Leadership Lesson…Take 2!


I have never been one for taking initiative. I have never been one for taking risks and chances on things. So, I have never been one for remotely considering myself as a leader. And that’s ok…right?

I have been blessed to be part of an organization that has bombarded this extremely Type-B personality with biblical lessons in leadership. I have learned that ultimately anyone can be a leader…because leadership is influence.

Leadership = Influence

Here’s where my habit of over thinking things comes into full force. For me, a definition like that gives me the idea that I, as a leader, should for the most part have the answer. If I am going to influence people, they are going to look to me. Here’s my problem…I don’t have all the answers. But that’s ok because its not about having answers to give others to then influence them.
I think its about seeing something and not just showing others where to go, but taking them by the hand and involving them. I still have a long way to go with this and I’m ok with that too. God sent Jesus as the ultimate example of what it means to lead others and I pray I can learn through His word what it means to be a leader for His glory.

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Am I going crazy?


Ok, this guy is crazy.
Why is he playing clarinet? I would’ve liked to seem him play a Sousaphone.

Anyway, I have figured out that leadership is hard. Balancing getting work done and leading a team can be frustrating at times. I think it’s easy for potential leaders (like me) to feel like a total failure or even burn out. I know I have felt this way and are still having moments of feeling this way too. Here’s where I think my problem is…and it may be the same for you. I thrive on doing my job alone. A better way would be I thrive on individual accomplishment. But I don’t like being alone in my accomplishments. I love working with teams and impacting others.
Am I going crazy? Is this normal? By working on what I am doing individually, am I focusing too much on being a “me” player instead of a team player? Am I owning all the pieces or just mine? This is frustrating.
I have 3 things working alongside me that is making this more difficult:

#1. Perfection = ?

I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. I’m not on medication for OCD or anything like that, but I do struggle with letting go. I find I often say to myself “Geez, it’s so much faster if I just do it myself!” Please tell me I’m not the only one out there that says things like this. ☺ Ultimately, I know replacing myself is necessary if I am going to be effective to my organization.

#2. Rut Row. (Scooby Doo)

I have tasks, deadlines, goals, etc. and I plan to finish them. So, I begin my race and go, go, go until it is finished. Once I cross the finish line, I start immediately on another race. No time for anything else because I am constantly at a starting or finishing point. More of a never-ending cycle.
The problem is if I’m here to long…I feel jammed. Stuck. Rut Row!

#3. Good Stress. Bad Stress.

If one of our senses is damaged or lost, the others are heightened. If we have a whacked out muscle or group the others jump in and help the rest of the body. Something sacrifices attention from its job to serve and help the others. This is both good and bad stress in my opinion. It’s great because it is demonstrating the example of teamwork. That’s the good stress. Overtime though, it can pull the life out of the team. That’s the bad stress.

So am I alone in this? I pray that I am not. I have a feeling I’m not. But in the meantime, I will be looking to what God’s word has to say and will be sharing that with you all soon. Don’t be discouraged. Learn to understand that these issues are normal and work through them. We will all end up better people and better leaders not just for others, but more importantly ourselves.

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Rethinking My Purpose.

I’m one of those people who thinks a lot. Sometimes…well most of the time, about some really random things.
My recent thinking has brought to surface some things that I am dealing with when it comes to what my purpose is as a young, single, Christian woman. One word comes to mind…waiting.

Now, this word waiting is not a new thing in my life. I’m a 24 year old graduate student who has never been in a serious relationship. I’m at the point in my life where all my friends are getting engaged and married within the same calendar year…and let me tell you, it’s not easy.

Please don’t feel sorry me, just hear me out. Our Christian culture, I believe, places a great deal of emphasis on relationships. I have prayed for God to write my love story and have cried many nights over my lack of even experiencing a love story.

But even in knowing and having to be reminded daily that God is faithful and loves me more than anyone in the universe ever could…I still have faced, seen, heard, and felt an incredible amount of pressure from the Christian community towards relationships and ultimately marriage. Girls seem to always be praised when they have found their dream guy. But when they still have yet to find ‘’Mr. Right’’ or ‘’Prince Charming,’’ they are told that God’s going to bring a man into their lives —as if the sole purpose of their lives is to get married.

So, here’s the question I have been rethinking in my head…how do I respond to this? I know people ‘mean well’ and they ask because they love me (especially mothers, grandmothers and aunts) but how do I respond without sounding or feeling jealous or bitter?

I mentioned earlier that girls always seemed to be praised when they have found their dream guy and those of us who haven’t…well, we just haven’t.

I feel that Christian communities tend to be sometimes unsupportive of single women. It seems like the very people who should be inspiring us to live a life completely devoted to Christ are the ones who severely lower our self-esteem, which in turn leads us to believe that we need to be married to be complete.

I found a book on Amazon listed under ‘Christian and Religious Books’, entitled, Getting Serious About Getting Married. I was shocked to read,

The belief that remaining single is legitimate and godly is a work of the devil. Read that again: Satan dishonors marriage by fooling us into believing that singleness is okay (page 43).

…men and women who are not connected in marriage are like the mutilated members of a mangled body (page 28).

Wait?! What?! Did that just say what I think it said? This book is saying that there is no way for a woman to glorify God other than getting married.

Are you kidding? Messages like this can lead many Christian women to settle for men who are mediocre and self-centered, just so they can supposedly fulfill God’s will.

Single women should not let their lives be consumed by their apparent “need” to find a guy. We should be concerned with devoting our lives to Jesus and serving Him faithfully. There is a song by John Waller called ‘While I’m Waiting’. Let these lyrics be an encouragement for you:

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait.

My purpose is not to fall into a slump of misery if I haven’t found my dream guy yet. My heart should be enlivened and grow deeper in my relationship with God. If I happen to fall in love with a great man, oh how blessed that man will be! Haha! But he will find me as someone who is devoted to her Lord first and foremost. If I don’t, that’s fine too, because my relationship with God is enough and provides me with the everlasting fulfillment that no human relationship can. My singleness is a journey, not a trapped prison. It’s growing in my trust of the Lord and believing and knowing He has a plan for me. Rather single or married, it won’t matter.

Is singleness a blessing in your life? Is it a burden? How will you be rethinking your purpose?

Check out more from an awesome blog called Our Single Purpose

Culture, Carpenters, and Jesus.

I’ve been recently thinking about how we define our church culture. Only recently has this even been something of importance to me. I have always just been taught that the words “church” and “culture” don’t ever go together. Because we are to be “in” the world, not “of” the world. But lately, I can’t seem to get those two words separated. And I understand about that whole “in” and “of” the world thing. This is totally a different, deeper thing though. Here’s a quote I read sometime ago that has recapitulated itself in my head.

(Yes. I just used a musical term for repeating a phrase in a Sonata-form piece):

Culture is: “…the sum total of the ways we express ourselves and relate to each other in the institutions we build to express ourselves and relate to each other”. -Ron Martoia

The church is supposed to be salt and light in the community, right? We shouldn’t band ourselves in our buildings. Packing ourselves in our huge and mighty fortresses and castles, warding off “evil” is not our purpose. Shouldn’t we instead use our minds to embrace the grace and truth that is the Gospel message and have dialogue and build intentional relationships with those searching for it?

I believe we must engage the battle as soldiers, not willing to retreat, with the full armor of God.
The bible says this in Eph. 6:10-13:

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

It clearly says “…for we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…” I think many times the church misunderstands that to be that we are fighting against “flesh and blood”. Against each other. Against those who aren’t Christ followers. The church cannot impact culture by condemning it…we must show love and compassion, as Jesus did, only then will they see God’s grace and mercy.

(But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy,
not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” -Matt. 9:11-12)

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Do you ever wonder the reason Joseph was a carpenter? I mean why was Jesus’ earthly father a carpenter? Why not a fisherman? or a herdsman? a merchant? or even a doctor? Is there something there for us to see?

I thought about this and came to this (sort of) conclusion….

My grandfather is a carpenter. He makes tables, chairs, desks, boats, and even birdhouses. He can make what other specify they want, and also takes those chairs and tables and molds the idea into something original. But he also creates beautiful original things. He is extremely talented and has always enjoyed what he does. He’s a craftsman. An artisan.

Maybe God wanted us to look at our lives through the eyes of an carpenter…an artisan for a reason. Maybe with our lives we are artisans, but instead of showing off what ‘we’ create….we are displaying the creativity of God. Each of us are different and unique and through those differences in each of us God is glorified! I think the point is for us not to retreat or withdraw from culture…but to shape it through the story of Jesus.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely thinking too much or is this something you all have ever thought about as well?

Clear the Stage.


Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze,
if that’s the measure that it takes to crush the idols.
Chuck the pews and all the decorations too, until the congregations few then have revival. Tell your friends that this is where the party ends, until you’re broken for your sins you can’t be social. Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store and know that great is your reward and just be hopeful.
-Ross King

I was talking with a friend, in our schools coffee shop, about what I had been learning and contemplating lately and how I blogged about entertainment in church. Well we got into great discussion about it and he mentioned this song by Ross King called Clear the Stage. I had never heard it before and so I went and listened to it. Wow.
I encourage all of you who have never heard this song to stop right now and listen to it.

Well recently, we had a See You At The Pole rally for local youth groups to join together in a time of worship and fellowship. When I got there, I noticed that all the lights were off in the auditorium (we were able to have it at our local high school) The band that would be leading us in worship was doing a sound check but I couldn’t see them. So I went backstage and saw that they were behind the stage curtain. I know these guys because we all go to school together. Anyways, I asked them, ”Do you guys need the lights on? And the curtain up so the kids can see you? I’ll go up and take care of it if you need me to.”

To my awesome surprise they said, ”No. We all felt led to have everything silent tonight. Our focus is going to be on prayer and true worship. We don’t want backgrounds behind the text or lights on or to be seen. We want to worship back here as well and lead the kids to worship God for who He is and what He has done.”

It was so great to here that! 🙂 These guys get it. (I go to a school where there are many aspiring Christian artists/bands. They are all very talented, but none of them have I ever seen or heard mention anything like this. These guys just want to worship and lead others in worship and I’m blessed to call them friends.)

They wanted to have true worship as a band, as well as give the kids an understanding of what worship is and isn’t. We all prayed together backstage for the worship gathering to glorify God and for the kids to truly know that worship isn’t about the stage or singing, but living a life of worship.

So the rally went on with about 5 different prayer topics and songs that went along with them. We had a speaker (or rather facilitator) that was to lead in scripture and prayer. (he was the one who made it flow.) With each prayer topic the kids where given different instructions, the first was to be in alone time prayer, the second topic with 2 or 3 people, third topic with 2 or 3 different people, and to finally end with your youth group to pray for unity and commitment.
The youth were to pray about:

1. Repentance
2. Government
3. Schools
4. Friends who know and don’t know Jesus
5. Unity and Commitment

It was amazing! God worked in the hearts of all the youth groups there. I prayed with and saw kids praying together with such a fervent heart for God. They didn’t need fancy lights, loud music, cool/fast worship backgrounds, or even to see the band who was leading. They truly praised God for who He is and what He’s done for them. And I hope and pray they truly learned something.

I pray they learned that they needed to have a repentant heart.
I pray they learned that anything they put before God is an idol.
I pray they saw that they needed to pray on their knees until they blistered.
I pray they learned that worship is more than a song.

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols.

Stephen Proctor tweeted this earlier this week that was right on with what I felt at that rally, (I asked to turn on the lights and I wanted to get the perfect background for the gathering and set it up right. But these guys already had it right. So naturally, and I retweeted it Proctor’s post 🙂
it said:

Are you willing to die to your artistic pride in order for your community to come along further in the journey of worship? Something to think about…for all of us.