Success is doing what God has asked us to do, His way, and in His timing. The customization and application of this powerful redefinition of success revolutionizes our leadership for Christ. In this podcast, I answer five FAQ’s that emerge over and over again around this topic: What do I do with my envy? What do I do if I fear that a next step (e.g. promotion, opportunity), although good, may potentially prevent me from living some priority rhythms with family and Jesus that I’ve established? What do I do with my perfectionism? That it never feels like it is good enough? What do I do if I am working in a driven culture where success is defined solely by numbers and where my soul is being destroyed? How might a team discernment process of defining success work? Within these questions, I also discuss the challenge “to do the work before the work.” In. Read more.
To allow Jesus’ and Scripture’s view of success to shape the way we lead is very, very challenging. Teaching about it is one thing. Living it is another. In this podcast, I offer three examples of how to redefine success in ways that look beyond numbers in different arenas: at New Life Fellowship, for an upcoming family wedding event, and in the ministry of Emotionally Healthy Discipleship. The remainder of the podcast then looks closely at the three factors necessary to internalize the kind of radical change necessary to make the doing of God’s will, regardless of where it leads, the measure of our success: A deep integration of silence and solitude A deep integration of Ignatius’ concept of indifference, remembering that a true surrender of our will to God’s will is a learned, struggled-for, and prayed-for obedience; and A deep theology of God coming in our limits. Here is Part 2 of this. Read more.
Elijah understood that silence and listening are the starting points for true, authentic spiritual leadership. Without it we lead from our own mind and ideas. But the only way to listen is to deeply engage the radical spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude – the most challenging and least experienced disciplines in the church today. Elijah lived in the desert for years – dependent on God alone for food and sustenance without projects or programs. The silence and solitude positioned him to listen and be formed into the leader God desired. The longer he remained in the silence of the desert, the more free he became to follow God’s direction. Studies say that the average group can only bear silence for 15 seconds. Most of our personal lives and church services confirm this. Yet it is essential that silence and solitude become a regular and normal part of our days and weeks. How else. Read more.
Dallas Willard has called silence and solitude the two most radical disciplines in the Christian life. Henri Nouwen said “without solitude it is almost impossible to live a spiritual life.” If solitude is the practice of being absent to people and things to attend to God, silence is the practice of quieting every inner and outer voice to attend to Him. Yet, I have become increasingly aware, as I teach The EHS Course at New Life Fellowship Church each year, how incredibly difficult the practice of silence is for people. A core part of The EHS Course is spending time with God twice a day, five days a week using Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A 40 Day Journey with Daily Office. Each devotional begins and ends with two minutes of silence. That is where the problems begin. Each week we talk about different issues that arise around practicing silence such as: Why is. Read more.
When we do staff retreats at New Life, we create “being” experiences before our “doing” of the actual work. We began, for example, one staff retreat by reviewing Jesus’ rhythms of solitude and ministry (Luke 4:1,11; Lk.4:42-43; 5:12-13; 6:12-18) followed by a discussion on an ancient, Chinese story called “The Woodcarver.” This truth of doing out of our being is so profound that I look for as many creative ways as possible to keep it before us through a wide assortment of mediums. Feel free to use this with your leadership team. Slowly read the poem twice, underlining and taking notes on what speaks to you. Afterwards, answer the questions that follow. THE WOODCARVER Khing, the master carver, made a bell stand of precious wood. When it was finished, All who saw it were astounded. They said it must be The work of spirits. The Prince of Lu said to the master carver: “What. Read more.
The front page of Time magazine last week focused on the international interest in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. Based on Buddhist practices, it has proven to help people reduce stress in our frenetic world. I attended a seminar on this years ago and was saddened how few people associated Christians and churches with contentment, joy, and “centeredness” in life. The tradition of “centering” is rich in our biblical, Christian tradition. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness in God’s presence. Elijah was a prophet of the desert who learned to hear God in silence. John the Baptist’s ministry flowed from the quietness of the desert. Jesus had rhythms of activity and aloneness. John Cassian wrote extensively on meditating on Scripture in “mindfulness” before the Lord in his Conferences. The desert fathers and monastics, through history, have continued this tradition. The ministry of Contemplative Outreach, founded by Trappist monks in the 1960′s, was an effort. Read more.