When you get to a certain mile stone in life you should take the time to reflect on how you got there. The reason that I believe that is important is because wouldn’t it be great to share that information with those that are coming after you. Especially as parents and to be honest in this day an age as a father we need to show more young men on how to lead the way in married life. So here are a few things that I have learned over 25 years of marriage. (This is the short list)
- Keep a long list of ways that you can make her feel special and loved.
- Keep a short list of the fights that you have and the things that are said.
- Make time for talking about her day not matter what she does in life.
- Find older men that can talk to you about what they have done to be a healthy husband and father.
- Have a group of men that you can have the tough conversations with about marriage and parenting. (Your wife will not always understand you. DUH!)
- Always find time to get away for at least 24 hours without the rest of your family. Couples need to take time for themselves, your relationship needs to matter or your family will not get your best.
- Celebrate the things that show your wife and your family that they matter. (Anniversary’s and Birthdays are the easy ways, get creative.)
- Make sure that you take the time to date your mate. (If there was more courting in marriage there would be fewer marriages in court.)
- Pray daily for the ways that God can continue to grow and unite you as a couple.
- Start back at one . . .
If you have an idea of one thing that you think is important to remember for a long lasting marriage please feel to make a comment and share. The more that we learn from each other and the more we share the better we become as men.
So while I was looking through my Facebook feed the other day this is a video that was posted by Larry Leith from Tokyo Joe’s. (By the way I love their food and I love the culture that they have created for their business.) It is a great little coffee shop that is located down in Colorado Springs just an hour from where we live here in Aurora. The whole idea of the video is that people would go and visit other coffee shops in the area because of the community that has embraced them and by doing so end up with a free drink at Loyal Coffee. They are calling it the “Dis-Loyality Card”! What an amazing idea!
Here is where this video took me though – the church community. Isn’t this what we should be doing as the church? Letting people know that the community of faith is here for each other and build a community that is for the city not just ourselves? I was recently a part of a conversation about two churches in a community coming together for an event that helps grow leadership for both the city and the communities of faith. It was going to be an exciting opportunity to see the KINGDOM of Jesus respond in a way that would be a huge influence in the city. Well unfortunately one of the churches was not willing to partner in this endeavor because the building where the event was being held was not good enough for their people. Are you serious? The building is the reason that these two churches couldn’t come together to make a difference in the city like never before?
What if we decided to have “Dis-Loyalty” Sundays where we encouraged the people of our churches to go and support another church in the community? What if we called them BIG KINGDOM Sunday’s and we showed support for the big kingdom of Jesus?
What do you think about the coffee shop idea? What do you think about the BIG KINGDOM Sunday idea?
Over the last 10 weeks I have been working with about 20 guys when it comes to our Spiritual Fitness Process at Elevation. It has been an amazing opportunity for these guys to get to know one another and for them to get to know what it means to be a follower of Jesus that makes followers of Jesus. So one of the recent weeks we began to talk about what is most important when it comes to helping people volunteer and work together as the church. It was a conversation that you could tell was creating energy in the room and was really starting to gain ground in each of the guys minds. So for me being a visual learner I started putting what they were talking about to a graph on the wipe board. (The Picture Above) When we were done this is what was fleshed out.
Now here is the thing. I believe that what we walked away writing out does not just pertain to a church community but to business as well. Here are the bullet points to the idea that we came up with:
- Most leaders are Baby Boomers or Gen X. so they are looking for tasks to be completed. Is the job getting done?
- Most Millennial’s or Generation Z (See this book.) would be looking for a relationship to happen with the person they are working with. Are we working together?
- So what we said was that if the job is not getting done, then the leader is going to get frustrated. If there is no relationship then the follower is going to get frustrated.
- The big idea for both to grow is that there is supposed to be talking/teaching while the tasks are being completed. (The idea: you watch, I do, we talk.)
- Then the leader and the follower grow and the opportunity for business or church growth happens as well.
What are your thoughts about the idea? What do you think is missing? Where do you feel the most frustration as a leader and as a follower?
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!
This year part of my hope as a leader is to help the other leaders around me develop as well. So one of the things that we have done as a team is to make sure that we are developing ourselves. We have taken the challenge to read 15 books in the next year. (I am a book-aholic) These are books that we want to help us make an impact in how we lead now. They are also books that we want to help us continue to grow spiritually healthy. The other part of our challenge is to view or listen to 52 videos or podcasts in the year. Each one of us made a list of some books to read and shared it with each other. We also then created a list that where we are going to keep track of the videos and podcasts that we are using. We don’t want to ask people to go where we are not willing to go ourselves. We want to make sure that we are becoming the best leaders that we possibly can be for the people that we are leading.
What are some ways that you are challenging yourself to grow in this year?
This year at Elevation we are seeking to really develop the people on the inside but we want to prioritize for the people on the outside.
So what does that look like for the team at Elevation? How are we going to apply this to what we are doing?
Here are some of the things that we are planning to develop and do:
- Develop the leaders that are leading teams currently by equipping them spiritually and practically. (In our prayer, our purity, our purpose, our planning, our preparation, our practice, and our performance. Matthew 20:26)
- Seek to develop new leaders that are willing to take things and go further then we are now. (Our best is yet to come. Acts 12:25)
- Connect people to the abilities and strengths that they have been given to honor God. (Everyone has a place to play. Exodus 31:3)
- Prepare for the leaders that are going to arrive and thrive on the team at Elevation. (Leadership Development)
It is our prayer that we will be equipping the team to lead and multiply as we move forward in this year. The question is what are you doing to develop yourself as a follower of Jesus and a leader in your home, neighborhood, school and workplace?
One of the greatest things that I get to each week is lead a leadership event with the Rangeview Raiders Football team here in Aurora. I have about a half an hour with over 30 players that have chosen to be there each week. One of the things that we did was start out by defining what leadership was going to be for this team. Here is the definition that we chose to use:
“Leadership is mobilizing others toward a goal shared by the leaders and followers.” by Gary Wills
The intent is to enable the men of this team to see that leadership is so much more then yelling at their teammates to get things done. So we are unpacking what it means to be a leader and what it means to be a leader that is mobilizing others toward a goal that is shared. So each player took the time to set three goals for themselves:
- A goal that has to do with their athletics or season.
- A goal that has to do with their academics.
- A goal that has to do with their character.
It is so exciting to see these incredible young men take the time to be a part of this get together. But most of all it is exciting to see them take the responsibility to set goals for themselves and for the people that are on the team.
The question is what are you doing to become to be a better leader? Let’s list some of them here so others can see what they might be able to do as well.