UNLEASHING POTENTIAL IN STORYCENTRIC COMMUNITIES

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Coming to Terms

Coming to Terms

It was William Shakespeare who said, “Some people are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Are leaders born or made? Are leaders in leadership because of natural giftedness or because they arose to the occasion at the time it was needed? Development or Emergence The first thing we need to establish if we’re going to have a working definition of leadership development is to differentiate it from leadership emergence.

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The Wild West of Leadership Development

The Wild West of Leadership Development

Leadership development is often like the Wild West expansion in the mid 19thcentury. When I was in my elementary and middle school years you would most likely find me building forts in the woods creating a world of my own. My brother and I and our neighborhood friends would create new paths and “discover” new streams and ponds. These were simpler days when our time was set by the arrival of lightning bugs that signaled dinner was ready. One of my favorite forms of creative outside play was to imagine we lived in pioneer days, the days of covered wagons and panning for gold. Perhaps it was a unit we studied in school or this new computer program called “Oregon Trail” that inspired me, but I liked to imagine that quest of making our way west. At the time we lived just across the Hudson River from New York City.

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What is Leadership Development – Speaking the Same Language

What is Leadership Development – Speaking the Same Language

Leadership development. It’s become something of a fad. Today organizations love to talk about it. If a church or ministry offers a “leadership development” program, then they feel like they’re well on their way. But what is leadership development? How do we define it? More specifically, what are the elements that are needed to see a leader “developed”? What works, and what doesn’t? Freedom to Lead International is all about seeing leaders developed. We are deeply committed to cultivate leaders so that they can be all God wants them to be. The cultivation process involves using whatever tools work. In our case, the effective tools are story, symbol, and song. However, if we ever find that those tools do not work, then we’ll try something different. But when all is said and done, we are primarily about leadership development. Over the next several weeks we’ll look into the foundational principles of

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Power and Leadership – Stewards of Power

Power and Leadership – Stewards of Power

Every ministry leader is a steward of power. The use of power can either cultivate potential in others and achieve desired results, or it can harm people and stall progress. Here are four lessons for leaders to keep in mind as we navigate the power at our disposal. Lesson #1: The exercise of power is not the same as the practice of leadership. As author Jim Collins says in Good to Great and the Social Sectors, “If I put a loaded gun to your head, I can get you to do things you might not otherwise do, but I’ve not practiced leadership; I’ve exercised power.” If people follow because they have no choice, then that’s not leading. Lesson #2: Power can either create or destroy; it is almost never neutral. Power used wisely has enormous potential for good. God’s creative power brought the universe into being. But according to the

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Through the Eyes of Indigenous Leaders (Video)

Through the Eyes of Indigenous Leaders (Video)

When FTL began nine years ago, we did not imagine all that is happening in this ministry today. God is doing something through The Garden Project that is beyond our capacity or even our predictions. And we are grateful to be part of the tapestry He is weaving. But as I write these words on a long-haul flight from Istanbul to Atlanta, I am reminded by the passengers around me that we have hardly scratched the surface. Most of my fellow travelers appear to be from the Middle East. Their clothing and head coverings represent billions of people who have not yet experienced Jesus’ forgiveness and love. The task of cultivating leaders to reach people and communities is monumental.    Thank you for being part of FTL’s journey as we continue to follow God on His new paths into the unknown.   To view a video that highlights the impact of the

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It’s Just a Piece of Paper

It’s Just a Piece of Paper

When participants complete all eight modules of Freedom to Lead’s The Garden Project (a four-year investment that involves training and transference to another generation of leaders), they receive a certificate from Belhaven University. It’s really just some nicely printed words on a piece of paper. Or is it? In 2014 Freedom to Lead entered into a relationship with a church planting network in Ethiopia. That means that Ethiopia was FTL’s first footprint onto the African continent. As pace setters and as ones who’ve led the way for FTL’s presence in Africa, we have a lot indebted to this group of Ethiopian brothers and sisters, influencers for Christ. Last December we were almost at the end, with the next-to-last leadership module before us. Times in the country of Ethiopia were tense, as fractures throughout the region were threatening to crack wide open in the face of government and tribalist conflicts. We left

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 6)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 6)

  The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. To review, here are the first five: Jesus used good stories. Jesus used rich imagery. Jesus asked good questions. Jesus related truth to real life. Jesus spoke “the people’s language”  Today we are wrapping up this series to talk about the sixth way Jesus communicated. 6. Jesus often summarized stories Jesus understood that he was talking with an oral-based storycentric

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 5)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 5)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Then we looked at how Jesus used rich imagery. Next we discussed the way Jesus asked good questions. Last week we looked specifically at the Sermon on the Mount and the way Jesus related truth to real life. Here’s the fifth one. 5. Jesus spoke the “people’s language.” Think about the

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 4)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 4)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Then we looked at howJesus used rich imagery. Last week we discussed the way Jesus asked good questions. Let’s explore the fourth communication style today. 4. Jesus related truth to real life. As we are interacting with the way Jesus communicated as a model to us all, one question comes to

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 3)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 3)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Last week we talked about Jesus using rich imagery. Today we will look at the third communication style.   3. Jesus asked good questions Not only did Jesus tell good stories and use images, but he also asked good questions. By asking questions he was involving the audience and

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 2)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 2)

Last week we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over six weeks we will be highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. Last week we talked about the first one: Jesus used good stories. Today we will look at the second one. 2.  Jesus used everyday objects and verbal imagery If you give someone a mental picture, he will take it home and it will be in his heart for a long time. Jesus knew that and often used everyday images and objects or

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Jesus, the Master Communicator (part 1)

Jesus, the Master Communicator (part 1)

When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord, the long awaited Promised One. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? This was the challenge that one of our Indian leaders made this week among a group of twenty-five ministry colleagues from India and Nepal gathered to plan for the first-ever Orality Institute of Leadership. These men and women will serve as certified facilitators in the Institutes’ regional hubs across this region. Students that attend this Institute will receive training and mentoring in character formation, biblical literacy, and ministry skills. They will learn how to lead people effectively with Jesus as their ultimate model. And the entire curriculum will be oral-based rather than literacy-based.This is an historic initiative, the first of its kind. So, let’s go back to

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