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AVOIDING this ONE MISTAKE can TURBO-CHARGE your leadership to HlGHER levels.. Forum Index -> Acts-Celerate Post new topic   Reply to topic
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Post AVOIDING this ONE MISTAKE can TURBO-CHARGE your leadership to HlGHER levels.. doyle

Years ago, I was recruited to work on behalf of the government in Washington, D.C.

SOME INCREDIBLE young men in D.C., the finest I have ever met other than my own sons, opened the opportunity for me to work there. It was an honor to serve on a GSA team with State Department, White House and the Executive Office of the President, EOP, portfolio.

The D.C. assignment provided an amazing opportunity to observe what leaders get right, and the BIGGEST mistake leaders make at all levels. It is also the same at all denominational headquarters including the one I served with faithfully for years.

This is not a finger-pointing situation about others. Until learning better, I also made this same leadership mistake. It can negatively impact marriage, family relationships, business and church leadership. There is a solution and if taken to heart, it will ENHANCE all the above and elevate effectiveness.

IT DOES NOT come naturally. It must be learned. We who are blessed with a hard-head, sometimes end up learning things the hard way. In years past, that was called, "The School of HARD KNOCKS." It seems I have been a star student at that crowded school. Possibly you are also an Alumnus.

Not long after Linda and I moved to D.C., Lamar Vest, the Presiding Bishop of an International denomination with churches in over a hundred countries, called and asked if we could meet. Over the years, he and I had served together in various situations here in the U.S. and overseas including Russia.

WE MEET FOR SUPPER on the Upper Level of Union Station. It is the massive and historical train station, now elegant Visitors Center, from which President Lincoln's body was sent on an East Coast train tour after his assassination. If you are ever in D.C., Union Station, a block from the U.S Capitol, is a must-see.

PARK SERVICE: It is also a meeting place for National Park Service tours and tickets. The prices are fair and the tours take you to all the Monuments. Ample time is given at each Monument to visit and take photos.

AS WE & OUR WIVES ate and "fellowshipped" (a church term of endearment), we could see the Capitol Dome through the window. It glowed brilliant white in the dark night.

Though he and I had some gentlemanly policy differences over the years, I considered Lamar Vest to be a man of integrity and substance. He would later become the leader of the American Bible Society.

Lamar was planning to seek another term as General Overseer of our denomination. He had come seeking advice on Public Relations and several other matters. One of his questions was, "What do you think is the biggest mistake I make, we leaders make?"

"The biggest mistake we all make," I replied, "Is when we ASSUME that those we lead, grasp what we are doing and why we are ASKING THEM to invest time and money in it."

We are completely immersed; we live it, breath it, lose sleep over it, can't get our mind off it. So, since it is such an important part of all we are about, how is it that "THEY" don't grasp its importance?"

Well, since their life is lived completely OUTSIDE what's INSIDE us, the fire and zeal burning in us for a cause, may not even warm them. Somehow, we must find a way to transfer some of the fire in us, to warm their heart too.

NOBODY I ever served with was better at that, than the inimitable (So unique it is impossible to copy) Carl Richardson; International Evangelist, Pastor, Radio and TV Minister, Missionary, Businessman, TV Producer and beloved friend.

In over 40 countries and most likely every state in the U.S., people sat nearly transfixed as Carl preached. We have video of people in Russia getting off buses to attend Carl and Bill Wilson's meetings in Moscow. Some of the people literally RAN to get seats to be in those services.

Thousands of people at times sat on the edge of their seat listening to Carl preach. Carl, Bill Wilson and Jim Hughes knew WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW things were to proceed. In all my life I have never experienced any endeavor more organized and anointed. After these years, just thinking about it is still a blessing.

IT WAS EXACTLY the same way when Carl served as TV and Radio Minister at Forward In Faith, the much-heralded media outreach of the Church of God International. His team of Al Taylor, Jerry Noble and Fred Mercer lit up the airways with the joy of the Gospel.

When they asked me to become a team member, it was an honor. Those Brothers kept a continuous stream of information flowing to team members and financial contributors.

MOST PEOPLE in the Church of God, do not know that the fabled Billy Graham asked Carl to consider becoming an official Team Member and Associate Minister. They were the ones who also held Crusades under Billy Graham's sponsorship.

Most do not know that Carl served for 30 years as a member of the National Religious Broadcasters, NRB. He served for years as a member of the NRB Executive Committee.

So, it has been an incredible blessing to see leadership at all levels in business, government and the Lord's work. All who are SUCCESSFUL avoid the one major mistake that chokes down response level. They NEVER ASSUME that people grasp what is expected of them.

HOW CAN PEOPLE KNOW what is expected if we have not bothered to tell them? If a RESPONSE from people is desired, it is paramount they know WHAT, WHERE, WHY and HOW.

ALMOST IN TEARS, fellow ministers have exclaimed in frustration, "I just don't get it. I can't seem to get people excited about what I'm wanting to do. I put it in the Church Bulletin and announced it from the Pulpit and still, almost nobody showed up."

How many times have you changed your busy schedule, cancelled business appointments and gave up cherished time with family because of something in a Bulletin or an announcement from the Pulpit?

How many times have you done any of the above because you saw a little Poster stapled to a pole or taped to a building? Promotion of upcoming events must be a well-planned process if there is a desire for people to show up. Stay tuned because in other writings I will outline some basic and VERY EFFECTIVE ways of promoting events.

What is vitally important to every minister of every denomination, movement or affiliation; Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and anybody else wanting to have an audience?

For pastors in particular, Saturday or Sunday is the apex of the week. We pray about it and study to have "A Word from the Lord" for those under our spiritual care.

So very often, we who have served in the Pastorate have stood slightly out of public view watching to see who was pulling into the church parking lot. One Pastor shared that without even looking, he could tell by the sound of the tires on the church gravel lot, who was arriving.

Every Pastor can remember the feeling of walking into the sanctuary when the crowd was LESS than expected. Or, "Oh my goodness," what a wonderful feeling for a Pastor when he or she walks in and the "House is FULL"

For Pastors, attendance can make or break how they feel about themselves and the success of the work the Lord has called them to do. Saturday or Sunday can be the APEX or RX of their week.

Following a Seminar I was teaching about increasing attendance, a young Pastor wanted to talk. He read about the time years ago when Waco, Texas and David Koresh was one of the top news stories. Seventy-five Branch Davidians had tragically died in a fire when police had raided their compound.

"Doyle," he said. "It is so frustrating. David Koresh could get people to literally go through the fire, and I can't even get people to come to Sunday School."

Saturday or Sunday is the peak of our week. For many non-clergy folk, it is their day off from work. It is when they can go see family, vacation, or "worship" in the "Great Outdoors."

If their Mother or Grandmother calls and says, "It's been a long time since you came to see me. I hope you come this weekend..."

When Pastors meet fellow Pastors, they sometimes ask about attendance at their church, "How many are you running now?"

A minister friend used to reply, "Well, we are running about a thousand right now, but so far we have only been able to catch about a hundred of them." Most Pastors can identify with that.

MORE THAN any time in history, people today not only want to know the "WHY," they demand it before becoming involved. Don't even bother to ask for their time, money or allegiance of any kind UNTIL you can lay out for them (In a clear, simple, easy-to-understand, point-by-point) "WHY."

Once we decide the direction we want to go and WHO we want to come along with us, we MUST tell them THE GOAL and THEIR ROLE in it. They cannot know what the Leader wants unless the Leader tells them... over-and -over and over until he or she is sure they have grasped it, or that we have communicated it correctly.

When launching a new program, endeavor, project, goal etc, STOP trying to figure out how much those under your leadership know or grasp. Automatically ASSUME that they know NOTHING about your plan AND you will usually be accurate.

Verbally announcing a couple of times or publishing a notice, may ALERT people about it. However, bringing them to a point of GRASPING the "When, Where, Why and How," is an extended process. It requires regular updates and Victory Reports to excite them enough to be involved.

Whether they get INVOLVED or not, REVOLVES around how effective the leader is in CONVINCING them of the WHY.

IN THE MARINES, they do not say, "OK ya'll, gather around. We are going to do some stuff together, so ya'll get going. They have an objective and a reason for trying to reach it. They have maps and timetables. They break it down into segments and who has which responsibilities.

There are easy, simple instructions. "Left face!" (Go left). "Right face!" (Take your face and all it is attached to in that direction). Nobody has to guess which direction. "Forward March!" (A command for people who are somewhat backward). "About Face!" (It is not about people who are two-faced. It means turn and go in the opposite direction).

"Gimmie 50!" (Marine and Army command for pushups, not dollars).

Some have said that in the Roman Army when Jesus was on Earth in physical form, the command to turn and go in the opposite direction was "REPENT!" If so, Jesus may have heard that command and used it to illustrate how following Him could turn your life around.

I have no way of knowing if the part about the Roman Army command is true or not, but we definitely do know that following Jesus will turn your life around.

THE FIRST PERSON to ask questions and DEMAND answers about your new quest, is yourself.

"Why do I believe this is important? Who else is it important to? Who will benefit from it? Is the time, money and effort worth it to me? Do I care enough to disrupt my life and that of my family, to see this through to the goal? Ah, what is the goal again? Is that for sure or is it changing?"

Even professional basketball players would find it very difficult to hit a goal that is constantly moving. Without a doubt, there was a time when people debated where the basketball goal should be placed; how high, how big- around etc?

"Should we stop using woven baskets normally used for apples and potatoes, and start using a metal hoop?" Those flimsy baskets break easily.

"WHAT? No way! This is Basketball not Hoop Ball. Are you people crazy? Lets keep it like we began" the 'purist' may have proclaimed. Why ruin a good game?"

Others looked to the future and felt improvements would enhance the game so more people could play. They set out on a quest to take the game to experiences and places yet unreached.

BTW: Basketball was invented by Physical Education teacher James Naismith on or about December 1, 1891 at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) at what is now Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

It should be remembered that the YMCA was begun by popular Evangelist D.L. Moody as a way to get young men to attend so he could share the Gospel of Christ with then.

MY WIFE LINDA and I had bought a small but new home we loved in a small Southern town we really liked. I was working at denominational headquarters. I loved that job and had more inner satisfaction from it than any other ever. The people were wonderful.

Life seemed almost perfect; family, home, church, friends, work. It was a lovely safe place for our small children to grow up. All seemed well.

Then God intervened and interrupted our safe well-planned life. A minister friend told me about a church on Long Island, New York that had declined to only eight people in attendance.

I didn't even know New York had any long Islands. How long was it? I was from California and my wife Linda was a Georgia Peach for sure. We had met at Bible College in Tennessee and were safely tucked away in that beautiful state.

The thought of that little hurting church and those precious people (Whom I had never met), hanging on to keep their church from dying, did not go away. It persisted for days.

Finally, I knew God was speaking to me. I had not heard a physical voice, but somehow deep inside, I realized God was leading me to go and try to rescue that church.

Over the years, the church had become a soul-saving, life-enhancing, Hope-Center. A lot of people had been blessed and I felt it should stay open. It may come off as somewhat simplistic, but there was one thing for sure. Satan certainly did not lay it on people's heart to save churches from closing.

So, after prayer, I took the issue to the most important person in my life, my wife Linda the wonderful Mother of our three children. Because there were so many things involved, I was uncertain at what her reaction would be.

What she said shocked me. Looking into my eyes she said, "Doyle, if you feel this is God leading us and not just your feeling restless, lets do what He says."

Have you grasped the enormity of her faith in that quiet statement? I was trusting God's voice. Linda was trusting that her imperfect husband was actually hearing from God. I am still in awe all these years later at her love for God's work and the trust she had in me too.

By then, my eyes were filled with tears and some were flowing down my face. Suddenly, the enormity of the faith in her quiet statement, "Let's do what God says," shook me. I'm not an overly-emotional person but for a few moments I was a bit rattled. Her reaction was even more conformation that God was involved in this surprise "Change-of-direction" in our life.

YOU SEE, MY LINDA is a detail person. She is not someone who rushes into or gets pushed into something by anybody. So, I had expected a period of discussion, even a bit of marital interrogation. Linda is one of those precious ones I mentioned previously who wants to know the details, the WHY.

For her, it meant leaving the house she loved, the street she jogged on each morning with her best friend. It meant moving from a safe place to a totally unknown area. It moved her much farther away from her beloved parents, brother and sisters and wonderful Grandmother she adored. Plus, there were obstacles.

One major obstacle was that without an income for a time, we possibly would not have the money to continue health insurance for us and our children. At the time, health insurance only lasted for two weeks after you resigned from a job.

WE SOLD OUR HOME for enough to pay our way to New York and have some money to live on for three months. I drove the U-Haul truck and Linda drove our Cadillac. After three months in New York, the money ran out. We sold our Cadillac for cash which gave us some money for furnace oil and food.

By then, church attendance was growing and the church was able to pay us a small salary. One of the new attendees was a doctor who was Jewish. After church one Sunday, he said, "Pastor, my office is not far from here. If you or your children have any medical needs please come see me. There will be no charge."

MIRACLES ONLY HAPPEN to those who need them. Israel at the Red Sea, Manna in the morning for 40 years, the Promised Land, the woman and son near starvation but received bread and oil "That never ran out."

The Virgin Birth of Jesus our Savior, Jesus healing the blind man, Lazarus being raised from the dead, the Resurrection, Pentecost and on and on through the ages.

There will always be disquiet, apprehension and obstacles when seeking to do what you feel God is leading. Some concerns, like ours about health care for our children, are indeed valid. At first, thinking about doing what God is leading, may not seem to make sense. Some will think you unwise or even foolish. Whether you do what God says is no skin off their spiritual nose, but somehow God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

To me, one of the greatest leaps of faith was, "By faith Abraham (*and Sarah)...obeyed God and went though they did not know (Did not have all the details) about where they were going." (Hebrews 11:8)

We of the Household of Faith now, serve exactly the same God who led and blessed the lives of Abraham and Sarah.

God speaking to Abram in Genesis 12:2 - "I will bless you and you will be a blessing." Who could ask more?

Chaplain Doyle
The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.

Last edited by doyle on 11/20/21 5:44 pm; edited 14 times in total
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10/20/21 4:58 pm

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