Monthly Archives: July 2008

leadership lessons from favre

Reports are all over the networks are saying that the Green Bay Packers are offering retired quarterback Brett Favre 20 Million dollars to stay retired. Most football fans are tired of this story and the fiasco that Favre has set off with his unstable ways. But this is much more than a sports story.

Can you imagine how you would feel if the organization that you worked with for 17 years was willing to pay you extra to not work with them? This isn’t simply an awesome retirement plan. It is a loud and clear statement by the team that he is no longer welcomed there. Rather than being honored or excited, I think I would be crushed.

What happens in organizations that cause such division among leaders? From time to time we hear horror stories about the train wrecks that happen in churches and ministries. People get mad, people get hurt. Anger and bitterness sets in. Bridges get burned. Before it is over, some want to pay others to just go away.

What leadership mistakes did Brett make? My opinion is, he messed up here. He retired, he called the press conference, he gave the tearful speech. The team had to move on and they did, and he wants to come back. He has lost credibility, the team leaders no longer trust him. I think that he is being disrespectful of the team. But none of that matters in the long run. What matters is that you and I do better. We have to behave in ways that encourages others to believe in us. Our credibility is important. While we will never be perfect and never be able to please everyone with whom we work, I hope no one is ever willing to pay me to simply go away.

On the other hand, how many of us would take them up on the offer? How much would it cost to buy you out?


give me your eyes

Brandon Heath’s newer song Give Me Your Eyes is great. This youtube clip is entertaining but the message behind the song needs to be heard. For your convenience, here are the lyrics:

Looked down from a broken sky Traced out by the city lights My world from a mile high Best seat in the house tonight Touched down on the cold black tile Hold on for the sudden stop Breath in the familiar shock Of confusion and chaos Are those people going somewhere? Why have I never cared?

Chorus: Give me your eyes for just one second Give me your eyes so I can see Everything that I keep missing Give me your love for humanity Give me your arms for the broken hearted Wasnt it far beyond my reach? Give me your heart for the once forgotten Give me your eyes so I can see again again yeah yeah

Step out on a busy street See a girl and our eyes meet Does her best to smile at me To hide whats underneath Theres a man just to her right Black suit and a bright red tie To ashamed to tell his wife Hes out of work Hes buying time Are those people going somewhere? Why have I never cared?

Ive Been there a million times A couple of million eyes Just moving past me by I swear I never thought that I was wrong Well I want a second glance So give me a second chance To see the way you see the people all alone

A good prayer…


if I were not a pastor

Every once in a while, I think about what life would be like if I were not in vocational ministry. I wonder what kind of church I would be a part of. I think that some of the things that would be important to me would be:

· Outwardly focused – cannot be a self-serving church.
· Innovative – can’t be bound by tradition.
· Connected with the community- has to be involved (hands on) in the lives of people in the area.
· A global vision – has to be involved in reaching people around the world.
· Passionate about worship – must be serious about living in the presence of God.
· Committed to Truth – a no-compromise approach to the practice of the Scriptures.
· Grace based – a loving, accepting and forgiving church culture.
· Generous – giving away more resources than we keep.
· Dangerous – not afraid to take great risks for God.
· Life-giving – an unstoppable drive to bring the redemptive message of Jesus to our culture.

Since doing something other than ministry is not an option for me, I hope that this is the kind of church that I serve. If these things would be important to me as a church member, they are important to me as a pastor. I can be happy in a church like that.


what is God looking for?

We know that God is always watching over us, looking on at our daily lives. Thankfully, He is not just an onlooker but is inextricably involved in our lives. Maybe you’ve never thought about this, but when God is watching us, what is He looking for? I love the fairly obscure scripture found in II Chronicles 16:9 “The Lord searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to him. He wants to make them strong.” (NCV) Pretty clear, isn’t it? He is looking for people who are committed to Him. He wants to bless those people.

What does God think when He looks at me, and you? I don’t intend this to be a condemning thing. I hope He is pleased with what He sees and, as a result, makes us strong.

Another solid reason to give ourselves completely to God.


a leadership scripture from various angles

A simple verse that teaches us the responsibility of leadership is found in Romans 12:8. The section is discussing spiritual gifts and the importance of operating within your gifting as well as developing and deploying your gift. Take a look at the various versions… (parenthesis mine)

If it (one’s spiritual gift) is leadership, let him govern diligently. (NIV)
If you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate. (MSG)
God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. (NLT)
If we are leaders, we should do our best. (CEV)
Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he leads. (NCV)
If it (your spiritual gift) is to lead, do it diligently. (TNIV)

The specific interpretations vary but you get the idea. Simply put, if God has called you into leadership, you owe Him your best. No slacking. No shortcuts. No half-hearted effort.

Get on with being the best leader you can possibly be!


falling on your face

If you have been a leader for more than a week or two, you have felt like the dude in the picture (Minnesota Twins’ Carlos Gomez). Falling is a part of leading. Seems kind of contradictory, most people think of leaders as those who succeed. Who wants to follow a person who spends time face down on the ground? The reality is, anyone who is enjoying success has had their fair share of failure. They have fallen and will fall again.

I believe the thing that separates leaders from most people is their ability to get up after a failure. Falling is humiliating. The first thing I do when I trip on the sidewalk is to look around and make sure no one was watching me. I don’t have that luxury in my public leadership role. When I trip, lots of people see it. The more responsible the leader, the greater number of people under her or his care, the more people that see the fall.

Get up. if you have fallen, pick yourself up. Clean yourself off. Start walking again. The lessons you have learned from falling will serve you well in the future. If you are wise, you will be less apt to fall again, you will also be better equipped to help those around you when they fall.


respect your youngers

Never heard that one before, have you? The more recognized phrase is, “respect your elders”. Obviously, the latter means to treat those who are older than you with honor, if someone is in authority over you, they are due respect. No issues with that.

But it is also OK to encourage one another to treat those who work for you with respect. Younger people, up and coming leaders, those who look up to you – they all need to be honored. In essence, this is a reminder to leaders to remain humble, and to never take advantage of those for whom you are responsible. Too many people at the head of organizations forget that it is the people in supportive roles who are majorly responsible for the success of their organization. Many times, those in supportive roles are the very reason for the success of their leaders.

Never take these people for granted, never disrespect them, never be condescending to them. Hopefully, they are looking to you for leadership and example on how to treat other people. Show by your behavior how you genuinely care about them and for them. They, in turn, will hold you in high regard.

Respect your youngers, without them, you would fail. They are good people and worthy of your respect.