While having breakfast with my kids this morning before going to school, we read a verse that talks about humility and character. Then the topic of trust in the area of leadership came up. We talked about why some of our nation’s leaders are losing the trust of the Filipino people.
I told Nathan and Janina that there are 2 things that build the trust of the people we lead. When one of them is lost, trust is potentially lost as well.
I was talking about CHARACTER and COMPETENCE.
1. Character. Some people are very competent. They are skilled, talented and have abilities beyond measure. They even have the charisma to lead thousands if not millions. However, if character is not present, I told my kids, people will always be suspicious in the back of their heads if things are being done out of selfish gain or for personal achievement. That is why character is critical in leadership.
2. Competence. There are those who have great character. They are very sincere. They have great hearts. However, even if the person has a great heart and yet drops the ball often enough and doesn’t deliver, trust is potentially lost as well.
Psalm 78:72 tells us that King David “shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”
Integrity of heart (character)… Skillful hands (competence)…
And what envelopes all these is the grace of God … for without Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Ryan played T-ball last year. Because they were still teaching the kids the basics of the game, the league decided not to keep scores and forget about win-loss cards.
While I understand the reasoning behind it (to encourage the kids and not worry about winning and losing yet), I thought each game at times became pointless. Why play a game when you don’t know who will win? Why play against another team if you don’t know who will end up on top? It’s probably the competitive spirit in me but that’s how I felt.
In the book I am reading, “Creating Community”, there were 3 questions that were posted that we need to answer as a church family.
1. What do we want people to become?
2. What do we want them to do?
3. Where do we want them to go?
For us in Victory, our leaders made it clear. The goal is to make disciples. A disciple is a person who follows Jesus, fellowships with other believers and fishes for men. And finally, what is the venue where they will be discipled and make disciples? Small groups.
1. What do we want people to become? DISCIPLES.
2. What do we want them to do? To honor God and make disciples. A disciple is a person who follows Jesus, fellowships with other believers and fishes for men.
3. Where do we want them to go? At this point, the best possible way to make disciples and be discipled is in the context of small groups.
All for now…
Bernard Marquez introduced me to a young girl who’s story gripped my heart.
Arlene (not her real name) is 12 years old. A couple of years ago, her mom was stabbed with a knife. Unfortunately, the knife went in too deep that it reached the heart that caused her death. Sadly, the man she got into an argument with was her husband. Now, Arlene has no mom and dad’s in prison. She currently lives with her grandmother.
But since then, she has found hope. She met Jesus. At a very young age, she gives her life to Jesus. With the KC bucks she gets as prize in Kids Church, while everyone saves up for a nice toy or gadget, she saves it to buy her very first Bible. She devours it and reads it day after day, walks to church every Sunday and gets her life radically changed.
She attended our Boot Camp (preteen camp for 10-13 year olds) a couple of weeks ago. While her situation remains the same, her faith has been amazing, focusing on her relationship with Jesus who alone can bring hope, security and identity.
Reaching the next generation has never been easy but hearing testimonies like these inspire us to continue to do whatever it takes to bring the gospel to young people like Arlene.
Taking a three-year-old for ice skating can be a major workout. We went ice skating because it was our prize for our seven-year-old daughter who did very well during her first quarter in Grade 1. Since she was going, our ten-year-old and three-year-old sons wanted to come along as well.
Our three-year-old slipped and slid the whole time until he figured out how to balance. It wasn’t easy for him (but neither was it for me, a thirty-five-year-old). Each time he would slip, I tried to be consistent in giving both encouragement and instruction. As parents, we need to ask God to help us learn the ability to see failed attempts as praiseworthy efforts. After encouragement, we need to help them do better by giving further instruction.
The Bible says in Proverbs 25:11 (CEV), The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver. It is possible for us to say the right words at the wrong time. On the other hand, it is also possible for the timing to be right and yet miss out on that opportunity. As parents, we can either build up or tear down what’s inside our kids. Let’s always choose to build them up.
PHOTO CREDIT: Debby19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/12182046@N05/
Tolerance is a dangerous word, especially when it comes to parenting.
It has become a parenting pitfall to many and I am no exception.
When my son was about three, he loved spending his energy by running and jumping all around the place. This was carried over even when we were in church. He would run around and jump off the stage. After a few instances, one of our leaders sat me down and said, “Paolo, you are a great dad. And you have a wonderful son. But there might just be some instances when you have tolerated things that you shouldn’t have. If our children act they way they do, it’s either we’ve influenced them to do it or merely tolerated their behavior.”
BOOM! At that moment, I felt like I was hit by a bomb. I realized that certain things my kids do are not because they’re being rebellious but because of lack of instruction from their parents.
Gilbert K. Chesterton said,
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”
We have to be deliberate in our parenting. We have to sow seeds of God’s Word in the lives of our kids. God’s Word has everything to say about how we can train, discipline, and raise our children.
Nobody said parenting was going to be a breeze. But we are not without hope. God will help. He will guide. He will bless. His promise stands true that if we train our children in the way they should go, when they grow up, they will not depart from what they’ve been taught (Proverbs 22:6).
Giving up your own dream to support another person’s is not an easy task. But the decision wasn’t that tough for Jeff Reyes, a national carting champ (KT100).
I spoke to him one time in the cafeteria of our Every Nation Building, and he told me that his decision to give up carting was not hard because he wanted to spend more time with his son, Jaco. And since Jaco was also into carting, he became his son’s coach. This way, he not only gets to be on a race track, which is in an environment he truly enjoys, he also mentors his own son. Jaco was the reigning champion for his division in 2006.
In a day and age where you see a lot of egocentric and self-absorbed adults, it is refreshing to hear about a dad who is willing to give up a hobby that he does not only love, but is great at—because he has a greater dream for his son.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:15,16, Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity . . .
We really only have a short window of time with our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and students. Let us not just spend time with them. Let us invest time.