Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Are we Hirelings or Sheep Owners?

Last week I was privileged to attend a Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill. live simulcast seminar. About 250 local leaders gathered at First Baptist Church, Shreveport. We had 10 folks from our church staff attending. The theme of the summit was "A Vision to Die For". Bill Hybels led the opening session, Followed by Carly Fiorina (former CEO of HP), Rev. Floyd Flake and Marcus Buckingham.

Bill Hybels taught that a vision must be "owned" or it will never succeed. In John 10- are we just "hired hands or owners of the sheep"? He spoke about developing the vision and establishing ownership among your team. He warned us that vision "leaks". *Your followers will only take their ownership cue from you. MLK and Jesus would die for their dream and mission. Is your vision to die for? Give people a vision that is more compelling than their fears. A leader must have passion and dis-passion to see the truth and make changes as necessary.

Marcus Buckingham (Author of motivational research books) was a humorous speaker. He asked what would help you be more successful? Building on strengths or fixing our weakness? In America we tend to focus on our weaknesses and try to change rather than continue building on our strengths. We can grow the most in our areas of strength. He urged us to take a strengths assessment. Start a list of what we do in a week. Sort it on a sheet of paper labeled- I Loath It/I Love It. Find your 3 top strengths. You may even be good at things that you hate to do!

4 Signs of a Strength:

S- Success

I- Instinct- Things you look forward to

G- Growth (Time flies when you do something you like)

N- Needs - Fulfilling things you like to do

How do certain activities make you feel? What appetites drive your abilities? I feel strong when.... Fill out a Strength Statement Card.

On Friday Colin Powell gave an inspiring talk about Leading at the Highest Level. He talked about surrounding himself with leaders who were more qualified than himself and allowing them to challenge and argue ideas with him. Reward your best performers and Check your ego at the door. He stressed the need to have fun in your command. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. Trust the element of Instinct. His concluding statement, "All of us have a debt of service that we will never be able to repay".

John Ortberg, of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church spoke Friday afternoon about the greatest fears of leaders. A Shadow Mission- something that is about 10 degrees off from our gifts. A chronic sense of non-goal satisfaction. For Soloman it was lust; Pilot abdicated judgement, Adam and Eve had the apple. He spoke of the story of Queen Esther and Mordecai. Who loves you enough to call you out of your shadow mission? We need not fear because God's hand is in all that goes on. Don't be afraid to speak God's truth.

Jimmy Carter was the speaker on Saturday morning. Carter spoke on Psalm 34:4. Seek peace and preserve it. He spoke of his humble childhood and the lessons that he learned that continue to guide him. He was such a gentle, humble speaker.

Bill Hybels finished out the summit speaking on the Power of Inspiration. He said that motivation urges you to "Take it up a notch!" You and others can accomplish so much more when you are motivated. It is our job to keep ourselves personally motivated. We are not to rely on others to motivate us. Surround yourself with motivating people. Get rid of demotivating people. Find other areas for them to work. Be clear about your calling from God. Don't give up until God brings clarity. Participate in physical disciplines. Practice inspiring recreation outside of your work. What re-creates life-spirit inside you? Practice daily spiritual disciplines.

Live a motivated life before others to inspire others around you. It's a "force motivator" and it will be the greatest gift for your team.

1. Connect everyone on your team to a compelling cause/grander vision. 2. Learn the inspiration language of all on your team and then speak it.

3. Identify and reduce any demotivating items in your life and job envionment. The strength of motivated employees can be undermined if the work environment is not good.

4. Celebrate every sign of progress of your team's goals.

What would a church look like if all were inspired? Look at Acts 2.

What a team of motivating leadership speakers!!!!

Now to apply it to our ministry areas. What a motivating vision!

How does that help a non-disciplined knitter-blogger-Child of God?

Well, it is up to me to keep myself motivated and surround myself with motivating folks and environments. Time to "take it up a notch". I do not want to be just a hireling in life!

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