Don’t Live for the Recognition

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10 Today, I want to share the kinship that comes with living for applause with you. Many of you who have been called to ministry and/or leadership are aware of the pressure that comes with power and position. It feels nice to be seen, and it’s simple to start validating and measuring your influence based on the reactions of those you serve. The issue is that by doing so, you relinquish your position of leadership and become a follower. You give others control and follow their lead when you try too hard to make them pleased.  When I was 22 or 23 years old, a guy named Richard Watts, who was

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Who Leads and Who Follows?

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1 For the past two days, we’ve learned that if we want to lead like Jesus, it’s important to consider how we respond to feedback and whether or not we’re planning for our succession. Today, I want to discuss the third and final question we’re wise to ask ourselves in order to assume His heart in leadership, and that is simply — who leads and who follows? While it may sound strange, the only way to effectively influence people to follow us is for us to follow Christ. When we, as believers, devote ourselves to walking in the paths of our Savior, guiding others becomes about encouraging them to follow Him. Whether we’re the head of a household, the CEO of a corporation, the owner of a business, or the overseer of a group of volunteers, our goal

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Do You Plan for Succession?

“When a land transgresses, it gains a succession of leaders, but with an understanding and knowledgeable man, its stability endures.” – Proverbs 28:2 (ISV) Today, I want to look at the second of three questions we’re wise to ask ourselves if we want to lead with the heart of Jesus, and that is — are we planning for our succession? From the very beginning of His ministry, our Lord was training others to take His place. He told His disciples that they would do greater things than He did because He was going to His Father. In other words, since He knew He was leaving the earth, He invited them to step up and accomplish even more — to build on the foundation that He laid. Likewise, as we seek to lead in our modern world, we’re wise to consider how we’re equipping those who come behind us. If we’re a

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Called vs. Driven

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5 Among the greatest gifts we inherit when we become part of the family of God is that He gives us a purpose. The very One who set the stars in the sky and the planets in space has ordained a calling for us, and if we seek Him, He faithfully leads us to it. As for me, I’m called to be a pastor and to expand the Kingdom of Christ through Hour of Power and Shepherd’s Grove. However, I’m not the proprietor of my position — I’m only a steward of what the Lord has entrusted to me. First and foremost, it belongs to Him, and so does everything else that I enjoy. Knowing this, I’m free to embrace my

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Wash the Feet of Others

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.’” – John 13:12-14 One of the most incredible things Jesus did in service to His disciples was to wash their feet. And while this sounds somewhat gross in our modern world, it was even worse in Biblical times. Since people wore sandals and walked pretty much everywhere they went, their feet were usually dirty and covered with mud and animal dung. That said, cleaning them was an unpleasant thing to do, which is probably why it was a job primarily reserved for servants. Because they were at the

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Leadership Transcends Title

“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’”  – Matthew 20:25,26 As people immersed in a celebrity and success-oriented culture, we tend to give a lot of weight to titles. However, such distinctions are not always what they seem. Last Christmas, my sister gave me a really unique gift. She found out that in Scotland, there’s a movement to save natural resources, so they’re parcelling out pieces of land that are about eight feet square and selling them. Because Scottish law says that anyone who owns property in their country is entitled to bear the designation of “lord” or “lady,” it’s an enticement to purchase the parcels, which is why she gifted one to us. That

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