Jan 15, 2021
"Eight Ways to Imitate the Greatest Leader of All Time"
One Solitary Life
How did you answer the above question, "Who is the greatest leader in human history?"
I think of the 1926 poem, One Solitary Life, by Dr. James Allen says it best:
He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never traveled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself
He was only thirty-three
His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth
When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend
Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navy's that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life
Unquestionably, Jesus of Nazareth is the greatest leader in human history. Follow him, or not. Believe in him, or not. History proves that there is no other person who has impacted humanity like Jesus Christ.
This week's guest on the Men in the Arena Podcast was our new friend, Scotty Kessler. My ears perked up when I read Scotty's bio. He is the Director of the Robert Coleman School of Discipleship and the Wes Neal School of Sports Ministry at Faith International University and Seminary in Tacoma, Washington. Scotty has over 35 years of Head and Assistant Football Coaching and Consulting experience, having coached primarily at the college level with stops in Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, California, Florida, and Washington State.
I was required to read, The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman for both my Youth for Christ credentialing process and Church of the Nazarene Ordination requirements. We used Coleman's model when we launched Men in the Arena back in 2012. I am excited to announce that we are returning to that model in 2021.
Eight Leadership Strategies of Jesus
I have read The Master Plan of Evangelism no less than six times over the last 30 years of ministry. At barely 100 pages, it is packed with leadership insights. Out of the 100 leadership books in my library, it is the first book I recommend to anyone aspiring to be a great leader. Here are the eight strategies, in order, Jesus implemented that transformed His Disciples into world-changers.
1. The process of SELECTION. He chose then called them. Robert Coleman writes, "The initial objective of Jesus' plan was to enlist men who could bear witness to His life and carry on His work after He returned to the Father."
When I select and invite someone into my inner circle, I use the 5 C's: Christ, character, commitment, competency, and chemistry. Jesus' mix of men may seem random but only came after careful selection and a night of prayer (Luke 6:12).
2. The process of consistent ASSOCIATION with these men. He committed his life to them. Having selected—chosen and called—His men, Jesus made it a practice to be with them. This was the essence of His training program-just letting His disciples follow Him." IN our bust world as leaders, if we would just slow down and spend time with those we lead it would make all the difference.
Dale Collver, COO of Men of the Arena and right-hand man, has been with me for over 16 years now. This longevity doesn't happen by accident.
3. The process of CONSECRATION to his ministry. Coleman writes, "They were not required to be smart, but they had to be loyal." Again. Dale Collver is a special man. He is the most faithful man I know. Scotty Kessler shared that he looks for FATC when selecting people to mentor: faithful, available, teachable, and committed.
4. The process of willing IMPARTATION of your life. He cared for them. His ministry to them was incarnational. This is great advice for any man who wants to lead their families well and Jerrad Lopes with Dad Tired likes to say.
Great leadership—world-changing— is more than a good paycheck. It is pouring your life into a select few. Very few, even the richest in the world, ever reach this level of leadership.
5. The process of constant DEMONSTRATION of it. He showed them what to do. He modeled it for them on the night of his death, Jesus washed the Disciples feet, including Judas, THEN said, "I have given you an example to follow. (John 13:15)"
Followers will take on the characteristics of their leader. What do those closest to your leadership look like? Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:20)"
6. The process of responsibility and authority through DELEGATION. Jesus challenged his men. He gave them meaningful work to do, and not just mindless busywork. He let them fail often then taught out of their failures. In this day of Helicopter moms and Bulldozer dads, those men who challenge those they love will reap a greater benefit. Do not be afraid to push, even to the point of failure.
7. The process of SUPERVISION over the disciples. He coached them. He watched them. Supervision is the missing link to leadership. It is easy to delegate and walk away but the great leaders watch, evaluate, and examine.
PIC of Jeff
8. Lastly, the process of REPRODUCTION. Last week we added Jeff Dyck to our Board of Directors. For the last two decades, Jeff has led nearly 400 employees as the president of Cascade Steel. He will be a great addition to our Board. We had a sacred time as each of our Board members laid hands-on and commissioned Jeff in the ministry. I wish more leaders did this in their churches, families, and organizations.
Boots on the Ground
Listen to our interview with Scotty. It will encourage you. Implement these eight strategies with those closest to you. Find a few guys and start a Men in the Arena team today.
Jan 8, 2021
"New Year Resolutions that Actually Work"
2020 Hindsight is 20/20
Last year was unprecedented in so many ways. Where many struggled, with God's blessing 2020 was Men in the Arena's best ministry year to date. All of these goals were set at our annual Board of Directors Course Setting Retreat that we have every January. Below are some bulleted highlights from 2020.
- Obtained Wordserve Literary as our book agent
- Are negotiating a publishing contract with Five Stones Press
- Online auction "audible" raised $10,000 more than all previous fundraisers.
- Finished two books that will be released in 2021
- Started a weekly service for local men called the "Arena Gathering"
- Joined the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Ministries to Men
- Men in the Arena Podcast had downloads from 122 nations
- The Instagram following grew from 300 to over 4,100
- Several posts had over 15,000 likes
- Financial Champion team is the strongest it has ever been
- Paid staff team grew from two to six
- Our new online assessment is weeks away from being released on our website. We believe God will use it to reach one million men.
Dec 18, 2020
“Six P.E.A.R.LS. of Wisdom for Living in Victory”
Social Distancing, Isolation, and Addiction
We have been on varying levels of shutdown in the USA due to COVID-19 since March, and the weight of these shutdowns is not only weighing on our economy and the education of our children but for countless men, it has resulted in domestic abuse and addiction relapse. At some point, the government must weigh the cost of countless lives lost in the wake of these shutdowns.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, spikes in drug and alcohol abuse use have been recorded since March. In late April/early May, the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) conducted a survey of 1,079 people with addictions nationwide on how they were being impacted by the pandemic. Twenty percent of the respondents reported that their own or a family member’s substance use had increased since the social isolation was put in place.
Three-quarters of the APF survey respondents reported emotional changes since the beginning of the pandemic, especially increased worry (62%), sadness (51%), fear (51%), and loneliness (42%). These emotions increase the risk for relapse and unfortunately circumstances since the pandemic has made peer support, for instance in 12-step meetings and similar groups, much more difficult.
An analysis of a nationwide sample of 500,000 urine drug test results conducted by Millenium Health also showed steep increases for cocaine (10% increase), heroin (13% increase), methamphetamine (20% increase), and non-prescribed fentanyl (32% increase).
Dec 10, 2020
"Four Costs of Obscurity when Life doesn’t Seem Fair"
Hail to the Chief
This week on the Men in the Arena Podcast features retired Chief of Police, author, and President of Five Stones Press, Dr. Scott Silverii. Of the more than forty books he’s published we zeroed our sights on his latest book, Favored Not Forgotten, which was released in November. It is the only book I have ever read that deals with obscurity and how to pay the price on the journey to your best version.
We like to ignore obscurity—walking through the dry and often painful deserts of life— hoping it will somehow pass us by, but painful seasons of life surrounded nearly every man who did great things for God in the Bible. Scott writes, “The word obscurity is odd. It’s never really used in a positive light, and without digging into the academic definitions; the word intuitively leaves an uneasy stitch in your spirit.”
When I reflect on obscurity, I think of world changers like Moses (Exodus 2:15), Paul (Galatians 1:15-18), Abraham (Genesis 12:1-9), Joseph (Genesis 37:18-36), Jesus (Luke 2:51-52); all of whom spent literally years—decades— in obscurity before God unleashed their impact upon the world!
Dec 4, 2020
“Six Bulletproof Ways to Become a Better Man”
Years ago, I was invited to a friend’s ranch to hunt doves in a Central Valley almond orchard. As we neared the property my buddy said, “Okay I have a few rules you have to follow. Rule 1 (pointing his finger across the street): Never step foot in or mention that Minimart right there because the owner’s wife had an affair with one of our family members. Rule 2: Never pronounce the ‘L’ sound when saying almond since we beat the ‘L’ out of them. And Rule 3: Don’t ask my Dad about why he limps. His lower leg was shot off in a hunting accident.”
I still chuckle every time I remember that speech but am reminded that none of us are bulletproof. I’ve always taught my sons to respect the empty gun. Many have died thinking the gun in their hands was empty.
No one is bulletproof.
A New Kind of Bulletproof
Last week we interviewed founder of the New Kind of Man Podcast, Chad Zueck on the Men in the Arena Podcast. Chad is a Lead Pastor in Dublin, Georgia, who has been working in men’s ministry for over 18 years, and is about to release his first book, Six Bulletproof Ways to Become a Better Man.
No man is bulletproof in this life, but we can trust God to make us into the best version of ourselves and able to withstand the battles of life, which reminds me of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12-16b, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to 16 … extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Here are Chad’s six bulletproof ways to become a better man.