I had a big day on Sunday – preaching three services, greeting and talking with lines of people, and participating in a lively, 3-hour marriage ministry leadership meeting with four couples till 5 pm. Geri and returned home at 6 pm. My sermon was “finished” by Thursday, but then the 5-hour rule kicked in late Saturday night when I took a final look at the message: Add 5 hours to your sermon prep after you think it is finished. That got me to bed after midnight and up early in the morning. Fortunately, I no longer want to quit on Mondays as in my earlier days. In fact, I woke up excited for the week. I dedicated the morning to a few hours of silence, praying the Psalms, and rereading my highlights of Merton’s Contemplation in a World of Action. How is that possible? I have learned a few things over the years about. Read more.
For the first 17 years of my Christian life I grew in knowledge and leadership experience. I worked with university students full-time, graduated from seminary, and started a church. My leadership gifts blossomed. The size and impact of the ministry expanded. The problem was that growing in love was not my number one aim. I focused on bigger, better, and faster – like most of the leaders around me. I wasn’t asking myself: Am I meeker, patient, soft, safe, approachable, courageous, kind, and honest this year than I was last year? Am I less easily triggered under stress? Am I breaking my bad habits from my family of origin (e.g. stuffing resentments, lying when hurt, resolving conflicts poorly, not being attentive)? Are people close to me experiencing me as loving? A revolution took place in my life when I read Jonathan Edward’s sermons on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. His exegesis and insights launched a Copernican. Read more.
Whose life are you living — your own or someone else’s? Does your leadership reflect how God has uniquely crafted you or are you trying to be somebody you are not? This is one of the greatest challenges we face. God invites us to ignore the distracting voices around us — regardless of their source — and to pursue wholeheartedly leading out of our God-given life. This is no small task. Just consider the pressures Jesus, Moses, and David faced. 4 essential practices provide essential guidance for us in this journey: Take Time to Discover Your Integrity The journey of living your life instead of someone else’s begins when you discover your integrity. This requires recognizing and defining what is important to you. When helping someone who is struggling with an inner conflict, I often ask, “What is your integrity calling you to do?” Most people hesitate before responding because they have rarely thought deeply about what they believe and. Read more.