golf ball just off the greenM2M (Ministry to Ministries) blog is focused on leadership ministries, and updates from a few of the ministries we assist. We’re happy to share a messages from Breakfast With Fred, which includes treasure troves of work on communication, leadership and self-development.

Fred enjoyed taking an idea and chasing it down. As we enter into his “blogosphere” with his mini-essays, we get a glimpse of this mental exercise. Golf was one of his great loves, so inspiration from this sport is very natural.

Political Positioning

To place an individual in a position outside his gift for political purposes is leadership prostitution.

God has endowed each person with gift that will glorify Himself. When we use the person for our own political security without regard for their gifting we are taking something that should be honoring God and taking it for our own benefit.

I refuse to work outside my gift even though I have received a great deal of pressure to assume work expectations out of loyalty to my friend, the leader.

I have listened to many Sunday School teachers who definitely lacked the gift of teaching. They were organizational loyalists and caved into the pleadings of a friend who needed to fill the teaching roster. Sadly, even religious associations promote some to leadership out of expediency or “they deserved it” thinking. When they have none of the gifts necessary they either flail or fail. Or, they carry the title and someone else does the work.

Board memberships reflect this. Too frequently directorships are filled with those who readily vote with the leader, rather than exercising independent thought. I was once asked by a friend to serve on his executive committee. When I told him I would carefully consider each decision and not just go along he responded, “Let’s stay friends, but let’s not put you on the board.” He had a political agenda and I didn’t fit.

My loyalty must always be to Christ and never second to my loyalty to friends.

Valuing Compliments

Compliments are so valuable they should be used sparingly. They are like spices which accentuate.

As an avid golfer nothing disturbs me as being paired with an overly courteous individual who compliments every shot whether it is good, bad, or indifferent. This insults my intelligence. Does he think I don’t know the difference between good and bad lies? One of my dear friends Charles Pitts, the Canadian construction man, was an excellent golfer. He was a man of integrity and very selective about his compliments. He didn’t throw away meaningless compliments. For that reason, I remember very well playing around with him. It was the ninth hole when I hit an 8 iron high over a tree, landing close to the pin. “That’s a golf shot, Fred.” He knew how to keep the compliments valuable and with integrity.

If we over-compliment, we sound saccharine and we lose our authority to praise. Acclaim should be earned. It needs to be specific and come from someone who knows what he is complimenting.

This week think about: 1) How do I judge the value of a compliment? 2) When have I been tempted to accept a job out of loyalty which wasn’t suitable? 3) How do I know when to say “yes”?

Words of Wisdom: “To place an individual in a position outside his gift for political purposes is leadership prostitution.”

Wisdom from the Word: “As the crucible is for silver and the furnace is for gold, so a person is proved by the praise he receives.”  (Proverbs 27:21 NET Bible)


News Line: ••• “Are your Mommy and Daddy in heaven?” Brenda A. Smith discusses the sense of loss in our lives in her blog. Click here to read her blog.
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