The first element of transformational thinking is looking at God. The continuous experience of inward union with Christ is the source and center of all other healthy thinking behaviors.
I want to know Christ… (Phil. 3:10)
This was Paul’s cry, his passionate pursuit. To know the Lord Jesus is the greatest prize, far surpassing everything else in this life (Phil. 3:4-9).
Jesus defined “eternal life” the same way: eternal life is to know God.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
But, what exactly does it mean to “know” Jesus Christ? What does it mean to “know” God? Continue Reading »
This Letter introduces a new model of transformational thinking.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30)
To “love God with all your mind” means to fully explore and use the thinking capacities He has given you, in a manner always proceeding from, and subject to, His indwelling Presence.
Continue Reading »
God’s ultimate purpose in all things revolves around His Son:
having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him. (Eph. 1:9-10, NKJV)
The Son of God, Himself, is the final and complete revelation of God (Heb. 1:1-2). He fully reveals the Father (John 1:18; 16:15; 17:10, 26; Col. 1:19). In Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Everything is “under His feet” (1 Cor. 15:27). All things were created through Him and for Him, and all things are held together by Him (Col. 1:16-17). In everything, He has the preeminence (Col. 1:18).
Accordingly, the biblical model of leader development revolves specifically around the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Healthy leader development must be entirely Christ-centered, Christ-focused, Christ-absorbed. The Son of God is all in all! Continue Reading »
In our last Letter, we looked at the goal of leader development – we must build healthy leaders. There are five key attributes of a healthy leader:
Thus, a healthy Christian leader is a man or woman who knows God, was formed and lives in supportive and accountable community, has strong character, knows the purpose of God and presents it with credibility, clarity and passion, and has the necessary gifts, skills and knowledge to lead the people in the accomplishment of this purpose – and is continually growing in all five areas.
Whether or not one embraces our particular “5C Model,” everyone agrees that we must build the whole person. Certainly, no one seems to be arguing that we should build Christian leaders who don’t know God, or who don’t have character, and so forth!
But how can we build the whole person? It’s very easy to say that we need to do this. How can we actually build union with Christ, relational capacity, integrity, vision and practical ministry capacities in an emerging or existing leader? Continue Reading »
An effective leader possesses a blend of three special elements:
- Vision. In Christian circles, we could also call this “Calling.”
All three elements are found in the description of King David in Psalm 78:
He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (Ps. 78:70-72)
Verses 70-71 reveal David’s calling:
He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people
Verse 72a shows his character:
David shepherded them with integrity of heart
Verse 72b describes David’s competencies:
with skillful hands he led them.
Just as a stool has three legs, there are three foundations of effective leadership. All three must be present and in balance for the leader to succeed. The three foundations are calling, character and competencies. Continue Reading »
In our last Letter, we saw that self-giving love is at the core of healthy Christian leadership. For the healthy leader, the “fundamental focus shifts from what we need and from what others should be doing for us to what we can do to serve them… [This] is the very essence of what Jesus did in His life and ministry and it is at the heart of what He calls us to do (Matt. 20:26-28).”
So, does the Christian leader need help from others or is his focus to give help to others? Of course, the answer is yes! Continue Reading »
In our last Letters, we looked at the relationship between Christ and Community in the leader’s life: Christ builds Community, and Community builds Christ.
First, “Christ builds Community” means the leader’s union with Christ will be expressed in the leader living together with others in the Community in self-giving love, in true servanthood. If you know God, you will love and serve your brother (1 John 4:7).
Second, “Community builds Christ” means that it is only as a part of the Community that the leader will fully experience the indwelling life of Christ. Continue Reading »
In our last Letter, we looked at the relationship between Christ and Community and the implications of this relationship for leader development.
In the New Testament, there is a very close relationship between the church and the leader’s maturing union with Christ. This relationship can be expressed in two fundamental ways: Christ builds Community, and Community builds Christ. Continue Reading »
In the western church, Christianity is largely understood as an individual thing – a personal transaction between the individual and God. Consequently, leader development is also understood, largely, in individual terms – the individual learns and grows in an essentially individualized learning environment and then, once qualified, he performs his ministry and fulfills his personal calling.
In the New Testament, however, there is a very close relationship between the church and the leader’s maturing union with Christ. Continue Reading »