Once And For All

If you’re anything like me, God often uses music to communicate something I need to hear or need help putting words to in my own life. Today was one of those times. As I drove into work, I listened to this song for the first time: https://youtu.be/4oaRYLEIeis

I immediately downloaded it and began playing it on loop for the 45 minute drive. I’m not ashamed to tell you that tears filled my eyes as I listened to the lyrics so beautifully describe the desire of my heart, but so often not the actions/words I live out.

If you have a couple minutes, I encourage you to listen to this song. Really listen to the lyrics. I know it can help you recenter on Christ, like it did for me this morning.

To Lauren (Lauren Daigle):

Thank you for your sincerity in these lyrics and your heartfelt delivery of them!

3 Principles That Will Change The Way You’re Followed

AA018506If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to build and enhance the team you oversee. While financial compensation is always a plus, people will eventually leave if money is their only motivator. Title and position is another option, but again, it only holds its value for a time. In order to lead a team that will want to stay with you through good times and bad, you have to lead in a way that truly invokes trust and an ownership mentality in your team.

Below are 3 leadership principles that I’ve found to be essential for building and maintaining a healthy team culture:

1. Be Authentic
You have to check ego and pride at the door and not think too highly of yourself. The more “real” you are with your team, the more they will respect you. As generations progress, the lack of trust in leadership continues to grow. It’s important that your team feels like they know you, but that will only happen if you bypass the easy emotional route and instead take the time and get invested in them.

2. Let Go
You cannot do everything. God has equipped you with unique gifts and talents, for sure, but He also did that for everyone else. Utilize the team you have around you. Trust them with the responsibilities you’ve given them and let go. Don’t micromanage. Seriously, don’t. You will get so much more out of your team if they believe that you have faith in them to get things done. Plus, they will often surprise you with their ideas and ingenuity.

3. Encourage
Encouragement is sometimes the hardest gift to give others, but as a leader it’s essential to validate your team’s efforts. All of us have the desire to be accepted and “valued” in other people’s eyes. Take every opportunity to be an encouragement to those on your team. The great thing is they will not only feel appreciated, but it will also give you a lift.

Though these 3 principles don’t encapsulate everything it takes to be a good leader, if you master these, you’ll be lightyears ahead of most other leaders.

Written by Andrew Pino

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The Challenge of Submission

IMG_2347Submission is a word that when most people hear it, they define it as “walked on, degraded, defeated, etc” Often the mental picture of a caveman pulling his wife along by her hair comes to mind. To “spiritually” elaborate within that metaphor, God would be the caveman and we would be the woman. As if there is no choice on our part whether to serve and obey Him. Basically a “forced” slave told to do everything and punished if we don’t. This is NOT a picture of submission. I can’t imagine any of us wanting to be Christians if that were the case.

The truth is: submission to God actually results in “rising up, being valued, and living victoriously”. He cares for us so much that instead of beating us into submission, He gives us a choice. Think about that…the King of Kings, Creator of the Universe, Alpha and Omega cares enough about you that He lets you decide how to live your life. That in and of itself should make us want to worship Him. Sadly our ego and pride distract many of us and before we know it WE look more like the caveman dragging along everyone else behind us.

It’s only when we lay our pride, agenda, and talents before the Lord that we’re able to truly live an amazing life. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that if you submit to God life will be a breeze. Honestly, when you submit to God and allow Him to direct your life, the enemy (Satan) actually attacks more often. See, when you were living on your own you didn’t really pose a threat to him, but when you put God in the driver’s seat you immediately get his attention. He’s constantly thinking, “What is this person going to do for God and how can I stop it?” Don’t let that last statement alarm you. The Bible says in James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Satan will always do his best to divert and destroy you, BUT if you stay submitted to God, He will always be fighting on your behalf!

This concept of submission is just one of the many principles that make Christians different from the world. You can find so many other concepts/words that mean one thing to the world, but something totally opposite in the Kingdom of God… that’s not an accident. Remember God called us to be “in the world, but not of the world”. We should always be able to relate with “the lost,” but we shouldn’t live like them.

Don’t be afraid to live “differently” than the world, because it’s God that defines you!

Written by Andrew Pino

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