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10 Turning Point Lessons from New Life

10 Turning Point Lessons from New Life

  1. Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing.
  2. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think, and process implications, we have had regrets.
  3. Each leader need to take responsibility and initiative for their own growth and development.
  4. Clarity of vision results in a unified leadership, and unified leadership reinforces the vision.
  5. Extended Sabbatical rest releases new, life-giving initiatives from God and enables us to serve out of a cup that overflows.
  6. Face the truth and act on it, even if it hurts.
  7. Enforce our values. When we have compromised on this, due to expediency, it has been costly, damaging our integrity as well as our long-term mission and effectiveness.
  8. Be faithful to our “charism,” the grace from God that is uniquely ours. Learn from other streams and ministries, but be content in our particular gift and DNA from God.
  9. Intentional mentoring and development of individuals is key to bearing fruit long term. To skip this has never worked.
  10. Take the time to do theological reflection and to capture insights, especially from mistakes and failures. Codify these learnings into new tools to train leaders and deepen your ability to spiritually form your people.

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Face Your Shadow

Face Your Shadow

Everyone has a shadow.

Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors. They may be sinful; they may simply be weaknesses. Most importantly, they lie concealed just beneath the surface of our more proper selves. They may erupt in judgmental perfectionism, outbursts of anger, jealousy, resentments, lusts, greed, or murderous tendencies.

At other times, they emerge through our need to rescue people, our seemingly endless need to be noticed, our inability to stop working, our isolation, or our rigidity.

Our shadows are the damaged versions of who we are. They are the behaviors we use to protect ourselves from actually changing. We keep them hidden because they make us feel so vulnerable.

  • Churches and organizations can develop a “shadow mission.” We want to reach people for Jesus Christ. That is good. The shadow of that is: “We are here to grow our numbers.”
  • Many of us have wonderful public gifts in speaking and mobilizing people. That is good. The shadow is our insatiable need for affirmation.
  • We value excellence. That is good. The shadow is when it crosses into perfectionism, doesn’t allow for mistakes, and creates a secondary feeling of heaviness around us.
  • We are zealous for God’s truth and right doctrine. That is good. The shadow is our lack of love towards those who don’t agree with us.

There are two ways to face your shadow. The first is to proactively look at the factors in your family of origin that have contributed to your shadow. The second is to ignore it until you hit a Wall and the pain is so great you have no choice.

I prefer the first.

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God is Not in a Rush

God is Not in a Rush

Your best, most fruitful decade of your life will be in your 60′s. Your second most fruitful decade will be in your 70′s. Your third will be in your 50′s.

How might that perspective change your priorities today?

I know you are in a rush. God is not.

His kingdom really is like a mustard seed. It starts out insignificant, powerless, apparently defeated, and marked by suffering and death. It appears nothing is happening. It is almost imperceptible.

We want the glory of Rome, Athens, Corinth, and Ephesus. And we want it now! Jesus didn’t build quickly. He chose 12 country bumpkins from Galilee. One didn’t work out.

He was not in a rush.

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