Archives For pride

Better Together

October 1, 2015

As a zealous, young missionary I seemed to make the same mistake over and over. Now as a veteran, I find the same never-ending truth must remain continually before me.

People are not our projects.

We never set out to do this intentionally. Our mistakes are made in ignorance. Our desire is to do good, to help others, and to bring change.

Even with these godly desires, we must remain ever careful to not walk in superiority and arrogance.

The message “I have something to give you” may be true, but must be balanced out with a healthy dose of humility and a learning spirit.

Because the truth is, we all have something to give each other.

Examine these two statements. Although similar, they can create two completely different perspectives.

“I have walked with so and so for this many years.”

and

Power Money Gives Us

February 24, 2015

Last month at A Life Overseas, we discussed the dangerous stories we can tell in order to raise funds.

This requires further consideration if we provide funds, pay national workers, or are just generous in any way. While the debate on this one is hot and heavy, I doubt we can make absolute statements.

“Always and never” are tricky when settings, organizations, and methods are so different around the world

What I would like to look at is the power money gives us over people.

Even something as simple as “good, ole Godly generosity”; sharing money puts us in the place of power.As foreign workers, we must always be aware of the power we have (real or perceived) over those we work with.

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Here are some things to consider about the power of money:

Inviting Feedback

January 9, 2014

One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. These are short, powerful talks which I apply to my leadership often

Recently they did a two-part series of the “Art of Inviting Feedback”. Andy interviewed Clay Scroggins, who is the constantly doing this in the North Point organization.

The question which was posed for leaders to consider asking their followers is, “If you were me, what would you do differently?”

This is based on the premise that everyone has an opinion about everything we do as leaders. If we don’t invite this into the process, we are unable to benefit from all these opinions.

I did this.

I’ve recently handed over leadership of my team, so I asked all my people what they would have done differently.

I received some great feedback I would not have gotten without asking. It really provided me some insight into where people were at as well.

As a believer, a dangerous belief lurks nearby desiring to take root in our hearts.

It’s subtle. It creeps in and begins to affect our emotions and our thoughts.

Entitlement.

Phrases which start with “I” and include verbs like “deserve”, “am owed”, “expect”, and more.

This false belief rears its head in many ways, mostly subtle, but poisonous.

It’s a cancer

I want to discuss this in the context of missions, but it applies to all believers.

Here are 6 Signs of Missionary Entitlement. 

1. I’m obeying, so God must….
I’ve seen people use missions as an attempt to earn the favor of God, or worse manipulate Him to get what they want. Too many missionaries are serving out of guilt or a need to feel worthy.

In our prayers we approach God with an attitude which says he owes us. After all, He is very aware of the sacrifices we are making.

Stop Comparing!

April 19, 2012

You may be sick of me talking about Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility, but  it is profoundly influencing what I am thinking about. (I think that is the goal of every author, at least this one!)

My thought today has to do with Duane Elmer’s exploration of ethnocentrism. In other words, the view of life through the filter of one’s own culture, believing it to be the best.

When you move overseas you constantly compare things to your homeland. The way people drive, what people where, the food you eat, as well as the general sense of cleanliness, time, and productivity.

Perpetual comparison becomes exhausting. It wearies one to always be searching for ways in which your culture is superior. This can keep us from realizing how amazing the people and nation we serve in actually are.

So, STOP IT!