Monday, April 9, 2012

Weaving Patience

I was informed of something profound by a new friend the other day. The word waiting, as translated in the old testament, comes from the hebrew word "qavah" which has a literal meaning of "to bind together like a cord." Weave if you will. The idea of weaving together string to make rope.

Why is this profound? I find myself in a period of waiting in my life. I am still in school, yet I know what I want to do with my life. I feel like a sitting duck, but this encourages me not to be.

Some of you may be in this similar situation. You can also apply this to relationships. Some of you are on the edge of your seat waiting to meet the person you are going to marry. But God has a reason.....

You see, God gives us times of waiting in order to "weave" together what we are moving toward. That can be God "weaving" us further into sanctification, but also mean us "weaving" together what we know God has called us to. A time of preparation. Not a time to sit back and do nothing. Prepare. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, etc.

A couple days after hearing this I was reading the story of Joseph in Genesis. Joseph had a dream that one day his brothers and parents would bow to him as king. Now, God's favor was on Joseph, so I don't believe this was something he boasted about and was prideful of, nevertheless he told his father and brothers.

They didn't like him much after that. His brothers ended up faking his death and sending him into slavery.

Joseph then went through some tough transitions and situations. In each of these situations, he ended up succeeding. He ended up being sold into Potiphar's household, and moved up to the head of the house. He was then tricked by Potiphar's wife, ended up in prison. Was so well regarded in prison, had little to no supervision. Interpreted a couple of dreams for some of the prisoners. Long story short ended up the right hand man to Pharaoh.

(this is a very shortened version of Joseph's Genesis 37-42 for all the juicy details)

Famine came over the whole world, Joseph had a solution that caused the whole world to flock to Egypt for  food. In the end, Joseph's family came to him (without recognizing him) and bowed before him for food.

I totally butchered how great of a story this is, and I highly encourage you to read it.

Here's my point, God gave Joseph a dream, and we know that it took at least 16 years to fulfill it. Joseph didn't sit back and become complacent in the situations he found himself in. He worked hard, became trustworthy, and moved up in each of these situations. We don't hear much about Joseph's character, but he had to be a patient dude.

Be patient where God has you in this moment, and give it your all. Whether its a vision for where God is going to lead you, or whether you are waiting for that person God is going to bring into your life, begin weaving and allowing Him to weave together your future.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Inspiring Leaders

I don't claim to be a great leader by any means. I have a ton of faults and continually look into new ways to improve on my leadership skills.

One lesson I have learned through people who have impacted my life is how to inspire the ones who you lead. I have seen great examples and terrible examples. In order for any business or ministry to be successful, the people you lead have to believe in what your doing.

The question then is, how do you inspire the people you lead to make your organization even better?
Hopefully this will help you start.

1. BELIEVE. In order to create a following, you have to be passionate about what you are leading. No one will buy into an idea that you're not convinced will work.
2. LISTEN. People will become involved more in something they have a part in. Institute ideas from your followers. Listen to what they're saying. The smallest changes could mean the world.
3. DELEGATE. This is the lesson I have to remind myself of most, but you must give your followers something to be proud of. Delegation is a great way to get things off your plate and give ownership to your followers.
4. CELEBRATE. Wins mean everything to the people you are leading. Take the time to celebrate what your organization and followers have done well! Congratulate and encourage. Build a culture that cultivates innovation through the desire to do better.
5. TESTIFY. Tell stories. This is especially important in ministry. Too often we get caught up in logistics and forget why we are working toward whatever our organization goals are. Stories can expand your vision back out. This helps your followers understand their place in what you do.

Hopefully these ideas aren't too obvious and they are a help for you in wherever you have been gifted to lead.