Monday, October 12, 2009

Wisdom from the 'Old Guy' Session

Unfortunately, this year I wasn't able to attend the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, but thanks to my friend, Michael Head, and the updates on his blog, I was able to keep up and take away some incredible truths that God showed him while he attended.

It's always great to go to this type of conference. There's always a ton of flash and noise and hype. They always have the latest--greatest young 'speaker guy' that has a legit canned message that he brought with him, but what I always look forward to is the token 'Old Guy' session. There's just something about 'old guy wisdom' that is special! This year, the old guy was Chuck Swindoll, and in his session, he talked about the 10 Things He's learned in over 50 Years of Ministry. Check it out:

Here is what he said:
10 Things Learned in 50Years of Ministry:

  1. It’s lonely to lead. Leadership involves tough decisions. The tougher the decisions, the lonelier it is.
  2. It’s dangerous to succeed. It is dangerous to succeed while being young, rarely, does God give leadership that young because it takes crushing and failure first.
  3. It’s hardest at home. Nobody at home is applauding you. They say, “Dad! You’re fly is open.”
  4. It is essential to be real. Stop lying, just be you.. What I care about is that you stay real.
  5. It is painful to obey.There are rewards, yes, but it is painful nevertheless.
  6. Brokenness and failure are necessary.
  7. My attitude is more important than my actions. Some of you are getting hard to be around. And your attitude covers all those great actions you pull off.
  8. Integrity eclipses image. What you are doing is not a show. And the best things you are doing is not up front but what you do behind the scenes.
  9. God’s way is better than my way. God is going to have His way.
  10. Christ-likeness begins and ends with humility.

Traditionalism is the dead faith of those still living. You will defend those things that don’t need defended.

Three Important Observations:

  1. With every ministry a special mercy is needed.
  2. In every ministry the same things must be renounced and rejected. That is hiding shameful things, doing deceitful things, and corrupting truthful things. Guard against deception. Guard against deception.
  3. Through every ministry a unique style should be pursued. We don’t preach or promote ourselves (it isn’t about us). We declare Christ Jesus as Lord (it’s all about Him). We see ourselves as bond-servants for Jesus Christ.

Five Statements Worth Remembering During Your Next 50 Years of Leadership:

  1. Whatever you do, do more with others and less alone. It will help you become accountable.
  2. Whatever you do, emphasize quality not quantity.
  3. Wherever you go, do it the same as if you were among those who know you the best. It will keep you from exaggerating. it will help keep your stories true. Your good friend will tell you things that others will not. They will hold you close to truth.
  4. Whoever may respond to your ministry, keep a level head.
  5. However long you lead, keep on dripping with gratitude and grace. Stay thankful. Stay gracious.

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