Thursday, August 6, 2015

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Albert Tate

(Here at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit praying for God to give me new insight to help me in leading with Operation Christmas Child)

Albert Tate--Leading With Leftovers

Today I'm gonna take on this lie about leadership.  I want to take on this lie that we're supposed to leave it all on the field and give 115%.  If I leave it all on the field I go home with nothing.  We can't give 115%  We need to learn to lead and still have something left--not living for our resumes but for our eulogies.

We need to not be held captive by the scarcity of this world but from the abundance found in Christ.  We want to see how Jesus tells us how to lead with leftovers.

The crowd of people is getting hungry and it's getting late.  So Jesus asks "Where shall we buy bread for the people to eat?"  Let's talk about the moment when Jesus asks dumb questions.  Why would Jesus ask them that?  He wanted them to do the math and see they couldn't do this in their own power.  He wanted them to do the math so that when they get on the other side of the miracle they give God glory.  Jesus wants you to do the math so you can see it's not possible in your strength.  Jesus' dumb question gives way to a dumb idea.  Andrew finds a little boy with two fish and five loaves of bread but he's not laughed out of the room.  Jesus says "Bring them to me."

We need to ask dumb questions and allow dumb ideas because a dumb idea + God's hand = life transformation.  Our culture should support dumb ideas.   Jesus specializes in using dumb ideas.

Father Boyle had an idea to have gang members learn to make puff pastries and sell them and that business is thriving today.

Jesus looks at the little boy with his loaves and fishes.  Who is this little boy?  Out of 5,000 men and families, was he the only one who brought a lunch?  This boy brought what he had and Jesus used what he brought.  What if Jesus is going to do a miracle using what you bring?  What does it mean for you to pack your lunch?  This little boy comes with a dumb idea--he packs his lunch then gives it to Jesus and gets out of the way.  We don't see him anymore.  One of the most key things we can do as leaders is to bring what we have and get out of the way.  Some of us give it to Jesus and then try to instruct Him along the way.  When he gets out of the way he can discover the awe and wonder of God's almighty hand.  He watches Jesus reach in and pull out the lunch and discovers the awe and wonder.  The awe and wonder is what happens when we give it to Jesus, get out of the way, and see what He can do.  If you've brought all you've had, now get out of the way.  When's the last time you were blown away by what God did and your neck hurt because you were in awe and wonder at the power of God?

Two fish and five loaves could be sitting right in the room but you're so busy with your spreadsheet you don't see them.

They ate until they were full.  This is the picture of abundance--of more than enough.  Then they had leftovers--twelve baskets full.  I imagine they gave those baskets to that little boy.  Can you see him walking home with twelve baskets?  I believe at the end of this miracle he had something left.  What would it mean at the end of the day to have something left?

Some of you are sitting here on empty.  That's not the sign of a great work ethic.  That's the sign of missing God's provision in your life   You need to humbly submit what you have and get out of the way so Jesus can meet the need and you have something left.  That's the picture of the gospel--the idea that we're not limited my what's in our hand.  We have the power of the almighty God.  It's not about my name being great; it's about the power of His name.

We don't have to live outside the promise of God in the scarcity of the world.  Jesus came to hang on the cross, bleed, and die and rise again to say to us, "Come on in!"  You don't have to leave it all out on the field.  You can come on in and experience the abundance of God.

Leaders, you don't have to go home empty.  You don't have to leave it all on the field because Christ left it all on the cross.  Tell Jesus, "What I have may not be much, but I give it back to you and I trust You so I can experience the awe and wonder of God."


  1. How did you transcribe all those talks? Great job!

    1. Thanks--just tried to keep my fingers moving. I know I missed some things along the way, though--lol