Previous month:
April 2014
Next month:
June 2014

Rest Stop 21

"So, because Jesus was doing these
things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders
began to persecute him" - John 5:16.

Jesus was doing good on the Sabbath day and the Jews persecuted Him. They would prefer He did nothing rather than bring healing and help to people. Leaders are busy people and need their rest, but they also need to use their down time by doing good deeds for the poor and needy for which they do not get paid. This enables leaders to use their holiday and sabbath times to reconnect with their own humanity and to realize how blessed they are. By doing this, they put their leadership problems and position of authority in proper perspective so they don't get overly impressed with who they are!

LEADERSHIP STEP: What are you doing that can be called good deeds for which you do not get recognition or reward? Your Step today is to assess your work among the poor - no, giving money does not count - and consider how you can be personally involved with relieving the suffering and meeting the needs of the oppressed, just like Jesus did. This may involve a short-term missions trip or volunteering at a food bank, hospital or home for the elderly.


W21D6 - Team Building

"Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters" - Hebrews 13:1.

There is no way to build effective teams without involving some measure of love and compassion. Today's verse indicates that there is a challenge to this, for the closer and longer team members work with one another, the more wrinkles and flaws they will see in one another. That will require that they have some bond beyond the mission of the organization that will keep them together and the grease that lubricates the machinery of teamwork is in part made up of love.

LEADERSHIP STEP: How is he love quotient on your work team? Do people care for one another beyond the work of the group? Perhaps it is time to plan an offsite meeting, which can take place for part or all of a day, or for more than one day. During this offsite, plan some fun things with your team like a movie, a play, shopping, team-building exercises or simply spending time talking about things other than work. Your goal is to build memories together as people, not workers.


W21D5 - Personal Development

"Moses was educated in all the wisdom
of the Egyptians and was powerful in
speech and action" - Acts 7:22.

Moses' foundation for leadership was his education; later on in life, God worked on his character. Yet without doubt he went to the finest schools and had the best teachers in preparation for what his foster mother assumed was a bright future in Egypt. Leaders cannot ignore their need for training and education, for leadership requires specific knowledge of the sphere in which they lead as well as a self-awareness that enables leaders to know their strengths and in what scenario they function best.

LEADERSHIP STEP: You cannot ignore your need for further education any longer. Today conduct a search of available anyplace in or out of your country or online, without judging whether or not you can afford the time or money. Just do the research. Perhaps a summer program or an intensive seminar would be possible. You need to make a significant investment in yourself, which will pay dividends to your leadership effectiveness for years to come. The time is now.

**********

Don't forget about the matching challenge grant that expires this Sunday at midnight. Every gift you give toward the work in Kenya before then is actually doubled! You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.


W21D4 - Spiritual Growth

"When Jonah’s warning reached the king
of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took
off his royal robes, covered himself with
sackcloth and sat down in the dust" - Jonah 3:6.

The king of Nineveh was not part of the Jewish community but a worshiper of idols. Yet when the warning came from Jonah, he humbled himself, fasted and prayed, and ordered his subjects to do the same. Leaders cannot ignore their own spiritual side, or look past the spiritual life of those who follow. Leaders should consider the ethical implications of what they do and the decisions they make, and that they will answer to the Lord not only for what they do in their personal lives, but also what they do in their business lives. In other words, leaders need to keep in mind that God is watching them - all the time.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Are you paying attention to your spiritual side as you express your business side? Do you give people leeway to do the same? Today's Step is to find one thing you can do to raise the spiritual awareness of your team or company. That may be a seminar on values, a book on ethics, or a speaker for a staff meeting who will talk about creativity and the spiritual parts of people that are just as important as business knowledge and strategy.


W21D3 - Communications

"So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible
words with your tongue, how will anyone know
what you are saying? You will just be speaking
into the air" - 1 Corinthians 14:9.

It is important that leaders are clear in their communications with others, and that includes their followers, peers, customers, clients, suppliers and the public at large. This requires that not only the proper words be used, but also that the message leaders communicate is clear - and that they use the appropriate media to relay the message. What's more, leaders must have the credibility that comes with being a role model and having integrity for the message to be believed and received by others.

LEADERSHIP STEP: The only way you can know if you are communicating effectively is to seek feedback from your audience and listeners. One practice you can use is to institute a five-minute wrap up at the end of every meeting you have when everyone gives you feedback on what the group had just decided and who is going to do what by when. Another method is to ask people after a speech or memo to tell you what you just said and the impact on their work or lives.

**********

Don't forget about the matching challenge grant that expires this Sunday at midnight. Every gift you give toward the work in Kenya before then is actually doubled! You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.


W21D2 - Decision Making

"With this in mind, since I myself have carefully
investigated everything from the beginning, I
too decided to write an orderly account for you,
most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know
the certainty of the things you have been taught" - Luke 1:3-4.

These two verses give insight into how Luke decided to write his gospel. Obviously, the Holy Spirit inspired him, but notice how naturally Luke described the decision-making process. He was a scientist so Luke conducted research and determined to do an orderly account of Jesus' ministry. Theophilus had commissioned this work, and Luke set as his objective the confirmation of what Theophilus had been taught. All the while, God was directing Luke's path in a most natural way, using Luke's skill, past history, gifts and professional training to accomplish God's will. Leaders should expect God to use and move on them in the same way.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Are you facing a decision of any magnitude as a leader? Then follow the same process today that Luke did 2,000 years ago. Start out by understanding who you are and what you do best. Consider from where or whom the opportunity is originating. Do some research. Get clear about the objective you have in mind as you make the decision and then trust that the Lord has been guiding you through your thoughts and the circumstances at hand.


The 'Littles' Have Been Moved!

Those of us who have been to Kenya have visited the Kawaida Nursery School, which met in deplorable Kawaida Nurseryconditions in an old livestock barn (pictured here). This week, Pastor Peter wrote to give us an update on the library and also included this great news that the Nursery School has been moved to a better location (some of the schools call their presechool children 'littles'' and the children younger than preschool 'little littles'):

Dear Dr. John.

First, I wish you and all our partners a good [Memorial Day] holiday. Here at WAPIS we thank God for His favor and protection. The two positive things we have is that the Nursery school from Kawaida cattle barn has been moved to the new Kawaida Primary Complex due to much lobbying. With this we know our kids will have a better environment to study from and the books we shall provide will be better stored. The teachers are happy for all the support we have accorded them and we have promised to continue.

Secondly, Michael, our main man in the WAPIS office, has been accorded a full scholarship to study computers! This will go along well in taking care of our library computers and to instruct students. Thanks for trusting us with this responsibilities and we know that God will truly give us success.

May God bless you all our partners and may this holiday bring you joy, refreshment and more commitment so as not to get tired in doing good.

He is the reason for our living.

Pastor Peter

The container with our goods is due to arrive in Kenya this week, and it will take another two weeks to clear and get the things to Nairobi. That is good news because we were led to believe it would cost about $2,000, but we are now told it may cost upwards of $4,000 or more! We are not anxious and know that it's God's work and God's money, so we are trusting Him. My friend John in Dallas has issued another $500 challenge grant that will expire on Sunday, June 1 at midnight, so every gift you give now will actually be doubled! You can give this week through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.

I am confident in God's provision and your obedience, so I am thanking God already for the money that we need for the challenge grant and for the container release. I will keep you posted, but in the meantime we also thank God for taking care of our 'littles' at Kawaida by moving them to a better venue. God is good - all the time!


Week 21 Day 1 - Humility

Today we begin the fifth round of the 26 topics covered in this daily devotional. To access any of the previous entries on this or any topic, simply go to my site where you will find the categories on the right side.

***************

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty
hand, that he may lift you up in due time" - 1 Peter 5:6.

Being a humble leader is always a notable thing because there can be so few in the marketplace. Leaders and emerging leaders can become competitive and aggressive, seeking more notoriety and power as they move up the organizational ladder. Today's verse urges everyone, even leaders, to put their promotions and honors in God's hands while they humble themselves. When they do, God will promote them according to His will and timetable and not theirs. This frees leaders to serve others and not use them as steppingstones for leadership careers.

LEADERSHIP STEP: How do you feel when someone else with whom you work closely is promoted or honored? If you can rejoice with them and celebrate, you have truly put your own career in God's hands. If you are envious or depressed, you are not humbling yourself. The best way to avoid this is to initiate the process of recognizing others for their work and contributions. Find someone this week to honor for his or her work in a way that is meaningful for that person.


Rest Stop 20

“These are the Lord’s appointed festivals,
the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim
at their appointed times" - Leviticus 23:4.

Israel not only had Sabbaths to observe, they also had many high holy days on which they had to assemble 'before the Lord.' Sometimes they had to travel short or long distances to Jerusalem to participate. The Lord did not apologize for requiring the people to exert some money and effort to take a break from their workaday world to go spend time with him through those annual traditions. Leaders must also find ways to incorporate regular refreshment trips to conferences, seminars, and educational experiences of both a spiritual and secular nature that help them gain perspective on their world back home.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Is there some place, speaker or travel or conference experience that you have found to energize you in the work you do? Your Step today is to make plans to attend whatever that may be as soon as possible. If you don't have that in your life, then your Step is to search and find something that can become a tradition in your annual calendar. It can be across town or across the country; your job is to find a way to get there as often as possible.


W20D6 - Time Management

"Now that you know these things,
you will be blessed if you do them" - John 13:17.

Jesus was clear that knowing something that you don't do is worthless and useless. It is action that counts most and not good intentions or talking about what needs to be or could be done. Leaders understand this and have a bias for action whenever and wherever possible. This means they know how to manage and direct the most limited resource of all, and that is time - both for individuals and the teams of which they are a part. To do this, leaders must help the organization prioritize their time so that they are putting first things first and avoiding the urgent in order to perform the truly important things.

LEADERSHIP STEP: It's time to examine your team's time management practices, and first you will look at the time wasters that are inherent in your organization's operations. Are the offices or plant laid out in a way that saves time? Do policies and procedures facilitate decisions or cause them to be delayed? How is the computer system? Filing system? Then go to the tougher evaluation: are you pursuing the highest priorities for the organization that will render the greatest returns?