CM Leaders Conference 2012- Reflections Part 2

September 19, 2012

As I have taken a few days to soak up some of the many thoughts that were shared at CM Leaders, I cannot help but Thank God for Michael Chanley and his team at INCM. I’m thankful they had the courage to follow God’s leading and do this conference in a day where the kind of adventures rarely produce a profit. But that is only an earthly perspective, the eternal ramifications of this conference are yet to be known. I can only pray that I will apply what I have learned and improve my leadership so that those who come behind me on this trail of life, can do even greater things that God has allowed me to do.

Chanley, lead things off by introducing the three Biblical patterns that we would be wrestling with for the next few hours: Develop, Lead, Disciple. A great quote from him was that “Leadership is more art than science.”  I find that to ring so true. He also shared about Leadership and how it is viewed in scripture and the pattern that God has outlined for us to follow, by giving us leadership examples as role models.

What strikes me about this is God gave me a visual object lesson of just how important it is for us as leaders and as followers of Christ to make sure the “pattern” of living reflects Christ, because others are looking and watching us. I was at our local race track, letting my inner redneck out, and as I was watching the cars do some warm up laps, I noticed a young boy down in front of me with some race flags. At first I thought, “how cute” and put my attention back on the race. Then it was as if I was getting thumped in the head to really watch this kid. So I began to just watch him and that’s when I noticed. He was not just waiving the flags randomly at the drivers, he was following the exact pattern that the official flag man was demonstrating. This kid had the entire set of flags and was doing exactly as the man in the flag stand. In fact, someone else had noticed and they invited him up to be the “official” starter for the first race! You should have seen this kids face shine with excitement!  He had followed the pattern set before him and he was executing it very well.

As a leader, I have those who God has placed under my care to model Christ like leadership. I want to lay down a trail for them to follow so clearly that they don’t wander down the little rabbit trails that would get them into the troubles I’ve had. Hebrews 12:1-2 rings so loud in my mind as I think about develop, lead, disciple.

How are you doing on your “trail” of life with Jesus?  Let us press on, so that those who come behind us truly find us faithful!
Walk on, Lead on,

CM Leaders Conference 2012 Reflections

September 16, 2012

I had the privilege to go to the first ever CM Leaders Conference sponsored by the International Network of Children’s Ministries (INCM) This conference was totally focused on leadership. It was a topic that I was fascinated by and so I decided to make the trip to Columbus, Ohio and see what was going to happen.

I went with no real expectations but just to be open to learn whatever God had for me to learn. I want to be a better leader, no, honestly, I want to be a great leader! I desire to lead children and their families and those who are on my team in a way that inspires them to grow closer to Jesus.

I will share more as I have time to reflect but let me first focus on something that happened that God pointed to my heart  as I was sitting alone in my hotel room.

One of my new friends, Ron Brooks, came from Michigan to this conference.  I am blessed to call him a friend. This  young man inspires my heart because he’s walking through some tough days and yet, he keeps a big smile on his face and his eyes on Jesus. He is taking a bold and courageous step of faith by working with a church that can’t even afford to pay him what he’s worth. He doesn’t have a regular job yet and he yet he will tell you that God is going to supply. He did for Ron to come to this conference and I loved hanging out with him.  Ok, back to the story, I had invited Ron to join me for dinner and we and some other headed off to Chipotle. When we arrived the line was really long and one of the guys quickly suggested, White Castle! OH MAN! I jumped over the wall and was out the door leaving Ron stunned and wondering what I was doing, (Because I had told him I was buying dinner!) LOL!! He stood there watching me run down the sidewalk.  All of the sudden, I froze in my tracks, as I realized, “What am I doing? I promised Ron dinner!  Wow What a friend I am to just abandon my friend.  ( FYI, I did run back and give him some cash so he could buy his dinner and yes, I got my White Castle!)

The Lesson came as I was laughing to myself, about the events of the past nights dinner. It was then I felt God speaking, “You’ve line jumped before, Tom. You had your eyes on a project and then all of the sudden, You jump the line and run off to another thing only to realize or sometimes not that you left the original plan unfinished, the lesson unlearned. You need to slow down, even stop! and make sure your still in line with what I want you to do.”  Wow! I realized there have been many times I have jumped from project to project, program to program without really seeking God’s plan to see if I should jump or not.

I have made many promises and commitments to be a better leader, father, husband, person, and jump to something else that I would promise anew.  I jump way to often.

I spent the rest of the time sitting in my room in silence to hear God speak again, just walk with me, don’t jump into your day, be still and know! Stay in line with me and  you will see some great things.

Time to make a sign: No Line Jumping!

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