Seven “C’s” for Every Leader and Organization

I’ve been fortunate enough to sit on both sides of a job interview in both church and para-church related settings, and these seven “C’s” have served me well in looking for teams or churches I might serve, and they’ve served those teams and churches well also.

  1. Competence. Within the context of the role I am seeking in this organization and the needs of this organization, do I have the ability/talent/proven history to lead in an intentional and focused way?
  2. Coherence. Do I have the ability to explain persuasively the reasoning behind why I do what I do to this particular organization’s context?
  3. Credibility. What story does my past tell the organization I’m seeking a relationship with? Am I person of integrity, or nothing more than smooth-talking salesman who never truly delivers? You might also call this “character.
  4. Culture. There are lots of great organizations, and there all different. There are lots of great pastors or other leaders, and they are all different. Just because the organization is great and the candidate is great doesn’t mean they are right for one another. Is the culture of the organization right a good match for this leader?
  5. Chemistry. How does this potential new team member “gee-haw” with the existing team? It’s one thing to fit in culturally; it’s another to have a great chemistry with the existing leaders.
  6. Calling. Do the core responsibilities and key relationships associated with them fit well with who God made me to be and what God called me to do?
  7. Clarity. Do the leader and the organization know the general direction each feel led to go, and do they align? It’s not about certainty (knowing and agreeing upon every detail), but clarity (mutual trust in the same direction that the details will not divide).

Struggling to Take it Easy

Recently I spent some time working from a coffee shop. The room was decorated with movie posters, one of which was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you want to watch a movie that defines my age of adolescence, watch this movie.

But it was the tagline that caught my attention: “One man’s struggle to take it easy.”

That sums up the movie well. Every “trial” Ferris has is related to his quest to have a day off. But the tagline spoke to me in a much more serious way.

Check out Philippians 4:11-13.

I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

You probably know that Paul was in prison, and you probably know that Paul was thanking the Philippians for their concern from him in prison. Therefore, we often interpret Paul’s message about contentment with regard to trials. Sickness? I can be content. Persecution? I can be content. Injustice? I can be content. Hunger? I can be content.

Such an interpretation is accurate, but not complete, for Paul also says that he can be content “with a full stomach” and “with plenty.”

I have often assumed that the reason Paul can be content with lots of money and a full stomach is BECAUSE he has plenty of money and food, but that’s a terrible assumption and one that does not do justice to the text. Paul says, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” … and by “everything” he means “times of plenty.”

Paul was not content in times of plenty because he had plenty, but because he had Christ.

Maybe you’re like me, and you have a strong, ambitious drive towards more.

More success.

More accomplishment.

More responsibility.

More gadgets.

More kids.

And even as you get more of these things, you’re still not content.

This is because “plenty” doesn’t provide contentment.

Jesus does.

So if you find yourself struggling to take it easy in your time of plenty, it may very well be because you’re seeking contentment in that “plenty” instead of Jesus.

Jesus is our strength in times of plenty.

Our contentment in times of abundance.

Jesus is the solution to our struggle to take it easy.

Finding True Happiness

Driving to downtown Nashville in October, I frequently noticed a billboard advertising for an event at the local symphony with a man named Sri Sir Ravi Shankar. According to the Tennessean:

Shankar will guide Nashville residents through a meditation event titled “Secrets to Being Truly Happy,” which coincides with his foundation’s Truly Happy platform. “We are here for just 60-100 years,” Shankar said in a press release. “This short span of life we spend on this planet is better spent happily and spreading happiness instead of bickering for various things, conflict, and war.”

Truly happy. Who doesn’t want to be truly happy?

When my boys pray at the dinner table or other environment, I learn what makes them happy. At ages 8 and 10, the bulk of the prayers are filled with gratitude for their many “blessings.” More recently, this list included “Abby Jane, Big Mama, and Chuy’s.” Their happiness, not unlike many adults, is tied to their experiences. They consider themselves “blessed” to the extent they experience or possess things that “make” them happy.

I don’t know what Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s secrets, but God has revealed the so-called “secret” to happiness, and it’s not a secret at all. Read Psalm 1.

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

This psalm does not deny that some happiness can be related to experiences, but it clearly asserts that there is a deeper happiness rooted in the Word of God.

It does so by contrasting happiness in God’s Word with attempting to find happiness with regard to sin. There is no true happiness in any kind of relationship with sin. Be it considering to sin (walking in counsel), performing a sin (standing in the way) or belonging to a sin (scoffing others who don’t do it too), there is no real happiness.

Happiness is found in delighting in God’s Word … filling our minds with it and shaping our lives to it.

To do so is to be a tree. To not do so is to be chaff. Can there a better contrast between a TREE and CHAFF? One is deeply rooted with multiple roots going out in all directions towards the water source in order to produce fruit for others to benefit from. The other is rootless and weightless and useless. Interestingly, chaff was also burned.

One is happy AND righteous.

The other is meaningless AND destroyed.

Are you truly happy?

Halloween’s History and How to be Christian with it

Rob Tims:

It’s Halloween … or Reformation Sunday … or “Poke Reese’s Cups Down My Throat” Day … but where did it come from and what’s a Christian to do?

Originally posted on Southern Fried Faith:

The overall historical account given here is predominantly derived from

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).  The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or…

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The Good Shepherd

Psalm 23 begins with what is admittedly an odd metaphor: “The Lord is my Shepherd.”


YAHWEH … ADONAI … JEHOVAH … a lowly, insignificant shepherd?

Yet that is precisely what David intends for us to wrestle with.

The holy, sovereign God of the universe is like a shepherd.

How so?

  1. He insures we have everything good and right. Not everything that we want. Not everything we think we need. Everything He knows we need for our good and His glory. This includes green pastures and still waters, some of which may be on the other side of a stroll through very dark valleys. Even so, He is leading us to a better place than where we once were.
  2. He makes us righteous for His glory. This is what David means when he says that the Lord leads us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (v. 3). He is not making us righteous for any other reason greater than this one. If there were a greater reason, He would not be God. He is making us righteous so people can marvel at a righteous God.
  3. He passionately pursues me with goodness and mercy. The HCSB rightly translates the Hebrew here, whereas other translations traditionally say “follow.” The idea here is that in Christ, God is constantly pursuing me with His goodness and mercy, for it is mine to have by grace through faith.

So the Lord is your Shepherd. He has passionately pursued you with goodness and mercy in Christ. He is making you righteous for His glory. And in so doing, provides you with every good thing you could ever need.