I am confident that most people live far below their God-given potential. There are obviously many reasons why they do. But, I believe the biggest reason they do is because when they stand at the BORDER of the next level, they choose to back down and give in, rather than fight the BORDER WAR that separates them from greatness.
It’s much easier to point my finger at your issues, than it is for me to confront my own. It’s much easier to settle for what’s “Good” than it is to fight for what’s “Great”. This is why we are constantly battling the same old things over and over. The principle is rather simple: If you want to get rid of the apples in your yard, you’ve got to do more than just pick them off the tree. You’ve got to cut the tree down! Most people’s real problem are not, “out there somewhere”. They are internal. They are personal.
When God called Joshua to step into the role of leadership, he battled all kinds of Border Wars. He dealt with the same obstacles each of us deal with. He discovered that before he could win the Border Wars corporately, he had to first win them personally (read Joshua 1:1-9).
He felt feelings of inadequacy, intimidation, inferiority, and insecurity. He battled thoughts like, “If Moses couldn’t lead these people into God’s Promised Land, what makes me think I can?” It’s obvious that he felt this way because God told him three times in the same conversation to “Be strong and courageous”.
Every leader has a unique, God-given opportunity to really make an impact and make a difference in the life people. But, with the opportunities also come obstacles. I call these obstacles, “Border Wars”.
Here are Four Keys to Winning Border Wars:
1. You must remind yourself of who you are — Every Soldier has to put his confidence in the fact that he has been trained to do his job. Every Athlete must believe that at game time, his gifts, talent, and hard work will pay off. I know what you’re thinking…”These people are professionals”, but, I want to tell you…”so are you!” There are two things that God has given you that you can never get rid of: “Gifts and Calling”. Use them!
2. You must embrace a unified purpose — Everyone has to be working and moving toward the same goal. If we are going to win Border Wars, we are going to have to know what are we trying to accomplish. What am I supposed to be doing? What are we supposed to be doing? Without a purpose, there is no way to evaluate how we are doing.
Consider these questions:
- What is the Mission/Vision for my life?
- What is the Mission/Vision for my Church?
- Do the people around me know what this Mission/Vision is?
- Do we evaluate everything we do by this Mission/Vision?
3. You must see yourselves as one team — We can’t have an independent spirit and expect to win Border Wars. An Independent Spirit will eventually get shot, sometimes by friendly fire. Nobody likes a “Know it all”, a “Mr. Answer Man”, or someone with a private agenda. This spirit is poison to a Church.
A Team Spirit builds on:
- Interdependence: “I need you, you need me, we need each other”
- Synergy: “Team Energy”
- Momentum: The “Magic” that is created by Interdependence and Synergy
- Motion: The “Team” moves forward and wins Border Wars
4. You must engage the battle together — Most teams have a tendency of talking a lot about what we’re going to do. But, talk alone, never wins the battle or the game. We have to execute the game plan. We have to engage the battle. What we don’t need is a bunch of “Hot Shots” trying to be a hero. Hot Shots will get us all killed.
To Engage the Battle Together, we must:
- Plan Together: Brainstorm and troubleshoot together
- Work Together: “Can you give me a hand?”; “Here, let me help you.”
- Win Together: Everybody knows their part and does their part
- Celebrate Together: Don’t wait until the battle is over, celebrate progress along the way
Your Church, like every Church, has some “Border Wars” to face. Some of them, you have been battling for a long time. But, now is the time to WIN them. You can’t do it alone and it won’t happen overnight. But it can happen. And if we battle them together, it will happen. I challenge you today to take these Four Simple Steps and put them into action. Your best days are ahead of you. Greatness awaits you!