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5 Ways to Encourage Another Leader

Linking HandsEveryone needs a Paul and a Timothy (or several of each). That is, we all need to be learning from mentors and mentoring learners. There is always someone ahead of us and always someone just behind us. It is the role and responsibility of a leader to give another leader a lift.

So how can we, in a practical way, give another leader a lift?

1. Call a fellow leader on the phone and mentor them without even telling them you’re doing it. Just ask them a ton of questions about how things are going in their soul, their family, and their realm of leadership. Then offer encouragement and perhaps a little bit of advice. And pray with them.

2. Connect a fellow leader into a valuable relationship. I’m forever saying, “Oh, you need to know so-and-so.” It’s my way of putting people together when I think they need to learn from one another. How many connections is too many? I’ve been connecting with leaders and connecting leaders to other leaders for years now and my capacity to learn and be led by others has yet to fill up.

3. Send a book. A friend and mentor recently sent me a book on prayers for leaders. It’s become a great devotional resource. I passed a little book about connecting on to Bentonville, Arkansas’ Mayor, feeling it was a good fit for his business-political niche. Next to the connections we make, resources are everything, so pass them along.

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4. Ask a leader for help. Asking for a favor is empowering to people. I love helping others, and so do you. So allow others the blessing of helping you from time to time. A friend called me yesterday for advice about an opportunity before him. The opportunity was out of my league, but he wanted to know what I thought. I’m not sure if my advice was worth much in the end, but it meant a lot that he would ask me.

5. Produce something for others. I get so frustrated with the number of great leaders I know whose heads are filled with wisdom but who won’t write, won’t blog, and won’t speak anywhere. It’s free, quick, and simple to start sharing your knowledge with the world. And it’s only going to get easier. It’s a matter of being a good steward of the wisdom God has given us.

Don’t become so task-oriented today that you fail to turn away from the to-do list to challenge and encourage another leader.

The Depth of Life Is Relationships

love
People matter. Relationships matter. Family matters. Church matters. God’s forever family and His Kingdom matter a great deal more than just about anything else. The depth of life is found in our relationships.

We live in times when we’re a click away from a whole new set of “friends,” who are essentially strangers, all over the world. While this expands our missions opportunities and opens up our exposure to new cultures, it can also create a terrible disconnect between us and those who matter the most. It’s still real life, face-to-face meetings that make more of a difference than any other.

I’ve been challenged lately to break out of my shell. I often revert back to the shyness of my youth and hide out behind all of the “responsibilities” and “opportunities” that often replace what is most important. But if I want to experience life’s greatest joys (and they only exist in relationships), then I must engage the people who are waiting to be loved in my life. If I want to be obedient to God’s great commission, I need to interact with the culture around me (meaning real people). If I want to get to my grave someday in fulfillment, I need to walk in relationship to other people.

Wanna go deep with me? Then…

  • Pick up the phone today.
  • Walk down the hall and encourage a fellow employee.
  • Get a cup of coffee and say ‘Hi’ to someone new.
  • Pray for people by name and by need.
  • Find somebody that needs to be served.
  • Set aside a half an hour for a game with your kid.
  • Tell your spouse just three honest and loving thoughts about him/her.

Real depth in our lives comes not from knowing more, reading more, or studying more. It comes from opening up, loving, and serving more!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Jinhan

What In the World Is Social Networking?

I’ve been blogging for almost four years now, but I think I’d still call myself a late adopter. It’s only been within the last year and a half that I’ve begun to realize the power of optimizing my site for search engines, so I spent a couple of years blogging while nobody was listening. I’ve also been slow to catch on when it comes to social networking, but I’m quickly realizing I’m not alone – though many networks seem huge, most people I know still aren’t on them.

I thought I’d take just a few minutes and talk about the power of social networking and why I wish all my friends would jump in with both feet, as well as a couple of warnings…

[Read more…]

Defining Discipleship

It’s tough sometimes to hear a clear voice on how discipleship should be defined. We always like to attach methodologies to it – “you disciple people by…” Today I read a simple, yet thorough definition of discipleship that includes all the essential elements. Tony Evans, in his devotional book Get Serious says “(Discipleship) is that process that occurs in the framework of accountable relationships in the local church, whereby Christians are progressively brought from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity.” [Read more…]