Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am committed to improving

I believe that one of the essential for leadership growth is an attitude that expresses, "I am committed to improving." When it comes to a great marriage, people just don't accidentally fall into a good marriage. Instead, all great marriages have a common denominator - they are committed to improving their skills, and they seek out the best resources to allow it to happen. At our church I oversee a lot of talented people. And although talent can help get you down the road, rarely does talent alone have enough gas get you all the way home.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 reads,

If an ax is blunt and the edge isn't sharpened, then one has to use more strength. But wisdom prepares the way for success.

If a person is talented, but they are not committed to improving their skills, they are very much like this dull ax described by Solomon. Sure, they can rely just on their raw talent to impress a person or two, but when it comes to their full impact for the kingdom it will fall way short of God's outrageous design for their lives.

My prayer for me as I continue to walk this path of leadership is this: That by this time next year, I will have sharpened the ax even more by becoming much wiser through humility along with a deep passion and desire to always improve.

What about you? What do you see yourself becoming next year for Christ? What areas do you need to improve on (sharpen)?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Those Lovely Patterns

I was reminded this week, as I performed a child dedication at our church, how important the role of a parent is when it comes to spiritual development for their son or daughter. My mind went back to Sesame Street and the familiar song, "One of these thing just doesn't belong here." Remember that crazy game? The idea behind this particular lesson was for the child (watching from his or her television set) to point to that one object or "thing" that was different from the rest. For example, from the four objects listed, which one of these is not like the other?

One of the first things kids learn to identify are shapes. Much of our right brain stimulation comes from viewing shapes or patterns. And so when parents are standing up in front of the church dedicating their child to the Lord, I often wonder if the parents will commit their lives to a pattern in their home that best imitates the pattern of Jesus Christ. Will they show love, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control, and the many other important patterns for their child to follow? And most importantly, will they model a great marriage?

Wouldn't it be great for our children to identify which spiritual elements our from Christ and which ones are from the world? Well, in many ways, they will only know this if the parent best model the pattern of Christ.