Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Reflection

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.

God is Always With Us, Fighting for Us!

Why is there a Christmas? I believe there’s a Christmas because “God’s faithful love endures forever!” That’s a phrase that appears over and over in the Old Testament (mainly in the Psalms). It includes the Hebrew word, hesed (appears 248 times in the Old Testament), which describes God’s faithful love, loyalty, and devotion. God’s faithful…

The Lord is Great!

Recently, Adam Weber, pastor of Embrace Church (a United Methodist Church) posted a prayer on Twitter that has stuck with me … https://twitter.com/adamweber/status/408802801804779520 This prayer, and this attitude, is essential for staying humble and hungry. Focusing on God’s greatness keeps us humble. God’s greatness keeps us wanting to know God better. You can see this…

Keeping Our Distance

Recently, I was reading in Exodus 20 and the words describing what followed the giving of the Ten Commandments grabbed my attention … 18 All the people were seeing the thundering and the lightning, and heard the sound of the horn, and saw the mountain smoking—and when the people saw it they trembled with fear…

You Can’t Do it Alone!

Recently, I re-read Exodus 18 where Moses receives a visit by his father-in-law, Jethro. It’s a well-known story, especially among Christian leaders. It’s often used to make a case for team-building and delegation. After observing Moses do all of the work by himself, Jethro advises Moses to find and equip capable people to share the…

Gathering or Scattering?

As I look back over the past twenty-five years of following Jesus, clearly my greatest passion has been God’s mission — engaging in it and leading others to engage in it, too! I’ve always been challenged by Jesus’ first words after the resurrection: “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you!” (John 20.21,…

Seasons of Adversity

When we encounter adversity, we naturally want to get through it as quickly as possible. When we get knocked down, we want to get back up and get on with it as quickly as possible! But, often, it simply takes time, sometimes a long time, to get through seasons of adversity! It’s easy to lose…

The Lost Blanket

Well, you’ve heard the stories of the Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep, and the Lost Son (see Luke 15). On Saturday, we experienced the story of the Lost Blanket! Last week, our family went to annual conference, a gathering of pastors and lay members from each church or charge in the conference. We arrived Wednesday…

Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs!

One of the things I’ve discovered over the years that stirs my passion for God is listening to praise and worship music! In Ephesians 5.18-19, the Apostle Paul wrote … Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns,…

A Makeover for Your Mind

Have you ever gotten a makeover? Makeovers aren’t just for your face and hair or even for your house. They are also for your mind! The dictionary definition of transform is … to make someone or something completely different, usually in a way that makes them more attractive, easier to use, etc. When I think…