Malcolm Tyree

A collection of thoughts on things that matter

Archive for the tag “leadership”

I Love a Good Fight!

I’ll admit it, I love a good fight!

Sometimes my wife doesn’t appreciate my passion for this. Sometimes my kids find this exasperating. I’ve been known to wear out my colleagues in a meeting because of this. What can I say, I’m a passionate guy. 

Sometimes, I get carried away. I remember chaperoning a trip to Six Flags with some teenagers. The boys wanted to ride the “Tea Cups” and see how fast we could go. It’s hard for me to back down. I made sure we went as fast as I could get us. I was on the brink of throwing up, but I wasn’t going to quit. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was feeling queazy. On the next ride, one of the boys tossed his cookies because of the fight at the Tea Cups.

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Simon Sinek recently tweeted:

Fight against something and we focus on the thing we hate. Fight for something and we focus on the thing we love.

Wow! I’m not sure it could be said any better.

I recently read a blog about all the things the church is doing wrong. Ok, I’ve read several of those blogs (too many to link to). Without a doubt, these bloggers are right about almost everything they post. Some are posting out of their disgust of the church, others are posting out of their disgust for how off track the church has become. There are even a few that are posting as prophetic voices for the church. My favorites are those who are clearly posting because they love the church. Let’s fight for the church!

I along with many others have retweeted, blogged, and posted about #Ferguson and the racial challenges in our society. The fights displayed on this issues have stirred us. What we need to ask ourselves is have we stirred one another to know what we love or what we hate? I want to fight for equality!

I took the #IceBucketChallenge and didn’t fight against the negative sides of the trend. I fought for those need awareness raised about ALS.

Over the past two years, I spent a great deal of my time fighting in a struggling school district. The school district my family was a part of had a huge gap in parental and community involvement. I believe this greatly influenced the struggling test scores and overall impression of the school district. I fought for greater participation and involvement. I entered this fight with the PTA of our school, county, and state. Why did I fight? Because I believe in education and I believe in bettering things. I fought because I love seeing things get better.

In a couple of months, I plan to attend Fight Night with my wife. This marriage enrichment session with Les & Leslie Parrott should be fun. I will fight for my marriage.

This fall, I will enter into a fight with 9 others as we fight to award grants designed to help change the world.

Throughout my life, I want to be known as someone who fights, who loves a good fight! I want my fights to be for things, not against things. I want to be remembered for loving not hating.

Where are you fighting? Is it against something? Are you helping people hate? Or have you chosen to fight for something? Have you inspired them to love?

Go on, jump out there! Start a fight! But make it a good one!

(Think Mel Gibson, Braveheart, “I’m gonna pick a fight!”)

Share your thoughts in the comments. Tell me where you are fighting. Maybe I can encourage you in your fight.

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12 years in 12 days (part 3)

This series is intended to be a brief sketch of my time in Odessa, Texas.

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In the second half of 2004, we embarked on a few adventures. The picture above is our family’s first visit to Carlsbad Cavern.  Christy’s parents came down for their annual visit and we took in some of the sights around the area.

In the fall, we met my parents, brother, and sister at Disney World.fam2

Through out the late summer and fall, I was working to hire a new staff member at First Church of God. After the departure of Paul Jones to Bolivia, there was an opportunity to bring on a new associate pastor. After several phone conversations, we bought the couple to Odessa in early winter for a congregational visit. It was in this process that I learned about the formal and informal channels of leadership.

The formal channels of leadership are the public statements and meetings held on a particularly matter. The informal channels are the behind the scenes, private phone calls, etc. that are held. As the congregation prepared for a vote to approve the hiring of this associate pastor, I believed that things were headed in the right direction. All the meetings were positive and people seemed on board with the candidate. Yet, behind the scenes, there were efforts being taken to vote against the candidate that I was unaware of.

When the vote was taken, I was blindsided by the 30% who were opposed to the candidate. Under the circumstances, I felt like it was inappropriate to hire the candidate, though I believe it would have been a game changer for the congregation. I never imagined that people were working behind the scenes to oppose the process. I was naive and this was critical in my leadership formation.

The spring of 2005 was hard for me. I had planned to have a new team member on board. I limped through this season of ministry through Easter. I was probably dealing with depression because of the way the vote went. It was around this time that I began to really face power struggles within the congregation.

Throughout this year, I had begun meeting with two other pastors in the city. Bob Thayer and Bryan Saffle would become key influencers for me. We met weekly for lunch to shoot the bull and talk shop. Eventually, Ivy Shelton joined in as a new pastor in town. These men were life-givers to me. I could share my joys and sorrows with them.

It was around this time that things began to change further for my family. As we concluded our third year in Odessa, we were expecting a new arrival.

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At the time, we didn’t know if this new addition would be a boy or a girl, but the baby gave us all something to anticipate!

Buzz Words and Idols – Jesus is the Subject

Observation: in our attempts to get our corner on the market of the Christian subculture, we lift up phrases like “the gospel” or “the anointing” like they’re what faith is about.

2nd Observation: we seem to be obsessed in Christianity with creating leaders as if that’s what Jesus, the apostles, and Paul focused on.

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When we pause for a second, it’s easy to see how “the gospel” and “the anointing ” are significant. It’s also important for leaders to be raised up with in the church. Yet, these things are buzz words and focal points for our various subgroups within the church, along with many others. These buzz words can quickly become our idols.

We need to check our language as words have significance and meaning. If we are talking about “the gospel” more than Jesus we are missing the subject of the good news. If we are focused on “the anointing” we can quickly miss the anointed one (Christ). If we assume we are to only raise up leaders, we will quickly miss the one we are called to follow.

It’s a slippery slope to worshipping an idol. Many of us don’t intend to end up a few degrees off course. Sin is like that. Sin is subtle, it’s just a slight deviation from the truth.

So, let’s make Jesus the subject. He is the Christ. May our lives reflect our desires to follow him!

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