Posted 1 years 103 days ago ago by Bob Burroughs 3 Comments
“He that loses his honesty has nothing else to lose.” John Lyly
“God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is His business.” Proverbs 16:11 (The MESSAGE Bible)
Abba. Abba. Abba. Papa. Father. Great One. Majestic Creator. I come to You this day in behalf of my brothers and sisters who serve You in the arenas of church and school music. Many are discouraged. Many wonder if they will have a job at the end of 2012. I call upon Your Holy Name to protect and care for these who have answered Your call on their lives and who serve you as faithfully and honestly in the places You have placed them. May they feel Your presence, even as they read this prayer. I ray this in the name of the One who showed us how to honestly live by the way He lived, Jesus. Amen, and Amen.
Can We Be Honest?
This is #2 in an issue of USA TODAY article that dealt with the TEN VALUE SKILLS that are the most important in today's society and world - skills that are important when employers are hiring and churches are looking for when bringing on a new pastor or staff member.
I have asked several good friends to take each of these Value Skills and write a brief comment about each one in coming issues of MME. The second value skill is HONESTY, written by my good friend, HART MORRIS, Minister of Worship, Asbury United Methodist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. (George Washington)
I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man. (SamHouston)
No legacy is so rich as honesty. (William Shakespeare)
Really? Honesty? We need to talk about being honest? This is a newsletter for church musicians, right? Church musicians. So...?
OK, remember: churches are populated by people. And led by people. People must deal with issues. All people. We all have issues—some obvious, some not so obvious: insurance executives, accountants, paralegals, nurses, presidents and presidential candidates, carpenters, computer programmers, plumbers, ministers/church staff members—all must deal with issues. And honesty is an issue. So are character and integrity.
You have heard that whatever is ‘out there’ is ‘in here,' too, perhaps? The church (people) is a reflection of the culture in which it exists. We live ‘out there.’ We come ‘in here’ for inspiration, fellowship, prayer, communion, ministry. And then we go back out there. So, maybe honesty is not a given, and should not be assumed to be at work always and in everyone; maybe it is something for us to consider.
So, are you honest? Are you honest? Am I? How honest? How honest should we be? Truthfully honest? Painfully? Brutally? Whatever-else-is-left honest?
Are you honest with the pastor when he asks your opinion on some course of action that could be controversial? Is your answer dependent on what you think he wants to hear from you? How about an issue that might not have a ‘black and white,’ straight up-or-down answer, and your opinion might itself be controversial, perhaps not the ‘correct answer.’ How honest should you be?
What about interaction with fellow staff members? Are you honest in difficult discussions about ideas and decisions concerning individual ministries and interests when they might conflict with your own—when they might change your actions or ministry ideas?
Am I honest in church financial matters, such as reimbursements and budget choices, when no supervisory eyes are looking over my final decisions? Do my decisions follow the ‘spirit of the law,’ if perhaps not the ‘letter of the law’? Does that really matter? Do my decisions matter in larger issues, but not so much in the smaller or less significant? What about my own personal financial decisions and actions? Can they survive close scrutiny?
Are there any more questions?! Are there any answers, or just irritating questions?
Of course there are many more questions. Are these questions really relevant to whom we are, what we do? Do we really need to ask that question?
Alright, so I have only questions. But aren’t the overarching answers obvious? Honesty is a reflection of character, and neither should be subject to a situation. The subject of a particular question is not relevant; but our approach to the idea of being honest in all things is indeed relevant. There are ofter no black-or-white answers.
Sometimes, finding solutions seem impossible. But if our basis for deciding is biblical, rational, considers all things involved, and can stand in the light of character and integrity analysis, the chances of a good and fair outcome are then, if not guaranteed, at least increased greatly.
The familiar, though hackneyed, “honesty is the best policy” is surely true, but General Lee’s insight makes it even more to the point:
The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest from conviction of what is right—not from policy. (Robert E. Lee)
As a matter of personal conscience and conduct, honesty cannot be mandated, but only nurtured and cultivated in every one of us. If it does not come from within, as a product of our good character, it will not occur at all.
Be honest and you show that you have reverence for the Lord; be dishonest and you show that you do not. (Proverbs 14:2)
What think ye
The Leader Worth Following
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. (Proverbs 11:3)
Just because people choose to follow you is not necessarily an indicator that you deserve to be followed. There is a significant difference between
• having a following
• You can’t just rush into these things, you know!
• being someone worth following
To be a leader worth following, one must
give time/attention to the inner person--a leader must devote himself to the matters of the heart
realize there is no correlation between talent and common sense
life does not come with a maturity manual!
If you have been blessed with the gift of leadership, remember it is just that--a GIFT.
But—owning the gift - and operating the gift responsibility are two different things. The first requires nothing on your part. The second requires a LIFETIME OF LEARNING. The leadership gift is recognized over time. The maturity to use it responsibly is developed over time. One may recognize the gift, but taking the time to develop the maturity to handle it responsibly requires initiative and personal discipline.
One's leadership gift may open doors, but one's honesty and character will determine what you do once the doors are opened.
Andy Stanley’s personal definition of success is summed up in nine words:
Dishonesty is not merely a sting. It represents failure. A leader worth following needs to build a moral perimeter around his behavior. Your character and honesty…are always showing! Like music, art, or an instrument, leadership must be developed if it is to be used effectively
(Article is based on the out-of-print book, THE NEXT GENERATION LEADER, by Andy Stanley. If you can find a copy, get it!)
To read more of this week's MME, including new music reviews, please look to the right.
© 2012 Creator Magazine All Rights Reserved
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New Product Reviews
For more information about these materials, just click on the titles. Enjoy!
HYMNS OF FAITH, Carson-Newman College A Cappella Choir, Dr. Eric Thorson, director - $15 plus S&H
HYMNS OF FAITH includes first class presentations of twenty familiar hymn arrangements by such arrangers as Mark Hayes, Mac Wilberg, David Schwoebel, Pepper Choplin, and more familiar names! It is a smorgasbord of great choral pieces performed by a great choir. Of particular interest were two wonderful anthems: "Praise To The Lord," by F. Melius Christiansen, and "Song Exultation," by John Ness Beck. Wow - these are so well done and will raise the hair on your arms!
LIVE IN CONCERT, Carson-Newman College A Cappella Choir, Dr. Eric Thorson, director - $15 plus S&H
LIVE IN CONCERT is just that - a concert of a wide variety of choral pieces that most choral conductors probably have performed in the past and may have forgotten how exciting these really are to the soul of any church musician. There are some fresh new Included are such favorites as "Great Day!" by Warren Martin, and "Steal Away," by Norman Luboff. Some newer pieces worthy of your attention are "God, Thou Are Love," by Craig Courtney and "Walk by Faith," by Joel Raney.
SEMPRE VOCE, Carson-Newman College A Cappella Choir, Dr. Eric Thorson, director - $15 plus S&H
Sempre Voce means "always voice," and this album certain personifies this term! It is all a cappella singing and includes well-known and beloved pieces from the past including "Ave Verum Corpus," (William Byrd), and "Heavenly Light," (A. Kopylow). New pieces include the familiar "Set Me As A Seal," (Rene Clausen), and "My God Is So High," (Moses Hogan). There is something on this album for every musical taste.
You may purchase all three for $40 + S&H
Bits 'n Pieces
Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Be sure to do something very special for that special person in your life. Make reservations NOW to avoid the last-minute rush. Flowers are always nice. Dinner is better. A B&B overnight, dinner and flowers is…even better!
Quotes you can use for Valentine's Day:
When you smiled, you had my undivided attention. when you laughed, you had my urge to hold you. When you said you loved me, you had my heart! ~ Anonymous
One of life's greatest happiness is to be convinced that you are loved. ~ Victor Hugo
To love…is to receive a gift of heaven. ~ Karen Sunde
The art of love is largely the art of persistence. ~Albert Ellis:
Love is just a word till someone comes along and gives it meaning. ~ Anonymous
Happy Valentine's Day!
© 2012 Creator Magazine All Rights Reserved