The Secure Leader

I’ve been reflecting on the idea of leaders who are easy to follow and leaders who are hard to follow, and I’ve come upon some interesting thoughts.

The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following. (Proverbs 14:28 MSG)

To lead, means absolutely nothing if no one is following. As a matter of fact you can call yourself whatever you want but if people are not committed to and moved by your leadership you are not a leader, or at least you are not leading.

I know leaders who are surrounded by built in followers but are merely holding a position to which the followers are bound to follow visa vi a paycheck. What is necessary to really move things forward is true leadership.

We have all had times where we weren’t really leading. We held the position, we did the job, but did we really influence the people with whom we worked? Sadly, a lot of times we would have to answer no. It’s imperative that we are good leaders not just leaders.

Proverbs tells us that the mark, that which identifies a good leader, is loyal followers. Are those following you now loyal followers or obligated followers?

Jesus teaches us that good leadership is reflected in our ability to serve. Serving is not the stepping stone to leadership it is leadership. As a leader we never quit serving those we lead.

I’ve noticed good leaders, serving leaders, are secure leaders. Leaders who tend to be positional and hard to follow are insecure leaders. The next few blogs I write will attempt to identify the characteristics of secure and insecure leaders and how we can overcome insecurity as leaders in order to lead well, and influence followers to accomplish the vision that pushes us forward.

The following are tweets that have come out of this pondering.

>;Secure leaders are not afraid to hear, or implement good ideas from their team. Doesn’t have to come from them to be used by them.

>;The secure Leader is confident, not arogent. Authentic, not pretentious. No need to pretend when you know who you are.

>;A secure leader lifts their followers, they do not leverage their followers. They motivate they do not manipulate.

>;Secure leaders are refreshing to those following, and their confidence makes followers feel secure in submitting to their leadership

>;Secure leaders enjoy affirmation but don’t have to have it. They get their fulfillment in their purpose, not from popular opinion.

>;Secure leaders are not afraid for team members to be better than them. In their mind it equates to overall success not personal competition

For more tweets like this check out @gadberry on twitter

The Power of God Produces Our Potential

I love the concept of undiscovered potential: what you see now is not who I will be.

>I am currently just a clue to the ultimate mystery that is me.

>I am currently a mere preface to the biography of my life.

>I am momentarily a catipillar on my way to becoming a butterfly.

**Don’t let people or circumstances underestimate or undermine who God has created you to be.

>Where people saw an adopted failed Egyptian leader God saw a deliverer named Moses

>where people saw a mere shepherd boy God saw the greatest king in Israel’s history named David

>Where people saw defeated, captive, young men, God saw three bold Hebrews that would stand for their God and influence the nations

>where people saw an amalgam of young misfits from different ages, occupations and environments God saw the great apostles

***what you see now is not what you ultimately get. I’m a work in progress. Don’t count me out now or you will miss the miracle of what God is doing in my life. God has placed potential in us to become more than we are. He’s given us skills and talents, wisdom and insight to achieve what He created us for.

***It’s Gods approval and pleasure we are looking for not mans because men can’t see what God sees.

>Men see a baby in a manger/God sees the savior of the world

>Men saw a brash, impulsive, impetuous coward, God saw one of the greatest and boldest preaching apostles The problem is…

***Mankind has the propensity to place themselves as the key component to producing the potential that is within them. While men have innate gifts and abilities given to them by God they can not in and of themselves become what God originally intended for them to be outside of the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jeremiah God speaks to this young prophet who was underestimating himself and fearful of the response of a rebellious nation God says…

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:4-8 NKJV)

God created us with purpose and with destiney. We all whether saved or not carry the original intent of God in our being. So when we are redeemed he not only claims us and our soul but he redeems all those original intents and purposes of our creation. The gifts, talents, skills, and natural bents. and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt. (Psalm 139:14 CEV)

>>>Because we are beautifully and wonderfully made we must be careful not to allow ourselves to presume we are somehow responsible for our own creation.

>>>I submit to you ours is not a problem of low self esteem but rather one of esteeming ourselves more highly than we ought to

***We need to be careful not to let a humanistic attitude or belief get in the church, because it’s next natural and logical step is a secularist attitude or belief.

***We could say that there are a lot of people who have done great things because of the human spirit, the will to live, the talent and skill of mankind. Yes it’s true, but where did it come from, and anytime you use a thing a part from its creator you lose it’s intended use.

***So there will be accomplishment but not fulfillment. There will be achievement but not contentment. What truly produces undiscovered potential is the power of God.

Take for example: The Apostle Peter. The coward Peter had the potential to be Peter the courageous!

What made the difference? The Power of the Holy Spirit!


1. Get over yourself

Know that God wants you, and wants to draw out your potential no matter what.

God has seen you at your worst but knows what your best looks like.
He wants to draw it out.

2. Get over the past and present.

I’m sure Peter thought more than once, why did I say that? Why can’t I keep my mouth shut? But God used some of the qualities that were considered by many to be weaknesses to end up being strengths.

See yourself with the eyes of potential. What looks dead to us looks asleep to God.

3. Get over People

Sometimes you need to tell people “You don’t me, You don’t know the me I’m gonna be.

4. Get the Holy Spirit

The Holy spirit brings clarity where there was confusion

The Holy Spirit brings power where there was weakness

The Holy Spirit brings development of raw purpose and giftings.

The same Peter that denied Jesus had the potential to make his name famous and ultimately did. The difference? THE HOLY SPIRIT!

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8 NKJV)

I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit-not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! (Ephesians 3:16-21 MSG)

One Thing

I was recently asked by a young leader who considers me a mentor, “what is the one piece of advice you would give me as a leader?”

I responded with, “wow, that’s a daunting task, by narrowing it to one it creates a sense of priority, if there was one thing I could tell you then it better be the most important thing.”

So I thought for a moment, and replied, “lead from your source.”. I can hear someone saying “what the heck does that mean?”

Some say it this way, “lead from your overflow.” It means, lead others out of your own growth. The best way to lead is to model growth and the best way to teach is to teach what you’re learning.

I see so many leaders today who are stale, reactionary, digging solutions up from the past for today problems, when what is needed is fresh, thought out answers.

It even goes deeper than that for me, when I say lead from your source I mean lead out of your on going development and growth in your relationship with God. Not depending on your own talent but leaning on Gods ability. Leaders are readers, and prayers and it’s out of that growth and connection that we should be leading. You can’t lead from someone else’s conviction or passion, it must be your own. You can’t lead from someone else’s understanding it must be your own! You can’t lead from someone else’s revelation in prayer it must be your own.

So lead from your source and that is the foundation for real, effective leadership.

If someone ask you what is your “one thing” what would you say?


Ethnolinguistic map of Uganda.

Image via Wikipedia

As I sit here at the watoto village called Subi I realize the difference between talk and action.  It is clear that much of the church world can talk with the best of them.  We have a tendancy to tell about the things we are going to do, or cast vision about what we should do, but There is a significant difference between talk and action.  We all know this, but when you are in Uganda and you see the results of acting on what you say it is an eye opening experience.

It seems to be this simple for the Skinners.  Uganda has an orphan and Widow problem, we are going to do something about it, lets take them in.  Now what ever that means in terms of practically building facilities, raising leaders, creating a philosophy is merely steps of action on the way to doing something about the problem.

James said, I’ll show you my faith by my works.  Yes we must talk, we must share, we must cast vision, but at some point for things to change, action has to be taken, and if we just keep it simple the “way” to do it will become clear, as long as we are committed to ACTION!

Finish one thing and Start a New Thing…

We had a great GFC. WOW, incredible on so many levels. Now we are hurrying to wrap up details, on our Africa trip. Meeting with families of missionaries tonight and getting everyone ready to go. It is such a blessing to be a part of the church that is reaching out to all areas of the community and around the world. We are flying out tomorrow afternoon. We are ready.

Next up for Harvest, AFrica mission, Kids camp, Harvest foster kids camp, 4 weeks of youth America and Cambodia trip. What a great summer at harvest and what a great opportunity to serve others.

It’s a great time to be a part of the church here we go.

Wisdom starts with submission

Proverbs 1:7 (MSG) Start with God-the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

Other translations read, “the beginning of wisdom is to fear (reverence) God.

I love the way this reads, the first step to learning is to bow down to God.

I believe as a human it is the ultimate in ignorance and arrogance to not acknowledge God. Most who do this or have done this, base it on the subjectivity of personal experience, and circumstance, rather than the objective fact that by our very existence as complex as it is, we have an originator.

We can’t really believe we know everything or even enough to make a occlusion that says there is no God.

Even though man can Create a theory where we basically come into being on our own, it doesn’t validate its truth.

I find that even believers in this culture have allowed cynicism to set in. Remember wisdom begins with bowing down to God.

It’s ok to ask questions and learn, it’s not ok and we will not reach real wisdom if we ask questions with a predetermined doubt of our creator. The center of faith is not belief itself, it is the object of that faith. Faith in me or man, leads to insatiable unfulfilled, hopeless existence, but faith in God leads to hope, love, grace and fulfillment. It gives you perspective beyond the temporary earthly realm, and into the eternal celestial plane.

If you wish to be wise start here and see what happens?

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Proverbs 1:4-6 (msg) To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality. There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn-Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate, the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

I’m on vacation, relaxing and enjoying time with my family. I’m having a great time. God is good! Enjoying time with God as well just reading proverbs and wanted to share some thoughts I love that my dad and grandfather taught me as a young man, how important the bible is, and how it’s wisdom can transform and revolutionize our lives.

In this passage that’s what this is saying. These writings are inspired by God and penned by the great king Solomon. What he says is simple. The word of God teaches us how to live, but more than that he reveals the right attitude for growth and development.

No matter if we are young and zealous, beginning to learn about life, thinking we know more than we do, we need to pay attention to the wisdom of God and be teachable.

No matter if we are older, experienced and have faced many issues, there is more for us to learn. More growth and development to be had. Be teachable.

The killer of a persons growth and development, the thing that will stunt it more than any other is the pride and arrogance of thinking we know more than we actually do. I’ve made a commitment to be a life long learner. In my mind that is the key to success. So, let’s be honest about where we are and be open to be taught necessary lessons to achieve Gods purpose.

We don’t know it all, we don’t enough, and the moment we think we do, we’re done.

What are you learning right now?

Walk, Stand, Sit

Psalm 1:1 (NKJ) Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

I want to draw your attention to 3 words in this passage. Walk, stand, and sit. Who are you receiving counsel from? Who’s path are you walking in? Who’s seat are you sitting in?

As a Christian (a follower of Jesus) our spiritual growth and development depends on our associations. Don’t misunderstand me to say that we can’t have any relationships with the lost, how will we reach them if not?

This is another issue. This is the issue of close relationships, those that advise us, those that we walk together with. These close relationships should be reserved, for faith filled, godly people who believe God wholeheartedly.

When we surround ourselves with people who speak into our lives who are cynical, ungodly, and sinful there is a spiritual digression that takes place. You start by walking, but if it’s with the ungodly, it won’t be long before you’re standing. If you stand in the path of sinners you will soon be sitting in the seat of the scornful (mocker, doubter, cynic)

In order to reach out to those who need Jesus, we must be spiritually established and strong (blessed). Then we can make a difference in their lives.

Don’t allow the slow spiritual digression of wrong associations stop you in your tracks and ultimately wondering if God is even real.

Surround yourself with the church, and go on an all out evangelistic lifestyle, that will bring spiritual progress to the life of others. Get them to sit with you in the seat of faith, to stand with you in the path of the righteous, and finally lead them to walk with the Godly.

That’s the way Christianity works.



Today I was reunited with my friend Sochan. He is truly a powerful young man. Since our visit here last year, he has increased incredibly. Last year he had about 5 different area church plants. In one year, he now has 26 church plant locations. He is feeding around 500-600 children a week, he leads many other pastors, and has influence with a lot of pastors in this area. He is a humble leader and he and his wife Esther have two children of their own, and also have 30 orphans that live in the hope center beside their home.

Later i will share with you more of the vision that he has and post pictures for you to see. It is really remarkable. The point of this particular blog is simply this. When you have vision, and act on it, it gives people hope. He has incredible vision, and his vision applies directly to a better life for many. Hope is a rare commodity in the developing world, but when you have people with vision, hope is in abundant supply.

Be watching for more thoughts on Pastor Sochan, and the work here in Kampong Thom. Tomorrow we will be teaching and training about 150 pastors that he has gathered, its my prayer that we are a real help to them. We will give them vision, and we know it will bring them hope.

Something to Say about the OKC Thunder

What I have to say about the OKC Thunder is that I love it! I love that OKC has an NBA team, not only a team, but a quickly developing team. I think its incredible and says a lot about our state, that when everyone said we couldn’t sustain a team, here we are with great attendance every single game. The people who worked hard and have seen the vision for making OKC, the city its becoming I salute you. It’s incredible the change that is occurring, seemingly every day.

I love Oklahoma, I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve been a lot of places around the world and all over the united states, and there are a lot of places I love to visit, but I prefer to live in Oklahoma. Why? The people. Hands down, this is one of the friendliest and caring places in the world. Friends I have visit say that every time they come here. They say, “the people here are so nice.”

I love it that we are letting the Thunder mature, giving them a chance to grow, and they are not disappointing us. They are proving to be a real contender, and showing the whole nation that we are a team and a state to be reckoned with.

It takes true leadership to be the best at what you do, and I believe that the OKC Thunder are heading down that road quickly. They have excellent chemistry as a team, working well together. The top players, have shown humility, and character, and the whole team plays together like a family. I want to say about KD he is a true superstar because he not only performs at an extremely high level but he appears to have a team mindset and a humility about him.

I saw one of his tweets the other day on twitter and it further solidified my confidence in him as a leader, he was asked, “do you like living in Oklahoma?” Even with all the pressure of some of the guys in the media and other teams, he said “I love it, I love Oklahoma.”

Its fun having this team and means positive things for our economy our businesses and our future.

Lets continue to support them, and the growth of our state and City, and lets learn from this. Vision is the beginning of a dream, and leadership causes that dream to come to pass. Go Thunder!

How do you think the Thunder will finish this year?