Worthy vision always outlasts those whose casts them. I want to share three things about generational vision today.
King David's personal vision and passion extended far beyond his own lifetime. Although he knew that Solomon would build the temple, he did some long term, long range planning and preparation for it's construction. "Solomon my son is young and inexperienced," he explained, "and the house to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparations for it." (1 Chr. 22:5)
David appointed stone cutters, gathered cedar logs, acquired mounds of iron for the nails, and even gave Solomon a charge to finish the job. This is the kind of thing that separates leaders from followers. As Christians, as parents, we have been given the task by God to spread his message, to make disciples, to effectively build his temple in the lives of others. How we live our life now will determine how that vision outlasts our life.
As a parent, and a son it is my responsibility to be better than my father and to make the preparations for my kids to be better than me. It is my responsibility to start the work by making the necessary preparations into their lives for them to succeed in carrying on the work of the gospel far beyond my life. This is a vision we have been given by God. Our focus must be generational, not focused on the here and now. This is a vision that also yields generational rewards.
Here is what it takes to have a generational vision....
1. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be beyond others...meaning that the vision of seeing lives impacted for Jesus must be looked at past our own future to the generation that follows. The question that has to be asked...especially if you are a parent is this...How are you building up that vision into the lives of your children? Are you raising your kids or are you discipling your kids? There is a HUGE difference!!! Any body can raise a child, few can disciple a child. As a parent are you leaving your God appointed responsibility to disciple your child to a stranger?
2. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be before others...meaning that we must see what is going to happen before others are ready for the gospel. We must be see and believe that our friends, and loved ones who are far from God will come to God. This is a vision that carries us forward during the dark times when we feel like we are seeing no fruit. We all face temporary rejection when trying to spread the gospel message of Jesus. The question is....is your vision for their lives being impacted greater than the feeling of rejection you face?
3. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be bigger than others....meaning that we must have a larger than normal vision of what can happen when we spread the gospel message. So often we don't spread the message of Jesus because if we are honest with ourselves....We don't really feel that different being a Christian than we did before we were one. We give our life to Jesus to avoid Hell...not for the difference it really makes in our lives. To have a vision that is bigger than others starts with recognizing the IMPACT the gospel of Jesus makes in your own life.
King David not only prepared the materials for construction of the temple and challenged his son to faithfully build the Lord's house, but he also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon complete the task. "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your GOD," he told them. "Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD GOD" (Chr 22:19). Worthy vision always outlasts those who cast them.
Have you ever wondered how entire nations of people could rally behind the leadership of a mad man. I was recently watching a documentary about Hitler. Clearly this man was jacked up and had some major issues, but there is a major life lesson to be learned from Hitler. During this documentary it was obvious Hitler possessed four traits of leadership that are undeniable. These four traits explain his rise to power and how millions of people could follow him regardless of his insanity.
Four Leadership Lessons From Hitler.
1. Although he was crazy he projected CALM instead of CRAZINESS. People naturally follow the leadership of someone who is calm when everything and everyone else is freaking out.
2. He projected CONFIDENCE instead of COWARDICE. The people rallied around this confidence that the world be better for them. He casted positive vision for the people to follow.
3. He projected CLARITY instead of CONFUSION. His vision was clear and he was the man with a plan. He even wrote about his vision and plan while in prison long before he ever rose to power. He had a plan, casted the plan calmly, with confidence that the plan could be achieved and was crystal clear about the plan. Everyone knew the objective and how to achieve the objective.
4. He projected COMPETENCE instead of CLUMSINESS. Hitler proved his plan to work for the German people. The economy thrived during his reign, they led the world in innovation, and conquered a larger majority of Europe.
Several leaders in the bible qualify as "nobodies" They never became famous, like Moses, David, Peter or Paul. Instead they remained obscure even though they played a vital role in the kingdom.
Case in point...Epaphroditus. Epaphroditus is only mentioned in the book of Philippians. No books were ever written about him, to him or by him. No statues or memorials were erected in remembrance of him. For all intensive purposes...He was a "nobody"...who became a "somebody" to the Apostle Paul. Epaphroditus ran from Philippi to Rome to join the Apostle Paul in prison and ministers to him. He also carried Paul's letter back to the Philippians.
Not everyone is called by God like Moses, David, Peter or Paul. However everyone is called by God to be a somebody. The difference between being a "nobody" and a "somebody" is our response. The difference is how we choose to give ourselves away.
Here is four things I want you to know today about how Paul describes Epaphroditus.
1. A People Lover. The Apostle Paul calls him a minister. There is no other mention of him at all anywhere else in the bible. He is not mentioned as a disciple, a religious leader, is was a nobody who responded. Even great leaders need ministering. Epaphroditus loved people enough to minister to Paul as Paul ministered to people. My prayer is that as a church we all become people lovers.
2. A Risk Taker. Paul calls him a soldier. He kept risking his life when most would have run the other way. Our faith should embolden us to become risk takers. My prayer is that as a church we realize that without risk we fail. We should always be willing to bet the farm on Jesus.
3. A Tireless Worker. Paul calls him a fellow worker. Epaphroditus became ill to the brink of death because of his work for the kingdom but that didn't stop him. He became distressed because he heard the people heard he was sick. His love for the people pushed him even harder. He was tireless in his work for the kingdom. There will be times when it seems like you will want to throw the towel in...To give up. It may seem like the work you are doing is not bearing fruit, or not bearing fruit fast enough. We live in a results driven fast paced world. My prayer is that as a church we remain tireless in or work for the kingdom...in our pursuit of reaching the lost. That our focus because we love Jesus remains fixated on who Jesus loves. That in our times of distress we push ourselves even harder.
4. A Servant-Leader. Paul calls him a messenger. Without Epaphroditus serving Paul the church in Philippi would not have received Paul's letter to them. As a result of Paul tells the church to give him a hero's welcome. Epaphroditus both led and served as he became a great spokesman for the church. My prayer is that as we the church both led and serves that we will all become great spokesmen for the kingdom. That at the end of our lives what is said about us is that we were messengers for Christ.
Jesus doesn't want to take sides; He wants to take over! This is a truth about Jesus. Here is a truth about us...We want change...as long as it doesn't change us!
Jesus once met a man controlled by a legion of demons. This poor man had lost control and had to be chained under guard. When Jesus comes onto the scene he casts out the demons into some nearby pigs whom then ran off the cliff and died. Upon casting out the demons this man instantly became calm and whole. However when the area residents took one look at the man, they asked Jesus to depart.
No doubt they were glad this man was healed...just not at the expense of their livestock. They feared the demon possessed man. They kept him in chain under guard, however they feared even more a Jesus who took complete control over the situation.
So often in our lives we resemble these people who asked Jesus to leave. We want Jesus to solve our problems but save our pigs. We don't want to upset things or get even dare I say it....get Radical! We want change...as long as it doesn't change us. But this is not Jesus' way.
Here is three things this story teaches us.
1. Leadership means discomfort. If we are going to be effective in our leadership, we must learn to live outside of our comfort zone. Jesus came onto the scene, performed a miracle, and the people were discomforted by how the miracle was performed instead of what the miracle performed.
2. Leadership means dissatisfaction. God uses dissatisfaction as a tool to move us to greater things and higher ground. Dissatisfaction leads us to move from faith to faith and glory to glory. When we stop moving from faith to faith, we stop growing.
3. Leadership means disruption. The status quo is never the goal of a leader. Disruption is our constant companion. God loves disruption. He uses disruption to bring your attention to him. Have you ever noticed how when things in life seem to be going well your faith seems to change. You move from a constant needing him to an I've got this attitude. Ever notice how this when God seems to disrupt your life. He does so to draw you back to him.
What it all boils down to is this...You can't ask God to solve your problems with stipulations.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12 NKJV
As Christians we are called to work...and not only work but that our works would be greater than Jesus' works. What a call to action! I can only imagine being one of the disciples at the time Jesus was telling them this. Imagine thinking how would it be possible. Reading Jesus words of action today I can't help but ask that question.
So often I think about myself in this context...Who am I to do greater works than Jesus. It's a struggle just maintaining in this world, let alone doing greater works than Jesus. Yet, Jesus has called me and you to greatness with an expectancy. Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to live inside each of us. He has also given us himself to equip us for a mission to change the world. God has prepared our lives to reproduce the leadership of Jesus in our lives into the lives of others. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit and equipped by the Lord Jesus. We have all that is necessary to change the world.
Yet so few Christians live a life that impacts. I believe this truth is not because of a lack of desire to impact, it because so few Christians actually know how to. How do I live my life with action that impacts the world greater than Jesus? We are given all the tools to build the house but don't know how to read the blue prints. We learn so much about the character and person of Jesus but not about the leadership of Jesus. How did Jesus mentor and reproduce His leadership into his disciples and how did they repeat the process?
Here is an IDEA about how to your life like Jesus that reproduces results in the lives of others.
1. Instruction. Jesus Verbally taught his disciples. He constantly used daily routines to instruct them in leadership. Sometimes it's not just about what is taught but about what is caught. Start with your closest circle, do the people closest to you catch your leadership. It's not enough to say I am a leader but you have to display your leadership. Do the people closest in your life see the routines in your match the faith of your life? Or is your faith simply a secondary issue in your life? Do you live one way Monday-Saturday, and a different way on Sunday?
2. Demonstration. Jesus modeled truth and let His men observe His life. He lived a life of show and tell. Letting His men observe his life....that thought is scary. Most of us fear others spotlighting our life. We believe that we can't impact a life because our life is jacked up. We mistake having a past as having no credibility for our future. The truth is your past is your credibility for your future. Your past is your voice of experience. So opening up your life as an example is one of the best ways to impact because you have experience. People have a very hard time relating to your success but can easily relate to your failures. Your life and your story can be an inspiration to others.
3. Experience. Jesus let the disciples participate and apply truth themselves. They got to practice. Use your life to create opportunities for others to experience Jesus.
4. Assessment. Jesus debriefed their shared experiences. He assessed their growth and gave them direction. Sometimes in life you have to ask this question to others around you...How are you experiencing God this week? Let others share their experiences and be open to assessing their experiences. Give praise when praise is due and provide spiritual and biblical correction when needed. So often we are afraid as coming across as that obnoxious know it all...judgmental Christian that nobody likes. There is a difference between providing correction when needed out of love and passing judgement out of condemnation.
What does it mean to serve the Lord? So often you hear on Sundays…serve, serve, serve…and there is nothing wrong with serving on Sunday. However is our christian lives meant to be lived for the purpose of serving on Sunday, or could there be more? In Romans the Apostle Paul describes himself as a servant of the Lord. Before he is an apostle, or a preacher, or church planter…before this titles…he is a servant.
Romans Chapter One gives us one the most comprehensive pictures of leadership in the New Testament. Throughout the New Testament Paul uses the Greek word Doulos, which signifies a servant who has willingly and legally bonded himself to a master. (Romans 1:1, Phil 1:1, Titus 1:1)
The Old Testament gives the Hebrew background for this concept. When it came time for a master to release a slave, that slave had two options: accept his freedom, or remain and serve the master by choice. To stay as a love-slave made him far more useful, since he served willingly. This is exactly the same concept Jesus teaches us that although we are now no longer slaves and are free, the choice we make should be to serve willingly.
In Romans 1 Paul describes himself as a servant in three ways.
1. I am a Debtor. (v.14) This literally meant he had a debt to pay. Paul's debt wasn't to the lord as he was free from that obligation, but it was to the people! Paul's attitude was that he owed those who hadn't heard the gospel. Unfortunately, most Christians attitudes are not that of I owe you but that you owe me. So often Christians look for a church to be a debtor to them instead of them being the debtor as the church. It's becomes all about what programs does the church offer me? Can I join the church basketball team? Does the church listen to me? Am I valued? The work is too hard. The attitude is I just want to slide in and slide out unnoticed. As long your attitude is about you, it will never be about someone else. There will always be a conflict for attention there. The apostle Paul understood this. He realized that he had a debt paid for him that was greater than he could ever pay back, and because of that he chose to be a debtor to the people. He chose to be a debtor as the church.
2. I am Ready. (v.15) The apostle Paul was literally burning inside. He passionately gave himself to the cause by choice. Regardless of the bumps and potholes along the road, he was able to maintain enthusiasm. So often we feel we are ready and then loose enthusiasm shortly after getting started. We get burned out by serving. Somewhere along the way we loose the passion, we loose that burning feeling inside to want to impact. We settle for becoming complacent. How was it that Paul never settled? His enthusiasm was a response to God's grace, not the worlds grace.
3. I am not Ashamed. (v.16) Why not? Because although he was a despised minority within a despised minority, his message brought God's power to save everyone. There was nothing to small for Paul. There was no task for God that seemed too trivial. Paul didn't hide who he was or who God was. He knew God's power to save, and was willing to do whatever was necessary to share the gospel.
Have you ever felt like you couldn't be used by God or that you were not called by God. You go to church, see others serving well but just don't feel like that is you. I can remember a time in my life when I felt this way. When I first started my walk with God I would look around and see "the called" and felt envious of them and sadden by the fact that it wasn't me. I want to share with you a scripture that changed my life when I opened my eyes and heart to what it meant in my life.
Ezekiel 22:30 says this, "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not destroy it, but I have found none.
I share this verse with you because it contains five things God looks for in a leader. My prayer is that as you read this God gives you a fresh revelation as to what it means to be a leader. For the longest time I was messed up with the wrong idea, and quite frankly so were the "leaders" around me.
1. God doesn't look for a committee, to meet and decide on behalf of the people... He looks for a single person! This isn't like sports when you were a kid waiting to be picked to be on a team only to be picked last...if at all! I used to believe that it was the church that picked the leaders. That the "elders" got together to review potential predetermined leader candidates. From those leader candidates the upcoming leaders were selected and announced to the church. So the way to be selected and recognized was to be at every church event, do every detail the church asked...basically be perfect for the church. And with a little time and luck you might get selected for the team. The problem with this is most churches miss out on amazing leaders at their church because the amazing leader isn't part of the "club." So instead you get committee selected crappy Christians in leadership positions that God would probably never select them for and they lead horribly. Instead of building you up they tear you down in the name of Jesus if you don't conform to the ways of the team. This is not biblical leadership. This is committee leadership. God could care less about our church committees as he builds up the potential to be a great leader in someone.
Here's a little secret. The mark of a great leader is someone who is willing to stand against the church norm and stand up for what God has called on their life.
2. This person would relate best to people within his own culture. Yes sometimes God calls you to lead right where you are at, and it may not be in church. It very well may be with the people in your life. Ezekiel was called to be a prophet to his people. Here's the deal...it always starts with self leadership.
3. A builder of walls. Leadership takes work and commitment. It is not easy and sometimes seem to cause you more pain then what it seems to be worth. I know so many leaders who have started well, but finished horribly. Leadership can be discouraging. Most leaders want a large following because they see glamour and self worth in how many people follow them. What if you were called to lead only 12 people to change the world. This is who Jesus led. Your call to leadership may only to be to lead your family well, and in doing so generations are changed as a result.
4. Stand in the gap. Are you willing to be a bridge builder between the people and God. We all know people who "have tried church" and gave up because they couldn't seem to cross that bridge. They didn't sport the right christian apparel, their journal wasn't made of mole skin, they used the wrong bible not approved by the church, they didn't speak the right church lingo, missed all the cues when to raise their hands during worship, skipped on the offering plate, and usually walked in late to service...that is if they even made it all. Instead they drank beer, used what ever bible they had at the time, spoke redneck, and dressed with a who cares attitude. They went to church when the races or Sunday football didn't interfere. And as a result of their lack of conformity and instant commitment they were beaten by the very church that promised hope and love. Instead of building the bridge the church removed the planks making it impossible for them to cross and consequently they gave up trying. This is the story you will hear every time. The leaders God is looking for are the ones that build bridges and fill the gaps. Choose to be a plank layer.
5. On behalf of the land. God will always mold, build up and use leaders who carry a burden and vision for where they live. This is not saying that God won't call you to someplace else because he could, but he is also looking for leaders who are burden by the issues facing where they live and have a vision to make a difference. I have learned that your God given vision may not match up to the church's vision and that is OK. The vision God gave to Jesus to change the world didn't match up with any church's vision at the time.
Keep this in mind...the harvest is plenty but the workers are few. Are you willing to work and lead well for God?
You might it call it Deja Vu all over again. First Chronicles 20 describes David's army battling and defeating Philistine giants. When reading 1 Chronicles 20 you can't help but think back to the story of David and Goliath, and how a young shepherd boy did what an entire army couldn't do. So what changed between then and now with the army? David's men had learned the second verse of the song of David and Goliath.
David a Giant Killer had selected and trained giant killers just like himself. David knew that a great leader models behavior...not just knowledge. He knew that his behavior is what multiplied. People do what people see. David knew a great leader could only multiply what he himself had first become. David was a giant killer first before a king and leader. David could have tried to teach courage like he had, but instead focused on reproducing what he was.
We teach what we know, but reproduce what we are. Consider this...
1. It takes one to know one. Have you ever noticed that you tend to see what we posses ourselves. If you drive a specific kind of car you begin to see that car everywhere, where as before you owned you never really noticed it. David was a giant killer and what he saw in the men in his army was giant killers. It is important for you to become a giant killer yourself because you will one have to recognize this is someone else. Fathers...you can't see your son being a giant killer if you yourself aren't one.
2. It takes one to show one. We cannot model for someone what we haven't done. It's easier to learn from someone who has done the very thing you are learning. Otherwise...it's just the blind leading the blind. It took a giant killer to teach others to be a giant killer. This is why it is so important to become a giant killer yourself. You will one day have to teach what it takes to be a giant killer.
3. It takes one to grow one. We cannot train someone until we have done it ourselves. Being a giant killer is not learned but trained. It takes courage to stand up to the presence of a giant. It takes skill to stay in the battle with a giant. It takes training to know your weapon. David didn't just use any weapon to defeat Goliath. He used the one weapon he knew best. It took training on David's part to become so skilled with that weapon that he knew he use it to defeat a giant.
Can you imagine having the influence to be able to remove a King? Or how about having an entire country mourn your death and show up at your funeral? Talk about a life of influence and impact. There is an incredible example of such an individual that lived a life of influence, leadership, and purpose. His name was Samuel. Samuel was so influential that the people of Israel sought his leadership and direction for their future. They needed help to retrieve the Ark of Covenant. They needed strategy against their enemy, the Philistines. They eventually sought his permission to crown a new king. His influence as a leader kept growing and growing. When King Saul failed in his leadership, Samuel removed him. Can you imagine having such influence that you alone are able to remove the reigning king! Samuel exhorted, he affirmed, he corrected, he prophesied, he reminded, and the taught the people. When he died, all of Israel gathered to mourn his loss.
Samuel obviously lived an incredible live, and he was certainly an incredible leader. So how did Samuel live his life? What was his secret? How can we learn from Samuel to live that impacts others so dramatically?
There are four traits Samuel lived by that increased his influence, and his ability to impact.
1. He lived a life SHEPHERDING others. Samuel was focused more on relationships than he was himself. The bible loves to describe God's leaders as shepherd. Even the LORD is described as a shepherd. A shepherd knows, loves, protects, and leads his sheep. Samuel focused his life on being a shepherd. He spoke out of relationship. He identified with the people and could be both tough and tender because of his relationships. People listened because his relationships to them. Samuel was special from his birth. He was given as an offering to God and God had a very specific plan and purpose for Samuel. Samuel was a prophet who had authority. Samuel's success as shepherd was because he spoke from the position of a shepherd and not a position of authority. The people responded this his shepherding before they responded to his authority. It was his shepherding that increased his authority.
2. He lived a life of STEWARDSHIP. Samuel was responsible. As a steward he could be trusted to act on behalf of an owner, overseeing others and managing possessions. Stewards are accountable to the owner. Jesus taught this principle in Luke 12:42-48. Samuel lived this truth as he confronted kings and peasants, as he wept over this disobedience of Israel, and as he sought guidance for his nation. He remained faithful to his calling, accountable to God, and responsible to the people. That is why they listened to him...they trusted him. It was his stewardship that increased his trust.
3. He lived a life as a SEER. Samuel possessed vision for the people of Israel and he communicated that vision and fresh direction often. Samuel brought the word of God to bear on contemporary issues. He spoke with divine conviction about past lessons, present situations, and future direction. The word of God was his compass...always leading in the right direction of God. Because of this, he moved from being merely a judge to becoming a prophet, speaking with skill as a visionary leader. People listen to him because of his revelation.
Samuel was unique in that he wasn't afraid of the response to the word of God. So often we fear the response of the people to the word of God. I find this to be especially true when communicating with other "Christians." Samuel often led the people by correcting their course to realign with the word of God. To be an effective leader you can't fear biblical correction. So often we think people will think less of us because we might across a bible thumper know it all. Samuel used the word of God to create correction when it was needed to realign with God's vision for the people. As a result, the people would seek Samuel out because they trusted him as a seer to help them correct themselves.
4. He lived a life as a SERVANT. What Samuel did was lived a life modeled after Jesus before Jesus was ever born. Samuel was a biblically informed leader who gave up his rights instead of gaining them. He often sacrificed for the good of the people he led. Samuel modeled this as he interceded for Israel, as he made sacrifices on the alter on their behalf, and as he wept for their welfare. Power did not motivate him...SERVICE did! People listen to him not because of his power, but because of his servant heart.
When it comes to leadership there are two roads that must be traveled. Unfortunately, most leaders in life only ever travel one of the two. The road less traveled by leaders is the road inside of you. To be an effective leader for the long term you must travel on the inside before you can effectively travel on the outside, because the journey of growth and success is first an internal one. The first person you lead is YOU...and you can't lead effectively without self-discipline.
There is a period of preparation that needs to take place in all leaders. The issues is...that most leaders want what they want now. Why did a 2 week journey take 40 years with the Israelites? The real reason was they weren't prepared for the Promised Land. The people simply weren't ready for God's blessings until 40 years after they began their trip.
Plato once said, "The first and best victory is to conquer self." The people and leadership of Israel lacked self discipline. As soon as Moses went up the mountain to meet with God, the people turned their backs and built a golden calf. They lacked the self discipline to wait for God and Moses.
So many leaders fail to travel on the inside. They private life doesn't match up with their public life. On the outside they look good and appear like they got their stuff together, while internally they struggle with self discipline. Let's take pastors for example...
40% of pastors leave the ministry after only five years.
89% of pastors have considered leaving their ministry at least once.
90% of pastors have stated they are regularly fatigued.
57% of pastors would leave their current ministry if they felt like they had a better place to go.
77% of pastors feel like they DO NOT have a good marriage.
72% of pastors only study the bible when they are preparing for a sermon.
71% of pastors are in constant state of depression
38% of pastors are divorced.
30% of pastors maintain an ongoing affair.
Only 26% of pastors spend time daily in devotion.
Only 23% of pastors feel content with who they are in Christ.
1500 pastors leave the ministry each month.
50% of pastors marriages will end in divorce.
80% of seminary students who graduate leave the ministry within 5 years.
63% of pastors have been fired from the pastorate position at least twice.
78% of pastors have been forced to resign from the pastorate at least once.
35% of pastors deal with sexual sin on a regular basis.
51% of pastors struggle with porn addiction.
(Study conducted by the Barna Research Group)
The point is this...when you look at a pastor their position as a leader is very public. On the surface most people who look at their pastor as being the example of having their life together. On the outside most pastors lead very well...but it's the leading of themselves internally where they fail. Like most leaders in life, the majority of their time is spent on the outside appearances and not the inside change.
Here a Five Points To Self-Discipline.
1. Develop and follow your PRIORITIES. All leaders are pressed for time, but the successful ones have a plan. If you can determine what's really a priority and release yourself from everything else, it will be much easier to follow through on what's important.
2. Develop a DISCIPLINED lifestyle goal. To be successful, self-discipline can't be a one-time event. It has to become a lifestyle. One of the best ways to nurture such a lifestyle is to develop systems and routines...especially in critical areas of your life crucial to your long-term growth and success. Reading the bible daily verse just in church on sunday, Praying daily, Spending time along with God daily, all of these should be top priority in your life. You don't have to let the world's priorities be your priorities.
3. Challenge your EXCUSES. Challenge and eliminate any tendency you have to make excuses. If you can name several reasons why you can't be self-disciplined, realize that they are really just barriers to your success. All of your barriers must be challenged by you if you want to go to the next level.
4. Remove rewards until you FINISH the job. This world preaches in everything to reward yourself because you deserve it! By you just being you...you deserve it! Rewarding yourself before the job is finished creates a false sense of security about the job. Do you stop a game in progress to reward the star player or do you wait until the game is finished and scores are in to see you actually won or not. If the game is lost was the reward deserved? If you can't finish the job you don't deserve the reward.
5. Stay focused on the RESULTS. Anytime you concentrate on the difficulty of the work instead of its results, you're likely to become discouraged. So many leaders burn out become because they become discouraged by the task. I know pastors who have become burned out, left the ministry because they were discouraged, blamed the congregation for their lack, and ultimately created a path of destruction, their churches closed down, and many of the people they had shepherded have not returned to church period. Their burnout resulted because they became the focused on the difficulty of the work and not the blessings of the results. This doesn't just happen to pastors, it happens to parents also. They literally give up on parenting their child, and then wonder why their child turned out the way they did.
The road less traveled is a difficult one, but if your desire to lead well and build a legacy it is a road you must travel no matter what.