i's of leadership

issue no 3. no outward focused model to follow

Outward focusedness is often more caught than taught. People learn best by doing and seeing others model the way. Our western mindset tends to be geared toward theory rather than practice. Therefore there are many theorist and few practitioners. The theorists often teach values, and principles yet may not practice what they teach. (all who teach are somewhat guilty I for one)

The western mindset has a knowledge bias. If we read a book, pass a test we believe we have gained knowledge, an education, or a skill and...experience outworked matters not.

In the real world of outwardfoucusedness externally focused churches are led by passionate practitioners.

The same is true concerning a persons value system. If I ask, 'Do you believe in the great commission?' Most believers would say yes? If I asked, 'Is the great commission something you value as a truth?' Again, most believers would probably also answer in the affirmative. If I asked, 'What do you do in your personal life to live an outward focused life? There may be a pause...

We all have aspired values. Values we say we believe and hold as precious. However there is a great difference between an aspired value we say we believe and the real values we do.

Bottom line what we do reveals our personal true core values.

Leadership component needed...Integrity

Dictionary.com in·teg·ri·ty
1.adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2.the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3.a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

Integrity means: the messenger is the message. If we say we are an externally focused person and want to lead other outward.. it's important to have some evidence / practice in our lives that point to the life value.

Bottom Line: Leaders lead by example. Relating connecting story, having an evidence of an outwardfocused lifestyle does much to inspire those we lead.

This past week I ventured into the world of the homeless with Nate a young, fearless, passionate leader. Each week he heads out into the city often backpacking food, water, and other necessities into homeless camps dotted around the city of Dayton. As he goes he gathers other 20's from different churches to help serve the less-served. It is amazing to watch him hug, care and love the homeless. They know him by name, and know he is the real deal. He clearly is a friend to many. A few weeks ago he camped out for a few days to be with the people and to experience what they experience.

Each Sunday our Dayton Campus represents the people he is reaching.

It was a blast to see the message and love that flows from this fearless messenger.

Before the BBQ he gathered us together and shared his heart and some caring tips. It was an amazing night. A small band played some songs, jammed and worshipped...and many, many people were fed, loved on and prayed for.

One guy 6 ft 6 and a size 14 shoe named Shaq appeared. Shaq had bandages on his wrists from an evident suicide attempt. I mentioned I knew another Shaq who played basketball. He laughed...After eating a few burgers, some watermellon, and desert... he unrolled his quilt and settled down for the night. I asked if I could pray for him...he answered, 'Yep that'd be nice.' As I prayed I noticed God's peace flow over him. At the end of the prayer he asked, 'Do you guys ever have people attempt to do you harm?' I replied, 'Nope I've got a friend named Shaq and he is 6 foot tall.' He smiled...

Nate is an outward focused guy...it's in his bones, he is the message, he has integrity. Others who sense the real deal are drawn into dangerous places following a fearless, passionate messenger.

i's of leadership

issue no 2. no care for those people out there... inward-ness.

Most people are not taught how to care for others...

One friend of mine has noticed that the 'natural tendency of the human heart is to turn inward.

'Selfishness is the act of giving priority of thought or deed to the self. It is placing one’s own interests over the needs or desires or others. Selfishness is often thought to be the opposite of altruism. Altruism is the selfless concern for the welfare of others. Altruism is considered a virtue, while selfishness is considered a vice.'

Selfishness is rampant and is manifested through a me, myself and I mind set. The worldview revolves around a persons self interest. They, are at the center of their universe.

A friend of mine was an interior designer for the Queen of England. His clients were the powerful, famous and the wealthy.

One lady burst into his shop, interrupted a meeting with some other clients, while weeping with hand to head, dramatically stated accusingly,'You've ruined my life!'

He had the presence of mind to escort the weeping emotional woman to a side room. When she calmed down he was able to hear how he ruined her life. Turns out the custom carpet he designed and had installed... had a seam.

After phoning the installers he found out there was an almost unnoticeable, undetectable to the naked eye seam. He assured her that her life wasn't over and the seam was quite normal on this type of carpet. The drama queen left quite satisfied she had been heard and that her life had not been ruined.

Amazing! Guess who was at the center of her universe.

Not caring for those in our community often stems from a my church, my weekend service, my seat, my kids, my training, my needs mind set. Although following Christ, there is often no thought of others. Nor is there the heart / life value of caring for the least, the lost and the lonely in their mix.

donald miller author of blue like jazz stated at a certain point in his life,
'I was addicted to myself. All I thought about was myself. The only thing I really cared about was myself. I had very little concept of love, altruism, or sacrifice. I discovered my mind is like a radio that picks up only one station, the one that plays me:
K-don, all don, all the time.'

the leadership component needed to break this mindset is motivational, touching the heart stick-able stories, facts, figures, stats, and emotional visual... information.

i's of leadership

I've been thinking once again about issues that face churches who desire to become externally focused and the leadership response to the issue .

issue 1. no outward focused vision
...many churches are stuck and have no outward vision.
All vision is a leadership issue. With no outward focused vision people go in circles...no vision people perish kjv.

inspiration is the key leadership response
Inspiring, passionate leaders ...bring inspiration.
.. bring life.

Inspiration is communicated primarily through a vibrant passionate life. Sharing outward focusedness using story, word pictures, and seeking to be an outward focused person is key.

People do what leaders do. Therefore being an outward focused person and being a practitioner is imperative. Leaders lead. Leaders are visionaries. Leaders are passionate. Leaders inspire.

Leaders who begin to focus outward often begin by committing to obey the Great Commission in a personal way. At some point leaders who lead outward have to decide to get out of the office and begin to go into the community.

One of my pastor friends began to go out and to consistently serve his neighborhood weekly. He'd take his computer to Starbucks and front $50 worth of coffee for the people who came in after his purchase and talk with the thankful patrons.

Other times he'd wash windows, clean toilets, bring small gifts to business owners. As he mingled with the people of his community He began to see with new eyes. His passion for *the lost also increased. When he spoke on weekends he began to share stories about the people he contacted and prayed for. Soon people began to buy into his outwardfocusedness and to show up for planned outreach skirmishes. His going, serving and sharing his heart with the people was the inspiration the people needed to shift their focus.

Leaders who seek to move people outward often help their people discover key life principles like:
  • it's better to give than receive
  • the great commission is not the great suggestion
  • our mindset should be the same as Jesus. His mission was to seek and to save that which was lost. His mission statement. 'the son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life away for others.'
  • the missional life is primary living a life of servanthood, spending and giving our life away for others...

Smart leaders also create opportunities to help people to learn servanthood by doing.

inspiration is the leadership response
Inspiring, passionate leaders impart inspiration.

...Inspiration is the spark, the passion, that turns churches inside out. Leaders who are inspirational have a fire burning within their hearts. They model outwardness.

Why does the church exists? Is the question. To know God and to make him known. Is the answer. When we focus on anything less than the main thing, the main thing gets lost.

inspiration is the leadership quality that sparks and creates what could be...an outward focused church...
when we lose sight of the great commission we lose sight of our great prophetic purpose in life. virgo...

*the lost
pc we don't use the term lost anymore...

lost means people who are away from God's presence...

a friend of mine lost his daughter at Target, time moved in slow motion, security was called, 10 minutes seemed like an eternity, suddenly he saw her hiding behind some clothes. He knelt down and called her name, she ran into his arms and was safe.

It turns out that she was going to hide and jump out at the right moment but became fearful when she saw all the commotion and remained in her hiding place. Once she saw her dad and heard her name her fears diminished and she ran into her fathers arms.

lost someone who is away from God's presence...Our role is to encourage and help restore the relationship