Day 2


This article was written by Clay Staires, Tulsa Leadership Trainer, Motivational Speaker & Founder of Tulsa’s #1 Leadership Program, The Leadership Initiative.

Remember the Movie Clip from “The Matrix” – “Do you want the blue pill or the red pill?

What is being “said” in this question from Morpheus to Neo? What is implied?

Every Journey Has A Beginning…

We start with Proverbs 25:4 –

“Remove the dross from the silver and out comes material for the silversmith.”

This is our foundational verse for The Furnace. How do you remove dross? It starts with some heat! Welcome to The Furnace!!

Some Structure…

  • o F1 Memory verse: Romans 12:1-4 and 12:9-13:10
  • o Classes and schedules – 14 Classes (2x/wk)
  • o Class time/’lab’ time – Disciples (Leaders) are made in “the field” not in “the classroom”. Our classes are a time for education and evaluation. The “field” is where we get our experiences that create growth. Without the field, growth is, at best, simply academic. This is why Sunday school is great to hear teachings, but by themselves they can leave us still wanting more and church services can be very social and intellectually stimulating, but can lack the power to change us.
  • o The Model We’ll Use –
  1. Education – What we learn
  2. Experience – What we see and do
  3. Evaluation – How we interpret what we have learned, seen and done. HUGE!
  • o Focus: How to THINK as a Servant Leader


Growth will not happen by chance! Growth is not just a function of TIME. Growth is a function of INTENTIONALITY.

How do I look for something when I don’t know what it looks like? How do you hear something when you don’t know what you’re listening for?

The Sign of Learner – They Ask Questions? When was the last time you asked a question?

Core Values of the F1 Student

  1. Embracing Personal Development – get used to asking a lot of questions!
  2. Submitting to authority – Divine Authority and Delegated Authority

Actions to practice as you grow as a Servant Leaders:

  1. Discerning the voice of God
  2. Learning how to consider others
  3. Listening to and praying for others
  4. Helping others in practical ways
  5. Worshiping God by following His practical example
  6. Obeying God and his delegated authority here on earth

Character Building Lessons for a Growing Leader

  1. Living a clean life: Ps 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.”
  2. Show Integrity: Tit 2:6-8 “… encourage the young men to be self controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching, show integrity and seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose yo may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
  3. Practice Restraint: La 3:27 “It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”
  4. Know that Moral Strength is stronger than Physical Strength: 1 Jn 2:14b “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God live in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”
  5. Value Your Influence: 1 Tim 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
  6. Understand the certainty of a Final Judgment: Ecc 11:9 “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.”

Do you see how INTENTIONALITY is primary to growth? This kind of growth isn’t just going to happen on it’s own. Do you see how you must deliberately embrace the growth process before it can happen? Can you understand that just because you are growing in age, you are not automatically growing in maturity?


  1. Personal Identity: The Great Pursuit of Life
  2. Submission to Authority: The Great Conflict of Life
  3. Discipline: The Great Test of Life

Self-Discipline is what builds Character

The First Person You Must Lead Is Yourself!

Leadership Development Stage:

    • Personal Development – discipline and character. Can you live within boundaries?

Examples from scripture of ‘Furnaces’

With every great call comes a furnace of preparation…

  • Adam and Eve’s boundaries in the garden were a furnace
  • Abrahams promise and call was a furnace
  • Joseph’s pit was a furnace (as was his dream!)
  • David’s Cave Of Adullam was a furnace (as was his anointing)
  • Daniel’s furnace was a… furnace!
  • Jesus’ desert was a furnace
  • Peter’s denial was a furnace
  • Paul’s imprisonment was a furnace

The purpose of The Furnace: to create material for the silversmith


How The Furnace works:

Proverbs 25:4 – “Remove the dross from the silver and out comes material for the silversmith.”

‘Dross’ is the impurity in our hearts and minds. It’s not just bad actions, it’s bad thinking; bad believing. So we begin our ‘conversion’ into Kingdom Thinking with transforming the way we think. That’s why it’s so confusing! You can only think what you think!

How do you change your thinking?

You don’t just hear it in a teaching. It comes only through repetition and proper modeling.

You can only think what you can think!

The only way to change your thinking is by submitting to a new model that is outside your ‘box’. This will be uncomfortable and it will require a decision to believe!! New thinking must be introduced to you. But the only way you can hold on to it is if it FITS. So, our minds must be prepared to “make a place” for these new ideas and beliefs.

Sometimes things have to come down before other things can go up.

Often times, to move forward, we must let go of something behind.

How are you experiencing this ‘confusing’ transformation already in your life? Where has your thinking already been challenged? Where are you questioning the “fairness” of life or the “goodness” of God? Have you had an opportunity to “doubt” the judgment of your parents yet?

Prepare for new ideas that confront your thoughts of ‘how things work’

  • Two and a half months is just the beginning. The Furnace isn’t over in August! The more you go, the more you find. Most people love it until it gets uncomfortable.
  • How does ‘dross’ get removed? Turn up the heat! What does this look like?


Welcome to Servant Leadership – the model of Leadership in the Kingdom of God. The only true way to be a GREAT LEADER!


Your journey begins Just like so many other stories that capture our sense of adventure and excitement.

“Once upon a time…” what comes next is up to you and your willingness to proceed

“Do you want the blue pill or the red pill?”

Clay Staires