Five Things Every Good Leader Needs To Know

Ministry Mom

MandyWritten by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

With great power comes great responsibility.” —Mufassa to Simba in The Lion King

I live a life devoted to ministry. Leading a team of women (and a few men) in an online community that seeks to encourage women in their daily walks of faith is a privilege that I do not take for granted. I am also a ministry spouse—my husband is a staff pastor at our local church. Both of these settings have taught me some valuable lessons about what a good leader comprises. Below are five of the most important things I have learned along the way.

Number One
You Cannot Be Best Friends With Everyone

God set a divine purpose in all of our hearts from the moment he breathed new life into our redeemed bones—regardless the size of our current or our potential reach. That mission is to love the Lord our God and to love others as He loves us. But let me tell you something, friends, you simply cannot be best friends with everyone. There is a stark difference between loving everyone and being everyone’s best friend.

As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of.” —1 Corinthians 12:19-21 (MSG)

I interpret this scripture as Paul’s gentle way of reminding the church that the Holy Spirit has work for all of us to do. If I assume the role of best friend to everyone, I am assuming the work and responsibility of the entire body of Christ. God never expects this of me—ever. He has a unique role for each of us to play in His ultimate plan.

I learned early on in my ministry roles that being best friends with everyone is just not a reality. It is not possible, but the enemy certainly does his best to make me feel otherwise. In fact, he would much rather have me feeling like I am being ineffective by highlighting all the people that are still in need of being reached. Attempting this impossible task will most certainly end in heartache for someone, in addition to taking the chance away from someone else that God is nudging to reach out.

A good leader listens well to who the Holy Spirit would like them to invest a deeper relationship in—and knows that cannot be everyone.

Number Two
You Cannot Do It All

Too often I see ministries operated by a leader whose plate is overflowing with responsibility. The leader feels called to the ministry work; however, because of an overload of responsibilities, their best efforts are not being applied anywhere and mediocre or less effort is given to all things.

Delegation is an art. It absolutely requires the humility to say: “I cannot do everything.” When you place some of your responsibility into the hands of your peers and trust God to complete the vision and dreams He put in your heart, you experience a truly profound freedom. Your effect on the kingdom will be so much greater when you share credit with the body of Christ.

Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.” —Exodus 18:22b

A good leader embraces the art of delegation.

Number Three
You Cannot Let The Bossy-Boots’ Run The Show

Every church has one. My guess is you have already imagined one or two…or maybe more from your church already! I promise you that each and every time you are given the responsibility of a leader, there will be someone ready and willing to tell you exactly how to do your job better.

Knowing this, it is vital to be solid in the ways in which God is leading you to roll out His vision and plans for your assignment. Prayer and time in God’s word will give you a firm foundation upon which to stand and will prepare you for the winds of frustration that will surely blow and push you to react to the bossy-boots in your life in unholy ways.

I want to be clear, however. Being firm does not mean that you steam roll over every suggestion that comes your way. Hearing someone else’s idea may just be the missing piece to an incredible puzzle. Being firm in the direction in which God is leading you will help you discern the difference between who is coming alongside you and who is looking to steal away your position.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” —James 3:17-18

A good leader is solid in the direction and purposes of the assignment God has called them to.

Number Four
You Cannot Be Proud

Humility is never a favourable topic of discussion, is it? Yet, being humble is one of the most important qualities a good leader can possess. No leader gets it right every time. In spite of that, the best leaders take time to evaluate what went wrong with the plan, and decide whether or not the same plan is something worthy of investing more time and effort into, or whether it is simply time to move on to plan B.

Pride promotes and protects one’s self, where humility promotes and protects the greater good. Pride and humility cannot be roommates of the same heart. A heart in tune with the Spirit has no room for self-preservation. “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” —Micah 6:8

A good leader embraces a life of humility.

Number Five
You Cannot Withhold Grace

We live in a sinful world, friends. People make mistakes. People will disappoint you. You will make mistakes, and you will most definitely disappoint people along the way. Make it your habit to offer grace—often. You never know when you will require the same kind of grace.

Let your speech always be gracious and seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” —Colossians 4:6

A good leader knows how both to give and receive grace.

Being a leader in any ministry is such a privilege. Be sure with every opportunity you are given to lead people in ministry that you handle your portion of power with integrity.

Now go—lead well.

Alarming

Motivational Monday with Marisa

IMG_0015Written by: Marisa Aud

I’ve always had a turbulent relationship with my alarm clock. It’s a chore to pick the appropriate tone to wake up to. I’ve tried them all; the buzzer, the beeper, the telephone ring, but the one that stands out above them all was my Hello Kitty alarm clock; given to me on my 18th birthday while attending Bible College. I’ve always had a passion for Sanrio so naturally I fell in love with this beloved Hello Kitty alarm clock. It actually became an icon, but in the worst way possible. It never occurred to me that this particular alarm clock was working dutifully to not only wake me but also the entire dorm. To those sweet friends who suffered through this phase of my life, I regretfully apologize. You are angelic heroes and bosom friends for all time. I could have easily awoken to any other type of alarm but this particular one felt like the most practical way to start my day simply because the volume could not be adjusted from the freakishly high decibel and awoke me with such vigor that I never felt the urge to crawl back into my tiny dorm bed.

It was literally like caffeine for my ears. Unfortunately, for all who lived in the same building, it was like playing Super Mario Brothers nintendo music through a loud speaker while Dora the Explorer bid us all “GOOOOOOD MORN’ING” in the loudest cartoon voice you ever did hear. It took me an un-naturally long time to realize how frustrated this made my sweet, sweet roomies. They were beyond patient with my need for a boisterous start to my day.

As you might assume, I’ve shied away from the whole alarm clock scene since the Hello Kitty fiasco and I’ve never really found another that is quite as effective. But alarms are more than just a traditional way of waking us up in the morning, alarms have become a practical way to remind us of our routines and responsibilities. In addition to using various alarms on my smart phone to remind myself of meetings, grocery lists, prayer requests, I’m using these tools help set an evening alarm that prompts me to begin my evening wind-down time and it’s really improving the way I view sleep.

Our world has become increasingly fixated with overextending ourselves and I believe that we suffer for it. Healthy sleep cycles are a practical way for us to teach our kids about healthy routines. Part of becoming the healthiest version of myself is knowing when to begin and when to rest; when to rise up and when to back down. And just like I want to honor my body by creating healthy habits, I want to create better rhythms for my soul.

I’m praying for you this week, that you will rise up in the morning with courage and at the end of your day, may you know that while you’re resting, God is at work in you, preparing you for another great day!

xo Maud

marisamondauy

Always Beginning Again

IMG_0015Written by: Marisa Aud

Hello Beautiful! Welcome to another bright & bushy Monday, because that’s just what it typically is; painfully bright and awkwardly bushy. This isn’t your first Monday of course, but it’s your first Monday with me and I’m excited for the journey we are about take.

One of my favorite things in life is getting pumped-up with people on their journey towards love, health, motherhood, and new adventures of all kinds. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not all glitter and sunshine; I can get down with the baddest of blues, but if something good is happening for you lady, you best be believin’ that I am gonna high five you all the way to the top!

Sometimes, I forget to live in the moment and celebrate the precious, beautiful, barely-there miracles – so I’m sure-as-heck not gonna let you do the same.

Cheering people on is what I love to do and here’s why; on my saddest, loneliest, crumbs-in-every-corner Monday, I would’ve loved for someone to cheer me on and tell me that I was normal, that my mothering was brilliant, and that the fight for peace was well-worth it. Also, it would not have hurt if someone would’ve reminded me that exercising does indeed make a difference and that there is, in fact, life beyond Kraft Dinner and cold chicken nuggets. Can I get an AMEN?! So why are Mondays so tough for us? Well here’s my take on it…

For those of us crawling back into office on Monday, you know that leftover-to-do list from last week is waiting for you, not to mention the myriad of emergencies that happened over the weekend.

For SAHMs (Stay at Home Mommies), Monday is the day when everything goes deafeningly silent, the laundry piles are taller than our offspring and the kids are shockingly cranky.

For those in ministry, Mondays are the day you mentally drag yourself back through your time at church; how many people did I give hugs to, who did I miss, did I pray for enough people and did my breath stink whilst doing so?
Monday is universally a difficult day.

So, what does a lady who wants to stay motivated do in the throws of the Monday doldrums?

We decide together, here and now, that Mondays from hence-forth are our opportunity to consciously and prayerfully cheer a sister on towards her weekend, her to-do list, her scary new hair cut, health plan or difficult conversation. True, we are exhausted mentally, physically, spiritually, romantically, metaphorically, aaaaand figuratively, but that just means that we are gonna require some powerful resurrection sauce; dang straight we are.

In Matthew 28, Luke 24 and John 20 we read the account of the Mary who went to visit Jesus’ tomb on the first day of week. When she arrived at the tomb there was no earthly explanation for what she saw; the stone had been rolled away! And her Savior appeared to her, but at first she didn’t even recognize Him. Mary assumed He was the Cemetery Gardener. But once Mary’s eye were opened she unofficially became the first Evangelist of the Christian Church.

How undeniably awesome is that?

If you were Mary and you found an empty tomb on Sunday wouldn’t Monday be the most exciting day of your week? The day you just couldn’t wait to get started on?

Mondays were never meant to be a burial day, friend, but a day of celebrating resurrection; you and I get a chance to begin again and spread some excitement! How awesome is that?

As His Daughters, we get to be carriers of His presence to so many who have lost sight or simply never known this mighty Resurrection power. I’m excited to challenge you every week to remember what Mondays really mean.

I want you to begin to believe with me again; that the very same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is the same power that dwells within you. Through the power of the promised Holy Spirit you are able to tear down strongholds, vain expectations, and the nagging fear of never being enough. God has good things in store for you sister.

Will you let me cheer you on as you begin your week again?
xo Maud

How Does An Online Book Study Work?

I have received multiple inquiries this week as we approach the start of our Online Summer Book Study on how a book study like this actually works.

I hope these FAQ’s will help with your questions 🙂

Q: Do I need to commit to certain times?
A: No. Our study is crafted in a way that leaves room for flexibility. We understand that not everyone is available at the same time of the day and we also recognize that most people have a certain time of day that works best for them when working on their spiritual growth (…and maybe even a special place in which to do it in.) We want to encourage you to read the book, participate in discussions and journal any thoughts or revelations that you may have at a time that works best for you.

Q: What do I need in order to participate?
A: You will need the book God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer, the internet and a device to acquire our daily online study material (found on our website: weareHisdaughters.com), paper & a pen (for note taking) and a heart that desires spiritual growth.

Q: What are the fees for the Online Book Study?
We are happy to offer you participation in our study at no cost. FREE.

Q: It seems like a lot? What if I fall behind?
A: One of the beautiful things about a study like this is that you can choose to participate in whatever you wish. There will be discussion questions for you to participate in every day right on the website— you can join in whenever you wish, or not at all. There will be some extra fun things in our study group (on Facebook) during the week and we encourage you to join in and make some new friends and get to know the other ladies doing the study— but it is not required. And we have divided the book up into six sections to make studying more manageable for time.

Q: So…how exactly does it work?
A: Every Monday morning at weareHisdaughters.com (our website) there will be a teaching post from our Director of Online Book Studies; Doretta Zinck. It is here that Doretta will highlight the week’s reading schedule as well as key points to remember from the chapter(s) being covered. Doretta will also have a few discussion questions at the end of her post to start some dialog within our online community of ladies. Tuesday-Sunday, our regular writers will also be sharing thoughts on that week’s readings and will pose an additional question for contemplation and discussion at the end of their post. In addition to our weekly readings we have a private Facebook study group (https://www.facebook.com/Summeronlinebookstudy/?fref=ts) where we will socialize and nurture friendships by means of icebreakers, discussion questions, worshipping together and praying together, to name a few.

I hope that this email helps you better understand what our summer together will look like! If you haven’t signed up for our study yet, I encourage you to do so!

Much love,
Mandy Lawrence-Hill
for Team WAHD

 

**CLICK IMAGE TO REGISTER**

{Ministry Mom} Worth More Than Diamonds

MandyWritten by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

….worth far more than diamonds. (Proverbs 31:10 MSG)

The definition of worth is: “the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.

Our culture is insistent that we find our ‘worth’ in various ways. Where do you find your worth?

Do you find worth in your education? Perhaps you have a degree or two from a prominent university, framed and boldly centered on your office wall. Do you find your worth in your job? Maybe you’ve climbed the ladder and have worked REALLY hard to earn the position you possess today. Do you find your worth in a growing platform? Maybe you have double the number of fans on Facebook or Twitter as your competitors. Do you find your worth in your family? I’ll bet you are pretty proud of the hard-working husband and beautiful children you call your own. What about a car? A boat? Your hair? Your home? Your passion? Your talent? Your ministry? (Ouch)

Now, what if the very thing in which you found your worth was stripped away. Would you still be worthy?

What if you have none of these things? Does that make you worthless?

1 Peter 1: 3-7 says this: God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear. You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do. On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while. Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns. (CEV)

Worth has nothing to do with anything you can possess or obtain in the physical sense. Nothing you can buy, earn or create on this earth will increase or decrease your worth. The value you feel in any of the things I mentioned above, or anything else other than God Himself will soon fade away.

It is only when you put your hope and faith in God, without reservation, without holding back, that your worth is far greater than diamonds, my friend.

Don’t settle for anything less.

{Father’s Day Event} 525,600 Minutes

Mandy

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

A tribute to my husband, Nathan Hill, the amazing Daddy of our four treasures.

During the long, agonizing years we spent trying to conquer fertility issues, I often wondered what my husband would be like as a Daddy. I daydreamed about being pregnant and how he would be during the labor and delivery processes. Most of all, I wondered what he would do— how he would react, when the doctor placed a brand new baby into his arms for the very first time— our baby.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. As I mentioned above we had difficulty conceiving. It turns out our patience was tested and over two million minutes passed between the moment my hubby and I decided to start a family— and the moment that we held our firstborn in our arms. That is a lot of time when you are passionately waiting for something to happen.

I remember the day our son Ben entered the world, so vividly. Watching the nurse hand my husband our first little one, this little man that was a piece of each of us, was maybe the very best moment of my whole life.

Most certainly worth the long wait.

IMG_8613

About five million minutes have passed since we began this journey called parenthood, and I can say without reservation that my husband has proven to be one of the best dads that I know. Not only does he care immeasurably for our four children, he loves them fiercely, and he extends more patience than most people are capable of.

My husband, my kids Daddy, embraces every moment he has with our children and makes every effort to be intentional with his time with them. Time is fleeting and is often the very thing we take most for granted.

A few years ago my husband purposed we set aside every Tuesday (for date night) and every Friday (for family night). Aside from the fact that he prioritized these weekly events in our budget, the greatest gift my husband has ever given myself or his children is the gift of his time. We never wonder about the next time we will get to spend with him because he is consistent and devoted to each one of us.

While so many of us are wishing time away in anticipation for something great to arrive or an event to take place, or while others are griping away that time stands still, I hope that you’ll be inspired by my husbands intentionality and simply enjoy every single minute that you have with your children. With your loved ones.

Time is truly an invaluable gift.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. How will you spend your minutes?

Mandy

Mandy is the founder of the ministry blog We are His daughters and thoroughly enjoys writing and providing leadership to this ministry. Mandy is an imperfect work in progress! She loves the Lord with her whole heart and counts it her biggest privilege to serve Him in ministry however He leads. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, she now resides in southern Ontario with her family. She has been married to her handsome husband Nathan for 11 years and together they have served in ministry for the entirety of their marriage. Nathan & Mandy have four beautiful children; Benjamin, Sophia; Spencer & Grayson. Mandy is passionate about singing, worship leading and music. She loves reading, writing, taking pictures, studying the bible and sipping salted caramel mocha’s at Starbucks while chatting with a friend! She strives to be tidier, more organized (yes, she is a little compulsive!), a little more Martha Stewart-esque, and a little less ‘unglued’. Most of all she seeks to be holier and to love God through serving her family and her community.

 

{Ministry Mom} Mom, Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

AshleyWritten by: Ashley Sigrest

One of the easiest ways the enemy wears down a mom is to plague her with guilt. As moms we feel guilty for things we haven’t even done. Just thinking about doing something for ourselves can engulf us into feelings of doubt and worry.

We think about having a girls’ night with our friends and before we can get too excited we immediately think about all the ways our husbands won’t do things our way and shut the idea down. We desire to be healthier, but somehow rationalize that one hour at the gym childcare will cause abandonment issues for our kids.

Moms, mommas, mommies, STOP! This guilt is not from God. Especially fictional guilt. Mom guilt can be a heavy burden to carry, but Jesus said His burden is light. What you’re feeling is not from Him. Channel your inner-Elsa and LET IT GO!

I was reminded the other day that flight attendants tell us that in case of emergency, one should put on their oxygen mask first before helping others. This reason is simple. If you can’t breathe you can’t help others. Most moms have this natural nurturer inside that seeks to serve and care for others. We have somehow misconstrued the idea to mean we have to put our needs last …or never. We get so busy with serving our families and other ministries that we get overwhelmed, depressed, and covered in feelings of anxiety.

Take a deep breath sweet sister and put on your oxygen mask. Grab a coffee with a friend, take a long bubble bath, or plan that getaway with your husband. Making yourself a priority once in a while isn’t a sin. It’ll help you be a better mom!

If we allow ourselves to be burdened with mom-guilt all the time then we will never be the moms God called us to be. Our anxieties and frustrations will eventually leak over to our children. We will start losing our tempers more often, our patience will cease to exist, and exhaustion will take over in every area of our lives. We will get to a point that we are of no good to anyone because we can’t breathe. We start suffocating.

Put your oxygen mask on first.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Being a mom doesn’t change this. Your identity isn’t found in your kids or how good of a mom you think you are. Your identity is in Christ. He wants us to live satisfied and abundant lives. To enjoy the precious blessings He has gifted us with. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy as a mom and give you a false sense of self and a false reality.

When you take time to properly care for yourself, you will be refreshed and revived to properly care for your kids. About five years ago we had to have our foundation repaired and we had to move into a small room for six weeks. My boys were 4 months, almost 3 years old, and my oldest had just turned 5. Being in that tiny room with three small kids began to suffocate me. There were days I would drop them off at my gym’s childcare for an hour or so just so I could sit outside alone and breathe.

Having that time to myself allowed me to let go of the stress I was in long enough to get back and be there for my kids during that transition. There’s a difference in putting your wants before your kids needs, but making time for yourself isn’t in that category. When you hear the enemy condemning you for taking care of yourself, tell him to leave in Jesus Name and put on your oxygen mask and breathe.

{Ministry Mom} Fervent Week 4: Chains No More.

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Too often, our greatest obstacle to growing and maturing in our walk with God is our past. With a tight-fisted grip we hold on to the guilt and shame that comes from the bondage of our past failures. And in those times we believe that others see us through that same lens, convinced that they are casting condemnation and judgment when in fact neither exists. Fixated on this lie, we lose our focus on the ONLY opinion we ought to be paying any mind to, the one that says “You are forgiven.” (Colossians 2:13)

Forgiven.

Free.

I sat with a friend a few years ago as she shared with me over coffee some of the mistakes that made up a part of her yesterdays. Shame hung on her every word. Guilt ate away at her joy. Fear of a damaged reputation threatened to ruin what she had accepted as God’s grace and forgiveness. I listened as she shared, resigned to the lie that her past was too much for the God we both serve to forgive. Eternal redemption was out of reach. For many years she had relinquished the reins of her life to fear of rejection in the eyes of others if they were ever to learn of her past failures.

A new creation in Christ Jesus, riddled with the guilt of those yesterdays, unable or, perhaps, unwilling to let go.

Having shared her story, staring down into her mug, not wanting to make eye contact with me, she asked, “So, what do you think of me now?”.

What do I think of you now?” I asked, perplexed. “It doesn’t matter what I think of you”, I answered. “God has forgiven you- He made you a new creation when you accepted Him as your Lord and made the decision to walk the rest of your days with Him as your guide. You are forgiven! Now walk in that freedom! From where I’m sitting, I see God’s favour all over your life. He’s gifted you in the areas of encouragement and servanthood and is opening doors with incredible opportunities to serve and glorify Him on the other side.”

I watched her entire countenance change and she began to cry. Cry hard.

In the few silent moments that followed I handed her a tissue and felt the Lord nudge my heart to continue. “Friend, you cannot change your past. It’s done. Those days will never be available for do-over. But that was before. When you gave your heart to Him, He made you new, different than you were then. He gave you a brand new start. You’re walking in His ways. You’re actively engaging in a relationship with Him”.

I want to encourage you with this overwhelmingly wonderful truth: you may not be able to forget the pain of your past but God has, and He has from the moment that you made Him Lord. He’s not dwelling on your yesterdays; He doesn’t even think twice about them when He looks at you. However, He sees your tears and your shame and so badly wants you to walk in the gift of freedom that He has given to you. Forgive yourself. Walk away from the chains of your past and into a hope-filled future.”

She stared blankly at me for a minute and then replied “I wish everyone were as understanding as you.”

I sat up straighter and shared further; “There are going to be people that will not see things like I do…..but don’t let their opinions diminish the precious gift of forgiveness that God has given to you. Only you get to decide whether or not their opinions will shake you.”

Sisters are you, like my friend, hanging on for dear life to the guilt and shame of your past? Are you living in the fear that if someone “finds out” about the details that haunt you that God will retract His forgiveness? It is time to accept the forgiveness that God has richly blessed you with- He bought your forgiveness with an immeasurable sacrifice- and walk ahead in victory!

Walk in His freedom, my friend.

Going Deeper:

  1. What holds you back from fully embracing the forgiveness that God offers when we accept Him as our Lord?
  2. Do you find it hard to forgive yourself from the shame of your yesterdays?