When I read this book several years ago (eMyth Revisited) it helped me make a major shift in my thinking and strategy in regards to training and placing leaders and creating systems. I highly recommend it. (This works for churches, businesses, schools and organizations). As we make disciples and train leaders we must understand the difference between a worker and a manager and a leader. We often see a person with a skill and put them in a management or leadership role. We assume because they can play guitar and sing they can lead a worship team. This is simply not true. Check out my Mentoring Growing Leaders YouTube. I believe I have a short lesson on this.
This link will direct you to my new blog: Mentoring Growing Leaders Blog
The website is not finished yet, but the blog is active.
“The successful man is the average man focused.” “Most ‘unsuccessful’ people are just highly-distracted people.” What is the One Thing you must focus on to bring you to the next level? Cast aside everything else! You must reject the good to choose the best!
The photo above is of a man – Roger – whom I haven’t seen in more than 40 years. I had the opportunity to meet up with him again this holiday season. I had actually forgot about him specifically, but he had a life-changing impact on me in 1974. I was working a place which closed down. I found another job where Roger and a close friend of mine, Terry, worked. I worked there for a month then was called back to work at an affiliate of the place that had laid me off. However, during that month Roger and Terry were instrumental in bringing a life-changing event into my life.
You see, Roger and Terry were Christians. They were true Christians. They tried to talk to me about their faith and Jesus Christ but I flat out rejected them. In fact, I remember distinctly walking with Roger and he was sharing his faith with me and I told him to his face, “Roger, I don’t want anything to do with your religion and this Jesus Christ. Please stop talking to me about this.” Roger respectfully did. However, within a week I decided to join their Monday Night Bible Study and on that Monday night I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I can honestly say a clear and sudden change came into my life. It was amazing and I haven’t turned back in more than 40 years.
In fact, I eventually became a pastor and missionary. In Cambodia, where I’ve been serving the Lord for more than 23 years, there has been tens of thousands of people who have received an education, orphaned or at-risk children cared for and educated, water wells dug, houses built, and lives brought out of poverty because me and my wife decided to move to that worn-torn country in April 1995. Not to mention receiving forgiveness and a new life and new hope because of their faith in Jesus Christ. To say tens of thousands have been touched by our decision is actually a conservative number.
But none of this would have happened if Roger and Terry did not display true Christianity to me. I wasn’t convinced to follow Jesus because of their persuasive doctrine, but because of their persuasive lifestyle. I saw something different in them.
Roger had no idea that his example has had such intercontinental positive influence. You see, I see the same for you. I’m convinced that every person has value and that includes you. You can be a person that changes the world either through your personal actions or by just being a person full of kindness, love and generosity. I encourage you live with expectation that you are a person of destiny and you will impact your generation.
If you feel this blog has been a blessing or helpful to you, or you know someone who could benefit from it, please share it. If you have a comment or want to contact me, use the form below:
As we are preparing to enter the new year many of us are thinking about goals and plans for the next 12 months. Some people want to break bad habits or start a new one….however, many of us fail along the way.
I’ll offer my experience as well in a free PDF/PowerPoint file I’m happy to send to you: “How to Prepare for the New Year.” You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for this free document.
However, here’s the essence of it:
- What would you like to see new in your life by 31 December of this new year? Finances, Family, Work, Health?
- List out 10 and prioritize 3 or 4.
- What are obstacles that will hinder you from accomplishing these priority goals? What can you do to mitigate those obstacles?
- What do you need that you don’t have right now to accomplish those goals?
- Who do you need to help you accomplish those goals?
- What can you do this month to move toward your New Year’s Goals?
- Post your goals in a place where you can see them daily.
- Do something each week to move you toward those goals.
- Ask someone to hold you accountable by reminding you.
- If you fail, get back up again and take the next step.
I offer this simple PowerPoint converted to a PDF for you. I believe if you thoughtfully work through it you will see some positive changes in by the end of the new year. You’re worth it! You’re a person who has potential, value and a destiny to fulfill in this life.
I also want to direct you to my YouTube Site: Mentoring Growing Leaders, to view a very helpful 10-minute video on the Five Levels of Leadership. Click on this link to access it: Five Levels of Leadership Video
Be sure and email me for the free document on How to Prepare for the New Year.
If this blog has been helpful to you, please share it with others.
We believe that every human being is born with potential and a plan laid out by God for them in this life if they choose Him. When we choose Him, things begin to unfold. For one thing, we all receive spiritual gifts…but not only that we receive a heart motivation from God, we develop unique skills and abilities, we have a unique personality and we have positive and negative experiences in life…all of which God chooses to use to fulfill His purposes in our life for His Kingdom.
For me, as a Five-Fold Leader in the Body of Christ, my primary role is to equip the Body of Christ to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). It’s essential that Christians discover their unique SHAPE – Spiritual Gifts, Heart Motivations, Abilities, Personality and Experiences in Life – for God’s Eternal Purposes to be fulfilled.
I wrote a course many, many years ago and it has been used in our church in Eugene, Oregon and in our churches in Cambodia as well. In this course/book you will discover:
- Understanding two aspects of God’s Grace
- Understanding the difference between spiritual gifts, spiritual fruit, talents, and skills
- Understanding each of the 21 spiritual gifts that are specifically listed in the New Testament
- Take a Spiritual Gifts Inventory to discover your primary and secondary spiritual gifts
- Discover the “heart motivation” God has placed in your heart for His purposes
- Identify your skills and abilities that can be used for the glory of God
- Discover your primary and secondary personalities and how that affects every area of your life
- Discover how God can use your experiences in life – both positive and negative experiences – to be a benefit to others
I regret to say that I’ve long lost the soft copies to this 107-page book, but I was able to scan the final hard copy I have. The quality is not the greatest but I offer it to you free of charge. Please enjoy it and see God do amazing things in your life!
If you want a copy of this book, please email me at: email@example.com.
If you like the content of this blog, please share it with others. (However, I am researching the best way to upgrade the resources we offer, so this Blog Site will eventually change – that’s why it’s important for me to have your email address.)
I’d also like to refer you to my YouTube Site to receive more short lessons that will benefit your personal growth. This is the link to my lesson on Five Levels of Leadership, which is part of a 22-Video Lesson series of short lessons: Five Levels of Leadership
So how relevant are you as a leader?
Any idea how you’d answer that accurately?
You can debate how important relevance is all day long (and many do), but the truth is irrelevant leaders eventually make less impact on the team around them, and eventually almost no impact on the next generation, except for perhaps an example of what not to be like.
Why is that?
Relevance matters for one simple reason: relevance gives you permission to speak into the culture around you. Relevance determines whether people pay attention to you or whether they ignore you.
Irrelevant people eventually lose the ability to communicate meaningfully with the people they care about and to contribute to the causes they’re passionate about.
Before you push back, just because the Gospel is always relevant doesn’t mean you are.
Even growing organizations can lose relevance. Your past success doesn’t guarantee your future success.
In fact, as we’ve discussed here more than a few times, the great enemy of your future success is your current success because your success makes you conservative.
When you had nothing to lose, change was easy. Now that you have something to lose, change is that much harder.
So whether your organization or cause has a bit of momentum left or whether it’s losing steam, here are 6 ways to tell your influence as a leader is waning.
1. YOU’VE BECOME A CRITIC OF ANYTHING THAT’S GROWING
Irrelevant leaders are always looking for ways to dismiss other peoples’ success.
Maybe there was a day when you were the young startup when your launch was the one everyone was looking at.
Now, everyone’s looking at what’s emerging and saying how awesome it is, but all you can see are the flaws. You convince yourself they’ve sold out, or it won’t last, or that they’re just trend-jacking, or that “of course it’s working because that’s what the next generation wants, but it’s not right.” You’ve invented 1000 justifications about why you’re right and all the things that are more ‘successful’ than you are wrong.
Irrelevance, after all, has it all figured out, and even though it may not be working particularly well, you’ve convinced yourself (and are trying to convince others) that your way is the best way.
Here’s the bottom line: critics rarely contribute, and contributors rarely criticize.
If you’ve landed in the camp of the constant critic, the odds of you actually contributing much to the present or future are very low. As a result, you’ve already become irrelevant.
2. YOU INCREASINGLY THINK MOST NEW IDEAS ARE BAD IDEAS
Hey, it’s easy to resist new ideas. But if you think back, there was a time when you were likely far more open to new ideas.
Now you’re older and wiser, and you’ve got a way of doing things.
The human mind is great at preserving the status quo. You can think of 10 reasons why a new idea won’t work, and you and your team never hesitate to list them.
The leadership graveyard is filled with the bodies of leaders who say “We haven’t done it that way before,” and while you understand that intellectually, you’ve barely realized you’re becoming one of those people because, well, new ways seem increasingly bad to you.
Sure…not every new idea is a great idea, but embracing no new ideas is a terrible idea.
When was the last time you embraced a radical new idea? If you can’t answer that question, you’re already in trouble.
3. THE COPYRIGHT DATES ON YOUR GO-TO RESOURCES ARE AGING
Copyright dates tell you a lot about how you lead. You’ll find them in the books you read, the music you listen to, the movies you watch and if you’re a church leader, the songs your church sings.
Many leaders will embrace change to an extent, and then they stop.
I’m all for reading classics and for sure, my library and resources have copyright dates going back decades and even centuries.
That’s not the problem. The problem is when your resource library consists contains virtually no copyright dates from the last few years.
The major trap most irrelevant leaders fall into is that their go-to resources are all 5-20 years old. They’re still living in the 90s or in 2009. Everyone else has moved on.
The danger here is that they think they’re being relevant, but they really aren’t. To your fifty-year-old friends, you may sound knowledgeable as they nod in agreement. But to an 18-year-old, you appear to be a museum.
And in the meantime, the gap between you and culture is growing wider every day.
The point is not to avoid any older works (a great life is always built on the contributions of previous generations), but to also understand how to translate that into what’s happening today.
4. YOUR SENIOR TEAM HAS GROWN OLDER WITH YOU
This isn’t so much a problem if you’re twenty-two and just starting out. To have a young leadership team of idealistic people is an awesome thing.
Sure, some wisdom wouldn’t hurt, but still, the world often gets changed by young leaders on a mission.
But what happens is that twenty-year-olds eventually turn 30. Fast forward a bit, and one day everyone on your senior leadership team is in their mid-fifties.
That’s a big issue.
Left uncorrected, teams tend to age with their leader.
As a leader in my fifties, I’ve had to be incredibly intentional about surrounding myself with leaders in their 20s and 30s, something that really energizes me.
You may not have the chemistry or familiarity with younger leaders that you do with your peers who have been through life with you, but renewing the leadership table with younger leaders is critical.
It’s easy for older leaders to think that younger leaders are too young to lead.
You were too, once. And someone took a chance on you anyway. And you did some of your best work then too, didn’t you?
5. THE VERY THOUGHT OF CHANGE MAKES YOU TIRED
The gap between how quickly you change and how quickly thingschange is called irrelevance. The bigger the gap, the more irrelevant you become.
Change is difficult at the best of times, but if even the sound of change makes you tired, it’s a sign that you’re becoming irrelevant.
It’s normal to default to the status quo. We all do.
A few years ago, my dentist told me I needed at least five crowns. The thought of that made me feel tired and broke all at once.
I got a bit of the work done but then took a break.
One afternoon I was eating some cereal and I noticed something that didn’t feel like cereal in my mouth. It was half a molar.
Guess where I went the next day?
Too often, that’s exactly how we approach change in the church. We wait until something breaks, and then we’ll try to fix it.
That may work with a tooth, but it’s a terrible strategy for leadership (okay, and for dentistry).
In our rapidly changing culture, waiting until something breaks to fix is one of the fastest ways to ensure you become irrelevant.
If change makes you tired, I promise you, the slow death of your organization will make you even more tired.
6. YOU LIKE THE WORLD LESS EVERY YEAR
If social media is any gauge of how many Christian leaders feel about our culture, the church is in trouble.
And even if you’re not posting on your social media is ALL CAPS, telling the world how bad it is, your attitude still matters.
Constantly criticizing a culture is no way to reach it.
I am constantly reminded that Jesus loved the world. He saw the mess, the brokenness, the godlessness and embraced us anyway.
Jesus loved the world enough to die for it.
You should care enough about the world to do the same.
DON’T LET UNIMPLEMENTED CHANGE BECOME REGRET
To read the article on the original website, click here: Six Characteristics of an Irrelevant Leader
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