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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Worship

I came across this quote about worship:

“Worship is the wholehearted, Godward living of my life as it actually is. Worship is not a weekly escape from life, but a moment by moment embrace of life exactly as it is, knowing that in my life exactly as it is, I am moment by moment embraced in the arms of God.”–David W. Baker

Do you agree with this quote?

How do you as a leader foster this “moment to moment embrace” of God in your life?

What habits do we need to help others develop that will allow them to worship fully in their “moment to moment” life?

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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How To Navigate Uncertainty

Last week, we looked at an Old Testament prophecy about the coming of the Messiah. This week, we’ll continue along those lines. Just as the prophet Malachi predicted, a messenger in the spirit of Elijah came to announce the coming of the Messiah. We know from the gospels that John the Baptist was that messenger, pointing people to Jesus. I want us to notice this exchange in the Gospel of Mark:

“[The disciples] asked him, ‘Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?’
Jesus replied, ‘To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him’” (Mark 9:11-13).

Here, as in Matthew 11:14, Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the promised Elijah (see Malachi 3:1 and 4:5). But Jesus puts an unexpected spin on the timing of God’s plan. He says in verse 12 above that John came to “restore all things.” If that is true, how come I don’t feel very restored? Jesus answers with a clue to His own purpose: “the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected.”

Sometimes, even when we are doing all the right things, God’s plan still has other pieces that need to fall in to place. Even John the Baptist had a hard time with this. While he was in prison, he sent disciples to ask Jesus, “I did what God asked me to, so why am I in prison?” (that’s my own paraphrase). Jesus tried to encourage John, and I want this verse to encourage us. There are times when we do what God asks faithfully, and our head still gets chopped off.

So how do we respond in times of uncertainty?

How do we help others navigate periods of doubt?

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The True God

This month in the Momentum community, we’ll be taking a look at some Christmas related ideas. This week, I want to look at an Old Testament prophecy about the coming Messiah that will shed some light on our leadership. In Malachi 3:1, God tells the people this: “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple.” One phrase from this passage strikes me particularly this morning:

“The Lord you are seeking.”

Perhaps one of the reasons the Jews misunderstood Jesus (and his messenger, John the Baptist) is because they were not seeking him. Or, they were seeking a Messiah they thought they wanted, and failed to see God’s better plan. How often do we do this? We get an idea in our head of what God is (or should be) and we totally miss what He truly wants to be for us.

Are we willing to seek Him, without preconceived notions?

As leaders, are we brave enough to point others to the true God, and not letting them settle for an understanding of God that is less than the best?

What stands in our way of seeing the truth about God?

What stands in our way of leading others to that understanding?

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Thankfulness

I don’t know if you are like me, but coming off of the “high” of Thanksgiving is always a bit hard. I always think to myself that I should eat turkey and dressing throughout the year, since I love it so much. 🙂

Another thing that is hard for me after the holiday is to remember to keep focusing on being thankful. It is really easy at Thanksgiving, because you can sort of take a “year in review” look at your life and your family and figure out what to be thankful for.

But what do you do to align yourself with thankfulness the rest of the year? What strategies have helped you that you can pass on to others? One thing that I’ve done is I try to start each prayer with something I’m thankful for, rather than simply launching in to my list of requests. It’s a little thing, but it helps.

What about you?  Is there something that you’ve done or thought about that is helpful in fostering a spirit of thanksgiving all year long?

Is there a Scripture passage that is helpful to you? How have you utilized it?

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Humility, Part 2

We had some great interactions related to humility from last week. I was humbled by your wisdom and insight. This week I’m not expecting much interaction since the holiday changes everyone’s schedule (though you can certainly continue to interact if you have some questions or thoughts to share!). I came across this prayer about humility, and it really struck me. I’d encourage you to pray it this week, along with me:

Lord Jesus Christ, my almighty yet humble God.
Your word teaches that You bring down the proud and lift up the humble.
I am tempted even in this prayer to be humble so I can be made much of.
Forgive me. Help me be free from the desire to be exalted.
Help me to admit when I am wrong or mistaken.
Help me to rejoice in another’s success even if it comes at my expense.
Help me to be content when I am not on top.
Help me to weep when those who have been against me weep, not     taking secret joy in their misfortune.
Help me not to be miffed when I am not recognized or appreciated.
Help me not to feel insulted when I am not chosen or consulted.
Help me not to be disheartened when I am passed over.
Help me to recognize that all I have that is good is a gift from Your hand.
Amen.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Humility

Today’s installment of the Momentum Leadership Community is about Humility. Pastor Brad talked at the Leadership Event about addressing the inner circle of our leadership. One of the three “takeaways” from that event had to do with humility.

Much of what we read on humility has to do with eliminating pride and giving up our perceived “rights.” There’s no question that this kind of humility is exactly what Christ had in mind when he told his disciples, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).

Yet there’s a different facet of humility I’d like to explore with you this week:

Humility also means serving others by leading to the best of your ability.

Look at the example of Moses, of whom it is said was the most humble man on earth (see Numbers 12:3). In Exodus 3-4, God gives Moses a very specific job, but his overactive humility causes him to anger God. What might things have been like if Moses had a proper view of himself?

Some thoughts to discuss:

Do you agree with this new definition of humility?

Is there such a thing as being too humble?

How do we develop a right view of ourselves, balancing humility with the recognition that we have God-given leadership abilities?

What strategies have you used to foster humility in your own life?

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Exploiting Momentum

Welcome!

For our first few installments of the Momentum Leadership Community, we’ll be digging in to the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. This will give all of us a good opportunity to share our thoughts.

One quote that caught my attention in the book was when Sanders noted that a leader “knows how to exploit momentum” (p. 31).

Do you agree with this?

What does it mean to exploit momentum?

How do we identify the momentum in our life?

What about negative momentum? How do we exploit that as a leader?

One example that comes to my mind is the story of Matt Chandler. Matt is the Lead Pastor of The Village Church. At age 35, he found out he had a brain tumor that required surgery. On the eve of his surgery, not knowing what his future held, whether he would live or die, he created this video message for his church body:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMerKVKssQU

His message regarding Hebrews 11:35 is inspiring and challenging.

So where is your momentum? Which direction is it pointing you? How can you as a leader exploit it for the glory of God?

Share your thoughts with the community.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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