Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

All Inked Up

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Is quoted as saying,

"We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe..."

Our family tribe, in many instances, are the first two Ink us psychologically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually with rejection. God does just the opposite of of our tribe. He says behold I have engraved you in the palm of my hand. The word in engrave in the Hebrew, is where we get the word tattoo. God says essentially, while others have tattoo you with rejection I have tattooed you with acceptance in the palm of my hand...He says, I have been willing to go through severe pain to tat myself with your name.

So, who will you believe, your tribe or He who treasures you?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Who's On Second

Those that know me, will tell you that I am big on leadership. I believe leadership is fundamental to business, community, home and the church. "Everything rises and falls on leadership,” is a basic principle that I live by and a principle that is applicable across every spectrum of life. However, leadership in the church is tricky business. It is a tight rope walk. It was not designed to be that way, but the human factor has to be taken into consideration in every case and on every level in the church; particularly within the pulpit. As a pastor, I learned how to be number two long before I became number one. I shaped my leadership skills under Pastor Jesse White and refined them under Pastor Ternae Jordan. I have learned to keep my desires and dreams in check as I served the senior pastor. I did this not because my anointing or calling was less, but because it wasn't my time and God still had a lot for me to learn.

Recently, I went on vacation and I turned everything over to my Assistant Pastor, Kim Curry. Kim has the anointing and calling to be a number one – a senior pastor. However, he has served faithfully as a number two. In the sixteen years that he has been a member and subsequently pastor; I haven't had one problem from him. Now, there have been times where we haven't agreed on some things, but he always voiced his concerned in a respectable, intelligent and private manner; where on many occasions he was right. He has been and continues to be my right hand. He is one of the leading successes I have in my seventeen years of

Every pastor desires and deserves a faithful second. However, in many instances the congregation doesn't have that same view. They only see the senior pastor as the leader. When this is done it weakens the church. Paul had Timothy, Titus and Luke. The church moved forward in a mighty way, because of the depth of the leadership bench. The people followed and there wasn't a spirit of competition, but rather one of cooperation.

Why? They realized that it wasn't any one individual's church. It has and shall always be Christ's church – His bride. This is Kim's view and as a result he has made his bones in the trenches of everyday ministry and not just Sunday morning preaching; and there lies the rub. Many of today’s young ministers master in preaching and not participation. They stand in the mirror and rehearse sermons, but they flunk Service 101. This is particularly true in the African American church.

White pastors go on six month sabbaticals and the church moves forward. However, I have known African American pastors that have had their cars driven to the church, in their absence, so that people would continue to come and give. That devalues the senior pastor's leadership and all of the leadership of any given church. We are to come, give and worship, because God is still in the house and we have a Christ salvation not a pastoral salvation; which is no salvation at all.

Getting young minsters and congregations to understand this vital leadership principle is key to the health of the Africa American Church; particularly any church in general. Senior pastors must create an environment that contains a bench full of leaders who are prepared and that starts with the senior pastor’s second. It is the responsibility of the senior pastor and congregation to insure the continuity of the church’s leadership through the development of the next generation’s leaders. We must mentor them, the church must accept them and they must be willing to be taught. Young aspiring pastors must recognize that submitting to a senior pastor doesn't subjugate their anointing or calling, but strengthens it. You are not being asked to give up something, but placed on a path to grow up, and thus, become profitable for the ministry.

I thank God for Kim Curry and his faithfulness to God, myself and Come As You Are Community Church. Great is his reward in this life and the life to come. His service has been second to none and that is not only in my absence, but also in my presence. He knows my heart, he has my back and he still has his own anointing. Our church family must continue to learn to love and appreciate this gift from God. We are blessed to have him on second.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Road Rules

This "Road Rules" series dealt with the need to Dream Boldly, Map Out Destiny Prayerfully, Plan Meticulously and Cultivate Your Gift Passionately. Sunday we will ease on down the road to "Stretching Yourself Strategically.

I believe that this is a season of "Stretching Yourself Strategically." Not just any kind of stretching, but strategic stretching. God's plan always stretches us. It pushes us beyond our comfort zone. It forces us to take a long look in the mirror and deal with the man in the mirror. It's never about making destiny fit us, it's always about us fitting destiny.

Many of us have settled for the limits that others have set for us and even sadder; the ones that we have set for ourselves. Its time to push back! Its time to make ourself fit the plan of God and stop trying to make God fit our plan. Our community needs those that will stretch themselves strategically. Those that are bold dreamers...Those that will tell the divil "Not on my watch!"

Join us as we learn the Road Rules of destiny! Where: Come As You Are Community Church 7910 South Anthony Blvd. Ft. Wayne IN. Need a ride? Call us at 260-4476036.

We are designed to boldly go where no man has gone before, but we must know the Road Rules.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

15 Habits Of Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30

By Brian Dodd On Leadership

“We trust in him. We believe in him. And we’ll follow him to the end of the earth.” – Richard Shermon on teammate Russell Wilson July 29, 2013

I have the privilege of interacting with many great pastors and leaders under the age of 30. Their passion and desire for excellence challenges a seasoned leader like me to get better. Too often, many of my fellow experienced leaders marginalize or discount the value young leaders can bring. This is a mistake.

One place young leadership is not only valued but celebrated is the National Football League. Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, is one such leader. He is widely regarded as one of the game’s top stars and a primary reason why the Seahawks are considered Super Bowl favorites.

Recently, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King interviewed Wilson on leadership and the direction the game is headed. Wilson’s comments provided a wonderful template for the 15 Habits Of Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Now onto the leadership lessons gleaned from Wilson’s interview that all leaders can learn from:

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Respect Older Adults – When you watch the interview, you will notice the first thing Wilson did was shake Peter King’s hand and give him a hug. There is obvious respect there.

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Have High Expectations For Themselves – Young leaders do not view their age as a limitation. Wilson said, ”I have high expectations for myself and I’ve always believed in myself.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Recognize Obstacles To Their Success - Wilson is not naive. He is aware the coaches and defensive coordinators in the NFL are developing strategies on how to neutralize his unique skill set.

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Know Their Limitations – Speaking of the game’s 300 lb. defensive players, Wilson noted, ”I don’t want to run against these guys.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Focus On Team Success – Wilson realizes his job is ”just protect the football team.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Are Self-Aware - Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft, not much was expected from Wilson.

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Recognize Opportunity – Upon entering training camp as a rookie, Wilson said, ”All I ever asked for was a chance.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Do Their Job – The fastest way for young leaders to gain respect is to do a great job. Wilson said, “I was going to work every single day whether I was a starting quarterback or not.”
Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Earn The Right To Lead – Wilson realizes, “The question of how I became a leader on this football team was a guy who worked hard every single day. Was here early. Left late.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Respect The Industry They Are In – Young leaders can lose credibility if others perceive they view their job as a stepping stone. Not Wilson who “Was dedicated to his craft. Was a guy who took tons of notes. I believe in what I did. This was my job.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Love Their Work – “This was something I loved to do. I got the best job in the world to be the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks”, said Wilson.

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Are Not Limited By The Opinions Of Others – Young leaders respect others but do not let others define them. He says, “As long as you can lead there is no certain variable. The only variable it takes is to be a great leader.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Have Attention To Detail – Many young leaders are very passionate. Within this passion young leaders cannot get sloppy. Wilson states, “(I) Have a great attention to detail.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Are Competitors – Experienced leaders want young leaders to bring their best and own the results together. Wilson gains respect by being “a relentless competitor.”

Highly Effective Leaders Under The Age Of 30 Inspire Others – Wilson proclaims, ”A quarterback has to lift the other 10 guys in the huddle up and make them believe that’s the play that’s going to the end zone.”

Wilson is not just a great young leader. He is a GREAT leader. As he stated on his Twitter account earlier this week, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV). Something tells me Wilson will be rewarded greatly this year.