A couple of years ago, Bo Prosser, minister of education at Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., teamed up with Charles Qualls, now associate pastor at Second Ponce De Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., to produce a motivational book for church leaders.
Lessons from the Cloth: 501 One Minute Motivators for Leaders is an eclectic collection of modern (and postmodern) proverbs, a volume that is relevant not only for ministers but for individuals with leadership responsibilities in any organization or institution.
My copy of this book sits on my “leadership shelf” alongside The One Minute Manager, Who Stole My Cheese?, and The Flight of the Buffalo. Of the 501 quips and quotes, the following are among my favorites:
- Never sacrifice the happiness of the future on the altar of the immediate.
- Make 100 things 1 percent better.
- The young, progressive crowd of today will be the old, stubborn crowd of tomorrow. Honor both right now.
- Those who shoot for nothing usually hit their target.
- Jesus was crucified by majority vote. Numbers don’t always tell the same story.
- Frogs are lucky. They can eat what bugs’ em.
- Bigger is not always better.
- Arguing with most people is like wrestling with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig enjoys it.
- Failure is never fatal; success is never final.
- Be a lifelong learner.
- Be flexible in your work and in your life.
- “The mind can only absorb what the fanny can endure.”
- Without discipline, vision is a fantasy. Without vision, discipline is drudgery.
- Change is inevitable; growth is optional.
- Never pet a Doberman to see how friendly the dog is.
- Keep quiet unless you can improve the silence.
- There is no competition among lighthouses. Candles never lose their light by giving away their flames.
- Leaders are not born; they are made. Be one; make one. Emerge!
Barry Howard is senior minister of First Baptist Church in Corbin, Ky.
Pastor at the Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta. He also serves as a leadership coach and columnist for the Center for Healthy Churches.