Tag Archives: leadership

Having A Limp

I spend a lot of time learning about leadership because that’s one of the areas I focus on training and helping people grow in. A book I’m reading right now isn’t about leadership, but it had a quote from a minister named John Wimber. He said, “Never trust a leader without a limp.” He wasn’t referring to a physical one. There’s a place of brokenness that we must reach in wrestling with God that shows us our limitations, exposes our weakness and causes us to be humble. The opposite type leader is arrogant, sure of themselves and doesn’t rely on God to accomplish things. While they’re confident and charging forward, they may not lead you where you need to go.

Jacob was the grandson of Abraham. He had a serious sibling rivalry with his twin brother Esau, who was the first born of the two. The first born received a double portion of their father’s inheritance because they were to lead the family and care for its affairs. When Jacob stole the first born’s blessing, he ran away in fear of his life for twenty years. The night before seeing his brother for the first time since he left, he was sleeping when a heavenly being came. They wrestled until dawn and Jacob refused to let go until he had been blessed. The being touched his hip and put it out of socket. Genesis 32:31 says, “The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip” (NLT).

I want you to know it’s ok to wrestle with God over things in your life. Be like Jacob and don’t let go until you’re changed. Those wrestling matches often reveal our weaknesses and teach us to depend on God more. They can leave us humbled and broken, but not fragmented and lame. It’s a good thing to have your walk changed by God. Never be ashamed of your limp created by your brokenness through an encounter with God. People can be I pressed with your confidence and strength, but it’s through your brokenness and limp that they will connect with you. Remember that it’s in our weakness and brokenness that His strength is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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A Good Shepherd

Part of what I do for a living is leadership development. If you’ve worked for very long, you can think of leaders that you’ve admired and have helped you, and you can think of some that were only looking out for themselves. I’ve had leaders in my life who would ask me, “What’s next for you and how can I help you get there?” They were proactive in helping me reach my goals, gave me tools to succeed and showed the way. Their door was always open because they understood that when you’re leading people, you need to be accessible. One of the key things I talk to leaders about is the importance of visibility. It lets others know you’re there. It conveys that you’re in this together as well. People work harder for someone who is in the trenches with them and organizations accomplish more.

John Maxwell, one of the world’s leading gurus on leadership, says, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.” That means if you have people in your life who look up to you and are influenced by you, you’re a leader. Yes, you. Many of us don’t think of ourselves as leaders, but the truth is that we’re all leading someone. Are you the kind of leader that’s admired or one that only looks out for themselves? The Bible talks a lot about shepherds, and we mainly associate them with pastors, but really, it’s about leaders. We don’t need to skip over those verses thinking they don’t apply to us or use them against our pastors. Instead, use them to look in the mirror to see how you’re doing with those you’re influencing.

Proverbs 27:23 says, “A shepherd should pay close attention to the faces of his flock and hold close to his heart the condition of those he cares for” (TPT). If you’re going to pay close attention to the face of your flock, or those who look up to you, you’re going to have to turn towards them and look them in the eye. If you’re going to know the condition they’re in, you’re going to have to take time to check in with them and listen to them. God has placed people in your life that you are a steward of. When’s the last time you checked in on them or had a face to face conversation (virtually counts)? The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. Look around, reach out to someone and see how you can help them. We’re all in this together, and we all need encouragement and motivation at times. Be the shepherd others want to follow.

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Humble Leadership

I’ve seen a few different types of leaders. One type of leader is too good to do anything. They’ve risen through the ranks and paid their dues, so they feel there are certain things they shouldn’t have to do any more. Another leader feels that no matter how high up the totem pole they get, there is no job beneath them. They feel like it’s their duty to know the way, show the way and go the way. If they’re going to ask someone to do something, they should be willing to do it as well.

We read in the Bible where the disciples argued over who was the greatest. What they were asking was, “Besides Jesus, who’s the leader of this group?” Jesus didn’t get onto them for asking the question. He simply stated God’s idea of what leadership is in His Kingdom. You can be a leader and be humble at the same time. Humility is not saying others are better than you, it’s saying that nothing is beneath you. If you want to be a great leader, especially in God’s Kingdom, then learn to be humble.

Here’s some verses on humble leadership.

1. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.”

Luke 22:25-26 NLT

2. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Philippians 2:5-8 MSG

3. So when He had washed their feet and put on His [outer] robe and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is who I am. So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.”

JOHN 13:12-16 AMP

4. In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.

1 Peter 5:5-6 GNT

5. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

1 Peter 4:10 NLT

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Are You Leading Well?

As you read the Kings and Chronicles in the Bible, at the end of each king’s reign, it tells you whether they were a good leader or a bad leader. It largely depended on the decisions they made as a leader and how the people fared throughout their reign. Some leaders, whether good or bad, had such a profound affect, that it lasted for generations. It’s amazing how important our decisions are and how they affect those following us.

Whether you like it or not, there are people who follow you, which makes you a leader. John Maxwell defines leadership as influence. Each of us have the ability to influence others. Whether you influence a few people or a lot of people, it’s important that we do it well. When the story of your life is told, and the people you influenced show up at your funeral, will you have been a good leader or a bad one? 

To help us understand more, here are some Bible verses on leadership.

1. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Romans 12:8 NLT

2. Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity.

3. The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following.
Proverbs 14:28 MSG

4. Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Proverbs 21:5 NLT

5. But avoid all empty (vain, useless, idle) talk, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.
2 Timothy 2:16 AMPC

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Living Well

When I’m going through a certification at work, part of what I’m graded on is my ability to accept, receive and implement feedback. After I finish my part, I have to stand in front of a room of my peers and get feedback publicly. One of the hardest things to do is to not respond with, “But I did that,” or “My intent was…” Even if I disagree with the corrections, I have to come back the next day and implement them into my presentation. When I’m done with that one, the process starts over.

I can tell you that this process of receiving corrections and having to implement them has made me better at my job. It’s not easy to hear someone offer corrections to what you do. It’s even more difficult to change what you do based on their feedback. However, I’ve learned that advice given from another perspective is often what I need to get to my next level. If I keep doing things the way I’ve always done them, I’ll never improve. 

King Solomon, the wisest person to ever live, understood this. Even though he had more understanding than anyone on the planet, he still valued advice and correction. In Proverbs 19:20 he penned, “Take good counsel and accept correction— that’s the way to live wisely and well” (MSG). You are never too smart, too wise or too good that you won’t need counsel or correction. Those who hear it, accept it and implement it will live wisely and well.

How well do you receive advice or correction? I can tell you it doesn’t come natural to us, but it is something we each need to adopt into our lives. Some of the greatest leaders I’ve worked for routinely stopped their process to invite advice or correction. They didn’t pretend to have it all figured out, nor did they continue down a path because that was what was successful last time. Inviting other people to give us advice, without explaining our reasoning back, accepting their advice and implementing will be difficult, but it’s the path to living well.

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Praying For Leaders

As of today, I have lived under 8 presidents of the United States. Some of them I have liked, some I have agreed with, some I’ve disliked, and some I’ve disagreed with. It’s been my experience that one person cannot destroy or rebuild this country. It takes Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court working together with the executive branch to accomplish either. God gave our founding fathers the wisdom to install checks and balances to protect this country.

As surely as He gave them wisdom, He can give it to any president. God is the one who raises up leaders and takes them down. Whether I’ve agreed with who He put in place or took out, I have a responsibility to pray for them. So do you. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases” (NLT). Whatever you believe about the new president, we can all pray that God will guide and direct his heart for the good of this nation.

Here on some verses on how to pray for our leaders. 

1. Pray that they will surround themselves with wise people.

A nation will fall if it has no guidance. Many advisers mean security.
Proverbs 11:14 GNT

2. Pray that God would help them keep the peace.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT

3. Pray that they will restore the moral foundation of this country. 

Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation.
Proverbs 16:12 MSG

4. Pray that they will be concerned for the poor and treat them fairly. 

Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly.
Proverbs 29:14 MSG

5. Pray that they will lead well.

A good leader motivates, doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.
Proverbs 16:10 MSG


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Wait Patiently

Have you ever felt like you were meant for more than you’re doing right now? Does it feel like God has been ignoring you or isn’t keeping His promise to you? It’s hard to wait for God to put you where He promised to place you. It’s even more difficult to feel stuck in the mundane when you know there’s more to what God has promised to do in your life. So what do you do? Will you give up on your calling? Will you try to force your way into it by making things happen yourself? Or will you wait patiently?

When I think of giving up on my calling, I’m reminded of the Prodigal Son. He was tired of waiting for his inheritance. He didn’t think the day would come when he could be in charge of his father’s household. So he did the unthinkable. He asked for his inheritance and decided to show his father he was capable on his own. After he squandered his inheritance, he had too much pride to go to his father to admit he wasn’t ready. After a lot of time slopping hogs and living destitute, he made his way back to his father’s house.

When I think of trying to force my way into my calling, I think of Abraham. God had called him to be the father of many nations with descendants as numerous as the stars. After 25 years, he gave up and decided that he would fulfill it himself. He took his wife’s maid and got her pregnant. God revisited him to remind him the promise was going to come through his wife. Because he rushed things, he created an Achilles Heel for his descendants that remains to this day.

When I think of waiting patiently, I think of David. God called him to be king while he was tending sheep. David understood that he wasn’t ready to fulfill his calling even though he had been called. He looked at where he was and saw that God could use his current situation to help him be better at his calling. Even though the fulfillment of his calling was many years later, he stayed faithful where he was until the right time came.

Each of us have one of these three choices in our lives. I personally believe God is getting us ready for our calling in the mundane. Psalm 78:70-72 says, “He chose his servant David; he took him from the pastures, where he looked after his flocks, and he made him king of Israel, the shepherd of the people of God. David took care of them with unselfish devotion and led them with skill” (GNT). The skills David learned while watching sheep gave him the skill to be the best at his calling. What skills are you learning now that will help to fulfill yours? The right choice is to wait patiently for God to move. Just keep tending sheep in the mean time.

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Lead Well

Being a leader is not something you’re elected to or appointed to. It’s something you earn day in and day out. Leadership is developed over time and displayed in the trenches. I’ve learned that people will work for managers, but give their heart to leaders. People quit on managers in hard times, but follow leaders through them. It takes guts to be a leader. They have to be out front, constantly communicate the vision, and trust others with their dream. They understand that a team works best when it is symbiotic.

The Bible has a lot to say about leadership. It gives examples of great leaders, servant leaders, and leaders who were poor examples. I believe we can learn from all types of leaders and implement their strategies into our lives. Believe it or not, someone is following you. They look up to you and that makes you a leader. You have a responsibility to learn about how to be a great leader so those following can lead the ones who are following them.

Here are some of my favorite Bible verses on leadership.

1.   Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

2. Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.

Proverbs 20:28 MSG

3. Do your best to win full approval in God’s sight, as a worker who is not ashamed of his work, one who correctly teaches the message of God’s truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 GNT

4. But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.

2 Chronicles 15:7 NLT

5. Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by GOD; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.

Proverbs 21:1 MSG

6. Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.

1 Timothy 5:17 NET

7. The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following.

Proverbs 14:28 MSG

8. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.

1 Corinthians 12:27-28 NLT

9. Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

Proverbs 11:14 MSG

10. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Romans 12:8 NLT

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The Secret To Success

I once heard someone say, “Those who fail to plan, can plan to fail.” It’s stuck with me through the years as I’ve made decisions in my life. I’m a spontaneous person at heart, but I understand the need to plan. I have friends who plan everything, but find it hard to be spontaneous. I think there can be a balance. I’ve learned to curb my spontaneity to quick events that aren’t life changing and to plan out things that have long term consequences. If you’re going to be successful in life, more often than not, it will come through planning and not through spontaneity.

Proverbs 4:26 tells us, “Plan carefully what you do, and whatever you do will turn out right.” (GNB) Solomon didn’t just tell us to plan here, he said to plan carefully. According to the Blue Letter Bible, the word he used for carefully means to weigh out. We need to look at the pros and cons of our decisions, determine what success looks like and which failures or losses will be acceptable to us. With any decisions in life, there will be gains and there will be losses. We just need to decide ahead of time if the trade-off will be worth it.

To improve your plan’s chances of success, share them with others who are wise. They will see things you don’t and provide you with different perspectives. They may also foresee road-blocks and outcomes you didn’t. Plus, they may catch the vision of your plans and work with you long term to help you accomplish them. Proverbs 15:22 tells us, “Get all the advice you can, and you will succeed; without it you will fail.” That seems pretty straightforward, but what happens when you fail?

I believe that a good portion of our growth comes from failure. At work, I tried to prove I had a better way to do a certain process. I was wrong. My boss then said, “It’s ok to fail as long as you fail forward.” He was trying to say, “You’re going to have failures in your life. You can either let them drag you back to where you started or you can let them lead you down a new path.” Your life will have failures in it, but it’s what you do after that matters. I like to tell people, “You only fail when you quit trying.”

Success in life is not hard to find – it’s hard to do. It requires planning and counseling from people who are wiser than you are or have different perspectives than you do. Remember earlier, I said you have to determine what success looks like. For each of us, that’s different. Success isn’t always name recognition or being famous. Success can be small so long as you accomplished what you set out to do with the help of God and those He placed around you. Plan carefully with them and watch God bring success to your life.


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Free From Drifting


It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back. To celebrate, I’m giving away “Great Leaders Grow: Becoming A Leader For Life” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

I grew up playing in creeks that were near my house. When I would visit my grandmother, we would cross a huge cow pasture and go down to the creek to swing on vines and jump in it. Later in life, I went to the Frio river in west Texas to float down it. I’ve even been to the Nile river and taken a sail boat out on it several times. One thing I’ve learned about creeks and rivers is that they always take the path of least resistance. The get to their destination, but it takes a lot longer than it has to because they twist and wind instead of going on a straight line.

In life, I’ve found that I’m not much different than a river at times. I’ve let my life wander and meander wherever it took me. I’ve lost site of where I was going a time or two. I’ve been beat against the rocks and sent a different direction. I’ve forgotten where I was headed and pooled up at that spot. Something will inevitably happen, the dam will break and off I go again to wherever life takes me. Does that sound like you too? I don’t think that’s how God intended us to live our lives though.

I believe we are to live our lives on purpose. I believe we are to make paths where there aren’t any. God doesn’t want us to meander through life taking the path of least resistance. He wants us to pursue Him and go to the places where others won’t. He wants us to be leaders, not followers. He put in each one of us the ability to grow and the ability to lead. Too often we only think of ourselves as followers because we’re all following somebody. We forget to look behind us and see that there are others who are following us. Don’t believe me? Look at your Facebook page. How many friends do you have following you? Exactly! Some may have more than others, but each of us have someone following us.

It’s important that we lead with purpose and conviction. It’s important that we grow. I heard Harry Connick, Jr. say something profound this week. He said, “Do the things that are hard. Do the things that are uncomfortable and you’ll get better.” He’s saying that we won’t get better or grow unless we’re willing to do things that are not on the path of least resistance. He’s saying we have to do things that push us out of our normal, every day routines if we’re going to grow. If you want a better relationship with God, get up earlier and spend more time with Him. If you want more understanding of scripture, take a Bible course. If you want to be a better leader, force yourself to grow.

I like to tell people that I grow the most when I fail. I only fail when I take risks that put me in position to fail. I also gain the most ground when those risks pay off. It’s all about perspective. Failure to me is an opportunity to grow and get better. It’s a way to learn how not to do something. I don’t look at it as embarrassing or demoralizing. It’s actually energizing and challenging. Whether you fail taking a risk in life or for Christ, you will learn something new. You will find growth. Don’t just take the path of least resistance. Make a straight line for your goal and get there. Paul said that he pressed on for the (not drifted to the) high calling and we should too!

If you would like to win “Great Leaders Grow” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (March 8, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, you are already entered. Please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.


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