In recent years Junior has been increasingly sought for leadership development. While many of these are ministerial or church-related, he has also helped communicators, sports coaches, developing business leaders, even teachers and doctoral candidates, in some of the most nuanced and often overlooked ways. Similarly, a growing number of leaders have expressed interest in a regular devotional, mini-teaching, or commentary from Junior on leadership. In response, the bit below is for you. (All content here and sitewide is the intellectual and copyright property of JDM. All rights reserved.)
When doing multiperson leadership equipping, Junior loves to use small "Mount of Olives" home meetings. These relaxed, candid environments compel leaders to ask questions, share freely, dialogue in-depth, nourish interleader intimacy, and practice their gifted craft in a nurturant, but guided, setting. Individual follow-up spins off naturally and supernaturally from these unusually productive meetings.
As a leader, you are the genes of your group or organization. Your unique helix of personality, instincts, abilities, experience, and maturity level will determine the visible nature and quality of your group. Not only does this impose a stern mandate of personal growth and leadership development, it cautions us to wisely discern the epigenetics of leadership also: who we agree to lead, under what conditions, and for how long.
A favorite JDM scripture on leadership captures "the heart" and "the brain" of leadership, or said another way, inner health and leadership skill. It is Psalm 78:72 (NKJV): So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
Below is Junior's most recent devotional, mini-teaching, or commentary on leadership. Sometimes these are ministerial, sometimes ubiquitous or some other specialization.
On Sharpening & Polishing the Blade
In the ancient world, bladesmiths sharpened and polished a dull or rough blade into a flashy, mirror-finished, whistling sharp, battle-ready sword using stones such as a whetstone, waterstone, oilstone, and/or diamond sharpening stone. A fine metal file might also be used, hence the illustration in Proverbs 27:17, "as iron sharpens iron". The bladesmiths achieved this finish by attentively and patiently grinding down the sword's edges until its sharpness was maximal--able to whistle and shave off arm hair.
This is an illuminating parable for those of us in communicational ministry in the ekklesia. God's grinding down of our dull and rough edges, if we cooperate with Him, will produce rhemas--two-edged swords. It is those dull and rough edges that cause you to misread Bible verses and misread the Holy Spirit. Think about it: if any part of your personality, your attitudinal-behavioral complex, is dull or rough, you will read those dullnesses and roughnesses into Scripture and into the Spirit. They will taint, mix, and misinterpret information from both. Let God grind those down as only He can and suddenly you become remarkably clear and sharp, and rhemas become remarkably clear and sharp. Suddenly, constantly, Isaiah 49:2 will be true of you (NASB): He has made my mouth like a sharp sword... Suddenly, constantly, you will take (perceive) the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (rhema) of God (Eph 6:17).
You do not need more words and you do not need more emotional words. Scripture ridicules and judges verbal diarrhea, saying "a fool multiplies words" (Ecc 10:14) and "a fool's voice is known by his many words" (5:3 NKJV) and "in the multitude of words sin is not lacking" (Pr 10:19 NKJV). Scripture also warns against trying too hard with your words through overdone emotion, melodrama, and histrionics. This is nothing more than having a dull and rough blade, and therefore, needing more force to achieve the desired interpersonal effect. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NASB) describes this, saying, "If the axe [or sword] is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength."
You do not need more words or more emotional words, you need sharper and clearer words. Become a blade that has been sharpened and polished, and is constantly sharpened and polished. Give patient attention and cooperation to God grinding down where you are dull and rough.