Leadership Happens Behind The Scenes

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I have discovered that most leadership decisions, actions and movements happen behind the scenes long before it is scene in the spotlight.  Public ideas come from private thoughts.  Public achievements start in private dreams.

There are too many people who ONLY want to lead in public eye, but they have a hard time figuring out that leadership happens behind the scenes.  It is seen in what others cannot see.  The hours of strategic planning, creative thought and personal prayer.  You see, a lot of people what to experience the public success that others have, but they are unwilling to pay the private price.

When Mary and I first started Church Unleashed in 2008 I started to catalog the hours of prayer that I have prayed for our church.  I stopped keeping the log … but I the last time I logged I figured out that I had prayed 8,776 hours for Church Unleashed.  Wow.  Behind the scenes prayer has led to what we are seeing today.

Pastor Brandon Ball said, “Everyone wants the XYZ’s of ministry without the ABC’s of faithfulness.”  How true is that?  We want everything for nothing … we want the promotion without the hard work.  We want what someone else has without doing what they have done.

Never think that public success comes without personal sacrifice!  Start leading behind the scenes!

6 Commanded Blessings of Giving

Give The word GIVE appears in the Bible 921 times – that’s almost as many times as FAITH, HOPE and LOVE combined.  It is mentioned more than any other subject in the Bible … 2 times more than Heaven and Hell combined.  3 times more than love.  7 times more than prayer.  8 times more than belief.

In fact, 17 of the 38 parables that Jesus spoke are all about giving.  Here’s the crazy thing: 15% of the Bible talks about giving, gifts, finances and/or tithing.  Wow! I guess you can say, “God’s Word is also a financial roadmap.”

God said in Malachi 3, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies” (Malachi 3:10).

The prophet Malachi reveals SIX … count them … SIX commanded blessings when you give/tithe.  These are only released through the act of giving.

Here are the commanded blessings of giving:

  • Overflowing blessing  (“… so great you won’t have enough room …”)
    God wants to bless you in greater ways.
  • Increase of resources  (“… your crops will be abundant …”)
    God wants to increase your financial health.
  • Protection from attack  (“… for I will guard them …”)
    God wants to protect you from the enemy.
  • Perfect timing (“… from the vine before they are ripe …”)
    God will meet every need and reveal His will at the right time.
  • Reputation of abundance (“… all nations will call you blessed …”)
    Other people will recognize God’s favor on your life.
  • Happy homes (“… your land will be such a delight …”)
    God will flood your house with real joy.

Let me just say, “If you don’t sow it, God can’t grow it.”  God has to have something to work with.  Start giving today … watch God release His commanded blessings on your life and family.

Leadership is born out of vision.

Too many leaders today are looking for a following, but they do not have vision.  There is no specific direction they are heading.  I have learned that people are looking to follow someone with an a seeable vision.  Something that they can grab hold of.

You see, your leadership level is born out of your vision.  The greater your vision the stronger your influence becomes, but the weaker your vision the less influence you will have.  So, if you are looking for a larger platform – don’t seek a bigger venue – increase your vision.

The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained …” (Proverbs 29:18 – NASB). That simply means they move without direction.  They want more, but they don’t have someone to lead them there.  Vision.  It is what everyone is looking to follow.

Someone asked me one time, “Where did you get your vision for Church Unleashed?”  It was a pretty simple answer – “In prayer.”  Mary and I spent 7 days in prayer.  We asked God for the vision, dreams and goals.  He unloaded a big one on us.  It’s bigger than we are, but we trust God’s amazing dreams!

Never in our wildest dreams did we ever believe that God would open up the doors He has opened … why?  Because of the vision.  The vision has led us to where we are.  The vision has brought more people in our lives than we could imagine.  The vision has changed lives.  The vision has changed us.  And that vision is from God.  It is His vision for our lives.  Our leadership and influence was born out of God’s vision for our lives.

Multiply 2016: Lessons from Dr @davidcrosbyjr

Well, it was another great day on Thursday at MULTIPLY 2016 – hosted by Joe & Ruth Nieves, pastors of Transformation Church, in Middletown, NY.  All I can say is WOW.  It was the best Multiply that I have attended.471907607

This year the Roundtable presenter was Dr. Dave Crosby of Community Church in the Poconos.  He laid some leadership truth bombs on us.

Here are some of my learnings:

  1. God puts the sharpest tools in the hardest soil. That’s the Northeast.
  2. The curse of knowledge: “we think what we know everyone knows.”
  3. 95% of churches never parent/plant another church.
  4. The local church does not just have the power to change culture but to create it.
  5. “Can you?” is not the same question as “Should you?”
  6. Whenever you change something you will lose people.  Choose who you lose.
  7. Average person attends church 1.7 x’s per month.
  8. Visionary leaders break something that is not broken.
  9. What got you to here will not take you to there.
  10. Read your way out of ruts.
  11. The world is looking for healthy churches.
  12. Becoming a disciple is about transformation.  Making disciples is about multiplication.
  13. Young people in your church need to be visible.
  14. A pastors private life influences their public ministry.
  15. Over 70% of pastors feel discouraged.
  16. “How is it with your soul?” Charles Wesley
  17. The root determines the fruit.
  18. If you forget your why you will lose your way.

Amazing.  Only just a small portion of what I learned.  Wow.  Look out for next year. BAM.

The Leadership Pipeline

Everyone growing up wanted to lead something.  No matter where it is we all start with this desire to lead. Whether at home, work or in athletics no one grows up saying, “I hope I am picked last” or “I pray one day I will work for them.”  You see, somewhere over time the desire to lead gets sucked out of our lives.

Why do we lose the desire to excel?  That is a question I have asked over the last few weeks.  I don’t think there is a one line answer – but I believe we don’t lose it – but it gets stolen.  Something or someone robs us of the ability to dream, build, grow and become all that God has designed us to be.

The real question should be, “How do we protect our desire to dream?”

  1. Guard your words.  Don’t speak negative words over your life.  “I can’t ….” “I won’t …” “I am not good at anything.”  Encourage yourself.
  2. Watch your friends.  Make sure you surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up, not bring you down.  Get around successful people.  Place encouragers in your life.
  3. Learn everyday in every way.  If you are constantly learning you will eventually be leading.  Never stop learning. Listen to a podcast.  Read a book.  Watch a TED talk.  Go to a conference. Grow.
  4. Don’t settle.  No matter how far you go never settle.  Keep pushing the limits.  God has a huge plan for your life.  Dream dreams that no one has dreamed yet.  Build a business no one has thought of.  Establish a patent that no one has produced. Write that book.

If you do those 4 things you will cultivate a leadership pipeline where you will flow, grow and go.

I am back.

I took a 3 month hiatus from blogging on Leadership to build my leadership.  All too often we listen to “experts” who are no longer honing their craft or using their gifts.  I wanted to stop … refocus … and recalibrate.  So here is my kick-start … re-start … learnings from a simple minded leader – ME.

WHAT SHOULD LEADERS BE DOING?

Leaders are always growing.  They take time to learn.  A leader who is not learning will not continue to lead for long.  Leading requires learning.  Learning opens doors for leading.  They work together.

Leaders are always flowing.  A wise leader will operate in their skill set and calling. They won’t step out of their lane or gifts.  Too many leaders today are trying to flow in someone else area.  No.  Be who God called you to be.  Lead were God called you to lead.  Flow in your destiny.

Leaders are always sowing.  They invest in others.  A wise leader will reproduce themselves in someone else.  Who are you sowing into?  Who are you spending time developing?

You see, leadership is not a title you are given – it is a call you have answered.  Find your groove.  Get in it.  Then watch how God opens more doors for your life.

Lead well. Lead long.  Keep growing, flowing and sowing!

2016: UNPRECEDENTED

It is hard to believe that another year has passed. For some 2015 was a great year and for others it was faced with difficulty or challenge. No matter what kind of 2015 you experienced you have a new year to grow, become and invest your life in the things that truly matter.

10580083_10153845764533735_8246214806275081976_nWe believe that 2016 will be an UNPRECEDENTED year!  Unprecedented FAVOR. Unprecedented MIRACLES. Unprecedented HEALING. Unprecedented GROWTH. Unprecedented VICTORY. Unprecedented STRENGTH. Unprecedented VISION. Are you ready for an UNPRECEDENTED move of God in your life? We believe and declare that 2016 is going to be a banner year of unprecedented opportunities for you and your family.

Today is a new year to stand in faith and declare, “This will be my year. I will have an unprecedented year, in Jesus name.” Don’t allow the enemy to discourage, distract or depress you. Stand on the promises of God.

Psalm 77:14 declares, “You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.” God is going to reveal his greatness in your life this year. Be ready. There will be new doors and fresh paths for your life. Walk in faith.

We know this will be an UNPRECEDENTED year. Today wake up with eyes of faith, see your potential and experience the great wonders of our God. This will be your year to experience what you have been praying, believing and asking for. Start this year in faith. Trust God. You will experience the hand of God on your life in 2016.

THIS is going to be the BEST YEAR you have ever had.  Declare it. Believe it. Experience it.