leadership

Sticky Leadership: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

Leadership.

It’s a source of influence. It’s a source of inspiration. It’s a spiritual gift. It can be used vocationally.

And it can also teach us… a lot.

Leadership is something I am very passionate about– and not only in a Biblical sense. My minor in college was leadership studies and I have always enjoyed working alongside self-less, heart-driven leaders.

Before I get too far into it, I ask that you open your mind to the leadership perspective– most people have a sliver of leadership in them somewhere… it doesn’t have to be leading a church or a huge corporation. It can be fulfilling the role as a parent to your children leading them to Christ or simply being a subtle witness at the coffee shop. On that note…

Leadership is a sticky topic… in more ways than one. Not only do the positive (or negative) leaders in our life have the ability to influence us for a season or lifetime (aka, it really “sticks” with us) but sometimes the hard leadership situations such as conflict or compromise of integrity put us in a “sticky” position.

So, as I was pondering this post while feeding baby girl at 0430 one morning, here’s an interesting analogy that God placed on my heart regarding the different kinds of leaders… The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly.

The Good

Sticky Factor: “The Bumper Sticker”

Description: Good leaders in life are like bumper stickers. They are clever. Potentially creative. Insightful. Sometimes heartfelt, sometimes humorous. And they stick with you for a long, long time. Have you ever tried to remove a bumper sticker from your car (or any other surface) after it has been stuck for any amount of time? Odds are that you won’t be able to remove it in one piece and little remnants or residue will remain afterward. AKA the lessons and influence from the good “bumper sticker” leaders have the potential to influence us for life in a very productive way.

In real life: These leaders are going to be the ones that you still turn to for questions. They might be a mentor and a source of encouragement, even after your seasons of life have led you in a new direction. These bumper sticker leaders are precious- so treasure them!

Verse: “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” ~2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV

The Bad

Sticky Factor: “Ticky Tack” (or is it “Sticky Tack?”)

Description: Remember Ticky Tack, that sorta sticky stuff that was found in elementary classrooms in the 90’s? (Do they even still make that stuff?) It was used to hang up posters or paper decorations around the room… and for some reason, we, as young uns, thought it was cool to collect. (I remember having a big ol’ grody ball of it in my middle school locker. Why? I have no idea.) But ticky tack is kind of like the not-so-awesome leaders… they do their job-ish. Sometimes. And often not very well. It can get messy and after a while, their gunk starts to build up and they are less effective. Their followers start to pull away. Their longevity isn’t stellar.

In real life: It’s kind of hard to define “bad” leader (and really, I don’t enjoy calling anyone that.) But the fact is we have probably all been around them… You know the folks who might be in a leadership role for the wrong reason (to self-promote instead of serve) and just don’t quite have the capabilities and skills (or heart!) for the position. So what do we do? We can first support them by submitting to their leadership (even if we don’t quite agree with their methods), pray for them, and if the opportunity arises, gently and lovingly offer our encouragement and counsel to them. Who knows– you might be able to help then transition from a ticky tack leader to a bumper sticker one!

Verse: “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” ~Romans 13:5 NIV

The Downright Ugly

Sticky Factor: “The Hot Glue Gun”

Description: The Hot Glue Gun leader… They are good in theory, meant to hold things together, but really when their leadership skills aren’t used correctly end up being a huge mess. They are effective in very few situations… They might go from hot to cold really fast and if all things don’t line up perfectly, their mission fails and their team won’t stick together. (You know how hot glue  cools quickly then is hard and essentially useless. Yeah, same thing.) Sometimes they aren’t very flexible and when change is thrust upon them, they leave behind a crusty, spiderwebby-mess. Also, if you don’t watch you… you will get burned. And sometimes, if that burn is bad enough– it will leave a scar.

In real life: Oh the “ugly” leader. It hurts my heart that there is even a category for this one, but again, we know it is true and my Beloved and I have been under the authority of these individuals in different seasons of life. Hot glue gun leaders are ones who are negative, toxic, selfish, lack integrity, and sometimes even downright hateful. So what are we supposed to do in this situation? PRAY. And pray HARD. Not only for ourselves– but for them. (Gives praying for your enemies and those who persecute you a whole new meaning, huh?) Hold firm to your values, specifically those rooted in Christ. (After all, His opinion is the one that ultimately matters.) Finally, just like the other two types of “sticky” leaders… we can learn from them. My beloved husband reminds me that we can sometimes learn just as much about leadership in the form of what NOT to do from yucky leaders who put us in not-so-great sticky situations as we can from great bumper sticker leaders.

Verse: Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” ~Proverbs 10:9 NIV

What type of leadership experience have you had? What steps can we take to make sure that we are “The Bumper Sticker” leaders? What character traits do you think make a great leader?

Friends, I pray this not only offers a unique perspective to leadership (I am SUCH a sucker for analogies!) but also encourages us to seek Him for guidance to be the leader He has called us to be.

No matter what leadership situation or position you find your self in… STICK with Christ. THAT’S the perfect kind of sticky leadership.

Stuck on Him,
SGK

Love ememies bumper sticker

Super cool bumper sticker pic (great Christian leader inspiration) via bamalibrarylady @ Flickr

Categories: leadership | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Dance Celebration

Cue the confetti! Crank up the dancing tunes! Get out the party hats! Release the balloons!

Uh huh, uh huh, uh-huh-uh-huh-UH-HUH!!

Why are we celebrating? A few reasons:

1. God loves me (and you) 🙂 We have a lot to be thankful for!

2. I FINISHED MY MASTERS DEGREE!!!! I hit the final “submit” button last Friday for my Masters of Arts in Christian Leadership… So excited, relieved and thankful that I no longer have to write research papers.  From start to finish, my masters degree took me 310 days. Yes, I was “booking” it (literally!) and the completion of this big life step is clearly an indication of God’s power working in my life. I’m celebrating whatever He has in store for me next!

3. Today is my 94th blog post… so I am rounding up and preparing for my 100th blog post, which according to my calculations will be next Tuesday. In honor of this upcoming milestone, I am doing a giveaway to YOU…

ALL. THIS. WEEK. The winner of the “Leadership by Faith” prize package (that’s what I am calling it) will be announced on the day of my 100th post (Tuesday, December 13, 2011)

The prize package will include:

  • Book: “Share Jesus without Fear” by William Fay
  • Book: “Winning with People” by John Maxwell
  • Book: Either “Wild at Heart” (for a guy )or “Captivating” (for a gal) by John and Stasi Eldredge
  • An “Easy” button (Staples)
  • A “Panic” Button (Hoops & Yo Yo) Note: both “buttons” are hilarious/fun… and productive-ish for home/office use.
Sound good? AWESOME! Now, you might be asking: “Um, Sharita, how can I enter this awesome celebration giveaway?” Pick one of the following ways:

1. Leave a comment on this blog or any of my daily blogs between today and next Monday.

2. Spread the word about his giveaway via Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. and let me know that you did that by leaving a comment so I can make sure you are included in our auto-generated number drawing.

3. Follow me on Twitter (@SharitaKnobloch) If you are already a faithful follower, leave a comment and let me know 🙂

4. Follow this blog by either signing up for it via email, Google Reader, or Networked blogs. (You can do this all via the side bar.) And, as the pattern has shown… leave a comment to let me know you are a follower.

Folks, my heart is SO joyful right now!! God has brought me through some awesome (and challenging) life experiences… but through it all, He had (and still has) a plan for my life in ministry & leadership. I want to share that joy with you… This giveaway is not for my glory, nor is the request to share this blog/link to make my name “known…” Rather, it is an opportunity to share the gospel throughout the nations and for us to grow spiritually together as a family of Christ. The glory ALL goes to God. He called me to it… and is faith and continues to do it!

Excited to share my joy with you! 100th blog post & masters diploma, here we come.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go do a happy dance in my living room.

God rocks my socks,

SGK

 

“For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.” –Deuteronomy 16:15


Categories: accomplishment, celebrate, glory, goals, God, leadership, power | 18 Comments

Dream Team

Confession: I didn’t intend for this week’s blogposts to turn into a stream of thankfulness focused stuff. But hey, it’s where the Spirit has lead… and I am not gonna question it.

You saw yesterday my extensive list of “Thanksvember.” Apparently, that experience has reignited an attitude of gratitude within my heart.

At the time of this posting, we are nearing the end of our Christ Community Church Staff Retreat. God showed up and met us here. And he’s made it awesome. For that, I am thankful.

Honestly, I don’t really have a “right” to be here, since I’m not exactly on the payroll and my joining the staff involved me begging Kelli to put me to work and let me serve (ok, maybe it was a little more complicated than that, but I digress.)

Anywho, the wonderful staff members here at CCC officially adopted me into their staff family and invited for me to attend this three-day retreat. While I have enjoyed interacting with the remarkable leaders of this church, it is equally impressive and empowering to watch us all work together.

This group never loses focus on God. Every decision, idea, “spirit storming session” (it’s like brainstorming, only more with the heart/spirit) is focused on the glory of God. We pray a lot, especially as ideas develop. It is so rewarding to sit back and watch our church vision develop into something even deeper and god-glorifying with each passing moment.

So today, I am specifically thankful that I am a part of this team… but even more so, I’m thankful that God had allowed me to be on HIS team. He picked me. He has picked you too. And he doesn’t pick us last (no awkward moments there!) He knows we are GOOD and lovely, and gives us the tools and coaching we need to succeed both as individuals as well as members of a team within Christ.

Even when we mess up, God doesn’t permanently “bench” us… He might call us to “sit one out” but typically that involves an opportunity to hush-up and listen. Take just a small, short second to sit back and think about being on God’s team. What does it represent to you? It it leadership focused? What “position” are you playing? Are you practicing daily to serve on His team by spending time with the ultimate coach?

God’s blessings are raining down on me right now… I simply want to fall on my knees and thank Him for the sweet (and yet challenging) season that He has bestowed upon me. Today, it is specifically in the form of being a member of such a strong and remarkable team here at Christ Community Church. But even more so… I thank Him for giving me a chance (through Christ) to be apart of His incredible, ever-loving, constantly-growing DREAM TEAM.

The kick is up and it is GOOD,

SGK

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


Categories: CCC, Church, leadership, staff, team, thanks | Leave a comment

Good "Time-ing"

“Time flies when you’re having fun.” 

“Time is money.” 

“About time!” 

“Time’s a-wastin!”

How many times a day (pun intended) do you mention or think about time? Most of us are on a schedule. And many say there there isn’t enough “time” in each day to get things done. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the lack of time in your life, this one’s for you. Don’t let your schedule own you. YOU have the chance to own it! And believe it or not, God will help you with this. 

I recently started a new eight-week semester for my masters program. It just so happens that it is my LAST (Praise You, seven pound, fourteen ounce baby Jesus!) Usually the first week of class is relatively chill… but there are exceptions to every rule. Between my two new classes, I had several chapters to read in a total of four different books, three sets of notes to review, two course requirement checklists, two discussion board posts, replies to those posts, and three (yes THREE) papers. Seriously? 

I was going a little bonkers with life there for a little while… then ironically (divinely) one of the papers I had to write for a leadership class was about “time management” and weekly scheduling. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled. For real? I have a handle on this stuff… but as I thought about my “techniques” of time management and began having conversations with others, many said that they too wanted so ideas on “managing time.” 

So here you go. Here is an abbreviated version of my time management strategy… Keep in mind that every tiny second of our 168 hour weeks are truly privilege to live in, given by God to be used for His glory. As I look back on the below paper excerpt, I can’t help but think that my writing of it was heavenly good time-ing for my heart, soul, mind, strength… and hopefully for you too! 

******

God has significantly blessed me throughout my life with a variety of leadership experience and training on both goal setting and time management. My parents raised me with an exceptional work ethic, for which I am very thankful. However, with that work ethic comes a drive to be involved and stay committed in many different ways. I have learned about and implemented strategies that have and continue to allow me to successfully manage my time. 

Right now, God is challenging me with time management, as I am an army spouse. The military can change their schedule multiple times without prior notice, which ultimately impacts my home life and interaction with my beloved. This is teaching me to be flexible and patient. It is a hard lesson to learn, but one I deem extremely valuable. I enjoy setting a schedule in my head (or on paper if necessary) called my “battle plan.” Sometimes the military throws a pretty profound kink into my battle plan but I have learned that as long as I hold onto my priorities and cling to Christ, I will find success. 


The first step is determining my goals and priorities. For the purpose of this exercise, I will reference my weekly schedule. My goals include important things that MUST get done during the week, which encompass my priorities. Personal priorities include time with God, church service, work, homework, husband/relationship time, exercise, blogging and time for self. These are what I refer to as my “big rocks.” I have witnessed many demonstrations regarding priorities, focusing on the “big rocks” concept. Big rocks represent priorities, marbles represent the things that I might want to get done but aren’t vital, then sand includes the “extra” stuff, including TV, Facebook etc. A vase or bucket represents the space or hours I have in a week. 

If I do these things in the wrong order, such as put the sand in first, then marbles followed by the big rocks, it won’t all fit into my “weekly calendar.” However, if I put my big rocks (most important things) in first as a priority, then the marbles and allow the sand to fill in the gaps, all of my activities fit in the bucket (or week) perfectly. It’s all about prioritizing! 

I am also blessed not to be a procrastinator. My ability to prioritize and plan in advance allows me flexibility to work smarter not hard. The sooner I get one task done, the less I have to plan time to do it. I also embrace the concept of “eat the frog.” If I have a task that I am dreading or don’t enjoy as much as the others, I do it first. The idea is that if you “eat a frog” (figuratively) first thing in the morning, that will be the toughest thing you do all day. My frogs include huge research papers and exercise, which is why I do those early to get them out of the way and move on with my day stress free, able to focus on my other big rocks. 

<Sidenote: I also mentioned the importance of “Sharpening the Saw” from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for Highly Effective People… to read a more detailed description,  view the previous post of Look Sharp Out There! >

Another time management and planning strategy that I implement in my life includes learning to say no. I have found myself several different points in my life so involved and busy that I didn’t allow time for family or myself. Now that I am married (especially as he is a Drill Sergeant) I know that saying no to outside commitments on occasion is a great way to prioritize and protect our relationship. I need “sacred time” with my husband. Between deployments, trainings, schools and now training soldiers in basic training, my husband and I are separated quite frequently. This has taught me that the time we can have together is important and very precious. I don’t take it for granted and find myself drawing the line to outside meetings and commitments to cultivate our relationship with both each other and God. 

 

Prayer is another factor that contributes to my weekly schedule, as I specifically ask God that if it is His will, for Him to allow me to accomplish my weekly goals for His glory. He has transformed me to no longer stress out about my busy schedule, but rather rely on Him to provide strength, guidance and discernment. Every single thing on my calendar from husband time to interning at the church to homework to exercise I try to do for His glory. My morning alarm that I wake up to even plays a song including the lyrics “Lord I offer you all I am, use it for your glory!”

Time management is very important for Christian leaders and I have found my planning capabilities to provide a solid balance incorporating productivity, learning, God-time, physical health and rest. God empowers me to focus on my schedule for His glory each day and roll with the punches when additional or more pressing issues arise, all while keeping me relatively unstressed and eyes focused toward heaven.

****
Time marches on,
SGK


“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” –Ecclesiastes 3:1

Categories: glory, God, leadership, steward, time management | 2 Comments

Praying as a Leader

Christ Community Church Youth Presentation Week Two: DOMINATED. (By God!) Boom. America.

This is the text message I sent my boss Kelli last night after I finished presenting my second week of teaching to our church’s youth and youth leadership team. Dontcha just love it when God shows up and meets you there? Ahhhh…

Anywho, last night’s topic stemmed from “Praying as a leader.” Much like last week’s servant leadership, I could have probably done an entire day-long workshop on the topic. But thanks to God’s grace, He gave me the words to share it in about 30-ish minutes. (For a deeper look at prayer, check out A Little Big Conversation) Last nights presentation  went a little something like this (Not word for word, obviously… but you catch the drift.)

*****

Before we begin, let’s  travel back in time to my youth. Imagine me somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago (which would make me about 11 to 16 years old.) Put some birdnest bangs in the picture and braces… Got it? Ok.

I was saved when I was 11… and unsure where to go from there. But I did pray. And my prayers went a little something like this:

Dear God—
Please help me get to sleep tonight. Don’t let me worry about dying. Help me do good in school. Oh, and um, may your will be done… as long as it doesn’t hurt me or isn’t painful. I love you so much. AMEN. 

God yearns to hear us speak and talk to him, especially through prayer. Sure, there were a lot of areas of improvement in my prayer life. But I do know that he appreciated my efforts. While my methods of praying have changed dramatically in the past few years, I wouldn’t be where I am at now if I had not received some guidance on how to pray—especially as a Christian leader.

Think to yourself for a moment the last time you prayed… Was it today? Yesterday? Last year? Never? What did it look like? How do you feel about your prayer life right now?

The great news is that no matter when you last prayed or how you felt about it, God isn’t displeased… but TODAY is an opportunity to start new— to move forward with courage and excitement as we learn to pray as Christian leaders!

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” –Ephesians 6:18 
Praying is one of the most important things you can do as a leader! 

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty details… The first few are relatively simple.

  • WHO can pray? ANYONE! Every single one of you can talk to God. You are his beloved daughters and sons. Our father wants you to feel comfortable talking to him!
  • WHO can we pray for? ANYONE! Again, you can pray FOR anybody—believers, nonbelievers, your family, strangers on the street. If you want a “real life example” from my commissary adventures, check out Puppies & Potato Salad As leaders, consider specifically praying for your own followers, including other youth (or just people in general) within the community and school, that they might see the light of Jesus within your heart and want to follow you in the direction of the cross. Consider also praying for other leaders within our church family such as the ministers and your youth leadership team.
  • WHEN can we pray? ANY TIME! Pray when it works for you… While some people want complete quiet and it is encouraged to have a few quiet times with the Lord, we all can be reassured that God is listening 24/7. We can pray in the morning before or after we wake up, at mealtimes, on a walk, before bed… any or all of the above anytime!
  • WHERE can we pray? ANY WHERE! Just like when we can pray, God doesn’t care where you are when you talk to Him. I have found myself personally praying in random locations throughout the day: In bed before I get up, after breakfast when I have my quiet time, driving in my car, going on a run. Talk to him… He’s listening!
  • WHAT should we pray for? ANYTHING! Are you noticing a trend here? Praying can be simple if you allow it to be. If we are praying sincerely, pouring out our hearts to God, there really are any wrong things to pray for when it comes to “what.” That being said, remember God’s words in Scripture. Example: you can CERTAINLY pray for provision as a Christian/leader dealing with finances, but remember The Work from Matthew 6:24– “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Make sure to keep our priorities focused on HIM. Ultimately, we should trust him to give us what we need as leaders to be successful—it won’t always be easy. But it will be worth it!
  • HOW do we pray? WITH OUR HEART!  Praying doesn’t have to be fancy with “thees” and “Thous” and “doests”… they just need to be from our hearts. They shouldn’t be robotic, the same thing every single day just because you have always done it like that. Do it sincerely! (Reference back to my robot prayer that I said when I was younger…)

So we have the basics. Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Consider when you pray to use the acronym ACTSL (said like Axel… but spelled different 😉

  • ADMIRATION or ADORATION: God is amazing, awesome, all-powerful—let Him know it!
  • CONFESSION: This is an opportunity to clear your heart—remove any barriers between you and the Father. (It could be sin, conviction, doubt, junk of the world etc)
  • THANKSGIVING: Approach Him With an attitude of Gratitude!
  • SUPPLICATION: Present your requests… Petition Him! Here are a few “ideas” or suggestions to pray for…
    •  Pray for others (especially our followers, fellow leaders and the “lost”)
    • Pray for God’s will to be done … Sincerely! (Not like I said in my prayers of youth ) Pray with courage. (See yesterday’s post) He’s kind of a big deal… and knows the bigger picture. Trust him.
    • Pray for the needs for self: This is where you can ask God for what you need, maybe even what you want… Ideas include: Worries, Strength during a specific time, discernment (which is a fancy word for good judgment or understanding) guidance, empowerment, hope, comfort, humility, forgiveness, righteousness, conquering sin, the list is endless!
Then finally on “How” to pray…
  • LISTEN for a RESPONSE: Don’t be afraid of a little silence. It is an opportunity to be open to hear what God wants to say to you. And don’t be disheartened if God doesn’t grant your “requests.” He knows what we need… I’ve have often heard that God always answers prayers: Yes, Not yet, or I have something better in mind. Think about it… true huh?

Last but not least…

  • WHY do we pray?
    • To be OBEDIENT
    • GLORIFY GOD! It shows that we have faith in Him
    • INVITE the POWER of God into our lives – prayer provides closeness with the Lord, and we can enter into His presence.
    • It CHANGES us –Prayer shapes us… we are changed by being in His Presence. It helps us to keep our eyes open for the needs of selves and others. It empowers us, motivates us, softens us (in a good way) strengthens us… Pray can be such a powerful change agent!!

When we pray as leaders, we have to ask God to lead us first. He is the one driving us, guiding us, directing us. And he does it all with such a deep love and profound knowledge that we cannot match. However, if we remember WHY we pray, then he will empower us to accomplish His will by leading others in our every day walk with Christ. I saw this quote one day at the gym as a decal on the back window of a soldier’s truck… It had a soldier bowing down with some crosses and said “I can stand up to anything when I fall on my knees.”

Let me say it again:
“I can stand up to anything when I fall on my knees.” 

Ok, we have discussed who, when, where, what, how and why we pray. So what’s the next step? We can pray for God to help us all to learn to pray! Praying to pray! There is A LOT of power within that!  God wants to hear you speak… So speak to Him, and remember to keep on praying, because we can stand up to anything when we fall on our knees!

These are the nifty take-home bookmarks I made to help
our youth remember how to “Pray as a leader.”
Standing up, on my knees,
SGK
“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” –Jude 1:20
Categories: leadership, Love, prayer | Leave a comment

Brought to you by: the Letters S & L

Today’s message is brought to you by the letter’s S & L. Let me explain…

Last night I was blessed to have the opportunity to teach the Christ Community Church’s Youth Ministry group about Servant leadership. It. Was. AWESOME. God definitely met us there and <hopefully> He allowed me to communicate a strong message about Jesus’ love for us and the need for us to humble ourselves in His name and serve.

So today, I want to share with you a few snippets of our youth lesson. I hope it gets those wheels to turning and you can consider how you can serve God’s kingdom… daily… through acts of love and kindness.

We started out by “washing” the feet of one of the youth leaders (and my good friend) Sara. It wasn’t exactly like the feet washing at the last supper but hey, we do what we can with a bath towel and a plastic punch bowel filled with water.

Ok, so we washed Sara’s feet… Now imagine what that was like for Jesus to wash the feet of his disciples… He is the King of Kings, but he humbled himself to serve by doing the “lowest” job in the house. Remember the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet in John 13? Long story short, nobody else volunteered, then Peter argued with Jesus saying that he didn’t want him to wash feet– but then agreed and said to wash his whole body. SIGH. Oh Peter.

Then watch what happened:

“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.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:12-17)

This is an example of Jesus’ love and servanthood is something for us to follow—it is true servant leadership. We all have a privilege that as Christians, we are called to serve by leading and lead by serving. Let me say it again—it is a privilege. We have the opportunity to serve by leading and lead by serving!

Jesus came to serve… not to be served! 

“ Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28 

It’s all about Servant Leadership!! (See, this is where the first S & L come in… get it?) So what is Servant Leadership?

Servant leadership is not a particular style of leadership, but rather deals with the motivation behind a leader’s thoughts, words and actions 

Soooo… How do we engage in servant leadership?

1. We gotta Show the Love …  (Notice: the second S & L phrase) Jesus said we should be willing to lay down our life for friends and love our neighbors as ourselves!

And how do we SHOW the LOVE? By doing 3  things: Knowing ourselves, working as a team, and praying/listening to God.  (I elaborated quite a bit on these during my presentation, but you get the picture)
2. We have to Share the Life   (The third S & L) Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The servant leader willingly humbles them self in order to meet the needs of others. We are not too important or dignified to undertake even the lowest of tasks and we can do so with no thought of personal gain. Be a servant first… leader second—and it will all fall into place. Show the life of Jesus through your actions!
And just like before, here’s how we SHARE the LIFE :

*We must be more concerned for the needs of others than our own “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34) 

*Lead by example (Practice what we preach)
*Honor God—We do it all for His glory—he loved us so much that he sent his son to die for us—shouldn’t we share his love with others by serving them? It can open up doors and allow Christ’s love to shine!
The front with the letter
“S”

Servant leadership might sounds a little scary—but it pleases God. Have faith that he wouldn’t call you to do anything you couldn’t—and he is the one who will give you strength! I don’t know about you, but when I get to heaven, I would love for God to scoop me up in my arms and say “Well done my good and faithful servant!” (That gives me butterflies every time I think about it!!!)

So consider how you will live a life of servant leadership. It isn’t about having a title or status. But it is living out the love of Christ. We can live a life of servant leadership by SHOWING THE LOVE and SHARING THE LIFE.

The back with the letter

“L”

Ok… so we have worked through the presentation– but I wasn’t quite done yet… due to my motivation to procrastinate on homework last week and be crafty as opposed to scholarly (don’t worry, I still got my homework done) I gave them “towels” as a take-home reminder.  Little beach towels (made from one big towel to represent teamwork and “big picture”) to remind them to “wash feet” aka serve wherever they go. The towels also have a glow-in-the-dark puff paint (who doesn’t love  puff paint!) letters on each side– one is S and the other is L… They (AND YOU!) can be the light in darkness through service and glow by engaging in Servant Leadership, Showing the Love and Sharing the Life.

I left CCC last night with my heart full of excitement for the youth members and youth leaders. And my heart is full for YOU this morning. We all have a beautiful, blessed opportunity to humble ourselves and be like Jesus. Today, I challenge you to remember that image of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Jesus came to serve, not to be served… HE was willing to lead as a servant… ARE YOU?

In His Service,

SGK
“…the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.”  –Luke 20:26
A portion of the 60 “towels” as I was waiting
for the glorious puff paint to dry.
Categories: Factor of 7, leadership | Leave a comment

A Winning Team

This 8 wk semester I am taking an Evangelism class as well as a team leadership class… Here is one of my latest Discussion board posts…  Hope it hits a home run! (or at least a grounder to 3rd)

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Although the Bible doesn’t blatantly use the words “team” or “teamwork,” I truly believe that team ministry is important and can be found in a variety of Scripture references as well as foundational principles for Christianity. However, for this posting, I have determined that 1 Corinthians 12:20-26 speaks the most significantly to my heart about team ministry.

“As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

I believe this passage is foundational to the implementation of team ministry because the body, as a church, a family of Christ, is made of many, MANY very different parts and pieces. This represents significant emphasis on the team ministry viewpoint. Everyone has different spiritual gifts and purposes given by God, and we can glorify Him at a greater level if we work together through empowering and equipping one another through His name. The above passage states that God has made the body (team/family) and combined different (not right or wrong) parts together to give “greater honor.” While it sounds corny, ministry teams can truly follow the acronym of Together Everyone Achieves More. Not only does team ministry expand our networks and enhance our capabilities to reach others, but our gifts and abilities can complement one another to serve at a more efficient and higher level as opposed to going at it alone. I personally believe that this passage from 1 Corinthians is a representation of relationship, community and the lecture acronym of “Togetherness, Empowerment, Accountability, and Mentorship.”

God desires for us to have a relationship not only with Him, but also with one another. Just as we need Him in order to live our lives fully and wholly on this earth, He gave each of us strengths and weaknesses so we could also need others to be in fellowship and community with. We are not perfect for a reason. So whether we are serving as an eye, head, ear, foot, toe or pinky finger, team ministry showcases that we all have an important place in his Kingdom. We can achieve so much more together than we can apart. As a team within ministry, we can rejoice together, suffer together, grow together, serve together and fellowship together in order to exponentially increase the glory that is given to the Lord. Let’s be members of the team– because God is our coach!

*****

Are you a part of a ministry team? Maybe a member within a body of Christ? Regardless, you are one of God’s children and can “play” for Him as he coaches you through life. Go ahead and ask God to put you on the winning team. Seek out the opportunity to serve and utilize your Spiritual Gifts. God can empower you to hit a HOME RUN!


Bringing it home,

SGK

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Categories: leadership, Spirit, team | Leave a comment

Amazing Grace-centered Living: How Sweet the Sound!

As you might have noticed, God has been tugging on my heart A LOT lately about grace. Ironically, the following post was a discussion board prompt I submitted dealing with grace-centered vs. law-centered living and ministry last week… It has been “edited” a bit for bloggity-ness, but hope it gets your wheels a-turning! ~SGK

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“He’s still working on me… to make me what I ought to be. It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the Sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be… 
’Cause He’s still workin’ on me.”

I grew up listening to this song via cassette tape, and as I was reflecting on this prompt, I realized that my grace-based living is a direct result of God’s grace and continual work on both my heart and ministry. Don’t get me wrong—I do believe there is a place for law in this world, living by the Ten Commandments for example, but I am in no way in a position to enforce that law or judge someone because of their choices. A sin is a sin and let’s be honest, we are all pretty big ol’ sinners.

For many years I have “ unofficially” ministered people through the challenges of life by providing impromptu pep talks, support and love. As I have grown closer to Christ over time and recently realized my call to ministry, I know that grace-based living is a must for myself as a Christian. I have just started an internship at Christ Community Church under an incredible SERVE director. Part of my (future) responsibility includes presenting and coaching people to discover their Spiritual gifts. In that process we talk about “Life Experiences,” and I know I can’t judge them for what they have done or where they have been. I am not the rule enforcer. I can, however, speak the truth in love, offering guidance on the law, yet still extend to them the same grace God has so graciously given me. As it says in Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” That is powerful reassurance for my choice of grace-based living. Can I get an AMEN?

Grace-based living has a significant impact on my relationship with God and others. Not only am I attempting to model my life after Christ (I fall short ALL the time) but I am also praying for those I am serving to extend grace to me when I make a mistake or fall into sin. Living “gracefully” opens more doors to spread the Good News. God’s grace is free and undeserved—so why should my grace on others be any different? Being a Christian isn’t about checking things off of a To Do list via laws, rules and regulations. Rather it is holding ourselves to a Christ-like standard, and embracing God’s Amazing Grace whenever we (and others) fall to sin.

One of the most positive aspects of grace-centered living focuses on my leadership expectations of others and myself. It allows me to revel in God’s grace and attempt to grasp this extraordinarily generous and vast concept. By doing so, my heart can be filled with the sincerest of passion, love and words to share with others about this free and wondrous gift that is available to them as well. Centering my life and ministry on grace boosts my credibility and relational capacity with others… we are all sinners, in the same boat, praying to have faith to walk on water towards the ultimate, heavenly, graceful judge in Jesus Christ.

So yes, He is still working on me. I am a wretch, once lost and now found, and it is all because of his amazing, remarkable, generous grace. I pray that my ministry will flow by his graceful means, extending it to others that I lead. My strength for grace-based living is said well in Galatians 2:21… “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Daily Deliberation: In what ways has God extended Grace to you today? Do you believe you show grace to others at the desired level? How can you continue to grow your ability to extend grace?

By His Grace,

SGK

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather thing of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” — Romans 12:2-3

Categories: God, grace, growth, leadership | 1 Comment

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