Author Archives: Monaldo Walton

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Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 5

 Leaders Host People-3 John 3-12

While 1st John is about God’s life and 2nd John is about God’s truth, 3rd John is about God’s way.

In his letter, John uses the picture of a host. Hosts take initiative with their guests. They do what is right by others, make them feel comfortable, give direction to conversation, and provide for others. Leaders like host, don’t react; they act. They go first and risk whether the other person will respond positively. It is part of being a leader.

John distinguishes between going first and wanting to be first. Diotrephes wanted to be first, but not necessarily go first in serving others. Here we see the difference between a “guest” and a “host.” Consider what this letter teaches us about the leader as “host.” Leaders take initiative . . .

  • In their lifestyle
  • With others, especially strangers
  • In owning responsibility
  • In doing good, by acting and not reacting
  • In modeling for others

Join me next time for Leadership Issues: Compromise

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Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 4

Earmark of True Leader-Jonah 2:10-3:10 (negative)

One earmark of a true leader is the display of initiative. By definition, leaders cannot wait for someone else to move; if they do, they are really followers, not leaders. Initiative requires an element of risk, faith, and foresight.

Why Do We Fail to Initiate?

It seems easier to run from a challenge than to step out and take a risk. When we initiate, we commit ourselves to a direction. We may feel uncertain about what the future holds. What if we change our minds? What if no one follows? What if we fail in front of our followers? We run from commitment and initiative for a variety of reasons.


Reason Issue
1. We are afraid we’ll be unable to keep the commitment 1. Low sense of security
2. We suspect we might find “greener grass” somewhere else. 2. Paralyzed will
3. We expend time and energy only for personal gain. 3. No surrender
4. Our past makes trust difficult. 4. Emotional baggage
5. We are lazy and unmotivated. 5. Apathy and neutrality
6. We fear the risk of being rejected. 6. Poor self-esteem
7. We fear the unknown and unfamiliar. 7. Low confidence
8. We don’t want to lose our freedom. 8. Entitlement philosophy
9. We fear being different from others. 9. Politically correct
10. We don’t really know who we are. 10. Gifts and calling

Jonah had to learn initiative. It started with learning submission to God. Once we surrender to His call on our life and leadership, we can step out to follow Him. We can take risk because our future lies in His hands. What happens when we accept God’s call to initiate and commit?

  1. We assume healthy personal responsibility.
  2. We’ll likely see many come to faith in God.
  3. We receive a God-given time and place to gain perspective.
  4. We deepen our experience of worship and prayer.
  5. We progress toward a new level of personal freedom.
  6. We enjoy partnership with God.
  7. We gain the satisfaction of seeing changed lives.

Join me next time for Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 5

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Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 3

 Lessons from the Ant-Proverbs 6:6-8

Do you want to make a difference? Then study the metaphor of the ant.

The ant teaches us:

A — Attitude of Initiative

      Ants don’t need a commander to tell them to get started.

N — Nature of Integrity

      Ants work faithfully and need no outside accountability to keep them doing right.

T — Thirst for Industry

       Ants work hard and will replace their anthill when it gets ruined.

S — Source of Insight

       Ants store provisions in summer

If we consider and learn from the ways of the ant, we can grow wise.

Join me next time for Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 4

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Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 2

Nehemiah Takes Lead-Nehemiah 1:4-2:8 (positive)

Nehemiah took initiative in praying for Jerusalem’s problem, in planning the rebuilding project, in persuading the people to act, and in pursuing the product they all wanted. And he did it in that order. His initiative showed great insight.

Nehemiah couldn’t imagine sitting still when he heard the walls of Jerusalem lay in shambles. He had to act. Of all the things a leader should fear, complacency ought to head the list.

But what enables good leaders to initiate? Nehemiah demonstrates that leaders know something in their heart or in their gut that prompts them to move. They don’t know everything, but they know enough to act. Nehemiah had insight in the following areas:

  1. He knew how long the project would take. Nehemiah gave King Artaxerxes a definite time period for his absence.
  2. He knew how to get there. Nehemiah asked for letters of permission to pass through the provinces beyond the river of Judah.
  3. He knew what he would need to get the job done. Nehemiah requested timbers from Asaph to make beams and gates for the wall.
  4. He knew that God’s hand was upon him. Nehemiah got all that he requested because the hand of God rested on him.

Qualities of Initiators

Nehemiah displayed the qualities that make for initiative in leaders:

  1. They know what they want. Desire is the starting point of all achievement. Nehemiah knew that he wanted that wall up.
  2. They push themselves to act. At first, Nehemiah acted alone. He pushed to get the facts that would move others.
  3. They take more risk. Nehemiah took some major risks as he got permission to go, to get wood, and to survey the job.
  4. They make more mistakes. Nehemiah wasn’t afraid to mobilize men who weren’t professional contractors or soldiers to build and fight.
  5. They go with their gut. What Nehemiah lacked in experience, he made up for with the passion of his heart.

Join me next time for Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 3

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Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 1

The Ultimate Leader-Genesis 1:1-2:25

God is the Ultimate Leader. Not only did He create the universe, redeem humankind, innovate with entrepreneurial energy, and act as a maverick-He also leads.

As the Ultimate Leader, God always initiates. He initiated the creation of the universe. He initiated the birth of our species. And He initiated the redemption process, extending Himself to us so that we might be saved.

As you read the Scripture, watch how often God demonstrates His magnificent leadership. Truly, He is the Ultimate Leader!

Join me next time for Leadership Qualities: Initiative Part 2

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The Law of the Lid – Part 2

The Lids That Limited Saul

God removed all the external lids from Saul’s life when the son of Kish ascended Israel’s throne. But even without any external lids to his leadership, he still labored under several internal lids:

  • Fear: Saul began his reign by hiding among the equipment.
  • Impatience: Saul refused to wait for Samuel and offered an illegal sacrifice.
  • Denial: Saul continued as though all was well even after Samuel declared that God had rejected him as king.
  • Impulsiveness: Saul rashly made an oath that almost cost him the life of his son.
  • Deceit: Saul offered his daughter Michal to David, hoping the young man would die in battle to win her hand in marriage.
  • Jealousy: Saul became enraged when the people compared him to David, and from then on kept a jealous eye on the young man.
  • Anger: Saul repeatedly tried to kill David.

Because Saul never removed the lids from his leadership, God had to remove him from the throne of Israel.

The Lids That Did Not Limit David

David also had many lids on his life, both internal and external, but they did not stop him:

  1. His family. David’s limitations started at home. When Samuel asked Jesse to gather all his sons so God could reveal the next king of Israel, no one thought to invite David. His brothers thought no better of him than did his father. When David visited the battlefront, they scorned him. When David spoke out against Goliath’s blasphemy, his brothers insulted him and told him to go home.
  2. His leader. Saul continually tried to sabotage David’s leadership and effectiveness. When David offered to fight Goliath, Saul told him, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him” (1 Sam. 17:33). Then Saul tried to put his heavy armor on the boy—he certainly wasn’t going to use it! For many years, Saul tried repeatedly to kill David.
  3. His background. David came from a family of poor shepherds. His father, Jesse the Bethlehemite, lacked both lofty lineage and powerful position. David wasn’t even the eldest son in his family; seven older brothers all came before him.
  4. His youthfulness and inexperience. At the time Samuel anointed David, the boy had no experience leading anything but sheep. When he stepped forward to fight Goliath, others considered him “only a youth,” and he had never fought a wartime battle. Time and again, people underestimated and disrespected him.

The One Who Lifted the Lid

Ultimately David became a great leader-yet not because he lacked limitations in life. He achieved much because he became a lid lifter.

Every leader has lids on his life; nobody is born without them. And they don’t disappear when a person receives a title, achieves a position, or gets invested with power. The issue is not whether you have lids, but what you are going to do about them.

As the Leader, So the Nation – 1 Kings 14:1-15:34

Leadership ability is the lid on the success of a nation or organization. When Israel or Judah lived under good kings, things went well. Under bad kings, things went sour.

The heart and skill of a leader will always tremendously affect the life of the people under his direction. This is a law, both timeless and universal. See how this law played out under the Hebrew kings of the Old Testament.

Good Kings Bad Kings
1. Drew loyalty from their people 1. Drew rebellion from their people
2. Enjoyed victory over sin 2. Saw bondage to sin
3. Enjoyed peace within the kingdom 3. Suffered turmoil within the kingdom
4. Were affirmed by God’s prophets 4. Were rebuked by God’s prophets
5. Enjoyed prosperity 5. Often endured natural disasters and war
6. Opposed evil kings 6. Opposed good kings.

Join me next time for part 1 of Leadership Quality: Character.


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Stop Apologizing and Start Praying

Is your relationship with God only skin deep? The answer to that question depends a great deal on how “comfortable you are in your own skin”.

It seems that we live in a time where people are constantly apologizing for everything under the sun. At times, we may even apologize for being ourselves and spend a lot of our time and resources trying to be like someone else.

God is not interested in a superficial relationship where we recite in our prayers all the things about ourselves that we want God to change. Even worse, God is not pleased when we put together a long list of things we want Him to change about others.

Although we may be members of the family of God, the Bible tells us that all the members do not have the same function. By His grace, God gave everyone unique qualities and spiritual gifts as He saw fit. [Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-13:13, and Ephesians 4:4-13]

God intended for us to live without apology by praising Him through the use of our God-given talents and abilities to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

When we are “comfortable in our own skin” and praise God for who we are by His grace, we reveal a deep and trusting relationship with God.

Click the link below and be encouraged through this song to live life without apology.

And remember, “the family that prays together stays together”. So stop apologizing as if God made a mistake when He made us. Start praying prayers of thanks with others to have a closer walk with God and to stay connected to one another.


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Leadership Quality: Character Part 1

Character Breeds Perspective – Genesis 50:15-21

Because Joseph spent years in God’s character—building course, he could maintain a proper perspective and use his power to bless his brothers rather than curse them.

How a leader deals with circumstances of life tells you many things about his character. A crisis will reveal your character. Adversity is a crossroad that makes a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise. The development of character is at the heart of our development as a leader.

If you want God’s perspective on life, then make sure to develop your character.

Take Your Character Seriously – Leviticus 10:1-12:8

God takes the issue of character seriously.

We need to put “being” before “doing.” Get yourself right before you work on anything else.

Far too often we jump to mechanics, methods, and techniques. We put style ahead of substance. We focus on charisma but neglect character. The following axioms beckon us to put our character first:

  1. We are given our gifts, but we must develop our character.
  2. Our character earns the trust of others.
  3. Only good character gives lasting success with people.
  4. Sound character communicates credibility and consistency.
  5. Our character colors our perspective.
  6. Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
  7. We cannot rise above the limitations of our character.

Character is the Foundation for Leaders – Deuteronomy 5:1-22

General Norman Schwarzkopf said: “Leadership is a potent combination of character and strategy. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.”

Joshua and the Gibeonites – Joshua 10:1-15

Joshua compromised his leadership when he made a treaty with the Gibeonites, but once he made a covenant with them, he knew it was his duty to defend them. Integrity means that you keep your oath and “swear to your own hurt” regardless of the cost.

Boaz and Ruth Exhibit Character – Ruth 4:1-6

Character enables a leader to do what is right, even when it is difficult.

Join me next time for part 2 of Leadership Quality: Character.

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Leadership Quality: Character Part 2

Job Challenges Friends – Job 6:1-7:21

What enabled Job to possess such integrity as a leader?

  1. Strong Security: He felt emotionally secure enough to take criticism.
  2. Clear Conscience: He kept a clear and sensitive conscience regarding sin.
  3. Pure Motives: He refused to entertain self-indulgent motives.
  4. Solid Character: He was committed to doing the right thing at any cost.

Consistency – Job 31:1-40

Job pledges to maintain his integrity despite his circumstances. Such a commitment is a crucial key to leadership. Here’s why:

  1. Leaders must be visionary, but they cannot see everything in the future.
  2. Instead of pretending to be in control, leaders must model being under control.
  3. Leaders must model humanity and identify with the limitations of followers.
  4. Leaders must model an anchored life, living from character, not emotions.
  5. While leaders don’t know what tomorrow holds, they do know who holds tomorrow.

Moral Failure – Proverbs 5:3-23

How many leaders have ruined their lives and damaged the lives of others through immorality? Character has become a crucial issue today precisely because of the myriad leaders in the political, business, and religious worlds who have fallen morally. No doubt spiritual warfare has played a big role in the tens of thousands of leaders who have failed. They fall partly because the enemy has targeted leaders for attack.

Leaders need to remember that they influence many others beyond themselves; they never fall in a vacuum. They also need to realize that replacing fallen leaders is a slow and difficult process.

How can we guard against falling? First, we must take care not to emphasize the gifts of a leader over his or her character. We have an unhealthy tendency to see and reward the gift more than the character, but both are to be developed. We must strike the following balance if we are to finish well:

Gift and Character Balance

Humble Rely on God God’s Power
Visionary Set Goals High Morale
Convictional Do Right Credibility








Join me next time for part 3 of Leadership Quality: Character.


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The Science of Prayer

Have your prayers been answered lately? That may depend on whether you have the right formula which can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

God has given an abundance of information in the Bible on prayer, yet so many people wonder why their prayers are not answered.

2 Chronicles 7:14 includes five (5) important variables in the equation of answered prayer: 1) People who are called by God’s name; 2) People who humble themselves; 3) People who pray; 4) People who seek God’s face; 5) People who turn from their wicked ways.

When you add all of those components together, God declared that it is then that He will hear from heaven….

Just think about that for a moment.

The sun is 92.96 million miles from the earth, the moon is 238,900 miles from the earth, and the farthest two stars in the Milky Way Galaxy are 775,000 light years and 900,000 light years away from the earth.

Yet, God can still hear our prayers.

One light year is nearly six trillion miles, which is 9.4607 kilometers * 1012and light travels at 186,000 miles per second (300,000 kilometers per second).

Yet, God can still hear our prayers.

God has created the most powerful communication tool in the universe–prayer. Prayer is not limited by distance, space, or time and neither is God limited by distance, space, or time. Click the link below to gain a better appreciation for the science of prayer.

The Bible gives us the formula for God to hear and answer our prayers. So use God’s formula and remember, “the family that prays together stays together”.


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