Nobody is a Nobody to God

We may feel unworthy of Gods love. Our friends and family may think that God would never want anything to do with them. Often people think that they are too far gone for God to really care.

Why would God be interested in me? I’m nobody special.

Here’s the thing that I have discovered as I am praying for the names of people I don’t even know, nobody is a nobody to God. Every nobody in their own opinion is a somebody to God, somebody worth sending His son Jesus to die for.

Nobody is too far gone.

Nobody is out of the reach of God’s grace.

Nobody is so unloveable that God cannot God love them.

Every nobody needs us to pray for them, that they would come to know the somebody who has done everything for them.

Dignity ~ a Lost Art

Some of us have forgotten how to carry ourselves well. In all different kinds of circumstances the ability to be a person of dignity seems to have been lost. Maybe we see it as weakness. Perhaps we think it’s not strong to be dignified. I wonder of we have become to brash in our dealings.

Dignity is about understanding the situation, the gravity of it and maintaining your integrity, handling others and what’s happening, whether good or bad with the same level of respect. 

Dignity in defeat. 

Dignity when winning. 

Dignity in our conversations. 

Dignity places value on others. 

Dignity in leadership. 

Dignity through times of personal loss.

Dignity in how we dress.

Dignity with others.

Dignity when things don’t go the way we think they should.

Some times we lose our dignity and maybe that can be good for us. It can mess with that sense of entitlement we can so easily lean towards. Other times we lose our dignity and it embarrasses us. It reveals a side of us that we wish others hadn’t seen but by then it’s too late, it hasn’t shown us of well. We think we are being humourous but actually we are being inappropriate. We think we have an opinion worth sharing but in reality we are just being opinionated.

Dignity influences. I would rather be known as a person of dignity than not. It may not be flashy or an ‘out-there’ character trait but it helps build the right kind of reputation with others. As a Christian it means I show off my God the best I can.

Dignity helps me lead well in life. It’s a quiet strength that goes unnoticed. Dignity, or the lack of it, only reveals itself when we are pushed, prodded or poked, by life or people. Without it I don’t consider to be leading the best I can.

Dignity helps me not say some stuff. It causes me to think things through before blurting out, before posting, before commenting on a topic in a way that it just shouldn’t be said. In otherwords it helps me keep my mouth shut and that can only be a good thing.

Dignity protects me. To lack dignity is to be thought of as insensitive, rude, inappropriate and be without discretion. When you become known for those things you may discover that people avoid you and where does that leave our ability to influence, build connection and lead people to Jesus.

Let’s make sure we are people of dignity first. Let’s keep it. It will open closed doors, breakdown prejudices and build bridges. It will give us opportunity to share the reason we live this way and point people to our incredible Saviour.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. [1 Thessalonians 4:11-12]

 

My Leadership Score

Leadership is challenging. It never stays the same.

One thing that I have discovered since my first leadership steps in 1989 is the ability to self-evaluate. To do it often and to be as honest as possible. If I can’t be honest with myself then what kind of leader will I really make.

In regard to the growth of all aspects of my leadership I have always worked hard to keep learning. To remain flexible and teachable. I am worried that as soon as I think I have arrived I will be become outdated.

Here is how it works for me:

Whatever the area of challenge, I choose to not see it as a failure but rather as an opportunity to learn. Where am I now, where do I want to be, what’s it going to take to get me there?

Leadership is not a competition. The only person to measure myself against is the person I use to be or want to be. If I score my attitude as a leader as 5 out 10 that’s not right or wrong, it’s just my own self-evaluation. The number is irrelevant really (unless I give yourself a 10/10 which in my opinion would be somewhat arrogant. There is always room for improvement). The main purpose behind such an exercise is identify where things need work and then decide I am going to respond.

We shouldn’t be scared of this, avoid this but welcome it. It’s all part of the leadership journey and becoming a better leader.

 

Who Brings You Back to God?

Relationships IN that will make me better when giving OUT in relationships. That’s what I’ve been thinking about today.

To help me be the best I can be at reaching out to people who are outside of my comfort, out of sorts, or without faith I need certain mix of people in my world.

It’s probably a long list but the one I have been most conscious about is the need for someone in my world who is in touch with God. More specifically, someone who can bring me back to God. Someone, as Leonard Sweet puts it, will protect my Jesus voice.

What type of relationships do you need IN your life to help with the relationships your give OUT to?

Something Out of Nothing

When it comes to being a resource two things are available – everything that we bring added to everything that God brings.

Often we look down on what we can bring. We don’t think our talent or treasure is up to much. Our past, the circumstances we have travelled through, all of our experiences, we just think they are not of any great value.

Here’s the important thing to remember: God can make SOMETHING out of NOTHING.

In 2 Kings 4 Elisha asked the widow what she had in her house. What resource did she have available? Her first reply was not very positive. ‘Nothing‘. Followed quickly by ‘I have a little oil’.

I think we can be like this. We don’t recognise what we have and maybe even despise what we can bring. Yet, when we bring our little, our nothing, God can make something out of it. We may have to search for it a little more but there is resource in us that God wants to get out.

His desire is to get resource IN and THROUGH us.

It’s about becoming a conduit of resource and not a hoarder. Then the glory of God will rise upon us, the light of His countenance will shine on us and that’s a great place to find yourself in.

What resource do you need to let God get IN you and THROUGH you?

Go For a Full Court Press

Get your full-court press on. Don’t give your opponent time to gain any forward motion.

I used to love a game of basketball. I was actually school captain. I remember that no team we faced would ever play full-court press all the time. It would be far too exhausting, although it has been proved that it is a worthwhile tactic for teams of lesser skill and ability in overcoming those who are the better basketball team. [*Malcom Gladwell ‘David & Goliath]

In life, we need to get our full-court press on. Don’t let our guard down.

Jesus tells us that the pure in heart are blessed, they will see God [Matthew 5:8]. We have been made perfect through Christ, for which I am thankful. Not of my own efforts, it is the incredible gift from God. Now comes my response – don’t allow the enemy [the opposition] in. Get my guard up. Full court-press. Don’t give him any space, no way through.

To be pure hearted means to remain unpolluted and undefiled. It is about staying ‘unmuddied’. What a great word. Unmuddied means to keep clear of sediment. The small stuff, the rubbish, the sand and grit that gathers under the surface which, for instance, eventually causes a river to break its bank when it becomes overwhelmed. I think that’s a great picture of our heart. All those little bits that get in there, those impurities, things that eventually have an influence on what comes out of our heart.

Simple response then. Guard your heart.

A full-court press demands greater fitness, greater energy levels, a greater sense of awareness. It’s a team play that requires each person on the team to fulfil that role to the best of their ability, then the opposition cannot break down the defence. The same is true for you and me. When we become stronger, fitter, more aware, then we are better able to keep our guard up. When we have the right people around us, like-minded individuals with the same sense of determination, then we are better able to keep our guard up.

The enemy is on the prowl, looking for who he can devour. He wants to kill, steal and destroy. Don’t give him any space and he can’t do that in your life. Too many times we here about the failing of someone. Staying pure in heart is not easy. There’s a lot of stuff clamouring for our hearts attention. Maybe it’s time for a dredge, a clean up, a bit of purification to be done. If you recognise some ‘muddiness’ in your heart then get it sorted. Be determined to not allow anything in that shouldn’t be there. Go for a full-court press. Set the boundary lines. Get the guard in place and don’t let it drop. With the help of the Holy Spirit – we can do this!

5 Tips for Being a Great Mentor

It seems a long time ago since I was a employed as a Learning Mentor in a local school. My role was to meet with students who had a high academic ability but for different reasons were not performing at that level. My mentoring role was very specific – help them get back on track.

It was a challenge. How to re-engage disinterested students? It was about finding that one thing that would create a spark, which could ignite a desire to improve. It was also about helping them work out their own plan for their future, to definitely not be just another teacher telling them what.

Good leaders learn the skill of being a mentor, a coach, an accountability partner. We often find ourselves as the person who keeps an individual moving forward, giving them a friendly or not so friendly kick up the butt when needed. We are that person who asks the critical questions, someone who has a strong desire to bring out the best in them.

Here a 5 things to remember before you put yourself forward as a mentor:

You are a role model. It’s not just about when you sit down and chat with them. All of your life will speak to them. Be careful to not reduce your impact by acting in a contrary way to how you are encouraging them to live.

You need to be able to listen well. It can be difficult to not just give them the answers but a good mentor/coach has to learn to enjoy awkward silences, giving time for thought and for them to work out the solution for themselves.

You need to have a genuine concern for them. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care [John Maxwell]. You cannot fake this for long. If you are not genuine, people will see straight through you.

You need to be able to help them see the future. It’s not about your plan for their future. Good mentors lay out the options and let those they are mentoring find take the path best for them.

You must be able to ask them the difficult questions. A good mentor knows when to back off and say nothing, yet at the right time they also know when to confront. It’s not the easiest role to undertake but the rewards can be quite incredible.

Who could you mentor? How could you invest in another person, helping them to discover the best version of themselves?