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Transfer of Power

I had the Presidential Inauguration playing in the background. There is always a lot of talk about the transfer of power during the period between Election Day and Inauguration Day. Although the transfer of administrations in America is a wonderful testament to our form of government, my thoughts were not occupied with the transfer of power that was taking place.

Transfer of Responsibility

I was struck with the transfer of responsibility that occurred. As President Obama and the First Lady sat through the ceremony and then boarded the helicopter to resume life as public citizens once more, I wondered if they felt relieved by the transfer of responsibility from themselves to President Trump and his wife.

Feeling the Weight

I put myself in President Trump’s position. The Office of the Presidency of the United States has an enormous weight of responsibility. I feel for the level of scrutiny the President must endure. I feel for the great weight of obligation and duty a President is tasked. Decisions must be made that literally have life or death consequences.

Capability and Responsibility

A weight of responsibility is calculated by the aptitude of the person in the given position. I remember in the 5th grade playing at a friend’s house and seeing his high school age sister doing homework at their kitchen table. I looked at her textbook and wondered how I would ever be able to do the work she was required to do. Thankfully I was not being asked as a 5th-grader to the work of a high-schooler. Also thankfully, my aptitude grew as I faced the responsibilities of high school.

Bearing the Weight

As I look at the “textbook” a President is assigned, I feel the same way as I did looking at my friend’s sister doing her homework. My aptitude does not match the weight of responsibility of the Presidency. I am not interested in delving into whether President Trump has the capability to bear the weight of responsibility that is required. He has far greater experience and knowledge than I do. I am grateful for anyone willing to step under that weight.

An Unknown Weight

The weight of responsibility is always an unknown quantity until the situation calls for it. The circumstances and events to be faced are yet future, so it is yet to be calculated the exact weight of responsibility. Wouldn’t it be great to know that ability would always match the responsibility of every circumstance? For yourself, wouldn’t it be nice to know your capacity could match whatever you had to face? 

A Known Capability

What if there was someone with boundless aptitude? What if there was someone who possessed all strength, energy, knowledge, and foresight? That person could face any situation with total confidence. That person could be fully trusted with any responsibility. There would be no question as to whether that person could bear the weight of responsibility. 

Infinite Capability

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” (Isaiah 40:28)

Title Signature Screenshot Cartoon 2015


Are You Using the Most Powerful Tool You Have?

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If what you are doing is not becoming easier, you need to evaluate how well you are utilizing your most important tool.

If what you are doing is not becoming easier, you need to evaluate how well you are utilizing your most important tool.

Thrilled to share

Moses was told the in-laws were coming in town. Moses must have been thrilled to share with his father-in-law, Jethro, everything that had happened. The last time Jethro had been with his son-in-law, he was a fugitive. Now, he was the head-honcho of an entire tribe. Moses must have been beaming when Jethro delighted in the turn of events (Exodus 18:9). Jethro must have been relieved his daughter and grand-kids would finally be provided for.

This isn’t good

But then Jethro saw his son-in-law on the job. He knew the way Moses was going about it, he wasn’t going to be around for his family very long. Moses was working daybreak to nightfall. Jethro’s question was, “What is this you are doing for the people?” (Exodus 18:14) I don’t think that question says everything that Jethro was thinking. He was not impressed with Moses’ new occupation. Exodus 18:17 sums up Jethro’s opinion: “What you are doing is not good.”

A lighter load

Is your load heavy? Is the strain of ministry weighing you down? Maybe you need to hear the advice Jethro gave his son-in-law. He told Moses, “Make your load lighter by sharing the work.” The term we typically use is delegation. Could it be that God wants your load lighter?

First is priority

I would submit two reasons this is precisely what God wants. The first is priority. God wants you focusing on what is most important. This is what Jethro told Moses. He recognized Moses didn’t have time for his most important work. “You must be the people’s representatives before God and…teach them” (Exodus 18:19-20). Moses didn’t have time to pray for the people or teach them God’s ways, so they could avoid the problems they were bringing to Moses in the first place! These were to be Moses’ priority.

Second is opportunity

The second reason I see why God would want Moses to share the load is opportunity. Moses was a bottleneck. One channel only provides so much capacity. Sharing the work gave other capable people the opportunity to be a channel for solutions, so the people would “go home satisfied” (Exodus 18:23). It’s a win-win-win situation. The leader is happy, other leaders are being raised up, and the people are being served better.

Dust off your delegation

If you want to give priority to what God has asked you to do, learn to delegate. If you want to develop leaders, learn to delegate. The most beneficial and least used tools in a leader’s tool bag is delegation. I know it isn’t easy. I am as big of a control freak as anyone. We will have to take a deep breath in at least three areas, as we reach for delegation and pull it out of the tool bag.

  1. Responsibility. This often has to be given, at first, even before a person has proven themselves. Do you give others freedom, once you have given them the job?
  2. Authority. You have to give permission to make decisions. Can you relinquish control?
  3. Pulse. You have to figure out how they are hard wired and then tell them. Are you getting to know them, not just monitoring what they do?

If ministry is a strain and endurance is low, chances are you are poorly delegating. If you want to regain focus and see ministry opportunities surge, reach into your tool bag and dust off your delegation.

Title Signature Screenshot Cartoon 2015

Deliberate Simplicity: Oar

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Dave Browning:

On September 11, 2001, Jimmy Dunne was on the golf course when a tournament official rolled up and suggested he call the office. He tried. There was no answer. When he finally reached a friend, he was told, “You have to come to terms with the fact that most of the people in your firm are dead.”

Dunne was a senior executive at Wall Street firm Sandler O’Neill, the “little big firm” that had its headquarters on the 104th floor of Tower 2. On that day 83 people came to work at Sandler, and 66 never went home. Dunne found he was the only surviving executive. Leading this shattered company through its overwhelming losses would prove to be the greatest leadership challenge of his relatively young (44 year old) life. Between that Tuesday and the following Monday (when the stock market opened for business again), Dunne attended countless funerals. He cried his tears and steeled his nerve. The company set up temporary headquarters on West 57th Street.

When he gathered with the survivors the next week he gave them this challenge: “Look, we’ve been involved in an international incident. It’s not something we wanted, it’s not something we were prepared for, but the reality is, we’re right in the middle of it.” He acknowledge that some in the company might want to leave the firm. As for himself, he was going to stay and rebuild. He continued, “Come on in! There’s room in the boat. Everybody can get an oar. Now, there are some of you that are doubting. We cannot have you in the boat! We wish you well. But you can’t come in the boat. Because if you’re in the boat you have to have an oar.”

The team signed on. Everybody grabbed an oar and started rowing.

The results have been astonishing.

The firm has grown exponentially in the past ten years to over 340 employees. Spurring their growth: the legacy of those they lost. They decided to take the proceeds of the firm and provide health care for the victims’ dependents for the next ten years. As a group they committed to pay 100% of tuition, regardless of merit or need, for all the children of the deceased. Their work matters. The story of Sandler O’Neill is a great illustration of what can be accomplished when a group of people are called to active engagement in pursuit of a greater purpose.

At CTK we say, “Always a Place for You.” But when we say this, we don’t mean that there’s room in the boat. We mean that everybody can get an oar.

via Deliberate Simplicity.