If you have ever had the opportunity to attend a Sheepdog Seminar or one of ours recently, something that Lt. Col. Dave Grossman says during the Sheepdog seminar and restates it at the end is “Sometimes the greatest love is not to sacrifice your life, but to live a life of sacrifice!” What a powerful statement! How often can we say that we are truly living a life of sacrifice. Most of us are selfishly focused on our self. Our needs, wants, and desires.
Some of the greatest men in the Bible and throughout history understood what living a life of sacrifice really means. I absolutely love talking with people that truly understand what living a life of sacrifice really means. These people are humble, not arrogant and are looking for ways to better serve and sacrifice for those around them. One of the greatest warriors in history was Jesus Christ. As I am going through the Gospels again and reading it in a different version, I am gaining greater clarity to the character of Christ. If you think or have thought of Jesus as a mild-mannered man that allowed people to take advantage of him all the way to the cross, then you really don’t know who he truly is. Someone that is a not just a believer, but a follower of Christ gets this, and it is evident in their lives when you meet them.
These are the people that you want serving in your ministry. These are the people that are going to advance the Kingdom of God because they have a heart of sacrifice and service. They aren’t serving in a ministry for a title or for their own ego. They understand the role that they have been given in the service of the great Shepherd. This is evident in their personal life as well. How they are around their wife, kids, co-workers and others that come into their life. I have been that person in the past that could really care less about engaging with people. I lived life out of selfishness instead of sacrifice. Jesus had to really work on my life and change my heart over the nearly last 6 years.
In a job like mine where I get to engage with people around the country, I get to see a variety of hearts and get to hear what they have to say. It is truly an honor to meet those people that understand what living a life of sacrifice really means. This doesn’t take away from the warriors that we are, but in fact makes us better prepared as warriors for the long haul. People that are just focused on their own needs, wants, and desires might be a warrior for a short time, but it won’t take long for them to turn and run.
So, what does this look like in our training. If any of you have been to a one of our Hands-On Seminars, a Sheepdog Seminar, or the FBSN annual training that happened this last weekend, you will find a common theme of the importance of training and having the right heart and mindset in that training. That this is as much if not more, of a spiritual battle as it is a physical one. What are we doing to not only training our bodies and minds, but our also training our hearts to be more like Christ? There are two things to remember. That we are called to the ministry of making worship and events as secure as we can for those that are coming to our churches. That as a ministry we are to engage with people. Like my friend Jimmy says, we need to have a heart posture to be as quick to pick up the towel as we are to pick up the gun. Second thing to remember is that it is the arrogant and person driven by his own ego that thinks he will rise to the occasion, when the reality is that he will sink to the level of his training.
If you are a training leader, do your best to make your monthly trainings relevant and to conduct it in such a way that is engaging for those attending. If you need help in doing that, seek it out. If you are the operator that is attending training, go with a heart posture that you are going to glean something from the training. I have met and know of people that are put into a training leadership position that have little skill on truly leading an effective training. No matter what the training environment is, go into it with the right heart posture. If you don’t, then it is easy to become bitter and to talk negatively about the training and the people possibly even undermining the work that God is doing both for you and for them. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Much like when I do an assessment at a church, I don’t just come up with the issues, but I also come up with the solutions. I try to live my life that way. If there is something that I feel is not going well or is wrong, I won’t approach the situation unless I have at least one solution to present. When you are living a life of sacrifice, you will find that your heart posture will change to where you find becoming part of the solution is easier than becoming part of the problem. Having the wrong heart posture just creates additional issues for the leader of the ministry.
I want to encourage you to go out this month and TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN in your spiritual life, personal life, professional life, and in ministry. What you will find is that these areas are not separate, but all related to each other. When I do one of our seminars, I almost always get people that tell me that they had never really seen the relationship between serving in their ministry and how they serve their family.
Remember, “Sometimes the greatest love is not to sacrifice your life, but to live a life of sacrifice!”
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