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A paradigm is an individual belief or personal philosophy inside you. Your belief system is the interaction of all of them together. Whether you have or have not thought out your paradigms, it makes no difference, because YOU ARE living them daily, observable to everyone around you. So, WHAT IS your belief system?

THE BUCK STOPS AT THE TOP. As the old adage says, “As are the leaders, so go the people” (from Isaiah 9:16), we will examine upper ranks first—leaders. In this world of people, there are shepherds and sheep. We know that sheep do not drive shepherds, but that shepherds lead sheep. Therefore, the following sections will examine leaders more than followers.

READING MIRRORS. When I was a public school music teacher, I taught classroom music to every class K-12 across a series of buildings: elementary, middle school, and senior high. Different classes came to my music room period after period, day after day, and week after week for general music classes. When the students walked in my room, I could see in their behaviors, attitudes, motivations, emotions, group demeanor, and achievements or failures, the sum total reflection of their regular classroom teachers. The students were a mirror image of the beliefs and attitudes their regular teachers thought and spoke over them. Mirror images of their parent(s) and family life as well. Whatever positives the regular teachers operated, they were evident, as well as whatever negatives. Unspoken thoughts are as equally powerful as spoken. After being there a couple of decades, one day I expressed this aloud in a teacher training seminar and there was dead silence across the entire room. This is my thirty-fifth year of teaching and I have no difficulties with reading “mirrors.” In these sections, we are going to examine various beliefs.

Pastor, if I walked into your church and “read” your congregation, since you are their leader, what would I see regarding your belief system over them?

Your Belief System and Your Church: (1) Introduction

Your Belief System and Your Church: (2) Your Paradigms

Your Belief System and Your Church: (3) Bondage or Freedom

Your Belief System and Your Church: (4) Gateway Skills

Your Belief System and Your Church: (5) Teacher Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (6) Talking About vs. Doing

Your Belief System and Your Church: (7) Student Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (8) Assessment

Your Belief System and Your Church: (9) Bury Dead Tradition

Your Belief System and Your Church: (10) Teaching vs. Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (11) Teachers' Three Phases

Your Belief System and Your Church: (12) Excellence is NOT a Goal

Your Belief System and Your Church: (13) My Teaching Limits Were Their Learning Limits

Your Belief System and Your Church: (14) Unlearning Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (15) Pioneers vs. Settlers

Your Belief System and Your Church: (16) Real and Lasting Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (17) Problems With Memory

Your Belief System and Your Church: (18) Ownership Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (19) Not Perfect, But Honest

Your Belief System and Your Church: (20) Take Risks and Give Away Control

Your Belief System and Your Church: (21) Out of a Job

Your Belief System and Your Church: (22) KCAASE and Proverbs 24

Your Belief System and Your Church: (23) Responding vs. Reacting

Your Belief System and Your Church: (24) Only When Performed

Your Belief System and Your Church: (25) A Supervisor's Vision

Your Belief System and Your Church: (26) Glimpses Into the Spiritual

Your Belief System and Your Church: (27) One Reason Alone

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Wow, David. Very profound!
I am going to tweet it!
http://tiny.cc/YouAreAMirror
Wow David. Very good question. I am eager to read responses by the pastors and ministry leaders. I know personally that I think about this everyday. I am still at the infant stages of my walk with the Lord. I pray that the Lord will continue to mold me in the image of Him and less of me.
So Pastor's is Dave hitting close to home here? Why haven't you replied.
Ummm, Dave, as a former teacher and my own worst critic that is somewhere between challenging and frightening. Then again that is exacly as it should be. My students/church members have a great attitude and are fun to work with or my students/church members are mean and miserable because I... We've all heard that "it starts at the top". Dave's observation appears to prove the statement. OUCH!!!
Hi Lisa,
Yes, I agree, the thought is both challenging and frightening. THAT IS WHY I began every day of my teaching with the prayer, "Lord, YOU placed me in inner city in the darkest of places so that my light could shine the brightest. YOU told me this at the beginning of my teaching career. So, Lord, today I want to live YOU and YOUR TRUTH so strongly in me that the students will IMMEDIATELY recognize when they go from an unsaved teacher to a saved one--that they will without a doubt know the difference between black and white. Lord, I may be their only place of refuge, safety, and security for this whole day. I want my music class to be Heaven on earth for them."
With that daily prayer, the Lord gave me King Solomon answers for the students and discernment for the act of teaching. It then became a fascinating wonder and invigorating challenge to travel through each day--not frightening at all.
Blessings, Dave
Dave,
At our recent elders meeting...we discussed this very thing. Well...in a sense.

We as leaders realized that we were spiritually sound, and activated by Holy Spirit...that we were passionate, and practicing devotions and personal ministry time alone.

I recognized that our church looked more like Eeyore, than Tigger from Winnie The Pooh. Odd way of looking at it....but I brought up the burden I had to see our church looking like a bunch of bouncing Tiggers...and not like a bunch of Eeyores that are saying "woe is me".

As leaders we realized that we needed to take things to a new level as leaders...that personally we needed to be better at we did...and that we needed to take more time to minister directly to the needs of the congregation.
Great word picture. One that I use frequently. The next time you perceive an Eeyore, ask him/her this: "May I ask you a question?" [Wait for a Yes or No. If Yes, continue on.] Did you really mean to come across as an Eeyore? Oh, woe is me. Can I challenge you to become a Tigger?" From there, let God and the word picture do all the explaining for you. You don't really need to say anything more! In the teaching world, that's called responding instead of reacting. [Responding is saying the truth in a positive, objective manner without any negative emotions inside you. Reacting is when the negative rises up inside you with the Truth, at which time you better not say anything until the negative leaves.]
Blessings, Dave
Feed My sheep! Preach the Word!

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