Church Planting, Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development

Leaders are Not Satisfied with the “Status Quo” but Reach for More…

long-high-bridge

Status quo is a Latin Phrase meaning the existing state of affairs, particularly with regards to social or political issues.  It means whatever is normal.  Some people are satisfied with how things are and make no movement to change it.  Others are not satisfied with how things are but they, too, make no move to change it.  However, a leader is not satisfied with how things are and takes initiative to change it. That’s one of the chief characteristics of a leader.  

In my Daily Bible Reading I came across a man the Holy Spirit singled out as  He led the writer OF 1 Chronicles to list over 600 names.  One man among those 600 stood out because he was a leader:

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would indeed bless me and enlarge my border [property], and that Your hand would be with me, and You would keep me from evil so that it does not hurt me!” And God granted his request.

This morning I’m meeting with two staff pastors at our Phnom Penh church to evaluate the members and attenders at our North Campus.  We want to see who we have as leaders or potential leaders.  By the way, what are the characteristics of a leader?    Jabez shows us four characteristics of a successful leader who pleases God:

Four Characteristics of a Successful Leader Who Pleases God

  1.  He/she overcomes internal lids.  The mother of Jabez put a name on him that means suffering.  She apparently thought her newborn son was a pain for her.  Jabez might have grown up with this stigma on is life every time someone called his name. He may have had to deal with inferiority and rejection, but he overcame the internal lid to his potential leadership. Many people complain because they are poor or lack an education or never had some of the positive experiences others have had.  Some people never move forward because of limitations they set upon themselves or personal disciplines or the difficulty of their situation.  Leaders overcome internal and external lids.  They just find what it takes to overcome !
  2. He/she looks to God as his/her Source.   Whether you are the leader of a family, business, organization, ministry or church you will need the grace of a Higher Power to help you.  Successful leaders who please God know that to lead their family, their business, their organization, their ministry or church they need God, and they cry out to him day and night for favor, wisdom and strength.
  3. He/she is not satisfied with the Status Quo.  The big difference between leaders and non-leader is that leaders do not just see what needs to be fixed or changed, but they get up and gather the resources to make the change.  They exert personal discipline, sacrifice, develop their understanding and skills and move forward.
  4. He/she is committed to personal integrity.  The successful leader who pleases God does not cut corners.  He is honest in his relationships with people, staff, finances and time.  He/she chooses to take the high road even if he has to personally sacrifice lose to be honest with his employees, staff, vendors, donors, and others to whom he relates.  He does not lie and is not dishonest in reporting.

I believe that everybody has the potential to lead in some capacity and I urge you to follow what God is putting in your heart and do everything you can to prepare yourself to be a leader who is pleasing to God.

 

 

 

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Church Planting, Evangelism, Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development

Praying for People According to the Names of God

praying-for-people

In the Old Testament God revealed Himself by various names.  Those names reveal His character and His desire to meet the needs of mankind.  When we pray for people we can pray for them according to the names of God:

  • He is my Righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6
  • He is my Peace, Judges 6:24
  • He is my Banner going into war, Exodus 17:15
  • He is my Provider, Genesis 22:14
  • He is my Shepherd, Psalm 23:1
  • He is my Healer, Exodus 15:26
  • He is our Holiness, Leviticus 20:8

We pray by asking questions:

  1. Is there any kind of evil going on in your house – bad character by your children, spouse or parents?  Because my god is a God who wants to establish righteousness in our lives.
  2. Does your house/family/life have peace?  My God wants our lives and families to be filled with peace.  Let’s pray right now asking God’s peace to fill your life.
  3. Is there any demonic disturbances in your life?  Dreams?  Presence of evil?  Fear?  Our God is a God of power who wants to drive out all demonic power in our lives.
  4. How is your finances?  Do you lack?  Do you have financial problems?  Our God is a God who provides for His children.  He knows your situation and wants to help you.
  5. Do you face any big decisions or don’t know what to do in a situation?  If so, our God is a God who shepherds His people and guides them to the right places.  We can ask our God to guide you in the decisions and situation you face.
  6. Is there any sickness in your life or family?  Our God is a god who heals.  He wants to show His power in your life and give you good health and heal you.
  7. Do you have any sinful issues that are binding you?  Bad habits that are affecting you spiritually, emotionally or physically?  Anybody in your household?  Our God is a holy God.  He wants our lives to be holy.  We can pray for you about this.

When you are visiting house to house or when you meet someone for an altar call or in any situation you can use these points to pray for them.

  1. Ask the question.
  2. Listen to their answer.
  3. Tell them about the power and love of our God to solve that problem.
  4. Pray with them.

 

 

 

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Church Planting, Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development

What to do When Personal Disaster Strikes

tornado

None of us are immune to personal disaster – it could be a financial crisis, a health crisis or a relationship crisis.  We have a good model in the Bible as to how to respond to these personal (and national) difficulties.

In my Bible reading this morning I read 2 Kings 18-19.  In these chapters we find a good model in how to face and overcome these kinds of difficulties.

  1. Hezekiah does what is right.  The first step is to make sure your heart, actions, character and principles you’re following are pleasing to the Lord.
  2. The powerful enemy attacks.  The crisis occurs.
  3. Hezekiah did not allow his citizens to respond verbally.  Be careful about the words you speak because your words create your attitude and response and your future.  Don’t allow yourself to agree with your circumstances.  It may be bad, but God has an answer
  4. Hezekiah repented, fasted and prayed.  The first response to crisis we see in the bible is to fast (go without food for a day or so), cry out to God and expect to hear his response.
  5. God spoke to the king through the prophet and reassured him it will turn out okay.  Get alone with God.  Read more of the Bible than you normally do.  Saturate yourself in worship and sermons. Get yourself into a position to hear from God about your situation.
  6. The enemy returned!  Don’t expect your problems to go away immediately.  The devil will keep trying until you resist him firmly and over time.
  7. Hezekiah recognized his as not just an attack on Israel, but a spiritual warfare and attack on God himself.  Remember, it’s not just your life or loved ones who are at stake.  There are spiritual forces seeking to destroy you so you won’t be effective for God in your life and those who will be influenced by you in future generations.
  8. God spoke and the enemy was defeated.  Eventually as Hezekiah held onto the Word of God the problem went away.

It’s been my practice to try and follow these principles when disaster or a crisis hits my life.  God gives us his Word in the Bible to guide us in life and who us how to live the life of victory he created us to live.

Romans 5:17

Romans 15:4

1 Corinthians 10:11

 

 

 

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Church Planting, Leadership, Missions, Uncategorized

Keys to Raising Up Leaders for the Next Generation

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1 Kings 19:4-19; 2 Kings 2:2-15

  1. We must continually raise up leaders to fill the need for the next generation.
  2. The current generation of leaders must look for and challenge the next generation of leaders  (not just adults but current youth leaders preparing the next generation).
  3. The potential leader must count the cost and pay the price by sacrificing and following his mentor-to-be.
  4. The potential leader takes the initiative to stay close and “shadow” his mentor; paying close attention to detail.
  5. The potential leader sees the strengths, experience and fruit of his mentor and desires it.  He/she should desire to rise to the level of his/her mentor and rise above that because of the experience and knowledge he/she gains.
  6. The Senior Leader passes his authority on to his mentee. This usually involves a ceremony identifying the transition.
  7. Others recognize the transfer of spiritual authority and follow the new leader.

This is true for Church,  business, Family,  organization, ministry.

This lesson will be followed up by a brief summary of John Maxwell’s Five Levels of Leadership.

 

 

 

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Church Planting, Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Five Levels of Leadership

This article is a summary of the lesson by John Maxwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a person is promoted or takes a new job or position in a church, business, organization or volunteer group, it’s important to understand and flow with the Five Levels of Leadership.  People follow leaders for different reasons.  It’s important for us to become the kind of leader that people willingly and lovingly follow for the long-term.

  1.  People follow you because of your positionNOTE: Your influence on this level will not extend beyond the lines of your job description. The only authority you have is what your title gives you. The longer you stay at this level, the higher the turnover rate and the lower the morale of the people.  Rise to the next level of leadership!
  2. People follow you because they have a relationship with you.NOTE: People will follow you beyond your stated authority because they like you or you’re their friend. This level allows work and ministry to be fun and joyful.

    CAUTION: If you stay too long on this level without rising, you will cause highly motivated people to become restless.  They want more than friendship.

      3.  People follow you because you get results.

           NOTE: You solve problems.  You get the job done.  They see you know what you’re                  doing from your knowledge and experience, so they are happy to follow you.  They                 see you have success and suppose if they follow you they will have success, too.

    4.    People follow you because they see you mentor and develop others to have                         success.         

            NOTE: This is where long-­range growth occurs. Your commitment to developing                    leaders will insure ongoing growth to the person and their calling and career and the             church, business and organization.   

     5.   People follow you for who you and and what you represent.  

           NOTE: This step is reserved for leaders who have spent years personally growing and            developing people and organizations.  They recognize your character, skills,                              commitment to people and long-term, lasting results.   Few make it to this level. 

It’s important to not assume people will always follow us because of our position or because they are our friends or they like us.  We must continually develop our personal leadership skills and character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Church Planting, Evangelism, Family, Missions, Uncategorized

It’s been a great year!

Cynde and I moved ourselves and our four children to Cambodia in April 1995.  We lived here for 12 years then went back to the United States for 5 years.  We returned in November 2011.  We moved here to do our part in bringing blessing to the people of Cambodia in seven spheres of society:

  1.  Religion – Lead them into a relationship with the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Social Relationships – Help them develop healthy relationships among husbands and wives, family members and friends and neighbors.
  3. Education – Help them achieve an education that will give them job skills to support themselves and their families and help move Cambodia out of the Killing Fields into the 20th/21st Century.
  4. Business – Help Cambodians learn biblical business practices that will put them in a position to receive God’s blessings and prosper their business.
  5. Government – Have influence with government to help them establish and run their government according to biblical principles.
  6. Arts and Entertainment – Help Christians and the Christian Church have a voice in dance, music, drama, sports and the entertainment world to bring a positive and moral influence in the nation.
  7. Media – Help Christians and the Christian Church have a voice in radio and TV to bring a positive, moral influence in the nation.

We have had varying degrees of success in this endeavor but after more than 20 years of investing in Cambodia and now in our early sixties we can say we are still passionate and excited everyday about what God has done, what He is doing and what He will do.  We are still involved in the church that we helped plant, New Life Fellowship, which now has about 2,000 people in attendance in Phnom Penh and 180+ congregations in 14 provinces.  We have a strategy to plant 500 more congregations in the next five years including 7 city churches.  New Life School has more than 225 students and our Children at Risk Ministry supports more than 250 children to stay in school through out Cambodia.  All thanks to your faithful prayers and generous giving.

Thank you so much for your personal donations that keep us in Cambodia.  We have sold everything in the USA and all of our possessions are now in Cambodia.  God willing, this is where we will live and die – investing our strength and experience to help bring positive change in this nation of Smiling People!

Below is a montage of photos from 2015.

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Church Planting, Evangelism, Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development

Birthing Prayer

Fervent Prayer

Obstacles and Resistance

We know that there are obstacles and resistance to establishing God’s Kingdom on this earth.  Among human and natural obstacles and resistance there is primarily spiritual resistance.  The devil – Satan – and his demonic force have occupied every village, city and country in the world for thousands of years (since Adam turned over his authority to the devil – Genesis 3) and will not relinquish his authority easily.  One of the foremost weapons God has given us to establish His Kingdom on this earth is through prayer:

“This, then, is how you should pray: Matthew 6:9-13

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

However, most of we Christians are too lazy to engage in this kind of prayer that breaks through barriers.  May the Lord help us to repent and engage…for the sake of Jesus and those whom He died for.

Read about the demonic spirits that oppose us: Ephesians 6:12

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The Power of Prayer

The God of the Universe has chosen prayer to be one of the primary methods of establishing His Kingdom on the earth.  James 5:13-18

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Note the characteristics of effective prayer:

  1. Offered in faith
  2. Fervent
  3. From a righteous person

Birthing Prayer

There are different kinds of prayer, but Elijah modeled a powerful kind of prayer I call “Birthing Prayer.  Birthing Prayer is the kind of prayer that gets a Word from God and persists until we start to see results.  This is a kind of breakthrough prayer when we’re trying to birth a new truth into someone’s life or create something new or establish something God wants established.

1 Kings 18:41-45

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” 44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” 45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.

Note the process:

  1. Elijah speaks the revealed will of God before he sees it established.
  2. He put himself in a “birthing position” (squatted, head between the legs)
  3. He continued to cry out to God until he saw the answer start to come
  4. He began to order his daily behavior according to what he knew was about to happen as a result of God’s will, God’s Word and his faith

Breaking Through Obstacles

It’s been my experience that from time to time in my life and ministry I’ve come up against something I really feel is the will of God, but just can’t seem to get a breakthrough.  It’s at that time I feel I need to get serious with God in a renewed way.  For me, this means getting a Rhema Word of God.  A fresh Word from God regarding the situation.  That Word then becomes the Living Word of God burning in my heart and becomes the Sword of the Spirit.

Romans 10:17

17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word (Rhema) about Christ.

The second primary Greek word that describes Scripture is rhema, which refers to a word that is spoken and means “an utterance.” A rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to our attention with application to a current situation or need for direction.

Every word of God is inspired, and “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). It is the Holy Spirit Who illuminates particular Scriptures for application in a daily walk with the Lord.

The words of Jesus are significant on this point. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also stated, “The words [rhema] that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

http://ati.iblp.org/ati/family/articles/concepts/rhema/

I commit myself to focused, consistent prayer and fasting until I receive a Rhema Word from God about that situation.  Then my prayer changes – I start commanding.  I start calling into being what God has willed.

Romans 4:17

17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[a] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

2 Corinthians 4:13

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,

Mark 11:24-24

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

This is the Process:

  1. Face an obstacle
  2. Set yourself to prayer and fasting
  3. Get a Rhema Word from God
  4. Began spiritual battle by declaring God’s will over the situation
  5. Invite His angels, who are our helpers in establishing His will on the earth, and His Holy Spirit to join us in establishing His will in this situation
  6. Keep at it until you start to see results
  7. Give glory to God
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