This weeks notes come to you from Richard Stephens, one of the Reliv Business developers in the UK
The soggy banners have been taken down, the soggy people have gone back yo work and the soggy sausages have been thrown away. But despite the weather last week we all had a holiday to celebrate the queen and prince diamond jubilee, It was pointed out that Philip was Englands longest serving consort and in another 4 years the queen would be the longest serving monarch .
Some celebrated, with pageant, brass bands , and a pop concert. Strret parties and village barbeques.
For me the high pont was the celebration at Westminster abbey and Rowan Williams reflection on the occasion from God’s perspective
In his address He described as 60 years of dedicated service by the queen to her nation and to her family
As He pointed out the word dedicated has been much “debased” , We talk about dedicated golfers and tennis players. However “dedicated” really means available to God.
This does not mean that we should not be ‘dedicated’ to our sport, our family or our nation or our business but we should be aware lest they become our god! We should never put these on a pedestal. This way we are heading for idolatry. People who live for their golf surely miss the point . people who put their country right or wrong their family right or wrong augment nation and family above right and wrong, and the Bible warns us we should have no other Gods. Rather we should honouring God in the way we pursue our goals, in how we live within our family or our nation, in how we practice out faith, conduct our business or even how we play golf!
Col 3 17 Do all things whether by word or deed as if it is unto the Lord.
Much was said over the four days about the Queens role as head of state and of the commonwealth. The jubilee made me wonder about the whole issue of leadership what it means and how it should be pursued.
Jesus warns his disciples about being like the self-righteous and self-promoting Pharisees . seeking honour on the street corners while inwardly they were whited sepulchres; laying down the laws but doing nothing to help people meet the standards those laws demand.
Jesus by contrast washed his disciples feet the muddiest dirtiest and lowest part of their bodies For the Son of God when it came to tending his sheep, there was nothing that was beneath him. What a contrast. Jesus throughout his life was lifter of people from their circumstances, whether it was the guilt ridden adulterer weeping before him on the sand, the paralysed man helpess on his pallet or Peter sinking in the storm.. By his death he has lifted al of us from our life of sin , set our feet apon the rock, so that we could eventually ascend with him to the heavenly places.
Jesus was a lifter and a server not an imposer and a controller. In Math 20 26. He was explicit when he said Whoever wants to be the greatest, the leader must be servant of all. Such a servant kiuing would never abuse his position or his powert. It is the presence of God’s spirit , witnessed and taught by army chaplains in the armed forces that seeks to remind our soldiers that they are not there to conquer, rape or pillage, but to serve.
So what are the qualities of a good leader? Good leaders:-
Have godly goals. Whethert we like it or not we are all leaders in as much as we influence others. The issue is who are we leading and more importantly where are we leading them to. In prison I meet leaders , men of stature and charisma, However there are negative leaders, leading others into drugs, crime and ultimately death for their own self aggrandizement. Good leadership assumes Godly goals.
Good leaders put the needs and goals of others first. They observant of the challenges and obstacles facing those they lead and find ways to lighten them. Like Jesus , they are a people lifters and like Jesus their reward will be in heaven if not on earth.. However the reality is when you help others get what they want you do not have to worry about what you want.
Good leaders help others to win and to meet their potential. Good leaders adopt the attitude that it does not matter who gets the credit, because they seek no glory. It is not about expanding their ego but always about expanding Gods kingdom
Good leaders are willing to accept the blame if things go wrong on your patch but reluctant to assign it. “Where possible walk in love with all men”
Good leaders over communicate rather than under-communicate. They make it a priority to keep everyone in the loop . Confusion erodes leadership. For this reason good leaders spend time with their team, invest in them, and are available to them. Good leaders have pen doors and attentive ears.
Good leaders don’t take things . Leadership is about others, When you start thinking about you, and how others have mistreated you, bitterness and anger make you lose perspective.
Finally remember the words of a former attorney general told an audience of American college students “Don’t ever seek to be the greatest. Seek instead to do great things If your aspiration to be the greatest you will probably die disappointed, but even if you succeed ,your greatest-ness will die with you. However if you aspire to do great things your legacy will live on.”
So how can we apply these principles to our Reliv work?
Reliv is all about legacy. We need to learn from the founder Dr Ted who was told “Be ashamed to die until you have achieves a small victory for mankind”. Reliv is about legacy more than cash bonuses.
Bob Montgomery was drawn to that philosophy. He is wanting to change the world but also by changing us so that we can change it!
This is what makes his leadership style distinctive.
He would I am sure shy away from being seen as the boss. Or even the. He wantd to be the vision sharer rather than a managing director. I remember him saying “I will never fire any my distributors. They make the company work, but I have to be aware every day that they can fire me, and work for someone else.” There is a servant heart. Was it not Jesus’ wish and prayer that “none should be lost”.? Jn 6 39.
Reliv CEO Bob Montgomery, like Jesus sets high standards for himself and leaves us to follow his example.He makes people feel valued , On my second meeting with Gipsy and me , he remembered our names and even recalled we were in Prison. Can we do the same for those we meet in our meetings?
As European distributors we are blessed by the quality of our leaders.
We can be grateful they strive hard to communicate to us, to keep us in the loop, to support us with our clients, even if across lines when they clearly can have no financial gain and finally to give us the resources that we need to succeed.
They are lifters of people, not criticisers of them. If there are issues in any meetings , they seek to be listeners, putting the local problems in front of those effected rather than allowing them to become between those effected. They encourage distributors to rise above personal slights, see the bigger picture, to forgive and to seek forgiveness,.
They seek by prayer and action to maintain the spirit of unity in the body of local meetings, knowing that division weakens everyone. Their hope for us is Christ’s hope for us that we “walk in love with all people”.
They seek to serve so that rather than ‘being great’ or even receiving great cheques, they hope they can leave a legacy of greatness in the changed lives of those they have led. Now there is something we could all learn to do!
We, who are led, always need to honour our leaders, whether it is our upline, our MD .our pastor or the Queen for their dedication, for their ‘availability to God’ so that He can work through them and to and through us. We need to take up their torch and run with it.
T finish on a homely point. The other day I saw a blind man walking to the traffic light being led by his guide dog. I stared at the beautiful labrador, his senses alert, his sole purpose was to serve his master. Then the light turned green and gently the dog led him across the street. God gave me a living parable. Pursue “great things” not “greatness” . Lead by serving.
Good advice for those young enough to be able to look forward to the next 60 years!
I would like to finish with the soldiers prayer of Ignatius Loyala . I hope you enjoy the poetry and but that the sentiments expressed will enrich your lives.
Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest;
to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Thy will;through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
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Me and Aneela with the European Chairman of Reliv International
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For the past Eight years, I have been hosting a weekly prayer call for the believers in the offline company that i work alongside. Looking at biblical principals and seeing how we can apply them into our businesses.