Breakfast with Fred leadership ministry

Fred believed in identifying personal uniqueness and focusing on their development. His ability to handle large quantities of information, distilling into essential parts helped others. He likened his process to putting handles on pots to make it easier movement. He said an idea needs a handle to pass it from one to another – one of his gifts was building handles.

Straight and Crooked

In our comfort driven society, too many high profile church leaders allow the irresponsible to avoid discomfort. For example, if a thousand members are giving an average of two percent of income, success is declared. But this is way short of a true healthy congregation’s contributions.

It is tempting for the pastor to brag on the size of the budget as if everyone were doing what they should. Instead of talking about the irresponsibility of not giving sufficiently, too many pastors make them comfortable by talking about meeting the budget.

Throwing a spiritual mantle over the nonspiritual is a temptation for many leaders. This is also a serious downfall among the people, in general. “We have spent hours in prayer and we believe this is the answer.” If this is true, I am all for that statement. Too often, the decisions are made for political reasons and are based on human reasoning alone. Doing God’s work in man’s way is dishonest.

How many times do we promise to pray for someone when we have no genuine intention of doing so? That is harsh, isn’t it? Perhaps in the moment we intend to pray, or perhaps we just want to end the conversation. How about dropping God’s name? If I have been invited to speak at a prayer breakfast, I make sure my friends know. That way I get in one lick for God and two licks for me.

Here is a tough one: how about an organization that passionately preaches the imminent return of Christ while setting up a ministerial structure in perpetuity with all the accoutrements? I have often wondered how book publishers negotiate royalty contracts with people who expect Jesus to return within months. Do they put in contingency clauses?

Another concern is the common belief we are all children of God, regardless of our faith positions. I believe we are all creatures of God, and through the new birth, we become children of God. If we are all given the inheritance at birth, there is no need for the work of Christ. And if His work is unnecessary, so was His coming. Without His coming, we are still creatures, but very lost and without hope.

Think about this: 1) When am I tempted to “get in one lick for God and two for me?” 2) How do I respond to the temptation to make things comfortable when I should be challenging? 3) What areas in my life are out of balance?

Words of Wisdom: “Doing God’s work in man’s way is dishonest.”

Wisdom from the Word: “I know, my God, that you examine thoughts and are pleased with integrity. With pure motives I contribute all this; and now I look with joy as your people who have gathered here contribute to you.”  (1 Chronicles 29:17 NET Bible)

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To read more writings of Fred Smith go to www.breakfastwithfred.com

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www.breakfastwithfred.com is a constantly growing online archive of Fred Smith, Sr.’s lifework. You will find hours of written materials, answers to currently-asked questions, oneliners, archived weekly thoughts and more more. If you have been enjoying these weekly thoughts you will find a treasure trove of work on communication, leadership and self-development as you explore the thousands of pages on www.breakfastwithfred.com.

The Weekly Thought from Breakfast With Fred
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