Archive for the ‘Mission’ Category

Overflow Leadership   Leave a comment

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

I grew up at the end of the age of full-service service stations. My Dad and his brother co-owned one and I could not wait to be old enough to work there. When I turned 13, I was finally given my opportunity. With training on the cash register and gas pumps, checking tires and oil levels, I was placed in charge of the gas customers. There was one rule I had to live by in front of all others–when the bell rang to indicate a vehicle had pulled in to get gas I was never to walk to provide their services.

Principle: Whenever you serve others, RUN!

That principle guided much of my work life for several years, especially whenever customer service was involved. Anyone who had a need was served as quickly as possible because they were the most highly valued person on earth at that moment. While that is a wonderful principle for service, the methodology needs some tweaking for those serving in ministry.

Much of the service of a ministerial leader is built upon the spiritual health of the leader. The better their connection with the Divine, the more authentic the service they provide. This is true for more than professional clergy; it applies to all those who serve others in God’s name and is easily applied to all who serve in caring capacities.

The key to offering relevant service is in how we serve, not necessarily how fast. Pastors can tell you that if they “run” every time someone in their congregation needs some form of pastoral care, they will burn out sooner than later. Yes, there are times when running is appropriate, but to do so as a regular practice often comes from an unhealthy sense of duty, as if you are being graded by your speed. When this occurs, it’s as if you are serving God because of a debt.

You do not owe God anything.

The best way to serve one another is not to see how quickly you can react, but how authentically you can respond. If leaders are to be true vessels for the Lord, then we must do what it takes to ensure we are being filled. Cars don’t get far on empty tanks (or batteries, tipping the cap to electric tech here). Leaders do not serve effectively when drained.

Lead from your strong connection with God. Do everything it takes to tap into the strength God gives you because of how you relate with God. Your connection is uniquely yours, so do whatever practices work best for you, be it meditation, prayer, Scripture/Lectio, silence, etc. Whatever it is that best fills you with the Presence, allow God’s love to flow through you. This is done with great joy because you know that what you are sharing is God’s gift of love for everyone in your path.

The best service you can offer to others comes from overflow and not obligation.

Easter 2020   2 comments

Wheelhouse   1 comment

How does God best use you?  I could go on forever about spiritual gifts, their uses and abuses, and how many folks get lost in search of theirs because they won’t accept assistance.  What I am talking about now is your “wheelhouse.”  A wheelhouse is to a baseball batter that one sweet spot where a pitch comes in and you can knock it out of the park every time.  In your experience, what would you call your wheelhouse? Read the rest of this entry »

Random Thought   Leave a comment

How different will the world look tomorrow if I wake up and ask, “How can I bless God today?”

When God Calls   Leave a comment

Sometimes, God’s call can be confusing.  I was recently invited to be part of a team to go help conduct Christian Ethics conferences in Tanzania, Africa.  My first and relatively immediate response was, “Nope.”  The invitation was reiterated along with information concerning some other invitees – people I know.  I conferred a bit with a couple in particular, but still determined my answer to be “no” because I simply couldn’t afford it and reasoned negative personal circumstances for rationale.

So when the third invitation transpired, something clicked in my mind: Samuel.   He heard the Lord call yet didn’t clearly understand.  Wise Eli told him to go back and listen one more time, then he would find his answer.  I believe this to be what has happened to me.

A third time I considered this invitation, only this time asking the Lord to help me see His heart and not my circumstances.  I called upon wise, prayerful friends to pray for God’s clear answer.  I asked spiritual leadership partners to pray and discuss this and let me know their collective thoughts.  Alas, my clear answer came.

Tanzania, by God’s grace, here I come!