Weekly Thought – January 24, 2017
Fred’s heart for pastors was well-known. After the website (breakfastwithfred.com) began he received daily emails from men and women who shepherded congregations. They asked specific leadership questions, but mostly wanted to ask about the role of integrity in both the laity and the clergy. He answered directly and compassionately, often giving them a safe haven to talk.
After decades in business I can still see my father’s influence in me. Here are three which stand out:
1) Dad was a stickler for integrity. At home he was a strict disciplinarian. PKs (preacher’s kids) are always on public display. Dad and Mother knew this and demanded we be on time, have our lessons prepared, and respect the ministerial position through proper behavior. Dad took very seriously the Biblical imperatives about the role of a pastor. We knew how he felt about the family’s being in order. It was a heavy burden at times, but it made us keenly responsible even as young men. I was never tempted to rebel because I understood his motivation. I inherited my father’s admiration for integrity, and I hope that is part of my legacy when I leave.
2) Dad taught me the value of a spiritual life. This is often difficult in a pastor’s home. The struggle between the spiritual and the material is an on-going battle. Ours was no exception. Our home existed for the spiritual welfare of the church. I never heard business discussed, for example, until I left at age twenty-one. I had to begin my entire business education after that. The same struggle is true, though reversed, in homes of executives who do not nurture the spiritual elements. Children who grow up without a spiritual foundation then come to salvation must begin that entire part of their education. Yet, the material side was a continual tug of war. We scraped by financially. We also were held to a different standard by Mother and Dad focusing on the reality of heaven – sometimes to the neglect of earthly things! But I did learn possessions and accumulation are not the measure of wealth.
3) Dad believed and lived out the principle of giving to others if you have it to give. He regularly offered his clothing, our food, and certainly our home to those in need. And more than that, he offered spiritual counsel and knowledge gained through his study of the Word. I internalized this principle as a young man and hopefully have continued to use it throughout my life. When the opportunity to write articles for LEADERSHIP JOURNAL came, I eagerly accepted. I could use what I had learned to stretch others. Frequently I am asked “what are the most important things I need to learn about leadership and management?” It gives me satisfaction to share what I have gained through others, as well as my own experiences. If I have it to give, then Dad would certainly press me to give with all my might.
This week carefully consider: 1) What lessons have I learned from my parents? 2) How am I influencing my family, my co-workers, my church members? 3) Whose leadership do I emulate?
Words of Wisdom: “I inherited my father’s admiration for integrity, and I hope that is part of my legacy when I leave.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The one who conducts himself in integrity will live securely, but the one who behaves perversely will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9 NET Bible)