Over the past seven years I have come to love the work of The Salvation Army and value being able to meet with officers in many regions of the USA and Canada. Partnering with the Jack McDowell School for Leadership Development and the Southern Territory has opened my eyes to the depth and breadth of your calling in ministry. I have the utmost respect for you leaders.
Out of respect and the nudging of the Spirit I decided that I was going to give a minimum of one dollar every time I encountered a kettle before Christmas. Wow, you guys – $$$ were everywhere!
In Canada, our dollar currency is a coin we call a “Loonie” because of the picture of the bird on the coin. Well I was wearing holes in my pockets having to load up every day leading up to Christmas. I smiled every time I was thanked for my contribution – they had no idea!
Now on the leadership side – as a friendly observation I would note that you are all SO busy! I know, I’m preaching to the choir now. You are aware of the pressures and stress related to the responsibility of your role. But I am sharing this out of concern.
So allow me to also say there is something you can do as a leader that will help you sustain yourself to not only “run the race” but to “finish well.” It is the exercise or discipline of finding an hour of quiet about once a month and do a personal evaluation. To help you, following are some mentoring questions I have used for years to take the pulse of where leaders are at in the moment. – Carson
Distractions: Have you used anything other than God in an attempt to meet your emotional or spiritual needs this week?
God’s Word: Have you been purposefully filling your mind with the knowledge of God’s Word daily? If not, how often? How do you plan to change?
Fasting: Have you fasted and prayed in the last month? If not, when was the last time? When have you next scheduled these disciplines?
Obedience: Is your conscience clear? If not, why? How do you plan to attain a clear conscience?
Physical Health Questions
Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep each night? If not, how much are you getting? How do you plan to change?
Exercise: Are you exercising daily? If not, how often are you exercising? How do you plan to change?
Eating: Are you eating properly? If not, what are you eating/not eating? How do you plan to change?
Substances: Are you abusing harmful substances? If not, when and how often have you taken them? How do you plan to change?
Action Oriented Questions
Finances: Where are you financially right now? Are things under control? Are you feeling anxious? Is there any great debt? How are you planning to proceed in this area of your life?
Purity: Have you kept your mind pure (thoughts of anger, bitterness, movies, magazines, Internet pornography, other)? If not, when did you fall? What temptations need to be removed or precautions taken to prevent it?
Material Goods: Do you have anything that is used for evil needing to be destroyed or removed? If so, what? When and how will you (we) destroy or remove them?
Control: Have you lost control either verbally or otherwise since we last met? If so, when? When and how will you do something to restore and correct your actions?
Deposits: Have you made positive emotional and spiritual deposits with your kids and your spouse? If not, why? What might you be able to do to make this a natural response?
Laughter: Do you laugh enough? Tell me about the last time you ‘belly laughed?’ What do you do for fun?
Family: Have you offended any family member since we last met? If so, when? When and how will you restore and correct those actions?
Truthfulness: Have you told the whole truth in your answers to the questions I have asked you? If not, what do you need to correct? What actions do we need to take to stay and remain accountable?
Process: Is the asking of any of these questions adequate for you? If not, what changes are needed? Who else needs to be a part of this process?
*Carson Pue is the Executive Director at First Baptist Church in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Canada. He describes the church this way, “Congregating in this historic stone building in the very heart of the downtown is a community. We are young, old and in-between, rich, poor, employed and re-training, multicultural, families and singles, Bible scholars, seekers. All share a heart for the city.”
For fourteen years prior, Carson served as CEO of Arrow Leadership – a ministry recognized as a global leader in Christian leadership development that partners with The Salvation Army to build into leaders’ character “to be led more by Jesus, lead more like Jesus, and to lead more to Jesus.” They have been highly successful in transforming and enriching the lives and leadership of men and women who are now deployed around the world.
Carson is a best-selling author: “Mentoring Leaders: Wisdom for Developing Character, Calling and Competency” by Baker Books and his new Mentoring Wisdom: Living and leading well. Carson is known through his speaking at conferences, published articles, national radio programs and commentaries.
When not traveling the world encouraging leaders, he loves sailing with his BFF and first mate Brenda to whom he has been married since 1976. He loves time with his three sons, two daughters by marriage and four grandkids. He is also restored by laughter, sailing, Ireland, writing and spiritual retreats.
Dr. Carson Pue
Vancouver BC V6Z1Y1 Canada