Posts Tagged ‘leadership

21
Nov
11

Walk in My Shoes

I had a 5th grade girl in the recording studio last week, and like me, she is a tiny little thing. We had lowered the microphone to its shortest possible level and she was still straining her neck to have a straight shot at the mic. Not a good position to lay some vocals. I quickly looked around the room for anything she could stand on. A chair would be too high. I didn’t want her to sit on a stool. And then the answer hit: “Peyton… would you be willing to stand in my shoes?”

My wedge heels were the perfect height to raise her up. I took a picture of her singing in my shoes. It was pretty neat. But the more I thought about it, I realized that there was a deeper meaning. As she sang, I began to pray “Lord, let her voice be strong like mine as she grows. Let her heart be turned toward ministry. Let her see my example and walk in Your ways.”

In children’s ministry, God gives us tiny little hearts to mold. Tiny little beginnings to turn into big futures. Tiny little talents to develop into huge gifts for the kingdom. I am always looking ahead, trying to discern where God may be leading each child I have the opportunity to work with individually.

There is a young man whom I “discovered” from the thousands of kids in Vacation Bible School one year. He was not involved in our Kids Choir program. But in the midst of the congregation that week, his enthusiasm and passion kept drawing my eyes. I convinced him to try Kids Choir that fall. Now he has recorded with us on two Kids Choir CDs and is continuing his worship leading with our new middle school choir,  Ignite. Andrew says that his goal is to “take over Ray Jones’ job” one day. Makes me laugh, but I don’t doubt for one second that God will indeed use him in ministry in a big way. Just last week, I called his mom to see if I could try his little brother Matthew in the studio. I needed a young voice and had never recorded a five year old before. She said “Well I’m glad you didn’t talk to Andrew first. He has already been working with Zoe on that song.” She’s three. Andrew has already taken upon himself the task of leading and teaching others. He walks in our shoes.

Our new middle school choir led worship a few weeks ago and I was moved to almost wracking sobs, overwhelmed by the Spirit of the Lord in the room. As the dancers made the lyrics of a great worship song spring to life, I marveled that every single one of the girls grew up in Kids Choir, every single one was prepared to a professional level because they had been led by a masterful dance teacher whose heart of worship is evidenced through the choreography she creates. They dance in Phaedra’s shoes.

Our youth choir Puresound will lead worship this weekend. They are led by a young woman who grew up at CBC, that sang in Kids Choirs and the Youth Choir that I led, that I taught voice and piano to for six years. She walks in my shoes.

Thank you Lord for this awesome privilege! Thank you for the Peytons and the Andrews and the Kristens that you give us to mold. Help all of us see that our lives are the textbook they are reading, and help us to follow consistently and passionately after you.
“Step by step You lead me, and I will follow You all of my days”
Rich Mullins

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16
Aug
11

Who’s In Charge Here?

Leadership is an interesting subject these days…I was recently in a retail store and an angry customer came in the door shouting “who is in charge here?” I was in a big hurry, but I just had to pause a moment to see the response. Most of the employees in earshot scattered like dust but one young lady walked directly to the man and said, “I am not in charge but what can I do to help you?” Interestingly enough, the manger was standing very close to the action and never said a word. The customer laid into this lady who had responded to him and she stood there with a sense of purpose and dealt with the customer’s issue perfectly. As I left the store, I could not get over the way that this employee handled the situation. She was kind, helpful, confident, and in control. On the other hand, the manger looked fearful and totally disconnected from the situation that could have become very volatile.

So, who was in charge? I can tell you that title does not mean you are the leader. Leadership is earned – not given.  Many times we think that you do not have to act to be the leader…you simply have to speak. Not so. I have sat in meetings where the chairman, pastor, president, CEO, the person “in charge” of the room was not the person of influence. Leadership means you have influence in the situation. My dad used to say, “if you have to say you are the boss, you probably aren’t the boss.”

Jesus was our prime example. When he walked into a situation, people looked to Him. They listened to His words, they watched His interactions with people, and they followed His example. If God has given you a position, He fully expects you to earn the respect of those in your charge. Lead by example and you will earn the respect of those around you.

06
Jan
11

Decisions

As a leader, you are faced with decisions everyday. There are basically two ways that we make those decisions and effective leaders need to have a consistent way of doing this. Preference or Principle…these are the choices. If you choose by way of your preference, you are making decisions by what pleases you the most, it is your comfort zone and it is the place of least resistance. Preference says: this makes me feel good and is best for me personally. All of us have a leaning in this direction because it best assures us of getting what we want out of the choice personally.

Principle makes a decision based on a set of values that considers what is best for the overall good of the organization. Principle says: it may be difficult and it may be different, but I firmly believe it is best for what we are trying to accomplish.

As a Christian, I need to say that my principles are founded on the Bible and Godly values. I also need to recognize that my preferences are at the root; they are founded on self-centered goals and do not have the best interest of the organization at heart.

How will you make your decision today? Preference or Principle?




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