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Posts tagged with: leadership

My Trip To Africa!

I’m waiting at Sky Harbor Airport to head to Portland and then to Amsterdam and then to Entebbe Uganda! I have 20 plus hours of flying ahead of me. The lady behind the counter with Delta got me an exit seat to Portland and I pray for the same as I fly the 10 hour flight to Amsterdam.
I am excited about the trip. I am curious what set of emotions I will experience as I arrive in such a mysterious and mystical place. Will I be disgusted at the unjustifiable poverty I find in Africa? Will I be frustrated at what is a lack of gratefulness and thankfulness of the quality of life we have in America. I wish I could pack up the whole “Occupy whatever town” in America and drop them in a 3rd world country so they could learn to count their blessings instead of cry out with entitlement mentalities.

I am asking God on this trip to make it clear to me if I am to dedicate the rest of my life to missions work or if I am to step back into a Lead Pastor Role of the Church. When did we ever separate the words Missions and Church? What a travesty. They are the same thing!

Anyway…time to go check in and get “comfy” on the plane. I ask for your prayers that I may return home with an expanded mind and experience in life.

I am honored that you are reading this post and the future ones to come. You matter to me and I want the very best for your life. Stay tuned!


Leader…SHIP!

What style do you lead with? You are a leader. Everyone leads in some form or another. I don’t want to oversimplify leadership because there is no such thing as simple leadership. So, humor me for a moment and let me cause you to think about two very famous forms of leadership and then you can decide which one you are and whether or not you are okay with your type of leadership. I do believe that you and I can change our leadership. Whether you have the gift of Leadership (Romans 12:8) or not, you can change your leadership style. Do you need to change your leadership style? If you do, will you?

Antoine Sanit-Exuperty was an aviator and an author. He wrote the following statement about leadership that I want to expound on. The simple statement below expresses what I think are the two most popular forms of leadership that I am asking you to meditate on and discern which one you are. Maybe someone else would be more truthful to you than you are to yourself as to which one you are more like.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t recruit the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and open sea!”

There you are. Two very effective forms of leadership. Both, effectively get a ship built.

The first form of leadership gets the ship built just like this image portrays.

This ship is magnificent. Inspirational. This is the kind of ship where men work hard to get it built. This is the kind of ship that men will do all they can to fix the problems and tweak the ship as its built so that it is just perfect. This is a ship that is built in a way that is reproducible, catches attention and people come from all over the world to walk around it and gasp at its incredible-ness. Who wouldn’t want to be recruited by the Leader of this vision so they could gather the materials, be a part of the divided work and complete the orders to build it?

I wouldn’t. I have a problem with this ship. Oh, its breathtaking and inspirational. It is quite an accomplishment. Something to be held in high honor and something to be very proud of. Not too many people get to build a ship like it! Its just not my kind of ship.

You might ask, “Why?”

Because all it is, is a ship, stuck on land. The problem with this ship, is that it is complete. The Leader wanted to build this ship, so he recruited the men to gather the materials, divide the work and gave the orders. Mission Accomplished! Built Ship.

The other form of Leadership… This second form of leadership builds this kind of ship…

This is the kind of ship that is built by the kind of leadership that I long for. Somewhere there was a man that taught a group of people to YEARN for the VAST and OPEN sea. They got together and began to dream about what it would be like to be out in the open sea with the wind blowing and the whales breaching and the waves carrying. These men got tired of dreaming and they discovered amongst them abilities and strengths that could make this yearning become a reality.

This is a boat that probably took a bit longer to build, it may have been a bit of rougher completion process. Mistakes would have to be forgiven, new lessons learned and the product that was brought to fruition was not a ship completed and still on the dock, but a ship completed, full of men who were proud of the accomplishment and an actual ship that is built to accomplish what the dream was all about.

I don’t want to be the leader that just builds the ship. Glorious as that may be.
I want to be a leader that inspires men to build the ship, un-dock the ship, navigate the ship, and then EXPERIENCE the VAST AND OPEN SEA.

Both are very effective styles of leadership with very different results.

What is your Leader…SHIP?


The Journey…

The following poem is called “The Journey” by Mary Oliver. I can absolutely relate with her as God has led me to make the decision to merge as one church with CCV. The reactions and realities that have happened since the decision are perfectly spelled out in this poem. I hope it inspires you to think deeply about your journey and what you MUST do.

THE JOURNEY
One day you knew what you had to do and began
Though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice
Though the whole house began to tremble
And you felt the old tug at your ankles
“Mend my life,” each voice cried, “Mend my life”

But you didn’t stop – you knew what you had to do
Though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations
Though their melancholy was terrible
It was already late enough, and a wild night
And the road full of fallen branches and stones

But little by little, as you left their voices behind
The stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds
And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own
That kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world
Determined to do the only thing you could do
Determined to save the only life you could save.

Journey On,
Trent


Mirror, Mirror on The Wall…

In a previous blog I wrote about how you are your own boss and I am my own boss. Are you being “bossy?” If you and I are our own boss then its not good to “stick it to the man.” You’re the man! Are there times in life, maybe often times, where we think we are doing good, because its what WE want to do, but in all reality we are actually preventing something better for our lives, thus  hurting ourselves?

Proverbs 16:9 says, “we can make our plans but the Lord directs our steps.”

What if God has something really amazing for you or me, but we are so focused on what we FEEL is right, that we actually miss out on what God intended for us? My feelings and my fears (same thing aren’t they?) have a tendency to guide me. My fear says, “if you do that, you will lose everything that I love.” Our mistake is that we think, when fear says “I” that its actually talking about us. We think whatever fear loves, we should love it to. But, fear loves comfort, safety and loves things the way they’ve always been.

If we really think about it, fear screams at us when we are considering stepping out of our comfort zone. If we are guided by our fear, then we will always get what we always got…because we will have always done what we always do. (please read that again)

If we obey our fear, then we will remain in our comfort zone. Comfort zones are comfortable, safe, un-dangerous, un-impactful, un-difference making, un-influential, un-inspiring. But safe!
What if your fears are actually lying to you? What if you gave ear to your fear, and then went ahead…carefully, intelligently, alert-ly, and stepped through your fear?
Isn’t it fair to say that God, throughout Scripture, asked people to do things for Him that scared the crap out of them? What if Paul, James, Elijah, Esther, Job, Samson, David, Stephen, or Jesus would have obeyed their fear?
The Bible says that Perfect Love casts out all fear.
Playing it safe is…well…safe. My fears continually tell me to play it safe.
I think my fears are a like a liquid mirror that I stand in front of and stare at the reflection I see, admiring my life as it is, enjoying what I see and the familiarity of it all. It looks and feels so comfortable. In the movies…every “liquid mirror” has something amazing on the other side. Curiosity says, “stick your head through the mirror and take a look.” Fear says, “stay right here, look how good you look, you like your life like it is.” So, today, I’m going to stick my head through that liquid mirror and take a peek at what my fears have been hiding from me and keeping me from. I have a few good friends who will try to force me through the mirror.  We all need friends like that. Somehow they see through the mirror better than we do ourselves.  So, I’m not going to just stick my head through it, I’m going to push my whole body through the liquid mirror.  There are no guarantees on the other side of the mirror, except the fact that you will no longer just be standing and admiring what you think is right and good for you. So I say…Let your fear guide you…but in a different direction than normal? Fear usually gets strong when I have multiple choices before me. Fear WILL guide us. So the next time fear rises up in your life, and is telling you to go in a specific direction, turn in the direction it wants you to go and then do an “about face”…180 degree turn and march on. It won’t be the easy direction. It won’t be the safe direction. But it will be the HOLY and right direction.
What is fear telling you to do right now?
Take a look in the mirror.
Better yet…
Conquer the mirror!


Hey Boss!

Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses, your faith. You manage how you sell your services and your education and the way you talk to yourself, the way you pray.
How’s your boss doing?
If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talk to yourself…what would you do? If you had a boss that wasted your time like you might waste your own time…would that boss be fired. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you might be developing yourself, would that Org. soon go under? If your church treated your faith like you treat your own faith…would that Church survive?
I’m amazed at how often people choose to fail when they find that right church that encourages one to set their own agenda and manage and spiritually grow themselves. Faced with the freedom to excel in their faith, they falter and hesitate and stall and ultimately punt.
Are you surprised when someone self-directed/self led arrives on the scene? Someone who figures out a way to work out their faith and then turns that into a life-long journey, Bible in hand, as they impact their neighborhood/work/and church. Most people are shocked that someone uses evenings and weekends and their vacation to do a mission trip, or start a useful new ministry that helps bring fortune to the less fortunate. Are you envious when you encounter someone who has managed to bootstrap themselves out of depression and nasty circumstances into hope, faith and happiness, as if that’s rare or even uncalled for.
There are few good books on being a good manager, a good boss, a good Christian. Fewer books still on managing yourself and your faith…there really is just the Bible…the Bible doesn’t need you to read more books from Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, Francis Chan, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Mark Driscoll…God…the list is endless. What the Bible wants? The Bible wants your Boss to get out of his/her spiritual bed, and be self led and self fed. Become whole, someone who figures out the solutions…drives with work ethic to complete-ness. The Bible wants your Boss to be the best boss you’ve ever had.
You are your own Boss.
What must your boss begin to do?