Perspectives on Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral Issues: Host – Lowell Qualls

Archive for the ‘Servant Leadership’ Category

The Bridge

The Bridge

The Bridge - to Christ, Spiritual Maturity, and Hope to the World

The Bridge.  A new name, a new vision, a new pastor, a new approach to ministry, a new congregation.  By the way … I’m that new pastor.  I took the position in October, and it’s been great!  I love the people – “the survivors” is what I call the folks who made it through the turbulence of transition from former pastor/former church to new pastor/new vision.

Maybe you noticed the logo caption.  We, the people at The Bridge, want to be a bridge to Jesus.  We will never change the message!  It’s Jesus Christ, the Lord, Son of God, born of a virgin, lived in Palestine, taught disciples, was crucified, dead, buried and RISEN!  And coming King!

While we’re orthodox in our beliefs we will tend to be unorthodox in our approach to reaching out to the “dechurched” and the “unchurched.”

Matt Chandler (Google Matt, and look for him on You Tube as well) describes the dechurched as people who attended church when they were younger (pre- and even post-adolescence) but, for a ton of reasons, decided church wasn’t their thing.

I’ve come to the conclusion, after years of observation myself, that the dechurched may have thought attending church was pointless, irrelevant, dead/lifeless, populated by hypocrites, and constantly wanting more and more money.  The dechurched may have been hurt in a plethora of ways while attending church, and they’ve decided, “Who needs this!?”  Unfortunately, they may have seen hypocrisy in their own home and decided, “Why go to the trouble of going to church on Sunday morning when there are better things to do?”

The dechurched, after years of wandering the planet, wondering if there is a personal God that’s as sick of “church” as they are, believing that Jesus Christ is who He said He was, and investigating every spiritual nook and cranny there is have finally decided, “If I can find a group of REAL Christ-followers – authentic, transparent, loving, kind, other-centric, missional and more – I’ll check it out.  If I can find a group of Christ-followers who are honest about their imperfections and don’t make excuses for their misbehavior (they actually ask for forgiveness and want to make things right), I might check it out.  If I can find a diverse congregation that does not try to be politically correct but (instead)  tries to love each other the way Martin Luther King dreamed, I might check it out.”

It is my hope that The Bridge will be all those things!  I want to hang out with people like those I described above.  I want to build relationships with honest-to-God and authentic people who get the Gospel, believe it, and want to live in a community that looks and sounds a lot like Jesus if He were living here, and now.

Sounds idealistic?  Sounds impossible?  I don’t care what it sounds like – this is the vision I have for The Bridge.  Before my life is over I want to be with a group of people who want to do “Church” the way Jesus intended it to be.

Give me some feedback!  What did I leave out of my vision.  That’s an honest question.  I want to know.

The Cry For Leaders in Eastern Europe – “After The Wall”

At the end of this video there is a challenge given – to raise up and train leaders.  Help me – help LIT (Leadership Training International) partner with Campus Crusade for Christ and other ministries … to bring Christ and Christian leadership principles to Eastern Europe and “to the uttermost parts of the world.”

Thanks, Rich and Barb Leary – CCC leaders in Ukraine, for sharing this video with us and the world!

Character Development is the Key to Effective Leadership

Pubu and Chen - with Everest in the background

Pubu and Chen - with Everest in the background

This was a happy day!  Standing with Pubu and Chen (my Tibetan guide and Chinese driver) at the Everest Base Camp, 18,600 feet above sea level, was a dream come true.  After 24 road hours on a track as dangerous as it was beautiful, it’s no wonder the three of us are smiling.  We were happy to be alive, and breathing the purest air on the planet.

The trip back to Lhasa was memorable, too.  (Chen had promised me on the day we left for The Mountain that he had all four … 4! … spare tires in good running order.  Good thing, because before we arrived at the Base Camp we blew two tires.  I’m tOur third flat tire ... with no spare for hundreds of mileselling you, the road was about as rough as it gets.

So why are we on the side of the the road in the next picture?

Chen had stretched the truth about all the spare tires being in good shape (and I’m being very gracious with the word “stretched”).

We were going nowhere, and I was perturbed.  We were about 850 kilometers from Lhasa, with no patch kit and no air pump.

I learned something about character that day.  No … some things.  And since then I spent hours connecting what I learned to what I love … things having to do with Leadership.

First, when it comes to a team exercise – be it constructing a building, revamping a curriculum, or getting to and from Everest – to borrow a golfing cliche, “it’s not how you drive, it’s how you arrive.”  (I’ve driven a golf ball 300 yards, made a decent iron shot close to the pin, and then missed a 12″ putt … so it’s not how you drive, it’s how you arrive.)  The start of a project is important, but people will determine the project a success or failure based on its conclusion.

Second, good character is a rare and priceless commodity in our world; leaders having good character are becoming scarce.  Today courage, integrity, wisdom, humility, and loyalty is in short supply in leadership (and followership ranks alike).  When it comes to leadership, you know and I know:  character is more important than charisma 99.9% of the time.

SIDE NOTE:  Good character is in short supply among followers as well.  Leading a team is challenging enough when everything is moving forward, toward a project goal.  But if the leader lacks confidence in his team members, it’s very difficult to reach team objectives without serious stress taking a toll on the leader’s mind and body.  When team members’ character is in question, the leader’s job becomes exponentially more burdensome.   (I’ll tell you, I was really hesitant to get back in the truck with Chen after he lied to me about the tires.)

That’s why I’m glad the leadership curriculum I’m sharing with the world focuses the first 6 of 12 modules on character development.*  (The last 6 modules teach leadership skills, and that’s where most want to start … but choosing to start with the inward workings of a leader is the best time spent.)  We must get the character thing right!  We have enough charismatic leaders working systems with zero character on this planet … in government, business, and sadly the Church.  People serving in every human institution are tired of the hypocrisy, duplicity, and outright dishonesty too many leaders exhibit shamelessly … and it’s hard to see good character increase in the ranks of followers when leaders don’t model it.

*Leadership Training International, or LTI.  Visit http://www.ltiworld.org for more information about the teaching materials I’ve alluded to above.

Servant Leadership