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Meekness is the Leverage of Leadership

In today’s world, meekness = weakness. God does not view it that way, however. The Bible says of Moses,”Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) And in a world where power is everything, Jesus entered the scene in a wooden manger surrounded by barnyard animals. He grew up in an humble village, the son of a carpenter, of modest means. He lived His life serving others, yet Jesus was certainly the most influential leader in all of history.

If you study the lives of Moses and Jesus you’ll find something interesting – they were both great leaders. Both were willing to boldly confront sin and error. Both would rebuke those who believed and lived lies. Both were willing to venture out into the future with faith. Yet they were the meekest men in history. How can this be? You see, we’ve misdefined meekness. Biblical meekness is not weakness, it is really just the opposite.

The Bible’s word for meekness is used in reference to a broken horse, which has all the power to destroy its rider but refrains out of respect for authority. The word is also used to refer to a soldier who has all the might to take on the enemy, yet submits himself completely to the authority of his commanding officer. Meekness is the key to having leverage in leadership. It’s the refusal to demand respect in exchange for commanding it with a life of integrity. It is “controlled power.” Meekness is the willingness to supress those urges to lash out at the wrong time, opting instead to wait for further orders from our commanding officer, Jesus.

Is meekness displayed in your life? How can you submit yourself to Jesus more today? How can you lead others with boldness and courage?

What Happens When I Fail to Delegate

LidAlways in the back of my mind is this thought, “Don’t be the factor holding back the growth of Grace Hills Church.” I believe in John Maxwell’s Law of the Lid. So if my leadership is sub-par, and I’m supposed to be at the head of the pack, where does that leave other leaders for whom I am responsible?

I need to be keenly aware of my blindspots, which means allowing other leaders, especially my wife, to look and speak into my life. I have some leadership flaws I’m working on right now, but at the top of the list is my slowness in delegating authority and responsibility to others. Here are some harsh realities about the inability to delegate that I’m trying to embrace today:

  • If I don’t delegate, I’ve snapped a lid on the growth of my organization. We’re done.
  • If I don’t delegate, it could signal a subtle arrogance in me that believes no one else could do as well as me with a responsibility.
  • If I don’t delegate, I rob someone of the pleasure and reward of serving and leading.
  • If I delegate tasks alone, and not authority, I’m still the authoritarian and I fail to value people.
  • If I don’t delegate, I fail to be like Jesus, who had the gaul to go pray alone while sending seventy other leaders out to evangelize.
  • If I don’t delegate, I’m headed for burnout already.
  • If I don’t delegate, I will frustrate the other leaders around me.

I often fail to delegate because I don’t want to burden people, I’m afraid of the “no,” or it’s just easier to do something myself. And therein lies the issue. By doing the work of ten men rather than finding ten men to do the work, I’ve chosen the easy path. I will work harder, with smaller results than if I empowered and released others to fulfill their God-given potential.

What do you need to give away?

Photo by .m for matthijs.

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Don’t Lose Your Moral Authority

I am currently reading Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering and have just completed the chapter about having moral authority in leadership. Stanley gives a couple of examples of how moral authority works in our lives. One example was Mother Teresa’s harsh words about abortion during a National Day of Prayer breakfast in Washington. Though the Clinton’s and Gore’s gave little response, the room erupted into a standing ovation after she spoke. Why would such a small woman have such a huge impact? Moral authority.

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Preaching the Word

“But (God) hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Savior.” -Titus 1:3

When preachers preach, they do so as frail and fallible human beings, holding forth the precious words of eternal life. There is, however, a sense in which the preacher communicates on God’s behalf. Only when his words match the content or the intent of Scripture do they carry any heavenly authority, but when he faithfully pronounces God’s truth to the masses, he is God’s spokesman, God’s chosen means of carrying His perfect message to the world.

The prophets of old set the standard with their “thus saith the Lord.” Jesus stated emphatically on God’s behalf, “Verily, verily I say unto you…” The apostles marched boldy into the temple to preach to the people “all the words of this life.” America needs preaching! Our thirsty souls need preaching just as our parched tongues need water. Preaching is being diminised today, relegated to the back burner of ministry. Oratory is almost all but lost in exchange for professional speaking. But God still chooses spokesmen and He still speaks volumes through them Sunday after Sunday in pulpits across America.

Let us as the church today return preaching to its rightful position at the forefront of worship. Let God’s Word remain the centerpiece of our services. Let the pulpit be a place of freedom where God’s men may stand and boldy proclaim God’s will for the world.

Astounded By His Authority

“And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and seas obey Him?'” -Mark 4:41 (NKJV)

Early in the ministry of Jesus to his disciples, He offered them a powerful demonstration of His power and authority. They were astounded that the forces of nature were totally obedient to His voice. This respect for His authority would create in them a tremendous respect for Him throughout His earthly ministry. Indeed, Peter would be willing to say (brashly) that he would follow Jesus even to death. James and John would expect to call down fire from heaven in His name.

There is a detail, however, that we will miss if we read too quickly this wonderful story. Theirs was essentially a transfer of fear from nature to Jesus. Their spiritual depth grew during this turmoil in the sea. Have you ever looked at a stormy sky and been awestruck at the magnitude of nature’s power? The bigger question is, have you ever looked at a stormy sky and been awestruck at the magnitude of God’s power? There’s a huge difference.

When storms and crises come our way in life, we’ll either fear the storm and brace ourselves for what nature and life bring our way, or we’ll fear God and be prepared to watch Him work in our situation. The disciples were at a disadvantage. They did not have the record of this event recorded in a Bible for them since it was, of course, a developing story. We, on the other hand, have the privilege of knowing by past revelation that Jesus is there with us when crises come. So, when you see a storm coming, do you look for the One who calms the storm? Or do you simply look at the ominous clouds? Turn to Him and trust Him. Only the Prince of Peace can bring the ultimate calm.