Lead by Example

I've thought a lot lately about my example as a Dad. A pastor. A friend. "Do as I say and not as a I do" is an ineffective way to lead people.

If I want my children to love Jesus, I need to love Jesus by example. If I want students that I lead to share their faith, I need to share my faith. If I want people to be in small groups, I need to be in a small group.

"Everything rises and falls on leadership." John Maxwell "Leadership is action, not position. "D.H. McGannon "Do-so is more important than say-so." Pete Seeger

People not only want to be taught but they want to emulate. Just as important as our public leadership is our private leadership of our actions.

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Waiting on Hannah Robinson

 I am growing more and more excited about Hannah coming into this world! God has taught me so much being a Dad over the past 18 months. My view of God has been shaped more by the way that I look at my son, Micah.

I love my son. He has been an incredible joy in our lives since September 4, 2012! As he grows everyday in every way, I am reminded of how precious and fast time flies!

As I think about welcoming a new baby girl into our family, I'm overwhelmed in a lot of ways. - Will I be the Dad I need to be for her? - Will she love Jesus more because of my example at home?

As the questions roll through my head, I'm reminded of God's still small voice reminding me that He is in control.

My prayer is that she experiences the grace and love of Jesus as she grows up. In fact, that is one of the main reasons we gave her the name, "Hannah."

We gave her Cassidy's middle name, "Leigh." I hope that she is just like her mother. I want her to love God and love people. I hope that her life is focused upon pouring out God's grace on others and leading them to find Jesus.

Hannah. Daddy loves you. I look forward to seeing you soon!

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Competition and Ministry

If you are like me, you enjoy competition.  I get pumped when I can compete in a sport.  I grew up playing sports with my three brothers and my Dad.  It taught me character, discipline, conditioning, health and more.  But the day I hung up my basketball shoes and baseball cleats in college, I entered the ministry field. Success isn't easy to measure anymore.  I don't have a shooting percentage or batting average anymore.  The pressure is there, but it is different.  It is hard to figure out.

It is mental, physical, spiritual and emotional and many times, all at once.

What do we do about this inner drive to compete, especially when it comes to the calling of God?

It is less about me and more about what God does through me.  God wants our best but in the context of His strength and His glory being known.  Jesus had some competitive disciples in Mark 9:33-35:

"After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?”  But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.  He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

The danger I see is when churches compare with one another.  Questions like this are asked, "How many students do you have in your youth group?" or "How many people attend your church?"

Numbers represent people.  It is just dangerous when those of us in ministry are comparing with one another.

At the same time, there is a need for a global Christian perspective on the American church.

What do you say to the missionary in Egypt who is seeing people come to Christ in a small, but persecuted church?  Are they not successful because they do not have a huge turnout?

I guess my question to myself and to you as the reader is, "What do you call success?"

I believe we should passionately pray for God to change not just hundreds but thousands of lives in our local churches.  Why?  Because God can do more than we can ever imagine.

My only warning is we should never think of one local church as the king of all churches.  We are in this journey together to make disciples of all nations.

Be faithful where God has you. Make each conversation count for the gospel. Teach God's Word as if it is the last sermon you will ever preach. Love your family. Run from lust. Be faithful to your spouse. Pray for your children. Listen when people talk. Love the outcast.

Trust God for the results.  Faithfulness is all about how you finish, not just how you start.  Faithfulness destroys the need to compare.

What are your thoughts on comparison in ministry? Share in the comments below.