What a few weeks I have had! I’ve been in Asia for two weeks, covering three different countries, the first of which included our national directors annual gathering, the second a combined meeting of our international and Japan boards, and the third a visit with my colleagues and friends in another.
My first day back home I went in for what I thought was a routine checkup. As I sat down on the doctor's chair, I quickly learned that this was a schedule for outpatient surgery. Imagine that news while you are fighting jet lag! You can see pictures from my MOH’s treatment surgery below...
One of my colleagues, Jeff Johnston, sent an encouraging word and profound advice (see Facebook picture here):
Persevere my friend. Praying for you that this ongoing challenge discontinue as He heals you. In the meantime, may this thorn in your flesh draw you into a more dependent posture, leaning upon Him... and bring about more character transformation in your life. (And use an SPF moisturizer every day.)
Jeff's advice reminded me of something another colleague frequently mentions to our team. He serves as president of Sunrise International Ministries, a great partner ministry to us at Asian Access. He often tells us that we are always in the School of God. God is always shaping our character and that this is one of the most important aspects of leadership. We refer to this profound wisdom as our second core outcome: Growing as a Christ-like Leader! The biggest leadership challenge we have worldwide is in the area of character and my friend does a great job of reminding us of it’s crucial importance.
Recently he also wrote this to me:
Joe, I recently shared with the brothers here on James 1:1-4 focusing about what to do when you face trials and difficulties. We are commanded to rejoice! The purpose is to make us mature and complete, not lacking anything. I am sure that you have heard the line before, "Many leaders are like a lake that is 10 miles wide, but only 10 inches deep." Too often this is true. God wants to deepen our character so that He can expand our ministry.
This friend has also developed an incredible resource for listening to the Lord in our bible study time. It’s called the Cross Bible Study and you can download a free copy below. I’ve used this several times and have found it a great way to listen to Jesus and grow in Christ-like leadership and character. I encourage you to give it a try and feel free to contact me for instructions on how to use it.
Thank you Jeff for reminding me of the importance of Christ-like character. It’s the critical component to good leadership today. And, thank you to my other friend for faithfully reminding us of this and for providing such a great resource in the Cross Bible Study!
How do you grow in Christ-like character? I’d love to learn from you!
Cross Bible Study is a simple approach to help you encounter Christ personally through your daily time in the Word. This approach emphasizes meditating on passages in the Bible, hearing Jesus speak through those passages and obeying Jesus. Another primary goal of Cross Bible Study is to help you grow as a disciple of Jesus. Daily time in God’s Word is a major factor in your spiritual growth. In order to grow as Jesus’ disciple you need to learn to feed continually on the Word of God.
- If you are interested in inspecting a sample PDF copy, English and Japanese versions may be found here.