Archive for December 2nd, 2009

Circus Elephants Help Us Overcome Lies

circus-elephantI read this illustration in a book, so the credit cannot go to me. I think this principal is so important when it comes to overcoming lies and walking in truth:

“When young, {elephants} are attached by heavy chains to large stakes driven deep into the ground. They pull and yank and strain and struggle, but the chain is too strong, the stake too rooted. One day they give up, having learned that they cannot pull free, and from that day forward they can be “chained” with a slender rope. When this enormous animal feels any resistance, though it has the strength to pull the whole circus tent over, it stops trying. Because it believes it cannot, it cannot. “

This is the perfect illustration when it comes to believing lies. Though I would never compare anyone to an elephant, fearing they might take it the wrong way, so many of us are just like them! We believe a lie long enough that eventually we stop trying to break free. We give up, thinking “This is just the way my life is going to be.”

But I want us to understand the truth that we have the power to break free from the “chains” and “stakes” that are holding us down. With the Holy Spirit at work in our lives we have every power and authority to break the holds that are keeping us from moving forward.

So, ask yourself: What lies have I given up fighting against? What truths do I need to remind myself of, so that I do not end up like the elephant?

How to Most Effectively Influence Others

I was never good at math. Writing was always my better subject. But recently I’ve been thinking about compound interest.

The equation for compound interest is: P = C(1+ r/n)ntWhere:    P = future value    C = initial deposit    r = interest rate (expressed as a fraction: eg. 0.06 for 6%)    n = # of times per year interest is compounded    t = number of years invested

Get it, right? Ok, so maybe that is a little hard to understand. (Except for you really smart weirdos…)

Here is a better definition:

Compound interest is interest earned not only on an original investment, but on its accrued earnings as well.

So I started to think about ministry and leadership, and saw that not only can you compound INTEREST, but you can also compound INFLUENCE. God freed me from the thought that I had to lead, develop and pour into every person that came my way. He taught me how to compound my influence to be the most effective.

For me, since I work in student ministry, I started with a few adult leaders to pour my time into. A small group of  high-impact volunteers– those people volunteering who have the ministry instincts that others just don’t. They usually have great people skills and lead out of a natural ability. Second we started meeting with these leaders once a week, or twice a month to develop, cast vision, and give away leadership responsibilities. As they started to lead we saw our influence compound. Instead of directly leading 60 to 75 adult volunteers, we only lead 5 to 6. Which in turn lead teams of 10 to 12.

But what if you don’t work in ministry? What if you’re a mom? Think about your children as your little group of influencers. If you take the time, energy and intentionality to develop them into who God has made them to be, think about the compounded influence you will create. My parents had 7 children, and each of us has answered our own specific callings in life. My parents may not be directly influencing the people in our sphere, but because of their love, support and training, they are indirectly effecting hundreds if not thousands of individuals through the compounded influence of their children.

What about school teachers? You may never know how the life lessons, love., and acceptance you show to your class will effect them for the future.

What is your position in life? Everyone can influence someone. How can you compound your influence to be the most effective?

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