August 19, 2012

Two Becoming One = Exponential Increase

Two becoming one does not equal loss, 
it equals exponential increase!  

My wife is currently on a mission trip in Indonesia where our team is ministering Jesus’ love at an orphanage & hosting a huge crusade, expecting 10,000 people! Honestly, I am so proud of her for stepping out & pursuing the dreams God has placed in your heart. At the same time, this is the longest I have ever been away from her, not being able to see her or talk with her. I totally miss her! 

However, I realized that wherever either one of us go, we truly are going together. The awesome thing about being married is that the two become one. We don’t completely lose our sense of individuality, of which many are so afraid. We actually have divinely, exponentially multiplied our influence. My wife is able to be in Indonesia representing us, while I am able to be home representing us. 

The lives she touches, I touch. 
And the lives I touch, she touches.

Since our lives have so drastically transformed one another’s, I am never ‘just’ Joseph. I am Joseph who has become a better & richer man, friend, brother, son, pastor, leader, & lover because of Andrea. Part of who she is has become part of me & vice versa.

Everywhere either one of us goes, 
the other is present. 

Everyone who is touched by one of us is always touched by the other. That is how God designed marriage; that is how He designed the two becoming one. It’s not about being incomplete & then getting married to someone who makes you complete. And, it's not about either one of you decreasing in who has called you to be! It’s about two complete people in Him being united & exponentially increasing the influence He gives them.

August 15, 2012

The Leader That Lifts

As a leader, you help those you lead go to the next level by either lifting them up from above or boosting them up from below. In order to lift others up you have to be fully confident in who you are, having sure footing so you can pull them up. In order to boost them up, you have to be able to step down from you high place & get under them to give them the boost they need.

 True confidence knows how to take the low position to boost others up.

It is when a leader lacks confidence that he cannot step out of himself to ensure that those he leads don’t remain where they are. The insecure leader is bound to inferiority, plagued with self propagation. The leader that is confident never tries to prove anything to anyone.

Rather, her aim is to prove to her followers that they can excel to the place of greatness
that she sees in them.

The leader who is completely confident in his God-given identity, calling, & sonship never has to assert his authority. Rather, he is able to elevate his followers through influential service. Choose to lead from the place of complete confidence. Choose to lift & boost those you lead to the place that God has destined for them. When you do, your whole team ascends!

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you 
should do as I have done for you.”(John 13:13-15)

August 10, 2012

Show Them With Your Life

I’m sure you have heard the phrase ‘actions speak louder than words.’ I couldn’t have learned this more than when I got married. There have been times when my wife has asked me to do something around the house, but I failed to get it done. When she would come home expecting it done I would say, “But I love you baby,” and she would lovingly respond, “show me.” Talk about being hit with a ton of bricks!

It’s the same thing with our faith. You let me look at someone’s life for 1 day & I will be able to tell you what he or she believes. 
Words are powerful, but they are also 
easily manipulated; lifestyle does not lie. 

As Christians our lives have to go beyond the talk of Christianity to Spirit-empowered, Christ-like lifestyle. Don’t only verbally tell people God loves them; show them with your life. Don’t only verbally tell people that God is good no matter what situation you are going through; show them with your life.

You see, it’s not that people don’t want God; it’s that people don’t want other people who say they follow Jesus, but their lives look nothing like His. God is raising up sons & daughters who not only tell people about Him, but who show people what He looks like; they do this by living in such a way that the truth, power, & love of God are clearly evident in their lives. 

Jesus told the disciples, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father,” (John 14:9). You may be telling people you believe in the Father, but what is your life showing them? They want what the Father has, what the Father has placed inside of you. Don’t just tell them, but show them with your life that what is in you is available to them too.

Discover you Purpose, Identity, Nature, & Mission by 
Rediscovering the Fatherhood of God
Abba Conference 2012

August 8, 2012

Feeling Lonely At The Top?

One of the greatest myths in leadership is that “It’s lonely at the top.” While this may be true for specific moments or experiences, it is never a true lifestyle of great leaders. Great leaders are always propelled by great people, directly or indirectly. Therefore, in order for you to have advanced to the top there must have been people who came alongside you in the process. The discipline is to acknowledge them & choose to bring them to the top with you.
The reality is that if it is consistently lonely at the top then you are probably not leading. 

As I have heard it said, “If you think you are leading but look behind you & don’t see anyone following, then you are simply taking a walk.” A great leader does not strive to excel alone, but intentionally brings others where he or she is going. A great leader sets up his or her followers to excel far beyond the level he or she has ever reached.

If you’re leading in any area of your life & you are consistently alone, you may need to ask yourself, 
“Am I truly leading or simply taking a walk?”

Hold On To The Good

One of the greatest ways to keep the fire of God burning inside of you is by clinging to the word of the Lord. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” Paul immediately commands believers not to treat prophecies with contempt right after he commands them not to put out the Spirit’s fire. 

In other words, if you don’t want to quench the fire of the Spirit working in your life then honor, value, & uphold the word of the Lord that is proclaimed over you.

How often do we hear the word of God being preached & then forget what was proclaimed an hour later? How often do we read something in the Bible that jumps off the page & then we forget about it the minute we step foot into the workplace? It’s far too often that someone proclaims the word of the Lord over our lives, we hit a trial, & we have no recollection of what was spoken over us before the trial.

It’s time we fuel the fire of the Spirit in our lives by cherishing the proclamation of God’s word, testing it through perseverance, & holding fast ‘to the good.’ 

Don’t be so easy to release what the Lord has proclaimed over you. If you want to stoke the fire of the Spirit in your life, refuse to allow the word of the Lord to fall to the ground. Determine to hold on to the good with an unshakable faith.

August 6, 2012

From The Mountain To The World

Every believer loves powerful mountain top experiences with God. However, when your only encounter with God’s presence is on the mountain top then something is wrong. The mountain was never meant to be the place where we remain, it was meant to be the place of encounter that propels us to take what’s on the mountain to the world. 

God’s desire was never just to encounter His people in mountain top experiences,
but to fill them with 
His very self.  

 God’s desire is that every believer would embrace their call to be His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) & carry His presence into the specific context in which He has placed them. The world is longing to experience the presence of God & every believer has the call make it known. The question is do we allow the presence of God that we encounter on the mountain top to permeate every aspect of our lives when we come off the mountain? 

Your call to carry 
God’s presence to the world 
begins in your context; for your starting place, search no further than where you are.

August 4, 2012

The Problem With Stability

While stability can often bring about a great sense of safety & security, it can also lead to stagnation. When you have a stable income pouring in it’s easy to budget for the month, plan a trip, or save up for the future right? But don’t let any something go wrong; don’t let the routine be infringed upon. 

We often feel like the changing of our routine will knock us off kilter & ruin our lives, but that is sometimes what must happen for growth to take place. If you are not changing, you are not growing. And, if you are not growing, you are not only remaining stagnate, you are decreasing. Be intentional about finding strategic ways to intrude upon your routines. Choose to shake things up. Choose to grow.

August 3, 2012

Leadership: Are You Sick of Meetings?

I’ve often been told that there are way too many meetings for our ministry teams at our church. It’s joked that, “We even have meetings for our meetings.” The frustration is not with meetings, but the frustration is that those who are a part of the meetings are not walking away from them with clarified vision, understanding their great contribution, & possessing a solid sense direction for the future. However, this not a team issue, this is a leadership issue.

Perhaps that the joke above should be taken a bit more seriously. A good leader takes time to prepare for a meeting, individually & with the major influencers on the team.

“Good planning always costs less than good reacting.” – Wayne Schmidt 

He or she envisions the course the boat needs to be steered, maps out the course, & knows the role that every crew members plays in getting the boat to its destination. Not only so, but a great leader will take the time before the large meeting to connect & get buy in from the greatest movers & shakers in the crew before introducing any changes of course.

If you or your team are walking away from your meetings feeling as if they are meaningless & mundane then the change must start with you. A long, unfruitful meeting is like drinking sour milk, it’s nasty going down, it don’t sit well, & it’s just going to come right out the other side. Take the time to prepare, have the meeting before the meeting, & make each meeting count!

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." - Alan Lakein