“For the called are many and the chosen are few.”
Who are the chosen and how do you get into that in crowd? It’s really very simple. The ones that are chosen are the leaders who respond to the Lord’s calling by stepping up and saying, “I will be a leader Lord. I will be one that will make a difference in my school, college campus, youth group, my sphere of influence. I will be the leader who you can trust to be a voice for you in my generation. I want to encourage you today to step up and respond to God calling. Don’t let your opportunity to make a difference slip past. I encourage you to respond as Isaiah responded. Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Statistics and studies reveal that children raised without fathers commonly lack strength of character, tend to have more sexually deviant behavior disorders, and fall more easily into crime. More recent surveys reveal that fatherless children are five times more likely to commit suicide, thirty-two times more likely to run away, twenty times more likely to have behavioral disorders, fourteen times more likely to commit rape, nine times more likely to drop out of school, ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances, nine times more likely to end up in state-operated institution, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. In 1965 in America, three millions mothers were raising children without fathers. Today, the number is twenty-four million, or 34 percent of American children-the highest rate in the world.
“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
I encourage you to be a father who is there for your children. It is your highest duty, honor, and responsibility. Spend time with your children and love them with all your heart.
ELEVATE is a video blog designed to equip you to reach your God-given potential. In this series we are discussing the importance of marching to a different drummer. You know, some people “happen” to influence while others “determine” to do it. This is the difference between a leader and a follower.
You may be good. As a matter of fact, you may be better than many of your peers. But you will never reach your full potential without a coach. When I was a much younger guy than I am now, I gave my heart to Christ and at that moment my heart had a drastic change. Even though my life was totally changed on the inside, I still had many areas that I needed to mature and develop in before I was ready for all God had in store for me. Thankfully God, in His divine providence and wisdom provided me a coach in life. Tim Brooks has been my coach for over 23 years and I still learn from him often.
The fact is, you will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It’s impossible. We all do better when someone is watching and evaluating. To be the best leader you can be you must enlist the help of others. Self-evaluation is always good, but to reach your maximum potential, you need the evaluation of someone else. You need a leadership coach. We all tend to measure ourselves by those around us. They become our standard of measure. A coach help’s you measure your performance against your strengths instead of someone else’s. A coach will know what you are capable of and will push you to that limit.
It is a false assumption to think that a leader “made it” on their own, that they are who they are because of talent and ability alone. Look closely at any influential leader and you will find one or two key people that coached them to success. It is also a false assumption that you will maximize your potential outside the influence of a coach or coaches.
I have said all this to ask you this question. Do you have a leadership coach? Are you willing to submit yourself to leadership? Are you willing and able to receive constructive criticism without taking it personal? The only way you will maximize your leadership potential is to allow key people the freedom to speak into your life. I encourage you to push your pride out of the way and start becoming the leader God has birthed you to be. Trust me, it is worth it in the end.
I want to dispel a myth. Character is not essential to leadership. Hitler was a very evil leader with many leadership qualities. There have been many leaders that came up way short on the character scale. So it is possible to lead without character. But character is what makes you a leader worth following. Your gifts, talents, and abilities may have great potential, but it is your character that will determine your legacy. It is extremely important to give great attention to who you are on the inside.
We have a couple of different summer camps and a college-age internship that we operate out of our ministry each year. I am heavily involved in some of these. One that I am particularly passionate about is our internship called Applied Life Leaders Academy. The interns live in dorms on our campus and for 9 months we immerse them in the things of God in an attempt to help mature and prepare them for the road of adulthood. This program involves much teaching in the classroom and a lot of mentoring. At the end of the program each year is graduation and the interns are given an opportunity to share and appreciate God for what has happened in their lives. It’s funny, even though our classes and lectures are amazing and powerful, you rarely hear interns mention them. What you hear interns talk about is the influence of their leaders. They specifically mention the character and lifestyle of their leaders.
I wanted to point this out for a reason. Too often we put importance on the wrong things. We put our attention on people’s ability, giftedness, talent, and intelligence. To be a leader worth following requires one area that must take precedence over these all. CHARACTER! Character is the will to do what’s right even when it’s hard. Character is about will because it requires a willingness to make tough decisions-decisions that sometimes run contrary to emotion, popularity, and current trends. Having the will to do what’s right requires that you determine what’s right before the struggle to do what’s right ensues. Leading with character requires a series of predecisions. A leader worth following must determine ahead of time what is nonnegotiable as it relates to right and wrong. Wrong is always wrong and right will always be right!
I want to motivate you to be a leader that leaves a legacy worth following. In other words, you are practicing what you preach. If you want to really influence your generation, don’t get caught up in all the hype and glitter. Not all that glitters is gold. What is underneath is what truly matters.