I have always had an interest in learning how to improve my leadership skills. Over the past 40+ years I have relied on the ultimate leadership manual, the Bible, and numerous authors (John Maxwell, Pat Williams, Peter Drucker, Ken Blanchard and many others) to learn real-life leadership lessons. All of us are lay “leaders” not just in our churches but also in our families, our jobs, and our communities. So, in the months ahead I will be sharing with you some of the leadership thoughts and practices that I have found to be very helpful. They will remind us of things we tend to forget or neglect. I have never been interested in second-best thinking and leading and I hope you have the same attitude.
Speaking of attitude, last month I wrote about all of us hopefully being Lay Leaders that are ALIVE with those letters standing for attitude, love, ideas, values and enthusiasm. This month let us look briefly at the A in ALIVE that stands for attitude.
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
Notre Dame Football Coach
On a beautiful day in San Diego, John Maxwell (the senior pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church at that time) took a ride in an airplane owned by Paul, a friend of his. After the plane took off John noticed that Paul was constantly watching the instrument panel, especially one instrument more than the others.
John asked, “What is that instrument?”
“That’s the attitude indicator,” Paul replied.
“How can a plane have an attitude?”
“In flying, the attitude of the airplane is what we call the position of the aircraft in relation to the horizon. When the airplane is climbing it has a nose-high attitude because the nose of the airplane is pointed above the horizon” said Paul.
John said, “So when the aircraft is diving, you would call that a nose-down attitude.”
“That’s right,” Paul said. “Pilots are concerned about attitude of the airplane because that indicates performance. It is necessary to change the attitude to change the performance.”
After reading this story I wondered if I had some type of internal or even external “attitude indicator.” And could that possibly be the Bible.
The apostle Paul, when writing to the church at Philippi, put before those Christians an attitude indicator. “Have the attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). In Philippians 2:3-8 Christ gives us a perfect attitude indicator to follow: He was selfless, he was secure, and he was submissive. Paul says that these qualities were exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ because of his attitude. Attitude dictates performance and Jesus was a living example of the concept.
It is the “advance man” of our true selves.
Its roots are inward, but its fruit is outward.
It is our best friend or our worst enemy.
It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
It is an outward look based on past experiences.
It is a thing which draws people to us or repels them.
It is never content until it is expressed.
It is the librarian of our past.
It is the speaker of our present.
It is the prophet of our future.
Let us all try to have a positive and upbeat attitude every day.
(Adapted from John C. Maxwell, The Winning Attitude, 1993)
Finally, the church bulletin blooper:
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Howell to come forward and lay an egg on the alter.
If you would like to view past editions of Lessons from Out Lay Leader, follow this link: https://harbordistrictnc.org/category/from-the-lay-leader/