Flipping the Org Chart

I sat down with a friend that I have issues with yesterday afternoon. Yeah, issues. Got anyone like that in your life? Someone you love and care for deep down inside, but can’t seem to get along with because of personality differences, orientations of the heart, or simply a difference in opinion over the best shade of blue? Yeah, I’ve got those kind of people in my life, too. The kind you want to fight for, but in the process of fighting for, often feel like you’re fighting against. It’s hard to deal with conflict in these relationships, or even to maintain them, but in facing the conflict, I’ve found both perspective and common ground almost every time. We got to talking about responsibility, empowerment, and authority. As we...

Scope Creep in Exodus 18

Today on the Daily Audio Bible we read Exodus 18. There are many stories I enjoy revisiting in our yearly revolution through the word, but this one has become both special and a continual challenge to me. Here’s the story that always connects with me:  12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in God’s presence. 13 The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw everything he was doing for them he asked, “What is this thing you’re doing for the people? Why are you alone sitting as judge, while all...

Where I stand now – Leadership

Leadership. I’ve learned so much about this, both from the things I’ve been taught, the things I’ve observed in others, or the things I’ve learned by teaching others. I taught a lesson to the youth at my church a couple months back where we watched a YouTube video called “The First Follower.” Looking back, that was one of those teaching moments that probably means much more to the teacher than the students. I have taken leadership roles in the past for a number of reasons, sometimes because no one else will, sometimes because I felt the need to be in charge, and sometimes just because I really wanted to see a mission succeed and saw an opportunity for myself to help achieve it. More often than not, though, my attempts at...

When did I become a leader?

“When did I become a leader?” I had that question asked to me via text message last night by a teenage friend of mine. I had mentioned to her about how a little prayer ministry she was championing didn’t have anybody except little old me show up this past week while she had been away. “But I don’t want people doing something just because I want them to do it,” she said. “I want them to want to do it themselves!” How common is that desire in the heart of so many people. We find something we are passionate about, we bring in some others and they seem to love it too, but the moment we take a break or miss a meeting or ask them to step up for themselves, no one shows up. And immediately, at least for me and (I think) my...

Leadership: Grow and Learn

How can I be a godly leader? That’s the question of the disucussion I’m leading on our church’s high school youth group tomorrow morning. This is the third lesson in a series of four, and I haven’t been present for the first two lessons, nor do I have the materials to look back and see what they covered. So first things first, I want to walk through down the road of where we’ve been so far. After that, I want to pose the questions, “should we all be leaders,” and “is leadership something we should all aspire to?” While I believe we all have circles of influence, I don’t think that being known or visible as a “leader” is a sign of a more mature or more important person. In fact, I think...