1 - True Success

Who Do You Serve?


As Christian leaders we want to serve God, but the world is so enticing. Everywhere we go there are things to buy, positions to win, and pleasures to pursue. How do we turn away from mere satisfaction and strive for making a difference instead? In this first session, Tony Bridwell urges leaders to look to God first and others second in order to be successful and grounded in godly leadership.  

Tony Bridwell is Partner and Practice Leader for Partners In Leadership with nearly three decades of executive leadership experience. He is also the author of The Difference Maker: A Simple Fable About Making a Difference in the Life of Others and The Kingmaker: A Leadership Story of Integrity and Purpose



Success for Tony is using the gifts God has given him in a way that brings God glory on a daily basis. It’s understanding where his strength lies and what his true ability is and learning into that. 

What gifts and talents has God given you? What do you believe God gave you the ability to do so well that you feel strong when you do it?
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Tony talks about using his gifts to glorify God, help others, and make a difference in people’s lives. How do your gifts glorify God? In what ways do your abilities praise and honor Him?
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Serving people means putting their needs before your own. What needs do you see in the community or world around you? In what ways could/do you use your gifts and abilities to meet these needs?
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How do you think the world defines success? In what ways are those definitions similar to or different from how Tony defines it?
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Is fame a bad thing? What about money? Pleasure? A promotion? Explain how these things can be described as "good" or "bad" when it comes to success. How have you experienced any of these in a good way? How have the affected you in a bad way?
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What is the difference between allowing worldly things to determine our success and allowing God to determine it?
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Tony said that life is full of tests and trials. He talks about having “skinned knees,” and you’ll hear him mention these later in the course too. When we let the world dictate our view of success, we inevitably fall into dangerous places and ending up hurting ourselves and others. On the other hand, when we focus on serving God and others, we are able to ground ourselves and prioritize our lives in much healthier ways. This is something Tony says he must do daily.  

What are some daily practices you currently do or could begin in order to focus on God and others?
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Tony said he often asks himself, “Who am I doing this for?” How might asking that question shift your focus and decisions in the future?
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God created the world and loves His people in it. It’s far from perfect, though, and the world’s temporary pleasures can be dangerous. When we place our trust in money, fame, and power, we’re destined for disappointment, not success. When we turn our eyes to God and the good of others, though, we are able to be a blessing and make a difference in the world around us.