Active Mercy

The first four timeless principles are more “inner” principles (poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness) ; the last four are the living out of those inner principles, or the outward signs of the inner change.

The poor in spirit recognizes his or her need for mercy and, because they have received mercy from God, strive to show mercy to others.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy – Matthew 5:7

Mercy is often talked about. It is talked about from the Old Testament to the New Testament in the Bible, to TV shows, movies, news programs, books, magazines, and person-to-person in struggles and triumphs. But what exactly is MERCY?

Mercy is usually shown with the attitude, “You give it first” or the expectation that if I show you mercy, you will show it in return. Selfish people don’t help and don’t show mercy unless something is in it for them. Jesus, as He usually did, upends this selfish, self-serving attitude and says in Matthew 5:43-47 that I should love those who won’t love me back and pray for those who mistreat me (not praying for them to be judged or God to take vengeance on them, but that Jesus would be merciful to them). Think of Jesus on the Cross. He asked God the Father to forgive the people who were putting Him to death. That is loving and praying for those who treat you wrongly.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end – Lamentations 3:22

Mercy is the same thing as lovingkindness, or hesed, which is literally “compassion in action.” Mercy is meeting people’s needs. It is not just FEELING compassion, but it is action-oriented in feeling. It is not sympathy, but actually lending a hand and helping out. “Mercy is giving food to the hungry, comfort to the bereaved, love to the rejected, forgiveness to the offender, companionship to the lonely” (John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 1-7, p. 190).

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved… – Ephesians 2:4-5

What is the “reward” for showing mercy? You will receive mercy from God. You showing mercy to others brings mercy from God. There is a reciprocity here that is only between God and human, not human to human. You or I may never receive mercy from another human being, but if we show mercy toward others, God will certainly reciprocate that and show mercy to us.

Whether others deserve it or not, show mercy. Actively live out mercy. See someone in need, and do what you can to meet that need even though you might be in need yourself. Show mercy because you have been shown mercy.

Remember that you are poor in spirit, that you NEED the mercy of God and, because He gives it to you, who is undeserving, you can give it to others even if they don’t deserve it. Live out mercy today.

Louis Upkins Leadership Notes from #LeadMichiana

Louis Upkins took the stage as the author of Treat Me Like a Customer. He has worked with many well-known stars, from Whitney Houston to Oprah.

Leadership Principles from Louis Upkins:

  1. It takes courage to lead differently. It takes courage to sit down and listen.
  2. COURAGE is something EVERYONE needs.
  3. How is the family?
    • This is an important question about what really matters, but isn’t asked enough and is usually answered with surface level activities.
  4. How can you add value to your family?
    • We can set up mission statements for our family

 

Question asked in a video from Centier Bank:

  1. What do you appreciate most about leaders? The responses:
    • Example
    • Passion
    • Character
    • Coaching
    • Lift people up
    • Clarity
    • Give opportunity
    • Learn
    • Let others leader
    • Authenticity
    • Courage
    • Honesty
    • Focus
    • Encourage
    • Communication
    • Failure is an option
    • Open
    • Personal
    • Caring
    • Present
    • Invested
    • Humble
    • Safety
    • Real
    • Challenging

Invest in your people and get out of the way. Give people the opportunity to lead, fail, get back up and lead.

Tommy Newberry Leadership Notes from #LeadMichiana

Tommy Newberry is a leader and author of multiple books. He wrote books such as The 4:8 PrincipleI Call Shotgun, and Success is Not An Accident.

 

Leadership Principles from Tommy Newberry:

  1. We all want things, but we have to get up and go get it. Only the magnificent minority get up and go get what they want.
  2. Our best decisions and our worst decisions all started with a thought…all future decisions will too.
  3. Think 4:8
    • What are you thinking? Look ahead at your thought life.
      • We often think more about what we don’t want than about what we do want.
      • The average person thinks 50,000 thoughts per day (the vast majority are repeats from yesterday)
      • We want to change, but we want to stay the same. We want to change but we aren’t willing to change the way we think.
      • We have to line up our thinking with our hopes and goals and dreams. Every thought is a seed. Random negative thoughts won’t yield much, but consistently bad, negative thinking is of great concern.
    • Every moment is a new beginning for us to begin thinking in a new way.
    • Our emotions allow us to feel what we’ve been thinking about, giving us the opportunity to reevaluate what we’ve been thinking and dwelling on.
    • We feel what we dwell upon (if you feel rotten, what have you been thinking about?)
    • We soak up our surroundings
      • It’s so hard to pull someone up to your level
      • It’s so easy to be pulled down by the negative people around you
        • The one who is negative and cynical always has the leverage on you
  4. Think Huge
    • Think beyond where you are, who you are, what you’re doing, etc.
    • Where do you want to go?
      • Using today we can shape tomorrow
      • What are you shooting for?
        • There should be an urgency here
        • Be concerned with your future because you will live all of your life there
    • In life there are a bunch of options, like in the grocery story. At the end of your life you will have a cart full of stuff. If you don’t have goals (a shopping list) you will end up with things you didn’t want in your cart.
    • Like with a GPS if you don’t get moving, you won’t get any instructions (a.k.a. You can’t steer a ship that isn’t moving)
      • If in doubt, take action!
    • SDIMJWT — develop goals on this
      • Some Day I Just Might Want To
        • (develop this with a team or in a marriage and make it Some Day We…)
    • Be intentional
  5. Tomorrow Changes Today
    • If you want tomorrow to be different, today must be different.
    • Your decisions determine your direction which determines your destination.
    • Ask yourself: What’s been working, what has not been working, and what am I going to change?

John Maxwell Leadership Notes from #LeadMichiana

I had the opportunity this weekend to attend the Lead Michiana conference in South Bend, IN. This event was put on by Justin Maust in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the City of South Bend. The following will be some of my notes from the John Maxwell segment of the conference.

Leadership Principles from John Maxwell:

  1. “If you will spend one hour a day on the same subjective for five years, you will be an expert on that subject” – Earl Nightingale
  2. The better the leaders are in your organization, the better your organization’s chance for growth
    • Leaders develop daily, not in a single day. As leaders in an organization, we need to spend our resources (time, money, etc.) on improving our leaders.
    • The people in our organizations are the most appreciable resource we have, but we have to train and equip them.
    • There is no room to “microwave” leaders; we must “crockpot” them.
  3. 5 Levels of Leadership:
    1. Position — as a level one leader, people follow you because they have to
      • 80% of leaders stay in this level
      • Being a level one leader does not make you a leader. A person may have a position, but the position doesn’t make you a leader.
    2. Permission — as a level two leader, people follow you because they want to
      • Followers of level two leaders give a significant amount more of energy to the organization because they have a relationship with the leader and want to be there.
      • In order to be a great leader you have to connect with people.
      • If you are going to lead, you have to listen (listen, then learn, then lead).
      • Most leaders lead by assumption, assuming they know where their people are, what they are passionate about, where they are going, etc. Leaders need to walk slowly “through the crowd” in order to know their people.
      • Level two leaders are servants.
      • True leaders don’t need to be introduced.
      • There are three questions followers ask their leaders (leaders should ask themselves these same three questions):
        1. Do you care for me? (Do I care about others?)
        2. Can you help me? (Can I help them?)
        3. Can I trust you? (Am I trustworthy?)
    3. Production — as a level three leader, people follow you because of what you have done for the organization
      • This level is where you really get the credibility to lead. People want to follow successful people.
      • Leaders cannot send people where they have not gone. As leaders we have to be tour guides instead of travel agents.
      • You reproduce what you are, not what you want.
      • Level three leaders lead by example.
      • You attract who you are, not who you want. The better producer you are, the better people you attract (on a scale of 1 to 10, if you are a 5, you will not attract levels 6-10).
    4. People Development — as a level four leader, people follow you because of what you have done for them personally
      • Level four leaders are good recruiters.
      • You can only raise a person’s skill level one or two levels, so recruitment is essential. If someone comes in with a skill level of three, then you will most likely only be able to raise their skill level to a four, or at most a five.
        • Recruit with care. Don’t hire the wrong person for the job.
      • After recruiting, you must train and equip your leaders
      • Five steps to equip people well:
        1. I do it.
        2. I do it and you are with me.
        3. You do it and I am with you.
        4. You do it (and I hope you are better than I am!)
        5. You do it and somebody is with you (you’ve never equipped someone until they equip others).
    5. Pinnacle — as a level five leader, people follow you because of who you are and what you represent
      • When you do levels two, three, and four well, for a long time, level five happens naturally as a result

I hope these notes help you grow as a leader! I know there are some challenging concepts in here. Work your way through them, take the time to do them well, and strive to always improve as a leader.

Harris III – Tonight & Tomorrow night!

Harris III is coming to Calvary Baptist Church (517 W. 32nd Street, Holland, MI 49423) tonight and tomorrow night!!

 

You will want to be a part of this outreach event! Bring your friends and family members! Check out a quick promo video below to see what Harris III is all about!

 

“The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do” Part 2

 share_05I read The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do this week in preparation for the 10th Anniversary release of Ken Blanchard & Mark Miller’s book. It was a great read! I would highly recommend it to anyone who is in any type of leadership capacity, whether leading in the home, in your school, at your job, at the gym, on the field, wherever life takes you!

All of us have the capacity and ability to lead because we all have influence somewhere in our lives. You may not be the boss or own your own business, but you can influence your co-workers by how you act and react at work. You may not be the teacher or the star student, but you can influence your teachers and fellow students in the words you say and the attitudes you bring.

So, on to the book! This was a very different style leadership book than I had first anticipated! I think I first expected it to have tips and skills and advice on how to be a good leader, particularly on how to be a servant leader because that is what Mark & Ken are all about. But, when I began reading I entered into the story of a woman who was learning herself how to be a quality leader. She had the potential, but that potential had been untapped. She started in over her head, overwhelmed, busy, and trying to keep her head above water. In the end, her team was successful, she was happy and had a healthy work life, and she had risen so much in leadership skill and quality that she was promoted to a higher position.

This book is an easy read, and well worth the read. The style of the writing makes this an engaging book that brings many application points and really identifies with readers. You can almost see yourself in her situation and identify well with her struggles, pains, and desire to improve and make things better. The secret did not come from making those under her leadership do more, did not come from quitting, did not come from some seminar or three-point sermon. The secret came from changing her perspective and outlook.

The secret is to SERVE. When you read the book, you will be able to see what each of these points means, and see them fleshed out in the life of the woman in the story. Servant leadership is not the norm in our culture today–but it works!! When people see you genuinely care about them and are willing to serve with them even when your position places you over them, that is good leadership.

share_19

Serve those who are under you. Jesus Christ was the greatest example of this. In position He was the Son of God, sent to take away the sins of the world through His sacrifice, and after His death Jesus Christ went to sit at the right hand of God. Positionally He was far superior to the disciples following Him. However, He tells us that He came to serve, not to be served, and He gave an amazing example of that as He got His hands dirty and washed the feet of His disciples.

So, no matter where you are in life, SERVE those around you. Serving goes a long way in relationships and opens up so many opportunities to then share the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is so true what so many of us have heard, that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show people how much you care because we are the hands and feet of Jesus, and He cares about all of us!

Also, go and pick up or order this book online. It is so worth it. You won’t regret reading this and learning from The Secret what it means to be a good, effective leader wherever you are.

Guest Post: Mark Miller

Today’s post was originally published on Friday, June 6, 2014 at http://www.greatleadersserve. org

CLOSING THE REVOLVING DOOR

Have you ever considered the cost of turnover in your organization? To recruit, select, orient and train new staff can be extremely expensive. Not to mention the opportunity cost associated with having staff in place with no organizational memory. How do you reduce turnover?

I’ve been asked this question more than any other over the years. The reason may be our retention rate – we have historically hovered around 94 – 95%.

My answer to the question is simple – but it is not easy. I believe our outstanding retention rate is driven by the rigor of our selection process. If you get the right people, in the right role, you greatly increase the chance of the person staying with you.

Here are a few principles to help you think about your selection process.

  • The more clarity you have about the role, the better your selections.Do you know what the role requires for success – specifically? If you do, don’t select anyone who doesn’t have what you need. If you don’t know, stop the interviews until you do.
  • Selection decisions are too important to be made by a single person. Involve multiple interviewers whenever possible. Listen to all concerns. For years, we wouldn’t select anyone without complete agreement. We’ve lowered our standards a bit in this regard, but we still listen to everyone who interacts with a candidate.
  • If you select for the long tenure, your decisions will improve. If you believe you’ll have to work with someone for years, or decades, your standards will rise and so will your retention. We know people may not work with us forever, but if we act like they will, we make better decisions.
  • We’d rather lose a candidate than an employee.For decades, one of our practices has been to try and talk people out of accepting a job on our staff. If we can talk them out of it before they start, we believe they weren’t the right person to start with.
  • If you don’t invest time in selection, you’ll waste time on turnover.To do selection well requires more time than some organizations are willing to invest. However, it’s a classic case of “Pay me now or pay me later.” You’ll pay less if you get it right in the beginning.

When Peter Drucker was asked, “What’s the most important decision an executive (leader) makes?” His response: “Who does what.” We believe Dr. Drucker.

A word of caution… Don’t fall in love with retention. It’s a critical health indicator and the merits of high retention are obvious. However, if you become obsessed with retention, it may cloud your judgment when you do make a bad selection, and you will. When you realize you’ve made a mistake. Do the right thing for the person and the organization and make the hard call.

 

UntitledMark Miller, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness for Chick-fil-A, believes that leadership is not something that’s exclusive; within the grasp of an elite few, but beyond the reach of everyone else.  In the tenth anniversary edition of The Secret, Miller reminds readers of a seemingly contradictory concept: to lead is to serve. With more than 600,000 books in print, Mark has been surprised by the response and delighted to serve leaders through his writing.

The 10th anniversary edition of The Secret will be released September 2, 2014.

 

 

“The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do” Part 1

share_11

Mark Miller, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness for Chick-fil-A, believes that leadership is not something that’s exclusive; within the grasp of an elite few, but beyond the reach of everyone else.

In honor of his belief and the book he co-wrote with Ken Blanchard, they are re-releasing a 10th anniversary edition of The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. This book will be released everywhere on September 2, and it is a solid book that everyone should read! Later on I will be publishing a guest post from Mark Miller, and some resources he has for the 10th anniversary edition of this wonderful book! I will also be sharing a book review and some picture quotes from the book!

No matter whether you are leading your family, your friends, or an organization, this book can be a powerful tool to help you lead well! Pick up a copy on September 2!

share_14

 

 

This picture is great because it’s easy to believe great leaders just one day showed up and became that way…but really it is perseverance in the mundane of day-to-day living that makes great leaders what they are!

 

5 More Articles: 7/21-7/27

  1. Last week I found an article about influence. It was part one of a two part post, and this week the second post has been put up. Rick Warren is a great communicator and pastor, and he writes again about the value of influence and using your influence well. We all influence people…let’s influence them in the right direction!
  2. This article from Jon Acuff is just an encouraging read. He shares a verse that recently impacted him, and sort of dissects it to helpfully apply it to his life and really considers what this verse actually means. Whether or not the article encourages you, I think it is helpful to take his strategy for dissecting verses. With this method of reading the Bible it becomes much more likely that the verse will stick with us throughout the day, and it will make it easier to memorize. That way, when the Enemy comes to attack, we will be ready with our hearts and minds full of Scripture.
  3. This is an article for men (sorry ladies). But, this is a well-written article that discusses a common denominator to why men fail, whether as a father, as a husband, as a friend, as a man of integrity, etc. Ladies, you can read this too and encourage any man you know and love to get involved with a group of like-minded, encouraging, uplifting men who will make him a better person and draw him up to a higher level of living. It is easy for men to be in isolation, because so often it is communicated to us that we need to do things on our own, under our own strength and power, and to ask for help is weak. But, the greatest thing a man can do for his life and his family is to get involved in a small group of men who are headed in the same direction he is: toward a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ.
  4. We all have things we love to do; things that we are passionate about. In this post, Jon Acuff discusses how sometimes the thing we love doing most, has a lot of fear attached with it. Whether through unmet or unrealistic expectations, or fear of failing at the thing we care most about. He offers a simple step to move toward erasing that fear and to help us move into doing the things we love most. Try it out!
  5. I really enjoy reading. It’s one of my favorite things to do and relax with (I know, I’m weird). This article talks about the benefits of reading, especially for leaders, and how it can help us become more influential and intelligent. Reading can really help us become stronger contributors in the kingdom of God, as we are able to give informed comments and intelligent, God-honoring responses, instead of harsh off-the-cuff responses that make Christians seem like some lesser, unintelligent persons. Read this article, and then keep reading so you can start leading.