lessons (4 of 5)

It's been a while... If you missed lessons one, two, and three, be sure to head back and read 'em. Develop your team. You won’t develop outwardly if you’re not developing inwardly. We've made development a high priority; it's one of our ministry's core values. We constantly look for strategic opportunities to develop our staff and interns. For my own development, I read a lot---books and blogs of ministry leaders. I also listen to and/or watch teachings by leaders I learn a lot from, like Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, and Steven Furtick.

Let your team know they have freedom to fail. Make new mistakes rather than repeating old ones. I am a perfectionist. And very detail-oriented. So this lesson is one I'm constantly needing to remind myself of: Mistakes are okay. I'm more intolerant of my own failures than those of others, yet I know I always need to better guard my response to others' mess-ups. I'm learning the benefit of making new mistakes, because of all the lessons and opportunities they hold for me. As long as I'm learning from them, I need to be ok with my shortcomings.

Don’t hold things with a closed fist. We’re called to be stewards, not owners. Niel and I are both strong givers, so this one is maybe easier for us than for many. At least 10% of all our general ministry income goes out to support other ministries and missionaries. And because of how far we've come, and all the "lack" we've endured over the years, we naturally take good care of what we have. At times it causes frustration in us when we see others on our team treating things with recklessness or disrespect. While we continually challenge them to be good stewards, we can't expect them to remember what it was like when we didn't have much.

What do you do to develop yourself? How do you handle mistakes you make? What's the hardest thing for you to hang onto with an open hand as opposed to a closed fist?