the addiction to the praises of people to keep us from living the truth and convictions of God.

What other dangers to ministry leaders can you add to this list? With which danger(s) do you most identify? How can you guard yourself against these dangers in ministry?

Popularity: 13% [?]

This

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Sometimes, in life and relationships, we have to GO THROUGH this:

dsc020941 300x225 This

And ENDURE this: 

dsc02096 300x225 This

And CLIMB and BATTLE this:

dsc02089 300x225 This

In order to ENJOY the view of this:

dsc02063 300x225 This

And be OVERWHELMED by the beauty and power of this:

dsc02069 300x225 This

And EXPERIENCE the refreshment of this:

dsc020821 300x225 This  

What “This” have you had to go through, endure, battle and climb, in order to get to the “This” of breath-taking scenery and refreshing natural pools? Remember, this is still “sponsor me” week. So, leave a comment.

Popularity: 41% [?]

Person of the Year

Friday, June 19th, 2009

person of the year 2 Person of the Year

This evening you will be honored as Person of the Year. Thousands of people are gathered in your honor to celebrate your contributions to your family, friends, colleagues, your organization, and your community. Several key people (spouse, children, colleagues, etc) are scheduled to give speeches, using words to highlight how you have added value to the world through your character and performance. What words and phrases would you most like to hear others say about you? How would like to be remembered tonight? What descriptions would make you feel like you’ve lived your life to the fullest. If you could write these tributes about yourself, what would they say? If you have trouble writing your tribute, start answering the following questions (a non-exhaustive list). Answering these questions will help you to clarify your values, understand what you really care about, and develop an ideal image of yourself:

What are you discontent about?
What do you really care about?
What’s grabbed you and won’t let you go?
What are you passionate about?
When you do this (using your gift), God tends to show up in great power?
What do you stand for? 
What keeps you awake at night? 
What makes you mourn, grieve and weep/cry?
Where and on what do you spend your time? Money?

These words may seem rather ideal and lofty, but the greater the clarity and belief in our values, the greater the probability we’ll act in concert with them. 

What other questions you would like to add to this list, that you think would help to clarify our values? What 3-5 words or phrases would you most like to hear others (especially spouse, significant other and children) say about you? Leave your comments here so others can see and be blessed .

Popularity: 26% [?]

The Last 3 Minutes

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

I was at a luncheon on yesterday, where Don Cousins, author of LeaderShift, was speaking to a group of pastors. I was sitting next to a distinguished gentleman, who is a very prominent leader in the black community and an associate minister at the host church. While we listened to the talk (It really was a great talk), he made it pretty obvious that he did not want to be there. He seemed to grow more and more impatient with each passing minute. He checked his watch at least 10-15 times and held his head down almost the entire talk, fiddling with his PDA.

Minutes before Cousins finished his talk, the man got up to leave, but his pastor asked him to stay until Cousins was completely done. He complied. Afterwards, he told his pastor that during the talk he was convinced that his church was not the place for him and that he was leaving. Then he said, “But, in the last three minutes of the talk, the Lord spoke to me, telling me there is work to be done. I’m staying.” Now, Cousins’ talk lasted almost an hour (Every leader and pastor should have heard it), but it was the last three minutes that impacted this man and changed his mind.

This brief exchange taught me a few lessons:

  • 180 seconds in more than enough time for God to speak and change a mind and a life.
  • If I bail out of a message or prayer or a conversation too soon, I could be missing what God wants to say to me, to disturb me, encourage me, challenge me, bless me, empower me, sustain me, and even rearrange my values to align with his. The last three minutes of my quiet time with God, listening to message, or having a conversation with a mentor or a friend, might be the most important minutes of the entire time. 
  • I need to dial in, be fully present, and listen carefully.

How have you experienced God speaking to you in a short period of time? How did you respond to his voice?

Popularity: 29% [?]

Success Can be Dangerous

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Mostly everyone desires to be successful in their endeavors. However, too much success too soon can be dangerous. Success has a tendency to make us complacent and lazy. When everything is going fine, we say, "Why change what is working for us?" This kind of thinking stops us from thinking new thoughts and trying new approaches. It is only when our jobs, departments, or ministries are threatened with irrelevancy and/or elimination that we are motivated to change and make improvements. 

For example, in the mid-19th century, there was a burst of innovation in the sailing ship industry. This innovation happened when it became obvious that the steamship would dominate the commercial sailing ship. With this threat of elimination, the sailing ship reached its peak in efficiency. The challenge of steam forced the sailing ship to innovate and reduce the duration of the crossing of the Atlantic from five weeks in 1840 to three weeks in 1860. This speed innovation could have been made ten to twenty years earlier. It was only when it was threatened with elimination, did the sailing ship innovate, change and improve. 

To remain successful, sometimes we have to threaten, oppose, and destroy the very things that enabled us to be successful to begin with.  

Has success made you and your team complacent? How can you threaten, challenge, oppose or even destroy the very things that has made you successful in order to stay creative and relevant? 

What do you think?      

Popularity: 10% [?]