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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hear the Call...


Hear the Call...

I've been vacillating recently back and forth, in my mind, trying to determine the call on my life from God.  I can't even begin to describe the emotional gamut I've experienced, even over the last 24 hours, trying to seek His will for my life.  Fear.  Frustration.  Encouragement.  Joy.  Negativity.  Positivity.


But then it hit me.  I'm doing it all wrong.... because I'M TRYING TO DO IT.

I cannot determine God's will.  He doesn't ask me to, need me to, or really even want me to.  

He simply wants me to surrender.  In the moment.  In every circumstance.  

Oh how difficult this is for a high driven "D" personality style.  I want a plan. I want action.  I want traction.  

I cannot DO anything to catalyze the will of God.  And neither can you.

Philippians 2:16 says...
"Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ's return, I will be proud that I did not runt he race in vain and that my work was not useless."

This word of God is so encouraging for me today. 

I need to hold firmly to His WORD that brings life.  That's all.  Be surrendered and open to His prompting and calling... then follow through in that moment.  

Strategic plans cannot satisfy this commandment.  

Activity cannot substitute.

Traction and accountability cannot surpass His Will.

Are you caught between two sides of a tough decision?  Join me in utilizing this time by worshiping through surrenderance. Submit your strategy to God's divine will and plan and TIMING.  

In the waiting, let's dive into the WORD for encouragement.  


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your Primary Aim in Life


Your Primary Aim in Life

What would you like to be able to say about your life before its too late to do anything about it?  THAT'S your primary aim.

If you were to write a script for the DVD to be played at your funeral, how would you like it to read?  THAT'S your primary aim.

Defining your personal "primary aim" will help bring clarity and focus to all areas of your life, whether that be business, relationships, or ministry.

Answer the following questions:

What do I wish my life to look like?

How do I wish my life to be on a day-to-day basis?

What would I like to be able to say I truly know in my life, about my life?

How would I like to be with other people in my life—my family, my friends, my business associates, my customers, my emp0loyees, my community?

How would I like people to think about me?

What would I like to be doing two years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty rears from now?  

When my life comes to a close?

What specifically would I like to learn during my life—spiritually? Physically, financially, technically, intellectually? About relationships?

How much money will I need to do the things I wish to do?  By when will I need it?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sales Forecasts & Projections


Sales Forecasts & Projections

When considering a new market, new venture, or new product to fold into your personal business portfolio, one of the most exciting (yet challenging) tasks is to forecast future sales.  

Yet this function is critically important and valuable, as without sales fueling your "economic engine," your business will not move. 

Here are some helpful sites I've stumbled across... 

How to Forecast Sales for a New Product with No History


How to Forecast your Sales

Three Methods of Sales Forecasting


Monday, September 27, 2010

Your Absolute Best


Your Absolute Best!

Due to paradigms and comfort zones, we too many times write off our activity as "the best we can do." While I believe this statement to be true in the moment (for the person saying it), the reality is this: better is possible.

Napoleon Hill said this: "What the mind of man (or woman) can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

Proverbs 23:7 (King James Version)

"7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."

My question today is simply this: What do you believe you are capable of, in the next 24 hours?


Friday, September 24, 2010




I'll admit, love has been somewhat of a "soft" topic for me... 

Defending widows and orphans, or spiritual warfare, or forcefully advancing the Kingdom of Heaven, or leaping over buildings with a single bound... now THOSE seem like good, solid, "meaty" topics that any Christian man would love to hash out...

but LOVE?

My mentor group has been discussing the concept of love since January, roughly.  We've nearly exhausted all angles, including God's love for us, our love for God, our love for each other.  

I had no idea, prior to this study, just how critical the concept (and action) of love is to the tactical Christan walk!

Ephesians 3:16-19 (New Living Translation)

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

 Christ will make His home in our hearts! Then, our roots will grow down deep into God's love, so that we will be strong!

... then and only then... we may get an understanding of just how





... is the father's love for us.  

And through this understanding, we get access to the "fullness of life" and power that comes from God. 

But it takes a willingness to allow the Love of God to be poured into us first (through Christ Jesus)... THEN our roots will grow.  

Love seems to be the most critical foundational component to everything.  Through our father's love we have the power to love.  


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Prayer with an Atheist


Prayer with an Atheist

Jesus tells us we are the salt and the light of the world.  

Matthew 5:13-16 (New International Version)

Salt and Light
 13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

This includes our ENTIRE world... 
... our ministry (of course)
... our families (okay I get that)
... our neighborhoods (I can do that for my friendly neighbors?)
... our work places (wait... what?!  Separation of "church and state")

Nope.  Jesus gave us spiritual "flava" and called us to be beacons of light in a potentially dark (Godless) work environment too!  

If not you, then WHO?

So, yesterday I was on the phone with a business associate who lives in a different neighborhood, community, state, and region of the U.S. than I do.  From time to time, we catch up about business and miscellaneous random happenings in our "worlds."  Usually, most phone calls are related to business in some way, either bouncing ideas off one another, or picking each others brains...

Yesterday was to be no different.  I called this friendly ally to collaborate on a new prospect's need... when it happened.  

Our conversation started off as usual, "How's business?"

My associate replied, "Terrible.  Things are REALLY bad, Rob.  Never been like this before..."

He went on to tell me many business challenges he's seen:  the fall off of new business.  inability to pay vendors.  looming bankruptcy and home foreclosure that was to become inevitable.... BAD.

After the first 30 seconds of his 15 minute explanation of "how business was" I felt the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart in a BIG way.  

(Incidentally, my men's Bible group recently brought the question to the table: "how do you know when God is speaking to you?" -- well, let me tell you... I heard it through my heart this time!)

God was asking me to pray for my over-the-phone associate.  God had broken my heart, to the point of near tears as my brother laid out his perils over the phone to me.  I have no money to give this person.  My advice would be years too late.  But prayer... that is something I had to give....

Acts 3:6 (New International Version)

 6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

 So I simply asked my friend's permission by saying, "Brother, would you mind if I prayed for you, right now?"  

He granted my request.

I prayed.  

Not canned prayer, either.  Not a forced prayer.  But genuine, sincerely, and with anticipation for miracles I prayed.

Upon the amen, this "twice my age" associate paused in silence.  He thanked me... then went on to tell me of his childhood where his parents and relatives told him he could grow up to be either a PASTOR or a TEACHER some day.  (of which, today he is neither, really...)  

Then he said, "Rob, I have to tell you something.  I don't want you to judge me, but you need to know something about me...


...I'm an atheist."

My mind flashed back to all our previous conversations over the years... and realized I never really asked...

... but it didn't matter.  The fact that my brother is an atheist doesn't change how much I love him with Christian brotherly love.  It doesn't change how much I respect him for his business accomplishments.  It doesn't change the fact that I want to continue to lift this brother up in prayer and advocate to MY GOD for him.  It doesn't change any of that...

The fact is, this ATHEIST granted me the privilege of really "KNOWING" him, his struggles, his fears, his worries... and after all that... he gave me authorization to pray for him over the phone.  And I would do it all over again!

I replied to my friend, "Brother, I do not judge you.  There is nothing you could do that would make me love you less brother.  I have your back UNCONDITIONALLY."

I went on to say, "My deal is this: I've PERSONALLY experiences way too many miracles resulting from prayer to NOT believe in God.  I have had too many unexplainable "God sized miracles" in my life that I really don't have a choice.  It is too real for me.  And because of that, I believe my God will hear my prayers for you.  Whether it becomes a lesson learned, or business rebounds back... I'm positive my God will bless this situation."

And then he said something I will never forget:

"I believe you, Rob!"


God has so given me the opportunity to bridge an unconditional relationship of Christian and brotherly love with a guy half way around the world.  God used me to be the salt and light in this guy's life.  

A pastor, or preacher, or minister would NEVER gain this type of access in to this ATHEIST's life... I'm sure of it. 

But because God doesn't just call us to be the salt and light on Sunday morning only... I was able to connect over the course of 4 years in business to the point where this atheist allowed me to pray to my God, on his behalf, WITH HIM.  

THIS is the GOSPEL of 2010...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Because HE first loved us


Because HE first loved us.

I'm taken back by the fact that I cannot earn God's love.  It's counter-intuitive and doesn't make sense to me... 

Perhaps it's my paradigm that I was raised with:  Do good in school, and we will celebrate your successes.  Treat others nicely, so that they will treat you nicely.  Give to the poor, and it will be given back to you.  An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Gravity pulls me into the theology of "exchange."  If I do ______, then you'll do ______.
But this isn't God's picture of love.


1 John 4:19 (New International Version)

 19We love because he first loved us.

God loved us in a "one directional" way.  We did nothing to deserve it.  We did nothing to earn it.  We can do nothing to lose it.

Romans 8:38-39 (New International Version)

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 Nothing can separate us from that love.

So if god loved us first, unconditionally.... and we are to love others uncondtionally...

Then why don't we?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thorn in the flesh...


Thorn in the flesh...  

2 Corinthians 12

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn in the Flesh
 1 This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord.  

You see, the deal is... I don't want to lose you here.  I don't want you to get distracted by this good gift of vision God has given me...

2 I[a] was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up[b] to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

There.  I've said it.  That is what I saw... and it was GLORIOUS.

 5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses.
For our WEAKNESS is the common denominator.  We all have one...
6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

You heard me right.  I was given a thorn in my flesh to keep me from becoming proud.  If I got drunk on recognition or respect from others... then I'd lose my humility and become proud.  So... I have this "thing" that I struggle with.  You have one too... just think about it...  This is the "thing" that keeps you coming back to God and asking for forgiveness... 

is it ANGER?

is it LUST?


is it GREED?


... is it ____________?  Ah, yes.  There it is....

 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 

You hear what He told me?!  "My power works best in weakness."  That TOTALLY makes sense!  I get it!  I struggle with __________, so that I may invite Jesus in to reveal his power over ___________!  

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Might you join me in this true freedom from sin?  

Jesus redeems, yesterday, today, and forever!  All we need to do is invite HIM in to our weakness... our flesh... our sin... and ask Him to do the battle for us. 

 Love wins. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Business System Choices


Business System Choices

In starting a business, one of the greatest points of failure most entrepreneurs realize is in the development of a system.  Systems allow the innovator to own the business, rather than the business owning them.  Allow me to illustrate:
If I'm in the transportation industry and looking to start a company that transports people from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I've probably got two primary options...

Option #1:  I could go out and purchase a ferry boat.  Upon purchase of this equipment, I'm instantly ready to open the doors to a service business!  The model?  I fill the boat with 100 people, and lug them back and forth from each side of the lake, all while charging a trip fee for each.  

Pros:  Instantly in business.  

Cons:  If a boat breaks down... I'm instantly out of business, until it gets fixed.  Also, the boat is dependent on me to drive passengers from one side to the other.  Lots of effort, tying up my time and radar...  Also, with winter months come ice.  And my boat doesn't like ice.

Option #2:  I could build a bridge from one side to the other.  Construction would require capital investment and substantial time.  The bridge could be a 4 lane bridge, even, allowing 2 lanes of incoming traffic and 2 lanes of outbound traffic.  I'd collect tolls to drive its economic engine.

Pros:  Once the bridge is built, I could collect nearly unlimited tolls with very little upkeep effort.   (Especially if I installed an automated toll booth)  Also, it is likely I could build more bridges like this in more locations, using a very similar model.  This system is duplicatable, through and through.  Plus, with a little salt, no snow or ice storm can stop a bridge from providing safe, reliable path for transporation!

Cons:  it takes time.  I'd need to be completely resolved that this was the direction I commit to.  Otherwise, my own fears and doubts might take over and I'd turn this system into an expensive mistake.  

The key point is this:  it is far wiser to develop a business from a platform that allows duplication and leverage of time.  By doing so, the business system can work for you... rather than requiring you working for the business!

And so the journey continues...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unconditional Love


Unconditional Love

I've blown it.  I've disgraced the one my Bible calls me to respect and honor.  I've tarnished his name, metaphorically spit in his face, and usurped his authority countless times.

I've leveraged his grace for my own personal gain.  I've written him off as inadequate... ignorant... and ill equipped.  

I've vacillated back and forth between love and anger with him.  I've cut deep into our relationship, just to see if it would hurt.  

I've mocked.  I've blamed.  I've shown no mercy.  

I've sinned. 

And yet, through all this... HE STILL LOVES.  

He reaches out.  He opens his arms.  He celebrates my successes.  

He loves me without any reason, without any condition.  I feel his love, whether I want it or not.

I simply cannot reconcile his love with my guilt... but it's still there.

My father loves me, more than I will ever love myself.  

He gave me life, in the midst of my death.

He speaks to me, though many times my ears are deaf.

Worship = reciprocation.

I've strained our relationship.  My sin, not his.  

But today, is the first day of the rest of my life.  I can (and will) choose to worship, through reciprocation of that love, respect, and honor.  

Lord, in my weakness, you are strong.  As this has become my thorn, I pray that you will use it to bring honor and glory to your throne.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tonight, I got caught...


Tonight, I got caught.

While exiting my regular Saturday evening ministry today, I exchanged parting goodbyes to a few fellow servant leaders.  Both are close brothers of mine, and have the authority to speak truth in my life.  

After our short "love you man, adios" type remarks, one of them stopped me dead in my tracks.  He said to me, "You're heart's heavy, man."  

It stunted me mid stride.  I turned back to them and asked for him to repeat that...

"You're heart's heavy, man... whatsup?"  

I had no idea how much pressure had been building up inside of me... trapped deep within my spirit.  The past week or more, I have felt drained of energy.  Anxious about the future.  Guilty for not doing more about it...  heavy of heart.  

I've caught myself not really laughing.  Not really joking.  Spacing out in the middle of conversations, daydreaming about my escape route.  

I've picked up books to read... and not really been able to focus past a single page or section... 

I find myself engaging busy work.  Cleaning, organizing.  The stuff that keeps my mind off of it... off of my heart.

A single statement like "you're heart is heavy" stopped me cold in my tracks.  

He wanted to know "whatsup"... so I told him.

My heart erupted, as if the pressure cooker's lid was blown off.  

Then my two brothers from other mothers (but the same heavenly father) prayed for me.  Earnestly, on the spot prayer.  True street side prayer.  Right then.  Right there.  

They commanded worry to leave, in Jesus' name.  They commanded the demon of anxiety to release me, in Jesus' name.  They wielded their prayer sword strong and mighty, to defend me.  and I cried.  

I cried.

I had no other expression.  Nothing to say.  My brain is mush right now... all I could think to do was say "Thank you."  

But those words can't come close to conveying the true appreciation and gratitude I feel deep within my spirit for my brother's care and prayer.  They spoke life back into me, though my body is exhausted.  

I reflect on this experience, and THANK GOD that I had brothers to catch me when I'm not "right" and with a "heavy heart."  They saw that... and stepped in to do war on my behalf.  Tonight, I got caught with an anxious spirit... and I am so GLAD I DID!!!

Amazing.  When I am weak, HE is strong!



2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (New International Version)

9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God is so good... and I thank God for my brothers.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010



No matter how tied into a system, a job, a ministry, a position, a team someone is... they should never feel TRAPPED.  This is not God's intended design.

I believe it is Andy Stanley who said it best:  "We want to be the BEST place you've ever worked... but realize we may not be the LAST place you do!"

People leave... hopefully on good terms!  

Sometimes God calls leaders to pioneer new visionary efforts. 

Sometimes staff get fed up and quit!

Sometimes home-grown/moved-up-in-the-ranks managers are ready for an industry change, or perhaps finally identify their calling... and must leave to pursue this before it is too late.

Regardless of reason WHY people leave, the reality we must embrace (and empower) is simply this:  people DO leave!

If you have concerns about a key staff member leaving, then I would certainly question the system you had in place to support that staff member in the first place!  No company, organization, or ministry should fall hostage to one person "holding it all together."  If they do, companies are at risk for rash replacement hire decisions, and liable to make a reactionary decision!... which could very quickly recycle the lesson they should have learned in the first place.
So?  How do you prevent your company from TRAPPING team members?

1.  Make TRUST and open communication #1 in your team--> team members must feel comfortable coming to you with uncertainty... and willing to discuss the "hard stuff."
2.  Adequately develop the primary and contingency plans for each individual on the team--> Who's their "backup" during vacation time?  Can you run a One Week trial of this backup plan, without that person being out?  (i.e. have two or three team members swap roles for a week?)
3.  Surrender the future of your company to God's will.  Understand and realize that no matter how hard you work to try to plan for certain outcomes, the LORD will actually direct your path.

Proverbs 16:9 (New Living Translation)

 9 We can make our plans,
      but the Lord determines our steps.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Submission to Authority


Submission to Authority


Romans 13

Submission to the Authorities
 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

We do not submit to any authority on earth because they deserve it.
We submit to them because of the authority of God.

The ONLY true authority is God's authority.  By submitting to the earthly rulers He's put in place, we express our submission to God.

It's not about policy.  It's not about party lines.  It is not about proving a point, or being independent. 

Our rebellion and refusal to submission in any situation is, in like, a reflection of our rebellion and refusal of God. 


The real challenge is submitting to something you DON'T agree with... that takes swallowing pride.

It's easier with Ketchup.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Date Night


Date Night

Last night, my wife and I were able to take a unique night away from our son and truly engage eachother's attention and love.  

What a blessing it was to have our good friends stop over to watch, hold, play, and laugh with our 5 1/2 month old boy.  We rested easy knowing that our son was in the BEST of hand...

Our night started with a romantic dinner at the local Cracker Barrel, as on of our fellow servant leaders blessed us with a gift cards for there.  We intentionally decided to go to the "restaurant" early evening-ish at 4:30PM, to beat the dinner crowd.  

We sat down, and subsequently pulled out a deck of playing cards.  The game of choice became "golf" where each person is dealt 4 cards, and has to exchange them with the pile for the lowest combination score.  

The game could have been ANYTHING, quite frankly... as it merely served as a common activity to support our conversation and emotional exchange of flirtation.  For the first time in a long while, we PLAYed.

PLAY has become a concept of focus for me lately.  The concept of PLAYing is intriguing, as it opens the mind up to a world of ideas, dreams, and visions.  PLAY relieves stress, it creates fond memories, and it invites euphoric laughter and joy that no medicine can touch!

From the restaurant, our date night progressed as we went to a Saturday evening church service!  Worshiping our Heavenly Father, arm in arm, prayer in prayer, linked up before the Throne of God.  AWESOME.  We expressed our love for God through prayer, song, and the message.  I fell in love with my bride, my best friend, and my lover all over again in the presence of God and these witnesses...

Ironically enough, the pastor spoke on parenting.  

Next on our romantic hit parade was the local "Cold Stone Creamery" equivalent, where we enjoyed freshly mixed concoctions of icy sweetness.  Again, the playing cards busted out... and laughter ensued.  She won, every game.  But the marriage won both our hearts.

We finished up, and headed out for the final segment of our blissful evening... Target.  (Had to return some diapers, and select a more "leak proof" brand...)  But the task was merely a decoy... My wife and I chose to engage in further PLAY while at Target...

... We played TAG!

Dodging through clothing racks and display shelves, taunting each other with flirtatious grins and covert "tag backs"... we PLAYed in mind, body, and spirit while at this retail store.  Shopping for diapers had never been more fun.  (we even established a "Goul" -- which is a safe zone/object. while you are touching it you can't get tagged "it"... remember that as a kid????!!!)

Wrasslin' around like this brought back fond childhood memories of neighborhood "hide & go seek" and "tag" missions we PLAYed as kids.  Fond, joyous, euphoric memories of an unbridled spirit... not tainted with responsibility, jobs, burdens, stresses, and hurts.

Who ever said childsplay was a bad thing?  We were completely respectful of the store, other patrons, and displays.  We didn't do any damage at all, other than to our own egos.  

We PLAYed.  We LOVEed.  We really ENJOYED ourselves.

Call it what you will, but my wife and I had probably one of the most memorable and romantic date nights last night... total cost of about $10.  It wasn't about WHAT we did... but rather HOW we did it.  

We made a choice to PLAY, and are glad we did!

I wonder how this simple lesson may relate to work? ministry? teams? or any other potentially task oriented event?  

PLAY is good.  Go for it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Balance in Ministry


Balance in Ministry

There's a careful and delicate balance in ministry (or family, or business, or organization, or team, or anything)... too often neglected.  

Too often rationalized.  Too often written off as less important than ______.  

Without this balance, churches fail.  

Without this balance, volunteers leave.  

Without this balance, vision is lost. 

Expectations and assumptions struggle to fill the potential void of this balance area, leading to frustration, confusion, and pain.  

However, WITH this balance comes hope.  Synergy.  Dynamic team building.  Empowerment.  True life transformation.
WITH this balance comes restoration, growth, and vision advancement.  

On the scales of this balance, bread is broken, stories are shared, and hearts are connected.  

Discipleship is a natural byproduct of this balance

This balance is the example Jesus gave us and left us with.  In fact, if discipleship is synonymous with this balance, it could be argued as a top priority on Jesus' agenda. (see Matthew 22:36-40)
And this balance?  is simply this:
Love God and Love Others.  


Matthew 22:36-40 (New Living Translation)


36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
I didn't say "balance activity and devotion"  or "leadership and stewardship"... though those ARE important things....
But LOVE.  
We simply MUST LOVE God, first and foremost... and Others as a close second.  
Forget the "form and function"
Forget the "strategic planning"
Forget the "character, competency, chemistry"
Forget the "he said she said we said... "
Forget the "show up on time, be ready for rehearsal or you're out"
Forget the "_____you fill in the blank___"
If LOVE... true genuine cry along side of you, hurt along side of you, celebrate along side of you, WALK WITH YOU REGARDLESS of action sort of Love... is compromised then we've missed the mark.  
I'm so guilty of this.  I can get caught up in the minutia of driving toward goals, accomplishing strategies, and winning... and so quickly lose sight of the commandment to LOVE.  
Love is a powerful thing.  It casts out fear. (1 John 4:18), it is foundational to trust, it is the supportive beams to leadership (and sincere surrender), it builds people up (and never tears down)... and it is a true reflection (when unconditional) of our Heavenly Father's love for us.
When we make other things more important THAN LOVE (pride, greed, recognition, lust, envy, justification, etc)... we tip the scales and fall out of the full on life God desires for us.  In love.   
1.  what does LOVE look like in your organization?  ministry? team? company?

2.  how can you LOVE God more today than yesterday?  could you date Him today?
3.  how can you LOVE your people better today than yesterday?  could you laugh with them? cry with them? eat with them? serve them with a genuine heart?