Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Intentional Bucket Filling

Written by: on May 31, 2013


This has been a good week to reflect on Tom Rath’s five principles in his book, How Full is Your Bucket? Here is how the five principles played out.

Bucket Dipping

In the last couple of days a good friend of mind received good news that he has been hired as pastoral staff at a healthy mega church. He has been looking for a little while and constantly been turned down, when suddenly this door flew open and turned out to be the opportunity that he has dreamed of. In this instance, I had a choice to celebrate with him or pity myself that I have not achieved that dream job. The latter would have dampened his long-awaited moment to shove my own self into the spotlight. I chose to celebrate.

Shine a Light on what is Right

A few days ago, I was in a staff meeting where we struggled to understand why we were not accomplishing certain goals. There were moments where certain individuals seemed to shoot down every idea and instead explain only why we could not move in certain directions. Finally, someone spoke up and listed a few things that the team has done well. That individual also challenged the naysayers by resurrecting an earlier opportunity for the group to move forward. Eventually, the voices of the naysayers dissipated and the optimism in the room picked up. I learned that when the moment gets too heavy, be the voice to acknowledge the positive and refocus the group.

Make Best Friends

During a small group meeting amongst some church leaders, feelings were unintentionally hurt when a particular area was addressed regarding its level of effectiveness. The leader of that area felt attacked. Other group members were simply focusing on multiple areas needing improvement from an outside perspective. Somehow the hurt leader felt like it was personal. Therefore, anger started to creep out through conversation and mannerisms toward the other colleagues. Several of the group leaders picked up on this and approached the leader as a friend and colleague, reminding her of her value and what she means to the team. Making friends at work is great. Keeping friends at work is an art.

Give Unexpectantly

My wife has been reading Larry Crabb’s Men and Women: Enjoying the Difference. He talks about justified self-centeredness and our attempt to validate the legitimacy of our feelings. Unfortunately, selfishness is one of the primary factors that shatters relationships. The opposing behavior would be other-centeredness, which gives way for us to enjoy one another. Yesterday, we went grocery shopping and I simply wanted to get in and get out. I had twelve items in the ten items or less lane with a lady walking up behind me with only a loaf of bread. While it was clearly my turn and I was ready to go. I simply gestured for the lady to go ahead of me since she had fewer items.  She gave a heartfelt smile.

Reverse the Golden Rule

Motives are everything. I have knack for eating the same type of food for two or three days in a row. The other day, I threw out a few options for dinner realizing that they had something to do solely with my likes. Normally, when my wife chooses not to speak up right away, it means that that she is not feeling the options given to her. Moments later, she suggested a place that she had a taste for and I was actually excited about the option and had a great time with my family.


To conclude, at the end of the day, we all would like to have a simple drop in our buckets.

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