by Julia Bruce
1 Timothy 4:12
Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
I remember as a little girl walking around in my dad’s shoes. They looked a lot like the ones in this photo. They were huge on my tiny feet and they would clunk around with every step. They were very hard to keep on and constantly fell off. He also used to let me stand on the tops of his feet while he walked around holding on to my hands. I can also remember him letting me sit up on top of his shoulders. It’s probably something lots of kids do. But as an adult, I think about the example both my parents set for me and my sisters. Dad had some really big shoes to fill, but hopefully he would be proud of the woman I have become. In thinking back to those very long ago days, there are some lessons to learn from dad’s really big shoes, standing on his feet, and sitting on his shoulders.
Lesson 1) Shoes that are too big clunk around and easily fall off. If you are a parent or leader in any capacity, be sure that you lead in such a way that it fits those whom you are leading. If your leadership is so floppy and loose that no one knows the boundaries and expectations, you set them up to fail. (Click to tweet) You and those you lead will experience frustration and resentment, which leads to a lot of complaining, behavior problems, temper tantrums, talking back, and disrespect. Kind of like the loud clunking sound of dad’s shoes falling off my feet with every step. Because there is no respect for you as a leader, your team falls apart or your kids start rebelling. What little bit of leading you try to do, just falls off like a pair a greatly over-sized shoes. If you have a big, floppy, loose leadership, there will be lots of disunity, destruction, and scattering. Because there are no clear boundaries or expectations, there will be arguing and fighting. The team spirit will be destroyed, along with harmony, teamwork, and respect. Everyone will scatter off to their place with hurt feelings, anger, and bitterness. They will resent you and each other as their expectations are not not met. In Jeremiah 23:1, God says, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” In this verse, God is referring to the priests and prophets who led Israel astray from God’s commandments through false teachings. However, I think we can apply it to anyone who is responsible to lead others. Every leader must one day give an accounting to God for how they lead. Big, floppy, loose leadership is lazy leadership and does not honor God in any way. In fact, in big, floppy, loose leadership, everything just falls off and leaves behind a big mess.
Lesson 2) Walking on Dad’s feet means I go where he goes. Doesn’t that give new meaning to the children’s song, “O be careful little feet where you go?” If you would not want to lead your child where you are going, then you shouldn’t be going there at all! (Click to tweet) If you are a church leader, then it’s like every person in your congregation is standing on your feet and going where you take them spiritually and you have the responsibility to divide the Word of Truth correctly – without sugar coating it or preaching just the happy parts that everyone wants to hear. As a supervisor, your team stands on your feet and they go where you go. You can lead them to success and meat goals or you can lead them to the destruction of the team and maybe even the company. If you lead with integrity, they will most likely work with integrity. If they see you disrespect and speak rudely to clients/customers, then they will be more likely to do so as well. God will hold us accountable for where we lead the people He has placed in our lives to lead. Titus 2:7 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned.” As a parent or leader, every thing you do or say is being watched and learned. If you are a “do as I say and not as I do” kind of leader you can expect that those whom you lead will do as you do more than they will do what you say. Where are you leading them – because they are walking on the tops of your feet and going where you go.
Lesson 3) At some point, you have to stop walking on someone else’s feet and follow God’s plan for your life. Another thought for leaders from walking on dad’s feet is that if I only ever walk on his feet, then all I will ever know is what he knows. (Click to tweet) I have to get down off his feet and find the path that God has for me. I was not made to walk his path. God has a purpose and plan for me and I have to walk that path or I am living out of His will. We need to lead with integrity, dignity, and sound speech, but we also have to allow those whom we lead to grow and develop into what God would have them be. Paul mentored both Timothy and Titus. In fact, in everyone of Paul’s letters, he was mentoring, instructing, and training the churches and church leaders. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:17, “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” He didn’t train them to be miniature-look-alike Pauls. They may have been called to ministry like Paul, but they still had a separate mission from Paul. They were to imitate him, but not be identical to him. The people you lead can’t spend their entire life walking on your feet. It’s cute when a toddler does it….not so much when that toddler grows into an adult. You need to be preparing them for the day they step off your feet and onto the path God has for them. Besides if you carry them around all the time, the weight gets really heavy and your feet might fall asleep. Hold their hands and carry them as they are learning, but then you have to tell them to get down and take the path God wants them on. It doesn’t mean you have to stop mentoring them. But you do have to let them fulfill the plan God has for them – not the plan God has for you.
Lesson 4) Sitting on top of dad’s shoulders gave me a whole new view of the world. My dad was just over six feet tall. What I saw of the world when up on his shoulders was a very different view from my short, toddler height. As leaders we influence and shape the worldview of those whom we lead. The people you lead come with all kinds of different life experiences that shape how they see and view the world. Some of them may come from Christian homes and some may come from very different, horrible life experiences. But as Christians leaders/parents we have a responsibility to show them something different. Sometimes, you need to let them sit up on your shoulders so they can see over all those life experiences and see Christ instead. 1 Timothy 4:12 says that we should be an example in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity. When we live Christ-like lives day in and day out, model godly living, and allowing our light to shine, it’s the equivalent of letting them sit up on your shoulders so they can get a different view – one that includes grace, mercy, unconditional love, and forgiveness of sins.
Lesson 5) When you grow weary and tired, it’s nice to have someone’s shoulders. Let’s face it. We all get tired at some point. Some days we have to talk ourselves out of bed. Other days we have to talk ourselves into just putting one foot in front of the other. The weight and cares of this world are exhausting. Don’t be afraid to be the kind of leader that picks a person up and carries them for a while. We do this by praying for them, showing genuine empathy, extending grace, encouraging them, and being a good listener. (click to tweet) Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” No load is as heavy when two people are carrying it. So lend your shoulders when they are needed.
My dad is in heaven now, but what an example he was and my mother is for my sisters and I. In 2 Timothy we learn that Timothy had godly examples to follow in his grandmother and mother. Because of their influence on his life, Timothy would grow up to work with Paul and eventually pastor the church at Ephesus. These two godly women taught Timothy the boundaries and expectations that God outlined for godly living. They carried him on the tops of their feet as a child, taking him to church, reading the scriptures to him, and training him in all the ways of God. When the time came, they scooted him off their feet, well prepared for the task God had for him – even in the midst of the church being persecuted. They gave him a worldview that included God as creator and Christ as Savior. Since his father was Roman and not Christian, he probably was exposed to some other worldviews too, but the one that stuck was the one where his grandmother and mother carried him on their shoulders so that he could see Christ over all the other worldviews trying to claim his attention. Leading a church in the midst of the church being persecuted had to be difficult and tiring work. Outside of the short verses in 2 Timothy 1 where Paul commends Grandma Lois and Mother Eunice, there isn’t much else said about them. I am sure that they prayed for Timothy daily and Timothy would have known they were. But Timothy also had Paul. And the books of 1 and 2 Timothy are Paul’s letters to Timothy. These letters represent at least some of the time where Paul carried Timothy on his shoulders – encouraging him when he was tired and weary.
Whether you’re a parent or supervisor or leader in any capacity you need to think about who might be standing there wearing your shoes one day. Jesus said in John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” If those whom you lead did just as you did, would that be a good thing or a bad thing? (Click to tweet)
#verseoftheday #leadership #example #dadsshoes #leadbyexample #WCM
If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. Now, with two ways to give, you can help us grow and expand our ministry. To donate to our general ministries, you can now make a contribution through our website. We are also seeking the perfect 200 (or more) acres of land on which we will build and do the various ministries God is leading us in. To make a donation towards Phase 1 of our Land and Building campaign, you can give at buymeacoffe.com. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and for just the cost of a copy of coffee, you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor
You can also make a contribution to our general ministries as we grow and expand our ministry as God leads through our website. To donate to our ministry expansion, click here.
- Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
- Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
- Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).
Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#growingintoourfuture #fundraiser #buymeacoffee #WCM
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
Or call us at 904.524.8073
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Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:
|The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market
By Lee Strobel / Zondervan
If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC
A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.
Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.
Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.
Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD
- “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
- Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
- 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
- Interviews with Lee & Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
- Deleted Scenes
- English and Spanish subtitles
Bonus CD included:
- The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture