Archives For quotable Tuesday

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit that was simulcast from Willow Creek and their Pastor, Bill Hybles.  It was two days of jam-packed leadership goodness!  There was not one speaker that I heard that I did not come away with something to chew on.  I have a few quotes from those two days that I will share over the next few weeks on my Quotable Tuesday quotes.

Today’s comes from Jim Collins, author of Good To Great, and How the Mighty Fall.

“Great leaders have two things in common, they know it is not about them, and they never give up.”

I loved this statement from Jim.  It is good for all leaders in the church to be reminded that it is NOT about them.

  • It is about Jesus, and His church.
  • It is about the people that the leader is called to lead.
  • It is about the mission that God has given to the church.
  • Very few leaders can see that they are leading with the thought process that it is all about them.  They should ask their staff and trusted friends what they think. Other people can see it in you as a leader.

Good leaders never give up.

  • They are willing to take risks for the growth of the organization
  • They are willing to pursue what God has placed on their hearts, no matter the cost.
  • They are not afraid of so-called “powerful” people in the church.  They remember that God is bigger than any man.
  • They will go to their death (or at least until they get fired!) to continue pursuing the vision that they believe God has for them and for their church.

Jim had some other great nuggets that I will share in the near future.  You can read my notes from his talk to see more!

“Fluff, Don’t Stuff”

A few years back I was visiting a McDonalds in the south suburbs of Chicago where I lived. I placed my order, and immediately was drawn to a sign on the french fry warmer that said “Fluff, Don’t Stuff” in large capital letters. The first thought I had was, “Why is this sign in a place that the customers can see that they are ripping us off?” What they were essentially saying was, “Put less fries in, but make it look like they are getting more than what they are by fluffing them up.”

I immediately told the employee helping me that I wanted stuffed fries, not fluffed fries. After all, I wanted my monies-worth of artery-clogging goodness!

I am not sure what brought that back to my mind a few days ago. What is worse than remembering, is that I cannot get it out of my head, hence the reason for this post.  Maybe it will go away once I push “Publish!”

Anyways, the reason it has stuck with me is because I think many churches and up doing the same thing. There is a lot of talk and hype about how great the church is, how they are reaching people and how God is changing lives, but it is actually fluff. The church is deceiving itself into thinking that something good is happening, when in reality they are not growing, not reaching, and not seeing people’s lives changed.

You see, if you actually looked deeper into the church, you would see that no one has given their life to Christ in a long time (outside of kids in Jr Church), there is no community outreach at all, and really, no one has seen anyone that has gotten so close to Jesus that their life has been changed: No marriages restored, no relationships mended, no attitudes adjusted… nothing.  Life change has been equated to attendance at Ladies Meetings and the number of people that are in counseling with the pastor.  Not that either are bad mind you…

Life change is what happens when Jesus gets a hold of you, and you no longer are who you used to be, but God’s love and mercy are evident in your life and poured out to others through you.  Life change is what happens when people come face to face with the God of the Bible and realize that He loves them and that the love He has for them is all they need.  Life change is me becoming more and more like Jesus and sharing what I have with others so that their lives can be changed too.

This can be uncomfortable for a church because it means at times we have to admit that we are not seeing much happen, and then we have to address why.  it is easier to be comfortable, sit back and hype the next activity as a life changing event.  But that just does not work.  Look around you.  Is God working?  Really working.  If not, ask Him to start by changing and using you.

Forget the fluff…

This week’s quote comes from Tony Robbins.  Now, before you get all over me for quoting him, I will say right off the bat that I have no idea about his spiritual condition.  I have never read any of his books or heard him speak for more than about five minutes.  In fact, I ran across this quote on some unrelated web site. No matter his spiritual condition, what he said has great truth to it:

“But to me the notion that spirituality is separate from the rest of life does not allow for a practical approach to living a life that has extraordinary quality.”

– Tony Robbins

How many times do we compartmentalize our lives into boxes that never touch one another?  That is a great issue for many Christ-followers with their faith.  It is easy to get in the mind set that if I go to church once a week that I am good.  If I am really good, I will read my Bible every day.  But that is the end of it.  It really has no bearing on anything else I do.  Ask yourself this question: “If my faith has no influence or impact on the other things I do in life, what good is it, and why do I need it?”

If we want to live a life that is full and has abundant joy, then our faith must leave its mark in every area of life.  We cannot keep it in a box… it affects everything we do and every area of life.

Quotable Tuesday

Jason Petermann  —  June 29, 2010 — 1 Comment

This week’s quote comes from the podcast of the Village Church and their Pastor, Matt Chandler.

“It is the mark of Christian maturity, that when you stumble and fall you run to Him (God) and not from Him (God).”

When you were just a little child, this made sense.  You would fall and hurt yourself, maybe skin your knee or scratch your arm, and you would run to your mom or dad and just a simple kiss or a band-aide would fix it all.  You actually ran TO them when you fell and there was comfort and healing.

Somewhere in our pre-teen and teen years, that was no longer the first response for us.  We were fine to try and pick our selves up and do what we could to fix things on our own.  We no longer ran to our parents, but many times, depending on what happened, we actually ran from them.  Things would have been easier if we had gone to them, but we think we can handle it on our own.

That thinking of handling things on our own permeates our spiritual life as well.  We either try our hardest to keep the law and other man-made rules that we will never be able to keep, or we try and live apart from law and cast off all restraint to live a life of so-called freedom that enslaves us instead of frees us.  We fail to keep the law, we fall and stumble, and then we live with the feelings of defeat and our inability to measure up; or we do whatever we want, living in so-called freedom and end up living with the guilt and heaviness of heart that we are breaking God’s commands and hurting the relationship that we have with Him.

We can find ourselves in a never ending cycle to fix things ourselves when all God wants is for us to run to Him when we fall, not run from Him.  And just as our parents would grab hold of us, love on us, clean us up and make things right, God will show us that same attention.  He will forgive us and set us back on the right path in our relationship with Him.  And even though there will still be consequences to our actions, the healing will have begun and we can take our next steps with Him, instead of away from Him.

Today’s quote is actually an old puritan prayer and the chorus to a song of Carlos Whittaker.  Praying this moves me… and scares me…

Save us from these comforts
Break us of our need for the familiar
Spare us any joy that’s not of you
And we will worship You

Have a great week!