Like A Team

A Christian Resource for Leadership and Teamwork Development

Jethro Ministry Ebook

Belief in God That Changes into Faith in God

Belief in God and Faith in GodBelief in God? Faith in God?

What is the difference between belief in God and having faith in God?

Belief is

  • an acceptance that a statement is true
  • a feeling that something is right
  • a notion that a comment is of value

Faith is

  • a confidence in what we hope for
  • an assurance about something we do not actually, physically see
  • about certainty, conviction, and evidence

Saint Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see.:

Plato described faith this way.  “We are twice armed if we fight with faith.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, wrote, “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”  This statement shows the character of one without confidence and hope.

John Wooden, the famous coach of UCLA, once said, “There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.”

Martin Luther, the great Church Reformer, reflections on faith are powerful.  He wrote, “Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see.”

Thomas Aquinas, in the 1200’s pinned these words about true faith.  “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.   To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

Oswald Chamber, the author of My Utmost for His Highest, wrote many statements about belief in God and faith in God.  He wrote on one occasion, “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at this time.”

Having faith in God can be a challenge.  This challenge is nothing new.  However, this journey is one with many promises.  Dwight L. Moody is quoted as saying, “God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”  C.S. Lewis, who at one time in his life was an atheist had this to say about faith in God, “I gave in, and admitted God was God.”

Dale Roach

Team Leadership and Reliable Bible Stories

Team LeadershipTeam Leadership and the Bible

The Bible has some great stories on team leadership and those who showed this characteristic.

  1. Team Leadership of Noah

Noah shows that good team leaders do what is right even when they stand-alone.

“When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (The rest of the story! Genesis 6)

  1. Team Leadership of Abraham

Abraham teaches that real team leaders have faith that embraces the unknown.

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. (The rest of the story! Genesis 12)

  1. Team Leadership Joseph

Joseph shows that leaders do not allow circumstances to destroy their calling.

“Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

This is the account of Jacob’s family line.

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” (The rest of the story! Genesis 37)

  1. Team Leadership of Moses

The story of Moses shows that real team leaders are those who do not allow their limitations to hold them back.

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.  So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

“And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”  Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.  And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.  So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (The rest of the story! Exodus 3)

  1. Team Leadership of Joshua

Joshua shows that real leaders guide others by example rather than by their influence of power.

“Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.

Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac,  and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his family went down to Egypt. (The rest of the story! Joshua 24:1-28)

  1. Team Leadership of Elijah

Elijah shows that effective leaders have the courage to speak the truth even when it is unpopular.

“So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel.  Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” (The rest of the story! 1 Kings 18:16-39)

  1. Team Leadership of David

David proved that team leaders are not afraid of the big challenges in life, even the giants.

“Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels;  on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.  His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me.” (The rest of the story! 1 Samuel 17)

  1. Team Leadership of Isaiah

Isaiah shows that real leaders do not wait on other to step up to the challenge. Real leaders rise to the occasion.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.  With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (The rest of the story! Isaiah 6)

  1. Team Leadership of Daniel

Daniel teaches that leaders maintain their resolve without regard of the opinions to others and the consequences they produce.

“Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing. (The rest of the story! Daniel 6:3-28)

  1. Team Leadership of John the Baptist

John the Baptist and his action show that leaders aren’t afraid to tell the truth and challenge those who question the truth.

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. (The rest of the story! Matthew 3)

  1. Team Leadership of Jesus

Jesus set the example as to what a servant-leader looks like and how they conduct themselves.

”Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

“What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— (Matthew 20:20-27)

  1. Team Leadership of Peter

Leaders can recover from failure as Peter did after denying that he even knew Jesus.

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.  These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ (The rest of the story! Acts 2:14-41)

  1. Team Leadership of Paul

Leaders like Paul are passionate for what they believe in and work hard to share it with others.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—  that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.  I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (The rest of the story! Romans 1:8-17)

  1. Team Leadership of Barnabas

Barnabas was a leader who encouraged others.

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” (Acts 4:32-37)

What kind of leader are you?

These fourteen characteristics of team leadership in the Bible are a great inspiration for any leader.

Dale Roach

Leadership Stress and the Advice of Jesus

Leadership StressLeadership stress is a reality. I have heard about it. I have read about it. I have seen it, and I have experienced it myself.

What causes leadership stress?

Is there any hope for the modern day leader?

The Difference Between Leadership Stress and Burnout

Since coming to South Carolina in 1999 as a pastor, I have witnessed an alarming state of the poor health and well-being of leaders within our denomination. I have engaged in dozens of conversations relating to the subjects of stress and burnout. There is a difference between stress and burnout. Dr. Archiblad Hart explains the difference in this way:

  • Burnout is a defense characterized by disengagement.
    * Stress is characterized by over-engagement.
    * In Burnout, the emotions become blunted.
    * In Stress the emotions become over-reactive.
    * In Burnout the emotional damage is primary.
    * In Stress the physical damage is primary.
    * The exhaustion of Burnout affects motivation and drive.
    * The exhaustion of Stress affects physical energy.
    * Burnout produces demoralization.
    * Stress produces disintegration.
    * Burnout can best be understood as a loss of ideals and hope.
    * Stress can best be understood as a loss of fuel and energy.
    * The depression of Burnout is caused by the grief engendered by the loss of ideals and hope.
    * The depression of Stress is produced by the body’s need to protect itself and conserve energy.
    * Burnout produces a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
    * Stress produces a sense of urgency and hyperactivity.
    * Burnout produces paranoia, depersonalization, and detachment.
    * Stress produces panic, phobic, and anxiety-type disorders.
    * Burnout may never kill you but your long life may not seem worth living.
    * Stress may kill you prematurely, and you won’t have enough time to finish what you started. ~ Archibald Hart, Coping with Depression in the Ministry and Other Helping Professions (Word, 1984), and The Success Factor (Revell, 1984)

Having a clear understanding of stress and burnout is essential for the well-being of any leader. However, understanding the effects of stress is the starting point.

Why Do Some Experience Leadership Stress?

Ronald Croucher is his website post, Stresses and Burnout in Ministry points out some basic reasons those in ministry feel stressed out.

  • the disparity between expectations and hard reality
  • lack of clearly defined boundaries
  • workaholism
  • the feelings of incompetence in leading people
  • conflict in being a leader and servant at the same time
  • intangibility – how do I know I’m getting somewhere
  • confusion of role identity with self-image
  • time management problems
  • the scarcity of ‘perks’
  • the multiplicity of roles
  • inability to produce ‘win-win’ conflict resolution
  • difficulty in managing interruptions
  • enraging powerful parishioners
  • administration overload
  • loneliness

If these types of feelings are taking place what hope is there for the modern day leader?

The Advice of Jesus in Dealing With Leadership Stress

The actions of Jesus along with his teachings produce great lessons in dealing with stress.

Intentional Rest

After a busy day of ministry, Jesus would turn to his disciples and encourage them to take care of themselves.

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

Intentional Relationships

Jesus also gave his disciples advice on how to deal with difficult people. Leadership stress can be countered by following the advice of Jesus.

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.   “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.” ~ Luke 6:24-34

Intentional Servanthood

The role of Christian leadership, according to Jesus, must take on a different role.

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

“What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~ Matthew 20:20-28

Leadership can be extremely stressful. However, following the spiritual guidance of Jesus can produce a healthy relief of leadership stresses.

How are you doing as a leader?

Are you feeling the pressures of leadership stress?

Where are you finding guidance to help you in your leadership role?

Leadership stress can be corrected and dealt with in a healthy fashion. The teachings of Jesus can be a powerful resource.

Dale Roach

Leadership Failure and Character Development

Leadership Failure - Who Do You Trust?Leadership Failure! Is There Any Hope for Change?

Leadership failure has been one of the top stories in the United States recently. This year has been an interesting time in the world of politics. With the election of a new president just around the corner, interesting events have been taking place. Our country has seen the personality of the billionaire, Donald Trump, rise to such a high level in the national polls that it is amazing, alarming and confusing many in the Washington world and the press.  There has been a surge in doubting and not trusting those who have been elected.

What is going on?

Why is this happening?

There seems to be a strong scream across the nation, “We do not trust our leaders! Give us someone we can trust.”

Leadership Failure is Nothing New

These types of feelings and events are nothing new. Our world has seen leadership failure from the beginning of time. Proverbs 29 gives proof to this statement.

1Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan.

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

By justice a king gives a country stability,
but those who are greedy for[a] bribes tear it down.

Those who flatter their neighbors
are spreading nets for their feet.

Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.

Mockers stir up a city,
but the wise turn away anger.

If a wise person goes to court with a fool,
the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity
and seek to kill the upright.

11 Fools give full vent to their rage,
but the wise bring calm in the end.

12 If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness,
his throne will be established forever.

15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin,
but the righteous will see their downfall.

17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
they will bring you the delights you desire.

18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;
though they understand, they will not respond.

20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.

21 A servant pampered from youth
will turn out to be insolent.

22 An angry person stirs up conflict,
and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.

23 Pride brings a person low,
but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;
they are put under oath and dare not testify.

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

26 Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.

27 The righteous detest the dishonest;
the wicked detest the upright.

Leadership Failure Can Be Changed

The Apostle Paul has some advice in seeking out strong leadership. His advice can be found in his writings to the first century Christian Church.

“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people….” ~ Titus 1:6-9

Even though this statement was sent to the Christian believers, Paul was showing a “moral code” that can be applied to all leaders. A good leader is going to show the characteristics of:

  • Being blameless
  • Not overbearing
  • Not quick-tempered
  • Not given to drunkenness
  • Not violent
  • Not pursuing dishonest gain
  • Hospitable
  • Love what is good
  • Self-controlled
  • Upright
  • Holy
  • Disciplined
  • Holds to truth
  • Encourages others
  • Has sound doctrine for life

These characteristics listed by the Apostle can destroy leadership failure. The goal of every leader should be to protect and nurture one’s character.

Billy Graham explained character failure best when he said, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

Dale Roach

Evils of Talking Too Much

Evils of Talking Too MuchEvils of Talking

What are the evils of talking too much?  The Apostle James wrote some powerful words about those you do not how to control their tongue.

James Chapter 3

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

More Translations About This Passage of Scripture

American Standard Version

Amplified Bible

English Standard Version

J.B. Phillips New Testament


Leadership Skills Test for Personal or Impersonal People

leadership skills test image

What is a Leadership Skills Test?

Have you ever taken a leadership skills test?  Have you answered the question, “What kind of leader are you?” Do you know if you are you a personal leader or an impersonal leader?

A leadership skills test can be helpful to determine whether you are a persona or impersonal leader. Before leading others, one must have a clear understanding of themselves.

Below are ten simple statements about personal and impersonal leaders. If any of these statements applies to the way you think, give yourself 1 point for each statement.

An Impersonal Leader

  1. Would rather work by themselves
  2. Does not feel comfortable in social settings
  3. Lacks the ability to discern the actions and behaviors of other people
  4. Are facts and figures people that
  5. Are perfectionists
  6. Sees reality in black and white
  7. Does not like small talk
  8. Are detached from other people
  9. Avoids conflict, believing it will just go away
  10. Does not engage in activities that motivate others

How many of these ten statements apply to the way you feel. Total________________

Personal Leaders:

  1. Enjoy working with others
  2. Like socializing
  3. Are perceptive of the feelings of others
  4. Are flexible in their management and leadership styles
  5. Are patient with others
  6. Are friendly with others
  7. Are empathetic
  8. Work hard to resolve conflict
  9. Set goals to develop healthy relationships
  10. Encourage and equip other people

How many of these ten statements apply to the way you feel. Total________________

After responding to these two lists, what kind of leader are you?

Impersonal leaders can make some contributions to an organization, but leadership is seldom their strong suit. Interacting with other people tends to drain impersonal leaders. These type of people seem to do better in areas of organization and detail work.

Personal leaders seem to be just the opposite. Detail work and organization frustrate these types of leaders. They enjoy personal interaction with other people.

With these facts known, here is something important to remember. Co-working and teamwork are the keys to any organization. Jesus showed this strategy behavior when he sent his disciples out two-by-two.

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” ~ Luke 10:1

A good strategy for any organization would be to utilize the various skills of everyone to complement one another. Personal and impersonal leaders can work together.

Dale Roach

Difficult People Can Be Annoying

How to Deal With Difficult PeopleDealing With Difficult People at Home, Work, and Church

Over the years, I have had to deal with difficult people. There could be many more titles, phrases, and words that could be used to refer to this type of person.   I have found that the areas of my life that seem to bring the greatest challenges are those areas that involve difficult people.

Most of the people that I coach and counsel with seem to have a majority of people that they enjoy working with each day. However, every leader I know has at least one difficult person in the crowd that simply annoys them.

Here are some of the characteristics that I have seen over the years that Difficult People possess.

Difficult People

  • Are miserable people who enjoy company. They often seem to have a desire to recruit others into their misery.
  • Find if difficult to listen to others. Their inability is stop talking about the negatives of life seem to be something they enjoy. Their failure to pay attention to what other people have to say is weak.
  • Are high maintenance. It takes a lot to deal with a difficult person. The energy and time it takes to please, comfort or encourage this person is exhausting.
  • Are needy people. They would never admit this. However, their desire to be difficult with others is proof that they are insecure and need attention. Chances are, they would be difficult if they were not in need of something in their life.
  • Are petty. They seem to have a problem focusing on the good things in life and are always pulling up the trivial and the mundane.
  • Are critical of others. Because of their pettiness they are pros at being critical.
  • Are opinionated to an annoying degree. This type of person lives in their own world. The thoughts and opinions of others mean little to this person.

How to Handle Difficult People

The Bible gives some guidance on dealing with difficult people. The Apostle Paul wrote,

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” ~ Hebrews 12:14

“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ~ “Romans 12:17-21

Jesus taught his disciples how to deal with difficult people when he said,

“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Matthew 7:12

Jesus also told his disciples,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” ~ Matthew 5:43-48

Dealing with challenging people can be difficult. However, the teachings of Jesus give a firm foundation to address this problem.

How are you doing in dealing with difficult people at work, home, or at church?

Dale Roach

Leadership Style of King Solomon

King Solomon Leadership StyleA Brief History of the Leadership Style of King Solomon

King Solomon was the third king of Israel from 962-922 BC. While King he maintained his father’s (King David) kingdom from the north and east borders of the Aramean state of Zobah to the border of Eygpt.

Solomon carried on the legacy his father left behind while developing and adding to the fortification of the kingdom. History records that Solomon was the key leader in developing the a strong chariot defenses of the country.

Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.” ~ 2 Chronicles 1:14

Along with creating a great army the King Solomon biography also records the practice of his recruitment of skilled laborers to develop a manufacturing enterprise.

King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.” ~ 1 Kings 7:13-14

On one occasion while Jesus was teaching he referred to “Solomon in all his glory.” (Matthew 6:29)  He said to his disciples,

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” ~ Matthew 6:28-29

The history of King Solomon shows the skills of a great leader. As one studies the life of this leader, there are skills that are revealed. Solomon was an organizer, an administrator, a builder, an entrepreneur, a diplomat, a merchant, a visionary, a dreamer and a wise man.

Solomon Was an Organizer

One of the true signs of a healthy leader can be seen in the way they can organize those who are under their leadership. The Old Testament book of 1st Kings shows how Solomon recruited a core group of leaders to help develop his kingdom.

So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. And these were his chief officials:

Azariah son of Zadok—the priest;

Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha—secretaries;

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud—recorder;

Benaiah son of Jehoiada—commander in chief;

Zadok and Abiathar—priests;

Azariah son of Nathan—in charge of the district governors;

Zabud son of Nathan—a priest and adviser to the king;

Ahishar—palace administrator;

Adoniram son of Abda—in charge of forced labor.” ~ 1 Kings 4:1-6 (italics and bold added)

Solomon Was an Administrator

A good leader is a good administrator.  Solomon showed administration skills when he divided the nation of Israel into twelve districts.

Solomon had twelve district governors over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year.  These are their names:

Ben-Hur—in the hill country of Ephraim;

Ben-Deker—in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Bethhanan;

Ben-Hesed—in Arubboth (Sokoh and all the land of Hepher were his);

Ben-Abinadab—in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);

Baana son of Ahilud—in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across to Jokmeam;

Ben-Geber—in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead were his, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities with bronze gate bars);

Ahinadab son of Iddo—in Mahanaim;

Ahimaaz—in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);

Baana son of Hushai—in Asher and in Aloth;

Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar;

Shimei son of Ela—in Benjamin;

Geber son of Uri—in Gilead (the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and the country of Og king of Bashan). He was the only governor over the district. ~ I Kings 4:7-19

In these districts, Solomon helps create organizational leaders and support groups.

Solomon Was a Builder

When it came to building, Solomon also showed his skills in teamwork and team development. In 1st Kings 5:13-16 the scriptures show the king’s skills in recruiting a building team.

  • He brought together a team of 30,000 men to create a labor force(verse 13)
  • He sent them out in shifts of 10,000 a month (verse 14)
  • He recruited a team leader. His name was Adoniram. (verse 14)
  • He had 70,000 men who were recruited in this team to be the movers and carriers of all the stonework. (verse 15)
  • He recruited 80,000 men to become stonecutters.
  • He also had 3,300 men who were supervisors and foremen for the work.

Solomon Was an Entrepreneur

Solomon had the ability to take something old and create something new. During the fourth year of his reign as King, Solomon started to build the a Temple. This temple project began 480 years after the people of Israel were freed from their Egyptian bondage. (1 Kings 6:1)

2 Chronicles says,

“Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.  He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.” ~ 2 Chronicles 3:1-2

Solomon Was a Diplomat

As to Solomon’s skill as a diplomat, his behavior can be seen in how he chose his wives. Political arrangements were the cause of many of Solomon’s marriages. On one occasion, Solomon married an Egyptian Pharaoh’s daughter.

“Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem.” ~ 1 Kings 3:1

Another passage of scripture that tells of this connection is –

“Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.” ~ 1 Kings 9:16

Solomon was able to connect with kings like Pharaoh and others from very diverse groups. In his marriages, he also connected with countries and kings from surrounding areas like Moab, Ammon, and Edom.

Solomon Was a Merchant

This king showed interest in many kinds of money making adventures but according to 1 Kings 10:26-29 Solomon was a strong buyer and seller of horses.

”Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.  The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.  Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue —the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price.  They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.” ~ 1 Kings 10:26-29

It does appear that Solomon’s interaction with other people had a focus toward commercial ends.

Solomon Was a Visionary and Dreamer

The first dream of Solomon was recorded 1 Kings 3:5-15.

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.  So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.  So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice,  I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.  Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.  And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”  Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.

He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.” ~ 1 Kings 3:5-15

Solomon’s second dream:

“When Solomon had finished building the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do, the Lord appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.  The Lord said to him:

“I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws,  I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

“But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them,  then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.  This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’” ~ 1 Kings 9:1-9

Solomon Was a Wise Man

The word wisdom and the name Solomon compliment one another. The Wisdom of Solomon is a phrase that implies great skill. 1 Kings Chapter 4 has this to say about this gifted man.

“God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.  Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.  He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.  He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.  From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.” ~ I Kings 4:29-34

King Solomon is a great example of true leadership. His skills as Solomon an organizer, an administrator, a builder, an entrepreneur, a diplomat, a merchant, a visionary, a dreamer and a wise man are worth studying.

How are you doing as a leader?

Do you have the skills of King Solomon?

Dale Roach