Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Leadership

Leaders Go First

“Leaders go first.” It’s a fairly common phrase. I thought of it the other day as I was reading 1 Chronicles 29.

King David, nearing the end of his life, is preparing the nation for its new king, his son, Solomon. Specifically, David is making preparations for the building of God’s temple. The temple was David’s dream, but God wouldn’t let him complete the project. It would have to wait until Solomon’s reign.

David said to the people …

My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is just an inexperienced young man, and the task is great, for this palace is not for man, but for the Lord God. So I have made every effort to provide what is needed for the temple of my God, including the gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, as well as a large amount of onyx, settings of antimony and other stones, all kinds of precious stones, and alabaster. (1 Chronicles 29.1-2, NET).

Then, David modeled the kind of investment he would invite others to make. He said …

Now, to show my commitment to the temple of my God, I donate my personal treasure of gold and silver to the temple of my God, in addition to all that I have already supplied for this holy temple. This includes 3,000 talents of gold from Ophir and 7,000 talents of refined silver for overlaying the walls of the buildings, for gold and silver items, and for all the work of the craftsmen. (1 Chronicles 29.3-5)

And, finally, after all that, David challenged the people, “Who else wants to contribute to the Lord today?”

I love that. This is what I’m doing. What are you going to do?

David went first. He set the bar. He modeled for others the kind of commitment and ownership he was looking for. Then, he made the invitation and gave the challenge.

Leaders go first.

Character, Competence, & Chemistry

I’ve been familiar with these terms for a while. These three Cs—Character, Competence, and Chemistry—are critically important for teams, including church ministry teams! I was reminded of this again lately as I’m reading slowly through Leadership Axioms: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels. The book includes brief sections on 76 different concepts, including a chapterContinue →

“Shaped By God’s Heart”

I recently read Shaped By God’s Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches by Milfred Minatrea. I should have included this book in my doctoral dissertation (how leaders shape missional culture), but I missed it! Minatrea’s definition of a missional church is … a reproducing community of authentic disciples, being equipped as missionaries sentContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Keep Moving Forward!

We’re at the end of our series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, Preserve Unity, Pray Through, and Be Moved With Compassion). I’ve been describing a movement as a people God can move through, a church God can use. A dictionary definition of a movement is, “AContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Be Moved With Compassion!

We’re nearing the end of my sermon series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, Preserve Unity, and Pray Through). There is clearly a great deal of need in the world. And, the only organization in the world that truly has the power to change the world isContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Pray Through!

I’m in the home stretch of a sermon series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, and Preserve Unity). Too Busy Not to Pray! We often live as if we’re too busy to pray. In an effort to get things done, we cut out prayer time. This isContinue →

“The Externally Focused Church”

I just read The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson (2004). It’s a good book about the church in action through service. Rusaw and Swanson suggest, “Externally focused churches are internally strong, but they are oriented externally” (17). They are “convinced that good deeds and good news can’t and shouldn’t be separated”Continue →

Cultivating a Movement: Preserve Unity!

I’m near the midpoint of a series of messages on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, and Scatter Seeds). One thing churches must also do is preserve unity! Sadly, churches can be notorious for their lack of unity. When this is the case, the church develops a bad reputation inContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Scatter Seeds!

I’m working my way through a series of messages on Cultivating a Movement (previous messages include: Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, and Pursue Holiness). The Church has been entrusted with the gospel—the good news of Jesus Christ. We have a story to tell … God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,Continue →

Cultivating a Movement: Pursue Holiness!

Last month, I found myself saying, “I don’t just want to pastor a church; I want to lead a movement!” That sentiment has shaped my first sermon series of the year: Cultivating a Movement. So far, I’ve talked about Surrender and Rely on God’s Power. Another area that’s vital to being a people God canContinue →