Just Courage: Charging the Darkness - Gary Haugen

Gary Haugen is the president and founder of the International Justice Mission that works to free children from child sex trafficking. (He's also bringing the flat-top back).

Leadership that actually matters to God:
- Leadership that actually matters to God is leadership in endeavors and issues that matter to God.

- Just because I'm leading and people are following doesn't mean I'm leading in areas that are passionate to my Maker.

- Are Jesus and I really interested in the same things? (Passion for the world, Passion for justice).

- What is God's plan for making it believable to the world that He is good? We are the plan, and there is no back-up plan.

- Injustice: an abuse of power that takes good things God intended from those who are weaker.

Leadership that matters matters precisely when the going is hopeless, frightening, and really difficult.

How do we lead when it seems hopeless? By refocusing the basis of our hope. Discouragement comes when we recognize what we can't do. Hope comes from focusing on who God is and what He wants to do. (Illustrated in Mark 6:30-44. Jesus didn't ask them for what was needed. He just asked for what they had).

How do we lead when the task seems scary? Remind the people of God that Jesus did not come to make us safe; He came to make us brave. If my life of following Jesus doesn't require bravery, I might need to check and make sure I'm actually following Jesus.

- At the end of the day one of the saddest feelings is having gone on the trip but missed the adventure.

- Does your calling need Jesus?

Leadership that actually matters to God's People:
How do we lead when the calling of God is hard? Effective leadership comes from 4 choices:
(1) Choosing not to be safe, (2) Choosing to seek deep spiritual health, (3) Choosing to pursue excellence, (4) Choosing to seize the joy.

- Do we have a work we couldn't imagine doing for 30 minutes without prayer? If not, we either need another work, or need to do an old work with a new focus.

- Is your devotional life a checklist of things you're supposed to do for the purpose of getting it over? Or is your devotional life an act of desperation? Is it discipline or desperation?

- If you want to inspire a thriving devotional life in the life of the people you lead, lead people on a climb where it's absolutely unsafe to go without God. They will either fall on their knees, or stop pretending.

- We've told ourselves great stories about how loving we are. The problem is, we haven't loved each other very well.

- Enough of the Christian-adjusted scale of mediocrity. It's bad for our witness, bad for those we serve, and it's bad for our souls.

- It should make us laugh from the belly to note that Jesus uses such utterly unqualified people as us to accomplish His purpose in the world. If that juxtaposition doesn't strike you as utterly funny, you might be over-qualified for leadership in the Kingdom of God.

- Something is wrong if Jesus's yoke is light and somehow mine is heavy [as a leader]. Jesus didn't lack seriousness for the Kingdom - He died for it. But He was gentle and humble. He lived embracing living in such a way that He was accused of being a wino. Some of us live with such a sour attitude that we can't ever be accused of that, and we think that's a good thing.. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

- At the end of the day in a world with such suffering and need, why have you been given so much? (Gary used a great illustration of body builders - they have all that muscle, but what's it for? Opening jam jars?) Why has God blessed us? Hopefully for more than just opening jam jars.


chloeadele said...

Gary can speak. That's for sure. I love listening to him and reading his books. I am inspired by the work he does, for God and for his neighbor.

People don't expect Christians to have joy anymore. They don't expect us to have a decent sense of humor. I think they must believe that we're baptized in vinegar.

Thank you very much for keeping us updated on the highlights of the conference. I really wanted to go. My wallet laughed at me though.