Archives For character

Being a Good Follower

June 30, 2015

Most leadership books and teaching centers on being the top guy; the number one in the organization.

I recently read a refreshingly different perspective. Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness centers on influence, while not being the top guy.

Jimmy Collins retired as the President of Chick-fil-A restaurants. He was a great leader to many. But, he knew his role was to serve the founder and chief visionary leader, Truett Cathy. Together they built a successful organization which is seen as a model for business around the world, in both style and substance.

His philosophy on leadership is different than most. Rather than considering how to be the best number one and always looking to climb the ranks, he knew he could succeed by being a successful follower.

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He gives a few principles which are equally powerful for both leaders or followers.

Growth No One Wants

December 6, 2014

We all want growth in our Christian walks.

We read books, attend seminars, join support groups, and lift up change-oriented prayers as a large percentage of our requests to God.

But, it seems there is a type of growth none of us aspire to gain.

In fact, if you are like me, we seek to avoid it.

Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”

Paul links suffering and endurance to character growth.

I doubt we will see a touring seminar or conference based on this premise in the future.

“Come to the Exponential Growth Seminar! We will make your life miserable, inflicting all kinds of hardship and difficulty on you for the purpose of sparking change! Register now for the early bird discount!”

Andy Stanley is one of my favorite communicators. I thoroughly enjoy his podcasts and respect what he has accomplished. When I read several blogs touting must-read leadership books, his was on there. I picked up a copy of Next Generation Leader and was not disappointed.

Andy looks at 5 Essential Traits for those who will shape the future. I will overview the 5 C’s:

Competence

Leaders must channel their energies towards those arenas in which they are most likely to succeed.

Andy says his biggest mistake early in leadership was focusing on things which were not his strengths. Playing to your strengths and delegating towards your weakness is wisdom.

He sums this principle up by saying, “Great leaders know when to follow.”

Competence is not required of leaders in areas, only the right ones.

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Courage

The leader is the one who has the courage to initiate, to set things in motion, and to move ahead.

Is God a God of Justice or Grace?

We often wrestle with these two seemingly opposite traits within our Father. Different Scriptures seem to show each perspective. Sometimes we feel like we are reading about two different gods who are at war. We usually end up choosing one at the expense of another.

  • If there are no consequences (justice), than it is sloppy agape.
  • How could a loving God send someone to Hell?
  • How can God be good with so much suffering in the world?
  • If you show people grace, they will sin more!

Books have been written.
Theological viewpoints formed.
The battle line have been drawn.
As they fight, which attribute will win?

This is necessary if God is like us.

We cannot be just and merciful at the same time. We choose one or the other.

What’s In A Name?

March 8, 2012

Naming a child can be a much discussed and debated topic among parents.

The names we chose for our boys took a lot of time and thought to come up with. We settled on names which reflected “Gentle Strength” and “Bears Christ with Joy.” Amazingly, the boys “are becoming their names. One is an athletic, yet soft hearted feeler. The other is our happy go lucky, never have a bad day son.

Naming your child can almost feel like a prophetic exercise as you see them “grow” into their names.

I recently had the privilege to preside over a Nigerian couple’s baby naming ceremony here in South Africa. In many parts of Nigeria it is custom to hold this ceremony 8 days afer a child is born to announce the name of the child. A name in Nigeria carries much significance for the child. Everytime his or her name is mentioned, the destiny of the child is proclaimed. This little boy I dedicated actually has 9 names! That’s a lot of proclamation!