1. Spend time with you kids! I'm having lunch with Kylee tomorrow at school. While it's only 20 minutes, that time means EVERYTHING to her. She didn't stop talking about it tonight when I told her and it will be the first thing she talks about in the morning - hopefully it is because she gets to see her daddy, not because she gets a Happy Meal!
2. Our church is a serving machine! We had somewhere between 3,000-4,000 people at our Fall Festival. We gave away about 1,400 bags of candy to that many kids. We served (I was told) 5,000 hot dogs. Our people came early, stayed late, served and loved everyone they came in contact with. Our church ROCKS!!!
3. Found People Find People! (Read John 1:35-51) We who have been changed by Jesus must be attentive to those who need changed by Jesus. Keep your eyes open for people who need Christ in the middle of their problems and obstacles.
4. Christians must share their faith. Philemon 1:6 - "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Who have you spent time with for the purpose of sharing your faith? Set up that meeting today! Lunch, coffee, an outing, etc.
5. Having power without expressing love always leads to legalism and domination. It's an abuse of power. That is what sometimes happens in government, marriage, businesses, etc. A "power trip" is a dangerous place. We must love and serve those we have been given authority over. This means listening to them to pick up on things they need and are going through. This means spending time with them. If you don't spend time with the people you are over you'll only see them as tools - a means to an end - you'll only use them for gain. Gain is always good but not at the expense of people. The good news is you can do both well simultaneously.
6. Most couples who come in for counseling don't have a marriage problem - they have a Jesus problem. A life formed and filled by Jesus is usually lacking. It is hard to be one with your spouse if you are not being (note the tense "being" - this means ongoing and ever-growing) formed and filled by Christ.
7. Parenting question: Are you more concerned with what you are getting your kid for Christmas or more concerned with what your kid will get out of Christmas? I'm saying this early so all us parents will have time to get creative on teaching our kids the true meaning of Christmas.
8. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to pick out the imperfections or mistakes of one's spouse. Any idiot can do that. A wise spouse, though, can pick out and own-up to their imperfections and mistakes. When you start doing that, you are truly fighting FOR your marriage. The other just leads to fighting IN your marriage.
9. Don't ever forget what it was like to be lost. Don't get into the trap of looking down on people far from God - remember that is where we used to be. If you have forgotten this, read Ephesians 2:1-10. You'll soon remember what Christ has saved you from and realize how much you desire others to have the same awakening.
10. As pastors and leaders, either people believe what we say or they think we are full of crap… Let me explain: INTEGRITY AND CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER!!! We must do what we preach. We must do what we expect others to do. We must love our people by our actions and getting involved in their lives. We must do what we say we are going to do. When we screw up, we admit it. When we don't do our part, we fix it. We must tell our people "thank you" and "I believe in you" a bunch. We must honestly listen to the input of our key people - give them an ear (and a voice) and realize God speaks to them too. We must trust our people we put in place to make decisions without them feeling like they have to run every minor detail past us first. Sure, we must inspect what we expect and there must be accountability, but we must give them room to lead too.