Tag Archive - Jesus

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Why Following Jesus is all Backwards

I know that typically I’m cranking out a couple of blog posts a week that deal with Church Leadership and Making Vision Real. It’s usually something about building a great team, the art of execution, vision, structure, why policies will tank your church…or 15 reasons why your church is stuck and how to fix it. But this post is different. I hope you’ll give me some latitude…and I’ll get back to the 15 reasons why your church is stuck and how to fix it later.

I recently had a moment to rest and was reminded of a couple of ideas that, “I know,” but are really difficult for me to put into action. Even with more than 30 years into following Jesus I feel like there are some basic things I still struggle with. Maybe it’s just me, but this whole following Jesus thing seems so backwards sometimes (ok so all the time)…it just doesn’t come natural to me.

Anyway, here’s a few of the thoughts that I scribbled down that I thought I’d share…hope they’re helpful to you in some way.

To Win you have to be Last

This is tough for me. I like to win. I mean I really like to win. Competition is in my Strength Finders top 5. It’s part of why I think it’s unacceptable for people to die and go to hell…and why I think the church has got to be more aggressive in reaching outsiders instead of pandering to insiders. But…if you really want to win…Jesus said you’ve got to be willing to lose. Remember that whole first / last thing He talked about in that really famous sermon He preached?

To be able to truly Give you have to be able to Receive

You cannot give what you do not have. That makes sense…here’s the tough part though…in order to give you have to be able to receive. Another way to put this is you cannot give love if you don’t know how to receive love. This is tough…because receiving takes all kinds of humility…and if you’re human you get that humility doesn’t come natural to us.

You Work From Rest instead of Working to Rest

Most people are, “working for the weekend.” They work so they can save up enough time off and enough money to get away from work and take a break from it all. Jesus designed life differently than that. He worked from rest instead of resting from work. This one is super convicting for me.

To Gain Your Life you have to Lose it

This just seems super backwards to me…to gain life Jesus says I have to first lose it. I get that real life is found in Him and that in order to take hold of that life we have to let go of this one…but the implications for that statement are both simple and far reaching. This is why there is no leadership without loss. This is why when I got married I was hit square in the face with how selfish I was…and then again when I had a kid…and another…and another…and another. You can probably perceive that I’ve still got some room to grow here.

If you want to Find Wealth it’s start with Giving it away

So they key to building wealth isn’t getting as much as you can while you can, it’s not building up stock piles and hoarding things…it’s actually by giving it away. God’s design for money is that we give first, save second, and live on the rest. Giving first honors God, saving second builds wealth, and living on the rest teaches us contentment. We could probably all do with a little contentment.

I have to constantly remind myself (more like Jesus has to constantly remind me) that it’s not about being better, working harder, or doing more. Jesus is good enough, He worked enough, and He did enough. He really is enough…and I’m still figuring that all out. Hope you are too.


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Testimonial

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Why there is no Leadership without Loss

The leadership secret that no one is telling you about? There is no leadership without loss. It may not be popular, but it is absolutely take it to the bank true. Most people mistakenly believe that gaining leadership is all about gaining more power, gaining a more influential position, and gaining more prestige and popularity. But leaders who lead at the highest levels know there is no going up, without giving up. And the higher you go in leadership, the more you have to be willing to lose. In fact here are 3 big things that leaders lose the higher they go in leadership.

#1 Preference

The best leaders I’ve been around ask what’s best for the organization, not what’s best for themselves. And then they defer their preference for the performance of the organization.

#2 Rights

The best leaders willingly give up their rights in exchange for responsibility.

#3 Control

Great leaders are able to recruit and keep other incredible leaders at the table because they’re willing to give up control. They’re willing to share leadership and allow others to lead in their area of brilliance.

Jesus put it this way: If you want to gain your life, you have to lose itif you want to be first, you have to be last.

What else would you add to the list? Leave a comment!

Want to learn more about the connection between loss and leadership? Check out 10 Things you Lose when your Church Grows

Photo Credit: Jan Tik via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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Global Leadership Summit 2013: Andy Stanley

I hope the notes I’ve been posting this week have been helpful! The closing session of the 2013 Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit was entrusted to Andy Stanley of North Point Ministries, and he delivered! If you haven’t ordered it already, I’d encourage you to get your hands on a copy of his newest book Deep & Wide.

  • Jesus didn’t predict a place (upon this rock I will build my church), he predicted a people…a movement.
  • Jesus has built a movement on the back of an extraordinary statement that “He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
  • How could this have possibly worked?
  • Because Jesus made a promise and He has been at the epicenter of the local church for more than 2,000 years and Jesus has been, and will continue to build the local church and no body’s death is going to stop it…not even His own.
  • The reason it’s important to ask “How this thing got started?” is because in a majority of the world even in churches all across America it needs to start over.
  • The message was “You killed Him, God brought Him back to life…now say you’re sorry.”
  • The central teaching of the church was not we believe something is true. It was we believe something has happened. All religions think they have the truth. The first century church believed something had happened.
  • The movement stopped moving…the gathering stopped growing…when they got just beyond the reach of the persecution…it stopped.
  • Then God went and got a new kind of leader…Saul of Tarsus…who became the Apostle Paul.
  • Whether you believe or not, whether you corporate or not…Jesus is going to build His church.
  • James, the brother of Jesus, may be our greatest argument for the deity of Jesus. Because what would your brother have to do to convince you that He is the Savior of the world?
  • If a guy can predict his death and his resurrection I am with him.
  • You may do more profitable things with your life but you’ll never do anything more meaningful with your life than build the local church because it is the work that Jesus has been doing for 2,000 years.

Posted in Leadership