Who Are You Serving?

Who are you really serving? Are you serving God or are you serving yourself? It’s important to check who you are really serving because as Christians, our lives should always be about serving Christ. This short clip will give a couple tips on how to figure out who you are really serving.

Integrity: A Leader’s Most Important Quality

Honesty and Integrity really are the best policies

Honesty and Integrity really are the best policies

Photo by tricky ™

In a recent survey I read, businessmen were asked what they thought was the most important quality of a leader. The overwhelming response was integrity and honesty. We hear about so many business leaders and even Christian leaders who have shown by their poor choices that they have lost their integrity. It would seem that the idea of integrity and honesty had been lost, but as it turns out, it is extremely valued maybe even more so as it seems to be more rare these days.

When a leader has integrity, it means that they set a good example in all aspects of their life. Whether they are at work, home, on vacation, or even alone, they live and act honestly and responsibly. They set an example for others to follow without even trying to, and people will follow.

The good news about integrity, or maybe the bad news for some, is that it is something you can work at and become better at exemplifying and thus, also lose if you stop trying.  It has been said that it is something that takes a life time to build and can be lost in an instant.

You gain integrity through a lifelong process of being honest in every aspect of your life. Yet to do this on our own would be impossible, it takes God’s transforming power to help mold you into a more Christ-like person.

God wants you to have integrity and to live an honest life in everything you do.

This reminds me of a story my dad told me about a coworker of his who was extremely honest. This coworker worked for the US Government and had a desk and office with office supplies like pens and paper available for his use. This man was so honest that he actually had a separate pen for taking personal, non-government notes. So whenever he wanted to write something down that was not related to his work, he would use his own pen.

Now this might be a little extreme, but this does show this man’s passion and integrity. He wanted to make sure that he did nothing even remotely questionable, such as using government ink for personal purposes.

So are you honest in every aspect of your life? Are you willing to let God help you become a man or woman of integrity and honesty? Are there areas in your life right now where you have been lacking integrity.  If there is something nagging against your conscience, do not sweep the thought away but take some time to think about it, talk to a friend who will be upfront with you or bring the issue to God.

Right Priorities, Make Sure Yours are Aligned with God’s

A Change in your Leadership Priorities is sometimes needed

A Change in your Leadership Priorities is sometimes needed

Photo by hockadilly

Priorities are essential for a leader because he or she must be able to focus on a few key areas that are most important to accomplishing the vision or goal of the organization. When a leader has priorities, they are able to determine what tasks they should be doing, and what tasks they should pass on to others. Priorities also help those serving under the leader to see what the goals for the organization are and how they are getting accomplished.

If you have not set any priorities, you may become distracted and lose focus on your vision. Organizations that lose track of their vision become misguided and unproductive. To avoid this, take the time to set a few priorities.  Priorities will help guide you and help to ensure you are working on the things that important and not just the things that are urgent or bouncing from one idea to the next without ever really accomplishing anything of last value.

When you have your God given vision you can set a few priorities that will help you reach that vision.  Your vision will help guide the decision that you make.  Take your priorities and just focus on two or at the most three.  If you have more than three priorities you do not have priorities because everything will start to compete for focus.  For each of your top priorities list out the tasks that you can do that will help those priorities come to life.

Now that you have a few priorities in your life, it is time to see if they match up with God’s priorities. Yes, God wants your priorities to be aligned with His. If they are not, you will probably struggle and have a tough time succeeding because your desires will be tugging against your conscience and the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life.  .

The good news is that God wants your priorities to be the same as His. And he has outlined His priorities in the Bible. Now that you have your priorities, pray about them and see what God has to say about them. It might be that they are what he wants you to do, or it might be that they are not. Or possible, he might want you to wait for a little while.

If you feel like you are having a difficult time discerning what priorities God wants you to focus on, do not hesitate to seek the council of a pastor, friend, or mentor. Ask their advice, and ask them to pray with you.

Your priorities have a large impact on the direction of your life, so if they are not aligned with God, then you will not be aligned with God either.

So when you are making priorities in your life, remember this important key: make God’s priorities, a priority in your life.

Effective Leaders Remain Accountable

A leader must remain accountable in order to stay on top of being a leader, and follower of Christ.

A leader must remain accountable in order to stay on top of being a leader, and follower of Christ.

Photo by alles-schlumpf

When you think of accountability, you often think of a leader keeping others accountable. That’s one of their roles as a leader right? Well this is true, but a leader also has the responsibility to keep him or herself accountable.

There are two areas a leader needs to remain accountable in: first, they should hold themselves to the same standards as everyone under them: and second, they should recognize their own need to have someone who keeps them on track and accountable for their actions.

As a leader, whenever you set rules or regulations, you must be the first to follow them. It both sets an example for others to follow, and shows that you are really serious about the guidelines that you have set.

I can think of one situation I was in where a leader said one thing, but did another.  I was volunteering for a camp and one of the leaders for the camp told me, and a group of other guys, that we could only have one snack per day. Now, there was an entire room that had tables covered with snacks that had been donated for volunteers, yet for whatever reason, we were not supposed to have more than one a day. This would have been annoying, but OK. However, that leader proceeded to ignore her own rule, and have more than a few snacks per day. That aggravated me and many other volunteers and certainly did a lot to undermine that leader’s character and authority. I am sure you have encountered a similar situation where a leader set standards that they themselves could not or would not follow. So when you are leading, and setting rules, be the first to follow them. And if you cannot, then you think twice about whether they are good guidelines or rules for your group.

Secondly, a leader must remain accountable for their actions. One of the best ways to do this is to have an accountability partner, coach or mentor who is involved in your life and can recognize areas you are slacking especially if they are character areas.  Buddy is on the board of an organization that does not even spend $500 without the approval of the board.  This creates great accountability for leader and engenders confidence in the rest of the people involved in the organization.

Finally make sure that you are really being honest with others in these situations.  Some parents discipline lying that most because if you are OK with lying all other sins become possible.  If you are not honest with the people in your life accountability becomes a game just like everything else.  If you haven’t been honest with someone in your life, go back and apologize and start over and work at being honest with everyone important in your world.

If you do not have someone who keeps you accountable, consider talking with someone who has a similar leadership position or a friend who is not directly involved in your organization. It can be a mutual accountability, or one way, but the key is to make sure you have someone who will keep you on track, both with your organization and with God.

Get off the Bench and Play

Do not stay on the bench, get up, and enjoy the life God has made you for.

Do not stay on the bench, get up, and enjoy the life God has made you for.

Photo by Chris Gin

When you think about church you usually also think about the pastor who is in charge of that church. Most people would assume that a pastor is, or should be, responsible for everything that occurs at their church. I mean, how hard is it to be a pastor right? All you’ve got to do is give a little sermon on Sundays and be a good person right? Well, pastors actually have a rather difficult job.

Think about this: a pastor’s busiest work day is Sunday; everyone else has this day off. Pastors usually have to work on every major holiday, such as Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Pastors are often expected, or assumed, to be good with children and organize activities for them. Pastors are expected to be available whenever someone has problem to discuss. A pastor is often paid very little, and expected to make do with a small or insufficient house.  How many other people have hundreds of others that they are to serve who often critique how they are doing.  There are a number of other things that could also be said, but I think you’ve got the idea.

Pastors have a difficult job, which brings me to my point. Every church needs to have a group of leaders to run the church. One of them of course, is the pastor, but also in that key leadership group are people who take on the extra tasks that the pastor can not or should not be doing. In the best possible situation, a pastor should only be doing the things that he is gifted of the Lord to do and the rest of the church should be doing the things that God has gifted them to do.  One of my gifts is being able to do things at the last minute.  I told one of my pastors this and I said if you find out Sunday morning that the children’s church teacher is sick or your voice does not work or somewhere there is a whole that needs to be filled let me know and I’ll take care of it for you.  He took me up on it a couple of times.  Never to preach but he did ask me to fill a whole at the last minute on a number of occaisions.

When a pastor is left to lead by themselves, they will soon fail. So if you are attending a church but are not involved, you should strongly consider taking on a few tasks.  Think about areas where you are gifted and would enjoy pouring into.  If you are not sure ask if you can try out a ministry for a season and see if it is something that God blesses.  The better you know your own strengths and spiritual gifts the more accurately you can offer them to the body.

Don’t delay, begin serving today.

Effective Leaders Must First Learn to Follow Well

There are times to lead, but there are also times to Follow. Know when you need to follow someone else.

There are times to lead, but there are also times to Follow. Know when you need to follow someone else.

photo by mctheriot

To become a great leader you must first learn to follow well.  Even if the person that God has placed in leadership above you is a poor leader, you must honor them.  In every situation you go through it can be used to soften your heart and draw you closer to God or it can be used to harden your heart.  Each situation is a new test and many times it’s harder than the one before.

When you are led by someone else, and take the time to learn from them, you become a much wiser person and leader. All too many leaders today think that they have arrived and do not need to continue learning, but as I talked about in my video series in January, one of the greatest leadership assassins is plateauing.  (You can check out that series here:

http://leadernexus.com/2009/01/


To avoid this, make it a point to always learn, to always take advice, and to always be open to suggestions. As you grow in your leadership people are less likely to offer negative feedback to your unsolicated.  You need to be asking for it if you want to grow.  one of the things that set Ganges Khan apart as a leader was that he was one of the first to demand positive and negative updates from those under his command.  Though it seems to go without question that you can be a better leader with honest feedback in a field of battle we often do not ask for it in our organizations.

Also be sure to make observations of others as they lead.  What works well?  What encourages people to do their best?  What causes people to see the image of God within them?

We have all been in situations where we have had to serve under bad leaders.  While those times are difficult to be sure, God often uses those times to strengthen our character.  Think of David with Saul.  Hopefully your boss or leader that you have to follow hasn’t tried to murder you or sent an army after you to take your life.  Through that situation David grew in character as he learned more deeply to trust the Lord with his life.


David wasn’t a perfect leader to be sure.  In fact, he did not even finish strong.  Most leaders do not.  How can you follow today to help you lead well and finish strong tomorrow.

Seven Benefits of Life Coaching

Life is full of twists and turns but a life coach can help you stay on track

Life is full of twists and turns but a life coach can help you stay on track

Photo by MASON(alex555)

In a sports game, where there is a specific amount of time and a clear winner, the coach’s influence is pretty easy to see.  A great coach can take a good team and mold them into champions.  Like wise sometimes you have a team filled with champions that are unable to even make it to the playoffs because they don’t work well as a team.

Benefits from life coaching can be immediate and often last a life time.  Often a coach will offer a valuable suggestion or ask a question in a way that changes your thinking immediately.  A few years ago I was talking to my life coach about my struggle with desiring to work on business and ministry at the same time and how I felt guilty when I would work on business dreams.  He asked me a question that immediately changed my outlook.  “Buddy, who do you think put the desires in you?”  Obviously it was God but immediately it made it alright to have those dreams and desires instead of something that I always had to be fighting.  That has been a lasting change.

Just a few weeks ago I was talking with a life and leadership coach about the possibility of coaching for our entire organization.  I thought it was going to be strictly business but he opened it up as if it was a coaching call so before we got off I asked him, “Do you mind if I ask you a coaching question to help with my leadership.”  He said to go ahead and with a few quick questions I had a game plan to proceed with a meeting that I had schedule that day.

Here are Seven general benefits that you will probably see if you invest in a life coach.

Seven benefits from life coaching:

1. Life Coaching helps you to figure out your real priorities in your life.

2. Life Coaching helps to shorten the time frame to achieving your goals.

3.     Life Coaching helps to give you an outside viewpoint to allow you to see how God has worked in your life and some of the possibilities for the future.

4. Life Coaching facilitates organization and structure in your life, and encourages you to do above and beyond what you would normally do by yourself.

6. Life Coaching provides you with self-assurance, support, certainty, confidence, encouragement, motivation and inspiration depending on your needs and the situation.

7. Life Coaching helps you to walk in the good works that God has prepared in advance for you so that you don’t go through life aimlessly.

Life Coaching is an investment in yourself that will benefit you for the rest of your life. It can have such positive lasting effects that many see it as a necessary activity for any individual who desires to make their life count.

The key difference that a good life coach should make in your life is to help you reach your goals faster and easier than you can on your own.  A good coach will help you with questions, encouragement and short cuts that you might not have known on your own.  A good life coach can be the difference between living an OK life and living the life of a champion.