Devotionals (2-3 paragraphs)

Listed below as well as attached are indivual devotionals prompts. The attached document is a copy of what is pasted below.
Please write 2-3 paragraphs for each devotional.

Devotional -1

Leadership isn’t based solely on personality, but how we apply godly wisdom and discernment to our actions and our relationships. Our devotionals for this course will be loosely based upon Kouzes’ and Posner’s (2012) Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership found in their book, The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. Kouzes’ and Posner’s research revealed that extraordinary leaders of organizations are really just ordinary people who have tapped into five basic practices. In education, we have leaders in the classrooms as well as leaders in administrative offices. Read these devotionals and recognize the leader that is in you whether you are seeking to become a teacher or a school administrator of some kind. Each unit we will focus on one of the following Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

Modeling the Way

Inspiring a Shared Vision

Challenging the Process

Enabling Others to Act

Encouraging the Heart

Consider the following scriptures:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. James 1:22-24 (NASB)

Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior. 1 Peter 1:15 (NASB)

Discussion Topic: As you prepare to develop your statement of ethics that articulates your personal and professional values and beliefs due in Unit 1, what effect does your Christian faith, or absence of Christian faith, have on your ethics statement? Can one’s religious beliefs remain separate from his/her professional values?

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Devotional 2

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26(KJV)

“Well done, my good servant!” his master replied. “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” Luke 19:17 (NIV)

Extraordinary leaders understand that their behavior is noticed by others and that behavior is directly related to personal values and beliefs. Modeling the way involves setting the example for others. Think of modeling the way as bearing fruit; fruit comes from the nature of the tree just like a person’s behavior typically stems from his/her internal beliefs. Kouzes and Posner found that exemplary leaders lead from what they believe, and they set the example not only in elaborate and large-scale ways but most importantly in small, quiet ways. Leaders earn some amount of respect from others when they deliver a brilliant strategic plan in an important meeting, but deep respect is often earned when the leader doesn’t even realize anyone is watching. Imagine popping your head out of your office and seeing a fellow educator help a special needs student pick up the books they dropped or take the time to pick up several pieces of litter in the hallway. A true leader takes the initiative to cheerfully do what’s right even in the smallest of matters.

Discussion Topic: Think about an extraordinary leader whose example has affected you in a positive way. Your example does not have to be a school leader. Describe what this leader did, how you were affected by it, and what you learned from the example. Feel free to share more than one leader and/or example. Also, can you cite a scripture reference dealing with leadership? Try to choose a different example from what has already been posted. How can we apply this verse to our lives?

Devotional 3

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

Exemplary leaders not only model the way, they also inspire others to partake in a shared vision or desired destination for their organization. Casting a vision requires envisioning the big picture of what is possible and forming goals to reach the desired outcome. Seeing how things could be improved is important but is worthless unless others want to follow your lead. Be enthusiastic about the possibilities, learn what is important to your constituents (students, parents, colleagues), and let them know that you value their interests. Your enthusiasm for and belief in the project combined with a sincere interest in your constituents will ignite their inspiration for the vision and develop unity among the group. Inspiring a shared vision provides purpose for those you enlist in the dream.

Consider another translation of the above scripture:

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. Proverbs 29:18 (New Living Bible)

As educators, we must understand the principle that vision casting leads to a professional purpose for those we aspire to lead. As followers of Christ, if we fail to follow His divine guidance, we will lead lives that lack direction and are void of true purpose, which is bearing fruit.

Discussion Topic: How will you go about developing a sincere interest in those you aspire to lead, whether adults or children? Try to include at least one scripture reference.

Devotional 4

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (KJV)

In the last two units, we learned that exemplary leaders:

Model the Way

Inspire a Shared Vision

According to Kouzes and Posner (2012) in their book, The Leadership Challenge, a third practice of exemplary leadership is challenging the process, which involves taking risks and attempting something beyond the status quo. Inherent in taking risks is the potential for failure. Leaders must weigh the risks and their constituents’ ability to commit to the risk. By consistently modeling the way and inspiring a shared vision, the exemplary leader earns the trust and respect of constituents, which makes the followers more likely to commit to the risk.

If we are willing to take risks, we must be ready to fail. Remember that God allows failure in our lives. He can use failure to gain our attention, discipline us, humble us, and draw us closer to Him. How we respond to failure is indicative of our character. Tomorrow’s success is built upon yesterday’s failure.

Discussion Topic: Though we should not seek to fail, God can use failure for our good. How does God use failure for our good? What is the difference between failing and being a failure?

Devotional 5

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 (NIV)

We have learned that exemplary leaders:

Model the Way

Inspire a Shared Vision

Challenge the Process

A fourth practice of exemplary leadership is enabling others to act, which places the focus on teamwork rather than the efforts of the leader. The effective leader places an emphasis on we instead of I. Collaboration has the potential to build trust among the group and give each individual a sense of ownership. Through this sense of individual ownership in the team effort, constituents are enabled to achieve much more than if they are following merely because the leader is a dictator. Interestingly, extraordinary leaders utilize methods that enable their constituents to become extraordinary leaders.

Jesus is the ultimate example of an exemplary leader. He used His God-given power responsibly. Jesus delegated tasks to the Apostles and trained them well so that they would be responsible leaders. He worked alongside his followers and was a servant leader. Jesus modeled the way, inspired a shared vision, challenged the status quo, and enabled others to act.

Discussion Topic: How will you follow Jesus’ example and enable others to act?

Devotional 6

The final installment in this Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership devotional series is encouraging the heart. Constituents become tired and maybe even disillusioned. The extraordinary leader knows how and when to perform sincere gestures of caring. Sincere acts of caring need not be grandiose; often the small, personal acts of caring are the most meaningful. Consider sincere public recognition of individuals or groups, handwritten notes, or simply taking the time to visit one-on-one with your constituents. The foundation of encouraging the heart is building relationships based on genuine caring. Encouraging the heart builds community, which will help sustain the group in good times and bad.

In conclusion, the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are:

Modeling the Way

Inspiring a Shared Vision

Challenging the Process

Enabling Others to Act

Encouraging the Heart

In essence, leadership is about relationships. Each of the practices cannot be performed in isolation independent from constituents; leading requires that we focus on others rather than self. Jesus is the perfect example of a leader who exhibited the above practices. Consider your relationship with Jesus. Is He the leader of your life? Allow Him to encourage your heart.

Take a few moments to meditate on the following scriptures:

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NASB)

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:4-6 (NASB)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Discussion Topic: How does your current perception of a leader differ from your perception prior to beginning the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership devotional series?

Devotional 7

Kouzes and Posner suggest that the one thing that sustains a leader and gives him/her courage is love. “Leaders are in love – in love with the people who do the work, with what their organizations produce and with their customers.”

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres . . .

Love never fails…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. 1 Corinthians 13: 8 and 13 (NIV) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

It takes a great deal of love to be an educator. Love must be there for the students, for educating, for creating, for persevering through whatever comes. This passion sustains you and reminds you why you are doing what you are doing. In concluding with Kouzes’ and Posner’s thoughts, love is the sustaining element. The spirit-breathed scriptures define it better than anyone else could phrase it. Live by these words in your work with the students, with teachers, with colleagues, with the administration, with parents of students, and with school boards.

Within the scope of this course on public school law, does love still abide in our schools and courthouses? What can you do to make sure it is there?

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