The Power to Empower

Powertoempower

What you are called to do is so much bigger than you. You need God’s help. That help is most often met by the people that are in your life and coming into your life. You can only do what you can do, but God has placed people in your life as partners to help you accomplish what you cannot do.

Since the Garden of Eden, God has always used human partnership to accomplish His purposes on the Earth. It was God, then Adam. Then God provided Eve to help Adam, and they populated the earth in order to accomplish God’s purposes on the Earth. (Genesis 1:28)

Jesus had disciples. They were not just His disciples, they were His friends. They were also His partners.


“He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach” -Mark 3:14 NIV


The disciples were there with Jesus, partnering with Him. They gathered crowds, passed out food, advanced the message, and they even performed miracles. (Mark 6:13)

The disciples even took over and grew the ministry of Jesus after He left the planet.

(To the disciples he said)
“Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.- John 14:12(NIV)

Jesus established a model and partners to advance His purposes, when He walked the Earth. It’s the greatest leadership strategy that the world has ever known. He didn’t just disciple followers, He discipled leaders!

If we are followers of Jesus, He wants us to emulate this model.

Leadership is often viewed as “be the best that you can be,” but what if we saw leadership as empowering others to be the best that
they can be. Self improvement is critical, but leadership is not self improvement, it’s improving others. Leadership is not education, it’s impartation, imparting and empowering others to fulfill a greater purpose.

"Leadership is not self improvement,
It’s improving others."

In the end, our greatness will not be measured by what we do with what is in our hands, but what we put in the hands of others.

The Process of Empowering Others

  1. 1. Know Them
Before you will ever lead somebody effectively, you will have to connect with them relationally. John Maxwell says it this way: “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.”

Jesus on the earth was highly relational. It wasn't just about the work they were doing, but the lives they were living. He was in their world and they were in His. So much so, that the disciples were irate when they discovered that the purpose He was accomplishing involved Him dying. (Matthew 16:21)

Look at this verse again: “He appointed twelve that they might
be with him and that he might send them out to preach” -Mark 3:14 NIV

"Before you will ever lead somebody effectively,
you will have to connect with them relationally."


2. Show Them
Showing somebody how to do something can be difficult and time consuming sometimes. It can be true that many times it’s “easier (and even better) if I do it myself.” But if I continue to do it myself, then somebody else doesn't get to do it. It’s actually selfish.

Developing people takes time, but is aways more important than accomplishing tasks! Take the extra time to develop somebody to do what you are doing, and you might be surprised in the short amount of time that they are doing it better than you ever could!

Developing people > Accomplishing task.


3. Grow Them
Jesus spent way more time with His disciples than He did with the crowd. Much of what we read in the gospels are resourcing moments where Jesus was growing his disciples.

Resourcing and encouraging those who are around you is your responsibility as a leader. Whether it be an article, blog, video, a message, or something you generate yourself, it is the leader’s job to be the equipment manager of the people they are developing.


4. Let Go of Them
I heard years ago that if somebody can do what I am doing 80% as good as I can, then I should give it to them.

This is a struggle for me. I am a hands on leader. I am also very particular. (All of the people close to me said “Amen!”) This can be a problem because if I am not careful, I will micromanage what I hand off. It can cause those that I impart to to operate out of fear and become insecure. Insecure leaders will sometimes meet expectations but rarely exceed them. In order for people to get better, they have to be able to set expectations for themselves rather than living under the scrutiny of the person delegating to them.

"Insecure leaders will sometimes meet expectations
but rarely exceed them."





Get Up

get up
In 1997, a song was released called “Tubthumping" by a British band called Chumbawamba. You may think you haven't heard of the band, or the name of the song, unless you are a student of late 90’s alternative music. However, I am certain you know the lyrics:

"I get knocked down, but I get up again….”

The song climbed to #1 in the Alternative Rock charts. Eventually it also fell off the charts. I am pretty sure it never “got up again.” In fact, Chumbawamba never had another Billboard song in the US.

Ironic.

Now that I got a familiar tune stuck in your head, I want you to think about the words…
“I get up again.”

Most of us love come-back stories. Somebody who was at one time great and full of potential only to find themselves crashing down. Then we cheer them on as they climb their way back up! We are inspired because most of us have been down, and we know the struggle of getting up.

The fear of failure often times controls us. For me, it’s one of the most controlling fears in my life. The fact is we are probably going to find ourselves down. Either by failure or by pushing, we will at some point need to get up again.

Getting up is one of the great definers of character. It’s not a question of whether or not we fall, but
if we get up.


For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.
- Proverbs 24:16(NIV)


That is what we do. We get up. We rise from the ashes. We are not one hit wonders. As leaders, the greatest stories we use to inspire others are the redemption stories of when we were low, and we were able to gain ground.

3 Things to Remember to Help Get You Back Up:

1. Grace
Sometimes it is easy to have grace for others but not for ourselves. In fact, in my life, I have found that when I don’t have an understanding grace for myself I am not very graceful towards others. Take it easy on yourself! Grace empowers the second chance. Grace doesn't simply show pity when we are down, it empowers us to get up!

"
Grace empowers
the second chance."


2. Reach Out
There will be moments in our lives where the only way we can get up is with the assistance of another. Everybody needs a hand. God has placed people in your life to help you when you are down.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

3. One More Time
It is critical to remember that you only have to get up one more time than you fall. When you are down, just declare the words, “just one more time.”

Micah 7:8 (NIV) Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.



Originality

orinal
Originality

In a world full of proven formulas, inspirational models, and the accessibly of information, it is more and more difficult to be original. John Mason wrote a book called
You're Born an Original, Don't Die a Copy. I haven't read it, but the title speaks volumes(no pun intended). I don't even know anything about Mr. Mason, but I do know that originality is getting lost in our culture. There seems to be a few originals that set the trends for the rest of us. There is nothing cutting edge about being on point with the latest trend. It may make us trendy but it doesn't break any ground. It’s easy to follow the culture, a littler harder to lead it. As an artist, and as a leader, I am met with this struggle everyday.

Here are a few thoughts to help you maintain your originality:

1. You Can’t Imitate Anointing

You can't copy calling. You can't copy anointing. By anointing, I don't mean a feeling, but a function that connects people with the presence of God. It’s difficult to see something that appears to be working and not copy it. It is the easy way, but it’s not the better way. Surely our aspirations don't need to be set on how or what somebody else is doing.

I mean, God made me. God called me. The fact that I have been selected by God and placed on this planet, means that there is something unique that I am supposed to do with Him. The only anointing we are called to emulate is the anointing of Jesus!

2. Inspiration > Duplication
I enjoy attending conferences , and as a leader, I have been to a ton of them. The stories of success are overwhelming and inspiring. However, if I am not careful, I can lose my identity by following what God has called another individual to do. I will simply become a copy. Copies are never as good as the original. We should seek inspiration from others, but people should never be our aspiration.

Style over substance has taken the stage, and a few creative well known people are driving what everything else looks like, sounds like, and feels like. When we copy somebody else, we personify style over substance. Substance doesn't come from copying a model. Substance is born in the heart.

"Substance doesn't come from copying a model.
Substance is born in the heart."

I don't want to seem dramatic, but I think at times we border on idolatry. Making people that inspire us the goal, and not what God has called us to do. It's hard to resist. As an artist I get it. As a public speaker I get it.

Let me be clear there is nothing wrong with repeating what another person says, or following a trend. However, it is imperative that when we are being an echo, that we don't lose our own voice. Go ahead with some retweets, but don’t let your life be a retweet of somebody else’s timeline.

"Don’t let your life be a retweet
of somebody else’s timeline."


3. Embrace Creativity
Believers should be the most creative force on the earth! You were made in the image of God! You are creative. Look inward and stop focusing so much on what others are doing. Comparison is killing your ability to create. Comparison screams be more like _____. However, God is raising up ground breakers and pioneers. Will you be willing to dream with The Creative One? Get alone, disconnect from technology, and dream with God!


4. Embrace Principles
I have spent most of my time in this blog trying to break a mold, but principles are important to remember. There are right and wrong ways to be original. The most virtuous and the greatest evil in human history all started with an idea. The noble follow noble principles. They color inside the lines, but they use different colors. As a follower of Christ, don't try to redefine virtue. As it’s been said, “The method changes but not the message.” The principles are given by your Creator.

5. Release Passion
What burns inside of you? Discover your “why” and give yourself over to it. It might not become the greatest trend, but the only way you will ever influence the masses is by influencing the one. The only way you can influence one is by pouring out yourself on what you do. Let it out. It’s inside of you. Do, be, and create all that God has put in your heart!