Archives For Christianity

10 Marks of Wise Leaders

November 19, 2013 — 2 Comments

blue-brick-wall-shadowWe’ve all considered the question, ‘Are good leaders born or made?’ It can be argued to some extent that when it comes to leadership, ‘you either have it, or you don’t.’ However, I believe that most leaders, given some honest feedback, encouragement, and experience, can improve even in areas that are viewed as weaknesses.

Solid leadership requires good judgment. Solid Christian leadership demands personal discipleship and prayer as well. So many times I see and hear leaders complaining about the push-back and lack of support they get from those they are elected, appointed, or called to lead. And, to be fair, sometimes those followers are just grouchy or plain mean. More often, however, I think they are responding understandably to the seeming inadequacies, incompetence, and insincerity of those who seek to lead them.

All leaders hit walls from time to time. Christians are no exception. That is to say that they realize their own limitations and ineffectiveness. Unfortunately, those limitations are often realized, if not magnified, by others around them as well. As a minister and therapist, I am a huge proponent of family systems theory, which teaches that even one small problem in an individual can create chaos and confusion for every other member of the family. When you carry that principle over to a more concrete system — an amusement ride, for example — it’s easy to see how one loose screw or one weak link could jeopardize the security, integrity, and functionality of the entire operation.

Lucky for us all, we do not bear the burden of perfection. On the other end of the equation though, we must find within ourselves the grace to extend to those around us who are equally imperfect. Viewed in this way, I believe that challenges, even failures, can provide great opportunities for the kind of self-evaluation that can right wrongs, turn corners, and calm the turbulence of dysfunctional teams and organizations. We’ve seen such scenarios play out through the years in sports, politics, business, and church life — sometimes on TV and sometimes much closer to the action.

So what makes the difference between an exhausted and ineffective leader and an effective one? I think it all comes down to wisdom and a teachable spirit.

Consider these 10 attitudes and practices of wise leaders: Continue Reading…

graham-bday-2013-editedToday marks the 95th birthday of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. And in keeping with his call to carry the Good News of Jesus Christ to people of all walks of life, over the next several days Rev. Graham will present a 30-minute broadcast on select cable networks and other television outlets. (Click here for TV listings.)

Through a year-long effort called ‘My Hope,’ the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has enlisted the support and partnership of thousands of churches all over the United States and Canada to share the message of Christ’s redeeming love. Rev. Graham’s ‘lifetime audience’ (including radio and television) was, as of 2008, an estimated 2.2 billion! Through his pre-recorded broadcast message this week, the famed preacher will speak what he believes will likely be his final message to millions all over North America.

I’ve never had the opportunity to see Graham in person. However, I remember sitting with my family as a young child listening to the unmistakable timbre of the passionate orator’s voice as he delivered God’s Word right into our living room via our large wooden console television. Ah, yes, those were the days. His crusades were always packed with many thousands of people, and his invitations to ‘accept Christ as Lord and Savior’ resulted in some 3.2 million professions of faith. While times and technology have unquestionably changed, the timeless truth of the gospel remains as relevant today as it has ever been.

graham-quoteThough increasingly frail and weakened with age, Rev. Graham’s prayer life is as strong as ever. In recent years he has admittedly grown deeply concerned about the spiritual condition of our nation. One word summarizes the beloved evangelist’s desire to speak one more time: urgency. Essentially, Rev. Graham has sensed God calling him to deliver a message to the people here in the US and Canada. Click here to read a touching article about the filming process for ‘My Hope.’

You might have stumbled upon this post at random, but I can assure you that it’s no accident. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Billy Graham, or you’ve never even heard his name, I urge you to take just 30 minutes out of your schedule at some point over the next few days to watch ‘The Cross.’ Having seen the program in its entirety, I can tell you that it is an incredibly powerful message that I know God will use to change many, many lives. You can preview it here — or watch the full message by clicking the graphic below:

IT’S YOUR TURN!
How has the ministry of Billy Graham impacted your own life and spiritual journey?