November 2023 – Chaplain Newsletter

November 2023 - Chaplain Newsletter

THE GOD CALLING OF LEADERSHIP

Greetings to each of you and I hope and pray our Chaplaincy Newsletter finds you doing well and willing to receive the Lord’s lasting peace.

I will start with a silent prayer and invite you all to join me in this moment for about 30 seconds of lifting up anything that is on your heart….

Amen; thank you all.

Have some of you been on any type of a mission trip? We can even be on mission right in our own backyard. Soon after I returned from my first Army deployment, God created an opportunity for me to join a mission trip to Costa Rica. One story from that trip stands out in my mind could be titled “I am taking very deliberate steps up here”.

When our missionary team from Berean Bible Church was serving in Costa Rica with a sister church there, one of our objectives was to help build a retaining wall. We took turns filling buckets with cement and carrying them up the scaffolding to pour the cement into the stacked cinder blocks. This scaffolding was not the most stable structure, and in fact had much “bounce” to it when we walked or shuffled across it. I remember that, before I had taken my turn on the top row, I was teasing one of my buddies who was slowly moving across the scaffolding with two buckets of cement.  I recall saying something sarcastic along the lines of “take your time Steve, we have all day”. 

He stopped and looked down at us, and said “Robert, I am taking very deliberate steps up here”. Then Steve continued to carefully move across the scaffolding and empty the buckets of cement into the cinder blocks. Soon afterward, it was my turn, and I quickly realized it was a very unsettling feeling to be up so high and bouncing along with these buckets. Steve then had some fun with me as well. “Take your time Robert, we have all day.” I laughed and said please pray for me and for this scaffolding to hold. I was probably 210 pounds at that time and was very thankful to God that the scaffolding did hold all day.

Yet, the takeaway for me was directly connected to what Steve said to me from the position he was in, that he was taking very deliberate steps.

I have applied that to many areas of my life, and especially when I served in any leadership positions. I believe that all of us are leading at least one person, ourselves. So, when we are leading, I think it cannot be overstated that we would all be wise to take very deliberate steps in all that we say and in all that we do. That includes choosing to set the best possible example, while also encouraging your team, family, coworkers, and others to deliberately follow your example and choose to do the very best they can in taking every step of the journey.We see in Psalm 37:23 that the steps of the Righteous are ordered by the Lord.

Psalm 37:23  in the Amplified Bible says it this way: “the steps of a (good and righteous) man are directed and established by the Lord,

And He delights in his way (and blesses his path).

As you lead (even if it just yourself for now), here are a few things you need to know.

  • God is the one who does the calling.
  • He doesn’t make mistakes.
  • He is the one who equips you to Lead.
  • Sometimes the person you’re leading is you!
  • Trust the Calling from God, and that everything that follows the Calling is from the Lord Himself; even the hard moments.
  • Rely on the Lord Jesus, who set the highest example for us of what leading truly looks like. Sacrifice and Love.

Let’s take a look at three areas that connect into the topic of intentional or deliberate leadership: They rhyme to make it more memorable.

  1. Leaders know the way.
  2. Leaders show the way.
  3. And leaders go the way.

Let’s briefly pause for a moment and ask what some of our first thoughts on these three areas might be?

A few takeaways for me. 

  1. Leaders have vision,
  2. Leaders who lean into their Beliefs, have Faith-Based centered vision.
  3. Leaders are going forward (deliberately) toward the culmination of the vision, with each step of the journey in mind,
  4. Leaders, who also have a Leader they are following, are going where “Who” they are following is steadfastly guiding them.
  5. These leaders have a vision and a passion that draws people to want to follow, and that is only because of “Who” they are following, that is the primary intentionality of Faith-Based Leadership.
  6. Who are you following? It is ultimately God, or unfortunately is it somebody/something else that ends up failing us in the end?
  7. Follow me, as I follow Jesus. 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” The Apostle Paul.

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life!

This guides us to the topic of “Being” vs “doing” in leadership.

  • Leaders need to be authentic, and daily choose to be who God designed you to be.
  • People know when somebody is just going through the motions.
  • You and I should never make the mistake of comparing ourselves to other leaders, since we are all created uniquely.
  • We all have different God given gifts/skills/abilities. So, prayerfully “be you” and grow more and more like Jesus. 

In the infantry there is a saying, “lead, follow, or get out of the way”.

We all, through the gift of having a free will, get the opportunity to choose.

Today, I suggest a somewhat different version of that saying.

Follow, and lead, and continually get out of His way!

John the Baptist put it this way, “He must increase, but I must decrease” in John 3:30.

Please think about a time when a leader did something helpful that impacted you and ultimately enhanced your Faith Journey.

(or: think about a time when you had a leader who helped you through a conflict or struggle.)

Can you now be that type of LEADER for someone? Will you?

Also, think about a time when you had a conflict with a leader who didn’t handle it well.

Question: What can you take away from that example?

For me, it ties into a pretty standard military saying; Don’t be that guy! Or gal!

A fact in this life is we have broken people leading broken people, so we must give much Grace to each other, and give Grace to ourselves.

Questions: Who are you leading? How are you leading? Who are you following? How are you following? Pause and answer these for yourself. 

These are truly interconnected, for better or for worse.

Where are we leading people? To our Heavenly Father?

John 14:6 “I Am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” –Jesus

What are we leading people to do? Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God? (seen in Micah 6:8) Or are we leading people to blend in with the crowd or follow the messages of the world? 

Here is a “Habit of Happiness” for leaders, and all those who we lead.

We must all have, or grow, or maintain the capacity to adjust to things beyond our control.

Fellow leaders, we can and should choose to intentionally never give up! Yet, we must also choose to adapt (or adjust) to all the many things that are beyond our control. Otherwise we can burn-out and/or snap; and that is never the ugly result that we are striving towards.

My friends, let’s all choose to be grounded in our Faith, and our leadership identity, and endeavor daily to be the person (and the leader) God created you to be.

In closing, let’s all find and set a healthy balance in our life; so that we can go the distance in serving others, our coworkers, our family, and every team we get to be a part of. Then we can give God all the glory. Amen.

Stay Calm and Lead on!

Blessings from Above, Ch Robert Kinnune

 

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