Author: Guest Fruit Cove

I Understand

Do you ever have encounters that you cannot shake? You continually offer it up to the Lord, but the awkwardness of the exchange lingers, and you get stuck trying to make sense of it all.  I recently had a conversation with a youth leader that still makes my stomach turn, even months later. I had spent months wondering how my oldest son, Nolan, who struggles socially, has been adjusting to the much larger and louder culture of our church’s middle school youth group. When I had an opportunity to speak to the leader away from Nolan’s listening ears, I jumped at the chance.

I asked how he was fitting in and explained that I feared he could be easily picked on. The leader nodded agreeably and said there was no bullying in the group. In the midst of my breathing a heavy sigh of relief, he quickly followed with, “They pretty much ignore him.” It came across as though it was meant to be reassuring.

I immediately looked to the sky, to give the illusion I was in deep thought. I suppose it was not an illusion, as I did have many thoughts I desired to share. It was intentional on my part, as I feared that, even though I was literally biting my tongue, the rest of my face would convey the message I was not allowing my mouth to share. Thinking before speaking has never been a spiritual gift, so I stood there, dodging anymore eye contact.  No other words were added to the exchange, as I gathered my flock and herded them towards our passenger van. On the way home, I acknowledged that my son was not the only one awkwardly navigating interactions with the middle school leadership. It ran in the family.

Being a special needs parent really sharpens a person’s advocacy skills. If being an advocate was equivocated to knives, we would be Ginsus. We are razor sharp. It was time to put those skills to the test. But I quickly realized that there was no easy answer to this problem. What was I going to do? Make a morning announcement while the kids were all eating donuts that my son is precious and made perfectly by God and he should be treated like the coolest kid in the bunch? Who else could tell you how many pieces are in any given Lego set? He has amazing skills. Which you would know if you ever spoke to him. On second thought, this route seems the opposite of helpful. I would probably need to send him pre-wedgied to the next gathering.

And even though I can speak of some of my thoughts with humor, my heart remained grieved as the days and weeks went on. I would be going about my day, and the statement was right there in my head again. I kept placing it in God’s hands, as I had already determined it was not my battle to fight. Still it came back, almost daily.  I knew, it was time to find the joy in this horrendous comment. I started recalling how many lives Nolan had touched and how he had helped people to see Autism differently. I thought about how he had made everyone more compassionate and understanding. How being comfortable with Autism had led us to foster care. But I found a recurring theme: he made Us better, he made Us more compassionate, he made Us more comfortable. He had bettered us, but it was not a betterment for him. Tears began to flow as I shared the conclusion with God. My son being ignored by people he considered his closest friend brings me no joy.

And God said something so beautiful to my broken heart. “I understand.”

That is true. You do understand what it feels like to have your son ignored by people he thought were friends.  God knows that on a much deeper level then I could ever begin to imagine. A solution was not the answer, but rather remembering I was not alone. Jesus experienced and witnessed more sorrow than any other man who has ever existed. There is no hurt or heart break that we cannot lift to him.

As I thanked God for this reminder, I was so grateful that I am never alone in my heartbreak, or my fear, or my anxiety, or my joy. His word does not promise us that we will not ever be ignored by people we love, but we know that we are never ignored by our Heavenly Father. He will never leave us or forsake us. This we can always rejoice in.


Could it be you?

Could it be you?
Cayela Moody

Have you ever been on a mission trip? That feeling that washes over you as you do the work God intended for you, is almost indescribable. It is the great commission in action and living the new commandment: Love God, Love People. Sadly, it always comes to an end. We come home, we go back to work and the day to day grind. We know God has us where he needs us, but our hearts long to go back and crave that feeling again. So we commit to another week next year, because that is what the mission field looks like for us as Americans.

I have struggled with this way of life for years. I am not called to full-time missions, but yet I still want to live on mission. My church tells me to love my community, to bloom where God has planted me. But if I am being honest, I don’t know how. I didn’t know where to start. So we donated food to pantries so we could feed the poor. We packed Christmas boxes for children so that they could learn more about Jesus. But, my soul needed more.

So what was I missing? The answer was relationships. Because, at the heart of all of this is a relationship. I can read my bible everyday and do amazing deeds and be one of the greatest “Christians” ever known, but without a relationship with Jesus, it is only filthy rags.

So what is the next step? How can I develop these relationships? It seems so easy, but this part is tricky to put into action. Did you know there is a system already set in place? You don’t have to find people who need served, they are already asking for your help. It has been around since our nation was founded and was more formalized over one hundred years ago. With a heavy heart, I fear it has been neglected by the church for far too long. This mission field exists in our nation’s foster care system.

Before you stop reading because you can’t be a foster parent, let me reassure you that God may not be asking you to play that role. His word says:

But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

1 Corinthians 12:18-20

Once again, you ask. How can I help if I am not fostering? Over fifty percent of foster parents will quit within their first year alone. But ninety percent will stay with much needed support. Locally here in Jacksonville, Florida, Fostering Hope stays busy daily meeting needs. We need your help. Because, honestly, we can’t continue without you. The needs are just too great. And there are foster care ministries all over this country that feel the same. You can be the hand and feet of Jesus when someone needs you the most and build relationships where the Holy spirit leads you.

Every day, Karen and I wake up and we say, “God, where will you take me today? What are your plans?” This is the very heart of living missionally. Some days we are hoisting car seats and diapers into a dump truck, because the woman who drives it took her nephews into her home to keep them from going into the system. Can you imagine, waking up one day and going to work as usual, then getting a knock on the door with a one and two-year-old standing there needing a home?

Some days, we just cry with people on their doorstep.

Everyday, we pray… a lot. We even prayed for you today. We prayed that God would raise an army to love the marginalized and vulnerable in our society. Because in a city the size of ours, it is going to take an army. We get requests almost daily for tangible items that are needed. Can you donate gently used clothing to a foster closet? We can’t keep cribs or car seats because they go out as quickly as they come in.

What if my children are grown and I no longer have these items? When Susie Foster Mom picks a newborn up at the hospital, we can provide the diapers, formula, and some freezer meals to sustain them until they can get situated and get to the store. We need people to drop them at their door. The look of relief on her face will say it all. And, chances are, you will want to help again tomorrow. Because loving others in Jesus’s name changes everything.

Maybe you truly don’t have the time, but the Good Lord has blessed you financially. There is a grandmother across town who needs minor home repairs so that she can take her grandchildren. God designed the family. It is His heart to keep it intact. Could you help keep this family together? We can help make that connection for you.

Statistically, if ten percent of churches are involved in some sort of foster care ministry, there will be more than enough beds for foster children in your town. There will be more than enough adoptive homes for every child who needs forever. God is stirring his Bride. I can feel it in the air. If God is moving in you to start a foster care ministry in your church, we would love to share ideas and support you. Even if it starts small, God will multiply the work of those who desire to care for the orphan and the widow.

The mission field is here and the harvest is plenty. We just need some good workers.

Could it be you?

Rejoicing in the Scars

Rejoicing in the Scars

by Cayela Moody


He was my sixth child to master the skill of clapping and by far the most memorable. We were alone on the couch, doing our morning snuggles. The house was optimistically quiet, as if it was preparing for the noise which was inevitably coming.  He is twenty months and hasn’t spoken his first word, or blown a kiss, or waved bye bye. We have spent hours in therapy with this goal teaching to this simple goal, because if you can clap, than maybe we can get him to sign “more”, and if he can sign, he can communicate, and if he can communicate, maybe he will stop banging his head on the floor when he gets mad at us.

I have modeled clapping consistently in play. We have banged blocks together so he understands the motion. I have made him clap his hands while he pushed back more times than I could even count. So, on this unassuming morning, as he was drinking his milk and I drank coffee, equally preparing for our calendar of to-do lists for the day, I never expected it to happen. He set his milk bottle down, (judge me if you must), and he looked studyingly at one hand, then the other, almost as if to say, “So, if I slap this hand against the other one, she might  scream in my face and we will both get a good chuckle out of it.”

So he did and he was right. I screamed and I told him he was the smartest little boy I had ever met and I gave him too many kisses on the cheek to stand. I jumped up and down and danced and I praised the Lord for this simple and amazing talent. Then he did it again. Then he showed Dad when he got out of bed. We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating and I have no plans to stop partying.

I don’t remember the exact moment when any of my other babies learned this common feat. If I have learned anything over the past years of a fuller submission to his calling it is this: The greater the challenge, the greater the reward. Anything that comes easy can be easily taken for granted.

We are so beautifully reminded by Paul in Romans 5:3-4,  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

I have always been so puzzled by this verse. To me rejoice means a celebration. Perhaps shouting a happy hallelujah? But my heart is rarely filled with delight at the realization that my tomorrows will be heartbreaking for a time or that I am entering a period of anguish and hardship. But this I know to be true: I have always grown more from the storms than the sunshine. Maybe it isn’t the suffering we should rejoice in, but rather the scar to follow.

These battle wounds weave and build our testimony. When someone asks me how I have joy in trials or they have seen me come through a valley, I always point them to the one who fully bore my burdens during that time. It is by suffering that we come to know him on a deeper level. Day in and day out, I find more confidence that he is consistently faithful. A scar will leave us changed forever. We won’t ever be the same again. I can rejoice knowing that this trial will not only help define me, but in time refine me. Jesus bore the ultimate scars and by those wounds we are healed. How humbling to consider that God could use my heartbreak and challenges to someday help strengthen or heal another.

In my refinement and closer walk with Jesus, I still have my share of uphill battles. As I was sharing my full plate with a friend, she in her thick southern accent reminded me, “Honey,  that’s not a plate. You have a platter.”  And when that sense of being overwhelmed begins to creep back in, I remind myself to cast to Christ those fears that I was never meant to carry and focus on the simple joys and moments that I am blessed with or beautiful victories of overdue milestones that are finally achieved.

The Valley View

The Valley View

by Cayela Moody

It was 5:15 in the morning, when I heard an unfamiliar sound in our bed. Evan found something a child had left behind and was rolling it around in his hand. “What in the world is it?”

“They are marbles. Did you lose yours?”

It certainly feels like it most days. And I know from my conversations with others who are walking this similar journey, I am not alone in feeling this way.

I am embarking on another year of homeschooling and when I put together my schedule this year, I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry. We have six children, three of which require tutoring and therapies that amount to forty hours a week. I have a route that surpasses most UberXL drivers. It seems so very impossible. When I get overwhelmed, I shrink. I make myself as small as possible. I get very quiet and I wait to hear something, anything, from a God I know is near.

In the quiet I was reassured, but not how I had hoped. The message was simple. This is a valley. Thanks. I already feel like I am losing. I have lost control. That superhero glow has long since faded in the light of foster care and adoption and the chaos that abounds in our home. I feel like I am losing myself, my sanity, even my friends.

A few weeks later, I was watching the kids swim. My oldest daughter, Margaret, came rushing inside. She was whining about a race she lost, and she got very irritated with me. “Are you even listening?”

“You didn’t lose the race. You lost the joy.”

Her eyes followed mine. We both watched as my youngest daughter, who has been deathly afraid to jump in the pool all summer, was taking gigantic leaps into my oldest son’s waiting arms. But that message wasn’t for her, it was a reminder to me. I am not losing in life; I am losing sight of what matters. I focused on the hard and lost sight of the joy.

I understood what he meant by the valley. I was wholly focused on a singular definition: a low point. I needed to reconsider the meaning. I imagined myself as a child in my grandmother’s rocking chair. She is crocheting as Elvis sings “Peace in the Valley” in the background. It was time for me to find rest and stillness in waiting for him. I was reminded to look around and find joy in the ordinary. I need to adjust my view from the valley. If I only focus on what life could be on the mountain top, I will miss the miracles in the moments of today.

Psalm 84 speaks of the Valley of Baca, which is translated as the valley of weeping. Verse 10 so beautifully reminds us: Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. What a soul filling reminder. Better is one day in the valley with Jesus, than a thousand mountaintop experiences apart from him.

Same but different

In November of 2001, I made my last trip to Moscow, Russia before moving back to the states. Moscow is a beautiful city and I always enjoyed visiting, was grateful for those called to serve there, and content to arrive back home again.

On the last night of my visit, in the cold twilight, I walked across Red Square for what I anticipated to be the last time. It was magical. A light snow began to fall. The lights from Lenin’s tomb (btw, he’s still there, unlike Jesus) caused the snow to sparkle in the growing darkness. Walking past the Kremlin walls toward St. Basil’s Cathedral, I felt as if I was stepping into a John LeCarre or Ian Fleming spy novel – Bond, James Bond.

I remembered a conversation I had with a colleague from the IMB a couple of years before. He told me that the late fall was always a wonderful time for new missionaries as they moved to Moscow. For many, snow and cold weather was a novelty. They saw the beauty of the city to which God had called them. However, the second fall was very different for many. It was difficult, as they knew, the second time around, how long, cold and dark a Russia winter can be. And snow is not nearly so beautiful in the spring thaw, revealing the mud beneath. To cope, they needed to gather together with others who had walked the journey before for encouragement and support.

I’ve reflected on this experience much in the last few days. Joan and I are approaching a season of life when our kids are again out of the house. It feels a lot like last time. There was excitement and joy as we anticipated the experiences that were to come for them. Today, we have the same excitement and joy over what is to come for them. Yet, having been here before, we realize how much time and distance will separate us. We can’t help but be a little melancholy.

This morning, we meditated on Hebrews 10:24-25: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. We were reminded how much we need one another and how much we need a relationship with others. Meeting together habitually to be encouraged and “stirred” up and assured that regardless of what is to come, we are not alone.

I’m thinking about Easter now. The disciples had experienced the death of family and friends before. They knew the heartbreak and loneliness that is present in loss. The Bible says they had gathered together. Likely to mourn and grieve because they “knew” what to expect. But this time was going to be different. Imagine the ladies rushing into the room in excitement and joy. Imagine Jesus suddenly standing among them even though the doors were locked. Imagine their surprise when they realized the truth of the statement, He has risen! (Mark 16:6) He is not in the tomb (unlike Lenin). He is alive. And that message continues to stir us to love and good works today.

So, as you head again into an experience that feels like last time, don’t ignore the difficulty that you experienced before. But don’t get overwhelmed. Expect God to show Himself in new ways. And make surrounding yourself with others a habit.

Beach Baptism 2016

On Sunday, July 31, we gathered at Mickler’s Landing to celebrate baptism at the beach. 28 people had prepared to enter the water in testimony to their faith in Christ and one additional lady who saw us assemble chose to do the same. Here’s a video of the event and some photos to help you celebrate the joy with us!







Leadership 15: I will serve them on their journey

A Leadership Cue Card: I will serve them on their journey

Compelled by love, I will empty myself of self and live for the benefit of others. I want to see who they can become in Christ, trust them to realize that potential and serve them on their journey.

As we bring this week of devotions to a close, look back on what we have studied this week. Our goal was to develop a brief, “index-card ready” statement of beliefs about leadership. I would like you to re-consider that statement one final time today through a different lens: What if the leaders you followed adopted this philosophy of leadership? How would you respond to their leadership?

Who has influenced you to become the person you are today? Who continues to challenge you to greatness in your discipleship and service to others? Who coaches you to success and corrects you when you fail? As we re-consider our leadership cue card, think about how those who influence you most model the characteristics we have examined together. As you do that, think about your relationship with those leaders. How much of their influence flows out of the model of the concepts on our leadership cue card?

Compelled by love…

What motivates those who influence you to serve you? Do you perceive they are “in it to win it for themselves” or are you joined together in the battle? Have the leaders over you been controlled, directed and focused on a desire for the welfare of others over their own needs? How do you respond to their leadership?

I will empty myself of self…

How would you describe the ego of those leading you: are they edging God out or exalting God only? Would you describe them as selfish or selfless? Is their battle to “empty myself of self” over or is it an ongoing struggle? How do you respond to their leadership?

And live for the benefit of others.

How have the leaders around you shared the benefits gained with you and others? Do they serve with an expectation of reward? How do you respond to their leadership?

I want to see who they can become in Christ…
How have those with the greatest influence over you challenged you to grow and develop your skills, talents and character? In what ways does their interaction with you reflect a pastor’s heart and care for you? How do they affirm that you are of great value to God and the Kingdom? How do you respond to their leadership?

Trust them to realize that potential…

To what degree to those who lead you micromanage you? In what ways do you recognize that they trust you to do the right thing? When you fail, how do they respond? How do you respond to their leadership?

And serve them on their journey.

Would you consider those who have and are influencing you as serving you? Why? How accurately does the term “servant leader” apply to those who have the greatest influence over you? How do you respond to their leadership?

Do you see a common theme in your answers? I am going to go out on a limb that those who have the greatest influence in your life have demonstrated that they have a genuine concern for your benefit. They may not have expressed their leadership exactly as we have described, but I believe there is evidence that love, humility, altruism, optimism, trust and service are among the values that drive them.

So, how have you responded to their leadership in your life? Do you see where their values have become yours, or, at a minimum shaped your thinking on leadership? How has their humble servant leadership made them great?

Jesus taught the disciples and those gathered around him

The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Matthew 23:11-12 (HCSB)

It has been my hope this week that you would see that servant leadership is significant, of great value, possible and sorely needed in our world today. In your home, your workplace, your school and in your closest relationships, I pray you will take this leadership cue card and lead those around you with love, humility, altruism, optimism, trust and service.

For reflection: Please take time to consider the many questions listed above. Ask God to show you how you might be a more influential person to your friends and family.

For memorization: “The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12 (HCSB)

Leadership 14: Trust them to realize that potential

A Leadership Cue Card: Trust them to realize that potential

They stood on a Galilean mountainside. Eleven disciples and Jesus. Mark tells us that in the last few days, Jesus had rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who saw Him after the resurrection (Mark 16:15). Matthew tells us when they saw Him on the mountain, they worshiped, but some doubted (Matt 28:17). Luke says they were eager to know if this was the time He would restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6)

None of the writers tell us directly what Jesus thought at that moment. If it were me, I would probably be shaking my head and asking myself, “What was I thinking? Father, are you sure? These ragamuffin, doubting, betraying, still rough around the edges men? Can I trust them?”

Then He spoke. We know what He said. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16 (HCSB) He was taken into heaven before them.

He trusted them. Jesus trusted the disciples with His continued mission to redeem all of creation.

It was not misplaced.

Where are we in our leadership cue card?

Compelled by love, I will empty myself of self and live for the benefit of others. I want to see who they can become in Christ and trust them to realize that potential…

It is a matter of trust.

James Kouzes and Barry Pozner in the book The Leadership Challenge, say trust is “the central issue in human relationships.” Leaders who build trusting relationships are willing to consider alternative viewpoints and to make use of other people’s expertise and abilities. On the other hand, managers in a distrustful environment often take on a self-protective posture, are directive and hold tight the reins of power.

Leaders who trust followers to live up to their potential begin with a simple premise that people basically want to do the right thing. When people do not live up to those expectations, it is often because they do not have capacity, the competency, or it is a character issue.

When people do not have capacity in their schedule, they do not necessarily do the wrong thing as much as they do nothing. The servant leader’s response is to help them create capacity or manage their schedule for them. The former is more helpful than the latter. When a follower lacks the competency, the leader can offer training or can take the work back. Again, the former is more helpful than the latter. If the follower refuses to do the right thing because of a character issue, the remedy is a hard, but necessary conversation.

Unfortunately, the less than helpful approach many leaders take is to micromanage their followers when they fail to do the right thing. Micromanagers resist delegating, immerse themselves in oversight, take back delegated work before it is finished or if they find a mistake and discourage others from making decisions without consultation. This approach does not build trust; rather it destroys it and leads to animosity, anxiety and frustration.

If leaders begin with the premise that followers basically want to do the right thing, they can diagnose the root issue – most often capacity, competency or character – and help followers live up to their potential by creating room to grow in their capacity, training to improve competency or coaching them to strengthen their moral character.

Nehemiah trusted the exiles in Jerusalem to live up to their potential. Nehemiah chapters 3 and 4 give an account of the actual rebuilding of the wall. Nehemiah could not be everywhere and he could not do all the work. So he developed a plan, delegated the work (according to the capacity and competency of the people) and trusted its implementation.

In Nehemiah chapter 7, he tells us

When the wall had been rebuilt and I had the doors installed, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared God more than most. Nehemiah 7:1-2 (HCSB)

Nehemiah left these in charge and returned to Babylon. When he returned, however, Nehemiah learned that some the people he had left in charge had failed. As a result, he instituted reforms that helped restore trust. In some cases, he had to replace people with others. What was the guideline he used to select these replacements?

I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, with Hanan son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah to assist them, because they were considered trustworthy. They were responsible for the distribution to their colleagues. Nehemiah 13:13 (HCSB)

Sometimes followers do not live up to expectations. They may be overworked or undertrained. In some cases, they must be removed from their position. A wise servant leader responds not by micromanaging but by serving.

For reflection: Do you expect the best out of people? Are you a micromanager? Are you worthy of trust?

For memorization: … they were considered trustworthy. They were responsible…    Nehemiah 13:13

Leadership 13: I want to see who they become in Christ

A Leadership Cue Card: I want to see who they can become in Christ

Compelled by love, I will empty myself of self and live for the benefit of others. I want to see who they can become in Christ…

This next phrase just might be one of the most challenging of our entire leadership cue card. First, it is a true test of how well you are able to reject selfishness and put others first. Second, it may truly challenge your view of what is often put forward as the number one task of leadership: casting vision.

Who are the followers behind you? Do you really know them? How about the names of their spouses? Their children? What is the number one challenge facing them personally outside of work? How about their relationship with Christ? Do they have one? Is it growing or stagnant?
Have you ever considered that you might have a great responsibility to pastor or shepherd those under your influence? Is it possible that God has placed you in a position to intercede, bless, protect, care for and serve those around you that they might come to know God in a personal way? If you really want to see who they can become in Christ – to live up to their potential not in a secular, but spiritual way – you may have to lead them to the place where they respond in faith to God’s call on their lives. Are you ready to embrace that responsibility?

Once you begin to truly recognize that the people around you are created by God in His image (Gen 1:27), with a purpose in life (Ps 139, 2 Cor 4:11, Gal 2:20), and gifted and talented to fulfill that purpose (Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4), you can begin to appreciate the incredible, untapped potential of people around you. When they see themselves as God sees them, they can begin to embrace their unique identity before Him and live wholeheartedly to honor Him. Moreover, you are in a position to help them do so, if you will make a conscious effort to put them first!

Paul’s letter to the believers in the Colossian church is filled with reminders and admonitions for them to live their lives in the church and in the community. Consider these nuggets, just from chapter 3:

  • you are “holy and loved,” so be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient (12)
  • accept and forgive, just as you have been forgiven (13)
  • be loving, unified and thankful (14-15)

And, two of my favorite verses, “whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (17); and, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.” (23)

I do not think Paul was limiting these verses to our “church” life, rather, he was urging us to apply them to all areas of our lives. In fact, imagine how your workplace, family or school might be changed if these values governed the behavior of those you influence.

One final test of your ability to reject selfishness and put others first will come when you recognize that there are others around you who are better at some things than you are. In fact, someone may even be more gifted to lead, influence or serve in the role that you currently occupy. How you embrace their abilities and promote them will be a test of your leadership, and those you lead are watching. Embrace the model of John the Baptist before Christ to “decrease so that he might increase (John 3:30) and you’ll be well served.

The idea that those we influence are just as much a part of God’s plan affects one other key aspect of leadership. Many advocate that the chief role of a leader is to develop and cast vision in the organization. By vision, we mean a narrative that describes an ideal future toward which we are striving. If you consider those whom you lead, their identity in Christ, the talents and resources they bring to bear to your organization as integral parts of your team, is it reasonable to expect, beyond that, to demand, that they be a part of developing and casting vision? A humble, other-oriented, servant leader will draw his team into that discussion and hear from their unique perspectives as the vision, strategies and plans are developed. Again, imagine the untapped potential that could be released if leaders truly devoted themselves to seeing how followers might realize their full potential as they live out Christ’s example in their community.

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he kept his mission low key. He did invite a “few men” with him to inspect the walls (Neh 2:12). We do not know who or how he invited them, but it is not hard for me to imagine Nehemiah listening to them as they surveyed the city. When he finally told the city leaders his idea to rebuild the walls, “they said, “Let’s start rebuilding,” and they were encouraged to [do] this good work.” Nehemiah 2:18 (HCSB) Who did the encouragement? Well, it started with Nehemiah desiring them to be who God willed them to be, and he unleashed a great potential in a great people (Neh 3).

For Reflection: Think once more of those you lead. Do you really want to see who they can become in Christ? If they don’t know Him, they won’t even know where to begin.

For Memorization: Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.      Col 3:23 HCSB


Welcome to Fruit Cove! We're excited to help you take your next step. Choose from the options below.