Lead Me

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Some thoughts on things I have picked up on over the years, I cannot quote a source as most of these ideas have been in books and seminar materials I have read over my years in business, some are theoretical but most can be put into action in some fashion.

We can buy leadership skills books, and seminars might help get the thought process moving, but it can’t make us something we are not. Good leaders know how to put their past experiences and lessons learned into action. We have figure out where we have made mistakes and we learn from them, we learn not to dwell on them but to use them as building blocks for tasks ahead.

Some points to ponder

  • As you lead……….
  • Carry your self with confidence and trust others: Leaders don’t walk away from responsibility or difficult decisions; they do not put off decisions out of fear of failure. They face them head on. Strong leadership presence doesn’t mean a loud or over the top presence. Strong leaders can radiate a quality of trust and inspire confidence in their staff without having to be domineering or bossy.
  • You cannot fake it: Good leadership can’t be faked. You can not be everyone’s friend, If you try to be a friend of everyone, you’re not, it will be superficial and phony. Leaders lead through their actions, not by telling others what great leaders we are. We don’t talk about getting things done we just get things done.
  • Earn the authority: Leaders earn their authority through past actions, many unqualified leaders fake their way to the top, and those around them will see it. and will resent those who try to be a leader ,
  • Provide boundaries: Leaders are not there to do everything; they’re there to develop others to get the task at hand done. They don’t do everything for their staff; they train, lead and support them. They find a way to bring out the best in their staff by example.
  • Just take a breath and listen: Well-adjusted leaders sometimes have to play the part of “Norm” the empathetic patron from Cheers. They listen to the ideas and concerns of those around them. And make sure to support, guide, and not hinder the enthusiasm of those wanting to serve. Fellow ministers need to know that their leader is open to others’ opinions and thoughts. Even when things don’t quite go the way they hoped, followers will at least come away knowing that their voice was heard..
  • Show appreciation for others efforts: ministering isn’t about recognition, but occasionally fellow laborers need to feel as though their work is appreciated by those they work with.
  • Do not dominate but do make your presence known. Good leaders trust the abilities of their team and don’t feel the need to do it all. This will give your staff a sense of autonomy, knowing that you have faith in them to fulfill their ministry, be aware of what’s going on around you: able leaders don’t need to constantly micromanage, although we should always know what’s going on with each of the ministries , we do not need to take ownership of all the details.
  • Avoid favoritism: Pastors must look out for the entire flock not just the co- shepherds. Showing favoritism will cause tension and resentment not only between the leader but everyone involved in ministry, Do not show preferential treatment.
  • Don’t be everyone’s friends: This point is harsh and contrary to popular thinking. We all like to be liked, but a mature leader has to make tough decisions, decisions that may upset others in a co-leadership relationship, but a good working relationship involves mutual respect between leaders. We must remain friendly and approachable, but when we try too hard to be everyone’s best friend, just one of the guys we run the risk of having our staff looking for a solid direction from us and we will be so busy with politicking that we are not leading. Tone
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No one was buying hell on Friday

Hell.com gets cool reception at auction

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What is Hell, some think it is a lake of fire,some a pit full of scary images, beasts with horns and pitch forks.What does the Bible really say about it

“Their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8).

We all have strong memories of the imagery from books and paintings, how about the illustrations done by the 19th-century artist Gustave Dore of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Modern Christianity and our culture seem to down play what Hell is all about, oh we do hear some messages on it, you know, descriptions of

the torments of Gehenna ,everlasting fire where the “worm does not die”.Hollywood has latched on to a tame yet unconvincing theory of this place of outer darkness and I think has in effect taken the real threat of what it is and made it a theoretical fantasy. I would say Hollywood has had more of an effect on what Hell is than the Church has had. Look at the cartoons on a Saturday morning, watch Bugs Bunny et al chasing around with the Devil in the red suit with the pitch fork. What a shame.

That is the picture we as Pastors need to correct, not preaching or teaching to scare the Hell out of people, but really laying out the fact of Hell, and how to avoid it !!

What really is this place called Hell,

  • First, hell is described as a state of separation from God

  • Second, hell is described as a state of being or a condition of existence, eternal

  • Third, the pain of hell is described in language of fire and worms, pain , separation and loss, “sheep” and the “goats” are separated, with the latter hearing the thundering words: “Depart from me… into the eternal fires prepared for the devil and all his angels.”

  • Finally, the existence of such a state should be a stern warning to seek conversion, to fall on the mercy of God, and ask for the grace of perseverance, conversion and hope. We need to point beyond the condition of damnation to the hope of eternal life.

God’s mercy is greater than our sinfulness. We need to stress not God’s punishment but God’s mercy and forgiveness. We need to be true to the Biblical teachings about both eternal security and eternal separation, both are as real.

Dante says, “that those who enter hell must abandon all hope.” Damnation, is eternal,do not avoid the subject, we need to confront this fearsome doctrine.

  • First, Do not be afraid to preach it, remember that Christ died for our sins and, in so doing, redeemed us by making us children of God by adoption. It is faith in Christ and hope in his promises that are the central to our faith.

  • Second, we are all sinners who, have “fallen short.” and need to seek His Grace.

Do not let people fall into the trap of Hollywood or this Halloween “holiday” that is upon us. Do not ignore the reality of Hell because we do not want to preach Hell and damnation. Do not give up the doctrine of Hell to the movies, preach the full message of the Good News, the saving work of God in Christ and it is a freely offered gift to everyone

God puts before us a choice of saying yes or no. If we say yes it is because God has offered us his love. If we say no it is our choice,

 

Uncle Tone

Fire them

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Most Pastors-Leaders have it all wrong. We do not need to motivate our volunteers. We need to stop un-motivating them.

So many of the people we want around us to help and support what we do, to be co-laborers for Jesus start out with great enthusiasm and moral that is over the top but sometimes if we do not find a way to allow them to flourish they start a great decline that can last for years, if they stick around that long.

The same thing is true in the business world, we take employees with great ideas and energy and find ways not to harness that energy, That in turn sends them to look for employment elsewhere.

The fault, I believe is something we leaders need to take the blame for, our policies or egos, insecurities what ever you may want to call it are in the way of letting those around us, able minded people, full of energy from fulfilling their worship in service to Jesus.

Could it be our behavior or leadership style that is out of place, how do we correct it?

Three ways I think we can start to keep the enthusiasm growing and the joy flowing are;
Impartiality: To respect and to treated others as co-owners of the ministry we have been entrusted with.
Realization: To allow volunteers to take pride in the job, accomplishments, and ministries they are involved with.
Friendship: To develop rewarding, productive relationships with fellow believers, nurturing and encouraging relationships within and outside the four walls of our churches.

To maintain an enthusiastic volunteer force, Pastors must meet all three goals. Certainly, people who volunteer for ministries where any of these points are missing are so much less enthusiastic than people at churches where all these points are present.

One point should not be substituted for another. Impartiality cannot be replaced by favoritism it will dilute the trust. You get the idea, my mantra, let those who want to serve, serve.

Uncle Tone

Episcopal Church Might ‘Give Up’ on Performing Marriages

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On October 28, the Episcopal Church Dioceses of Massachusetts will vote on a new system of marriage for the denomination. The new system would mean that Episcopal clergy would no longer have the power to marry anyone. Rather, they’d only be able to bless any marriage sanctioned by the state. If the new system passes, it would become effective in January 2008. The civil and religious ceremonies could both occur in the church, but would require a justice of the peace or clergy from another denomination to legally marry the couple — then the Episcopal priest would bless them. This system is currently in place for gay and lesbian couples at Episcopal churches and is often practiced by many denominations in Europe .

“This resolution is for us in the Episcopal Church, but I think it will have ramifications for our brethren in other denominations, by raising questions about our acting as agents of the state,” said Rev. Robert G. Windsor, a sponsor of the resolution. Windsor said the real issue behind this resolution is the balance of separation between church and state. His main hope is that, if the church stopped officiating marriages, couples seeking a religious ceremony would be doing so as an actual reflection of faith, rather than just “getting a church wedding.”

Lunacy

ky-flag.jpgJust when I think we believers in Christ and followers of the King of Kings are making some headway, I run into shear lunacy. I hate to bash but sometimes it is just the right thing to do. I was boiling as I read this story, I completely understand the first amendment and fully support the free speech from all sides of the argument, but why oh why do these knuckleheads want to bring the Lord into their narrow minded argument as if it were the words of Christ.

Ok, quote “Church members held signs across the street that read, “America is doomed,” “Thank God for 9/11,” and “Thank God for dead soldiers.”

Give me a break, thanking God for dead soldiers, how sad is that, no matter what side the soldiers are on, I would think praising God for the death of men is just NUTS.

We very well could be doomed, but it is the likes of narrow-minded goons that doom us not our young fighting men and women that serve our country that will doom us.

This is not just an abstract thought for me this is real life. Last year I attended the funeral of a GREAT young man that gave his life on the battlefields of Iraq, he was just a kid of 19 or so, he gave his heart to serve others, he was a real MAN that loved the Boy Scouts he worked with, loved his family, loved life. How dare people think they can thank the Lord of this young soldier that he is dead, shame , shame on them.

Again, not just a random venting about an abstract subject, I was confronted a few weeks ago by a “gentleman” just as our Sunday service was about to begin he wanted to know why I hated Jews and Gays, give me a break,

The culture of hate is just so sad, can we just somehow show the love of Christ without slamming people, I do understand sin is wrong, I do get it that Jesus overturned tables, I know He said it like it was, but He also shared meals, conversations, time and love with the unlovely, why oh why can’t we.

Just Do It

“A 76-year-old nun that competes in marathons and Ironman triathlons”
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For those of you who run, I thought you would enjoy this article for those that do not run, you should read it as well.
I enjoy running and I find it is a great time to pray and just have a discussion with God on how life is going. For me, running just blocks out all the distractions of the day and allows me to clear my mind of all the “stuff” that bogs me down. I remember a man telling me, if you want to me doing something at the age of 80, you better be doing it at 40. That thought has stuck with me on so many levels, if I want to be doing anything at 80 I had better be doing it now, procrastination is the death of mans dreams. If planting a church is a dream and you are called by the Lord to do it, do it when you hear the call. If you like to teach, do it, when you hear the call, if you like to __(fill in the blank)______ ,do it.When you hear the call.
This is a reminder to myself, do it while I hear the call
Uncle Tone

Fox Faith

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Twentieth Century Fox Has New Banner
The home-video division of Twentieth Century Fox announced Tuesday plans to acquire as many as a dozen family-friendly movies a year and market them under the FoxFaith banner, according to FoxNews.com. Inspired by the success of The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia, Fox executives first developed a Web site that sells family and Christian entertainment, as well as church resources based on the films. FoxFaith now plans to produce several films based on Christian best-sellers, such as Janette Oke’s Love Come Softly series.

“We saw the opportunity to fill the needs of an underserved marketplace,” said Steve Feldstein, senior vice president of marketing at Fox Home Video. “All of the programming is entertainment first. We’re not in the business of proselytizing or preaching.”