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1. Bring Every Concern to the Lord. Vance Havner tells of an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her troubles – both real and imaginary. Finally someone in her family advised her tactfully, “Grandma, we’ve done all we can for you. You’ll have to trust God for the rest.” A look of absolute despair spread over her face as she replied, “Oh dear, has it come to that?” Havner commented, “It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that! God’s Word tells us to bring every concern to the Lord. Since He offers to handle our problems, why not let Him?” -unknown
2. Prayer Throughout Every Part of the Day. One of C. H. Spurgeon’s biographies pointed out that there was no specific time that this prince of preachers spent in prayer. As the heavenly city has no need of the sun, because it is all light, so Spurgeon’s life was all prayer. Inquirers were astonished to note that at any moment Spurgeon would pause and be in touch with God in prayer. -unknown
3. A Habit of Prayer. The Scriptures speak of definite times that men of God prayed, and we too need to establish that habit. David speaks of the quiet time of the morning, also of noon and evening. “In the morning will I lift up my voice” (Ps. 5:3.143:8). “Evening and morning, and at noon will I pray” (Ps. 55:17). Of our Lord we read “And in the morning… He went into a solitary place and there prayed” (Mark 1:35). -Henry Hildebrand
4. Dependence on God. The Christian should work as if all depended on him, and pray as if all depended on God. -C. H. Spurgeon
5. The More We Pray. The more we pray, the more we shall want to pray. The more we pray, the more we can pray. The more we pray, the more we shall pray. He who prays little will pray less, but he who prays much will pray more. And he who prays more will desire to pray more abundantly. -C. H. Spurgeon
6. Pray with Fervency. He who prays without fervency does not pray at all. We cannot commune with God who is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29), if there is no fire in our prayers. -C. H. Spurgeon
7. Eternal Rewards of Prayer. He that is never on his knees on earth shall never stand upon his feet in heaven. -C. H. Spurgeon
8. God’s Willingness. Archbishop French said, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of His highest willingness.”-unknown2
9. Communion with God. Prayer is God the Holy Spirit talking to God the Father in the name of God the Son. -Samuel Zwemer
10. Through the Cross. The blood of the cross is the basis of all prayer. Only as I come to God through Jesus to get the sin score straightened, and only as I keep in sympathy with Jesus in the purpose of my life can I practice prayer. -S. D. Gordon
11. Giving back to God. God gives you 96 fifteen-minute periods every day. Will you give God at least one or two of these time periods in prayer for your loved ones, friends and the world? -Dick Eastman
12. Unity in Prayer. No great spiritual awakening has begun anywhere in the world apart from united prayer, Christians persistently praying for revival. -J. Edwin Orr
13. Pray With Others. Faith is infectious, and infection spreads where numbers congregate. Unbelief, on the other hand, thrives more readily in isolation. -Wentworth Pike
14. Your Heart. In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. -John Bunyan
15. The Power of Prayer. D. E. Hoste, the man who took over the China Inland Mission from Hudson Taylor, wrote a book titled Behind the Ranges. He was trying to analyze why the people with whom he lived and worked were not doing very well. But the people in the other village across the ranges were doing great! He visited them only now and then, but they were always doing fine, so he began to ask the Lord what was going on. How could those across the ranges be doing better than those with whom he lived and worked? The Lord showed Host the answer. Although he was spending much time counseling, preaching. and teaching with those with whom he lived, he spent much more time in prayer for those across the ranges. He concluded that there are four basic elements in making disciples: 1) prayer, 2) prayer, 3) prayer, 4) the Word – in that order and in about that proportion.
16. Effective Prayer. The church has many organizations, but few organizers; many who pay, but few who pray; many resters, but few wrestlers; many who are enterprising, but few who an interceding. People who are not praying and praying. The secret of praying is praying in secret. A worldly Christian will stop praying and a praying Christian will stop worldliness. Tithes may build a church, but tears of prayer will give it life. That is the difference between the church of today and the early church. In the matter of effective praying, never have so many left so much to so few. Brethren, let us pray. -Leonard Ravenhill
17. Desiring God. Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I do not care whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer. -John Wesley
18. The Power of Prayer and the Word. Little of the Word with little prayer is death to the spiritual life. Much of the Word with little prayer gives a sickly life. Much prayer with little of the Word gives emotional life. But a full measure of both the Word and prayer each day gives a healthy and powerful life. -attributed to Andrew Murray
19. More Prayer, Fewer Cares. If we had more prayers we would have fewer cares. -W. Len Tucker
20. “Ask” Before We “Act”. We are not to “act” in Christian service before we “ask” of the Savior. Many times, if we act before we ask, it will result in backwardness and even failure and attack from the enemy. (Joshua 9:14) -Doug Nichols
21. Knowing God. The man who would know God must give time to Him. -A. W. Tozer
22. Be Ready. When you see, sense and hear the Holy Spirit working, then “you shall act promptly!” Plan, set goals and strategy, and then “be ready” to act promptly when God begins to work. (See 2 Samuel 5:24) -Doug Nichols
23. The Will of God. Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God. -unknown
24. Satan Trembles When We Pray. The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from prayer. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. -Jonathan Edwards
25. Perserverence in Prayer. One day George Muller began praying for five of his friends. After many months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Muller persevered in prayer until his death for the fifth friend and throughout those 52 years he never gave up hoping that the friend would accept Christ! His faith was rewarded for soon after Muller’s funeral the last one was saved. -Daily Bread
26. Devoted to Prayer. Whole days and weeks have I spent lying on the ground in silent or vocal prayer. -George Whitefield
27. Praying is Spiritual Work. E.M Bounds left his secure, settled pastorate to arouse others to the urgent need for prayer. He knew why Christians neglect this essential part of the pursuit of excellence. He wrote, “Praying is spiritual work; and human nature does not like taxing, spiritual work. Human nature wants to sail to heaven under a favoring breeze, a full smooth sea … So we come to one of the crying evils of these times, maybe of all times – little or no praying. Of these two evils, perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make believe, a salve for the conscience, a farce and a delusion.” -George Sweeting
28. Persistency of Faith. Jacob’s victory of faith could not have been gained without that all night wrestling. God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly. He does not bestow His gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer… He yields to the persistency of faith that knows Him. -E. M. Bounds
29. Men Mighty in Prayer. E. M. Bounds interpretation of 2 Chronicles 16:9: “When God declares ‘the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose hearts are prefect toward Him.’” He declares the necessity of men and His dependence on them as a channel through which to exert His power upon the world…What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel
methods, but men who the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.
30. Doubt and Unbelief. In our private prayers and in our public services we are forever asking God to do things that He either has already done or cannot do because of our unbelief. We plead for Him to speak when He has already spoken and is at that very moment speaking. We ask Him to come when He is already present and waiting for us to recognize Him. We beg the Holy Spirit to fill us while all the time we are preventing Him by our doubts. -A. W. Tozer
31. The Power of Prevailing Prayer. There is no power like that of prevailing prayer – of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse and grief, Jesus in a sweat of blood. Add to this list from the records of the church your personal observation and experience, and always there is the cost of passion unto blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God. -Samuel Chadwick (as quoted by Leonard Ravenhill)
32. The Most Important Thing. O brother pray; in spite of Satan, pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray, rather fast, and forget breakfast, dinner, and supper – and sleep too – than not pray. And we must not talk about prayer, we must pray. -Andrew Bonar
33. The Importance of Structure and Leadership. The first Christians were to evangelize – preach the gospel – to all the world, making disciples of Jesus. Those disciples were to be identified with the church through baptism, then taught a body of information that would include “all things whatever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). None of this could be accomplished without structure and leadership. -Henry Hildebrand
34. Essential Ingredient. Leadership is not optional. It is the ingredient essential to the success of any organization. Take away leadership and confusion replaces vision. -Charles Swindoll
35. Strength through Brokenness before God. L.E. Maxwell, founder of Prairie Bible Institute, said, “A man that has not experienced brokenness before God cannot be trusted with leadership.” Dr. F.C. Peters said, upon hearing Mr. Maxwell, “I returned to my room deeply moved as I analyzed my own relationship to Christ and to my brethren. Suddenly I saw myself as I was strong willed and aggressive, a leader who just could not tolerate being wrong or losing. God used that truth to break me once more.” -unknown
36. Staying Wise in Your Times. Let Christian leaders be wise in their “times,” not behind their age, nor too far ahead, but far enough ahead to lead the march. Let them read widely and observe with discretion so they remain relevant. Let them pray for a mind receptive to new ideas at an age when the tendency is to let things take their course. -Henry Hildebrand
37. One Step at a Time. Wisdom (in leadership) does not become enamored of deep research to the exclusion of doing the little things that are awaiting action. It does the best with what is at hand. The Wright Brothers did not sit down at a drafting table to plot the details of a world-wide air transport system. They built an airplane. Actually, a world-wide mission strategy has been given; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:8. Let us do the work and win one, then another. This requires patience and perseverance. -Henry Hildebrand
38. Don’t Ever Give Up. It is one thing to dream dreams and see visions. It is another to convert a dream into a plan of action. It is yet another thing to persevere when opposition comes. (The true leader) has the resilience to take setbacks in stride, the tenacity to overcome fatigue and discouragement, the wisdom to „turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.‟ Rev. John Barkman puts it this way, “Speech is a gift, endurance is an achievement.” Churchill had three things to say to the students at Harrow, “Don’t ever give up! Don’t ever give up! Don’t ever give up!” In other words, “The strength of a person can be measured by what it takes to stop him.” Again Solomon said it the best, “you are a poor specimen, if you can’t stand the pressure of adversity.” -John Stott
39. Overflowing. The Christian leader must not leave the impression that he is overworked, but rather overflowing. Otherwise there will be a spirit of selfishness revealed in self-will, self-assertion, and self-pity. The great harvests in Egypt are not produced because of a full Nile River, but because of an overflowing Nile. -T. J. Bach
40. The High Price of Good Leadership. The history of Christian leadership is one of great sacrifice and a willingness to listen to criticism. No one need aspire to leadership in the work of God who is not prepared to pay a price greater than his contemporaries and colleagues are willing to pay. Leadership always exacts a heavy toll on the whole man, and the more effective the leadership is, the higher the price to be paid. -J. O. Sanders
41. Catching God’s Vision. Along with the goal to accomplish a mission or a task, the godly leader will have an even higher vision of God’s love and concern for fulfillment in and through the people he is leading… It will only be found to the degree that the leader has a working understanding of God’s purposes, man’s potential and scriptural principles of leading by serving. -Dr. N. Snider
42. Growing Through Our Problems. It is the whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguished between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct.” -Scott Peck
43. Turning Obstacles into Opportunities. Every work that moves for God is beset by problems, so is every man of God. The lives of great men and women were marked by unusual obstacles. Domonsthenus, one of the world’s great orators, set himself resolutely to cure a defect in his speech by placing pebbles underneath his tongue and speaking against the roar of the waves. Moses, hesitant and slow of speech, persevered. Once he obeyed the call of God, Moses gave the world eight masterpieces of oratory preserved in the book of Deuteronomy. Their literary splendor ranks with the greatest in the world. John Bunyan conquered the solitude of Bedford Jail to produce Pilgrims Progress, a book that in blessing and effect ranks second only to the Bible in the English speaking world. Likewise, we are to convert our obstacles into opportunities, our liabilities into assets, our hindrances into helpfulness, and our stumbling blocks into stepping stones, lest they become our tombstones. -Henry Hildebrand
44. Following Christ’s Example. Using Jesus Christ’s life as an example and copying the principles of leadership taught and applied by Him and the early church leaders, we can redefine a leader as one who recruits people to follow his example and guides them along the way while he is training them to do what he does. -Myron Rush
45. The Importance of Training. Jesus Christ’s position as Son of God did not automatically make Him an effective leader. He was an effective leader because He trained people to do what He did. In Luke 9:1-6 we see Jesus training His followers to do exactly what He did. There are many pastors, Sunday School teachers, choir directors, and church board members in positions of leadership who aren’t really leaders but performers and entertainers. -Myron Rush
46. The Price of Leadership. Salvation is the only thing in Life that is free. Everything else has a price and the price tag on leadership is very high. That is one of the reasons we have such a shortage of leaders. A lot of people want to be leaders. Most people seek the positions of leadership. However, very few people are willing to pay the price to become effective leaders. In addition to time and energy, there are other prices that a leader must pay:
- You must be willing to stand alone.
- You must be willing to go against public opinion in order to promote what you believe.
- You must be willing to risk failure.
- You must become a master of your emotions.
- You must strive to remain above reproach.
- You must be willing to make decisions others don’t want to make.
- You must be willing to say no at times, even when you’d like to say yes.
- You must sometimes be willing to sacrifice-personal interests for the good of the group.
- You must never be content with the average; you must always strive for the best.
- People must be more important to you than possessions.
- You will have to work harder to keep your life in balance than people do who are not leaders.
47. Putting the Gospel First. We are desperately in need of a new kind of leader – one who puts getting the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and hurting world above playing the political and religious games necessary for achieving our religious systems ideal of success. -Myron Rush
48. Achieving Great Things for God. A leader’s greatness isn’t measured by what he can do – but what his followers can do. Jesus Christ was not a great leader because He could perform great miracles and many people wanted to follow Him. He was a great leader because His followers achieved great things for God. A leader’s success is always measured in terms of the level of achievement of his followers. If you want to become a better leader, work at helping your followers achieve their full potential. -Myron Rush
49. For God’s Glory. When people follow leaders with servant hearts, the Lord God is exalted. Those people speak of God’s person, God’s power, God’s work. God’s name, God’s Word…all for God’s glory. -C. R. Swindoll
50. Servant’s Heart. A leader is not a getter, but a giver. Not one who holds a grudge, but a forgiver. Not one who keeps score, but a forgetter. Not a superior, but a servant. -C. R. Swindoll
51. Leading by Example. One general would demonstrate the art of leadership with a simple piece of string. He would put it on a table and say: “Pull it and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it and it will go nowhere at all. It’s just that way when it comes to leading people. They need to follow a person who is leading by example.” At another time he said, “You do not lead by hitting people over the head; that is assault, not leadership.”
52. Ancient Persian Proverb. An ancient Persian proverb offers the following excellent advice on developing leaders:
He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool – shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not is a child – teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows is asleep – wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows is wise – follow him.
53. Going Against Popular Opinion. Former USA President, Harry Truman, once commented on the importance of polls to leadership, with the following insight: “I wonder how far Moses would have gone if he’d taken a poll in Egypt? What would Jesus Christ have preached if he’d taken a poll in Israel? Where would the Reformation have gone if Martin Luther had taken a poll? It isn’t the polls or public opinion of the moment that counts. It is right and wrong and leadership – men with fortitude, honesty, and a belief in the right – that makes epochs in the history of the world.”
54. Three Good Questions. Three questions leaders should ask about their ministry: a. Where are we right now? b. Where are we going (goals)? c. How are we going to get there? A wise leader invites continuous observation and evaluation.
55. Moving Forward. “Any direction, just so it be forward.” -Anonymous military general
56. Management. Management is guiding human and physical resources in dynamic organizational units which attain their objectives to the satisfaction of those served and with a high degree of morale and sense of attainment on the part of those performing the service. -Lawrence Aplley
57. Swift and Clear Decisions. When all the facts art in, swift and clear decision is the mark of the true leader. The man who possesses vision must do something about it or he will remain a visionary, not a leader. Once a spiritual leader is sure of the will of God, he will go into immediate action, regardless of consequences. In pursuing his goal, he will have the courage to burn his bridges behind him. He must be willing to accept full responsibility for consequent failure or success, and not place any blame that might accrue on a subordinate. -J. Oswald Sanders
58. Using Life’s Struggles for God’s Glory. Disabilities need not disqualify. On the contrary, struggling makes a great background for leadership! Not unless you have struggled with the hopelessness and brokenness of life’s pains can you possibly know how to lead others through such valleys. Since the prime function of the leader is to keep hope alive, having been bereft of it helps the leader never to forget the value of it. Yesterday’s pain prompts today’s praise. -Chuck Swindoll
59. Integrity. The supreme quality for a leader is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a football field, in an army, or in an office. If his associates find him guilty of phoniness, if they find that he lacks forthright integrity, he will fail. His teachings and actions must square with each other. The first great need therefore, is integrity and high purpose.” -President Dwight Eisenhower
60. Job Too Small. A veteran missionary to China is said to have been asked to take up a post with a large business firm. Well-qualified by his knowledge of the country’s language and culture, he was certain to be well-paid for his work. When each successive salary offer was refused, the exasperated businessman asked the missionary how much it would take to secure his services. “Oh” said the missionary, “your first offer was more than enough. The salary is fine but your job is too small!” -Philip Greenslade
61. Character. One of the outstanding ironies of history is the utter disregard of ranks and titles in the final judgments men pass on each other. The final estimate of men shows that history cares not an iota for the rank or title a man has borne, or the office he has held, but only the quality of his deeds and the character of his mind and heart.” -Samuel Logan Brengle
62. Authoritative, Spiritual, and Sacrificial. The overriding need of the church, if it is to discharge its obligation to the rising generation, is for a leadership that is authoritative, spiritual and sacrificial. Authoritative, because people love to be led by one who knows where he is going and who inspires confidence. They follow almost without question the man who shows himself wise and strong, who adheres to what he believes. Spiritual, because a leadership that is unspiritual, that can be fully explained in terms of the natural, although ever so attractive and competent, will result only in sterility and moral and spiritual bankruptcy. Sacrificial, because it is modeled on the life of the One who gave Himself a sacrifice for the whole world, who left us an example that we should follow His steps. -J. Oswald Sanders
63. Total Surrender to Christ. Spiritual authority and leadership is not won by promotion but by many prayers and tears. It is attained by confession of sins, and much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold deathless, uncompromising and uncomplaining embracing of the cross: and by an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified. It is not gained by seeking great things for ourselves, but rather, like Paul, by counting those things that are gain to us as loss for Christ. That is a great price, but it must be unflinchingly paid by him who would be not merely a nominal but a real spiritual leader of men, a leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, or earth and in hell.” -Samuel Logan Brengle
64. Giving It Your Very All For the Kingdom of the Lord. I have in mind the use of the word leadership which our Lord doubtless had in mind when He said, “He who would be greatest among you shall be the servant of all” – leadership in the sense of rendering the maximum of service; leadership in the sense of the largest unselfishness; in the sense of unwearying and unceasing absorption in the greatest work of the world, the building up of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. – John R Mott
65. Character. Martin Luther the great Reformer was described as a man easy to approach; totally without personal vanity; so simple in his tastes that men wondered how he could sustain life on so little; abounding in solid sense, playful humor and mirthfulness; honest as the day; transparently sincere. Added to this was his undaunted courage, inflexible conviction and passion for Christ. It is small wonder that he bound men to him with bonds of steel. -James Burns
66. Drafted by the Holy Spirit. A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses and David and the Old Testament prophets. I think there was hardly a great leader from Paul to the present day but was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task, and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little heart for. I believe it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The true leader will have no desire to lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing and altogether as ready to follow as to lead, when the Spirit makes it clear that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared. -A. W. Tozer
67. Is Anyone Following the Leader? At a large gathering of the leading Protestant missions in China the question of qualifications for leadership was being discussed. There was vigorous debate on the subject. Mr. D. E. Hoste, General Director of the China Inland Mission, sat quietly listening until the chairman asked if he had anything to say on the subject. From all over the auditorium came murmurs of approval at the invitation, for his contributions to a discussion were always listened to with more than ordinary interest. With a twinkle in his eye, he said in his curiously high-pitched voice: ‘It occurs to me that perhaps the best test to whether one is a qualified leader is to find out whether anyone is following him.” -J. Oswald Sanders
68. Discipline. The man of leadership caliber will work while others waste time, study while others sleep, pray while others play. There will be no place for loose or slovenly habits in word or thought, deed or dress, he will observe a soldierly discipline in diet and deportment, so that he might wage a good warfare. He will without reluctance undertake the unpleasant task which others evade, or the hidden duty which others evade because it evokes no applause or wins no appreciation. A Spirit-filled leader will not shrink from facing up to difficult situations or persons, or from dealing with difficult problems when that is necessary. He will kindly and courageously administer rebuke when that is called for; or he will exercise necessary discipline when the interests of the Lord’s work demand it. -J. Oswald Sanders
69. Discipline Prepares One for God’s Work. Barclay Buxton of Japan used to urge Christians to lead disciplined lives whether they were in business or evangelistic work. This included discipline in Bible study and prayer, in tithing their money, in use of their time, in keeping healthy by proper food and sleep and exercise. It included the rigor of disciplined
fellowship among Christians who differed from each other in many ways. This discipline was to equip them to carry responsibility. He then urged them to take their place on committees and to fulfill their responsibility by careful thought, work and judgment. All these were the disciplines of his life, and his urgings for others came because of experience. -World Vision
70. Seeing the Possibilities. The man who sees the difficulties so clearly that he does not discern the possibilities will be unable to impart inspiration to his followers. -J. Oswald Sanders
71. True Spiritual Leadership. When a man in virtue of an official position demands obedience of another, irrespective of the latter’s reason and conscience, this is the spirit of tyranny. When, on the other hand, by the exercise of tact and sympathy, by prayer, spiritual power and sound wisdom one is able to influence and enlighten another, so that he through the medium of his own reason and conscience is led to alter one course and adopt another, that is true spiritual leadership. -D. E. Hoste
72. Willing to Pay the Price. A young man who was beginning his work with the coast guard was early called to take part in a desperate assignment. A great storm had arisen and a ship was signaling its distress. As the men began to move the big boat to the rescue, the young man, frightened at the fierceness of the storm cried out to the captain, “We will never get back!” Above the storm the captain replied, “We don’t have to come back, but we do have to go out.” In most decisions the difficult part is not in knowing what we ought to do; it is in being willing to pay the price involved. -J. Oswald Sanders
73. Being Second. The spiritual leader of today is in all probability one who yesterday expressed his humility by working gladly and faithfully in the second place. Out of his wisdom, Robert Morrison of China wrote: “The great fault, I think in our missions is that no one likes to be second.” -J. Oswald Sanders
74. Expressing the Joy of the Lord. “I have never met leadership without a sense of humor, this ability to stand outside one-self and one’s circumstances, to see things in perspective and laugh. It is a great safety valve! You will never lead others far without the joy of the Lord and a sense of humor. -A. E. Norrish
75. Taking Courageous Steps in Obedience to God. Hudson Taylor did not play safe. The tremendous steps of faith which he took with monotonous regularity were denounced as wildcat schemes. But that did not deter him, and today history is on his side. The greatest achievements in the history of the church and of missions have been the outcome of some leader in touch with God taking courageous, carefully calculated risks.
A leader cannot afford to ignore the counsel of cautious men around him. They will often save him from unnecessary mistakes. But he must beware of allowing their excess of caution to curb his initiative if he feels his vision is of God. Nor must he allow them to restrain him from taking daring steps of faith to which God is calling both him and them. -J. Oswald Sanders
76. Articulating Your Objective. Olan Hendrix says that the effectiveness of any corporate effort depends largely upon our ability to concisely articulate our objective –Management and the Christian Worker, p. 58
77. Do It, Fix It, Try It. In analyzing the world’s most successful corporations, Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman, Jr. noted eight attributes that characterized excellent companies. First in this list was what they called a “Bias for Action.” The standard operation procedure was “Do it, fix it, try it.” They all allowed some chaos in return for quick action and regular experimentation. –In Search of Excellence, p. 13.
78. Good Communication. David Sarnoff, R.C.A., has said, “The power to communicate is the power to lead. Good communication, not structure, is the cement that holds any organization together.” -unknown
79. Well-Defined Duties and Expectations. Model leadership always defines duties and is careful to make clear what it expects and what another person is being held accountable for. –The One Minute Manager, p. 27
80. The Importance of Job Descriptions. All Christian workers should have a job description:
- Job descriptions, like organizational charts, should be living, dynamic, and flexible enough not to stifle creativity.
- Job descriptions should be concise and should be reviewed by leaders and followers to make sure they are understood.
- Job descriptions should be mutually agreed upon before a relationship is established.
- Job descriptions should be used when a reprimand is necessary.
- “Job descriptions should be reviewed, updated, and retyped and reissued at least once a year”
- Job descriptions should stimulate, not stifle; free, not imprison; liberate, not lock one into a deadening routine.
- Job descriptions can become straitjackets if they are too restrictive, if they are not loosened as a person grows.
-Management and the Christian Worker, p. 10912
81. Delegating Important Matters. Robert Townsend says, “…few delegate authority in important matters. All they delegate is dog-work. A leader does as much dog-work as he can for his followers or finds a way to do without it, and he delegates as many important matters as he can because that creates a climate in which people grow” –Up the Organization, p. 28
82. Strong Motivators. A few years ago, Leo McManus was holding a seminar for Spreckel’s Sugar Company in San Francisco. During the course of the three-day seminar he said that it is possible to motivate people. The strongest positive motivation is recognition. Another motivator is a feeling of accomplishment. A third is sense of importance. A fourth is responsibility. He went on to say that even salary is a motivator, but only when it is associated directly with performance.
83. Praise Stimulates Performance. Success, say Blanchard and Johnson, breeds success. Praise stimulates performance. The authors tell us that most leaders watch for their followers to do something wrong. A model leader watches for his followers to do something right, then immediately and sincerely praises him. –The One Minute Manager, pp. 40-41
84. Reinforce Good Work. Peters and Waterman also state: “…people are not very rational…all of us are self-centered, suckers for a bit of praise. But the fact of the matter is that our talents are distributed normally – none of us is really as good as he or she would like to think, but rubbing our noses daily in that reality doesn’t do us a bit of good” (In Search of Excellence, p. 55).
America’s best-run companies are constantly building in systems to make their employees feel as though they are winners, and as a result, reinforce winning rather than losing (p. 57). “In a study of school teachers, it turned out that when they held high expectations of their students, that alone was enough to cause an increase of twenty-five points in the students’ ‟ IQ.” –The One Minute Manager, p. 59
85. Not Giving Up On Your Mission. In February 1983, my friends Gail Vinje, Citak Christians Sahu, Yakub Fiak and I were almost killed by some very primitive people in the Brazza River area of Irian Jaya. It was a frightening experience for all of us. But just a few days after we were evacuated from the area, Sahu said to me, “Just because they were about to kill us doesn’t mean that we can just forget them. We must go back and tell them God’s Word.” -Margaret Stringer
86. The Importance of Missions Organizations. What is to be the church’s primary activity until Christ’s Second Coming? Its biblical mandate is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people in all lands. The mission agency is the implementing arm of the church in this cross cultural ministry. It will continue to be the key instrument used of the Lord to facilitate the sending of missionaries from the worldwide church to the frontiers of unreached people. Attempts to bypass or eliminate mission agencies only create new forms of organization. -E. L. Frizen13
87. Church Growth on the Mission Field. Sixty three thousand new converts are added to the church every day, 1,600 new churches are formed each week, and most of this growth is on the mission field. In Korea alone six new churches are started every day. -J. Herbert Kane
88. The Need for Long-term Missionaries. If the church is to fulfill the Great Commission in our generation, then we must deploy our finest armored soldiers at the front lines of the battle. This battle is not won over the summer, nor is such strategic ground taken in a brief two-year skirmish. Long-term advances into unreached areas that can be held by a strong, indigenous church will only be made as cross-cultural missionaries mobilize for careers of active duty. Strategic advances will only be made by career combatants – the heart of the modern missionary movement. -Steve Hoke
89. Look for the Open Door. No land is closed to God. If we look around, we shall see that even if the front door be shut, the back door may be open. -J. Christy Wilson
90. Life Transforming Power of the Gospel. A truly biblical response to social need recognizes that if all who are poor were compensated, if all who are suffering were alleviated, if all who are oppressed were liberated, if all who are ignorant were educated, if all who are hungry were satiated, if all who are deprived were elevated, the world might appear a near perfect place. But without the life transforming power of the gospel, sin would soon be revealed, and the cycle of poverty, suffering, oppression, ignorance, hunger, and deprivation would soon be repeated. -Richard Winchell
91. Building Spiritual Foundations that Protect People. Don Gregory, with twelve years of experience in Irian Jaya under TEAM, observes: “Culture is good and necessary…Rather than destroying local culture, the missionaries are building spiritual foundations which protect the people… In 1950 no one (neither outsider nor local tribesman) could walk safely for any great distance through the valleys of the Jayawijaya or travel many of the rivers of the south coast. Women could not garden or fish without the threat of being attacked and cannibalized by members of an enemy tribe. Today there is peace in most of the valleys and along most of the rivers and it is partly missionaries who bring it.” -William Kornfield
92. Making Sacrifices for God’s Glory. “We have prayed very often for the city,” Pastor Hsi’s (a converted ex-Confucian scholar) wife said, “Is it not time to do something there?” “Gladly would I,” responded her husband, “but money is lacking. I have nothing to use for the purpose, and renting houses is expensive.” “How much would it require?” was her next question. And on hearing his reply she went away and said no more about it.
But she too could not forget Hwochow; and next morning it was an unadorned little figure that came up and laid some packages on the table after family worship. “I think,” she said, “that God has answered our prayers about the city.”
Missing something in her appearance as well as being surprised at her words, Pastor Hsi opened one of the packages, to find nothing less than all her jewelry – the gold and silver ornaments, bracelets, rings, and even hair-pins so indispensable to a Chinese lady and that from her marriage dowry.
“You cannot surely mean,” he began, “you cannot do without-” “Yes, I can,” she said joyfully. “I can do without these: let Hwochow, have the Gospel.” -Hudson Taylor
93. People That Never Experience Christ. Some have suggested that an estimated 80,000 people die daily without experiencing the difference Jesus makes in one’s life. That works out to about 55 people each minute.
94. Setting Our Own Limits on God’s Work. Most of us do not accomplish much because we do not expect to accomplish very much. A. B. Simpson indicted the majority of us when he said, “Our God has boundless resources. The only limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking, our praying are too small. Our expectations are too limited.” J. Hudson Taylor observed, “Many Christians estimate difficulties in the light of their own resources, and thus attempt little and often fail in the little they attempt.” -Walter B. Knight
95. Despite Obstacles. I am trying now to establish the Lord’s Kingdom in a region wider by far than Scotland. Fever seems to forbid, but I shall work for the glory of Christ’s Kingdom – fever or no fever. -David Livingstone
96. Finding God’s Place. There are many cities, towns and villages still without the gospel. If you are in the wrong place, than the right place, God’s place, is empty.
97. Not Just A Project. Missions is thought of today as a project of the church, instead of the one divine program of the ages.
98. A Passion for the Impossible. God loves with a great love the man whose heart is bursting with a passion for the impossible. -William Booth
99. The Very Best. It is a mistake to suppose that a dull and second-rate man is good enough for the poor lost people of the world. The worst-off need the very best the church has, God gave His best, even His only begotten Son, in order to redeem a lost world. The most darkened and degraded souls need the best thinking. -Adoniram Judson
100. Going Even When The Going Is Tough. A mission society is reported to have written to David Livingstone: “Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to send other men to join you.” Livingstone replied: “If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”
101. The Strong Impact of the Spirit-Gifted. In appraising the missionary methodology of the church, George Smith emphasized that to this day the best results come when, under the Holy Spirit, good principles of communication are combined with clear understanding of cultural and social patterns, and applied to the proclamation of the gospel. “God’s primary method of evangelism and church planting is still the ministry of Spirit-gifted and empowered men and women preaching and teaching the word of God.”
102. Church Planting in Today’s World. Five steps for planting churches in today’s world:
- Witness first to the heads of households: go with them to win their friends and relatives. Have no public services until the local men trained to lead them.
- Baptize all repentant believers without delay.
- Organize a provisional board of elders right away (Acts 14:23).
- Enroll these elders in extension training classes. Meet with them every two or three weeks till they are mobilized.
- Provide a checklist of the congregation activities ordered by Christ and His apostles for His churches. Use this list as a guide to teach and mobilize one of the elders who teaches and mobilizes the rest.
-George Paterson of Honduras
103. Spiritual Values. Raymond T. Davies of Sudan Interior Mission, in an article, “Good Works: The Gospel’s Handmaid,” introduced this topic. “There is a close relationship between the gospel of Jesus Christ and good works. To link the two, however, does not imply that there is no priority. The spiritual values are always priorities.
104. A Change of Thinking. Dr. Roy Laurin told how a business man and a lawyer, both Christians, were walking with a missionary one day in Korea. They came upon a young man pulling a crude plow while an old man held the handles. “That’s a curious picture! I suppose they are very poor,” said the lawyer.
The missionary replied, “Yes, that is the family of Chi-Bari. When the church was being built they were eager to give, but they had no money. So they sold their only ox and gave the money to the church. This spring they must pull the plow themselves.”
The lawyer and the business man were silent for some moments. Then the business man said, “That must have been a real sacrifice.” “They did not call it that,” said the missionary. “They thought it was fortunate that they had the ox to sell.”
Back home, the lawyer told his minister the story and said, “I want to double my pledge to missions. Give me some plow work, please. I have never yet given anything to my Lord that cost me anything.”
105. Not an Option. World evangelism is the church’s task, every believer’s responsibility. This clarifies the problem of missions. As Hudson Taylor stated so graphically, “Missions is not an option but a question of obedience.” -Henry Hildebrand
106. Listening to God. A little fellow of a very poor family in the slum section of one of our large cities was induced to attend a mission Sunday school. By and by, as a result of the teacher’s faithful work he became a Christian. He seemed quite bright and settled in his new Christian faith and life.
Someone, surely in a thoughtless mood, tried to test or shake his simple faith in God by a question. He was asked, “If God loves you, why doesn’t He tell someone to send you warm shoes and some coal and better food?”
The little fellow thought a moment, and then with big tears starting in his eyes, said, “I guess He does tell somebody, but somebody forgets.”
Without knowing it, the boy touched the sore point in the church’s history. I wonder if it is the sore point with you or me. -S. D. Gordon
107. Being Open. While vast continents still lie shrouded in midnight darkness, and hundreds of millions still suffer the horrors of heathenism and Islam, the burden of proof rests upon you to show that the circumstances in which God has placed you were meant by Him to keep you out of the foreign field. -Keith Falcomer of Canada
108. Obedience to God’s Calling. Even on the low ground of common sense, I seemed called to be a missionary. For is the Kingdom not the great harvest field? Then I thought it only reasonable to seek the work where the work was most abundant and the workers were fewest. -Gilmour, of Mongolia
109. The Church. A church which does not exist to do good in the slums of the city is a church that does not exist to reclaim heathenism, to fight with evil, to destroy error, to put down falsehood, a church that does not exist to take the side of the poor, to denounce injustice and to hold up righteousness, is a church that has no right to be. Not for yourself, O church, do you exist, any more than Christ existed for Himself. His glory was that He laid aside His glory, and the glory of the church is when she lays aside her respectability and her dignity, and counts it to be her glory to gather together the outcasts, and her highest honor to seek amid the fullest mire the priceless jewels for which Jesus shed His blood. To rescue souls from hell and lead them to God, to hope, to heaven, this is her heavenly occupation.
O that the church would always feel this! Let her have her preachers, and let them be supported, and let everything be done for Christ’s sake decently and in order, but let the goal be, the conversion of the wandering, the teaching of the ignorant, the helping of the poor, the maintenance of the right, the putting down of the wrong, and the upholding at all hazards of the crown and kingdom of Jesus Christ. -Charles Haddon Spurgeon
110. Churches Role in Missions. If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is in the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.
111. What Do We Have in Common? We have a common master (the Lord Jesus Christ), a common message (the gospel) and a common mission. -Doug Nichols
112. Obedience to God. People say, “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.” If there is ever a lack of funds or workers, we reason that the work is not being done in God’s way, instead of realizing that it may simply be the disobedience of God’s people by not giving and going. -Doug Nichols
113. Closed Countries. There are no closed countries to get into – coming out however, may be a problem! -Brother Andrew
114. Following Jesus. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Does Jesus still ask men and women to follow Him today? Yes, He does! To follow Jesus means to make Him first in your life. It means putting aside your personal program to get involved in His program. -George Sweeting
115. The Mission. The mission of the church is missions. -David Livingstone
116. Victory through the Cross. We must face and fight the enemy on every issue that affects world evangelization, then finish through the victory of the cross. -Doug Nichols
117. Seeing the Cross. A missionary is not necessarily one who crosses the sea, but one who sees the cross. -Cindy Aufance, missionary to Hongkong,
118. Perserverance. Battles are not won by evacuation. -Winston Churchill
119. Giving Him Your All. If Jesus gave all for me, what shouldn’t I give for Him? – C. T. Studd
120. Joining Hands. In the pioneering days of the Canadian West, a family was making its way by foot to a farmhouse located several miles outside a prairie town. It was bitterly cold, and to make better time, the father and mother and their boy cut across a field of wheat that, because of the early snowfall, had not been harvested. For some reason, the boy became separated from his parents. After a fruitless search, the parents decided to return to the village to enlist the help of as many of the local people as possible.
Nearly all the adults of the village turned out and began to search the field. After some time when no trace of the boy could be found, one of the searchers suggested that they all join hands and advance across the field, systematically searching the ground. Quickly the people joined hands and marched across the field. After just a few minutes, the call went out, “I’ve found him!” The boy had been found, but it was too late; he had succumbed to the bitter cold, and his life had been snuffed out.
As the father gazed upon the body of his son, he was overheard to say, “Oh, that we had joined hands sooner!” And when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ to receive the reward for the things done in the body, will not one of our regrets be that we had not joined hands sooner? -Dr. T. S. Rendall
121. A Witness for Christ. Jesus said in Acts 1:8 “You shall be witnesses unto me” – not of yourself, not of the church, not of an organization, but “unto Me.” -Doug Nichols
122. Let Your Light Shine Bright. Charles Coleman, founder Worldwide Gospel Crusades, told his wife one evening during a major effort to reach Japan with the gospel, “I have been having such heart pain at night, I fear I will die. If I go on with this crusade, I will die. If I do not go on, there are millions that will die without hearing of Christ.”
What to do? There is only one thing to do, Christ did not say, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel, if you are well and strong and it does not endanger your life.” No, He is the One who said, “Be ye faithful unto death!” There is only one decision Charles could make. The crusade must go on.
But Charles, don’t you know that you are burning up what is left of life’s candle? Well, what are candles for? Someone said to the candle, “You are giving your life away.” “Yes,” answered the candle, “but what a lovely light!” For light to shine it must give itself away. -Mrs. Charles Coleman
123. The Promises of God. Missionary Adoniram Judson was lying in a foul Burmese jail. Imprisoned because of his Christian faith, Judson had thirty-two pounds of chains around his ankles; his feet were tied to a bamboo pole four feet off the ground, and the temperature was 100 degrees. A fellow prisoner – a nonbeliever – knowing that Judson was a Christian missionary sneeringly asked, “Well, Mr. Judson, what do you think now about the prospects for the conversion of the heathen?” Without hesitating a moment, Judson replied: Sir, the prospects for the conversion of the heathen are as bright as the promises of God.” -unknown
124. God’s Timing. William Carey, the father of modern missions, labored seven years in India before he baptized his first convert. Adoniram Judson labored faithfully seven years in Burma before he baptized his first convert. Robert Morrison, a missionary to China, also labored seven years in Africa before he witnessed his first conversion. Medical missionary and explorer David Livingstone served fourteen years in Africa before he witnessed his first conversion. -unknown
125. Spreading the Gospel. World evangelization is always our responsibility. Everyone has the right to hear the gospel intelligently presented at least once in their life. Love demands that of the church; the Great Commission commands it. -A. T. Pierson