We hosted our first leadership seminar in Albany this past Saturday, Mar. 1st. Transitioning minsitries, businesses, etc. can be very frustrating. The seminar focused on how to make these transitions and alleviate the frustrations by aggressively investing in our own personal transformation.

We taught for a little over three hours dealing with how leaders need to aggressively invest in their own personal development instead of treating it as something we do if we have time. When the Apostle Paul talked about "reaching forth" and "pressing on", he was saying he was straining to become a certain person. He had a vision for who he was going to become and he was aggressively investing in becoming that person-like Christ. Leaders, especially kingdom leaders, need to aggressively invest in themselves by reading, listening to teachings on CDs, watching DVDs that instruct and inspire, being coached, etc.-the whole nine yards. I wonder if some of us are too casual, passive, and negligent in our personal growth and then throw a fit when our congregations don't study and invest in their own growth as well. We would never admit it, but our congregations are a lot more like us than we'd care to confess.

We wrapped everything up with a session on Pressing On with AIDS. It was off the chain. "Bro. Abraham: A-to the B-to the Ham", one of the leaders from our church, talked about several things to include the importance of taking meds, being health literate, and investing in loving, affirming relationships. Having AIDS does not mean your life is over and we need to promote atmospheres of acceptance and affirmation even for those who have the disease and still have something to offer the body of Christ.

Back to the investment issue. Too many leaders are making it to the top and can't stay there. We're falling left and right. I maintain that most of it is due to our making visions happen for the organizations we're leading, but not having a high priority of making a vision for our character manifest. What we do flows out of who we are and who we are becoming. We put ministry for God before fellowship with God. This, y'all, is a no-no. Ministry flows out of fellowship. What we do flows out of who we are and who we are becoming.

Let me share one little thing I talked about on Saturday, or Sayerdee, like some of my kinfolk pronounce it. Paul wants to be like Jesus. How do you become like Jesus? Well, how did Jesus become the God-Man He became? One way was obedience, especially in the area of timing. He did what the Heavenly Father ordained at the set time. He began ministry at age 30. He released His disciples at God's ordained time. He went to the cross at God's ordained time. He obeyed in the area of timing.

I make a motion that we, as kingdom leaders, do the same. Trust God to make things happen at His appointed time. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks says in his book, On Jordan's Stormy Banks, "The vision will wait for the right time... for God's time. What is required is full introspection, critical analysis, and spiritual downtime to permit the pastor-watchman to know and to respond to God's call in meaningful ways." Patiently birth new ministries, CDCs, plant churches, raise leaders, raise capital, etc. Doing the right thing at the wrong time can cost. Let's stop expecting God to microwave our ministries. Sustained, fruitful leadership requires some development in the crock pot of life. Otherwise, your destiny will write checks your character cannot cash.

God births, releases, and elevates in His own time. There's plenty time to get to elevated places where the pain of being misunderstood, despised and rejected, and under-appreciated awaits. Yes, there are some good times and abundant blessings awaiting as well. We've had some good days, hills to climb, etc. The good days waaaaaaaaaay outweigh the bad days. I ain't gone complain! It sort of reminds me of something Frankie Beverly and Maze talked about, Joy and Pain...sunshine and rain! I'm enjoying my journey toward destiny. I hope you are, too. But leading can be very frustrating especially when you're transitioning your ministry. However, there is a way to press through the frustrations and watch God make it do what it do.

I beseech you, brethren and sistren, to have a vision for your life and obey your way to the top. Obey in the area of timing. Seek God, be patient, be grateful, aggressively invest in yourself, and be encouraged!

Please keep us in prayer. Things went well for it to be our first one. We had around 50 folks in attendance. Clarkehouse Ministries had a team of around 13 folks decked out with red embroidered Clarkehouse polos and they "put it down" with excellent customer service. I'm proud of 'em. Our next stop is Beaufort, SC on Saturday, June 7th at New Hope Christian Church with Pastor Ed Cushingberry (great guy, a son of Bishop T. Garrett Benjamin). We're still working on dates for Marrietta, GA and San Diego, CA. CDs will be on my website in a coupla days.

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