Leadership Lessons From a Birthday Party


Bob Bumgarner shares lessons from a birthday party on how to lead like Jesus.

Last night was a great night! We had a party. My son has been dating a wonderful young lady for over a year and last night we celebrated her birthday. It was full of eating, laughter, storytelling, pictures, Facebook posts and oh yes, birthday cookies decorated just for her.

What does this have to do with leadership? Well, almost everything. Only God speaks things into existence. The rest of us have to work together to get things done.

First, we had to decide if we wanted to have a party. There have been other girlfriends but never a birthday party!

Second, we had to decide the scope of the party. You know, the when, where, who and how of the party.

Third, we had to secretly and creatively carry out the party plans as responsible individuals.

Finally, we had to make time to actually participate in the experience.

In the process, an amazing thing began to happen. We weren’t just planning a party. We were coming together as a team. We were celebrating the value of relationships new and old. We were sacrificing for the benefit of someone else. We were creating environments that others would find meaningful.  We were expressing love and acceptance as the decorations were made and presents bought with her in mind. And we were creating memories and stories to embellish in the future.

So, learning to lead like Jesus can happen through a party:

  1. Decide what you want to celebrate.
  2. Create steps so that it can happen.
  3. Involve others in meaningful and creative ways.
  4. Strengthen relationships through the process.
  5. Finally, thank the Father that it takes a team to make a party!

Written by Bob Bumgarner

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