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Personal Character

Rick Warren: Character Is the Foundation of Leadership

Rick-Warren-Book-smallPlenty of highly charismatic leaders have bombed out and failed because they lacked character, which trumps charisma every time. You don’t have to have charisma to be a leader. You do have to have character—credibility—because leadership is influence, and if you don’t have credibility nobody is going to follow you.

While your reputation is about what people say you are, character is who you really are. D.L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark when nobody is looking.” In 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Paul lays out the necessary characteristics for church leadership. He never addresses having a robust résumé, having gone to the right seminary or having a magnetic public persona. He talks about character traits.

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What Does Restoration Look Like?

Elated-pastorFor some time now, the ministry of Heal Your Servant has worked with ministers, their wives, elders, congregants and participants in a myriad of infidelity situations.

We have seen and heard multiple stories. Finding your way through spiritual landmines is seldom easy. We all desire to see God glorified in the midst of life’s most challenging situations.

I am continually asked, “What is the ideal way to navigate these situations in order to minimize casualties and bring about true healing and restoration?"

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Taking the Road of Servanthood

George-O-Wood-AGSelf-conscious about a chipped front tooth, my unruly red hair and the spray of freckles across my nose and cheeks, I was shy and withdrawn throughout high school. But by the time I had been in college for a semester, I’d developed, of all things, a desire to be a leader.

How do you admit you want to be a leader without being egotistical? Scripture says those who desire the office of overseer want a good thing (1 Tim. 3:1).

To fulfill my inclinations to lead, I ran for college class president and served three years in a row. Then I attempted a step up by running for vice president of the whole student body but had my ego trimmed by failing to get elected. The next year I failed to get elected as student body president. But the desire for leadership opportunities remained with me.

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Navigating the Challenges of Bi-Vocational Ministry

Construction-workerPastor John puts away his tools for the day. His shift at the construction site ends in 10 minutes. Already, he has begun switching gears and thinking through the evening ahead. Tonight is the board meeting, but first he has to get home, shower and check in with his wife and kids.

Like many pastors, John has to divide his time and attention between a “day job” and his calling—to pastor a church.

Bi-vocational ministry has a unique set of challenges. If you asked John what his No. 1 problem is, he would say time—time to give every activity the attention it needs. Like many startups, his church is full of young Christians who need to be discipled.

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How to Develop a Thriving Intimacy With God

PrayFaithfully-Istockphoto-kryczka-smallYou can have a thriving ministry without a thriving relationship with God, but only temporarily. Anyone can fake it in the short run, but to go the distance, you need a passionate devotional life and continual closeness to Jesus. Often pastors tend to allow the busyness of ministry and the necessity of studying for sermon preparation to replace a real, personal walk with Jesus. But God wants better for you.

Three T’s for a thriving walk with Jesus are as follows:

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How to Stir Up Creativity in Ministry

dr-joe-mckeeverTime magazine for May 20, 2013, devotes an entire page to “assessing the creative spark,” a rarity in newsmagazines.

Now, I’m no authority on creativity or anything else, but I have long been fascinated by the subject and attuned to writings dealing with it.

“Creativity is that ineffable match-strike, that flash in the dark that comes to you from, well, it’s hard to say where. You can’t summon it on demand, though inclining your mind to a task does help.” —Time (Jeffrey Kluger, writer)

I know a little about this right-brain activity, being a preacher, a writer, a cartoonist and a storyteller.

Here’s something of what I have learned about creativity:

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