Maybe it’s time for a Change

Frustrated with your career?  If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Unhappy with your marriage?  If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Dissatisfied with your physical condition?  If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Stuck and can’t move a project forward?  If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Discontent with your walk with God?  If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Perhaps it’s time for a change.

Leadership SOS

“Do your best to come to me quickly.”  2 Timothy 4:9

When he said these words to Timothy, Paul was facing one of the most difficult seasons of his life.

  • He was stuck.  He was near the end of his life and was confined to a Roman prison. (1:8; 4:6)
  • He was lonely.  The first time he was being held in prison (Acts 28) he had many visitors, but this time no one was coming to his side. (4:16)
  • He was hurt.  A long term friend and ministry partner, Demas, had abandoned him. (4:10)

It’s interesting, when Paul was hurting he asked for Timothy to get to him as soon as possible. In Greek that phrase, “Do your best”, means to move with a sense of urgency.    Every one of us will face painful seasons in our leadership.  In these times we must be willing to ask for help.

Leaders are accustomed to asking people to follow a vision, sign up for a cause or sacrifice for a mission, but asking someone to help you personally is difficult for most leaders to do.  We want to be strong and self-sufficient.  But a wise leader will ask for the support he needs to stay spiritually and emotionally healthy. 

How’s your spiritual health?  How’s your emotional health?  Is it time to ask a trusted friend for some help?  What keeps you from asking for support when you are struggling?

Building Credibility

One of the biggest challenges young leaders have is establishing their credibility.  They want to be respected, listened to and followed but sometimes they hurt themselves by making foolish decisions, demonstrating a lack of discipline or failing to follow through on commitments. If you want influence you must have credibility and if you want credibility you must be a person of character. 

I started thinking about what I look for in a young leader that enables them to earn credibility in my eyes. My thoughts went immediately to Joshua.  What was it about Joshua that enabled him to earn credibility with Moses?

A passionate hunger for God – Exodus 33:7-11
When Moses would go to the Tent of Meeting to meet with God, Joshua would go along and stay long after Moses left.  Exodus 33:11 “When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”

A faith-driven willingness to take risk – Numbers 14
When Moses sent Joshua with eleven others to spy out the promise land only he and Caleb had the faith to say conquering a powerful enemy was a possibility.  In Numbers 14:7-8 Joshua said, “If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us.”

A proven competence to lead – Exodus 17:8-16
When Amalek came to fight Israel Moses delegated the leadership of that battle to Joshua. Joshua proved his leadership ability in this battle. Exodus 17:13  “Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”

A High Degree of Integrity – Numbers 32
Joshua and Caleb were the only two from their generation to enter the promise land because “they followed the Lord fully.”  Numbers 32:11-12.

A Healthy sense of Inadequacy- Joshua 1
 After being chosen as Moses successor God spoke to Joshua encouraging him and telling him not to be afraid.   Joshua 1:8 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.”

What do you need to do to increase your level of credibility with your followers?

Dangerous Prayers

God slapped me around with this question last night:  “Are your actions a reflection of your prayer life?”  Ouch!  This hurt because it made me realize praying safe leads to playing it safe.

As I read 1 Kings 17:1 I was struck by the boldness of Elijah’s action, “Now Elijah said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

Is Elijah nuts?  He walks up to the most wicked King Israel had ever seen and announces a drought.  But that’s not all.  He boldly proclaims this drought will not end until he says it will end.  Wow, that is some pretty gutsy behavior.  

But notice his bold actions were preceeded by some bold prayer.  Apparently Elijah had taken all of Ahab’s wicknedness that he could take.  Knowing God had told Israel if they fell into idolatry He would withhold rain, Elijah prayed for God to hold true to His Word and display His power (Dt. 11:16-17).  James tells us, “Elijah … prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.  Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:16-18)

Elijah was able to act boldly because he prayed boldly.  His actions were simply a reflection of his prayers. Here are a couple of dangerous prayers I am praying for our church…

  • That God will catalyze an unstoppable movement among our leaders to recognize, recruit and raise up new and next generation leaders resulting in a rich leadership culture at Seacoast.
  • That God will mobilize 10,000 people into mission each one connecting deeply with a cause that moves their hearts, allowing us to increase Seacoast Global impact for the Kingdom.

What are your dangerous prayers? Write them down, keep them in front of you and watch God suprise you.

God Vs. Opportunity

I woke up in the middle of the night with this question running through my head:  Am I seeking God or am I seeking opportunity?  Leaders are geared toward smelling out and tracking down opportunity.  Opportunity is a good thing.  It can expand our influence, raise our level of credibility, connect us with “the right people” and even have financial benefit.

But opportunity must also be handled with care.  Sometimes our ambition can taint our motives and instead of being leaders who are led by the Spirit we become leaders who lust for success.  To be honest that terrifies me.  So as I lay there in bed I put before God all the “opportunities” that were floating around in my head and asked, “Which do I love more God or Opportunity?”  Which gives me my greater sense of worth God or Opportunity?   Which do I seek more God or Opportunity?

In 1 Chronicles 28 David pulled all the leaders of Israel together and announced that God wanted his son Solomon to build a House for God.  What an Opportunity!  I love what David did next.   In front of all these leaders David spoke directly to Solomon and said, “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you.”

In a time when Solomon would face this huge Opportunity to earn credibility, gain fame, prove his leadership, earn the admiration of men, David warns him… Make sure you seek God not Opportunity.  Whatever you do, do it with whole hearted devotion and willing mind.  God knows our motives; they are fully exposed before Him.  Don’t let Opportunity become your god.

Question of the day:  Am I seeking God or Opportunity?

Need a Push?

I read through 2 Timothy last night.  Check out just a few of the imperatives in these 4 short chapters.  Paul told Timothy… fan into flame the gift of God, do not be ashamed, join with me in suffering, guard the good deposit, be strong, endure hardship, do your best to handle God’s Word accurately, flee evil desires, preach the Word, keep your head in all situations.

Paul was pushing Timothy.  Pushing him to exercise the gifts God had given him.  Pushing him to overcome the stronghold of fear that had a grip on his life.  Pushing him to be strong in his leadership.

You know it is easy to find someone to encourage me, but finding someone to push me is a little trickier.  I want that “pusher” to be someone who knows me, knows my gifts, my passion, my strengths and sees how those work together to make up who God has created me to be.   I want my “pusher” to be someone who believes in me, who sees me bigger than what I really am, who sees a God sized potential in me.  I want my “pusher” to be someone who loves me, who wants to walk beside me and do life with me and go with me to the end.

Do you have a “pusher” in your life?  If not, take a risk and invite someone to give you a push this week.  And just as importantly, are you being a “pusher” to someone you know, love and believe in?

Monday Morning Questions

I love questions.  Questions have power to redirect our thinking, make priorities clear and bring greater wisdom for our situations.  Solomon said in Proverbs 3:13-14, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”  Notice that wisdom, like silver or gold, must be sought out, dug up or uncovered through great effort.  Sunday night is a great time for me to seek out wisdom for the new week by thinking through the right questions.  So here are my questions as I begin my week:

  1. What am I looking for God to do in my life this week?
  2. What are my top 3 priorities for the week?
  3. Have I put my priorities in my schedule?
  4. Have I scheduled time to think and dream this week?
  5. What am I going to read this week that will grow me as a leader?
  6. If I could only meet with three people this week, who would it be, why?

Spend a few minutes reflecting on these questions.  What questions are you asking at the start of your week?


I attended the ARC All Access Conference in Clayton, NC over the past couple of days.  I wasn’t able to stay for the whole conference but was able to sit through sessions with Billy Hornsby, Matt Fry, Dino Rizzo, Greg Surratt and Chris Hodges.  One common theme emerged in each of their talks…the importance of the leader’s heart.    I walked away with a few questions to meditate on over the next few days

In what way is my church/ministry reflecting what is going on in my heart?

If my physical heart is not healthy it impacts my whole body. In the same way if my spiritual heart is not healthy it will impact the health of my church or ministry.  If my heart is filled with a competitive, negative, critical, jealous, hectic spirit then in time that will be reflected in the ministry I lead.

Do I have to manufacture love and compassion?

There have been way too many times I have found myself hiding from people, avoiding people, making excuses not to serve people because I had nothing to give.    Love and compassion should flow naturally out of the overflow of my time with God.  An empty heart has to manufacture love and compassion.

Am I missing the power of God today because I am stuck in yesterday?

Too often we depend on yesterday’s methods, successes, systems, programs. God wants us to rely on his power not just what we did yesterday.  God loves pouring out fresh new ideas into open hearts.

Am I doing what it takes to finish well?

Ministry is a marathon not a sprint.  Finishing well will require that I have a heart of humility and courage that is fully surrendered to God.

Am I maximizing my moments or am I missing them?

It is so easy for us to become preoccupied with future plans, projects, opportunities and successes that we miss out on the very moment we are in.   The greatest moment of my life is the one I am living in right now.

What does your heart need to be reflecting on right now in order for you to be all God wants you to be?