Follwership/Leadership

Follow Lead Buttons Show Leading The Way Or FollowingYesterday was a special day for me and my journey with the Lord.  I started serving as a young pastor in 1982 at a small church in Crab Orchard, Tennessee while a student at Johnson University. I served there a little over a year before accepting a position as youth minister in Maryville Tennessee. I spent the next 20 years as a staff member in ministry the bulk of my time in Carroll County, GA. I have been privileged to serve at Southern Hills for the past 10 years in different capacities. Yesterday I was ordained to serve as an Elder at Southern Hills. I believe church leadership to be a calling from the Lord. I feel like I’m serving the Lord in this capacity, because it’s HIS church. Just this morning (timing) I read a passage in 1 Timothy that speaks to this position. Check this out…

1This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not an excessive drinker, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy. He must manage his own household competently and have his children under control with all dignity. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of God’s church?) (1 Timothy 3:1-5 CSB)

When the Lord is leading me, I feel confident and competent to lead others. I have multiple degrees and diplomas from “University of Hard Knocks”. I have lots of experience with failure and bad decisions. I’ve learned things that simply don’t work. Some of what I’ve learned is from observing others. Leading in any area of life or work is also about following. There is much to be learned from the people who came before us and the person or persons we are ultimately answering too. I am standing on the shoulders of some amazing men and women of faith who poured into me as a youngster, even as a grown man. I’m humbled and thankful as I reflect on my journey with the Lord at this point. I will continue to be a follower of the Lord who leads. I think the sequence is important.  I want to live my life with a heart abandoned to the King of my heart. I want to seek Him above wealth, fame or any other “success measurement tool” we can use.  To God be honor and glory in me and through me for all my days.

Heart Abandoned by Kristian Stanfill

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Morning Prayer

Country road at sunriseI love the morning – it seems like everything is new and fresh. Yesterday is now history and time to look forward. I love starting my day in God’s Word and listen to Him speak into my heart as I begin a new day. I decided a few years back that I would not do anything in my day prior to listening to Him.  I believe my time with Him is the most important meeting on my schedule. The morning I was blessed with a morning prayer from King David. Check this out…

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:8-10 NIV)

Trust – I affirm my love, respect & honor for the Lord.

Rescue – He helps me deal with those who want to harm me.

Teach – He speaks directly into my heart & then I live out my heart.

Lead – He prompts, shows & levels me out – He makes my path clear.

I just want to rest and abide this day under the Word of God. I need Him more than I need anything. His Presence in my heart brings great clarity to my schedule. This morning prayer clarifies my need for Him first thing.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

In Charge & In Control

 

Follow The LeaderWhen I go places, and do things, I usually like to know who is in charge. I have been taught to respect authority. I may not like the person in charge, but they are in charge. When I’m put in charge of a project or situation, I also try to respect the people I’m charged with leading. If I am a leader at all it’s because I’m following The Leader – God of All Creation! Check this out…

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;

    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Your throne was established long ago;
    you are from all eternity.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
    holiness adorns your house
    for endless days. (Psalm 93:1-2;5 NIV)

The Lord is ALWAYS in charge. The Lord lets me lead on His behalf. The Lord will never give up pursuing me– His love is like that. I am still blown away by that level of love and pursuit. I want to be holy like the Lord is holy. I want to strong like the Lord is strong.  I want to the Holy Spirit to clothe me, build me, protect me and shape me. I want the Lord to always be In Charge & In Control of my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Lead Me

 

Follow The LeaderI believe the most productive thing I can do today is let the Lord lead me. I have a lot of things on my calendar and on the “to do list” today. The Lord is very capable of leading me through my day. He will improve my day if I will trust Him. He works behind the scenes of my day to lead and direct my day. My role is to listen and trust Him.

When I read the Psalms, I often gain perspective on God and on life. David often wrote some of his strongest stuff in the middle of a crazy and scary time. I find encouragement in his writings during these times because it showed his humanness as well as his simple but profound faith in God. Check this out…

Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe.

I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. (Psalm 61:1-4 NIV)

I underlined three important words in this passage. First, I want the Lord to lead me to Himself. He is strong and fully equipped to help me handle whatever the Lord throws at me. Second, I want to dwell with the Lord – wherever He goes I want to go. I want to hang out with Him. Third, I want to take refuge in the Lord. I want His Protection and His Provision. I am certainly not capable of doing anything of value in my own power. When I’m tired and weary – this Psalm gives me a plan that will work.

As I look toward the next 12-16 hours of my life, I realize more than ever that I need Him in the everyday routines of my life. I also need Him in the deep weeds and deep water of my life as well. If I will have the courage to let Him lead, hang out with Him and take shelter in Him – my day will “level out” considerably.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

2-4-6-8 Delegate

Delegating Word Cloud Concept in red capsOver the years I’ve been involved with several projects that was built in stages. It is very common for large projects to be built out in phases. A new phase is an opportunity to continue to build upon the recent success, but it’s also a time when changes can be implemented a bit easier. I remember a stupid little phrase that a good friend told me when I seem bogged down in planning. He would say: “2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – we must learn to delegate”! I can be way more productive when I learn to delegate tasks that others are gifted at and can do instead of the responsibility follow on me.

Nehemiah had been the “general contractor” on the rebuilding of the Temple as well as wall of Jerusalem after the people of Judah had been in captivity for over 70 years. He was called by The Lord to do this project. He organized the workers. He put together the materials. He had to play a bit of defense against some enemies nearby. After the work was completed a new phase of his leadership began. Check this out…

1 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed. 2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.

4 Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. 5 So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. (Nehemiah 7:1-2; 4-5a NIV)

Delegation is not “skipping out”.

Delegation is not “ducking the work”.

Delegation to me is working much smarter than harder. If I can surround myself with people with similar work ethic and skill, then together we can accomplish much more work product than I could ever do alone.

I also believe that delegation gets “buy-in” from others. When a team comes together and everyone contributes – there is a great sense of accomplishment as well as a greater work with less stress on everyone. I also believe that the Lord gifts us all differently. There are those who are gifted leaders and then there are those who are gifted at doing the work very efficiently.

The church was started with delegation right out of the gate. Check this out..

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV)

I’m more effective when I learn to get others involved in my work.

I can serve more people when I delegate some to others.

I give others the opportunity to grow and be involved when I delegate.

I have more energy and life in me after a day or weeks worth of work.

Delegating can be challenging to the person who likes how they do things. I can get so much more accomplished in a shorter time frame when I learn to delegate. I think all great leaders (big or small), parents, teachers, government officials, pastors…. everyone, should learn this concept.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Cleaning House

 

Vacuum cleanerI do know what it’s like to clean house. Everyone needs to clean out and sort out what should be kept and what should be discarded or moved out. There are times that my closet gets full because I keep buying clothes and not discarding some or giving away extra. One of the hardest discussions that I have as a REALTOR is asking sellers to “de-clutter” their house. “Cleaning house” is also used in politics when it comes to our elected officials. When they stop doing what they were elected to do, it’s time to get them out of office and get new leaders elected.

There was a house cleaning that was corrupt from the core. When the mother of King Ahaziah learned of her son’s death, she set herself up as king. She killed the princes who were in line to be king. One of the princes was a baby and he was hidden in the temple for 6 years during her wicked reign. When the young prince was 7 years old, the priest Jehoiada started the “house cleaning” and assisted the young king in restoring the relationship of the people to Jehovah God. Check this out…

16 Jehoiada then made a covenant that he, the people and the king would be the Lord’s people. 17 All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

18 Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the Lord in the hands of the Levitical priests, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the Lord as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered. 19 He also stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the Lord’s temple so that no one who was in any way unclean might enter. (2 Chronicles 23:16-19 NIV)

Sometimes when I read parts of scripture like this, I’m disturbed at the violence. There seems to be no lengths that people will go through for power and control. Not much has changed from then until now. There are those who view leadership as power and those who view leadership as serving. Our elected officials should see themselves as servants to the people. Their office does give them certain authority for sure, but that authority should be handled delicately because the people that put them in authority can also take them out of that position.

I was reminded today to keep a clean house inside my heart. My heart is the place where my activities begin. If I do or say something stupid, it started in my heart. I was reminded that the Lord is the keeper of my heart and He wants to keep it clean. A good heart cleaning is necessary regularly to keep me humble and holy before the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne