Truett Cathy was the founder of Chick-Fil-A. He opened his first restaurant in 1946 with his brother Ben. But things weren’t always easy for him. A few years later, both of his brothers who were licensed pilots went for a ride on a small plane and never made it back. He lost both of his brothers in one day. He was a devoted Christian. He knew that more than a businessman he wanted to be someone known for his principles.
“I think I’d like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in order.”
– Truett Cathy
More than about chicken, Truett was passionate about making everyone feel special. Thinking about his employees, he decided to close the restaurant on Sundays. He wanted people to have a day off to be able to go to church and be with their families. He did this himself from the start of his career. He would also tell his team members: “Treat everyone who walks through those doors as if they were the president”.
Chick-Fil-A teaches their employees about the second mile service based on Matthew 5:41 that says, “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles” (NIV).
He was able to create a culture of hospitality and this is what made them stand out among the rest. More than cooking chicken, they wanted to impact people’s lives.
Nehemiah was able to inspire the Israelites who were very discouraged because 100 years had passed since the wall lay in ruins. Nehemiah was able to teach the people the work hard, work smart culture. These volunteers were definitely a part of the “second mile team”.
“We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall. The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height because the people had a heart for the work.” (Nehemiah 4:6 MSG)
They had clarity that the vision was to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah had a compelling vision: We are going to build the wall so we can become a nation again.
Most of the people were not in the construction business. A lot of them were perfumers and goldsmiths, they had no idea how to build a wall. But they found hope in Nehemiah’s words. ¨I can be a part of something greater than myself.¨
When I first started to be in ministry, I didn’t really see myself as a leader. I saw myself as a singer and a worship leader. I thought, “I’m just going to make music, worship God, and let other people lead”. Even though I had a cell group I wasn’t as passionate about it as I was about music. But God showed me how I could make a difference in someone’s life. Connecting with people and seeing them how God sees them is what I’m most passionate about now.
A few months ago, I began creating the habit of starting my day with specific declarations. Here are two of my daily declarations:
God called me to believe in people, see the best in them and to raise up leaders.
I am a leader. It is not something I do. It’s who I am
Leaders are born in times of need
When they were halfway to their goal, criticism increased.
Critics demoralize but leaders encourage.
As we have learned, the critics were making fun of and mocking the Jews: “You’re never going to be able to finish. Can they do it in one day?”. When these voices came, that’s when the leader rose up and said, ¨WE WILL FINISH THE WORK¨. We have two options: we can either hear the criticism or focus on hearing God’s voice.
We see this in David’s life. His leadership was established by his courage, not by his talent. Who could fight against Goliath the giant? He was just a shepherd boy. Why would king Saul allow him to fight? Because of David s courage.
Leaders are leaders because they are the first to take action. Are you a leader willing to go the second mile?
More than talent you need courage.
Nehemiah was seen as a leader when he spoke to the king, worked on a plan, and when he was able to impart vision to the people.
What kind of second mile do we need to run?
BECOME A PRAYER WARRIOR
Nehemiah had a death threat. The enemies were creating a plot to attack Nehemiah and his crew. He had to train his team to become warriors. Although they didn’t know how to do so, they were willing to die for this vision.
“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” (V9 NIV)
Many Christians think that they are doing God a favor by coming to church. They just want to be entertained and ask what the church will give them now. But few people want to pay the price in prayer. We are constantly fighting a spiritual battle. There are evil forces in the heavens, and Christians need to understand that this is our greatest battle. God is calling you to run the extra mile in prayer. We have the sword, which represents the word of God. We also have the weapon of the blood of Jesus.
“This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT)
SECOND MILE ON GOD’S WORK
Nehemiah’s team decided to keep working despite the death threats. Half of them worked on finishing the wall and the other half kept watch against the enemies.
The first church that ever existed is found in the book of Acts. These first apostles truly were a part of the second mile club. They were willing to give their lives for the gospel.
I love the story in Acts 5: Peter and the apostles were sent to jail for preaching the gospel, but then the angel opened the jail gates and they were free. After that he told them that it was necessary for them to keep preaching the word in the temple. They obeyed and after they finished preaching and sharing the gospel they were severely flogged.
“They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:40-41 NIV)
What kind of Christian are you?
Do you want to take the easy route?
Do you go to church just to be entertained?
These apostles were willing to give their lives for the gospel. What are you willing to die for? If you know what you’re willing to die for, you’ll know your reason worth living.
God is calling you to be part of the second mile club.