My Three Words: 2011

This is a neat little exercise that I first read about on Chris Brogan’s website.  Every year, Chris picks three words that will serve as “guiding pillars” for the year. I thought this would be worth trying for myself so I have picked three words for 2011.  I will not focus on these three items at the expense of other important things, but I will narrow my focus in 2011 to improve in these specific areas.

1.  Understanding

I have been taught to distinguish between knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  Knowledge is recognition, wisdom is application, and understanding realizes the value and purpose of application. Need an example?  Lying is wrong; recognizing that is knowledge, not lying is wisdom, and realizing the value and purpose of not lying is the understanding.  All three of these can be applied to (and may even be considered the components of) Truth.

I will endeavor to increase in my understanding of Biblical Truth in 2011.

2.  Preparation

I will be preaching and teaching in 2011 more than I ever have in any given year of my life.  Let me tell you, the guilt of feeling unprepared to share the Truth is not a good feeling.  We ought to be well-prepared regardless of our duty, and even more so when we are called on to share God’s Word. Good preparation is vital if we are going to be effective.

This one is a little tricky for me because my personality can lead me into the ditch on the other side of the road.  It is possible for preparation to become a form of procrastination.  And when it comes to preaching and teaching God’s Word, it is possible to lean too heavily on preparation at the expense of Divine interruption.

I will endeavor to be well prepared and willing for God to interrupt when He desires.

3.  Serving

I want to get my focus off myself and more on others in 2011. I don’t want a ministry that serves me.  I want a ministry that serves others. It is easy as a young minister trying to become established to always look for the personal benefit in opportunities.  This year I want to look for opportunities that serve others.

I will endeavor to serve in 2011.

What are your three words?

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Attitude Trumps Authority

When it comes to leadership, my guess would be that most of you feel inadequate.  You don’t believe that you have what it takes to really be a leader.  Or maybe you feel limited in who, when, and where you can lead and you feel that you have already reached a plateau in your leadership potential.  Or, could it be that you feel like the “low man on the totem pole” at your church, in your ministry, at your school, or on the job – why would they listen to you?

The reason you feel this way is because you, and many others, have confused authority with leadership.  We believe that before we can lead, we have to have authority over those we are leading.  That is, very simply, not the case.  It is possible to lead from the middle, or even the bottom!

Jesus teaches us how to lead.  When it came to leading people, Jesus was much more about attitude that He was about authority.  He had more authority than anybody, but He knew that authority was not the source of true leadership.  Jesus lead with an attitude of a servant.  This is just simply amazing to me, all power was given to Him in Heaven and in Earth, yet He served the sinner!

In doing this, Jesus demonstrated that anyone can be a leader.  We lead by our attitude.  We lead with love.  We lead best when we serve.  So whatever your context may be, don’t believe that you can’t be a leader.  Find a need.  Be a servant.  You are a leader.

Hey, don’t look now, but that person you just served is following you!

Do you have any examples of leading through serving?