Life Lessons for the Week

Here are a few major lessons I am learning right now! They may help you as well. Read through them and spend some time thinking about any of them that will help you grow. Then after you are done, take some time and share a few things that have been on your mind lately in regards to personal growth.

MOMENTUM

I read a quote recently that says: “A weak leader with momentum, looks like a strong leader; and a strong leader without momentum looks weak.”

Personally it is so interesting in reference to my ministry. Right now our youth ministry is in a period of great fruit. We are experiencing the highest numbers and the greatest influence that I have seen in my ministry since I have been here. The question that one might ask me is: What are you doing differently? My answer: Nothing. I have been in youth ministry for 6 years and there have been many ups and downs. Right now things are definitely up. Is it because of my leadership style? I would say, no. It is because we have momentum. I have been thinking a lot about this, and I am currently trying to discover how to develop this same momentum in other ministries. I do not have all the answers regarding establishing momentum, but I know this, do what you have to do to get momentum and things will look up very quickly.

GRACE

I have an incredible leadership team that supports me in youth ministry. They are great for many reasons: These leaders build relationship with teenagers, they love teenagers, they love the youth ministry, and they are extremely faithful. But there is something about these leaders that has been especially encouraging and powerful as they have been involved in Suncoast Youth Ministry. It is that they are leaders with Grace. At Suncoast Youth Group we always define grace as “God giving us what we do not deserve.” The leaders of Suncoast Youth Group support the ministry and they support me with an incredible amount of grace. They understand that things do not always operate the way that they would prefer, but they show grace, and they support me anyway. Our leaders know me and all of my weaknesses and failures, and they support me anyway. They show grace and they look past themselves and their own preferences and comforts and they support both the youth ministry and the youth pastor with great grace. If every ministry of the church had such graceful leaders, the church would look very different.

PASSION 

I asked my wife this week what I am passionate about and she said that I am passionate about being passionate. I understand where she is coming from. Whether we are talking about my favorite restaurant, P.F. Changs, or my favorite drink in the world, Sonny’s Sweet Tea. I tend to be more on the passionate side of things. One struggle that I have been working with is that often my passion about something can be perceived as arrogance. Whether in casual fellowship, in praise team practice, or in staff meeting I have been told that sometimes I come across “more jerky” than I intend to. It is not my desire to be arrogant, or to be controlling, or in charge, but many times my passion gets the best of me, and I give off vibes that are not quite what I am going for. I read two great blogs recently that reminded me what the Bible says about this: James 1:19 “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.”

I am working on balancing my passion with this verse. Let me be clear, I love being passionate, and this verse does not tell me to be more apathetic. For me, it says, be passionate, but use less words.  Listen more, and think through your opinions and your thoughts, and then share them with fewer words. I believe that this will be a huge step for me, not an easy one, but incredibly important for my personality.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT YOU ARE LEARNING RIGHT NOW?

POST THEM IN THE COMMENTS! Thank you!

Lee

Advertisements

No Resolution Yet? It’s not too late!

I have read several great blogs over the last few days that have challenged me in several different ways. The main debate that has been on my mind over the last few days is to make a resolution, or to not make a resolution. In other words, what goals and challenges will I set for myself over the next year. I have asked several people this week to name a few goals that they have set for the next year, and suprisingly almost everyone that I had spoken with had not made any resolutions yet. One blog that I read about yesterday talked about how in the Bible,  Daniel made a resolution at the beginning of his book, and the rest of his story is history. Daniel is known as a faithful follower of the Lord, and it could be traced back to one resolution that he made. You can read that great post HERE. Well, because of that blog and a few others that made it clear that there is not a rule that states that resolutions must be in stone by the time the ball drops at midnight, I have decided to take some time over the next week and really ask God what some of my goals should be for the next year. I already know a few, but I am going to use the next week to write down some specific things to increase my effectiveness in serving the Lord and my family in 2011.

Here are a few things that I already plan to do:

Scripture Memory, both on my own, and with Ron Edmondson on his blog HERE

Blog more often by applying what I read yesterday on these two blogs,  HERE and HERE

Attempt to accomplish 27 credit hours this year on  my graduate work.

FIT Triathlon May 14th

More to come!

What are some of the things that you plan to accomplish this year? Please comment some of them, maybe you will give me more ideas! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Free Fuel!

I read a great book about a year ago called: “Creating Magic” by Lee Cockerell

One of the points that jumped out the most to me as I read this book was a major point called Free Fuel. As I read this, we had just come out of a gas price hike, and those beautiful words: “Free Fuel” were sure to catch anyones attention.

The great thing is, there is no catch here, just a genuine truth, a flawless principle, that you can use today to get free fuel. Wondering what it is? Here you go: “Encouragement”

Can you remember a time when you were younger, and your Mom or Dad asked you to do something, like wash the floors or wash the car, or go pull weeds or something like that? Well, I sure do. I remember working decently. I would scrub for a while, I would pull a weed or two, and so on. But if my Mom or my Dad walked in the room and said, “Wow! Lee, you are really doing a great job” I was rejuvenated. I worked harder, I worked better, I was passionate about what I was doing and all they did is throw a little encouragement my way.

It doesn’t matter if someone hates what they are doing, if they are encouraged, they will try a little bit harder, they will go on a little bit longer, and more often than not, they will do a little bit better. Who is discouraged in your life? Why don’t you test out this theory? Why don’t you use some free fuel.

By the way: let me explain the “free fuel” line incase you did not catch it yet. Encouragement is a fuel, a source of energy that costs nothing. It will cost you nothing to lift someone up, it will cost you nothing to encourage your team, your family, our spouse, but you will definitely reap bountifully by spreading around some encouragement.

Who can you encourage today?