The power of prayer is a wonderful, miraculous intangible thing offered and afforded to all of us, yet if you are like me, wasn’t truly embraced for the better part of my life until the stresses of various life events, business events literally dropped me to my knees in times most of us have been through. And in those times being, when there is no one else to turn to, it can be dark, and often even lonely, and you reach to your core for help, and often being late in that “reach”, we go to the man upstairs in desperate despair for his help. In those life event times, we do so, and in many miraculous ways, those desperate prayers get answered. Sometimes as we wish and sometimes as the man upstairs wises, but they are answered as seen best by his design.
It was about 5 years ago that our practice had grown significantly, we had more people than ever, and more business than ever, and things at times were complete chaos, yet often times controlled chaos while “the system” continually was adjusting itself. Our leadership abilities had grown significantly, but we still enjoyed the daily struggles of a growing chaotic business. At the end of the day, many of our struggles were “people struggles”, and it became more clear to me that we needed help from someone other than books we read, webinars we watched, conferences we attended, or any self-studies done. And that help was infusing a Christian faith-based core at the heart and soul of our business, for all of us to be held together by one common bond, and that bond was the journey and path God had planned for AMC.
People often ask, “how’d you do that?”. Well, it was very simple, we just began talking about God in staff meetings. We began simple conversations about the need for God to play a big part, and that he gives us wisdom and courage to fight our personal battles, and that he shows us the way in our business because we are just stewards of all we possess for doing his well. We began to read a Bible verse at each staff meeting and reflected on what it meant to us and how to live it out or grow from the verse. And one of the last pieces of the transformations was in learning from giants such as Max Lucado, Andy Stanley, and up and comers such as Ted Cunningham, I knew we had to begin to pray together. Because I knew that those who pray together, grow together. But I was scared and not brave enough to pull that trigger. And at one point, we were with my soon to be partner Dr. Ty, and his wife Courtney said, “Nels when you have our staff meetings, you guys should pray with them.” So, with some courage and faith, on a Monday at about 8am at the end of our staff meeting, and with a prior notice the month previous of we were going to end our staff meeting with prayer, we all stood up, gathered in a circle, clasped hands, and we prayed together for God’s brilliant wisdom, for his unwavering guidance to do his will, and a strong back of courage, to withstand the challenges to come. And it was in that small short moment, we made one small step towards progress, but one giant leap towards the success of being a Christian faith-based organization laying “it” all at his feet. With that moment and subsequent pray moments came a uniting bond of strength for a small group of very ordinary people working daily to do extraordinary things for him.
Today, we continue on that same course only with a devotion that everyone knows and believes in at AMC. And the Christian core will never be lost, but always at the center. It all may seem odd, warm and fuzzy, maybe even an HR nightmare, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you. Remember, people that pray together grow together, be it in business or family. This week’s challenge is for you to “pull the trigger”, lose your fear, and pull your people together and pray together. I promise you will find it very powerful, very uniting, and even very relieving of a few of the pressures and stressors of the business or the family! Happy Leadership Thursday!