On Earth as it is in Heaven: Called to Serve

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  ~ Matthew 28:16-20 (NLT)

When writing down your dreams and desires, consider this: you CAN want a relationship with Jesus Christ AND have the desire to replace the 12-year-old mini-van you’ve been driving. You CAN want to introduce others to Christ AND season tickets for your alma mater’s home football games. You CAN be evangelistic AND still be tactful, timely, and congruent in exhorting others about faith in the marketplace.

You CAN be a minister AND work in the marketplace. The Greek word in the New Testament that is often translated as “ministry” is diakonia meaning “service.” The term is not limited to the service of a select few who hold a title or role in the church. The exact opposite is true. Paul said that those who hold offices in the church are given gifts for the purpose of enabling all of God’s people to do ministry:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
~ Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)

Success and leadership correlate as well for the Christian leader as they do a secular CEO, but with a different purpose and purified (or not) by a different faith. Your faith should be evident in the manner in which you express His commands and commission. Make Christ your filter, but honestly consider your desires and needs, and go about them with grace. Let God be God.

Posted in Christian coaching, Christian leadership, core values, dreams, leadership, leadership definitions, ministry, ministry leaders, servant leadership, success, success definitions, values, values-based leadership | Leave a comment

On Earth as it is in Heaven: Courage for Action

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Devotion to Christ changes both His follower and the follower’s desires. The Christian leader seeks FIRST God’s kingdom and His righteousness, “and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV) What else will be given to you? What do you want? What do you want that is in line with what God promises? (This intersection is His design for glorious living.) You know what God wants by seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness.

As a result, Christian leaders muster the courage to take action now on the things that are most important to them, based on their best discernment of God’s will in their lives. That’s worth repeating:

  • Leaders muster courage (because they are fearful of God’s will)
  • to take action now (because now is often all we get)
  • on what is most important (pre-determined priorities)
  • by discerning God’s will for their lives
Posted in Christian coaching, Christian leadership, core values, dreams, leadership, leadership definitions, ministry, ministry leaders, servant leadership, success, success definitions, values, values-based leadership | Leave a comment

On Earth as it is in Heaven: Success & Leadership

Not failure, but low aim, is crime. ~ James Russell Lowell

Leadership starts with authentic self-expression that adds value through relationships; it is value-based, purpose-driven, and mission-focused; it is revealed in the nature of one’s desires, sacrifice and service to others; and it is measured by the results produced by followers’ behaviors.

No doubt, there is a widely accepted correlation between success and leadership in modern literature. However, much depends on how each is defined and measured. Scripture turns common worldly definitions of success and leadership on their heads. (Mark 10:43-45)

When one’s goals are a reflection of authentic, sacrificial self-expression that adds value through God-honoring, sacrificial, loving relationships that lead others to listen to and obey Him, the following definition of Success works for the Christ-follower as well as anyone:

Success is the continual achievement of your own predetermined goals, stabilized by purpose and balance, purified by belief, and expressed in service. No matter how you think of success or measure it, it likely fits this definition — if you seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

This definition of success may still bring you back to the concern, “I just want what God wants.” The more you obey and follow God, the more likely your desires are His desires, or at least they are purified through your faith and by His grace. God reveals His desires through our own desires, purified by our faith and submission. This is why we also say that success is finding out what God wants you to do, and doing it. Success is listening to God and responding.

With these definitions of success in mind, journal your responses to these questions. Use a Vision or Dream Journal and continue to refine your Purpose statement and add to your dream inventory:

  • What do you really want? To do? To have? To become?
  • What is your cause or message? Where are you going? What are your goals?
  • Are you ready to become more authentic in your communication and relationships with others?
  • What are your core values?
  • What is your purpose — in your role and more grandly, in your life?
  • Are you on a mission? What is it? Is it written down? What is the desired timeline for achievement?
  • What is your vision for your life, your family, your ministry, your career?

For the Christian, if success is a relationship with Jesus Christ and obedience to God, then leadership includes guiding people into the same relationship. The measure of both is in the “Greatest Commandment” and the “Great Commission”.

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”~ Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT) 

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
~ Matthew 28:16-20 (NLT)

Posted in Christian leadership, core values, dreams, leadership, leadership definitions, servant leadership, success, success definitions, values, values-based leadership | Leave a comment