Tag Archives: leadership

Intentional Connecting

“…Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition…” Philippians 1:27 (MSG)

We have all heard pundits, researchers, spiritual guides and thought leaders talk about how hard it is to make connections in globalized cultures. We are on the move, scheduled tight and unaware of our surroundings.

We have few friends besides friends related to our work. And because we change jobs more frequently, we loose those friends and have to make others. In short, we have few meaningful connections in the professional world today that go beyond specific situations. It is no different in the ministry context.

I have found that unless we take Paul’s challenge to the Philippians to stand united seriously we will be divided without even knowing it! It will simply happen out of neglect. I’m sure you have had experiences like that. Times when you thought you were in agreement with someone you hadn’t seen in ages and then get together only to realize that one of you has moved ideologically and are now in a new place. That wasn’t an intentional division between you, but without work, it simply happened.

I have realized that without intentional efforts to engage our chances of being united in Christ with those around are slim. So I have found a few things very helpful:

  • We found a church with a Sunday School class that is serious about community. This group is an amazing source of spiritual support, energy and friendship.
  • As I took on my CEO role at GMI, I found a group of Colorado Springs CEO’s that get together several times a year. This has been extremely helpful in understanding what other CEO’s are dealing with and connecting around common challenges.
  • I also got involved with the CLA’s Leader2Leader Mentoring program where several leaders of nonprofits get together to provide peer-to-peer mentoring to each other with a facilitator.

Each of these has been an intentional effort to engage with others and create connection, community and relationship. How are you intentionally engaging?

A Land of Hope

“…I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.” Acts 2:26 (quoting David in Psalm 16), The Message

In Peter’s famous address after the Holy Spirit’s arrival among the Disciples, he quotes a Psalm of David’s where David is looking forward to the Messiah. As I was listening to Acts 2 in Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase The Message, this line I have quoted above caught my attention. In the NIV it says “my body also will rest in hope.”

David made a choice as a leader. He decided to live in a place of hope. He did this because he had something great to hope for. David knew that he was part of a bigger movement of God in the world and that some day God’s Kingdom would conquer all. With this knowledge in hand, David planted himself a “land of hope.”

Do we take that posture. It is so easy for us to pitch our tent in despair or dread. We are walking through so much sorrow, pain and difficulty, that it is easy to camp there. But David camped where there was hope; even while he lived through very difficult things.

David’s affirmation became rich soil for Peter as he was faced with a challenging situation - following Jesus after He had departed. But Peter was able to grasp these words and pitch his tent in a place of hope as he led the early Church the many difficult times.

Is your faith strong enough and is your relationship with God real enough to allow you to pitch a tent in a land of hope today?

 

The Source of our Power

@JonHirstGMI: “Power is the ability to make something of the world.” @ahc // #dataispower - how will we use info to bless!

I’m starting to read Andy Crouches’ latest book on power - Playing God. He starts off by recognizing that many of us see power as negative and coercive and then begins to share that his book will focus on the redemption of power in God’s story. I look forward to that journey. But for now, I would like to focus some time on the definition he provided and that I put at the top of this post as a tweet I shared.

As we consider the role of power in the world of mission, this definition is intriguing. We as missional workers are focused on impacting the world in ways that match what we see as God’s Kingdom. Each of us feel that God has called us to bring change to different areas of a fallen world. And as we act on these passions we are utilizing the power that we have at our disposal to see the change made into a reality.

One of the realities of this process is that, no matter how good our intentions, we end up using power not granted to us by God but instead by this world’s sources of influence. We take God’s mission and our power supply and get to work - usually with less than satisfactory results.

So it would seem to me that the very first question that Kingdom workers need to ask after receiving their direction from God is the power source they plan to use. I have been reading in 2nd Chronicles about king Asa of Judah. In Chapter 14, when he is up against an army much bigger than his own, he calls out to God. “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you…” His prayer is answered in both victory and in the words of Azariah when he returns, “The Lord is with you when you are with him.”

I am processing this about my own role with GMI. As you think about your role in leadership, do you know where your power comes from?

My 1000th Tweet

I was attending the CLA luncheon here in Colorado Springs today and sharing some of the quotes from one of the members of the crisis team who provided leadership during the Waldo Canyon Fire, Jerri Marr. When I looked up from the ideas I was sharing I saw that one of her quotes was my 1000th tweet.

And I thought to myself, that is worth commemorating. So this blog is that opportunity. The quote was “The first and last task of a leader is to keep hope alive.”

What a powerful idea. You as a leader are tasked with keeping hope alive in those that you are leading. How are you doing at this important task? Any examples to share?