We have to meet people where they are and we can only do that when we get personal!
Servant leadership –obviously implies what you do – you serve. Folks suggest this started with a man named Robert Greenleaf, in 1977. Nowadays several others carry this torch, specifically an executive at Chik-fil-a, Mark Miller who has written two books The Secret and most recently The Heart of Leadership. He has coined the phrase “Think others first”.
We know that real servant leadership was displayed by Jesus Christ.
Matthew 4:23-25 gives us a great summary:
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
Here are other verses offers more insight:
Matthew 14:13-21 – he fed people.
Matthew 12:9-13, Matthew 9:27-33, & Matthew 8:14-16 – he healed the sick.
Not only did these fulfill prophecy (Matthew 8:17) but it helped create a caring atmosphere.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Jesus helped people by addressing physical needs as an outreach for their spiritual needs.
John 4 – the woman at the well, and her entire community heard about Christ because of her.
John 8 – the woman “caught in adultery” where Jesus tells her to “go now and leave your life of sin”.
Imagine Jesus being too busy, getting water quickly by himself, or burying his face in his phone, or rushing off to his next event.
Can you see where being clueless kills?
Inside and outside of the community of believers we must intentionally get personal. Phone calls, texts, private messages, dinner, notes, recreation, worship, every where – it’s our job to help people – and our help is God’s son.
We will not get the opportunity to share Christ or encourage staying with Christ if we’re self-involved. Who would you be if your hero/mentor did not have time for you?
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Accessed via biblegateway.com
In “Being Clueless in a Dying Word (Part 1)”, a final question was asked regarding our knowledge of being clueless, and what we must do.
We must slow down, pause, reflect, and pray (PART 2)
We will never be aware of others if we’re always running wide open. We will be unable to anticipate the needs of others if we’re too busy or too distracted to think about them.
Think for a moment about your own schedule. Isn’t it full? Isn’t it hard to work things in? Sometimes we simply have to say no, but other times we have merely filled our schedules too full.
Read Matthew 14:22-23
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.”
This verse comes after John the Baptist is beheaded, and after the feeding of 5000 men. Jesus needed this time – and so do you!
In fact no matter where you turn – scripture, modern leaders, parenting advice – all of these reference you having an opportunity to reflect (leadership author John Maxwell calls it “thinking time”, parent training calls it “quiet time”).
We need time to process things, to stop merely reacting, and to think long-term.
What are ways you slow down, pause, reflect, and pray?
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Accessed via biblegatway.com
I recently finished reading Dave Arnold’s book, “It’s Possible: Learning How to Thrive (not just survive) in Life,” which I really enjoyed.
One of the reasons it was a good read is that Dave has had a life we have all had – a busy grind. He challenges that perspective by breaking down three types of people categories that seem to fit everyone. While doing this he quickly hits the strength and weakness of each type of person with precision and honesty.
The second thing that makes Dave’s book a helpful one is that it asks you to recognize “deterrents” and to be a person of action. These embody an attitude that flows throughout the book – you really do not have to simply survive life! That specific message is an encouraging one.
A third element that I enjoyed was the actual content. Dave presents several ideas that confirmed my previously held beliefs, while also including others that challenged me as a person in a positive way. One illustration: an idea that centered on the courage muscle of your heart growing and a second idea on running an effective race.
Finally, the last element of help was Dave’s willingness to pull other bloggers and commenters into his book seamlessly. This example added to his book because he demonstrates in writing exactly the fact that you need others. Pulling a book together is not a solo job regardless of your size (small, medium, or large).
I believe that this quick read has the ability to help you take the first steps toward thriving in life. If you’re interested in the book, Dave Arnold has some great bonus material if you take the plunge and buy it this week. Check it out - “It’s Possible: Learning How to Thrive (not just survive) in Life”
What is the first step you need to take to thrive? What was the best step that helped you thrive?
Full disclosure: I received a copy of Dave’s book, but was not required to write a positive review.
Being Clueless in a Dying World (3 Part Series)
We completed a team-building exercise at Minute Maid Park. While there it was very clear – if you were a diehard Houston Astros fan, you were a huge asset, and if you weren’t well, you couldn’t contribute the same. In fact you were clueless on where our trip was going, and on scoring bonus points. Life can be framed by being clueless as well.
Levels of Cluelessness (PART 1)
Being clueless about Christ
This is a state of being unaware, ill-informed, un-informed. In this place one may be completely and totally ignorant regarding heaven or hell, or there may be a knowledge, but a lack of caring. Could be a sentiment of emptiness or a sense of “I know better” or a sense of “religion is worthless”. All of these feelings originate from somewhere – our intent tonight is not to discover where that comes from, but to acknowledge this state exists.
Another element about this segment is they don’t understand. They don’t get why we choose to get together on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. They don’t grasp why we choose to not consume drugs and alcohol, why we wait to have sex until marriage, they don’t know why we’re adamant about what our children are taught or why we believe marriage is between a husband and a wife.
Being clueless as a community of believers
In congregations a lot of time we’re clueless about one another. Do you know one another on a personal level? Consider for a moment who you routinely associate with when you assemble together. Who are the people you eat out with, hang out with, and have Bible studies with? Is it, relatively speaking, always the same people? Is it routinely the same group of people, the same families, and the same individuals? Are you part of a clique? This question seems simple enough – and typically we answer “no” quickly. But many times we block others out knowingly or unknowingly by failing to be inclusive. This exclusion could be based upon age, perceived wealth, perceived status, or some other reason.
Being clueless about the community we live in.
The other element is our cluelessness in our community. We’re not as familiar with our neighbors as we used to be. They’re busy, and we’re busy. They’re distracted, and we’re distracted. Plus we don’t want to offend anyone, and there is political correctness…right? We’re not connecting on a personal level.
We’re now aware of the different layers of being clueless.
What we’ve done so far is imperative. We must look at ourselves and the situations we’re in.
That leaves us with this last question:
What do we need to do?
Houstonian describes harassment endured after filing paperwork to become more involved politically. Twenty years of business experience and no visits from government agencies. Following the submission numerous visits from multiple agencies. Coincidence? You decide.
The Power of Labels
Labels are used to help us know or associate items. Show a red octagon and we expect others to know to stop. Show an arrow in any direction and we expect others to follow.
The same is true for products. For instance, GAP, Gatorade, Taco Bell, Chase, are all ways that we could identify clothing, drinks, fast food, or banking.
What about people? What about how we label people? Do our labels alter their lives? Does troublemaker, rough, worthless, or other term sabotage another’s real value?
When we label others as anything – rich, poor, successful, unsuccessful, or failure we are “boxing” that person into preconceived ideas. Imagine the world without King David (adulterer), Paul the Apostle (killer), Abraham Lincoln (business failure), Booker T. Washington (emancipated slave), Frederick Douglass (runaway slave), Thomas Edison (failed inventor), Theodore Roosevelt (sickly) or more current folks like Sir Richard Branson (stupid).
Learning to see others as more than their labels can help the “labeled” unlock their real potential.
Each of these people faced their own unique situations and circumstances to be known today – from failure to persecutor to slave to sick to stupid.
Who are you willing to take a chance on? What label are you willing to help destroy?
How do you help others overcome society given labels? (Please leave a comment below).
There is no greater feeling than having someone pick you up when you are down. To give you a spark. To offer a little glimmer of hope.
If you want to make a big impact on another person, consider using one (or all!) of the following tips:
1) Send a handwritten note. Penmanship at one time was a required course. Clearly that’s not the case anymore. This doesn’t need to be fancy, can be a postcard, or even a sticky-note. People appreciate the effort and thought of this act.
2) Pick up the phone, call, and let them know you were thinking about them. We all text. We all connect somewhere online. We don’t always visit voice to voice. This doesn’t need to be long, especially if leaving a voicemail. A quick phone call (or even a not so quick one) has the potential to further any relationship. Be genuine.
3) Find one helpful resource they could use and send it to them. This is something I’ve heard from tons of people, yet I don’t think it happens as often as it could. When you are aware of what people are experiencing, or you come across something interesting, does anyone else come to mind? If so, send it to them! People love being thought of, and will appreciate something that offers value to them. Again, keep it simple, and remember it does NOT need to be extravagant.
4) Share a post or update of their’s on social media. Who doesn’t enjoy being liked, shared, or commented on? We have tremendous power behind a single click to let others know we derived some value from what was shared with us. Remember your last post, tweet, or update that received ZERO feedback? Not a great feeling.
5) Link to their blog, profile, or other online presence and praise them. This is one I have been a recipient of. People choose to recognize or mention me, and it was encouraging to hear that others felt I had some how added value to them. We all want to make a difference, so if you have been positively impacted by another person – share the love! Tell others why you value them, and help others connect with them.
What is your favorite way others encourage you? If you had only one chance to try and encourage someone what would you do? Leave a comment below.
~Below represents the heart of my wife and I following a specific life experience ~
We see a broken mirror, light, images, etc. still reflect off of it. Each little piece so beautiful, worthwhile, so functional. We see this mirror and know it’s value.
Some just see brokenness that needs to be tossed away. To them it’s useless.
But to us, it needs picked up, put back together.
Beauty reflects off those pieces. Each person that comes into view of it is part of it, and is seen in it. Some break the pieces more, some add to it’s beauty.
We work to pick up the pieces, sometimes we’re cut by its jagged, sharp edges. Sometimes the light that sines off of it blinds us, sometimes we feel frustrated trying to work with the tiny pieces as they sting us. Little slivers make our fingers bleed. As we feel like we’re making progress, it falls again, more pieces. We feel like we’ll never finish.
It’s not a quick fix but we know better than to give up, there is still a masterpiece. As we continue to work with this mirror we see the energy we pour into it reflects more of what it comes into view of.
It’s beautiful, it’s always been beautiful. Jars of Clay has it right when they say “See the art in me”. We see the art.
As this whole thing comes together we know that there is something more important, something more than us. It’s an anchor that has always been there to hold it safely on the wall. It’s Christ. No matter how hard we work to put it together we know that without the anchor it will fall again. So we do what we can and hope, this time, it chooses THE anchor and holds firm to it.
“See the art in me”. It’s the art of our creator. It’s true beauty, it’s love, and it’s amazing!
About the Authors:
David is the husband of Chelsea, a father of two, and a former preacher who isn’t afraid of getting involved in the lives of others to help enable real change. He currently works for a major manufacturing company which gives his family the ability to change the world. Chelsea has a heart and vision for others, who loves working behind the scenes. She currently devotes her time to her “boys”. Following the example of Jesus in John 4, David and Chelsea have adopted an attitude of helping others regardless of who they are, or where they are in life, so that some might be saved.
Roget’s Super Thesaurus includes four words in association with encouragement, and each has its own meaning.
The first word is spur. Think of a cowboy and spurs getting a horse to move the way you would like it to move – to spur is to urge or impel.
Next is the word inspire. It is commonly associated with influencing others or having an animating effect upon others.
Third is to rally. Simply put this word means to revive.
And last is to reassure. This is to restore to confidence.
Two of the words help propel people who are already moving forward, while two of the words pick people up off the ground to help them get moving again.
We all need encouragement – every single one of us. We stall, and we fall.
If we all need encouragement, but we never give encouragement, there is going to be a gap. For a moment, imagine a world without people who offer encouragement. It’s ugly and hopeless!
Let’s choose to offer encouragement. Being a person who encourages others should be one element of our life that we use to serve others.
It’s one way we can make the world better. It’s something that doesn’t require a bank account. It’s something that you can do in a moment’s notice. And it’s something that can have a profound impact on others for life.
What is your favorite way to encourage others? What is one simple way a person has encouraged you in the past? Leave a comment below.
About the Author:
David is the husband of Chelsea, a father of two, and a former preacher who isn’t afraid of getting involved in the lives of others to help enable real change. He currently works for a major manufacturing company which gives his family the ability to change the world. Following the example of Jesus in John 4, David and Chelsea have adopted an attitude of helping others regardless of who they are, or where they are in life, so that some might be saved.