Painful Realization

The hardest thing to learn is what you think you already know, right?

Pain is a faithful instructor…

I read some years ago that the product of a team and the product of individuals aren’t the same. I’ve come to believe / realize the truth in this. Here’s the story that drove it home like no other. It was 2005 and I’d just returned from an extreme missions training pilot course. My mind was being brought into the light of teamwork in ways I thought I already knew.

I’ll spare you the gore of the incident, but I came face to face with a deception in my own life. Since very young, I was thrust into leadership. Some of the thrusting was my own doing, some was that of others.

Because I’d been routinely in leadership, I mistook this (somehow) for knowing how to be a good teammate. It seems strange now, as the two clearly aren’t the same thing. What I knew was how to be in charge.

It took a little drama to wake me from my stupor.

After the drama of team clash and proof beyond doubt that I knew how to wrestle people into submission, in a way that reminded me of my broken and abusive predecessors, I saw a light.

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What We Have / What We Need

What we have is not what we need, no matter how appealing the marketing has become.

We can try to fit into what is, and find our place, but that will cost us the real fit and actual contribution that Jesus offers us. What is all around us, making its pitch for “membership”, is a religious framework, a construct of men. Taking the bait, we are being beguiled, robbed really, of the higher and better. It has to do with our perspective, our worldview, and the low and beggarly appeals that seek to distract us and prevent our farther entry into Christ. Now, we cannot escape the context we are in, but we can transcend it. This is why Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble, but cheer up, I have overcome the world.” Veiled In this elaboration, like a hidden treasure, is His invitation to you to overcome the world, with Him. Jesus was in this world, but not of it. That is our birthright in Him. Let’s walk in it.

When our perspective has its foundation in the One who is high and lifted up, the Most High, we are off to a good start, and a starting point to fill in the rest of the blanks. When ultimate reality for us begins with Him who is seated on the throne – the Most High God, and His taking increasing residence on the throne of our hearts, only then are we in a place to see things as they are, not as they appear. We are waking up to reality.

In the midst of getting your courage up, be careful not to be misled. We are not fighting what is, just as our struggle is not with flesh and blood. To waste ourselves in the stubborn determination to tear down what men have made is a long road into meaninglessness and shipwreck of faith, and countless numbers have lost their vessels on its jagged shoreline. Let’s don’t be led astray by our desire to “set things right” from a human point of view. Many, if not most, injustices await the resurrection of the just.

One primary peril of the outsider is that they can be tricked into trying to recreate a new context where they can be an insider. History bears keen witness.

All the while, we are not of this world.

Becoming

The constant undertow of pleasure, self-centeredness, and vanity draws us away from a life of meaning and consequence. How do we fight against these foes? To fight them directly, or head on, can be an exercise in futility. We never transcend our problems by focusing on them. We have to realize (and believe) that there is a overarching intention in life, generally, and in our lives, specifically. What are we / what am I called to do or be? It’s important to take onboard that your creation was, and is, intentional. Surely you were made for more than just what you can produce…. Right? I think so.

And it’s more than the old dualistic struggle, do or be. Add a third element, or leg to the table, so to speak, and you will gain enough stability to stand. What is that third leg I am suggesting?

Do
Be
Become

In order to be, you must become.

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Pastor Centric Leadership – LM0162


Recorded on location in Central Mexico, during an FXMissions Leaders Summit. Jonathan and Anna Ceci, a young couple from Mexico City, join us to add some generational perspective on church / ministry leadership in Latin America. Pastor Centric…. what does that term mean to you? Find out what it means from their perspective.

One Road Leads Home…

And a thousand into the wilderness.

The road leading home is the road of obedience. Unless your course is fixed, you are powerless before a thousand options, regardless of how “empowered” you may feel.

This reference to the wilderness, tho I am not sure it was CS Lewis’ meaning in his original statement, has a curious parallel to the children of Israel’s trek, a trek we are all on, in a manner of speaking. Our individual journeys will fill up a lifetime, but will it be a lifetime of wandering here and there, filled with false hopes & failing motivations, distractions, misleadings and unfulfilled promise? The choice was theirs, and it is ours, as well. Continue reading “One Road Leads Home…”

Trip Takeaway Mexico Spring 2019

One thing the Lord did for me on this trip was to reshape my view of ministry. It’s a recurring theme that He started showing me before the trip and on which He continues to elaborate since. Basically, He’s been showing me that relationships are perhaps the most important part of ministry. It’s not the “what,” nor the “where,” nor the “how many.” It’s the “who,” even if those “who” are just a few. Jesus loves the few. He comes and ministers to just a few. He returned to and spent time with and taught and ministered to the same few over and over again. Even though His life, and especially His ministry, were so brief. My previous focus in missions has been the “what” and the “where” and the “how many.” There were bonds formed on previous trips as a team, some of them that lasted a long time, and I was thankful for that; but the main goal — at least to me — was to help as many people as I could as quickly as I could and make sure I feel somewhat uncomfortable while doing so, so that I could relate to them in that sense; but don’t really bother to get to know them otherwise because this is a one-time thing and you’ll never see them again — you’re just there to help. It was work and duty and obligation at the expense of relationship. It was religion.

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5 Levels of Leadership

Some years ago, I came into contact with the idea of 5 Levels of Leadership, I believe through a “cassette tape”… remember those? 🙂 To my knowledge (and memory, haha) it was an audiobook by John Maxwell, entitled, Developing The Leader Within You. Even tho it was years back, I haven’t forgotten it. It has helped my perspective on leadership and influence since that time, and has helped me understand more about how leadership works.

Recently I had an encounter that reminded me of this concept, and discussed it one of our core team members. I pass it on here, in hopes that it will add to your growing perspective and worldview on the subject of influence, authority and leadership.

At the time I initially encountered the 5 Levels of Leadership idea, I have to admit most of the authority I was familiar with (and was operating in) was level 1. Surprisingly, that was no discouragement to me. I was happy to find out that this was a good place to start and that you could only grow (or go up) from there.

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Joseph – Profiles in Leadership – Part Two of Two – LM0173


Kurt Kelley, a friend and strong brother, joins us to help fill in the landscape on Joseph and why his life is relevant and instructive to our leadership process today. Part of two of two. Get the word out about this significant leader share this podcast with a friend who comes to mind.

Reach out to Kurt Kelley at kurtkelley@gmail.com for more info or if you have questions about this or anything he mentioned. Blessings!

Profiles in Leadership Kickoff – LM0171


Kick Off of the “Profiles in Leadership” Series straight ahead. We have been working on this content and prep for some time and we are happy to be bringing it to you now. We will have some experienced leaders sitting in to help us examine those who were peaks of leadership in the mountain range of history. You will be equipped, challenged, possibly checked up, but certainly encouraged in your pursuit of becoming a more effective leader.

Give us your suggestions or feedback: lm@fxmissions.com or www.fxmissions.com
Make sure and subscribe to keep pace with the series at leadersmoment.org