Developing Godly Character: Concrete Lessons for a Leadership Awakening in America

Developing Godly Character.  Concrete lessons for a leadership awakening in America today. In this episode learn about the foundational principles for lasting success and the three characteristics that make a great leader when we discuss Doug Stringer’s book Leadership Awaking in today’s episode.

Air Date: 02/15/2017


Guests: Doug Stringer, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers.  Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Welcome

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture! This is WallBuilders Live! We’re discussing today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and other areas of the culture. We are always looking from a particular perspective, and that perspective is from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. We want to make sure we’re applying those to every issue we address.

We are here with David Barton.  He’s America’s premier historian and founder of WallBuilders, also here with Tim Barton, national speaker, and pastor. And my name’s Rick Green I’m a former Texas state representative.

Our organization WallBuilders is a national pro-family organization presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes with an emphasis on our religious, moral, and constitutional heritage. You can find out more at our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com.

By the way, there at WallBuilders.com, go under articles and there’s a ton of great articles there on some of those forgotten history and heroes that you’re going to learn about, just a wealth of information.

Also, check out WallBuildersLive.com for a list of our stations across the country and also get the archives from the last few weeks of our various programs.

David:

Rick, I’ll add another one as well.

Rick:

Yeah, jump in here, man.

David:

For these little things about learning about forgotten history and heroes, also go to the YouTube channel and subscribe there because we’re covering all the new videos all the time that are highlighting these fun aspects of history.

Engaging The Next Generation  

Tim:

That’s right. And it’s an all or social media.  So if it’s easier to follow on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, we’re on all of the social media platforms. When we do these videos it really is some fun, informative stories.

Of course, we do have a YouTube channel and you can subscribe on YouTube and follow us that way.  But we are working to try to do videos to help really engage the next generation and reach them where they are. So really short fun videos, telling some of the stories from history.  It is a great way to learn more about this forgotten history and heroes.

Rick:

I’m so glad you brought that up too because we don’t talk a lot about the library on the radio program and the things you guys have there in the library at your fingertips to be able to bring that to life on these videos it is so cool the stuff that you all talk about on the on the videos.

The artifacts, the letters, and the original documents of our Founding Fathers and presidents throughout our history. So, those videos are a great way for somebody in just a couple of minutes to get a powerful message. And then share it because that’s one thing our listeners often ask is, “What can I do to influence the culture?”

Well here are all of this powerful information, these incredible stories.  You can share them. You can take that two, three, four, minute video and share it to your friends and families. Frankly, that’s people’s attention span these days. Not everybody will listen to even our short 30-minute radio program but even that’s too long for some people. So those two or three-minute video is very powerful and you can check them out there by getting on the YouTube channel or Facebook.

American Documents And Artifacts

David

But if you like that content, and by the way, just in the last week, the stuff we’ve gotten has been unbelievable. We have some clothing and medals from George Washington, from John Adams, and some from Thomas Jefferson, just original stuff that goes back to those guys, you know, their hands touched it stuff.

We also brought in things in the last week that are out of World War Two, pretty amazing things out of World War Two. So and the library museum we have well over 100,000 items there and artifacts.

One of the things we do for our donors is we have a webinar that we do periodically. What we’ll do is part of that webinar we’ll walk them through all these new acquisitions we have in the library museum and we do take that part of the webinar and put it out online for people who want to see this cool stuff from history.

We were just able to get a revolutionary war drum out of George Washington’s estate. So you see in movies these revolutionary war drums, well we got the one that George Washington had. So it’s kind of fun to see that stuff and we just bought some American Revolution uniforms, hats, and things from that era.  It’s just a lot of fun.

So people who want that on the on the YouTube website we actually have that segment out of what we do with donors, the webinar where you can actually see it. So if you want to see more about America’s history and actually see the actual artifacts, the actual documents, and the actual stories, that’s another great place to go.

Rick:

Well it brings it to life.  Some people think that history is boring.  That’s just because the only history they’ve ever known was that incredibly boring teacher they had in high school or college that sat there and read dates or made them memorize places and names, instead of actually living that history. So, by watching these videos where you bring the library to life, you bring these artifacts, and you tell the stories of the people that actually experience these things, it’s a totally different perspective and it makes it real, it’s exciting, and also applicable. We’re able to take the lessons that they learned and apply them to our lives today.

So, by watching these videos where you bring the library to life, you bring these artifacts, and you tell the stories of the people that actually experience these things.  It’s a totally different perspective.  It makes it real.  It’s exciting, and also applicable. We’re able to take the lessons that they learned and apply them to our lives today.

Disaster Relief

David:

Yeah, that’s exactly right.  Applicable is the key word. History, yeah it goes through phases, but the lessons you learn from history they stay with you forever. It’s technology that changes.  It’s not the principles that change. So what we do with that history is we bring out the principles that are still applicable today. Plus, it’s just kind of fun to see the biographies of other folks at other times.

Rick:

So speaking of being applicable, Doug Stringer is going to be with us a little later when we come back from the break and he’s talking about leadership application, about how we make sure that wherever we are in the culture that we’re living out and applying these lessons in an effective way.

David:

And Doug is a really great guy.  He’s not a name that most people recognize but what he does behind the scenes is pretty unbelievable. I am the chairman of the board of a major charity and we do a lot of disaster relief work across the United States. And whatever happens, whether the floods in East Texas, whether it’s the floods that hit Louisiana, whether it’s the tornadoes in Illinois, whatever it is we go on there and help these guys rebuild and restructure.

We get all these partners we work with.  We’ve got veterans like Team Rubicon that go in and help solve this. And wherever we go, Doug Stringer’s already there ahead of us on the ground. He has an organization called, Somebody Cares and he empowers churches and he shows them how to do disaster relief and how to respond to these things, where the church is really the one solving the community problem.

So we love working with Doug because of what he does at that level. Some people may know about these prayer rallies that are called, The Response.  We’ve had them all over the United States. You get governor’s responses, Governor of Texas did one, the governor in New Mexico, and the governor of South Carolina, and there would be 50-70 thousand people in a stadium and they’re praying for the country and etc. Doug’s the one who helped pull those together.

I mean he can get a stadium full of people showing up.  Doug has got all sorts of great experience and he’s taken a lot of that leadership experience he has put in a book called Leadership Awakening. It’s just filled with applicable lessons that can be used by anybody. And it’s a great book full of great wisdom from a guy who really does a lot to change the nation.

Rick:

Well, stay with us, folks.  We’re going to take a quick break.  Doug Stringer with us when we return. It’s called, Leadership Awakening, Foundational Principles for Lasting Success. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

Constitution Alive

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders’ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution.  You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.

We Need Godly Leaders

Rick:

Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Doug Stringer with us today.  He is founder and president of Turning Point Ministries and his book Leadership Awakening, Foundational Principles for Lasting Success. Perfect topic here as we begin the new year and talk about what’s going to happen in your life this year and some great tips for you on that leadership awakening. Doug, thanks for coming on man!

Doug:

It’s great to be with you!

Rick:

Hey, so, tell us a little bit about why you decided to write the book and how people can use it this year in their lives and what they’re trying to do for the Lord.

Doug:

Absolutely, over the last years, I’ve looked at some kind of similarities and why so many leaders do not finish the race well. As you know in Scripture we’re reminded that it’s not about just starting a race, but it’s about finishing the race and finishing well.

I had seen the statistics years ago by Dr. Robert Winston from the theological seminary that 70 percent of Christian leaders historically do not finish the race well. Part of the reasons were issues of finances, power, pride, sexual temptation, family issues, loss of spiritual momentum, and etc.

So, we look at where we are today and we have such a vacuum of Godly persons being courageous leaders. I’ve realized that with such an erosion and unraveling of so many of our moral foundations we need persevering Godly leaders like never before.

Rick:

Yeah, no doubt no doubt. And you’re right, it does seem like if you sit back and you watch the typical media most leaders in America today there’s not much more fiber, there are not the great examples, I mean I think parents are saying, “Hey where’s the examples I can give to my young people.” Definitely a vacuum.

Doug:

Absolutely.

Setting Your Foundation On God’s Principles

Rick:

So, what would you say, in just a few minutes here together.  For people, just a couple of things out of the book that they can apply immediately, take this and use it in their life, not just platitudes but what you’re giving people are real solutions and real tips on how to finish well.

Doug:

I remember in the book I talk about, quote, “The importance of us being brutally honest with ourselves and recognizing that nothing that we build will ever last.” In fact, if we build on anything other than on the foundations of the characteristic of God’s kingdom, and Paul speaks about that in 1 Corinthians 3, that if we build on anything other than the Lord, His principles, and His kingdom they will implode.  It will not last.

I remember the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, and she said, “A woman is like a tea bag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you’ve put her in hot water.” And that’s so true of all of us today when the trials and adversities and difficulties come along the way. It shows you the true character or lack of character in the individuals lives.

If you remember 9/11, so many unsung heroes emerged out of nowhere. These are nameless and faceless, of course, many firemen, police officers, and everyday citizens who in the moment of tragedy emerged as heroes. Who jumped in there to try to rescue the perishing.

We live in a very challenging difficult world today with so many adversities, and yet, we need Godly leaders to rise up more than ever before. But there are certain characteristics that I’ve found Biblically that I believe are important.

If we don’t build on the foundations of Christ it will not last. So, I really believe that today, more than ever, we need to build on the foundations of Godly leadership. We need bring back those core values and our non-negotiables in our lives, so that when the pressure comes we will not acquiesce out the pressures of man nor to the norms or the status quo, or the norms of the day.

His Church Should Be The Heartbeat Of The Nation

If you look at today so many people, from preachers to politicians, and from pulpits to political offices and all between, have compromised their convictions. What we have to do is come back to the non-negotiables of what we know is true, the truth will set us free, that’s what scripture teaches us.

I think it’s important if we’re a CEO, a pastor, an athlete, or whoever, it may be a politician, we need to get back to what is it that we really believe or where those convictions are that we’re going to adhere to that we know will last beyond our circumstance.

Rick:

But I love, too, to in the book you know you do the same thing David Barton did, you take the book of Nehemiah and say look here’s a perfect example of all the types of opposition that will come at you in life and a perfect example of how to respond to each of those levels of opposition.

Doug:

Absolutely, and you know Rick, one of the things I talked about there was like 7 to 10 things that I’ve identified oppositions that come against visionary leadership. When you choose to do the right thing, and we used the Book of Nehemiah, one of those things is discouragement.

I think the discouragement is a powerful drug. If you look at the children of Israel in the 40 years in the wilderness they were discouraged on the way. So they initially had this great destination this great vision excitement of where they were going. But along the way with the valleys, the difficulties, the desert journey they became discouraged on the way.

When we become discouraged and disappointed we’ll become disillusioned and often distracted from the destination that we’re supposed to go to.  And in fact, in our situation, obviously the destination that God has for His Church to be the heartbeat and the soul of a nation.

Safety In A Multitude Of Counsel

Rick:

How important is it, you know, Nehemiah again, is a great example. How do you surround yourself with the right people to keep from getting that discouragement or to go to when that discouragement’s coming.

Doug:

That’s a great question and you know that would be a whole program in itself, but you know, Scripture is very clear that there is safety in a multitude of counsel. I think it’s not so much our own giftings and abilities.

In fact, Edwin Louis Cole, the late Dr. Cole who started the Christian men’s network used to say, “ Your natural talents and giftings can only take me so far, but it’s the character of God in you that takes you far beyond. It’s the stage where you passed your natural giftings and abilities.”

We’ve seen that we equate success somehow, to how big we can build, how much accolades we can get, how much we can acquire, but at the end of the day all those things will implode if we don’t build on the character of Christ and the kingdom.

Making An Eternal Impact

I had two friends on the space shuttle Columbia on that tragic day, 15 days in coming back to re-entry, they disintegrated over east Texas. Commander Rick Husband was the commander of the flight, and I remember something about his life before he went, he had every day a 15-minute devotion with this son and daughter. And as much as he loved the space program, he always wanted to be in the space program to be an astronaut, he didn’t want to miss those 16 days that he would be in space of having devotion with his son and daughter. So he stayed up late at night and he did sixteen 15 minute devotions on video. So every day, 1, day 5, day 10, day 15, day 16, they pop in that video to have devotion with dad. He didn’t want to miss though those things that are far more important.

After he passed away, the pastor, a good friend of mine, Steve Riggle, of Grace Community Church in Houston, received some documents because every astronaut writes down in their own handwritten words in the event that something goes wrong, that they would open these documents. And in his own words he wrote, “Pastor Steve, just tell them about Jesus and that he was real to me.” In other words, if you’re reading this, something went wrong.

And that’s exactly how he lived his life, on the space program he lived his life on the things that seem to be important here, he was building on a greater success that left a lasting legacy. So that the life he lived before the full of eternity, still continues to impact generations to come.

Rick:

Powerful example. So many great examples for us to learn from, tools that really do work and that we need. This is the beginning of, I think, a pivot year for America and maybe for many of us as individuals as well. Great time to pick up pick up a book like this, Leadership Awakening by Doug Stringer.

Pick Up The Book

Doug, a lot of other great books that you have that the folks can check out. Do you want them to go to your particular website DougStringer.com?  Or where is the best place to get the books? I’m talking about Living Life Well and some of the other things you put out.

Doug:

Sure, another book I released this year is called, In Search of a Father’s Blessing.  It’s the tragedy of our generation. So many are growing up with absentee fathers or in homes that there is no father. So I think that’s another important message in where we’re living out some of the consequences today in our in our world.

But then go to our other website which is SomebodyCares.Org. Or they can just go to Amazon,  Barnes & Nobles, or at local bookstore.  They can get it those ways.

Rick:

Excellent!  We’ll put all of those links up today at WallBuildersLive.com to make it easy. Doug, appreciate you coming on man! Let’s get you back.

Doug:

Thank you, it was great to be with you, Rick!

Rick:

Stay with us, folks.  We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

American History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today we heard that our Founding Fathers were largely atheist, agnostic, or deist. The writings of Founding Father Richard Henry Lee strongly refute that assertion. Richard Henry Lee was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and he is specifically the man who made the motion in Congress that America separate from Great Britain.

Following his death, his papers and correspondence, including numerous original handwritten letters from other prominent Founding Fathers, were passed on to his grandson. After having studied those letters this was how the grandson described our Founding Fathers. He declared, “The wise and great men of those days were not ashamed publicly to confess the name of our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. On behalf of the people, as their representatives and rulers, they acknowledged the sublime doctrine of his mediation.” For more information on God’s hand in American history contact wall builders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.

A Startling Statistic

Rick:

We’re back on WallBuilders Live with David and Tim Barton. Thanks to Doug Stringer for being with us! Guys, a lot in a short few minutes there to apply. You just pick one of those and spend 2017 mastering that particular area we would be in good shape. He had a lot of good stuff.

David:

Well, he did, and he had a lot of pretty startling things. I mean looking at 70% of Christian leaders do not finish the race well. Wow. You would think that Christian leaders might have a better shot at finishing, but you know that’s certainly not the case. As he pointed out, part of its power, part of it’s pride, or sexual temptation, or finances, or family issues, or loss of spiritual momentum.

I mean the fact that 70% of Christian leaders essentially fail in what they do, that’s a really good reason for needing the very leadership principles he’s talking about. He’s a guy that really does the research, but then he lives it out.

He is so great on relations, as I mentioned, he affects so many things that really do shift the nation and change the nation. So, he understands this stuff. But that was a startling statistic to me.

Tim:

Well you know it’s interesting, obviously, with the book being about leadership awakening, in the sense, he gave a few glimpses into the book, but just based on the interview and so much of the content that he talked about I don’t even really know all the details of the book but now I want to know the details of the book, just hearing some of the things he said and really the depth and profoundness of what he was talking about.

Being Faithful

I thought it was really interesting in the midst of it when he talked about in the midst of hard times that their characters were revealed. So we want to look for people that don’t compromise character that the character is Godly leadership. But then he identified when you look at pastors, politicians, or athletes he said when you have these people you want to know, are you going to keep your convictions?

He gave the sense that we want to appreciate honor uphold the people that keep their convictions. As you were going through this list it reminded me when he said, “athlete”, I thought that this was the reason people loved Tim Tebow of all the people that are athletes.

“I want to give thanks.”  These, you know, singers, or these rappers that have so much profanity, so many bad moral messages in their songs and their music and they get up and say, “I just think God for giving me the talent.” You’re going, “Ok, no, you can’t bring God into this moment. You’ve kind of missed it.” Well, it’s true with athletes, it’s true with politicians, and I did think it was interesting also he said, “pastors.”

You’re going, “Ok, no, you can’t bring God into this moment. You’ve kind of missed it.” Well, it’s true with athletes.  It’s true with politicians.  And I did think it was interesting also he said, “pastors.”

That’s kind of what you referred to.  So many pastors that, frankly, aren’t finishing in the race well. But when you have these people like Tim Tebow and certainly not to put him on a pedestal, that he’s anything more than a man, other than the fact that God has given him some pretty incredible character.  He’s worked hard.  He’s walking in it, but he’s been so faithful in who he is.

Rick:

He’s been consistent.

Tim Tebow

Yes.  He has been so faithful and consistent with who he is.  I so appreciate that about him.  He’s certainly had trials, but his character has been revealed in the midst of the hard times. And so you appreciate the people, and this idea of leadership.  He’s in this position.  It’s hard times, and yet he’s continually shown the good example that he has, and one of the reasons people love him so much.

So many things that Doug talked about, that in the midst of, even as I mentioned to Tim Tebow, he said, “There’s opposition to Godly leadership.” And things come against.  And this is where he’s even referencing the book which is when I thought, “Man, I’ve got to get this book. I’ve got to get in to see what it is.” Because obviously, you know in our position whether you know dad, or Rick, or myself, were in positions where were in front of people and we certainly deal with things that are ungodly attacks that come against Godly leadership, is just part of it.

He said, “Discouragement is one of the big things.” And it certainly is true.  When you look at so often when you are doing what you feel God has called you to do, one of the major attacks of the enemy is he makes you feel secluded like, “Man, nobody gets. it.  I’m alone.”

David:

Like I am the only one out there.

Rick:

The Elijah Complex.

Tim:

We call it the Elijah world view. “I’m the only one. I’m here all by myself.” God shows up to Elijah and says, “Hey bro, I’ve got seven thousand left. What are you talking about?” And then God kind of chastised Elijah, “Hey why don’t you get off your tail and just go do what I’ve called you to do” which is this be faithful mindset.

But it certainly is true that so often it’s just human nature, we do, we feel discouraged by the attack of the enemy. But this is something that we shouldn’t succumb to but rather recognize and then overcome the attack of the enemy. I mean just so many things he was pointing to that I thought were remarkable.

The Character Of A True Leader

David:

One of the things he said that really caught me was he said, “We have a vacuum of Godly, courageous, and persevering leaders. Now, at this point, I’d say throw out the word “leaders.” Because we have a whole different concept of leaders from what leaders really are.

I mean back in the founding era.  We call George Washington a leader.  We call John Hancock a leader.  We call Sam Adams a leader. That’s not the way they made leaders back then. The way they made leaders, for example, in political elections you have essentially had a blank ballot and you filled in the names of the people you wanted to be your leaders. It’s not like George Washington ran to be leader and said, “I’m a leader follow me.” The people said, “We want you to be our leader.”

Tim:

No, I’m pretty sure at second presidency he said, “Hey guys, choose me.”

David:

That’s right.

Tim:

Oh no, no, no.  It was the exact opposite.

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

I want to go home. I don’t want to do this.

David:

Every time he wanted to go home. After the French and Indian War and then they called him back and he wanted to go home after the Continental Congress and they called him back and he wanted to go home at the Constitutional Convention, they call him back and he kept going home but hey kept calling on him.

See, that’s a leader. And think in terms of a leader more as just an average ordinary person who wants to live out their life. But you take those three traits of Godly, courageous, and persevering, which every one of us ought to be.

Godliness Courage And Perseverance

There were a couple of words in there that really stood out to me.  Courageous, because we think of courageous as somebody who will stand up and take on the enemy and will single handedly fight.

It’s a David versus Goliath kind of- that’s not courage. I think the right definition of courage, and this is where I think it applies to every one of us, is courage is really when will you not be silent. What does it take to get you to speak out? And when will you not be absent from the battle?

And so the LGBTQ guys come after you and beat you up because you’re pro-traditional marriage and, “Well, I’m not going to say anything, because I know I don’t want to offend anybody.” That’s not courage. Courage has been able to stand up for your convictions. You don’t have to be combative, you don’t have to be ugly, you don’t have to be mean but you have to have some backbone and speak out something.

And then on perseverance, that’s the other word that struck me, is how long will you hang in there before you want to quit? And what does it take to make you quit? And as Christians, we need to get a little more backbone, and again, we don’t have to be combative, and we’ve got hanging hang in longer than we’re used to hanging in.

Developing Godly Character

Tim:

And it’s not even when do you want to quit, it’s that you’re you’re going to want to quit because any time it’s not fun, any time it’s inconvenient, I don’t want to do this. But it’s having the internal fortitude to say, “You know I don’t care.  Never ever will I give up. I’m I’m not going to stop. I’m going to have to die and God’s going to take me home because I’m not going to quit.” And that’s a different mindset. But it’s what we need in people’s lives.

David:

And if you get those traits right Godliness, courage, and perseverance, people will recognize you as a leader whether you try to be one or not. If you try to puff yourself up and say, “I’m the leader follow me” you’re really not a very good leader, a leader is a good servant.

And that starts with character and that character is the godliness and the courage and the perseverance and if you work on that that will make you a good leadership. And that’s what his book Leadership Awakening is so good on this.

Rick:

It’s a great way to work on it this year in 2017. Get that book Leadership Awakening, Foundational Principles for Lasting Success. Thanks so much for listening today to WallBuilders Live!

2017-02-15T15:57:16+00:00 February 15th, 2017|Religion & Church|0 Comments

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