Tag Archives: What God Does When Men Lead

Fishing Is Next to Godliness

Fishing_HeaderLast chance to Join Bill Peel and Chuck Lane in Montana for three+ days of glorious fly fishing: October 15-19. Learn the amazing connection between fly fishing and fulfilling the Great Commission.

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The Serious Work of Being a Father

or How to Make This the Best School Year Ever for Your Kids (and Your Wife)

I usually write about faith in the workplace in this space, but I want to pause and talk about another kind of work God calls us to do that must brought into rhythm with our career.

In case you missed the news, Kathy and I just gave birth to twins.  Well, sort of.  Not new children but two new books released this summer:

While listening to Kathy talk about how stressful back to school was for moms, it dawned on me that most men are clueless how much work it takes to launch kids well into a new school year.  After all, isn’t that mom’s department?  To that I would say absolutely not!”

Parenting is a team effort and a man’s role is mission critical to the welfare of his family.  In 1 Timothy 4:3 Paul says that men should,  “Manage their household well.”  One of the things that means is that it’s our job to create a positive launching pad for our children. Here are three important principles to apply.

  1. Redefine your role around the house. Think of yourself as a partner not just a helper.  For too many years as Kathy was sweating the start of a school year I told her,  “Let me know if I can do anything.”  That puts the entire burden on her.  A partner figures out what needs to be done and takes on the task without being asked.  If you’ve never taken a look at what it takes to run a household, hold onto your seat and download a form off of Kathy’s Family Manager website entitled “Who’s Responsible for What?” It will probably shock you to see all the tasks that it takes to run a household.
  2. Show up. Obviously our physical presence is important, but many of us have a hard time showing up personally for our family.  I understand.  We are distracted by a lot of pressures that come at us from all directions,  but when we walk in the door,  it’s dad time, not time to relax. That would be like showing up at work for break time.  If you haven’t discovered how critical you are to your family,  check out Chapter 10, “The Inestimable Value of a Father” in What God Does When Men Lead.
  3. Own the morning.  Trust me here.  Own the mornings, and your evenings—after the kids are in bed—will be rewarding.  Mornings during the school year are the most stressful time of the day for mothers and kids.  Mornings are also the launching pad for the day,  and you want to give your children the best possible start to the day .  Here are my suggestions.
  • Schedule time with your wife after the kids are in bed and inform her that you want to take personal responsibility to start everyone’s day on the right foot.  Read through the above article together and make a list of all the morning jobs that need to be done to start the day well and list all the potential roadblocks.  Then divvy up the work.  Since you are a “partner,” that doesn’t mean that you do all of the work,  but it does mean that you do take on 50%-plus of the jobs and take responsibility for how things actually go.  That means you’ll be getting up earlier and spending time with God to make sure you are in a servant-hearted frame of mind before the chaos begins.
  • Next,  schedule a family meeting and talk through the morning routine—no whining allowed.  If you have older children,  listen to their feedback,  but don’t give in to things you know are important like sitting down together for breakfast.  Go over when everyone is going to get up,  what each person will be responsible for,  the bathroom schedule,  and if necessary,  consequences for uncooperative attitudes.
  • Last,  make the commitment to give each day a spiritual jumpstart by reading a short (very short) children’s devotional or a portion of a chapter in Proverbs (there are 31 chapters) and praying together for everyone’s day ahead.

4.    If you are really brave,  “adopt” our twins,  What God Does When Men Lead and The Busy Mom’s Guide for a Happy, Organized Home.  Read and study the first with a group of men.  Read the later with your wife and get into her world.

P.S.  There’s a link to a study guide for your men’s group to the right.

Labor Day Opportunity

The Sunday before Labor Day is a natural opportunity to remind people that God is present everywhere and cares about what they do on Monday just as much as He is present and cares about what they do on Sunday. Here are some ideas and resource links for emphasizing this message:

  • Have people dress in their work clothes for church.
  • Consider a commissioning ceremony to affirm and pray for your congregation’s impact for God’s Kingdom in their workplace.
  • Use Colossians 3:22-4:6 as the text for a sermon about work.  (There’s an outline on page 153 in What God Does When Men Lead).
  • Launch a “God in the Workplace” sermon series. Christianity Today and The High Calling have teamed up to create a resource of sermon outlines on the workplace. Click here to download.
  • Ask people to write on 3×5 cards the names of workplace colleagues for whom they are praying. Commit to pray for these individuals as a pastoral staff.
  • Begin the habit of praying for workplace concerns in the pastoral prayer each Sunday.

It takes a Team

Or how one Lone Ranger shot himself (and his company) in the foot

Recently I heard the behind-the-scenes story about a company that had enjoyed notable success and is now struggling to survive. A former employee told me that he and other high-performers had worked their tails off, adding millions to the company’s bottom line. Yet the company’s president couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge their contribution. Instead, in press interviews he personally took all the credit for the company’s growth. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well with the sales team, nor did the president’s regular habit of raising their sales goals without raising their compensation. One day they decided enough was enough and left en masse to work for a competitor.

Any leader on a pedestal, no matter how he got there, is in a dangerous position. Yet it’s interesting how, by the end of the twentieth century, pedestals had become the norm. Leadership was elevated to dizzying heights as we looked individuals with silver bullets—in government, business, and even churches—to solve our problems. The problem is, it takes a team to effect change. When a leader receives recognition for accomplishments that required a team or community of people to achieve, those who are really responsible for the success are deprived of the rewards and encouragement they deserve, as shareholders of the once-successful company discovered when the sales force quit.

Every person is essential. Moving a family, community, church, or business toward legitimate achievement of any sort always involves a team of people who take on responsibility. Leaders of every variety must recognize the important part they play, while at the same time giving other responsible people the authority, resources, and affirmation they need and deserve. In other words, a good leader encourages leadership at all levels.

As we move toward the close of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the definition of effective leadership is already morphing from an overemphasis on decisive individual leaders to an approach that is more inclusive of a multitude of gifts. People around the world are realizing that one leader, no matter how gifted, can’t possibly have all the skills needed to effectively lead an organization today. In fact, one leader has never had all the skills needed. Check out Ecclessiastes 4:9-12 and you’ll see why.

What will you do today to acknowledge and thank someone for a contribution he or she has made?

(Adapted from What God Does When Men Lead)

A Group Study Guide for What God Does When Men Lead is available for free download. Click here.

Thanks to De-Gifted Artist for the image.

Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto

When I was a kid, like most boys my age, my mind was filled with heroic characters. My age-revealing personal favorites were The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, and Hop-along Cassidy. I wanted to be like the guys who righted wrongs, captured villains, and rode off into the sunset after single-handedly saving the day. The fact is that there was nothing singlehanded about it. Every one of my heroes had “sidekicks” who backed them up and helped them out in sticky situations.

The same goes for real life as we seek to become the men God created us be. God made us, like Himself, to live in community. But sadly, men have a tendency to isolate, which causes us to be, as one friend put it, “a security risk.”

When we try to go it alone, we become easy targets and can be picked off by the “bad guys” (lust, greed, power, etc.) before we can even get our gun out of the holster. Search the Scripture and consider your own experience and you’ll recognize that men who isolate become a danger to themselves, their family, their community, and the cause of Christ.

Twenty years ago, when I began helping men establish small groups, the following verse became a constant reminder of the importance of guys getting together.

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:19-20)

Christ promises His presence and power when a group of His followers meet and pray together. Today I’m more convinced than ever that we need a cohort of Christian men to encourage, sharpen, and support one another as we seek to follow Christ 24/7. We just can’t do this alone.

I just finished writing a free downloadable study guide to accompany What God Does When Men Lead. I encourage you to read the book and study through it with a group of guys. If you don’t have a small group of men with whom you meet, start one. Download here.

1 Comment »

  1. Some nice thoughts. As another observation, men sometimes get together well enough, but we keep it surface. Sports, cars, whatever. When men of faith gather, sometimes it is a good thing to have a pact that we will deal with deep subjects and not the kind of things that we enjoy and are good, but might not help us make real community.Comment by real live preacher

The Serious Work of Being a Husband

I usually write about faith in the workplace in this space, but I want to pause and talk about another kind of work we are called to do that must brought into rhythm with our career.

Some of you know that this time last year ago my precious wife Kathy was battling breast cancer. As we worshiped at the Easter Service at our church a few days ago, my memory turned back a year to Easter 2007. Just four days before, Kathy had undergone a radical mastectomy. But there we were sitting near the back of the auditorium, me in my suit and Kathy dressed in a roomy coat that covered the drain tubes that ran from her scared body. She refused to miss Easter and the opportunity to sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”

A year ago I wrote the following in an email to friends:

God has a reason for Kathy to be here, and I am so thankful. Kathy continues to have a growing impact on America’s families—and I get to be her husband. What a privilege! We love helping each other do the will of God—a husband and wife’s highest calling, according to George MacDonald.

As I watch Kathy at her work today, I am so thankful for the positive outcome of this trial. I have to admit, I can’t image life without her nor doing my work without her help. But neither can I image her mission cut short. It is my privilege to help her do the will of God. And I continue to be amazed at the impact Kathy has on the people she works with.

Rather than slow her down, cancer has expanded her impact on others. (Why should I be surprised?) Just last week when she was at her surgeon’s office for a checkup, she took the opportunity to pray with her doctor about a trial sin the doctor’s life. I love that about my wife. She’s always seeking to serve others, even when she is the one who is supposed to be being served.

So gentlemen, along with honoring God in your workplace today, remember that you have another job as well. And it deserves just as much hard work and dedication: to help your wife do the will of God. If you have no idea what that is, let me encourage you to pre-order a copy of What God Does When Men Lead. You’re likely to get “brownie points” from your wife just for ordering it on your own. Click on the image and it will take you to straight to Amazon.

4 Comments »

  1. Hi, Bill! I loved getting your email and of course I enjoyed so much reading this “entry.” I am sure you’ll be updating it regularly. I think I will order the book for John for Father’s Day — perfect!C.Comment by Anonymous — March 25, 2008 @ 11:15 pm
  2. This is such a powerful story, Bill. Thanks for sharing it. And it’s a good reminder to invest in our marriages. My wife and I are partners after all.Comment by Mark Goodyear — March 26, 2008 @ 5:40 pm
  3. Thank you for sharing this story…and the quote from George MacDonald (one of my favorite authors!)that the highest calling we have as a couple is helping each other do the will of God…may my husband and I seek to do this for each other…thanks for the encouragement and insight. May you and Kathy have many more Easter mornings to share with one another!Comment by Connie Hughey — March 27, 2008 @ 1:04 am
  4. […] 24 Seven Faith reminds husbands that along with honoring God in the workplace, honoring the Creator by honoring your spouse is also a high calling. He has a particularly moving personal story to tell in this regard. […]Pingback by Around Our Network… : HighCallingBlogs.com — July 17, 2008 @ 2:09 pm