Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Love”

Modeling and Managing Yourself

Leading and managing others is much easier if you are able to manage yourself first.  Self-management, being able to self-direct, is a prerequisite for deeper leadership influence.  Your personal example as a leader speaks very loudly to those around you.

Below are some passages that speak to this idea of self-management and being an example for others.  Reflect upon them in the context of your leadership influence.

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning if he holds his tongue.   (Proverbs 17:28  NIV 1984)

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.  (James 3:9–10  NIV 1984)

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.”  (John 16:12  NIV 1984)

When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.  Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.  (Proverbs 23:1–3  NIV 1984)

But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’  Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  (Luke 14:10–11  NIV 1984)

Do to others as you would have them do to you.  (Luke 6:31  NIV 1984)

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.  (1 Thessalonians 5:15  NIV 1984)

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.  (1 Timothy 4:12  NIV 1984)

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.  (1 Corinthians 11:1  NIV  1984)

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  (John 13:15  NIV 1984)

As a Kingdom leader you are being watched and your example speaks louder than your words.  What are you modeling that others may imitate?

The – What to Do If – Notebook

Leaders rarely plan for their sudden death, often leaving their personal and professional affairs in a mess.  Part of good, strategic leadership is thinking and planning ahead for the unexpected or untimely.  Good stewardship of your responsibilities, both personal and professional, means preparing for a transition should something happen to you unexpectedly.  Let’s examine the personal aspect first.

It is extremely helpful if you collect all the important, vital documents and information in one centralized place and that your spouse knows where this is located with easy access.  I placed my info in a “What to Do If” notebook.  Should something happen to me – plane crash, car accident, heart attack, etc.) my wife knows where to go to help her sort through the myriad of decisions that she will be facing.  Here’s some of the items in my notebook.

1.  Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney – make sure it’s up to date; you may want to include your wishes for the funeral or memorial service and the disposal of your remains; these are copies as the originals are kept in the safe deposit box

2.  Computer and Hard Drive/Cloud Backup access  –  passwords and PINs

3.  Financial Records – banking, credit cards, investments; account numbers, websites, phone numbers, passwords; safe deposit box access and inventory of box

3.  Life Insurance Policies  –  amounts on policies and contact information for filing a claim; you may even list suggestions on what to do with the payouts

4.  Other Assets  –  any other asset of value; properties, collections, antiques (consider designating the distribution of particular items, especially family heirlooms)

5.  Memberships, Warranties, Maintenance Agreements – location and type of memberships and warranties for household items or autos

6.  Monthly Bills  –  what bills are due monthly, quarterly, annually and how to pay them

7.  Personal Records  –  birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate  –  location of files

I collected all of the above information into one notebook – the What to Do If notebook.  Should my wife get word of my death, she knows where to go for guidance.  I collected the most important details in a two page executive summary at the beginning of the notebook and the rest is filled with copies of statements, records, etc. for her to reference, if needed.

We have talked over the contents of the notebook together to clarify any questions she may have.  I also asked my oldest son to review the notebook with both of us, so that he can lend objective support in executing the details after I’m gone.

Loving care and good stewardship means we plan for the unexpected and help prepare a way forward for those we leave behind.  Seek to make it as easy as possible for them.  Taking the initiative and planning ahead means you really do care!

Where’s your notebook?  Does your spouse know where it is?

Living a Life of Love #2

Once believers have become disciples of Christ, we must help them begin to help others.  They must be equipped to impart the life of Christ to the next generation.  Disciples must be enabled to labor for Christ–to evangelize the lost and establish the new believers.  They must realize that they have been given a commission by Christ to disciple the nations.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”       Matthew 28:19-20

Where do we get a heart for evangelizing the lost, establishing the saved, and equipping laborers for Christ?  We only need to ask!

Several years ago four men, all in graduate and professional studies, decided to pray for 30 days straight from 5:30 am to 7:00 am on a hill overlooking Purdue University.  They prayed for one thing only during those mornings–that God would give them a heart for people.  They asked God to give them a heart as in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Those days ended but a permanent transaction had taken place in their hearts.  Within a few short years they had finished their studies, but all felt called of God to give themselves to ministering to people full-time.  They all came on staff with The Navigators.  One became a leader in the U.S., one went to Zimbabwe, one to Zambia, and I went to Indonesia.  Was it by coincidence?  No!  God had answered our prayers and given us a heart for people!

Not every believer is called or gifted for full-time ministry.  Seeking God’s best does not mean becoming a full-time Christian missionary.  But, those who choose to live for the world to come will give themselves to serving people in this world whatever their vocation.  They will have a heart for people because people are valuable to God.  They will grow in their love for people as God forms His heart within them.

Living a Life of Love #1

God’s plan for this world is to burn it up (1 Pet. 3:3-10)!  What will abide out of this world after the fire of God are two things:  the Word of God (Mat. 24:35) and people (Rev. 7:9; 22:5).  God loves people.  When deciding on an inheritance for Himself, He chose to give Himself people (Deut. 32:8-9).  God desires to be with people forever and plans to share all of His creation with them.  People who live with the unseen world’s values will invest in people because people are eternal and valuable to God.

God so loved people that He sent His Son to die for them!  The people of this world who do not yet know Christ must be given the opportunity to believe.  Believers will have to go and tell them of Christ’s death and resurrection.  For many this will mean leaving family, friends, and their home culture in order to take the gospel to those who have never heard.  It will take the attitude of  the Jesuit missionary, Francis Xavier, who served in India, Japan, and Southeast Asia.  He said he longed to be back in Paris, “to go shouting up and down the streets to tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.” [i]

Not only do these people need to repent and believe the gospel, but afterwards they must be established in their new-found life in Christ.  The Apostle Paul was moved by love to impart the gospel and his life as he followed-up the converts of his ministry.  He wrote, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (1 Thes. 2:8).

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.         Colossians 2:6-7

These young believers will need someone who can come along side them and help them understand the Bible and apply it to life situations.  It will not take spiritual giants, but a person who is just a little farther along in their pilgrimage who is willing to share with others what they have learned.  Someone put it this way, “It’s like a new patient who has checked into a hospital getting help from some other patients.  They can help because they know the hospital, having been there a little longer than the new patient.”

[i]   Give Up Your Small Ambitions  by Michael C. Griffiths,  Moody Press  Chicago, Illinois   1978   p.6

Leading with Love

Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The one outstanding character quality for Kingdom leaders is that we are known as men and women who love Jesus and one another.

We are to know Him intimately, trust Him explicitly, and are growing in our love for Him with each passing day. This knowledge of God and His love is not just cerebral, but a real-life experience. We are experiencing His love and it is expressed in our lives and in how we relate to others.

Leaders who lead with love are helping others to experience the love of God and become followers of Him. These people have a commitment to multiplying their lives in the lives of others. They want to reproduce Jesus in the lives of as many as possible and thus help make disciples of all the nations. They are not satisfied with spiritually adding, they want to multiply the number of spiritual laborers for the harvest fields of the world.

If we are to see this become a reality it must begin with us today. We will only reproduce who we are. An Indonesian proverb states, “The coconut doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Here are some questions for you to consider:

1) Are you truly experiencing the love of Jesus in your own life? Is this love growing?
2) Are you manifesting God’s love in your relationships with your family and friends?
3) Are those in your ministry falling in love with Jesus and seeking to live lives that are pleasing to Him?
4) Are those in your ministry understanding the vision of spiritual multiplication?

This will take a commitment, a decision to love, even when others do things that are not lovable. This kind of love is more than a feeling; it is an act of the will. May we all model the great and wonderful love of God to one another first and then to the world.

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