Alexi George : Live well – Lead well

Love deeply, hold loosely

No, Can’t be done. It’s so difficult. The two concepts are at two ends of the spectrum: Deeply and loosely. If the love is deep, it can’t be loosely held. If the connection is loosely held, the love can’t be deep.

In the story of the prodigal son, the father allowed his son to leave the home without much conflict (Luke 15:11-32). in spite of the fact that this son dishonored the father and his entire family, he was allowed to leave the home with the inheritance. The father could have rightfully and legally blocked this entire effort, but he didn’t.

Yet there is no doubt that the father loved his son deeply. When he returned from his time away, he was welcomed with open arms and without any reservations. He loved his son deeply but his grip on him wasn’t too tight. It was loose enough to allow him freedom to explore, fall, fail, and to return.

Yes. It can be done. We can love deeply and hold loosely.

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No “Volleyball” leaders please

These are people who return the work unfinished with some excuses. “Too complicated.” “Don’t know how to do this.” “Nobody’s interested.”

I gave it to you because I’m confident you can finish it. You have the skills, stamina, and the relational equity to be able to successfully bring it to completion.

So what’s the problem? Fear? Fear of failure, opposition, ridicule or the negative response of others? Or, is it just plain insecurity?

Take the task you’re given and clarify all the details first. Then plunge into it with full force. Come back to me anytime with questions or request for help. then go back and get it done before time.

Whatever you do, don’t push it back to me. I’m not interested in Volleyball.

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Empower & Hold Accountable

“What if they make mistakes?” This is one of the greatest fears of those who attempt to empower others. If you empower without holding people accountable, then you have reason to fear failure.

Accountability can come in various forms. It can be done more effectively by creating a culture of accountability. Though a weekly review meeting, every assignment and expectation can be reviewed in a non-threatening manner as part of a group. (For some this can be threatening, but it can be made easier by the group).

The more formal means would be through a planned quarterly or annual review done by the primary leader. Possibly a combination of the two methods would be ideal.

Without accountability, fear rules. But clear consistent, and affirming accountability is key to empowering others.

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Different wiring – Differently wired

Why be different? Why be common? Why be normal?
Some people live differently. The difference is clearly seen in their perspective, focus, purpose and behaviour. Of all these, behaviour is most visible. Their behaviour makes them stand out above all these.
God made it clear to the people of Israel that they were not to do as they do in the land of Egypt, nor in the land of Canaan. Their statutes and rules were different from that of Israel’s God Yahweh. If a person keeps the statues of God they will live by them. Their lives will be characterised by God’s statutes.
Living with a Biblical framework will cause you to be different and uncommon. Some may see it as abnormal. The question is: Do you have enough guts to live out what you value?
God says live it all you will live..

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Everyone gets to play – sort of

So we make no distinction between age, gender, race, financial status, etc. yes everyone gets to play. We do our best to remove barriers and limitations. We allow everyone to be involved and do the works of the kingdom.

Now what about a sinful lifestyle? God forgives sins and we must forgive. But what about persistent unrepentant sin? We must persistently forgive and accept the sinner just as Jesus did.

But we see that Jesus made a clear distinction as to who are truly his disciples. He said that the only ones who make it into his kingdom are the ones who do the will of the father (Matt 7: 21). Then he also demanded that they take up their own cross (Matt 16:24). They must be willing to die for the cause of Christ. So we have obedience to the Father with a life and death commitment.

How about saying that every disciple gets to play?

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Teachable moments – Teachable seasons

A teachable moment opens the mind and heart. Their need, pain, or their wants cause an openness that otherwise would not be there. Once they are open, they are receptive, and willing to change.

People also experience teachable seasons. These are broader periods of time that may last from months to years. These larger periods are also caused by needs, but of greater magnitude than the needs which cause a teachable moment.

Don’t be in a hurry. Wait for a teachable moment. It’s even better if it’s a teachable season. Till then, stay connected and be generous.

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“Dance with who brung you”

These words of an old song have been repeated and re-sung through the decades. In political speeches and in conversations, these words have been useful for many.

The idea was simple: You are to dance and return only with the person who brought you to the party. Don’t run off with others.

But this was God’s idea in the first place. God’s people walked away from him and began worshipping other gods. But they were strictly warned that they should only worship their creator who also brought them out of slavery (Leviticus 17:1-9).

Disappointments create confusion in our minds. Then our attention is diverted to those we think will have a solution for our troubles. But the only life long solution is to follow your creator, your saviour.

“Dance with who brung you” says the Lord.

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Angry at sinners!

I suppose it began years ago when some close friends fell into sin and broke trust with lots of people. It was some sort of a “righteous anger” as some call it. They were wrong. No doubt about it. And I was angry!

It was interesting that I reminded myself that I wasn’t as bad as those sinners. As a matter of fact it felt good to be angry at those people. After all, they were wrong. No doubt about it.

Then I heard God’s voice. It was an inner voice telling me to look within myself. I was reminded that any sin is an offense against God. My sins were not part of the “really bad” list. But I was just as guilty before God. I was wrong. No doubt about it.

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That bad?

They had to make atonement for the Holy Place? Atonement also had to be made for the altar as well as the Tent of Meeting!” (Leviticus 16:15-20) The idea was that even the place was defiled due to the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:16).

What a surprise! We’ve known that atonement (forgiveness of sins) was necessary for people of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus has become the perfect sacrifice for our sins and we don’t need to repeat the animal sacrifices. But atonement for the place itself?

I’m not advocating a return to the sacrificial system. For that would violate the value of Jesus’ sinless sacrifice (Hebrews 10). Nor do I want to put people in bondage with a guilt ridden message.

I believe we must come to grips with our sinfulness and constant “leaning” in that direction. Never take the cross of Jesus for granted. Always have a soft broken attitude regarding our sinfulness. But at the same time, be firm in your faith and confidence in the finished work of Jesus and confidence in the finished work of Jesus for our redemption – our atonement.

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When the timing is right, the response is quicker

Sometimes they’re just not ready. Then the timing is too early. They’re not going to find any significance in your words – not yet.

The late timing is also a problem. They were ready at one time, but you didn’t make the move or take the initiative. Maybe you didn’t realize they were ready or you were too busy with your daily tasks.

But when the timing is right, their hearts are ready and responsive. You’ll have their whole hearted involvement. They’ll catch the vision and make it their own. That’s the best way.

Watch that timing!

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