TRENT WRITES: I see the vast audience TheRebelution.com has gained and wonder, how does Brett keep up with it all? As the sole moderator of my blog Soldiers of God, I am put on a “pedestal of wisdom” by others in the online community. But I feel if I do one thing wrong, like a politician, everyone will notice and then their receptiveness drops dramatically.
So, my question is really for anyone who leads others (though anyone is welcome to answer), whether that be in real life or online, how do you stay strong enough to lead?
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Great question, Trent. I really don’t have a response right now, but I might come back with one later. I’ll be thinking about it.
Looking forward to others’ responses!
I honestly don’t believe that *you* can be strong enough. I am in a little of the same situation because I lead a group where Christians and Atheists come to me to ask questions on the Bible. Frankly, it scares me to death. Remember, Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
So Trent through what I have seen from you on The Rebelution and your blog is that God has granted you wisdom in many areas. He has used you to inspire, encourage, and strengthen many people. So maybe YOU are not strong enough to lead. But God often shines the best through weak people.
This is so true! I was doing my reading plan last night and it involved the story of Gideon. Although he was the least in his family, and his tribe was the weakest in Israel, God used him and 300 men to overcome an army too vast to count!! God loves to do wonders through small people so He gets all the glory!!
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I love that verse!! 🙂
Trent, you will never be strong enough! But hang with me – don’t take that the wrong way, because no one is strong enough. Jesus said to Paul in 2 Corinthians “My power works best in your weakness.” Paul then says “So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may work through me.” Weakness isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s something to brag about! So ask God to show his strength through you. And I can’t pretend to know God, but I think He has been! 🙂
Oh my goodness I totally ripped off @joyfuljoyful:disqus who had already posted that verse…sorry! 🙂
You can’t. God can.
Aaaand he does it again.
Less is more 😉 accompanied by a bit of luck and good timing.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
– Proverbs 25:11 (KJV)
Something I just thought of is, “if you want to be a good leader, you must first learn how to be a good follower.”
I love that scripture!
Precisely. “I can do all things through him who strenghens me” – Phil 4:13
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:11-12
That’s what has to happen so that God can do all things through you.
Like others have said, you can’t really do anything for God without his help. Therefore, I think that prayer is absolutely key to everything. Not just you praying, but others, too. Leaders often get bogged down with the stress of leadership. Yet we need leaders, so don’t stop because of this! It’s good to have someone else you trust to work with you, encouraging and building each other up, making sure each other’s theology is right, etc.
Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
–Proverbs 27:17 ESV
So true Karl!
btw Nice profile pic!
Read the Bible
Study the Bible
Keep God’s Word in Your Heart
Don’t rely on man’s way of staying strong, trust me they will always fail; instead rely and put your trust in the Lord. He will keep you.
I second what everyone else is saying:) Kind of not really answering your question though, when I was reading it I started thinking about what you said about putting you on the “pedestal of wisdom” just because you have a blog. It’s true that a lot of people do that, but really, no on is perfect (obviously) so if you do something wrong and people become less receptive, that isn’t your fault, it’s there’s. Don’t beat yourself up over something like that and start believing that you can’t be a leader. I really believe that God gives some people more than others the talent to lead and I also think by reading your comments and your blog that He gave that to you, so continue to let God work through you and try not to worry about what others will think or how they’ll respond:)
That’s a REALLY good question, Trent. I know that personally, when i start worrying about making leadership mistakes, i’m so tied up in what the people i’m leading think about me, that i don’t go to God for the help only HE can give! Confidence in leadership in it’s purest form is being confident that you are doing the right thing for the glory of God, and trusting HIM with the rest, even if that means losing some people along the way. God wants our focus solely on Him, which is hard for people like me who enjoy, a little too much, being accepted and respected.
I hope this isn’t reading too much into your question 🙂
Good questions, Trent.
You know, my first response is “It doesn’t matter.”
Whether or not you lead, whether or not people look up to you, whether or not people receive what you have to say, makes no difference at all.
What does make a difference is that you are a Child of God! Your primary purpose is to rest in the Holy presence of Jesus Christ! To enjoy Him and rejoice in your Sonship! You are called to love God and others and to protect what is beautiful and repair what is broken. You are an agent of Reconciliation commissioned to bring as many as possible back to the Father.
Whether anyone on earth ever applauds you makes absolutely no difference, because Father in Heaven is applauding you. That is all that matters.
This is your identity and this is where your purpose and strength will come from. Remind yourself of it again and again and rest in it. Don’t ever lose sight of your identity.
“Where does my help come from? The Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth”–and I am His Child! Hallelujah!
Thank you, Christopher. When I read this I got goosebumps. We are all His children, and that is our identity, no matter what. Yes, hallelujah!
(Nice plug for your blog, by the way. :P) Others have summed it up really nicely. You can’t be strong enough to lead on your own. You can’t control the receptiveness or the respect of others when you make a mistake – but you can control your reaction when you make a mistake. One of the hardest things for leaders to accept is that we can be wrong. Humility is key.
If you feel that you’re walking on a tightrope, worrying about what unforeseen mistake you might make, you’re using the wrong approach. You’re looking down at the 1,000-foot drop, rather than looking forward to the One to Whom you’re walking. Pursue Christ. If you’re right and someone has an issue with you, that’s on them. If you’re wrong, humbly apologize. God bless, bro. Walk in the wisdom and strength of Christ!
Haha… I’m the one who linked to Trent’s blog. A lot of readers here are active over there already — so the communities overlap. =)
Ah, I thought that might have been the case. 🙂 Yes, my blog has also gotten a number of new readers due to TheRebelution.com, to which I am appreciative!
I have to admit, I was not expecting it to take off so quickly. I am just thankful God is willing to use me. I’m like a wall with a small hole in it. And through that hole, God shows himself through me and my blog, where without me (the wall and hole) he could do much better himself anyway, but yet He still chooses to use me. And I am very grateful for that. 🙂
And 4. Collaborate!
This is a great question!
I believe what people need to realize is that we are all human. We war against the flesh and the spirit, old man and new man. We are going to fall down and make mistakes. It’s easy for me to sit back and be critical of those who I “put on a pedestal” but that is wrong. I need to give them grace and remember that they are not perfect. Jesus remembers that our frame is of the dust. That’s why He gives us new mercy every morning. We need to extend that same mercy to others.
When someone is in a leadership role, there comes pressure and many responsibilities–but my advice is this: “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” Put on God’s armor and fight the good fight of faith! (see Ephesians 6) He will give you the strength needed to lead. His grace is sufficient for you.
I agree with everyone else is saying too. As a leader you have a big responsibility to lead others and teach them. But you also have to rely on God because he will guide you in the way that he wants you to. Also as a leader you yourself will have to continue to train yourself and keep learning new stuff so that you can teach others. Also give control to God and really listen to where he wants you to teach others.
that is a really great question. we need to remember that we are all human and we will make mistakes, even (and often especially) in leadership. William Carey once said ” I am not afraid of failure, I am afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” he was a great leader. he is considered to be the father of modern American missions!
so here is my answer: in leadership, don’t be afraid to try new things, just keep in touch with our Father. by spending time with the model leader, we will receive insight that only he can give. he will also strengthen us and give grace, mercy, and peace to continue leading as we ought.
Hi Trent. I wouldn’t call myself a leader, but here’s what I’ve learned from the Bible:
I don’t think there is a “strong enough” to lead. Think about the leaders in the Bible. Moses led the entire Israelite nation. When God called him from the burning bush to lead His people out of Egypt, Moses responded “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people out of Egypt?…What should I tell them?…What if they don’t believe me or listen to me?…I’m not very good with words.” (Exodus 3-4)
God responded, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” (Exodus 4:11-12 NLT)
The strength does not come from you, Trent. God used stuttering, doubtful, insecure Moses to speak to a dictatorial Pharaoh and lead a tribe of a couple million unruly, grumbling people across a sea and into the desert where they were forced to survive for 40 years. Were the people grateful to Moses? Did they even respect him? Most of the time not. Moses was just a human. He made mistakes. In fact, if Moses were alive today he would probably be the last person we would pick to lead anything, much less to be the president of our country. Yet God chose him from all the people on earth to be the leader of a nation. Why? Maybe because Moses wasn’t the one actually leading. It was God. And His power was manifested through Moses’ weakness. (1 Cor. 12:9)
May God’s power be manifested in your imperfections, Trent! And keep up the good work!
That Exodus reference is right on!
I think that maybe the best way to stay strong enough to lead is to be weak. I know it sounds like a contradiction but leadership isn’t always about being ‘up there’ a lot of the time you lead from beside people and when they see that you struggle and you’re still learning, just like them, it can give them greater confidence because they then know that you aren’t perfect and that lessens the distance that they might feel. It also helps to keep them from putting you on a pedestal. We all make mistakes. Being strong is about learning how to cope with them and how to fix them and how to deal with criticism. When I was little, my parents never really lead me from in front, they took my hand and walked beside me, occasionally giving me a tug in the right direction. Part of leading is actually being alongside people and to do that, it is good that you don’t try too hard to hide your faults. If they look up to you but know you have weaknesses, it puts hope in them that they can one day be like you and lessens the risk of being put ‘up there’. Be careful but don’t be afraid.
Besides, are any of us really actually strong enough to lead? Sometimes it’s ok not to be. And sometimes you just aren’t even if you need to be. And at all times it is Christ who gives us strength. When we rely on Christ, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier, but we do find that what we need to get through is freely given whether that is strength or anything else.
Hey, Brett, could you feature this comment, please? 🙂
@BrettHarris:disqus Yes, please do!
You already have a large problem, one that Paul condemned so often… Pride. Work on praying that God would take that out of you first.
In defense of Trent, that’s a very abrupt way of putting that, and it’s rude to post it on a public discussion forum. Even if you think that way about Trent (and I don’t think there’s too many people that share that perspective), if you want to follow Biblical principles, you should confront him alone.
“A gental answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
– Proverbs 15:1
Just curious was this aimed at me or @Fighting_Falcon:disqus ? If it was aimed at me I’m sorry if I sounded harsh. 🙂
Not aimed at anyone. Juat something we all need to keep in our mind. 🙂
@Fighting_Falcon:disqus, I agree with, @disqus_pWIgMpvFrR:disqus.
I can think of only two ways to take your comment:
1) You don’t really know Trent, but you believe his question exhibits pride and you are giving him advice in a pretty blunt, unhelpful way. If that is the case, I would encourage you to consider how your words will come across before you post them or speak them. Even if what you say is true, God will hold you accountable for whether you spoke the truth in love.
2) You have some history with Trent and believe he has a major pride issue based on that interaction. Rather than work that out with him directly or involving the proper authority figures (e.g. his parents, his pastor, or even me), you are using a public forum to take a shot at him.
Either way, I don’t like it.
Brett, thanks for the confrontation. Perhaps a public forum is not the best way to communicate… On the other hand, when I was struggling with pride in the same position as Trent (i still struggle, but It doesn’t express itself in the same venues as it did before), what I really needed was a good cold bucket o ice on my head in front of everybody to start me thinking. Someone did give me that. And I am forever in debt to them.
So this is very much out of love for Trent. I have no personal experience with him at all, but from the little that I’ve seen of him, he is the spitting image of what I was as. And what I was was not a good thing: got some great ideas, and could do a lot of good for God’s kingdom, but set to be crippled by pride.
So I hope this will be taken as a loving face slap, and when it stops stinging, will be responded to with sober self evaluation and prayer.
Pride is certainly something we all struggle with to an extent, especially those of us who have leadership roles. And I agree that, many times, we need a blunt reminder! Paul was certainly blunt with the Corinthians.
However, bluntness is almost always paired with an ability of pointing out specific instances of the person’s wrong. That’s why, if we are blunt, it’s best to know the individual personally and do so privately. If God wants to point out pride in someone’s heart, He will do so. We needn’t step into His role without His direct guidance.
I appreciate your concern for Trent and your honesty, but let’s keep meekness and gentleness in public forums. 🙂
Thanks Brett. 🙂 And for the record, we do not currently know each other in real life… I think. It’s hard to tell from a screen name. 🙂
I agree with Brett, Josh, and Nathan…
Even if you ment your words to be a “loving reminder”… IN ALL REALITY, what you commented above was in very poor taste. Words are a powerful tool to be used in the right way!
Your personal testimony of “how YOU dealt with pride during leadership” would have been a much better comment… and you could have just prayed that “through that testimony” others would see their own pride and repent!
The Prophet Nathan used “a story” when confronting King David of his sin with Bathsheba. And were there results? …Yes! (2 Samuel 12)
So, in the future, choose your words wisely! The tongue can build up and the tongue can tear down…
Thanks, bud. 🙂 God will oftentimes give me experiences to keep me humble, to help combat pride. So I do appreciate your willingness to let me know.
So, (I love stories! 🙂 , what experiences in your life led to pride? How did you fight the pride?
For me, I find pride is deceptive. It is not an easy thing to fight. In fact, if it were just me, I would fall flat on my face every time I got into a fight with pride. But thankfully, God is so good l, even though I don’t even come close to deserving His love, that He died for me! That brings me to tears. And He died for you, Brett, Josh, and everyone else too! All we need to do is accept His gift. 🙂
What’s also amazing is God doesn’t leave me hanging there! He actually came into my life to guide me as the Holy Spirit. It’s the same with every Christian (someone who accepts the gift of Salvation). So, I don’t deserve to be prideful, because all of my “wisdom” (for lack of a better word) does not come from me, but from God in His Word, the Bible.
So, I do apologize if I have ever misrepresented God by my words or tone. If I have done this, I ask your forgiveness. 🙂 But so I know what I need to address, I would love specific examples of comments I have made and how they have been prideful. I would sincerely appreciate any comments of this type to be brought back to my attention. 🙂
God bless you my friend and I hope you have an awesome day!
Trent, thank you for taking your lumps like the man I am sure you are. Let’s disceuss this further privately.
Thank you for being willing to talk with me privately. However since I believe the Rebelution is where you believe there to be a problem, I think it would be best to discuss it here.
I do not believe I have been prideful with my words on the Rebelution or recently in my actions in real life. Yes, I have made mistakes, but even after that, I know I have been forgiven. If you have specific examples on how I have been prideful, I would appreciate that. Otherwise, I do not appreciate being accused of something this serious without any evidence.
Also, if we do (or did) know each other in real life, I have to say, I do apologize for any problems I may have caused you. Know that every day I strive to be the young man after God’s own heart and I will oftentimes find areas of my life that I need to let God change in me.
If you knew me for the first half of being twelve years old or earlier, please know that for that time, though I professed to be a Christian, I was not. I was not really saved until that point in my life. So, I do apologize for any way I may have acted, but know that I have been changed by Christ.
But If this has something to do with my boldness in proclaiming the truth of Christ, that I will not change. It is not pride, but passion and desire to bring those who are lost to Christ.
God bless you, bud,
🙂 I am also interested in what others have to say about this.
Do we agree with Fighting_Falcon? Well, I say a definite NO. I know I’ve heard (well, seen) you mention past mistakes – prideful and hurtful responses, etc – but I also know you’ve moved past that. The very response you gave Fighting_Falcon shows incredible humility. Whatever your attitude on social media in the past, what I see now is a wise, mature, and humble young man of God who responds with gentleness and respect. Sure, you make mistakes like the rest of us (not that I’ve seen any recently), but I believe your heart is in the right place. I also disagree that this DQ shows pride – to me, it shows a young leader (who knows he’s a leader, but isn’t puffed up about it) honestly, genuinely, and humbly asking for advice.
I firmly disagree with Fighting_Falcon’s opinion of your attitude. If he backs his accusation, well, maybe I’ll have to think differently. But until proven guilty, I declare you innocent. 😛
Trent, I see nothing in your question that strikes me as prideful. You are a young man who wants to follow Jesus and who has been called to be a leader, and you are simply asking for advice on how to lead others and continue to set a good example. I really appreciate your desire to be a godly leader for your peers. And the fact that you even submitted the question tells me that you are humble; it takes a lot to be recognize your weaknesses and admit your struggles to others.
C.S. Lewis said the first step in being humble is recognizing that you’re proud. We all struggle with pride; none of us are completely humble because we are born thinking of ourselves and will continue to do so. But obviously you are growing in this area, because you’ve acknowledged the fact that staying humble is hard for you. That’s a huge step in the right direction.
It’s always good to examine yourself, so I suppose you can use this as an opportunity for that, but in my opinion, from what I’ve seen (which is a lot because I follow you on Disqus), you’re doing an amazing job, Trent. You are always helping and encouraging people and giving great Biblical advice. Don’t take this falcon guy’s words personally or let them discourage or hinder you from doing what you know you’ve been called to do.
As an answer to part of your question, if you do make a mistake as a leader, you can set a good example through how you deal with it. If you humbly admit your mistakes and ask forgiveness, that is powerful. I have seen you do this before, a while back when you answered that lady who was saying some things on here that weren’t true and came on a little too strong. You did a really good job apologizing for that. And you’re doing a fantastic job with Soldiers of God.
I am still praying for you, brother, that God will keep growing you into the man He has created you to be.
Very well answered, Trent. 🙂
Trent, I second Cassie’s remark. Well answered indeed. Also, great question!
There is no need to be concerned if your purpose is to help people and to encourage good conversation in Christ. Keep yours eyes on Christ and not yourself. Try and write about things that you are familiar. It might be wise to run your posts by parents or a extremely honest mentor. Expect rejection. That is life.
So, I have had quite a bit of experience leading others over the past few years. Some people have called me a born-leader, so I guess I have some gift or something. Anyway here are my two cents. (1) try your best to do what’s right (by praying of course) and lead others in a God-honoring way. When God sees you leading like so, he will bless you for it. (2) don’t be afraid to seek advice from other leaders, especially ones that are older and wiser than you. I sometimes have a pride problem, so asking can be difficult for me, but it helps more than it harms. (3) try to get feedback from the people under you and see if there are things you can change in your approach, or things that you should do more of. And (4), try to find someone your age that is the same gender and has the same values on leadership as you do. I have led dozens of boys, but I have only found about one or two that I really can relate to, so these are few and far between. Also, being the leader is sometimes a lonely place. Other people can start to despise you for you doing your job right. This has happened to me and I have learned to deal with it.
Hope this helps Trent. 🙂
Yeah. Finding an accountability partner is tough. Though I do have a mentor.
I would first like to say that: as human beings, we tend to measure “how good a leader we are” by how others respond to our leadership skills… Hoping to get some kind of signal that “we’re doing okay” as a leader… THIS IS WRONG THINKING as a Christian and Rebelutionary!
Prov. 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge HIM, and HE shall direct your paths.
GOD’s opinion is all that matters!
Now, as a leader, when I need encouragement… I head strait to the Psalms! The words of David (a man after GOD’s own heart and a “born leader”) are a soothing balm for anyone! Did he make mistakes? …Yes! But he learned to repent, turn from his sin, and then refocus on pleasing GOD. What an example!?!? Also, if I were you, I would read about David’s life (1, 2 Samuel). It is filled with the “ups and downs” of leadership… friendships, betrayals, bravery, fatigue, depression, humility, patience… times when 10,000 men were at his back and times when all he had was GOD. This is truely the life of a leader! 😉
Philippians 3:15-17: “All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things… only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”
Reading all of Philippians 3 might be helpful. The subtitles in my Bible read “No Confidence in the Flesh,” and “Following Paul’s Example.” Rather fitting, I think.
I just read it. 🙂 Thank you. It’s funny though. Because last night, my Student Ministry’s message was on the last part of Philippians 3. Thanks again!
Hi every buddy! my name is Chris Bunker. I’m 16 years old, and in a way I’m struggling to keep up with the things around me. I’ve completely lost my way, and I need help to start on a new and better path! so some one had told about this! they told me this site would help me find my way back to Jesus!
Welcome! It’s a wonderful thing to realize that “you’re lost”… it’s the first step to “being found!” 😉
Hey Christopher, welcome!
What would you like to know? Have a story you want to tell? Juat want to talk? I’d be happy to!
God bless you and I hope you have an awesome day!
Just talk for now tell a little about myself and then I’d love to talk about Alex & Brett’s “DO HARD THINGS!”
Yeah, man. Do Hard Things is inspiring! 🙂
yes it is! I like that book!
🙂 Yeah man. It inspired me to create a blog and really helped me to start thinking “outside the box”.
It helped me see the thing I’ve been missing out on!
Witch book do you like
“DO HARD THINGS” ect.
Gtg Talk to you tomorrow
So your 16 years old!
Dude, you were born in the same year as me. I was born on Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7th) You?
Nice! that’s so cool
Welcome Christopher! Glad you’re here 🙂
Hello Christopher! This is a wonderful community for encouragement in Christ! I pray it will bless you as you find your way back to Jesus.
Alive through Him,
Cool then I’m in the right place then!
Hi Chris! Welcome! 🙂 Glad that you found this site!
Hey Christopher!! This place is awesome. I’ve only been on here for three weeks, maybe, and it is sooo encouraging. So, where do you come and what school do you go to?
Welcome, Chris! This is a great community on this website. We will be honored to help answer your questions and pray for you and encourage you as you seek to find Jesus. Believe me, He is all you’ve ever wanted and more. He is the only One who can satisfy you. I’m so glad you’re looking for Him. Jesus said that he who asks will receive, he who seeks will find, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
yeah me to!
I love nature and love too do stuff with animals
Me too, man! And welcome to the Rebelution! I hope you have a great time here. 🙂
I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said. Just be real to those you are leading. That could apply to either your blog, or to one on one conversation.
What I mean by “be real” is don’t pretend that you have something or are something other than what you are: A human who is a friend to those you lead. (btw I don’t think you aren’t this, these are just some points that I have understood to be extremely important in my experience.) Just be there for them I guess.
Hey Trent! Great question. I’m starting my own blog within the next few weeks, and I’ve often wondered the same thing.
I’m a student leader in my youth group, a pastor’s kid, and I’m generally looked up to among my peers. I often feel the pressure to be “perfect” or whatever. But obviously I can’t be. (And it doesn’t help that I’m a perfectionist!) So I have to constantly remain humble and make it clear that I’m just a normal human being. So, a few things I guess I would say. Not like I’ve mastered them or anything.
1) Be rooted in God’s word.
Know that whatever you say will be heard; I don’t know you very well, but I know that people view you with respect and as a person of God. Try to be careful that what you’re saying lines up with scripture. That’s what it’s all about, right?
2) It’s better to speak a few wise words than to gush millions of meaningless ones. I’m still learning this.
3) Be real. Make it clear that you’re human too. People sometimes think I’m this super Christian, but I’m not. I’m just a follower of Jesus.
4) Accept advice, criticism, and be teachable. The best thing for people to see is your modeling of being teachable. That’s the best example to set!
5) Give all glory to God. He ultimately strengthens us to lead, and we are here for his glory!
I hope this helps! I know that it’s really long.
Samwich is looking at old threads 🙂 (That name grows on ya!)
Haha. Do you not like that name? I can stop using it…
but ohh, okay. Anything I can be praying for? It’s so much easier to pray for something specific than just to pray for a person, ya know?
I should be working on science right now, so I’ll answer
later. Oh, speaking of which – how’s
science going for you? Okay, really I’m
Eesh, that’s hard to do. Well, it’s been more than two weeks, any progress?
Yeah, I expected as much. You sound busy!
How’s it going? I’ve been praying.
You’re welcome : )
Thank _me_? Um, you’re welcome! 🙂
Hey Trent! This is an excellent question. I think a blog must be a great way to practice leadership skills, so props to you 🙂 I have no experience in that area, but from other leadership positions, I have found the following to be essentials in any situation.
1) Inflow: You can’t give what you don’t have. This one I have learned the hard way. As good as service is -whether it be writing, or missions, or whatever- remember that we are devoted to Christ, not to service. “Service is the outflow of a super-abounding devotion”. A right relationship with the Lord is paramount. Not spending adequate time before the Lord each day (especially when attempting to guide others), results in poor performance. Also, I tend to be more susceptible to misplaced motives in this scenario. Fact of the flesh.
2) Humility: Pride kills. As Oswald Chambers once put it, “The greatest curse in spiritual life is conceit.” On the Contrary, God promises to bless us as we reject pride and bow before Him. Psalm 25:9 has become a favorite of mine: “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches them His way.” This struggle is one of the toughest we face as men. As we do good, people praise us, and instead of thanking the Lord that we can be a blessing, we think it’s cool that they liked what we said, and take all the credit for ourselves. It’s so dangerous because, without thinking, we can be trying to top ourselves by saying something more profound each time, just to get a good response. That’s when we fall. let’s face it: we are leaders, in a place of influence, striving to honor Jesus Christ- Satan wants to destroy us. Pride is one tactic of his we can’t afford to fall for if we are to succeed. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
– James 4:10
3) More Humility: Apologize for and deal with your mistakes quickly (and with as little groveling as possible). As careful as we try to be, we are still human, and sometimes we are going to bomb. When we do, it’s the perfect time to let a Christlike attitude shine. Remember all those folks who are watching? Your true character will come out in the way you deal with your failures. Someone recently told me, “The difference in a good job and a poor one is in the ability of the worker to deal with his mistakes.” Of course that’s not all there is to it, but it is an applicable point. (and it preaches well, too 🙂 When you mess up, fess up, then get back in there and keep going. Don’t whine about it, or sit there thinking about how dumb it must have looked to everyone until you just give up…no! Make it right, then let it rest on the shoulders of Christ.
Finally, one of the best things we can ever do is to maintain an active prayer life. Communication with the Master should always be top priority.
Hope this helps, God bless!
Oh and no, I do NOT claim to be the perfect example(or even a good one) of the humble, servant leader outlined above 🙂
Me: *gets Rebelution update. Looks at DQ. Loves it. Is too busy to respond. Comes back later. Reads comments.* And, as I guessed! Everyone has said what I would say! 🙂 Which is totally not a bad thing! Bravo to everyone, and thanks to @trent_blake:disqus for posting this great question!
Two words: quiet time. If you (or anyone) neglect Bible reading and prayer then it’s only a matter of time before you drop like a rock. Of course, in your situation as one having a blog, I believe the key is to pray about every post before posting it; pray and ask God for wisdom, and that He may be glorified through your posts, that you may remain humble and that “He must increase, but I must decrease.” -John 3:30 KJV
I was thinking about this question, and I was asking myself if there are any ways we can prevent ourselves from being put on a pedestal (not that that’s necessarily wrong). I realized that, at least as it applies to online stuff, there is at least one practical way to avoid it. That is to treat everyone as equal to yourself when you write a comment.
Sure, we may think we’re doing that, but I’ve had to learn that the way I phrase comments may not accurately reflect my intentions. Some ideas to make sure you come off in a humble manner:
1) Don’t make it sound like you have THE answer. Sometimes the Bible explicitly gives us the answer, but other times it’s best to emphasize that it’s just your opinion.
2) Use words that… uh… “sound more humble.” Use “we” rather than “you.” Use “some” rather than all-or-none statements.
I accidentally hit “Post” before I was done… It’s all there now! 🙂
Good points! Especially 2. I try to do that on my blog, because most of what I say applies to me as well as everyone else! There are circumstances where ‘you’ is appropiriate, but keeping it neutral is good. 🙂
Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Yikes! That’s a standard to aspire to.
I used to feel the same way Trent, with my blog and other social media sites. I do something wrong, everyone knows. But just remember this, whatever happens, we are humans first, we make mistakes. Its just a fact of life.
Trent, I understand how you feel about not matching up to your leadership position, but at the same time, I think just being open about your faults can make you an even better role model than trying not to have faults in some ways. You know what I mean?
Yep! Thanks, dude!
any one want to talk?
Sure! I’m not on here all day like Sam S is, but when I am, I would love to get to know my fellow Rebelutionaries 🙂 So we’re not spamming this post, I’d be happy to get into a conversation on the Discussion Question “What do you love about these Discussion Questions?” – everyone’s off-topic on that post so we could be off-topic and we’d not be out of place! See ya over there?
I recently read this book by Dr. Charles “Chuck” Swindoll, Amazing Grace.
It’s a good read for any audience that I can think of right about now, and I really recommend it to anyone who will listen. 😀
However, as it relates to your question, Chuck writes that one of the greatest grace killers in ministry (vocational or otherwise) is our human nature of pleasing people. It drains us. There’s always going to be a battle between our innate desire for recognition/praise/affirmation, but we always have to come back to God’s grace. God’s grace is sufficient for when we are up on a high note feeling prideful and then finally humble ourselves; God’s grace is sufficient when we are at our spiritual lows and feel like we can’t do anything right (sometimes that’s true, sometimes that’s just the enemy trying to discourage you); and God’s grace is sufficient when we’re floating somewhere in the middle, torn between confidence and uncertainty and giving ourselves ulcers. It is God’s grace that works in us and through us to grow deeper in relationship with Him and impact the world. That is our true strength as believers — grace.
While that may sound very abstract (and believe you me, I thought it sounded great when I first read it and stumbled on it the week I started trying to live it out), it always helps to have an accountability partner or even a mentor, someone you can be open and honest with and who you can trust for wise, objective and Biblical counsel. 🙂
I’ll try to!
I have a mentor but no accountability partner. #onehalfofwhatIneed
Hello i am 14 and would like to get advice on my life i love animals and natuer
How so? I mean, without knowing more about you we can’t really help you.
Are you new here?
Just a suggestion. Why don’t we rebeulitionist have a huge event where all of us teenagers get together and sharing experiences and singing all together. You get to meet new people, share spiritual experiences, and many things. I love meeting new people and having bible study as a group. I pray that it will happen some day and that this group will continue to grow.
That would be awesome!!!
Yeah man, that would be so cool!! 🙂
Any Aussie Rebelutionaries out there? Cause it’d be a bit to difficult for my to fly to the US to join you guys, unfortunately. 😛
I think I heard something about @stikki and Australia but I might be wrong…
I think DefyingDepravity may be from Australia too. Can someone who knows how please tag him?
Thanks! Now, how’d you do that?
Thank you 🙂
What? Should I have tested your advice before I thanked you?
Ok, I just wondered…
I’m pretty sure defyingdepravity is a girl. Based on her blog anyways: https://defyingdepravity.wordpress.com/about/
Well, so am I.
Oops, sorry DefyingDepravity!
Oh. My Word. You guys. I just found this discussion. Y’all are hilarious.
Well I don’t get notifications when I get tagged, so yeah… 🙂
Yes! I have thought of that but after seeing that people are from everywhere from Australia to New York to everywhere else you could imagine I kind of figured it wouldn’t work out.
Hey I see from your profile you’re from Georgia – me too! 🙂
Which part of GA?
North Georgia is as specific as my parents want me to be on an online chat board. 🙂 You?
north Georgia also
Yeah but I don’t think we all live close enough together to do that, I don’t have the money for a long distance trip.
How do you stay strong enough to lead? Prayer. Your strength is not your own. As soon as you think it is your own, you will fall. Constant connection and communion with God. And distrust yourself. Don’t think you would never do something or that you would never be tempted in a certain area. The devil loves catching people off guard. Realize that you are only strong as long as you lean on Christ. That means constantly, constantly asking Him to keep you.
“Your strength is not your own.” I love that! It is so true. “I lift my eyes up to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
OK so I hear what people are saying about leading humbly and in God’s strength through prayer. But how about my situation where I end up being the adult at home a lot during the week. I have younger siblings who don’t get along well at all. One is pretty much the culpret, but I don’t want to just hole him up because he is already distant to us all. He really gets on my nerves and he doesn’t respect anyone. He is almost 15. I try to lead all I can but he is just an all around pain to deal with. My question is: How do I lead in godliness when he is bullying his younger brothers and sisters, without ruining whatever influence I might have toward him?
I would suggest pray about your brother and have one on one talk. Just be patient tell him about God. Use the bible to give him perspective in life , it may seem hard but we believe you can and so does God.
Thanks man, sort of a rant but it has been bugging me for so long. It helps to have some “outside” viewpoint.
Think about it. Maybe he just needed to be LOVED. As a older sibling I would try and build a good relationship show some love. Show your younger siblings that you care and that you loved them. “Love never fails”. I will pray for you. My parents always tell me ” Be a good example to your younger siblings”. I have 3 sisters one is older than me and yes it is pretty tough. You are not alone 🙂
Wow, that’s a really hard situation. I don’t have advice for you because I really can’t relate to your situation. But I know it’s gotta be so, so hard. Know that I’m praying for you!
Thanks Riley! I appreciate it.
I lead worship at my church and the reblution group in Texas so I know what your talking about. I made a horrible mistake a while back and have had to work my way back up to the respect I had. Im only 12 so everyone thinks that since I lead all this they shoot up the expectations for me, usually I would love that but then, the mistake came. I was hanging out with my friends and then all of a sudden I tripped down the stairs, and then I said something that showed no leadership at all. I said “d*** stairs” I can guess you know what I said now. No one thought I should lead anymore and the thing is, I agreed with them. But here I am now still leading because God meant for me to do so. If God wants you in this position then you will have the strength. If you make a mistake, if God wills it then your friends and followers will still respect. Remember God didn’t just set us in motion and say “Well, Your on your own!” If he did that we wouldent be here, Christions wouldent exist because Christ would never have come. God is taking care of you. He put you in this position for a reason. Ill be praying for you.
Hey, Trent, I just wanted to say that if you always put God first , seek Him ,and glorify Him through all you do then you don’t have to worry about being strong enough to lead because He is leading you and using you to reach and encourage so many. Just rely on Him. Also, I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments( especially Yoda) and reading the posts on your blog; they’re very encouraging.
To be a LEADER means, whatever happens you need to stand for others. Becoming a WALL in times of weaknesses and encourage others too. Moreover, ENCOURAGE YOURSELF BEFORE THE LORD AND HE WILL LIFT YOU UP. GODbless <3
I have a question. I feel God is speaking to me to take a stand against bullying and I want to take a stand BUT I want to do it in a godly fashion. any advice?? HELP!!!!!!
I recently had a similar question, but about one girl at my church who’s being put down by practically everyone. Basically, what I got back was that I should be nice to her, that is a good starter step, and still be nice to the folks who are causing trouble. And, to quote @programguy:disqus, “My advice: pray. Pray now. Pray again later. Pray after that. Pray right before you do anything.”
I hope this helps! I now owe Sam S. and @thewriterchick:disqus a lot of French toast 🙂
You could give it in your own words… *scratches head* …oh look, I already did that, didn’t I?
If you want to get more answers, you can submit it as a Discussion Question (DQ). Brett would post it like he did this one. It’s under the Submit Content button, then the site will direct you 🙂
The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be depending on your own power; you should always be looking to God for strength and guidance. We’re all only human, and we’ll all make mistakes and mess up badly. That’s just a part of life. You don’t have to feel like a failure when you mess up, because everyone will make mistakes.
Also, you don’t have to feel like you need to do it all alone; never be ashamed to ask for help. It’s hard to own up to the fact that we can’t do it alone, but it’s true, so we should be open to receiving help and also giving it out. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.”
You won’t be able to stop bullying completely, but that’s great that you want to take a stand against it. Sometimes just making others around you aware of it first is a good step. Also, you might want to get a group of friends together who share your vision and work with them, because otherwise you’ll feel like the whole world is against you as you stand up against bullying. You could make a website to start awareness, even get like an informal organization or club whose purpose is to stand against bullying.