Nov 17, 2006

nywc06: friday am - pt. 3

I had the chance to have some lunch with Dan Webster, my old youth pastor and a continuing mentor of mine. Beforehand, though, I sat in on the tail end of his critical concerns course. If you don't know Dan's stuff, he's all about leadership of the heart versus the exterior side we often are worried about. Even after hearing his stuff several times and even writing with him last year, I still find myself taking new notes with every talk.

That said, here are a few of his points from what I gathered as he did a cool walk through of Matthew 23:

  • It’s as if Jesus says, “Now I’m going to unload on you what needs to be true of leaders… they need to be more than those who site back and assess the culture to make constant strategic changes but are first concerned with asking God to keep changing their character." I want to be in the process of being changed so I can bring a changing element to this environment.

  • The value of being teachable and versus being arrogant.
    • I can only imagine the groans that came from the disciples and hearts of those around when Jesus said to imitate the Pharisees... as if he said, "I see the religious leaders and know they bug you to death and your knee jerk reaction is to ignore them. My counsel to you is don’t mimic their passion for pecking order but listen to any truth that does come out their mouths. Even if truth comes through a source you’re not all that crazy with it is still truth."
    • We tend to collect a group of our favorite teachers and only listen to them. As you grow up a little bit more in the faith you begin to have your heart open to whomever it comes through. Teachable people grow because they don’t care where the truth comes from. Are we resistant to learn from those whom God has placed in our lives?
    • Most leaders who end up in trouble at some point lost their teachability. Will your people benefit by being led by a leader who is teachable?
    • A discipline to use in this is the practice of listening.

  • The value of being known for integrity and not just talking.
    • What happens when we make an honest attempt to apply truth before we teach it? Our spirit gets tempered, hypocrisy vanishes, and ministry overflows. Some of us lay stuff on others' shoulders and expect them to live it out when we aren't doing it ourselves. When people aren’t listening it's because they don’t buy it from us.
    • Before you preach, run what you’re about to say through your own life. If people don’t sense that you aren’t wrestling with it they probably won’t either.
    • PR 20:7 The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.
    • A discipline to pursue is the practice of doing.

  • The value of pursuing anonymity and not notoriety
    • Instead of looking to build our names what would it look like to lift up the goals of others?
    • Rather than casting personal vision for other people to follow us in we should be releasing what God has put in the hearts of others.
    • Instead of filling space with yourself how can we make space for others?
    • A discipline to pursure is recognition/affirmation of how we see other people doing well and putting the spotlight on them.

  • The value of being Christ-dependent versus co-dependent
    • We like being seen as the source of wisdom and counsel, but this is not a time to place too much confidence in human leadership or communicate overconfidence in ourselves.
    • There is a sobering moment for us when the people we look up to realize they are not God. When someone helps us keep the "capital L" Leader Jesus and makes sure they are never anything more than a "small l" leader they have served us well.
    • The discipline of confession can help with this.

Dan's not only an amazing thinker and wise sage, but he lives this stuff out. We popped into the speaker's lounge for a few moments and hey cheered on a couple of the guys in the room as we walked by. Then just before we had lunch he spotted Tony Campolo in the hotel lobby and took a few minutes to tell him the kind of influence he's had in the church and in his life. Perhaps one of my favorite Dan Webster moments, though, was when I gave a message in a church last summer and he showed up to take notes on what I said.

Today he listened to my journey and then spoke some great insight into my heart. There is something rather special about a guy who isn't just a professional speaker but a co-laborer along the journey of coaching others. That takes a rather unique gift mix, and yet somehow he pulls it off every time.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

God loves to put thoughts he's been messing with us out there......thanks for posting.