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Summary: Week two in a four week series on the essentials for conquerors.

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08, February 2004

Dakota Community Church

The Essentials

The Essential Characteristics of Conquerors

WEEK TWO: COMPETENCE

Introduction:

None of us wants to be incompetent. We all want to succeed.

In looking at the different conquerors we have studied over the last weeks one thing becomes evident – they were all very competent individuals.

- David was a competent shepherd and king.

- Joshua was a competent leader of men. (Silent marching 7 days)

- Daniel was being put in charge of the entire kingdom.

- Joseph was ruling in Egypt.

Most incompetent people don’t know they are incompetent.

In fact, researcher Dr. David A. Dunning of Cornell University reports that people who are incompetent are more confident of their abilities than competent people.

Dunning and his associate Justin Krueger believe that skills required for competence are the same skills necessary to recognize that ability.

Krueger writes in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Not only do [incompetent people] reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it."

That is the way we are spiritually without Christ.

Our sin not only separates us from God, it blinds us to our predicament.

SOURCE: Hank Simon, Catch-22 of Incompetence, Belleville, Illinois. Citation: New York Times News Service, Belleville [Illinois] News-Democrat (1-18-00.)

Has anyone been watching the American Idol TV show?

- How many people are there who are incompetent singers but don’t know it?

- Their shocked faces and angry responses would be really sad if they weren’t so terrible.

How can we increase our level of competence?

1. Play to your strengths.

Romans 12: 3-6

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

Five Obstacles to Playing to Your Strengths:

1.) Overemphasizing balance.

It is possible to expend so much energy trying to improve your weaknesses that you wind up under producing in the areas that will lead you to conquer.

2.) Failure to distinguish between authority and ability.

Acts 6: 1-7

1In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

7So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

- The disciples had the authority to handle the money; they did not have the ability to do it the most effectively.

- Are you doing things that someone else should be doing?

3.) Failure to recognize incompetence.

When I admitted to Jake and Chris and the rest of the board that I am not a good administrator it was not new information to them.

- Everyone else already knows that you cannot do what you are claiming you can.

4.) Guilt.

Sometimes we get doing things that we are not good at because we wrongly assume that everyone else hates those jobs as well.

We feel guilty having someone else do what we do not enjoy.

- Enter the different gifts in the Body.

5.) Unwillingness to recognize team truth.

We don’t play to our strengths if we fall into the trap of believing we are the team superstars.

2. Stretch past your comfort zone.

Stagnation leads to incompetence. The way we’ve always done it is quite often no longer the way it should be done.

- Just because it was once the best way does not mean it is still the best way.

Illustration:

The Detroit News carried a humorous little story about Bill Cosby’s aged mother that illustrates how useless gifts are unless they are used. She had been raised in poverty, and the family had very little money as Bill was growing up. As a result, she never had modern conveniences and had gotten accustomed to doing things the hard way. When the children were old enough to get jobs, they often gave their mother appliances as Christmas gifts to make her life easier. But she wouldn’t use them. Bill especially remembered that after a while his mother had two or three toasters. But she left them in their boxes and put them on top of the refrigerator. At breakfast she would still do the toast in the oven. If the boys protested, she would say, "Leave them on the refrigerator. I’m used to doing it the old way."

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