The fundamental opportunity of leadership
The easiest thing that leaders do, is to get things done. The most difficult things is that it involves people. Leaders are ineffective if the only thing they do is to get things done.
Leaders focus on people while they get things done. The biggest opportunity for leaders is to develop other leaders. If you don't get things done, you won't be a leader for long
Leaders promote the wellbeing of others. You acquire the right to lead if you look out for others. But this is only the first level of leadership. There are three levels of leadership:
Level 1: Promote the wellbeing of others
Level 2: Influence those who promote the wellbeing of others
Level 3: Influence those who influence others to promote the wellbeing of others.
How do we serve those who serve others:
Explain what is good. People need to know what is good if they are to promote it.
Show enthusiasm more than critique for others.
Handle difficult situations openly – with compassion.
You should ask yourself seven questions that promote leadership in others:
If you must show an example of humility today, what would it be?
How can you help others to build and strengthen relationships?
How can I promote the wellbeing of others today?
Who will you give recognition to today?
How can I open up the suggestions and ideas of others?
How can I show enthusiasm to others today?
How will you give recognition to emotions when handling difficult issues?
How can leaders focus on people and get things done at the same time?
Christians shouldn't give in to compromises to get along with others
People believe that all people of all religions as well as those without religion should co-exist. Christians may agree – but only to a certain degree. But people expect more than that everyone should live together in harmony. People expect us to accept that all religions are equally correct; that all religions point to the same god. Here Christians should draw the line.
When it comes to the fundamental beliefs and teachings of the different religions, there are huge differences – and even opposing views – between religions. The Christian and Jewish faiths and Islam teach that there is only one God; the Buddhists believe in many gods and Hinduism believes in three main gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Each religion's teachings come from different sources. Christians use the Bible; the Jews use the Old Testament, Islam uses the Qur'an. The founders of the different religions each learned different things. The views on life after death differ from one religion to the next. Some naturally have elements in common, but each one also has its own unique aspects.
The Christian faith makes certain specific and exclusive claims. Jesus said: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6 NIV). By saying this, Jesus excludes all other avenues. Peter says basically the same. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12, NIV).
Christians make specific claims that exclude other religions. This doesn't mean that the Christian faith has nothing in common with other religions. Christians must work alongside others in their communities. Christians must co-exist with others. They do this by working with others on general tasks – including the alleviation of poverty. Christians should be certain to ensure that what the Bible says survives in this world. We are warned by Jesus, Paul and others that this life shouldn't be our biggest love. Don't love the world and the things of the world. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17, NIV).
When Jesus sent out His disciples, he warned them: Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). Jesus was aware of the dangers that they would encounter, including false religions. And enemies of the gospel. The Christian is called to live in the world, but not according to the world's prescriptions. The Christian may never compromise his/her faith. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2:8). Christians, through their lives and testimonies, should stand firm in the truth of their faith.
The pain of rejection
Rejection. The word sounds threatening. It can be the result of conflict with someone who doesn't like you or who doesn't support you. Sometimes it is subtler: someone leaves the congregation because they don't feel nurtured. It doesn't matter what the cause is – it hurts. How can we handle the pain of rejection?
1. Realise that you're not hurting because you sinned
Our brain registers pain primarily in two areas – social rejection is felt in the same places. Rejection hurts in a physical way. It is an automatic reaction that God planted in our brains. If you feel bad after rejection, it doesn't mean you are a bad leader or that you've sinned.
2. If you are rejected, recognise the pain that you feel.
Don't ignore it. 'Grownups don't cry' implies that men shouldn't allow themselves to show their emotions. This is self-destructive. If we repress our emotions, we amplify the pain internally. If we recognise and admit that these emotions exist, we reduce their intensity.
3. Write down your feelings
If I feel rejected, I should write down how I feel. Writing removes the sting. It also helps to share your emotions with others. Find a good, safe friend to talk to if you feel rejected.
4. Don't base your identity on your ability to keep 100% of the people happy 100% of the time.
This is a temptation that every leader faces. It will kill you to try this. Of course, we don't want to upset people on purpose. Some people will never be happy, no matter what you do. Jesus didn't please everyone. From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him (John 6:66).
5. Don't make the pain worse by rejecting the rejecter.
This is a huge temptation. If we do this, we only make our own pain worse. Rather follow Jesus' example: When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23).
6. Stand back to find perspective
If rejection hurts, it can muddle our perspective and we can easily feel that many others reject us too. Remember: rejection by one person is just that ... rejection by one single person. It rarely reflects the views of others. Don't blow things out of proportion.
7. If it is a serious rejection, get professional help
Sometimes the rejection is so bad that we can't handle it on our own. You may need professional help. Don't be shy to ask for professional help.
Sometimes we'd rather endure physical than social pain. Our brain functions in such a way that it often confuses emotional pain with rejection in the past, but not physical pain from the past. Rejection can have long-term results and shouldn't simply be ignored. Handle it.
The world's population older than 65 years grew from 5% in 1950 to 8% today. In Great Britain there were 17 people older than 100 in 1917. Today there are 15 000.
What should we do about this?
There will probably be changes in the retirement age in future. The seventy of today was the fifty of 1950. Use the energy that you have. Seventy is no longer a sign that you have to sit still – you can still do a lot. Congregations should give more attention to their senior members – their numbers are increasing. Just because a person is 70 years old, doesn't mean that he/she cannot still make a big contribution to the congregation.