Leading Happy

Where Leadership and Happiness Collide

Month: June 2016 (page 2 of 2)

Discipleship Made Simple

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No matter the life-stage you‘re in there is always the need to take your spiritual journey with Jesus to a deeper level. This truth is most evident when someone becomes a new Christian. Like someone at a new job, they are full of questions and continually seeking answers. Mature Christians need to capitalize on the unquenchable thirst of young Christians.

Discipleship doesn’t have to be complex. My desire is that both the established believer and the one who is new in Christ will find fulfillment and success as they journey toward Christ together. Mark Batterson defines success as “doing the best you can with what you have where you are.” Here are some ideas on “simple discipleship” which branch off of the three principles in Batterson’s definition.

1. Doing The Best You Can.

Everyone can do something, so do your best at that something. All Christians were new Christians at one time. Thinking back it wasn’t just the sermons or the classes that made me who I am today; it was the relationships. Growing people grow people. Mentoring is simply doing only what you can do for someone else. Therefore, be involved; share your life with them.

The key is not to let doing what you can’t stop you from doing what you can. You are unique so use that uniqueness to make a transformative impact on their life.

2. With What You Have.

1 Corinthians 12:7 explains that the “manifestations of the Spirit are given for the common good.” Everyone has spiritual gifts that give a unique slant on how they can help others grow. Therefore, know your spiritual gift. For example, if you have the gift of encouragement, use that gift to encourage that new Christian to persevere through those tough questions and tough times they face early on in their journey.

You also have a set of skills that are unique to you. Maybe you are a natural leader; apply those skills to lead them closer to Christ. Maybe you are athletic; use those skills to build common ground and experiences that creatively disciple. You have unique gifts and skills. Find them. Develop them. Use them.

3. Where You Are.

Time is always an issue in the hi-tech, fast-paced, Wifi dominated world we live in. But Jesus was the master at taking an ordinary thing, found in everyday life, and making an extraordinary truth come alive. You must learn the art of developing eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. Maximize every opportunity you have to help someone grow.

Take an ordinary moment right where you are at to speak a truth into the life of the one you are disciplining. They may not even know it is a teaching moment, but the power of your relationship with them in that moment can have an eternal effect on their growth and development.

The idea  of “simple discipleship” is meant to start a discovery process that will help you create unique ways to disciple, mentor, and care for those who are fresh in their faith journey. There are millions of ways this can be done but you have to start by “doing the best you can with what you have where you are.”

Creating Unforgettable Experiences

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Creating a an Unforgettable Experience by Brad Lomenick, director of Catalyst

Basic Overview: These are my notes from a breakout session from 2012 at the NYCL Conference in Atlanta. Brad discussed the 10 creative core values that govern his team as they plan the Catalyst conference.  The two things he asks him team to bring to the creative meetings are: 1. Your creative ideas and 2. Your sense of discernment. People need to contribute both with ideas and debate ideas.

1. It is not about us!

His team is to position themselves with palms up and hands open.

No one should have clenched fists on ideas of the past, present, or future.

2. It is about uniting leaders, not dividing them.

Structured as a community and collaborative effort.

Not about individuals but ideals.

World thinks the church culture does not unite well. They are here to disprove that idea.

Nothing is more valuable than unity in leadership.

Start with the idea of generosity. Sharing is big in society today. Social Media is the leader in this area.

Be defined by what you are for and not what you are against.

Remember it is about the larger win; not personal gain. Give all away that you learn or achieve.

3. The event must be about the experience.

Content is consumable, out there everywhere, and is typically free.

People care about the collective experience, not the content of the event.

Value all the five senses and not simply auditory and visual.

What will they leave talking about beyond the message (if they are even talking about the message anyway)?

4. Make it Personality-less.

Don’t build the experience around just one personality. (Explained the transition from John Maxwell to the team approach to Catalyst.)

Events should not be about who, but about what and why – what will I learn and why will it help me in my daily life or work.

This society is about the tribe, the brand, not just one personality.

Design with the communal nature in mind.

Even if the event is more or less personality based, learn to continue to celebrate the entire team to balance it out.

5. Create a big vision and challenge your tribe to buy-in.

The overall goals are about dreaming big and creating inspiring movement.

Think bigger than expected but do not dismiss reality as a part of the equation.

Don’t let reality keep you from dreaming, but let it help you when it comes to actual and possible execution of the dream.

6. Authenticity must be valued since we are all humans.

This generation sees a fake a mile away.

Be you, but do it creatively. Don’t force who you are not.

Be with your people. Get the pulse and feel of their lives.

No leader is such a big deal that he cannot connect with his followers.

Be real and be reachable.

7. Causes and Social Movements are the new norm.

Social Media is king. Innovation is a tweet away.

This generation is about social justice.

The Kony video is a great example.

Create connection through social media as much as you can to foster online communities and forums to spread your ideas and values.

Go to the people, don’t fight to bring them to you – social media is key here.

8. Honor the sages and mentors before you.

This is often forgotten in the younger generation of leaders.

Invite the seasoned leaders to be a part of the creative process.

Creativity is not limited to only younger people.

Have them speak, let them give input, honor their voice in what you do.

This is an area you have to be intentional, because it is not natural.

9. Create a product that you love!

If you do not love your own event, why would anyone else?

If you do not want to come to your event or want to invite others to your event, you have a major disconnect.

Create in a manner that gets you excited about your own event.

This needs to play a major role in planning.

10. Set a standard that scares you.

Excellence is the standard.

To be different is the standard.

Something that has yet to be done but needs to be done.

Make it hard to top your best moments.

These standards will shock you out of the normalcy trap and scare you (in a good way).

Four Gifts of Uncertainty

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Faith is not simply holding beliefs. At its core, faith does not believe in statement, it is placing trust in a person. We all think we want certainty, but what we really want is trust. Trust is better than certainty because it honors our freedom and makes possible growth and intimacy that certainty alone could never produce.

There could be no intimacy without trust. When we trust, we places small pieces of ourselves – our stuff, our money, our time, our heart – and we place them in the hands of another. We find our lives open and vulnerable. Once we do that, we live in a realm of uncertainty. We give the gift of our trust, and we receive in return God’s gift of faithfulness. Nevertheless, we live in uncertainty and here we receive four unique gifts.

FOUR GIFTS OF UNCERTAINTY

ONE | Uncertainty requires our HUMBLING.

Faith is required only when we have doubts, when we do not know for sure. When full knowledge comes, faith is no more. We need to acknowledge that we do not have our acts together. We do not know it all. This is humbling.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT) Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Job felt God had wronged him.

Job 19:6 (NLT) But it is God who has wronged me, capturing me in his net.

Job even doubted God’s goodness.

Job 6:4 (NLT) For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. Their poison infects my spirit. God’s terrors are lined up against me.

Job even fussed about the absence and silence of God.

Job 30:20 (NLT)  “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you, but you don’t even look.

In the end, when God speaks to others in the story, he speaks on the side of Job.

Job 42:7 (NLT) After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.

TWO | Uncertainty increases our LEARNING.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Doubt causes us to examine our faith. We need to test certain areas. We need to talk through things scientifically and philosophically. Uncertainty is like a small prod pushing us to examine not only evidence and arguments, but to examine out very hearts and attitudes.

We are called to challenge ourselves everyday. Not to be prefect but to be growing and learning more about the person God is calling us to be.

THREE | Uncertainty allows our SEEKING.

Sometimes we deal with doubts by hiding from them or trying to suppress them. We feel our faith my be completely destroyed by answers we don’t want to hear.

Honestly you cannot make yourself believe anything through sheer willpower. A wise professor once said, “Belief is something that happens to a person, not something he or she does.” Therefore, trying to push your self to believe just doesn’t work. It will only become toxic to your life.

Yet, instead of pushing our selves to believe, we need to allow our lives to be a journey of seeking. Once we find something, we journey on seeking another truth. Dallas Willard once said, “We must seek truth wherever it may lead us.”

Seeking truth leads us to truth personified in Jesus.

John 8:32 (NLT) And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

John 16:13 (NLT) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

Another way of saying this is, if you have to choose between Jesus and truth, choose truth. According to Jesus, if you honestly search for truth, you will find him. One of the major purposes of doubt is to cause us to seek truth as a proposition, which ends in finding truth the person, Jesus. But everyone’s journey is different and some take longer than others. This is why GRACE is so crucial in our journey as a person and especially as a community.

FOUR | Uncertainty acknowledges our GROWING.

If a person can be confident and care about other people even in a valley time of uncertainty, they will grow further and faster than they realize. To be uncertain yet still care for others is maturity. To be uncertain and yet cheerful is to truly develop as a person.

Growing is about acknowledging that we all face times when a decision will require commitment when we don’t have total certainty. For the most vital decisions of our lives, this is almost always the case.

Once of the greatest examples is marriage. A husband cannot stand hand-in-hand with his bride and say he is only 95% committed to the future success of this marriage. Any wife would walk away from a person saying they will only be 95% faithful. Marriage is a 100% commitment of faith and uncertainty. It is a bond of trust that is not taken lightly.

The same is true for us and our faith in Jesus. Jesus speaks of the church as the bride and he as the faithful husband. Jesus is 100% committed to doing all he said in Scripture and more for us. Jesus is not asking us to be 100% committed to knowing all that the relationship and journey will take. He is asking us to be 100% certain that we will trust him, through sickness and health.

Therefore, what matters is not certainty, but faithfulness. Get this truth, when certainty is not possible, faithfulness is still on the table.

So which gift do you need to open and embrace in this season of your life?

  • Humility
  • Learning
  • Seeking
  • Growing

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