About Rick Upchurch

Married in 1976, with three grown children. Have served as Pastor in the Church of the Nazarene for 18 years and still hold ordination credentials in the Church of the Nazarene. Led and taught in Adult Degree Completion programs in Christian Higher Education since 1998. Published four books available on Amazon: Discipleship with James, Guidebook for Curriculum Development and Assessment, Spiritual Warfare, and The Principles of Life.

Great Followers Make the Best Leaders

This seems obvious, but you can’t really be a great leader until you have learned how to be a great follower.  There are several types of followers: the actively disengaged, the slacker, the confronter, the “yes” man and the fully engaged.  Each one has specific characteristics, however, it is the fully engaged Follower who rises to become the great Leader.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Resilience

Resilience

“It doesn’t matter what happens to you, what truly matters is how you respond to what happens to you.” The stories of those who have overcome adversity to achieve great results inspire us. Yet, somehow when WE are the ones in adversity the real temptation is to make all kinds of excuses why we should be pitied and excused for quitting.

For more on this check out the short video below:

When to (or NOT to) Bleed

Think of a continuum with health at one end, then scratches, then minor cuts, then major cuts, then open wounds and then death at the other end. You can lose a little blood and still be fine.  If you lose more blood you will be weak. If you lose too much blood you will be dead. This is a metaphor for dealing with political challenges at home and at work.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Put your own oxygen mask on 1st

You know how on an airplane trip the flight attendant goes over the safety instructions before the flight begins? One of the instructions is to take care of your own oxygen mask before trying to help others. The point is that if you don’t get oxygen yourself, you will be unable to help others, i.e. you can’t help anyone if you are passed out from lack of oxygen.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Change the Narrative

This is a re-post of an article on LinkedIN with the same title: CHANGE THE NARRATIVE

My understanding of resilience prior to this week was that it was something that people were just gifted with, like good eyesight or height. You either had it or you didn’t. Yet, in researching resilience I have learned that isn’t the case. Sure, some people tend to be more resilient because they are naturally optimistic. But what I have found is that resilience is a skill, something that can be honed.  Read the full article HERE.

Starting Fall 2019 Semester

Starting a new semester is filled with anticipation; on the one hand, you probably aren’t looking forward to having to attend class and complete your homework, on the other hand, you probably are looking forward to getting one step closer to being finished.

Here is some important information for you as you start your fall term at Belhaven University Adult Studies:

  1. Make sure you have Grammarly set up (http://blogs.belhaven.edu/adult-education/…/12/12/grammarly/) on your computer – Grammarly can also help you see what shows up as being plagiarized as well as helping you with your writing.
  2. Remember we offer free tutoring, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of it (http://www.tutor.com/belhavenjackson). It is also available as a link from within your CANVAS coursesite  – Let us know if you need assistance getting started.
  3. Subscribe to the Adult Learner Blog at this LINK. There are frequent posts here designed to help you succeed.
  4. Print off and keep a copy of the APA Quickguide close by when you are writing.  You can find it on Blazenet HERE
  5. If you haven’t done so already – ORDER YOU BOOKS!!!
  6. Complete the Class Preparation Quiz in Canvas which opens on August 19.  Remember if you don’t complete it by 11:55 PM August 27, you will be removed from the course without the option to re-register. Once you complete the quiz the other modules in Canvas will open for you to submit your assignments.

Administrative Resolve

Administrative resolve is the willingness of leadership to make hard decisions and then stick with them when the going gets tough. Administrative Resolve is quite possibly the most important aspect of effective leadership. With Administrative Resolve a strategy is defined and pursued to its end. Without Administrative Resolve second guessing and lack of focus results in mediocrity and failure.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Student / Instructor Issues (What Should I do?)

Sometimes issues arise between the student and the instructor. It can be attributed to a host of issues such as: the instructor is too harsh, the student hasn’t done the assigned work, the instructor doesn’t explain the material well, the student doesn’t pay attention in class, etc., and let’s not forget personality clashes. Scripturally speaking here are some principles that apply here:

Hebrews 12:14a – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone . . . .

1 Thessalonians 5:12 – We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you (ESV)

Matthew 18:15 – If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.

Proverbs 15:18 – A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel

The key in dealing with conflict with your instructor needs to start at that point, respect.  You may not feel you are being respected, but that doesn’t negate God’s call for you to show respect. Not only that but showing dis-respect can have a negative effect upon any possible outcome.

So, what should you do?

  1. Pray about it – Get the Lord’s perspective – some things are worth going to battle over and other things are not. Don’t let your ego and pride push you into a conflict where you have violated your own principles. If after prayer you still feel you need to proceed, then move on to the next step.
  2. Present your case to the Instructor with respect and without blame. In most cases, the issue turns out to be related to misunderstanding or miscommunication. Laying blame only pours gasoline on the fire. Is your goal to attribute blame or to find a resolution? If you lay aside your ego and seek to understand as well as be understood this will solve most problems. This is in line with Matthew 18:15 and yet too often I find that students skip this step.  If you still do not believe you have reached a satisfactory solution, go on to step three. Note that if you haven’t taken this step, the first thing the Dean is going to ask is whether or not you have discussed the issue with the instructor.
  3. Contact the Dean with your concerns. Remember, there are two sides to every story and the Dean will also get the Instructor’s side as well as yours, so be sure you are focusing on a solution. Be honest. If you say the Instructor’s grades are too low, but you leave out the fact that your work has been turned in late or not at all, the Dean will find out and it won’t support your case.

There are some cases when the Dean may have to step in and assist both parties in finding a solution. Remember, however, part of what the educational process teaches is the ability to work with people, some of whom we don’t get along with very well. Those with high EQ (emotional intelligence) navigate these relationships smoothly, while those of us with less EQ tend to get “self” in the way and create more problems for ourselves than solutions.

Start with the Word (Bible) and prayer and get the Lord’s perspective before you react.

 

“I’m Doing my Best”

Sometimes you will hear people say “ I’m doing my best” or “I tried my hardest”. Perhaps you have said these words yourself. Think about the last time you said those words – now be honest, was the effort you put forth really your BEST?  What is sad, is that more often than not those who say these words believe what they are saying.  . . . Check out the short video below for more on this: