Education

What the Church Can Learn From Encountering Osama bin Laden

Osama-bin-ladenI was recently watching a History Channel special on the days of 9/11. They highlighted many of the issues and misconceptions they feel contributed to the disaster.

I think the church could learn some valuable lessons from those.

1. It can happen to us. The U.S. had gotten to the point where it felt it were protected “by the great bodies of water” that bordered its country. So it never seriously considered a group could infiltrate to that level.

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How to Become an Expert Builder

Construction-buildMy alarm rang at 3:30 a.m. I’m not a morning person. My wife, Deborah, is.

Most mornings I stagger around like a cranky zombie. She bounces out of bed ready to attack a new day. Opposites attract.

We are on the 6:25 a.m. Manila to Tokyo to Detroit to Nashville. I’m thinking about starting a global campaign to ban all pre-noon international flights. Believe it or not, we encountered bumper-to-bumper traffic at 4:30 a.m. on the way to the airport—only in Manila. I am also campaigning for an early morning traffic ban.

Since I can’t sleep on planes, no matter how sleep deprived I may be, I turned on my iPad Bible and started reading 1 Corinthians 3:10-12:

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7 Ways to Remain an Authentic Leader

confident-young-man-smallIt has been well documented that today’s culture craves authenticity in leadership. It shouldn’t be, but many times it is hard to find in leadership, even in the church. One of the fastest ways for a leader to lose loyal followers is to fall short in the area of authenticity.

I was talking with a young staff member of another church recently. She said the reason she struggles to follow her pastor is the pastor isn’t off stage who he claims to be on stage. I get that. I think all of us struggle with that one … both in living authentic lives and in following an inauthentic leader.

How do we remain authentic as leaders? Here are 7 thoughts on remaining an authentic leader:

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How Building Trust Makes Better Leaders

Pastor-Jonathan-CliffI’ve worked for bullies that demanded trust. I’ve worked for weaklings that demanded trust. I’ve worked for very few that legitimately worked to build my trust in them.

Trust, like loyalty, is a two-way street that instead often looks like people driving three cars down the wrong lane, headed in the entirely wrong direction. As a leader, one has to think of trust as something built, not won in the lottery. It’s done in so many different ways.

1. Show people that you care about them. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Is that saying cliche? Yes. Is that saying correct? Yes.

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7 Things I Have Learned or Am Learning About God

Woman-thinkingJust because I’m a pastor, that doesn’t mean I don’t continually learn things about God. It’s a daily process for everyone. Here are some things that I have learned or am learning about our Heavenly Father:

Sometimes God opens doors simply to show me that He can. I’ve seen it many times. God seemed to provide an opportunity, only to later make it clear that’s not the right one for this time. It’s always though an encouragement than when He is ready He can and will make a way.

God’s plan for my life is always bigger than mine. Every. Single. Time. I have underestimated Him all my life. You’d think I’d learn.

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Eschew Comfort to Remain True to Your Calling

Tony-MorganI’ve been working for churches for 15 years, but, as many of you know, I’m only 12 months into this journey to focus full-time on church consulting and leadership coaching.

I’m helping churches (and businesses now) get unstuck. It’s been an amazing journey.

Though I’m engaging leadership and strategic planning solutions that I’ve used for years, I’m also very much in the middle of launching a startup business.

Because I’m wired up to be entrepreneurial, I absolutely love it! But, at the same time, I’m also very aware of my responsibility to be the provider for my family. There is definitely risk involved. I’m reminded of it every time my family sits down at the dining room table to eat.

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