Month: June 2015

High Capacity or High Faith

God doesn’t want great leaders, he desires faithful servants who are his children that He can mold and shape.

We often look for high capacity people though. The problem with that is we could tend to overlook the key elements for what it takes to make disciples. Faith and trust. Take a look at the interaction between Jesus and the rich young rule. The epitome of high capacity. Rich. Young. Ruler. Already proven himself early in life. Definitely high capacity. Yet, Jesus tested his heart, his level of faith and his commitment to what it takes to make disciples. Sell it all, give it to the poor, then come follow me. His struggle was with provision and trust. Did he really have the faith to trust in God to provide?  Sadly his faith was in his material world and in his ability to provide for himself. Money wasn’t the issue trust was. Money was the symptom. For some people it is not money, it’s control. For others it is security. All symptoms of the real problem. Faith and trust.

I believe God is looking for high faith people. Those are the ones he makes into high capacity leaders. They don’t have it all figured out. They are definitely not perfect and they are usually the ones we wouldn’t pick. You might have heard the phrase. He doesn’t call the equip he equips the called. High faith leaders + God’s capacity = High capacity leaders. They are people who can hang in for the long haul because their faith and trust is in God and not in their own capacity.
If we continue to look for high capacity people instead of high faith people we will find ourselves frustrated and stuck because we are putting so much time in energy into training high capacity people to have faith to trust in God and stick it out for the long haul. Instead of we look for high faith people we will often see their capacity grow as God moves in their lives and he expands their capacity. As we are looking for high faith people we realise it always easier to teach skill than heart. Most of us would say we would choose heart over skill anyway. Heart is faith. Skill is capacity.
When I think about high faith people this is what I always see…
They are humble people. And we must remember God exalts those who are humble and humbles those who exalt themselves.
They are trustworthy people. They have learned to trust in God and not themselves so they know how to trust others and earn the trust of others.
They are peaceful people. They have learned the value of mending relationships. Their faith in God runs so deep because they have been mended by God.
They are patient people. They know the difference between doing work with God and doing work for God. They work in God’s time and don’t rush ahead.
They are loving people. They have learned to love deeply and forgive easily because they are loved deeply and forgiven often.
I don’t know about you but I’m going to go back to what I’ve known all these years. Choosing heart over skill. Choosing faith over capacity. After all you can teach skill but you can’t teach heart. God is in control of the heart. Man looks on the outside but God sees the heart.

Change In Perspective

I’m obsessed with telling great stories. I’m always looking for a good one. One that captivates me. One that moves me. I especially love the ones that change my perspective on life and really make me think.
Every now and then as I read I see something I never saw before.  I’m reading along and BAM!  It hits me!
It happened a few months ago.  It’s tucked away in an all familiar story.  In the end of Mark 6 Jesus attempted to take his disciples away to a solitary place because they had been doing a lot of ministry and work. The crowds end up running ahead of them and meeting them where they were going.  Jesus, of course, had compassion on them and began to teach them. Then it got late so he feeds 5000 men plus women and children with five loaves and two fish.
Here is the part that gets me though.  It’s a small little part but so profound.  “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.” (vs 45)
What I thought to myself in that moment was,  “A great leader cares for his/her people.” I realized Jesus tried to take his disciples away to a solitary place to get some rest but the crowds were still there.  Then as soon as it was over he made the disciples get in the boat to go away.  There is a hidden nugget in the midst of this amazing miracle!  Take care of your people and they will take care of the vision. And then I thought its more than great leadership Jesus was modeling it was Godly leadership.
I know there are a million and one blogs, videos, books and writings about leadership.  I think it’s because we want to understand it.  We want to capitalize on it.  We want to grow at it.  We want to capture the essence of it.
I’ve asked myself over and over how can I become a great leader and not just a good leader.  But I realized what I needed to be asking was how can I become a Godly Leader! Maybe to you they are one in the same, but I have found myself trying to figure out how to be a great leader and miss the Godly part.  We see it over and over in history and through out the bible.  We all know there are some great leaders out there who lead people down horrible paths.  There are really great leaders out there who lead people to mediocre things.  Or, they even lead them to things without much eternal value or impact.
You know the saying, “without vision, people perish.”  But I’ve seen even with vision, people still perish.  It is rather, “without Godly leadership, people perish.”  Just read Judges, Kings and Chronicles. Examine the outcomes and impact of their lives. Take care of the people and they will take care of the vision.
All leaders already have a vision.  All leaders communicate the vision.  Some do it better than others.  But the ones who care for their people and allow them to care for the vision are the ones who make the greatest impact.  They can build a healthy culture because they earn their trust and keep their trust.  Culture will always trump vision.  My friend Paul Gibbs says. “Culture is the cement that holds the vision in place.”  I think he is right.  And I like to add to it by saying, “If culture is the cement that holds the vision in place, then trust is the foundation on which culture is built.
You see, a slight change in perspective in a great story can have huge impact.  Jesus cared for and took care of his disciples and they took care of the vision long after he left them.  Why? Because trust builds culture and culture builds vision.  That’s the kind of impact I hope to have.