A Reflection on an Amazing Journey

On June 13, 2014, I posted my first blog in obedience to what I felt God was calling me to do. It had to be God because this is not something that I was able to do in my own strength – nor did I particularly want to write a blog! This is especially true in my case; I am dyslexic, and I never attended high school. I did not go to school from the ages 11-21. Writing was a nearly impossible challenge for me. However, in obedience I took on the challenge and for six years and three months, posted a weekly blog up until the end of 2018. In January 2019, I began an assignment as a missionary in South Africa with the Church of the Nazarene, so I posted every other week.

God used many people to enable me to continue this blog over the years. I will be remiss if I do not acknowledge some of the main supporters.

How to Engage with Difficult People

We have all encountered someone who we have a difficult time getting along with. Reasons vary for why we struggle to get along with some people while we seem to have no problem with others.

With some, it is the short fuse or seemly uncontrollable anger. Others might have mood swings so you can never tell at any given interaction what mood the person’s in. Others are overly sarcastic. Then there are those who are never wrong and nothing is ever their fault; they are masters of blame-shifting.

Why Some People Find It Difficult to Trust Others

Why do you find it so difficult to trust others? Why do you find it amusing when a child is honest and trusting? You were once like that child, completely trusting and honest with those around you. What has transpired from childhood to adulthood that now makes trusting others so difficult?

I have spoken with many people who have said they know they need to start trusting others, but they don’t know if they can. When I ask why, the typical answer is usually, “I am afraid others would judge me or not like me if they get to know the real me.” There is also the fear of letting others know that they are struggling.

Why do we find it difficult to trust others with who we are?

Leading Change Requires Building Trust

Developing trust takes time, effort and intentionality. You have to be conscious of the fact that you are working on building trust with the people you are leading. Do not expect to be trusted simply because of your title, power, authority, or job description. Trust is something you must earn from the people you lead.

Emotional Intelligence is Key to Achieving Life’s Goals

With all the knowledge, skills, talents, and drive you may have, if you are not emotionally self-aware, you will not succeed at your life’s goals. You do not have to look far to find someone who has failed in this regard because they did not take the time to know who they were emotionally, how to control their emotions, and what motivated their emotions. You yourself may have experienced consequences due to lack of awareness of emotional strengths and weaknesses; perhaps you failed because you thought you were strong in an area where you were actually weak.

Changing Strategies and Methods without Losing the Mission

The Challenge of Every Leader

In the world of organizational performance, the church stands apart in a significant way from all other organizations. At the same time, the church continues to incorporate organizational skills used by secular organizations, many of which have assisted the church in doing great things to spread the Gospel.

Many larger churches have taken on the management structure of corporations with the lead pastor and numerous supporting staff mirroring corporate CEOs and managers or vice presidents. Organizational structures which help churches operate effectively reflect good stewardship of resources.

Wounded Healer or Victim?

As human beings we have many things in common, one of them is that all of us have been wounded by someone. For some the wound or wounds have been deep, disorienting, painful and catastrophic. I know there are the few who have never been able to overcome the wounds in order to take responsibility for their lives and have had to be taken care of for the remainder of their lives. People like this are the exception. For most of us, we must decide how we will go on with life having been wounded.

Thinking Always Comes Before Doing

As leaders in this COVID-19 new normal, we will have to learn how to function outside the box of our normal way of doing things or our comfort zone if we are going to be effective going forward. But before we can function outside our comfort zone, we first must learn how to think outside our comfort zone.

When things are new and different and we must learn how to function in them, we tend to get nervous, anxious, afraid and sometimes plain angry. Sometimes, the new way of functioning is not as difficult compared to the mental shift we have to make in order for us to start functioning in it. It gets even more difficult when you had no say in the new normal and you have to go along with it anyway.

Empowering Those You Lead

In this new novel coronavirus environment, one of the challenges many leaders face is how to empower their people to work effectively and efficiently. For many, working from home has become the norm. That means you as the leader are not physically present with them, so you are not sure how effective they are being.

I believe if you come up with ways to empower your team, you will be as successful if not even more successful than pre-coronavirus.