In this episode of The Disruptors Bible study I discuss how the prophet Elisha used an unconventional strategy to break the cycle of poverty for a single mother and her sons. Enjoy!
You can watch it here or listen to the audio of The Disruptors Podcast in my mobile app. I also encourage you to join us for our next live broadcast next Monday at 8:30 PM est.
Community development is hard work. And unfortunately too many people who set out on the path of pursuing community transformation, often looking for the “magic bullet” that will allow them to achieve their desires with minimal effort. Truth be told there is no magic bullet, but there are some important principles that must be acknowledged and applied. And developing perseverance is absolutely one of them.
Perseverance is a non-negotiable ingredient of accomplishing community transformation. This work is not for those who expect overnight success, because inevitably there are going to be obstacles that will slow down (and sometimes completely stop) your progress. John Maxwell wrote an article a few years ago that is still very relevant today entitled, Going Beyond Talent: Eliminating Five Enemies of Perseverance. Those enemies were:
1. A lifestyle of giving up
These principles can apply to almost any goal you’re attempting to achieve, and they are definitely relevant in community development work. It requires much more than talent to overcome the road blocks that will try to stifle your progress and perseverance. However, if you can develop strategies to overcome these enemies you will exponentially increase your ability to achieve your goals and see lives changed.
Click here for the full article:
In Matthew 10:34 Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Jesus came to DISRUPT the status quo of the world. Likewise you are called to disrupt the status quo, i.e. things that shouldn’t be accepted as normal. So what are you called to disrupt? Poverty? Homelessness? Illiteracy? Sex trafficking? Injustice? Hopelessness? Fear? Something else?
If you believe you’re called to be a DISRUPTOR then I invite you to watch this video as I share some Biblical insights, perspectives and encouragement to help you identify and walk confidently in your purpose.
I also encourage you to join us for the nextlive broadcast next Monday at 8:30 PM est. You can also listen to the podcast in my mobile app. Enjoy!
It's amazing how time can change perceptions. Just two years ago the basketball world was hailing Steph Curry as having arguably one of the greatest individual seasons of all time from a statistically perspective. He made over 400 3-pointers (the hardest shot to make) when no player had ever made more than 300! And his team won a record 73 games. However, at the end of the playoffs they lost the Championship to LeBron James, Kylie Irving and Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then he has seemed to fade away from the spotlight of those considered the best players in the league.
He won the MVP award after the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but he wasn't even in consideration for the award in 2017. And even though his team, the Golden State Warriors, won the championship this past season, most people gave the credit to new addition, Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the world.
Related: 7 Lessons to be a MVP Like Steph Curry in Your Business and Community
Nevertheless, I believe 2017 was his greatest year ever. Was it because he had the best statistics of his career? No. It was Because he demonstrated a character trait that most high- performing athletes - and high-performing leaders in all walks of life - rarely exude. HUMBITION.
I define humbition as a combination of humility and ambition. It’s a blend of possessing a strong desire to succeed tempered by the ability to submit to a cause greater than individual success. For a person to demonstrate humbition they have to possess a strong character, because it's not an easy trait to utilize for very driven people.
When Durant signed with the Warriors, Curry stated he didn’t mind making room for the former MVP on the team if it meant winning another championship. He recognized that although they were already very good, they would be seemingly unbeatable with Durant’s unique skill set on board. And true to his word, Curry adjusted his game to allow Durant to fit in smoothly. And sure enough the team won its second championship in three years at the end of the 2017 season.
Curry embraced what many community leaders seem to forget, and that’s what’s most important is achieving the goal, not who gets the glory for it. You should be ambitious and have big goals for yourself and your organization. There would be no big impact without people who have big goals. However, you should never let the pursuit of your personal goals get in the way of engaging with others in your community who have the potential to multiply the positive impact on those who are underserved.
One key to making this happen is identifying the skills and strengths of all those inside and outside the community who want to contribute to its development, and then exploring ways to most effectively complement one another. Another important aspect of combining talents is having a shared vision and goals that all involved individuals and organizations can agree upon and are willing to contribute to.
Our communities certainly need people with big visions, audacious goals, and a strong hunger to succeed. But surely if a team of highly talented, big-ego basketball players can submit to one another like Steph Curry did to win a championship, highly talented leaders with big ideas can learn to work together in our communities for the good of our communities.
With all of the devastating happening over the past few weeks in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, Las Vegas and other places, the natural inclination for many people has been to declare that we should pray for these cities/regions. Other people, though, claim that prayer is not enough and that we need to take more action. I believe this disconnect comes partially because many people don't have a good understanding of the true purpose of prayer.
Our prayers are not meant to only be verbal expressions of our current conditions. A key component of prayer should be asking for direction, strategies and solutions to resolve the myriad issues we are experiencing in our communities. We should follow Jesus' example. In John 5:19, he said "I only do what my Father shows me," which means he was a man of action, but he only engaged in actions that were specific to accomplish his mission.
When we pray without acting, we are being passive. On the other hand, when we act without praying we can easily be at worst reckless or misguided, or at a minimum be ineffective. Zeal with good intentions but without "God intentions" can get you in a lot of trouble if it's not corralled, directed, and motivated by His love and purposes.
Make no mistake, our cities and communities need as much prayer as we can get. However, we cannot afford to engage in actions that are absent of God's wisdom and guidance, because we're not helping the situations as much as we would like to think that we are. So please keep praying for our communities, businesses, schools, governments, etc. Just make sure you listen before you act.
When you look around at all the challenges that are happening in our communities and neighborhoods right now sometimes it's easy to throw your hands up in the air and feel helpless to make any positive changes. Some people just shake their heads, cross their arms, and look around waiting for the calvary to come to the rescue. But guess what? The calvary is ALREADY HERE and they look just like YOU!
If God has allowed you to be in a community or around people where you see the issues and challenges up close, more than likely He has a plan for using you to bring answers and solutions. So how is that supposed to happen? It happens through the talents He placed inside of you before he sent you and into the world and positioned you to be in proximity of the problem (Ephesians 2:10).
Your community needs your talents. In fact God set it up in such a way that your talents are assigned to specific people who need them. Your talents are meant to address specific needs and problems.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control [sound mind]. ~ 2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV
So based on Paul's guidance to Timothy, let's look at these three key aspects of how you're supposed to engage your talents in your community...
If you're waiting for God to send someone to rescue your community you're going to be waiting for a long time because He already sent you. Christ in you is the hope and greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. And one great benefit of you using your gifts is that you help others unlock theirs in the process.
So your community is waiting on your gifts. It's time for you to give them what they need and have have been waiting for.
Gang Intervention Specialist and Juvenile Justice Advocate, Amy "Hope Dealer" Williams, will share how true community and healing begins when we experience the power of story, intentional listening and genuine compassion. Williams' Tedx Talk, "Putting the Human Back in Humanity," provides a powerful reminder of the unfortunate shortcomings of judging people based on lazily-contrived labels. By validating one’s humanity, we create authentic relationships that can change the world. Enjoy!
"Ideas can and do change the world," says historian Rutger Bregman, sharing his case for a provocative one: guaranteed basic income. Learn more about the idea's 500-year history and a forgotten modern experiment where it actually worked -- and imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.
One of the things I appreciated the most about Mr. Bregman's presentation was how he highlighted the fact that many people think those in poverty need to be "fixed" because of what outsiders see as poor decision making due to a lack of knowledge, character, or both. Now it's true that studies have shown that the poor tend to make decisions that often compound their situations. However, what is often overlooked or misunderstood is that their decisions are not necessarily due to a lack of intelligence or poor worth ethic. Their decisions are often driven by oppressive circumstances that push them into modes of survival more than sustainability. So one could argue that very likely that most people put in the same circumstances, regardless of their level of intelligence or character, would make the same decisions.
Recently I was invited to write a guest blog post for No Compromise Magazine. I was asked to write about the epidemic of the killing of black men in America. This is a hot-button issue that is more complex than most people consider before they give their opinions. While the death toll of young black men continues to rise in this country, anger, frustration, and even hopelessness continues to increase also. It's easy for people to givev"black and white" opinions, but few are discussing the real root of what needs to be done. I feel it the responsibility of Kingdom-minded people to take a stand talk about Kingdom solutions. Here is a brief excerpt from my article:
Visionless, hopeless people are dangerous people. Why? Because, according to God’s Word, they cast away moral restraints and boundaries that keep them from doing evil deeds. I believe the dangerous combination of overwhelming circumstances mixed with hopeless attitudes leads to many of the violent situations that continue to flood our communities and destroy families.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this epidemic. However, God does give us the antidote to the disease of sin and hopelessness. Please read the full article and I would love to hear your thoughts.
Full article available at: http://www.nocompromisemag.com/blog-1/2017/6/11/black-men-in-america
God’s heart is to help people in this world who are financially poor. One of the ways He helps is through Christian entrepreneurs who create opportunities for the poor through their businesses. In today’s podcast, My friend and founder of the Church for Entrepreneurs, Amos Johnson Jr., recorded a powerful podcast about this concept to help you learn how your business can be a part of God’s heart to help the poor. Click below and enjoy!
To listen to the podcast click this link: http://churchforentrepreneurs.com/business-create-opportunities-poor/
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