Everyone has a shadow. Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors that lie, largely unconscious, beneath the surface of our lives that constitute the damaged versions of who we are. They may be sinful; they may simply be weaknesses. Most importantly, they lie concealed just beneath the surface of our more proper selves. You know it’s your shadow when: You are defensive when someone corrects you or points out your flaws. You are triggered by a person, or circumstance, saying things you often later regret. You act out inappropriately when under pressure. You dismiss others when they bring up a difficult issue about you and your behavior. You keep doing the same thing over and over despite the negative consequences. You are angry, jealous, and envious – a lot. You do and say things out of fear of what other people think. You become busier when you are anxious rather than more reflective. You. Read more.
Bruce Gangnier’s sculpture of Moses Striking the Rock captures the one of the great temptations of leadership. Moses was commanded by God to speak to the rock so his “church” (2-3 million strong) might have water to drink. Instead, out of great frustration and anger, he struck the rock twice with his staff (Numbers 20:7-12). Moses never sees the Promised Land. Many of us miss the joy and peace of leading others in Jesus’ name (our Promised Land) because we are anxious, fearful, angry, frustrated and tired. The people get their water, as the Israelites did, but we pay a steep price. I have struck the rock more times than I want to count. Why? There are 2 temptations: 1. To build our own kingdom. We become unsure if we can trust God to grow our churches. So we help Him along, initiating programs and ministries to move the church along without consulting Him. 2. To force things because. Read more.
King David led out of a place of deep rest and contentment. He sang: “My cup overflows” (Ps. 23:5). Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) changes the metaphor from a cup to a reservoir. I invite you to slowly and prayerfully mediate on this photo and his words. If you are wise, therefore, you will show yourself a reservoir and not a canal. For a canal pours out as fast as it takes in; but a reservoir waits till it is full before it overflows, and so communicates its surplus. We have all too few such reservoirs in the Church at present, through we have canals in plenty. . .they (canals) desire to pour out when they themselves are not yet inpoured; they are readier to speak than to listen, eager to teach that which they do not know, and most anxious to exercise authority on others, although they have not learnt to rule themselves. .. Read more.
Geri and I were in the car last weekend driving in beautiful upstate New York, taking one of our daughters to look at colleges and began talking about the dynamics of leadership. Soon, we realized we had stumbled upon a simple, but powerful process of leading well – at least in God’s church — that is now helping us quite a bit. 1. Monitor Your Heart. Whether it is preparing for sermons, reading a book on strategy, sitting through a staff meeting, or deciding on priorities, I am guarding my heart. Is my motive really God’s glory or is this about me? Am I anxious? If so why, and how is that impacting my decisions now? Am I avoiding a challenging reality? a confrontation? Is the content of this sermon I am preparing simply head knowledge? How does it speak to my life? Am I really living what I am preaching? This of course requires. Read more.