Just last week in the U.S., we celebrated Thanksgiving – a time to pause and spend time with loved ones and reflect on all our blessings.
I want to take a moment to express gratitude to each one of you. Your partnership is vital to our ministry, and your prayers have a significant impact.
I consider it a privilege to partner with you each week in praying for our brothers and sisters around the world.
In building any and everything, in and for God, there are some basic building principles that must be adhered to. Just like with any natural building, its foundation is the strength behind the structure of that building. The foundation dictates the height, width, and weight of a building. A small foundation dictates that you have a small building. A deep and wide foundation dictates that you can have a building of some size and height. In God’s Kingdom prayer is the foundation for all things. Prayer is the principle component that you need to build or do anything in, or for God. – T. Owens
Prayer really is the foundation for all things. Thank you for praying with us each and every week.
Giving thanks to Him,
Transformational Values Shift #3
Last week we studied James, John and the temptation to lead like the world around us – through power leadership. From that, we concluded that a leader who is being transformed by Jesus Christ is one…whose influence and impact is not determined by position, power, or control but who influences and impacts others through serving them in the power of Christ.
Take a moment to assess your thinking, values and practices when it comes to the following:
- Relationship versus Task: In doing ministry with others, do I give more importance to the task than to relationships? Or do I view both relationship and tasks as essential components, realizing that unity as God’s people is key to our impact?
- Authority: Do I draw my leadership authority primarily from my job description, title or organizational flow chart? Or do I know that my authority rests primarily on a spiritual authority based on trust, relationship, integrity and ministry?
- Respect: Does respect come primarily from the title and position I hold? Or is respect primarily earned as I serve Christ, His purposes and His people?
- Leadership Success: Do I expect and/or feel I deserve credit for the work I and my team do well? Is that my definition of success? Or do I believe success is found in equipping and empowering my teammates in such a way as to accomplish His work to His glory?
- Control: As a leader, do I control every aspect of my projects, using people only as needed to ensure my success? Or do I believe God is in control and I simply cooperate with Him in developing and helping people to do their part? Do I like to be involved in all communication between staff and peers, as well as in important decision-making? Or do I decentralize decision making, allowing trusted teammates to have the freedom to act in line with plans we have determined as a team.
- Leadership Profile: Do I make sure everyone (including outsiders) knows that I am the leader in charge? Or do I practice a shared leadership based on other’s giftedness in any given area?
- People Pleasing: Do I believe it is my role to influence the people I lead by keeping as many of them as happy as possible? Or in serving Christ, His kingdom cause and His people, do I realize I must sometimes make hard decisions that make some friends unhappy?
- Prayer Leadership: Do I spend very little time actually praying with and/or for the people under my leadership? Or do I pray regularly with and for those I lead since it encourages and empowers them in the Lord?
Take a moment to seriously ponder the above. Now ask yourself these three questions:
- What is God saying to me about changes I need to make regarding my lifestyle, ministry or leadership approach?
- What will the results of my ministry be at the end of my life if I do not make any changes?
- How satisfying are these results from a kingdom perspective?
Praying for you this week.
Jesus was a man of action and prayer. No one can miss His emphasis on prayer. Before He even began His public ministry, He spent forty days in the wilderness praying.
Prayer was part of His daily life and fellowship with the Father. His disciples were so curious that they requested, “Teach us to pray.”
His prayers were simple.
He asserted that one should not make a show of praying. He practiced it daily and at all times. He spent the whole night in prayer reviewing His selection of the twelve. The twelve were prayed for throughout their time with Jesus. We know Jesus’s recorded prayer in John 17 where He refers to them thirty-one times in verses 6 through 19.
Looking at the example Jesus provides for us, what can you and I learn about the power of prayer?
When was the last time you spent the whole night praying over an important decision? When was the last time you prayed fervently and faithfully over another person or situation?
Ask the Lord to teach you to pray.
The Lord spoke to Abraham and said that Sarah, his wife who was 90 years old, would have a son. Sarah laughed, thinking that was impossible. The Lord said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14).
Think in your own life, is there anything you are facing that you deem too hard for the Lord?
Several weeks ago, I talked with a close colleague about a personnel need we have in MentorLink. I said, “I don’t think the Lord can do that.” Immediately I realized what I had said and said to him, “I am embarrassed at what I said.” Then I said, “The Lord can do that, but it will be a miracle.”
A year later, Sarah had a son. A miracle happened and the Lord showed that nothing is impossible for Him.
I know at least one miracle I am waiting on Him for. What miracles do you look to the Lord to do in your life?