Monday, January 16, 2017

Leaders Are Learners

I think I first heard that from John Maxwell. It stuck with me. For the last 30+ years I've been attempting to learn all I can about life, relationships, leadership, personal growth, my relationship with God and the mission and potential of the local church. 

LEADERS ARE LEARNERS is a weekly email and blog post that will feature some of the things I've been learning that week. Feel free to share this with a friend and invite them to subscribe. 

Five Quotes I’m Thinking About:

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” —JFK

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” —Jim Rohn

“Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago.”  —John Wesley

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” —Norman Schwarzkopf

YouTube Clip Worth Watching:

Eighteen minutes that are powerful and profound in regards to Simon’s insights into millennials and how to lead them!  Watch this. Then, watch it again.

Podcasts Worth Listening To:

Andy interviews Horst Schulze, Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group about what it means to create world-class service. Schulze’s approach to leading people on the “front lines” in customer service will inspire and motivate you to develop a culture of great customer service, regardless of your business or ministry.

I was really challenged as to how Schulze's principles translated to what we do as a church or non-profit. This is an incredible conversation. 

*This podcast is on iTunes and via the website link above. Show notes for the podcast are available on the website. 

Kris is the Senior Associate Leader and a teaching pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. In this podcast, Kris breaks down eight keys to creating a culture of belonging. 

This is evidently a teaching that Kris delivered to a church, but the principles he covers on "belonging" are powerful and transferrable. I loved this podcast and have listened to it a few times. Ck it out! 

*This podcast is available on iTunes and via the website link above.

Books or Articles Worth Reading:

I love the books of John Mawell. They have been life-changing for me! I think this is John's best yet! Our entire team went through the book last year. The beginning of a year represents a great opportunity to read or reread this "classic." 

Here's the gist: We all have a longing to be significant - to make a contribution, to be a part of something noble and purposeful. Achieving significance isn’t about age, money, status or power. The only thing you really need to achieve significance is intentionality.

In this book John unpacks how each of us can live a life of significance and intentionality. I'll actually be leading a MasterMind based on this book early February 2017. Email me today if you're interested in participating. 

Other Books I'm Currently Reading:

Intentional Living: Choosing A Life That Matters by John Maxwell (Re-reading)

God Is Good: He's Better Than You Think by Bill Johnson

You Win In The Locker Room First by Jon Gordon

Life Word by Jon Gordon

Dirty Glory by Pete Greig

The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne

Originals by Adam Grant

To Contact Chris Goins

Chris Goins

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Jon Gordon writes some of the best leadership and personal development books you'll ever read! Ever! 

Seriously, books like "The Energy Bus," "Training Camp," "You Win In The Locker Room First" are all excellent! In fact, teams and families that live out the principles in "The Energy Bus" will see the culture and atmosphere of their team and family radically change! For the good! Big time! 

Gordon also happens to work closely with Coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers. Yeah, those guys... Who just won the national college football championship in what will go down as an instant classic... Wow! What a game! 

I've signed up for Gordon's weekly inspirational emails, and yesterday morning I received the following email. After last night's incredible game, I thought I would share it with you. It's sort of "prophetic." 

But before you read Gordon's email, let me ask you a few questionsYou are 10 days into a brand new year! Only ten days... 

  • What do you believe is possible for you in 2017: 
  • What do you believe is possible for your family or your team
  • What beliefs are you sharing with your family, team, those closest to you? 

Here's what Gordon wrote yesterday...


Believe. It's a word on a sign in the Clemson football meeting room. It's a logo on a t-shirt given to Dabo Swinney, Clemson's head coach, by his wife. It's a mindset instilled in the Clemson football program and is a huge part of why they are playing in their second national championship game in a row.

When Dabo became the head coach in 2008, he knew Clemson had talent but they lacked belief. So, the man who's father left when he was young, was homeless for a time growing up, made the Alabama football team as a walk-on, and had come to believe anything was possible, knew his number one priority was to inspire his team to believe.

I've worked with Dabo and Clemson for the past five seasons and I've watched how Dabo believes in his team more than they believe in themselves. I've seen how his belief raises the level of belief in his coaches and players. Most of all, I've noticed that regardless of the circumstance, no matter the challenge, whatever the set-back, Dabo never stops believing and sharing his belief with his team.

Last year I sat in the locker room in Glendale Arizona after Clemson had lost the national championship game to Alabama and watched Dabo's Positive Leadership and belief in action. 

Dabo told the team that he was so proud of them and that they just didn’t make enough plays to beat a team as good as Alabama. He went on to praise his team and all they had accomplished and thanked the seniors for the legacy of excellence they would leave. Then he began talking about next year and how excited he was for the future. He shared the vision for the returning players and told them that we will be coming back next year. "You can count on it. We will be back." For the next few minutes he shared what the future looked like and all that they were going to do.

I was blown away. Here he and his team had just lost in the national championship and Dabo was already inspiring his team with a vision for the future and the belief that it would happen.

As I write this I'm in the Tampa area getting ready to go see Clemson play Alabama yet again, for the national championship. I don't know how the outcome will turn out, but I do know Dabo's belief is a big reason why they are here... 

A few questions for you to consider:

  • What do you believe is possible for you and your team?
  • Are you pessimistic or optimistic?
  • What beliefs are you sharing with your team?
  • What could you and your team accomplish if you truly believed it was possible?

—Jon Gordon

"To be an overachiever you have to be an over believer." - Coach Dabo Swinney

Thanks, Jon for the reminder... 

First of all congratulations to Coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers! 

Second, hats off to Coach Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide! This was a classic, hard-fought ballgame and you guys have my respect! Thank you for making Alabama football so much fun to watch! 

Third, if you're not a "believer," START BELIEVING! Like today! Make up your mind! Let the story of Dabo and the Clemson Tigers inspire you... 

And, finally, if you are a believer, but your faith is starting to sag, in the words of a class rock anthem, "DON'T STOP BELIEVING!"


Monday, January 9, 2017


Bob Beaudine is the president and CEO of Eastman and Beaudine. He’s one of the top sports and entertainment search executives in the country. He’s also passionate follower of Jesus.

This weekend I read his new book, 2 Chairs: The Secret That Changes Everything. It's a short read, very practical and inspiring.

In the book, Bob says that “the greatest advice in life or business every passed on to [him] was passed on by his late mom, Martha Beaudine, [back in 1976]…”

One day his mom looked at him and said, “There is nothing that you could do or think of in life, Bob, that would be more important than setting up two chairs right now and doing it every day of your life.” 

At first Bob was confused. "Setting up two chairs? What is she talking about?"

But Bob writes: “The secret Mom was talking about is this: 

“God wants to spend time with each of us every morning, before we begin each day. 
He wants to talk to us, to be friends. He already knows everything about us, and 
He wants us to know everything about Him.” 

For the last 40 years, every day, Bob has set up two chairs and spent time with God. It has revolutionized his life…

Bob’s book may be the most simple book on prayer I’ve ever read. But it moved me! It inspired me! It deeply touched me! Bob closes the book describing one of the most incredible stories I’ve ever read. I'll close this post with Bob's story and encourage you to check out the book for yourself.

Two Chairs

The day following my mom’s eightieth birthday party, she called me to say her back was hurting. She said she had slipped on some water when she got home...but didn’t want to bother me, even though I lived only a few blocks away. That morning, though, she asked if I could come over. 

My mom was a young eighty, active with friends, still driving, and doing her own thing without concern. When I arrived, I could see immediately that her back was tight. I took her over to the doctor, and he said it was a slight bruise. But over the next five days it seemed to get worse. She couldn’t get in and out of bed easily, and it was very difficult for her to get around. After taking her back to the doctor, he gave her some anti-inflammatory pills and told her to put a heating pad on it from time to time. 

The next day when I arrived, I could see Mom’s attitude had changed. She was still in a lot of pain, but she was much more determined. I thought that was good. I asked her how she had slept and she said she had long conversations with God at her 2 Chairs. That’s when my mom said that she had come to a decision: If this keeps hurting, I am going to tell God to take me home."

I said, What? No! You can tell God you’ll be ready at ninety-seven, maybe, but not eighty!

“Listen, everything is okay with all the kids, and I miss your dad and would love to meet God and see heaven.

“No way! Mom, your back is just bruised.

All she said next was, I’m just telling you.

I immediately called my sister Nancy, who also lived close by, to tell her what Mom had said: If she doesn’t feel better, she’s going to tell God to bring her home. Now this whole conversation would not have fazed me, but because my mom had such a great relationship with God at her 2 Chairs, I knew that He might just “do it” for her— if she asked. I told my sister to come over pronto. She talked it all through with Mom, and all seemed better. I told my mom as I left that I’d come over and check on her the next morning after I finished a breakfast meeting. 

I rang the doorbell the next morning. No answer. I knocked. Nothing. I thought maybe she couldn’t hear me because she was in the backyard, so I let myself in using the key I had. As I walked in, it only took three steps before I felt God stop me. I heard Him say, 

Bob, your mom is sitting with Me right now. Don’t be afraid. 
Before you go around the corner, guard your heart.

I was stunned! I ran in and saw her. 

She was sitting in her chair and her eyes and mouth were wide open with an expression like 
she had just seen a long-lost friend. Her two arms were reaching out as if she was 
greeting that friend with a hug

Did she just tell me yesterday she was going home? Did she just call her shot in the corner pocket? She did!

Sitting there next to her at that moment was surprisingly not scary. Why? Because all my life Mom had talked to me about how amazing going to heaven would be. She couldn’t wait to meet God, see Dad, her parents, and all those who went before her who knew the “secret”— that we can know Him before we get there.  —Bob Beaudine, 2 Chairs: The Secret That Changes Everything

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Why not set up two chairs today? One for you and one for God? Invite Him to meet with you... Spend time with your Father... He loves spending time with you!

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Daily Prayer

Some time ago I read John Eldredge’s book, “Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence and Authority.” I enjoyed the book!  In fact, it contained several insights that have significantly lifted my prayer life. 

In the book, John walks through what he calls a “Daily Prayer.” This really connected with me. So much so, that I’ve taken John’s prayer and used it as a guide to build and develop my own “daily prayer.” 

I don’t actually pray through this every day. I want to be led by the Spirit. I also find that too much ritual or routine allows me to drift into passionless prayer and sort of go on “auto pilot.”

Further, even when I do use the “Daily Prayer” as a guide, I don’t feel compelled to pray through the entire thing from beginning to end. If the Holy Spirit leads me to pause or “lean into” a specific area. I hang out there as long as needed. 

Remember, the goal of time with God is not to check something off a to-do list. The goal is always God! 

With that said, as we get closer to launching 40 Days of Prayer at a2 Church, I offer this “Daily Prayer.” If it helps you, great! If it doesn’t help or assist you, please “can” it. 

My Daily Prayer
Based upon “Daily Prayer” in the book, “Moving Mountains” by John Eldredge

Good morning, Heavenly Father! 

Thank You for rest, sleep, a new day and a new opportunity to worship You, honor You, to love You with my life! 

Jesus, I pause at the beginning of this day to acknowledge that You are Lord and Leader of my life… 

Lord Jesus, I come to you… To be restored in you, renewed in you, to receive your life, your love and all the grace and mercy I so desperately need today. 

I honor you as Lord and Leader of my life. I surrender every aspect and dimension of my life to you. I give you my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will. 

I take my everyday, ordinary life – my sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before You as an offering… As a living sacrifice… (Romans 12:1-2)

I cover myself with your blood—my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will (1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 12:11; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:19, 22). 

I also pray this for my family…

Janet (my wife, my love, my partner and heart)
Chelsea, Cody and Jack
Caley (and her future husband)
Camryn (and her future husband)
All of our future grandchildren and their spouses and children

Jesus, I pray that our family would live in the finished work of Christ and under the precious blood of Jesus — continually cleansed and washed of all sin, victorious and overcoming because of what You did on the cross, with our consciences cleansed, purged and purified of all sin, dead works, shame and regret, equipped and empowered to serve you, and filled with confidence to enter Your presence. (1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 12:11; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:19, 22)

Jesus, I ask Holy Spirit to restore me in you, renew me in you, and lead this time of prayer. In all that I now pray, I stand in total agreement with your Word… (Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:18; Jude 1:20; 1 Corinthians 14:15)

Holy Trinity

Heavenly Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, you alone are worthy of all my worship, my heart’s devotion, all my praise, all my trust, and all the glory of my life (Romans 16:25-27; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:14-16; Colossians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

I love you, I worship you, and I give myself You. You alone are Life, and you have become my life. 

I renounce all other gods and every idol. God, I give to you the place in my heart and life that you truly deserve and only You can fill (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 31:7; 1 John 5:21).

This is all about you, and not about me. I pray that my life would be all about you, and not about me…  Jesus, You are the Hero of this story… I pray that You would always be the Hero of my story… (John 3:30; Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16) 

I ask your forgiveness for my every sin. Search me, know me, and reveal to me where you are working in my life, and grant to me the grace of your healing and deliverance and a deep and true repentance (1 John 1:9; Psalm 139:23-24).

Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and choosing me before you made the world. You are my true Father—my creator, redeemer, sustainer, and the true end of all things, including my life. (Ephesians 1:4; Luke 12:32; Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 3:1)

I love you, I trust you, and I worship you. I give myself over to you, Father, to be one with you as Jesus is one with you. (John 17:21)

Thank you for proving your love for me by sending Jesus. I receive him and all his life and all his work which you ordained for me. Thank you for including me in Christ, forgiving me my sins, granting me his righteousness, making me complete in him. (Romans 5:8)

Thank you for adopting me into Your forever family. Thank You for making me Your child. (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:5, 2:19; Romans 8:14-19, 9:26; 1 John 3:1-2; Galatians 4:5-7, 3:26)

Thank you for making me alive with Christ, raising me with him, seating me with him at your right hand, establishing me in his authority, and anointing me with your love and your Spirit and your favor. (1 John 2:27; Psalm 45:7; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

I receive it all with thanks and give it total claim to my life—my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will. 

Jesus Christ
His Work of Redemption — Cross, Resurrection and Ascension

Jesus, thank you for coming to ransom me with your own life. I love you, worship you, and trust you. I give myself over to you to be one with you in all things. (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9)

I receive all the work and triumph of your cross, death, blood, and sacrifice for me, through which my every sin is atoned for, I am ransomed, delivered from the kingdom of darkness, and transferred to your kingdom; my sin nature is removed, my heart circumcised unto God, and every claim being made against me is cancelled and disarmed. (1 Jn 2:2; Isa 53:5-6; 1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:13, 2:13-15; Romans 6:6)

I take my place now in the finished work of the cross, dying with you to sin, to my flesh, to this world, to the evil one and his kingdom. I take up the cross and crucify my flesh with all its pride, arrogance, doubt, unbelief, my propensity towards idolatry, greed, pre-occupation with self, and failure to love… I put off the old man. (Romans 6:6-8, 11; Galatians 2:20; 5:24; Colossians 3:3; Matthew 16:24; Ephesians 4:22-24)

Apply to me all the work and triumph in your cross, death, blood, and sacrifice; I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will.

Jesus, I also receive you as my Life, and I receive all the work and triumph in your resurrection, through which you have conquered sin, death, judgment, and the evil one. Death has no power over you, nor does any foul thing. And I have been raised with you to a new life, to live your life—dead to sin and alive to God. (Colossians 3:4; 2:13-15; 1 Peter 1:3; Romans 6:4-5; Ephesians 2:4-6).

I take my place now in your resurrection and in your life, and I give my life to you to live your life. I am saved by your life. I reign in life through your life. I receive your hope, love, faith, joy, goodness, trueness, wisdom, power, and strength. Apply to me all the work and triumph in your resurrection; I receive it with thanksgiving, and I give it total claim to my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will. (Romans 5:17)

Jesus, I also sincerely receive you as my authority, rule, and dominion, my everlasting victory against Satan and his kingdom… I receive all the work and triumph in your ascension, through which Satan has been judged and cast down, and all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to you. (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:18-22)

Jesus, You are worthy to receive all glory and honor, power and dominion, now and forever. I take my place now in your authority. I thank You that because of your cross and resurrection I have been raised to sit with you in heavenly places, and you have granted me authority… 

I give myself to you… Apply to me all the work and triumph in your authority and your throne; I receive it with thanks and I give it total claim to my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will.

The Finished Work of Christ in My Life

I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the work of cross over my life today: my home, my household, my work, a2 Church, relationships, over every aspect of my life and every area where you have called me to live and lead. 

I also bring the authority, rule, and dominion of Jesus over my family… 

Janet (my wife, my love, my heart)
Chelsea, Cody and Jack
Caley (and her future husband)
Camryn (and her future husband)
All our future grandchildren and their spouses and children

I bring the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and the full work of the cross against every evil power that is coming or may come against me—against every foul spirit, every demon, their devices, works and effects… 

(Things like fear, depression, anxiety, confusion, chaos, debt, lack, auto-immune diseases, sickness, weakness, hereditary illnesses, mental illness, generational sin…)

I cut them off in the name of Jesus Christ; I bind and banish them from me, my family, the people of a2 Church, and from every area of my life and leadership now, in the mighty name of Jesus!

I also bring the full work of Christ between me and every person. I pray that only the love of God and the Spirit of God would flow between me and the people in my life… I specifically pray this for my marriage, our home, our family, the a2 Church family… I bring the full work of Christ between me and every person. I make a decision today to allow only the love of God and the Spirit of God between us. 

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, thank you for coming. I love you, I worship you, I trust you. I receive all the work and triumph in Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), through which you have come, you have clothed me with power from on high (Luke 24:49), sealed me in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30), You are the Spirit of truth in me (John 16:13), the life of God in me (Psalm 104:30; Ezekiel 37:1-14; John 6:63; Romans 8:2), my counselor, comforter (John 14:16-18, 26; 16:7; 1 John 2:1), strength (Acts 1:8), and guide (John 16:13; Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18, 25).
 I honor you as Lord, and I fully give to you every aspect and dimension of my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will—to be filled with you, to walk in step with you in all things. (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 2:4; 4:31)

Fill me afresh, Holy Spirit. May the fruit of the Spirit fill every aspect of my life and relationships… I pray that I would walk and grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). 

Holy Spirit, what are you saying to me today? 

Help me to hear what you are saying... Help me to listen to Your voice... 

Restore my union with the Father and the Son. Lead me into all truth, anoint me for all of my life, walk, work and calling. Lead me deeper into Jesus today. I receive you with thanks, and I give you total claim to my life. (1 John 2:27; Ezekiel 47:1-12)

Cleansing and Putting on the Full Armor of God

Heavenly Father, thank you for granting to me every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. I claim the riches in Christ Jesus over my life today. I bring the blood of Christ once more over my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind, and will. (Ephesians 1:3, 7-8; Colossians 1:27, 2:10) 

I put on the full armor of God: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, and the helmet of salvation; I take up the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit. I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the power of your might, and to pray at all times in the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

A Prayer for Protective Angels 
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” —Hebrews 1:14 NIV

Jesus, thank you for your angels. I summon them in Your Holy Name and ask that they would put down and destroy anything that is raised against me… I pray that they would work to establish your Kingdom over me and my family and to guard me and my family day and night. 

The Kingdom of God

Heavenly Father, I now call forth the kingdom of God and ask that Your kingdom — Your rule and righteous reign — be established in me, my home, my family, my relationships, a2 Church, and every area where you’ve called me to live and to lead… Let your Kingdom fill every aspect of my life and leadership. I ask this in the name of Jesus… 

I also pray that every aspect of my life – my attitudes, actions, words, conversations – would bring You great glory! 

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be pleasing and acceptable in Your Sight, O Lord, my rock and redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). 

Father, I pray this blessing over my family – Janet, Chelsea, Cody, Jack, Caley, Camryn, their future spouses, our future grandchildren… I pray this blessing over the leadership team, board, elders, ministry leaders and people of a2 Church…

“May the bless you and keep (or protect) you… May the Lord make His face shine on you… May He smile on you and be gracious to you… May the Lord turn His face toward you… May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.” (Numbers 6:23-26)

I honor You. I worship You! I thank You for who you are and all that You have done and will continue to do in my life! You are good! You are gracious! You are kind! 

May my life honor You today!