Thursday, April 29, 2021 11:59 PM

Every Leader Needs a Leader

Thursday, April 29, 2021 11:59 PM
Thursday, April 29, 2021 11:59 PM

Every leader needs a leader.

by Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International

We frequently speak of the leader’s leader, of the reality that every leader needs a leader, even though many never admit it. Frequently leaders speak as if they don’t need a leader to guide them and hold them accountable, as if they don’t need someone to give them direction or help them sharpen their vision or offer them advice or tell them they’ve made mistakes.

 

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Monday, April 26, 2021 3:12 PM

Why Are You a Leader?

Monday, April 26, 2021 3:12 PM
Monday, April 26, 2021 3:12 PM

Why Are You a Leader?

by Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International

Have you ever wondered why you are a leader? Can you answer this question? Why do I have the abilities and the opportunities to be a leader? You might even wonder at times if you have the gifts to be the kind of leader you must be to face some of the overwhelming demands put on you.

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Monday, March 29, 2021 10:50 PM

The Cross - the Center of Leadership

Monday, March 29, 2021 10:50 PM
Monday, March 29, 2021 10:50 PM

2000 years ago an unknown man called 12 unknown men who laid the foundation for a movement that transformed cultures, influenced multiple generations, brought down governments, and overcame all efforts to destroy it in every part of the world, all under the influence of a cross-bearing man. The man is Jesus, the men are His disciples, and cross-bearing men are all disciples who follow Jesus and bring others to Him. You can take them away but they will come back, and no one can stop them from returning. The movement has overcome every effort to destroy it in countries around the world.  No other men in history have changed the world as they did without armies or weapons or governments or any of the methods of power known on the earth.

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Monday, March 22, 2021 4:48 PM

The New Old Way

Monday, March 22, 2021 4:48 PM
Monday, March 22, 2021 4:48 PM

In today’s world there is a great lack of leaders, especially in the church. Would men like Peter, James, John, Andrew and other apostles and early believers be thought of as successful in our day? Do we realize that the only way to be successful in Christ’s world is to serve, not to be powerful nor to be superior nor to be rich? Of course, these are forms of success God can both give and use to make us His kind of leaders as He desires. This is why many regard accomplishments such as fame, recognition, power, money and other achievements as success for leaders. However, the Jesus model of success for His followers is radically different today in the church, even as it always has been.  We must see them only as God’s instruments to accomplish His purposes as He chooses. Remember, these are His instruments and not ours, and we must use them as He wills and not as we will.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021 4:08 PM

The Principle of Except

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 4:08 PM
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 4:08 PM

 

Now Solomon loved the Lord except . . . (I Kings 3:3)
 
Solomon was the wisest man in the world.

 
So says God who made him wise at his request.  God also made him wealthy and gave him great honor and promised him long life if Solomon would walk in His ways (I Kings 3:4-14).
 
His wisdom and wealth became legendary in the ancient world, so legendary that the Queen of Sheba came to see if all she heard was true and she was not disappointed (II Chron. 9:1-12).

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The Self Imposed Wilderness
Nov 28 9:39 PM

The Self Imposed Wilderness

Nov 28 9:39 PM
Nov 28 9:39 PM

Many of my wilderness experiences have been self-imposed. They grew out of drivenness within me; the fruit of selfish ambition, fear, and the anger that created unmet needs in my heart. And those needs should never have been met. That means that many of my wilderness experiences could have been avoided if only . . .

If only I were aware of my drivenness; if only I had realized my ambition—pursued, sincerely I believe in the name of Jesus—was mixed with the slag of my glory even as I sought His glory; if only I had understood that my fear actually was pride and my anger was anger. I carried inner anger without even knowing what it was. I gradually came to understand that these feelings within me were harmful and that prayer alone could bring me release. By then I had been a pastor for probably four or five years and realized I needed help from other leaders to be free. That’s when I asked the elders of our church to meet with me early every Sunday morning to pray because that’s how I gained some deliverance along the way.

So it was that I entered into burnout and edged toward depression for a period of time early in my pastorate. So it was that I struggled with comparison and competition and feelings of failure because I wasn’t as good as others or I hadn’t reached the standard of success I set for myself. Now I realize that that standard of success was self-imposed and not from God or anyone else; now I realize that it doesn’t make any difference whether I’m as good as others; now I realize that those wilderness experiences were self-imposed and unnecessary.

I don’t like to project myself on other leaders, but, as I have talked about these concerns in cultures all over the world, I have found many fellow leaders who identify with me because they’re in the same self-imposed wilderness. I’m just a little bit ahead of them. As I talk about these wilderness experiences, I find them responding, recognizing their own struggles and seeking freedom. So what can leaders do when they find themselves in the self-imposed wilderness?

Find the joy of the wilderness, the rugged beauty, the blooming wild flowers, the cooling shade, and the refreshing oases of flowing, refreshing water. How?

  1. Stop denying the truth about you and fall on your face before God in prayer, acknowledging that virtually everything you blame on others comes from you.
  2. Read the Bible in the light of your responsibility and God’s grace and make Christ your life, not only the One you talk about, but the One you depend on to live.
  3. Find someone you can talk with honestly and tell him/her the truth about you and listen to what you hear back no matter how much it hurts, even if you must travel hours and hours to get to him.

While many, probably most, of my wilderness experiences have been self-imposed and unnecessary, they have been critical to my growth as a man, my sensitivity as a husband and a father, and my impact as a leader. I wish I could have avoided them, but I couldn’t make it without them. So, I encourage you to keep on wandering in your wilderness. Sooner or later you’ll get to an oasis of refreshing rest. But after you’re there a while, you’ll start over again with another season in the wilderness—and that will be the best place you can be if you want to be God’s kind of leader.

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