Monthly Archives: March 2013

Leadership is not…

Leadership is not something that is transferred genetically. It is not something that is gained by virtue of some birthright or tenure. It cannot be bought nor can it be stolen. Leadership must be taught, developed and then practiced every moment of every day.

ScipioLeadership development is a combination of knowledge, understanding, method and practice. While some people seem to be “natural leaders” they still need training to hone those natural skills. Like the refinement of a raw material, the dross of those “natural” tendencies of leadership must be purified. This takes time. Most of all it takes effort.

Mostly, leadership is about action. It is about the application of knowledge to the many aspects of life. It is the exercise of wisdom so as to make a positive lasting change. Leadership is primarily seen by others by an outward example. It is not what a man says that makes him a leader, it is what a man does that establishes him as such.

Leadership is also about effective communication. It is based upon the ability to reach others by first listening and only then commenting. Leaders are to engage in ongoing conversations in order to spur others to deep consideration of the issues at hand. Leadership is not only waiting for opportunity to engage it is making those opportunities a reality. Engagement of the community with ethical integrity so as to really expose the root causes of particular problems is what is needed in today’s Christian community.

A Simple Tactic

Go to into your local community each day and engage people one by one in relevant hot topic discussions. Then, stand back and analyze their response before you comment. Be sure that you have first established some friendly association with them. Only then will they be willing to listen. Only then will they regard you as trustworthy. Only then can you impact their worldview. Only then will change take place. Start developing that today.

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Personal Productivity

BusinessPerformance If you are not productive in your personal life, you cannot be a motivator of productivity in anyone else’s life either. A family is only as productive as each of its individual members. Likewise a community, whether civil or ecclesiastic, is only as productive as its members are concerned.

Each of us must properly redeem the hours of our lives to be productive. Productivity presupposes that there is a goal or goals set in order to measure whether or not you have been productive. If you do not have a goal you cannot possible know whether or not you have achieved anything. And so, particular goals should be set. They should be set daily, weekly, monthly , yearly even for five or ten years into the future, if God permits.

I set a reading goal at the start of each year, usually on New Year’s Day. I clear a book shelf in my office and place 10-20 books on it that I hope to read through during that year. The reading agenda is flexible so that if there is another book that needs to be added I simply either add it, replace an existing book with the new one, or simply move the new book to the front of the line of the other books. If I don’t complete the reading agenda within the year I then re-evaluate the remaining books and move them to the next year or remove them altogether and start afresh.

For my daily agenda I list everything that I need to accomplish that day. There will always be things in thproductiveat day that I must attend to without fail and things that can wait for another day. I always leave room for God’s providence. He is the real agenda setter. Whenever I fail to accomplish what I have set out to do, for whatever reason, I put them onto the next day. I am careful not to become too disappointed or frustrated by what was not accomplished only encouraged by what was accomplished. This attitude is important since it keeps me focused on what needs to be done by not looking back and lamenting what could have been done but wasn’t.

Remember the rule: Being busy is not necessarily being productive.

Productive Pitfalls & Perks: the Do’s and Don’ts

There are a number of things that should be avoided if you are trying to become more productive.

1. A Daily Log

Never begin your day without writing down everything that you are trying to accomplish. Pray about your plans for the day and ask God to guide you through your agenda. I use a date book calendar to log everything that needs to be done in written form. If I try to remember everything that has to be done I will not be able to get anything done since my mind is cluttered with an agenda list. Get your agenda out of your head and onto paper. Refer to it throughout the day. After you complete one task, check the list and go to the next, and so on.

2. Remove Competed Tasks

Cross things off as they are completed is important. Keep a log of what was done so that you can measure your daily productivity. This will give you a sense of accomplishment. It is merely psychological but I find it helpful.

3. Stop Blaming

business_blame_1Stop blaming others or situations for your lack of productivity. No one is responsible for your lack of focus. As far as situations cropping up which require your immediate attention, this is God’s way of keeping you on your feet. Bow to His providence. Attend to it then get up and get back to your plan. All too often God’s providential orchestration of what we think are “glitches” in our agenda is actually God telling us to remedy our agenda to get it more in step with His. Situations which arise should be considered moments of reflection and pause before we go headlong into our plan. Be careful to take time to reconsider where you are headed. Consult with faithful brethren when you are in doubt. Continue to study the Scriptures.

4. Don’t Brag

We have nothing to brag about even if we have accomplished great and wonderful things. Bragging is the road to Divine chastisement. Bragging also alienates others and labels you a proud and arrogant individual seeking pre-eminence. If we are productive it is because God has seen fit to use us for the advancement of His Kingdom.  We serve at His pleasure and it is He Who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

5. Stop Whining
Baby-Crying
Cowboy up! If you have had a bad day get over it. If you have failed in meeting your agenda’s deadlines re-group and get to it the next day. Complaining is never productive. In fact it hinders productivity. Whining not only makes you feel worse it proves to others that you are not the  leader that you make yourself out to be. Complaining also shows others that you are seeking pity. This is not a position of strength. If there is a legitimate complaint, make it. Don’t whine about it.  Put the effort you take in whining to something productive.

6. Sleep In

There are times when I must turn off my alarm clock, roll over and go back to sleep simply because I am still exhausted and unable to rouse myself. As long as this is not a habitual pattern it may be that you need to extra rest. Our bodies need sleep especially when we are worn out by being very productive. Listen to your body. Be sure to get the proper rest needed to tackle the events of the day. Go to bed early. Don’t stay up very late. Your mind and body will thank you for it and you will become the productive Christian God has called you to be.

7. Rest

Leonardo DaVince took one day every week just to sit and to think. Relaxation stimulates creativiety and focus. You may not be able to take an entire day for this but you can take an hour each day to sit back and regroup. Since the Lord’s Day is the day of rest it may be wise to use it to rethink and refocus upon the things of God and your role in the advancement of His Kingdom. However, it wouldn’t hurt to take an hour per day to refocus and innovate.

8. Diet and Exercise

foodDiet and exercise is  also important. Eating properly and abstaining from an excess of coffee, sugar and simple carbohydrates can act to invigorate the psyche. Too much of these substances slow down the metabolism making you lethargic and unable to think clearly.  These foods cloud your mind and dull the senses since these foods tend to make the body tired. In association with a proper diet, walking, jogging or a bi-weekly visit to the gym is also very invigorating and physiologically raises the metabolism required to become more productive.

 

The goal: Live two lifetimes in the span of one and through it advance the Kingdom of God by establishing the Crown Rights of Christ the King.


The Logos of Rhetoric

scriptureScripture must be used for it to be effective.  It must be used in its entirety and comprehensively applied to every single area of life. God’s world must be conformed to God’s Word. This concept is academic, or at least it should be to all those professing Christ.

In order for an individual to be proficient in the declaration of Scripture he or she needs to first understand the Commands of Scripture and its application principles. This takes much time and study. It is the road that only the faithful take and one that is full of both blessing and affliction. Yet, it is the only path that can satisfy the Regenerate’s heart, fulfilling his or her life in abundance.

Part of the Christian learning process, however, should not merely be concerned with Biblical facts. The learning process also involves the method of delivery of those facts. The declaration of Biblical Truth requires an understanding of what the Greeks call ‘Rhetoric’ and what the Christians might call ‘Homiletics’. Both of these refer to the art of persuasive preaching.

Rhetoric Defined

prophetIn our modern world the term ‘Rhetoric’ usually denotes something negative or untrue. It is connected mostly to political drivel which is crafted to confuse or misguide. The proper meaning actually simply refers to persuasive discussion or speech. Everyone uses rhetoric to some degree especially when they are trying to convince another of their point of view. This is very true for teenagers who constantly try to persuade their parents of a thing which they are passionate about, like why they should have access to the family vehicle. Evangelism is also a form of rhetoric since it is the art of persuasion by declaring the Truth of God’s Word and how it ought to be applied to everyday life.

The Components of Rhetoric

There are three essential components of Rhetoric; Logos, Pathos and Ethos. These are the tools used to persuade others. The difference between the Greek concept of Rhetoric and the Christian concept of Rhetoric is the work of God the Holy Spirit. Only God can effectively persuade another of the Truth. It is He who must intervene into the deadness of man’s heart to move him to believe. No human argument, no matter how perfect, can regenerate a soul. Yet, it is the Christian’s task to skillfully set forth the Gospel in such a way that it honors the glory and perfection of the Scripture. In this way the Christian can put to silence the gainsayers and blasphemers while making a case for the application of Scripture to every area of life.

The Logos

This refers to the facts of the Scripture. The logos is unbiased and impassioned. It is the basic content of the message, its nuts and bolts. All Christians need to know the facts of Scripture in order to share it accurately. In order to do this, courses in Systematic Theology, Apologetics and Philosophy are essential.

The Pathos

Pathos refers to the ‘passion’ both of the hearer and the deliverer of the message. While the deliverer of the message must do so with firm passionate conviction, the message must resonate with the hearer as well. This means it must be made personal. The passion of the hearer must be touched. The Scriptures talk endlessly about issues which touch each and every individual on a personal, even an emotional level. The Rhetorician must make the message personal. It must appeal to the Pathos.

The Ethos

This mainly reflects the character of the rhetorician. If the character of the individual declaring the gospel is marred in any, he or she will be seen as a hypocrite and the message will be compromised. An unblemished Christian character and testimony is extremely important in evangelism. This is perfected over time within the community so that it is made evident to all. Once a consistent ethos is established, unhindered evangelism is made possible.

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Courses in Rhetoric

New Geneva offers an extensive course in Rhetoric and Homiletics at the College Level along with courses in Systematic Theology, Apologetics, Epistemology and Philosophy. These are perfect for home school senior students or adults who desire to hone their skills in the Gospel presentation.