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June 17, 2015

I wish I could be a leader but…

So many of us put ourselves in a box because of what our personalities are. The Gary Smalley animal personality test says we all fall in one of the following categories:

personality_test_Lion-Beaver_Otter_-Golden_Retriever-31

Lions are leaders and decisive. They see the bottom line, are problem-solvers, and are not conversational.

Otters are fun-loving, entertainers, networkers, motivators, creative, and talkers.

Retrievers are loving, nurturing, loyal, good listeners, and encouragers.

Beavers are hard-working, detailed, accurate, and focused on quality.

Moses was a procrastinating, murdering, stuttering, ugly, picky man. (Beaver personality type)

Abraham was a weak, scared, co-dependent, passive, indecisive, cautious, lying man.  (Retriever personality type)

Peter was an overbearing, dangerous, impatient, showy, loud, cussing, denying, self-promoting man. (Otter Personality Type)

Paul was a Christian-killer, always right, self righteous, arrogant, Narcissistic, and authoritarian man.  (Lion Personality Type)

Moses led God’s people out of Egypt and is the man in the man we study more than any other to learn leadership in the Bible. (World Changer)

Abraham is the father of God’s people and the leader of an entire people group. God said because of his faith he was counted as righteous in the eyes of God. (World Changer)

Peter is the one Jesus identified as the leader of the Church and was the rock (pebble) people turned to after Jesus ascended into heaven. (World Changer)

Paul took the gospel to the continent of Europe, wrote half of the New Testament, and was used by God to shift the culture in Rome. (World Changer)

 

Many perceive leaders as loud, outgoing, life of the party types. God certainly can use people like me that are ‘life of the party types’ to be leaders, but that’s certainly not a requirement.  We so often put God in a box based on what we believe or perceive, but God doesn’t live in our boxes.  God chooses to use all types of personalities to change the world.

God has blessed me with amazing pastor friends and my closest friends are all AMAZING leaders.  I’m blown away every-time I see on social media how God is using them in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. The group God has placed in my life show the examples amazingly well of how this is the case.

 

Pastor Daniel Floyd, Lifepoint Church, Virginia.   On Easter, Lifepoint (through pastor Daniel’s leadership and preaching) saw 972 people trust Christ and his church is literally changing the culture of the I-95 region of Virginia. Every time I’m with Pastor Daniel hanging out to just have a good time, I find myself captivated by the wisdom that comes from him. I’m challenged by the way he leads by example in honor, generosity, and love, and It is amazing to see how God is using Lifepoint as thousands of people feel the effects of love and honor that come from the people of Lifepoint Church because of Pastor Daniel’s leadership.  He is a world changer and an AMAZING leader.

 

Pastor JR Lee, Freedom Church, North Atlanta.   God is using his leadership at Freedom to shift the culture of Ackworth and the surrounding communities with the gospel. Freedom is currently averaging 2,000 people in weekly attendance and hundreds have been saved and baptized as a result of God using Pastor JR’s preaching and leadership. Pastor JR leads by example in showing honor and in generosity, and every time I’m with Pastor JR I learn something new and am challenged in these areas and how to create a life-giving culture. It’s amazing how God is using him to lead his staff and church to change the community of Ackworth and how the people in the city come to Freedom for help and advice. He is a world changer and an AMAZING leader.

 

Pastor Dean Herman, 5 Point Church, Easley SC.  God is using Pastor Dean to change Easley and the surrounding communities with the way 5 Point loves and serves people, and hundreds of people have come to Christ under his leadership and preaching. 5 Point is exploding and is averaging over 1500 in weekly attendance in Easley, SC.  I call this man my pastor and can tell you I’ve met very few people in the world that love his people and others more than Pastor Dean.  He is passionate about evangelism, generosity, faith, and leadership, and leads by his example. The city of Easley has been loved on and is being changed as a result of 5 Point Church and they are ‘living it out’ as a result.  He is a world changer and an AMAZING leader.

 

Pastor Tavner Smith, Venue Church, Chattanooga TN Region.  I know no one who has more faith and belief in God’s ability to change the world than Pastor Tavner, and God has used him to reach hundreds with the gospel and in less than 2 years see his church grow to over 1500 in weekly attendance. It amazes me how they are changing the culture in the greater Chattanooga region. I’m encouraged and challenged by their involvement in their community and love for their people.  I continue to be blown away every time I see how they have covered their city (and surrounding areas) with love.  Pastor Tavner leads by example in faith, honor and generosity, and when we talk I learn and grow from his faith, encouragement, and trust in the Lord.  He is world changer and an AMAZING leader.

 

Pastor Jeff Kapusta, Lifepoint Church, Wilmington NC. God has used Pastor Jeff to shift the culture in the Wilmington Region and see hundreds saved as a result.  Lifepoint loves on their community like very few churches I’ve seen, and the results are amazing. Lifepoint is creative in their style and structure and the way they lead in generosity and love is a result of his leadership.  They currently average over 1500 in weekly attendance and have seen amazing things happen in recent days in the life of their church.  When I’m around Pastor Jeff, I’m encouraged and strengthened by his generosity and culture of honor, and his church is a beautiful example of his leadership.  Pastor Jeff pushes me to be a better leader and I grow in every conversation even when that’s not the intent. He is a world changer and an AMAZING leader.

When Pastors Tavner, Dean, JR, Daniel, Jeff and I are in the room, I laugh at the differences in personalities.  Dean and I are loud and a bit obnoxious. Daniel, Tavner, Jeff, and JR are different personalities but all more introverted.  All the personality types are represented in this group of men and it’s amazing to me how what is perceived is not reality when the Holy Spirit leads people leads people into their calling.  In the past I found myself asking God why certain people, because of personalities, were better at leading than me because I  perceived myself as a natural born leader.  While that may be the case, it was also what I had to overcome more often than not and my pride overwhelmed my ability to lead.  Each one of my friends is a flawed man who has many shortcomings. The difference in them is they have not allowed these shortcomings to define them and instead have realized their calling and world-changing abilities can only be fully realized in Christ.  God doesn’t need Lions, Otters, Retrievers or Beavers; he needs willingly obedient men and women to step into their own calling that God has for them and for them to become what they are in Christ.

No matter your flaws, downfalls or what you believe about yourself, what you are in Christ is what counts. There is great potential inside every follower of Jesus, but it will only be realized when we are fully committed to Christ. You are not what you believe yourself to be. You are the righteousness of God, clothed in HIS honor and glory.  Step into your calling!

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