One of the things that I am really focusing on this year is reading over 30 books so that I can continue to grow as a leader, a husband, a father, and as a follower of Jesus. One of those books that I have been able to read this year is “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and in business.” The main theme through out of this book is seeing how you can learn to develop new habits in your life and business by knowing the cue that leads to a routine that leads you to a reward. This is called the “The Habit Loop” and the reason that we develop the habit loop is because our brains are always trying to find ways that will save time and energy. Here is a quote from the book, “Habits, scientists say emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often.”
So for me I have taken to getting up early and working out first thing in the morning. This is definitely something that I have to use the habit loop for because I HATE mornings, I have always been the late night person. I also am making sure that working out is a focus so that I can stay healthy for my wife and my family. What are some areas that you could use the habit loop to grow in your life this year?
I know that in many places that leadership and leadership development can be an area of conflict. I know that especially when it comes to the church people can really get touchy about it. But over the last 4 years as we have been starting a church I have learned that if you don’t feed the leader then things go bad quickly. Especially when you are the one that everyone expects to be the leader. So I am really challenging myself to be a leader that is focused on feeding myself when it comes to becoming a better leader.
“Everyone wins when a leader gets better.” Bill Hybels
I want to be a leader that is getting better so that people around me are getting better. So there are some things that I am doing intentionally to get better:
- Reading the bible from the perspective of how will this make me better as a husband, father, and leader.
- Listening to leaders from different areas of leadership. Business, art, marketing so that I can start to think as a leader differently.
- Reading books that influence my ability to grow others around me. I recently read the book “Protégé” by Steve Saccone and it rocked my world.
- Meeting with leaders that are better then me and that are steps ahead of me when it comes to being a better husband, father, and church leader.
What I want to remind you is that, “Everyone is a leader somewhere”. So what are you doing to feed yourself to be a better leader? Because everyone wins when a leader gets better!
One of the things that I love to do is be able to share with the people around me is a good book. Well this is not just a good book it is a great book, especially if you are involved with Christian people.
I have been involved in working with churches for almost 20 years and I can honestly say that I have seen the best and the worst. I believe that what Mike Cheshire has written about in this book, “Why We Eat Our Own” there is still a lot for us to learn. I want you to know that it is not just my opinion but also the one of my mother. She read this book and continued to call me as she was impacted over and over through out this book. I also have a guy on our staff at Elevation that has created a list of people that he is going to send this book to as well.
This point should show us that we can and should really evaluate how we are living lives of grace and mercy to the people around us. That we need to understand that the relationships that God places in our lives will help us grow more and more like His son Jesus. That we will be able to walk through the messes of these relationships and see that we are able to either direct or destroy people. So I have to ask are you loving or eating the relationships up around you?
I want to admit something to you. For some of you this may not be a shock but for others this may be very shocking. I am an addict. That’s right I am a book-aholic. Truth be told a Barnes and Noble is to me the closest thing to heaven, it has books and it has coffee. So with that being said, “Hi my name is Scott and I love to read.”
Okay with that being said I wanted to share with some of you a book that I just finished. In fact it is one that I have encouraged each of my staff members to read and chew on for ourselves. (Not really eat it but you know what I mean.) The book is called “How to Knock Over a 7-Eleven and other Ministry Training” and it is written by Michael Cheshire. Here are a few things that I was able to walk away with myself from the book:
- The church that partners with the hurt, fights for the downcast, and loves the broken will win.
- There is a massive difference between ministry in theory and ministry in life.
- Over time, we have come to see that because of how we do church, we are predisposed to failing more than others. In basketball, when you take a lot of shots, you may make a lot of baskets—but you also miss more.
- I believe that what defines leaders is not what they do with their lives but rather what they helped others around them do with their lives.
What was special for us was not just being able to read the book but to also meet the author and see what he wrote about first hand. For us a little drive to Conifer, Colorado was well worth the trip as we meet the team at JourneyFoothills and see the amazing work that they are doing to reach people with the radical grace of Jesus. It was truly an honor to spend time with Michael Cheshire and his team learning, it has enabled us to see and exciting future and think of things in a new light.
I am so excited about the current series that we are in at Elevation. We are doing a series called “God of the Underdogs”. It is from the book that was written by Pastor Matt Kellar from The Next Level Church in Florida.
Everyone loves a great underdog story. Rocky beating Clubber Lang, the US Hockey Team vs. The Russians, and the Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns (twice). But lets be honest we don’t love the underdog story if it is our own. That means that you are the one that has to come from behind or you are the one that is not the best. So why are underdog stories of other people so great? It is because everyone wants to see something amazing happen. That is what happening at Elevation.
It has been a great beginning to what I believe is going to be one of the most inspirational and challenging series that we are doing as a church. I believe it is because people are going to see that God has a plan for their lives and that he can use them know matter where they have been and what they have done. God loves using the underdog.
What I want to encourage you to do is go and by the book and see exactly how God uses the people of the bible and will use you too. I challenge you, no I dare you to take this step and get out there and be an amazing underdog. “God of the Underdogs” here on Amazon.
Over the last week I have been reading through the new book “Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others through the Eyes of Jesus.” by John Burke. It has been amazing to hear all the stories of the people who were impacted by the love of Jesus at Gateway. But the impact of the stories of Jesus and the way he cared and for those that felt more like mud then the masterpiece. One comment really impacted me as I read this book:
“Think about it: Jesus didn’t confront Zacchaeus about his thieving practices, he offered relationship, and that changed Zach.”
The relationship that comes from the radical grace that Jesus offers to each and every one of us. What an impactful statement he did not point out the problem but the possibilities. So it is my hope and prayer that each person that takes the time to read through this book will see that we are a masterpiece created by the master and that we can’t fix the masterpiece ourselves. When we try to fix the painting the only thing that happens is a distortion of the original creation. Kind of like what happened to this picture:
We spent this last Sunday talking about what happens when we step outside the boundaries of what God created for our lives sexually how that can create guilt and brokeness. That we can feel like the mud has been thrown all over the masterpiece. It is our hope that everyone understands that forgiveness is received and not achieved.
What does it mean to you when you hear the statement: “He offered a relationship”?
As we continue in the “Sun Stand Still” series it is amazing to continue to hear about how God is moving in each of our lives each week. I am so excited that we were able to talk this week about how the Bible the word of God is so important to our ability to live a life of Audacious Faith. So as I said I a want to share with you the Faith Confessions that you can find in the book “Sun Stand Still” on pages 114 and 115. I beleive that as we take these confessions that are grounded in the word of God the Bible we feel an sense of what God is doing in us and through us.
Faith Confessions (page 114 & 115)
- I am fully forgiven and from all shame and condemnation. (Romans 8:1 – 2, Ephesians 1:7 – 8, 1 John 1:9)
- I act in audacious faith to change the world in my generation. (Joshua 10:12 – 14, John 14:12)
- I have no fear or anxiety; I trust in the Lord with all my heart. (Proverbs 3:5 – 6, Philippians 4:6 – 7, 1 Peter 5:7)
- I am able to fulfill the calling God has placed on my life. (Exodus 3:9 – 12, Psalm 57:2, Colossians 1:24 – 29)
- I am fully resourced to do everything God has called me to do. (Deuteronomy 8:18, Luke 6:38, Philippians 4:13)
- I have no insecurity, because I see myself the way God sees me. (Genesis 1:26 – 27, Psalm 139:13-16, Ephesians 5:25 – 27)
- I am a faithful spouse (if you’re single, you can slip FUTURE in there) and godly parent our family is blessed. (Deuteronomy 6:6 – 9, Ephesians 5:22 – 25, Colossians 3:18 – 19, 1 Peter 3:1 – 7)
- I am completely whole – physically, mentally, and emotionally. (Pslam 103:1 – 5, Matthew 8:16 – 17, Corinthians 5:17, 1 Peter 2:24)
- I am increasing in influence and favor for the kingdom of God. (Genesis 45: 5 – 8, 1 Samuel 2:26, Acts 2:37 – 47)
- I am enabled to walk in the sacrificial love of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:16 -17, 1 John 3:16; 4: 9 – 12)
- I have the wisdom of the Lord concerning every decision I make. (2 Chronicles 1:7 – 12, Proverbs 2:6, Ecclesiastes 2:26, James 1:5)
- I am protected from all harm and evil in Jesus’ name. (Genesis 50:20, Psalm 3:1 – 3, 2 Thessalonians 3: 2 – 3)
Here is something that I would challenge you to do. Take these statements and print them up and place them in a place where you will see them every morning. We as a family have placed them in each of the bathrooms in our house as a reminder of how are life can look as we speak the word og God over our lives. We seek to be a family that lives a life of Audacious Faith.