All leaders are readers, so here’s my Summer 2014 reading list. This is a great list to grow and lean from, so dive in and keep reading!
- Chaos : Mapping a Clear Direction for Your Church in the Midst of Transition and Change by Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson examines how to effectively lead your church through the process of change. This is a great book on change that addresses transitions in building new facilities, changing your staff structure, adding new services, and the transition to becoming a multisite ministry. This is one of the best books I’ve read on preparing a church for change and next level ministry. Scott Wilson encourages you to lead with confidence, courage, and commitment through the challenges that come with change.
- The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times Hardcover Robert J. Morgan (Author)
“The Red Sea Rules” reveals that even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations, God promises to make a way for us. His loving guidance will protect us through danger, illness, marital strife, financial problems, or whatever challenges Satan places in our path.
Using the Israelites’ story in Exodus 14 as an example, Robert Morgan offers ten sound strategies for moving from fear to faith. The ten rules will give you hope and remind you that God is still in control. A great book to read especially when you back is against the ball.
- Think Your Way Up: 21 Mental Habits of High Performance People by Jinneh Dyson
Dr. Jinneh Dyson is one of the best speakers I know and she is as equally respected as a great writer in her new book entitled, “Think Your Way Up”. This book is broken up into three simple steps: Think Up, Train Up, and Turn Up. It’s filled with stories and healthy mental habits that will motivate you transform your mind. Prepare to think your way up and become a forward thinker. A great read for those who are ready to develop a new way of thinking.
- Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author Chuck Sambuchino.
With my first book being weeks away from release, I learned a great deal from Chuck Sambuchion’s book. This book is a comprehensive guide for using social media and other means to build the awareness of you and your work that can be a prerequisite to publishing. If you’re a new writer, get started building your platform now. Don’t wait until your book is ready to go, and find out the hard way you should have started sooner. This is a great resource for writers. The case studies make this book extra special. Make the purchase and dive in ASAP!
- The Old Man and The Sea Paperback –by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal — a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.
Hemingway’s strikingly contemporary writing style puts you on the sea in the boat with the old man. This classic novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.
This short novel is vibrant and full of energy. Of course, this is the standard “man against nature” story, but it is told with such a craft that it captivates you and makes you appreciate the writer Hemingway was.
- Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition: A Workbook (Pathways in Spiritual Growth by Steve Harper
This workbook describes major features in John Wesley’s devotional life, and it illustrates how you can apply his ministry to your own life. With my recent trip to London (Summer 2014) and a visit to John Wesley’s home/church, this book is guided me into having a richer daily devotional life. Structured around Wesley’s “Means of Grace,” the seven-week study workbook covers amongst other topics, prayer, scripture, the Lord’s Supper, and fasting. This book is changed my life and grew my relation with Christ to be more intimate; a great read to strengthen your walk with Christ.
- Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership by Aubrey Malphurs.
Leadership expert Aubrey Malphurs has written a working definition of Christian leadership based on research, experience and the Bible. This is a great book and clearly shows how Christian leadership differs from secular leadership. It is more about “who” you are as a leader than what structure you use; however, I feel the best part of this book is the audits and surveys. This book is practical, helpful and inspiring. Make this book a recommended read for yourself and your leaders.
In 1998 I attended the Willow Creek Church Conference where I heard the senior Pastor Bill Hybels echo this statement, “There’s nothing like the local church, when the local church is working right.” The local church can and should be functioning right with God’s Spirit to help fulfill Jesus mission. With the right Structure, Systems and Staff the church can experience a winning season. Before the church can win, it must develop a winning attitude. Here are six core principles that will help your church stay in the winning column. The Church with a Winning Attitude……..
1. Stays Excited About the Vision
Where there is no vision, the people perish……..(KJV)
2. Protects the Unity of the Church
All the believers were together and had everything in common.
3. Loves to Serve
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
4. Reaches and Develops the Lost at Any Cost
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord
5. Has Crazy Faith
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
6. Speaks Life and not Death
Ezekiel 37:4 (New Living Translation)
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD!
7. Never Gives Up
Galatians 6:9 (New International Version)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
What is a Charismatic Leader?
Charismatic Leaders are visionaries. They want to transform, not merely maintain. They revive failing companies, develop new products, and revolutionize process. They create a sense of urgency. These people see opportunity everywhere and believe that “sacred cows make the best hamburger”. They Challenge the Status Quo and introduce new paradigms of ministry. They cast a compelling vision and build winning organizations. Here are some characteristics of Charismatic Leaders:
- They are change agents and transcend the status quo.
- They are visionaries and magnetic personalities with lot of energy and enthusiasm.
- They project an exciting and colorful picture to their followers.
- They are great communicators and good at emotional intelligence.
- They love to live on the edge and are risk takers.
- They don’t bother with the fear of failure or death.
- They are highly emotional but balance themselves.
- They are good at storytelling and believe in the concept of management by anecdotes.
- They start their speeches with anecdotes that connect with their audience quickly and effectively.
- They follow their hearts.
- They develop visions for others and are highly confident and optimistic.
- They network with people and build bridges.
- They are honest and help others.
- They are servant-leaders.
- Finally, they never give up.
According to Wikipedia, Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in people who are exhibiting it because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Yes, it is true that we are creatures of habit; we love sameness because it doesn’t take much mental effort. But getting stuck in unhealthy ways can limit our potential and hinder our effectiveness. Below is a listed of the 7 Habits of Highly Defective People…
- They have a losing attitude
- They quit growing spiritually & personally
- They have no game plan for Life
- They are unwilling to change
- They are constantly making up excuses and not adjustments.
- They fail in relationships with others -(They Lack EI) Emotional Intelligence-Daniel Goldman
- They are not willing to pay the price for success
If you are serious about changing your life, getting unstuck, and living above mediocrity, then I would recommend that you apply the principles below.
- Write Down A Life Vision Plan
- Plan Your Work (If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!)
- Take Baby Steps Towards Your Life Vision Plan (Inch by inch!)
- Faith It til You Make! (Faith Moves Mountain!)
- Recruit Some Cheerleaders To Keep You Encouraged
“People are better able to make changes in their lives-lose weight, quit smoking, become happy-when they do this with a large number of other people.”- Nicholas Christakis, a professor of medical sociology at Harvard University
Before you know it, your life will change forever and you will become a catalyst for change; helping free others from a lifestyle mediocrity to a lifestyle of destiny.
Two days ago, I reached another milestone in my life as a graduate candidate at the one hundred forty-second commencement of Indiana Wesleyan University, as I received my Master of Arts Degree in Ministry/Leadership from Wesley Seminary. My last college graduation was on April 26, 2003, and through God’s favor over my life, eleven years later, on the same date, I walked the stage again and removed my tassel from left to right. As a three-time college drop out, I am reassured that with God, all things are possible. I am grateful for this learning experience and the training received in order to help me grow as a next level leader. I am honored to be a world changer who was trained by the number one private school in the state of Indiana! Next, I would like to formally express my gratitude to the president, faculty, and staff of this prestigious campus of higher learning, and highly recommend Indiana Wesleyan University as a wonderful school that has the potential to make a great impact on your scholastic journey and ministry calling. For more information, please visit their website at www.indwes.edu.
On January 1, 2014, my mother, Jewel Lindsey, transitioned into her Heavenly home; however, her life, love, leadership and legacy lives on with us forever. She was more than just a mother; she was a teacher, leader and coach. She was a great mother, but now she is a legendary mother who taught with her words, wisdom and walk. “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” -Proverbs 31:26.
The old saying is true: “some things are not taught, but instead caught”. Our home was a university, church and seminary school. It was a place of learning, growing, discipline and development. She shared many insights that have guided our family for over a half of a century. Below are a few principles from Jewel Lindsey that I caught:
1. Don’t Play With God; always respect Him.
2. Always Remain Respectful.
3. Stay in Church.
4. Shine Your Shoes; look presentable!
5. Lock Your Doors; think safety first.
6. Don’t Take No Wooden Nickels; Let no one cheat you!
7. Always Love Your Family.
8. Roll like A Big Wheel in a Georgia Cotton Field; Enjoy Life!
9. Be Resilient in Hardship; Never Give Up in Life!
10. Love People; don’t be fake.
Every day I strive to live out what she taught and to pass these same timeless, yet transferable principles down for others to follow. The old saying is true: “Methods are many, principles are few. Methods always change, principles never do”.
These principles of wisdom and life can help build character and strengthen the lives of current and future generations. They have shaped my values and core beliefs. Jewel Lindsey has been a model, mentor and motivator to many.
A lot of cool people were born on January 28th, such as Rick Warren, Anthony Hamilton, Creflo Dollar, Rick Ross, Elijah Woods, J. Cole and William J. Lindsey, but none were like my momma, Mrs. Jewel Lindsey! Happy 76th Birthday to the greatest mother of all time!
That’s right, 76 years ago, on Jan. 28th my mother, Jewel Lindsey was born, and 48 years ago on that same day, I was born. What are the chances that a child could be born on the same day, date and month as their mother? 1 out of 20,000, and I am honored to share my birthday with my mother.
Happy 76th Birthday Mom,
We love and miss you like crazy. You are the best, greatest and sweetest mom ever.
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
The moral of the story: Don’t place blame on someone for what you can do; take responsibility and do your part.
One of the realities of life is death. We live and then die or we die and never truly live. Alan Sachs stated, “Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives”. The sad tragedy of death is that most people die, and never really live. On January 1st 2014 I was awakened to a phone call that I will never forget; it was my youngest sister telling me that our mother had just passed away unexpectedly. This was another reminder of the reality of death. My mother, Jewel Lindsey, wasn’t just a person who just died; she actually lived for God, ministry and her children.
There’s an old poem about the man who never lived:
“There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when he one day passed away,
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never really died.” – Anonymous
Before you die, I recommend that you live your life to the fullest. The average person’s lifespan is 25, 550 days.We all receive 24 hours per day and 168 hours per week. Moses asked God to teach him to number his days so that he could gain a heart of wisdom (Ps. 90:22). It’s not how long you live, it’s how well you live, and it’s not the duration of your life, it’s your donation towards life.
Jewel Lindsey gave so much of herself away by helping, loving and encouraging others. In the words of Mahalia Jackson, “If I can help somebody, as I pass along, If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song, if I can show somebody, how they’re travelling wrong, Then my living shall not be in vain”. Due to the donations my mother deposited into this world, she will be remembered for generations to come.
Before you die what will you leave? What will be your mark? How will you be remembered? What words will be scripted on your tombstone? How will you be commemorated? What will your eulogy be? What will be your tribute? My mother Jewel Lindsey will be remembered for her life, love, leadership and legacy.
How do you define greatness? Two words: servant hood.
Serving others by showing small acts of kindness is the way to a life of greatness. A life that is all about you may be a good life, but when you unselfishly begin to serve others, it transitions into a great life. When was the last time that you helped someone without desiring anything in return? When was the last time you sacrificially went out of your way to serve someone in need? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “Life’s most urgent and persistent question is, “What are we doing for others?” and Jesus once stated, ”Whoever wants to be first must be servant of all” (Mark 10:44).
It’s not about “serve me”; it’s about service. Jesus, who modeled the greatest leadership skills of all time, stated that he, himself, “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). He not only talked servant hood, he walked servant hood. He became the epitome and exemplification of servant hood and leadership. Robert Greenleaf, who once specialized in servant leadership stated, “Good leaders must first become good servants”. When we serve others we add value to their lives, lift them out of dark places and give them hope. In the process of serving others we also begin to graduate from a good life, to a great life and eventually into a legendary life.
Do you want to be great? Well, in the words of Mother Teresa, ”Pick up the broom and sweep the floor!”