In the Bible, Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in a short time, hung the doors / gates for these walls & provided essential leadership to a broken & despondent people (those left behind from the exile who had been injured, suffered massive trauma & displaced). Nehemiah has big achievements in his life & we would be wise to apply some lessons to our lives from his achievements.
Here are a few things to consider:
Obstacles: nothing big is achieved without overcoming obstacles. And sometimes the biggest obstacles are in our thoughts & outlook
Opposition: people opposed Nehemiah & people will oppose you. What you do with such opposition is frequently more important than the opposition itself
Focus: Nehemiah didn’t let obstacles, opposition nor hardship distract him from achieving his goal to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Stay on target!
Looking at this picture, you would likely tell me to fix it & turn it around since it looks like Jesus is upside down. However, sometimes I think the Holy Spirit wants to turn us up on end so we be right side up, based on the Holy Spirit’s perspective. Some areas where we might need some adjusting could include:
Money: getting is never as blessed as giving
Time: sometimes I need to remember that prayer can be the key for productive rather than staying busy
Mercy: being judgmental appealing to our flesh, mercy wins with Jesus!
Leadership: serving is the model Jesus gave us if we’re going to be the Jesus-kind of leader
When I was growing up, I was a junkie for all books that told you how to do stuff. I loved the books that would teach you how to cook various things, how to fix stuff & I even bought the VW repair & partsmanuals for my VW rabbit & golf. I still like things that teaches me how to do various stuff – YouTube videos, diy websites, books, etc.
The longer I live however, the more I learn that I don’t know how to do stuff. I don’t know how to navigate the teen years with my kids, I struggle to get the wife thing right, I’m challenged in my job to be a better leader, I wrestle with various friendship challenges & above all, I desperately want to do well in my daily walk with God. Alas, manuals, self-help books, websites, blogs, videos etc can only help with this stuff in limited amounts. I still come to the place, more than I like, when I don’t know how to do these things well or with agility.
From a broad perspective, it’s good that I don’t know how to do this stuff as well as I want. It’s good because I’m forced to rely on the Holy Spirit to teach & guide me & that my friends is the best thing we could have in our entire existence. We don’t know how because we have the ultimate teacher living with us everyday & available to teach us how 🙂
This week I failed at some leadership stuff – I hate failing when I know I can do better, hate it 🙁
Over the years, I’ve been in lots of different leadership roles, learning & growing heaps! Leadership is certainly an honor & weight. With that said, I think I learn the most from hearing about leadership failures & not just successes. So here are some of my failures as a leader & maybe you’ll find them helpful sometime:
communication shortfall – people can’t read my mind & it’s my responsibility to communicate clearly
insecurity – letting my insecurities bleed into my various leadership roles has left me with stupid, messy & unnecessary problems
proactive – it’s not helpful when I’m passive & don’t provide direction or anticipate obvious needs
arrogance – this was really stupid because my pride prevented me from learning & it was hurtful to the people I was leading
impulsive – there’s stuff in my personality where I can be impulsive & not strategic; this creates instability, confusion & sabotages teamwork
I know that I have boatloads more failures in my leadership experiences but I’m committed to grow & make new mistakes ,)
I’ve been thinking about leadership lately and while I know there are BOATLOADS of great resources, books, conferences, etc to help us with becoming better leaders, here are just a few brief, but helpful thoughts:
if you want a particular leadership position, act as a leader for that role before you ever get the title
leadership requires us to be continually growing and changing lest we become a stiffling lid
character is more substantial than any title
effective leadership requires constructive communicating: both listening & talking
the Jesus’ paradigm of leadership is service over superiority
if no one is following you, you’re merely taking a walk so enjoy the stroll ,)
fear is leadership poison
good leaders foster teamwork over competition
leaders look for ways to bring out the best in their team & to minimize the weaknesses
mistakes and failures for leaders aren’t permanent
I’ve had amazing experiences today – the kind that takes my breath away & pause in awestruck wonder at Gods indescribable work in our lives. This morning, I had the profound honor of getting to minister to well over 1,000 Christian leaders from all over China. For me, this honor is particularly meaningful because of having China in my heart for more than 20 years. I started coming to China as a teenager & fell in love with the people from my 1st trip. So today was extremely powerful – getting to minister about loving Jesus to these fantastic leaders.
Added onto this, I’ve had some absolutely amazing fellowship w some of the highest caliber of people that I’ve ever met. As I sit here writing this, I cannot help but see God’s hand guiding & providing for me. He gives me exactly what I need, when I need it. With this confidence & assurance, it helps me know that I can trust Him to richly supply for my needs. In my better moments, I know that God is beyond good to me & today is one of those better moments (even though I miss my family LOTS). So I will remember this Independence Day especially well – for God’s astounding goodness & love to me.
I pray that today will be filled with a great awareness of God’s outrageous love for you.
Tomorrow morning, I leave for Cambodia to discover what God has for Saving Moses there. Stay tuned!