Leadership 101

I have been in ministry for 7 or 8 years, serving in lots of different roles. Below, is a list of helpful insight I have learned, from being led, along with having the opportunity to lead. Thankfully, I have learned vastly from many different people. From their great wisdom, to their mistakes, and even my own mistakes specifically, I have learned a lot. I feel some of my own mistakes could have been avoided, with a few simple tips. Below is my top 10, I hope they help you.

  1. You CAN’T lead until you learn how to follow.
    This is number one, because, I feel many individuals have the desire to be a leader. Unfortunately, they have no idea what it means to lead. For many it’s a title or a status, when it is far from that. It’s a great privilege with responsibilities, and at times, requires great sacrifice. You need to be led, with the intent of understanding how to submit to the authority of a leader. It will provide you with additional understanding, will guide you to less mistakes, and will give you the desire to give more grace.
  2. Leading is doing a task with someone, not telling someone to do a task.
    As a leader, you are setting an example, not forcing people to do things. Judah Smith once said, “A great leader is not someone who says go and do this. He is someone who says come with me as I do this.” A leader is the one who stands out in front, you cannot effectively lead from behind.
  3. You need to love the people you are leading.
    If you want people to follow you, they have to love you. They can tell when you do not love them, and value them. They have earned your love, because, they are standing with you, helping you, and sacrificing with you. They are your team, your brothers, make sure you love them, and in return, they will love you.
  4. Failure will happen.
    When you are standing out in front, leading the way, there will be failures. Learn from them, and move forward, do not let them drag you down. It’s ok to fail, but learn from them, and move forward, do not let them define you.
  5. Celebrate victories and include your team.
    I have a tendency to only remember my failures. They consistently have more of an impact, than my victories, and I am inclined to forget a victory faster than a failure. Let your victories drive you, and give you confidence, as you head into your next challenge.Remember, your team is sacrificing as much as you, make sure to include them in all things, and specifically, important victories. They feel the effect of the failure as much as you do, they need to feel the joy of victory as well.
  6. Be flexible and do your best to control you emotions.
    No matter how much you plan, unplanned events will happen. You have to be able to make changes on the fly, and not be stuck in one plan. Whatever happens don’t panic! Do your best to control your emotions, because, they naturally affect your team. If you are positive, they will be positive. But if you panic, it can cause a snowball like effect throughout your team. In most situations your team is looking to you for stability and confidence. As a leader you must constantly show confidence, though your emotions do not reflect it.
  7. You are not always right, and it’s ok to say “I don’t know”.
    It’s ok to say you are wrong! A good leader is not someone who is always right, but, is someone who encompasses the goal of the team, most effectively. Admitting you are wrong, or saying you don’t know, can help you develop the best answer more efficiently. In my opinion, it shows your team it is okay to say “I don’t know”, as well. It offers an opportunity for a team, to be a team, and to come together in the goal of figuring out a solution.
  8. Everyone has an opinion.
    There will ALWAYS be someone, expressing your idea is wrong. The best thing to do, is to listen to them, and then seek the opinion of the people you trust, and apply as needed. Don’t take and apply everything people tell you, and at the same time, don’t dismiss everything people tell you.
  9. Let people make mistakes. (Give your best advice and let them make the choice)
    This can be hard when you love your people. Unfortunately, mistakes can lead to setbacks, but, your goal is to help your team, and occasionally, mistakes are a way to learn, assuming you don’t consistently make the same mistake. You have to let people make their own choices, even if you can see the mistake coming, and they do not. Give your best advice, and let them make the choice, it will help them in the long run!
  10. Let the people you are leading have power.
    Your job as a leader is not to possess the most power, but, to duplicate yourself, and help individuals identify their potential. Sometimes, for people to see their potential, and for you to see who they really are, an opportunity needs to be given to them. You might be surprised when you hand them the ball, and they have substantial ability. The sign of a great leader is not someone who has the most followers, but, someone who builds up, and raises up other leaders.

Loving the Judas in Our Lives.

John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This is a verse that I quoted before. I like it a lot because it doesn’t say, knowing scripture, or doing works, or reaching some level is how they know we are His disciples. It says “if you have love for one another.” A true disciple of Jesus Christ is one that loves people. Sure knowing scripture and doing works are part of following God and growing in Him. But no one cares about what you know until they know how much you care. Love is what breaks all barriers. It’s the most powerful thing we can do and at times the hardest. Especially if you have ever been betrayed. The thing about this verse is that it comes right after Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, including Judas. The one who would betray Him. Why would He do that?

Sometimes God gives me words to explain a concept and other times there are men who have said it better. This is a time when someone else has said it better. Here is an excerpt from Jon Courson’s commentary. It’s long but it’s worth the read.

“Even though it was dark, Jesus said to His disciples, “This is the hour of glory. I’m going to be leaving, and where I’m going, you can’t come now. So in the meantime, I’m giving you a new commandment to love one another.” A new commandment? Doesn’t it say way back in Leviticus that we are to love God and that we are to love our neighbor? Isn’t that the message, really, of the Scriptures in their entirety? Hadn’t Jesus Himself said that upon these two commandments—to love God and to love people—hang all the aw and the prophets? What does He mean a new commandment? Look carefully at what Jesus is saying because it’s radical. Yes, the Old Testament is filled with commandments and exhortations to love. But Jesus here makes everything new when He says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” How did Jesus love them? How does Jesus love us? That’s what’s new. Paul tells us how He loves us when he writes, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). The newness, the unfolding, the fullness of this new commandment is that we are to love in a way that costs us your life—not just loving generally, but loving sacrificially to the place of death. You see, biblically there is never true reconciliation apart from someone or something dying. In the Old Testament, reconciliation was impossible without the sacrifice of an animal. In the New Testament, we see Old Testament typology become reality with the death of the innocent Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. There will never be true reconciliation between you and the person with whom you’re angry or from whom you’re estranged until you say, “I’m not going to grind my ax any longer. I’m not going to press my point any further. I’m not going to prove I’m right anymore. I’m just going to die.” The question is, will you? “But I’m innocent,” you say.

So was Jesus. “But I’m right.” Wasn’t He? The commandment He gave us is to die—to our pride, our complaints, our position, our proof. “What if I die?” you ask. “Does laying down my life and giving up my rights guarantee reconciliation?” Was everyone reconciled to Jesus? No. Not everyone is born again. Not everyone says, “Thank You, Lord, for laying down Your life for me.” When you love like Jesus, some will respond and there will be reconciliation. Others, however, will continue to spit and curse and mock—even as they did to Jesus as He was in the very act of dying for their sins. But if we are to love as Jesus loved, like Him, we’ll pray, “Father, forgive them. They just don’t know what they’re doing.” “By this kind of love shall all men know you are My disciples,” said Jesus, “—when you love like I do—when you love to the point of death.”

Jon Courson’s lays out a hard but powerful truth. But imagine if we actually love like Christ did, if we loved sacrificially, to the point of death. What if we loved our betrayer, the Judas in our lives. You might say Rob didn’t he say there is chance reconciliation could not happen? But I say what if it does? I like to say, sometimes you got to give a million dollars away to get one back. I would rather give everything in hopes of someone seeing what love actually is. Christ gave everything for us. Shouldn’t we give everything for Him? I mean in the end it’s all His anyways, even our lives. We just get to hold to it for a moment.

Most likely as you read someone came to mind. Someone who betrayed you. It might be time for reconciliation. Maybe it’s time to die to self and reach out to them. Maybe it’s time forgive to someone. Who knows you could regain a friend, a brother, a sister, a mother, a father. Or maybe you can just regain the peace of knowing you loved like Christ did.

To be honest I am not always the person how loves like this. But it convicted my heart and but I am going to give it a shot. If you are reading this I hope you do too. Maybe we can start simple and praying for that person. Something like, Lord bless them and show me how to love them.

Who knows what the Lord will do.

I hope this ministered to you in some way. I know it did for me. God bless you.

Promises from the Past Give Hope for the Future.

With the new year just around the corner. The world sees the new year as a chance to make a change, a chance for something new. That is what they find hope in. The hope of what could happen in the future. For the Christian our hope is found in the promises of the past. Promises from the only One that matters, our King Jesus. You see promises are only as powerful as the one who promises them. Hope is only as powerful as what or who you hope in. When we make new years resolutions we are hoping in change. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with working toward a change. But I say to you if you can not be happy today, you will not be happy tomorrow. True Hope is found with in what Jesus Christ did over 2000 years ago. He died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sin. All we have to do is realize that we are a sinner. Recognize what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us. Repent of our sin and receives Him as our Lord and savior. Seems pretty simple. But it’s only true if Jesus is actually is who He says He is.

As I read about Jesus and study the historical fact. As He works through my life. I find myself in a place where I am filled with hope. Not because of a miracle God might do in my life. Or a things He might change. But because of what He has already done. When we read the bible it brings hope because it tells who Jesus is and what He has done. For the Christian hope is not found in what could happen in the future. It’s the promises from the past that give Hope for the future.

This Monday, the Upper Room Bible Study is having an Agape Feast.

This Monday, the Upper Room Bible Study is having an Agape Feast. This one is going to be a little different.  Normally we would ask you to bring your favorite dish or dessert.  This time we are asking for a donations of any size. All the money will be going to Ava. Who is Ava you may ask? Let me tell you about her.

Ave is 9, her family goes to Harvest Woodcrest. They live across a street from us. We had not met them until one day a few weeks ago.  My roommates noticed that the little girl across the street (Ava) had a lemonade stand. When they ask what she was trying to make money for her and her mom shared that it was for a dog to help her manage her type 1 diabetes.

Dogs have the ability to tell when someone’s blood sugar is low. They are called Diabetes Assist Dogs. They are trained to help people with Type I diabetes. They are trained to monitor smells in the air for a specific scent on the human breath that is related to rapidly dropping or low blood sugar levels. They are then trained to “alert” the person with diabetes, usually by touching them in a significant way such as pawing at them, or nudging them. This alerts the person that their blood sugar may be low and they should check their blood sugar level or get something to eat to prevent their hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) from getting to a dangerous level. The canine partner can also be trained to retrieve juice or glucose tabs, get an emergency phone, or get help from another person in the house.

I have type 2 diabetes and have had an episode of low blood sugar and it can be a scary situation. I could not imagine how scary it would be for a 9 year old. You feel dizzy, disoriented, and just sick.  If you do not raise your blood sugar you can pass out and even fall into a coma.

Having the dog to warn her would be a great help to her and her family. Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. It important that the family of God takes care of the family of God. That we would work as His hands and feet.  That’s what we want to do at the upper room bible study. We what to help our community. We want to help Ava.

Come out Monday and help Ava. We will have food, worship, a message, a time of communion, and some really great fellowship.

We start at 7pm and the address is 19805 San Luis Rey Ln, Riverside, CA 92508. Everyone is welcome. May the Lord bless you.

For more information go to www.justjesusstuff.com or homefellowships.harvest.org#locations

#URWoodcrest #URBibleStudy #Revival

 

It All Started At A Harvest Crusade

I had been street witnessing with the Well once the year before and I didn’t like it at all. It was always awkward. But being a leader at the Well when the Harvest Crusade came around in 2010 I got asked to help lead a group that would promote the event. I said yes and I figured helping leading a group meant watching over a group and driving them around. Which I was ok with but it’s not what ended up happening. God had a different plan.

We were at Huntington Beach and I was walking around with my group and I would point people out and encourage them to give them a flyer and talk to them. But I felt like I should do more. I just found myself praying, “Let me have one real conversation but I don’t know how to start the conversation would you just make someone stop and ask to talk to me.” Seems crazy huh? (if you read my last post there is a kind of trend in the things I ask God.)

So we end up standing on a street corner of main street handing people flyers. This guy takes a flyer looks at it and then looks at me and says “can I talk to you?”… I am not joking. I was freaking out inside. So I say yes and he asked to sit down. He was in his late 30’s he had tattoos everywhere even on his face. He started telling me about what was going on in life. He had a sad story, it’s too much to go into. But God gave me some words of encouragement for him and I prayed for him.

I ended up having 2 other really great conversations with people that weekend. I said things and used information that I forgot I even knew. I realized it wasn’t about feeling awkward or being afraid of not knowing an answer. I realized it was about people. I realized that there a lot a people walking around with no hope. They are hurting and they have no idea how to change that. And we have the message of hope. They have no idea where they will end up in eternity. Heaven and hell are real places. Without knowing Jesus Christ they will end up in hell. We have the message to save their eternal life. It’s not ours to keep to ourselves. Someone stepped out and shared with us. And it’s our responsibility to share with someone else.

Every Sunday leading up to the harvest crusade we will have invites at a table on the patio of church. I want to encourage you to take 5 and give them to people you meet at the store or where ever and ask God to use you and HE will. Even if you don’t end up sharing the gospel yourself you can encourage them to come to the event and hear it from Pastor Greg. God can do great things with a flyer.

Who knows you may end up being a part of changing a life.

That weekend God changed my heart from someone who hated street witnessing to someone who loved it. The week after the harvest crusade all I wanted to do was to go street witnessing again. At the time the Well didn’t have a group. So I was going to go with the High School group. I got to church and it ended up being canceled for the night. So I just decided to get some well flyers and prayed with the group of people that where there and we went. I felt prompted to tell that group if they wanted to go again next weekend I will meet them in front of the church. After a 5 or 6 months I had a good group of 7 to 10 people that came every week. So the overseeing pastor of the Well at the time asked if I wanted to make it an official ministry and they gave me a room to meet in.

I lead that ministry for 2 years and sometimes we had 30 people other times and 5 or 6. But I looked forward to every Saturday. Oh and did I mention I ended up co-leading the team that went the next year. And it all started at a Harvest Crusade.

May the Lord bless you,
Rob

 

The first time I did decision follow up at the Harvest Crusade.

After I wrote my last post I realized that a lot of my first time doing something happened at the Harvest Crusade. Have you ever heard the story about the first time I was a decision follow up worker at the Harvest Crusade? Let me tell you about it.

I am not sure of the year. I don’t remember the bands. I don’t even remember what Greg’s message title was. All I remember is being really stressed out. I would say it was at least 8 or 9 years ago, maybe less.

They had the decision follow up worker class at the end of the Wednesday night study. This was before they were called Start Rallies. I had no clue what was going on. I just knew there were way more people than usual at service. I don’t remember the message I just knew I needed to sign up and give it a shot. Truth is the person speaking said even if you sign up doesn’t mean you have to do it.  So I filled out the card. Not knowing what I was really getting myself into.

As the days went on I heard message after message about getting out of your comfort zone. Every time I read my bible I would read about stepping out in faith. Until the day of the Harvest Crusade came I decided after talking to my friend about it I would just give it a shot.

So Friday I walk out on the field and praying for wisdom and boldness. The moment comes after Greg said a prayer with the people. I just froze. I didn’t talk to anyone.  I felt so disappointed. I had failed God. I called my friend and told him what happened. He told me “you didn’t fail you went farther than you have ever gone before. Just give it another shot tomorrow night”.

So Saturday I come and the same thing happened. I didn’t tell anyone. I just promised God I would try one more time the next night.

So Sunday comes and now I feel like the biggest failure in the world. I remember sitting next to my mom that night and been so stressed out. She asked me what was wrong. I told her I have to go down there and talk to a stranger about God. I am not sure what she said. But she is my mom and she is really smart so I am sure it was great. Because I went out on the field once again. This time as I walked down the stairs I prayed “God somehow make it so someone has to talk to me.”  Seems like a crazy prayer. So a get to the grass and a supervisor stops me and says I want you to stand on the 3rd baseline and if someone tries to leave without a bible stop them and talk to them. In my mind I was like “say what?” It’s funny and I when I say funny I mean sad. That we are surprised when we pray and God answers. But that is a blog post for another day. So I stand there and guess what… no one talked to me… just kidding… A small group walked up to me and asked for a bible. And I went over the 4 points with them and prayed for them. I am not sure how well I explained things. But they were thankful.

I remember feeling so blessed. I had done something I had never done before. Something that was to be honest at the time the scariest moment of my life. But God showed up and gave me everything I needed. I know you are thinking don’t you speak in front of people and pray for people all the time? Yes but back then I was super shy and hardly talked. I know it’s hard imagine that.

This was the start of me stepping outside of my comfort zone to let God mold and shape me into what He wants me to be. It was something I looked back on many times to remind myself  that when God calls me to do something He will show up and He will give me everything I need in the moment. After this I ended up doing decision follow-up at Sunday nights for a many years.

If you have never been a decision follow-up worker I would encourage you to try it out. You can take a test and sign up online on the Become a Decision Follow-Up Worker page at SoCal.Harvest.org.

Next time I will tell you about the first time I went street witnessing.

God bless you,
Rob

2014 SoCal Harvest

The other day I was thinking about how the Harvest Crusade has so many memories attached to it.  Some really good and some bad ones too. But there are also a lot of lessons learned attached to it as well.  Last year I wrote a blog post title “Harvest Crusades Are Like Family Reunions“.  You can read it on the Harvest Crusade blog.

But I wanted to encourage you to be apart of the SoCal Harvest. There are many opportunities to serve.  You can learn about them on the Ways to Get Involved at SoCal.harvest.org.  This is a great opportunity to grow in the gifts God has given you. Maybe you will learn you have a gift you didn’t know you had before. At the very least I think everyone has someone they can invite to the event.

I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for this years SoCal Harvest.

May the Lord bless you,
Rob

Walking on Water

Last Monday if you were not there I talk about Peter walking on water. And the only reason he was able to do so is by the power of God. There was no power Peter had other than the power given to him in the moment. After explaining this I prayed “Father if it be Your will let me walk on the water” and I stepped off the edge of the pool into the water. Needless to say I did not walk on the water. But let me explain why I tried.

I made a joke the day before that I should totally walk on water during my message and I laughed. But after, I felt so convicted. Why does that have to be a joke? Why couldn’t God allow me to do so? I began to think and pray on it. If I really believe God could give Peter power, why not try and see what happened. What’s the worst that could happen, I get wet? Then I started thinking what are people going to think. Will they think I am crazy? Then I began to think what if it happens? Even for a second. Imagine how my belief in God would grow and in the hearts of people who saw it. So I decide I would try. Believing God could do it. Even thinking about what I would say if I hit the water and did not fall through. So I stood at the edge of the pool, said my prayer, stepped off and went into the water. While underneath the water I remember feeling so disappointed. Not because I was not standing on the water. But because I really believed God had the power to make stand on the water. But I do not always believe He will do the everyday things in life. I worry about so much. Often wondering when He will show up in stitutions. When will I ever have peace in the things that I wish would have gone my way. Is He ever going help overcome the obstacles I have in my life? Will He ever save the people I love?

Often times we do not believe God even enough to take one step. How He will change a situation, or do a work if you do not make a move. The bible does not say God helps those who helps themselves. But we must make some kind of move. Pastor Greg is quoting as saying “God can not steer a car that is not moving.”

The truth is I can stand in front of 50 people and try to walk on water. But I can give up so easy on things that are far more tangible. In the end I may not have walked on water. God did the miracle He intended. My faith has definitely grown because of it. It wasn’t His will for me to walk on the water. But it was His will for me to try. Because the outcome is the same. My faith has truly grown. Honestly I would not have happened any other way.

It’s true it would have been an amazing moment in life if I had stood on the water for, even a second. But I believe the same lessons were learned and I still had my amazing moment. I believe once again that with God nothing is impossible.

Let me close in this. In Exodus 14:21 it says “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided,”

Who parted the red sea? The Lord. What did Moses do? He stretched out his hand. God is waiting for you to raise your hand, or take a step. So He can do the work. Family we are missing out on God doing great things with us because we are not letting Him use us. Because we do not believe Him. There are somethings I know I have given up on because I didn’t believe that God could help me or would help me. But I am going to take another shot at it. If you have given up on something. As you were reading something came to mind. Something very tangible. I would encourage you to take another shot at that thing you see as impossible. Pray then take a step.

Just say “Father if it be you will let me ________” then take a step. You will be amazed at what He can do. Who knows you may end up walking on the water 🙂