UNLEASHING POTENTIAL IN STORYCENTRIC COMMUNITIES

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Using Story to Set Leaders Free – Video

Using Story to Set Leaders Free – Video

This video provides a snapshot of how Freedom to Lead takes stories, images, and music to deliver time-honoring leadership principles. We have witnessed that when oral-based leaders experience the leadership principles of Jesus through stories, images, and music, their hearts are changed. As a result, communities are impacted.

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Marketing With Story

Marketing With Story

Marketing specialists tend to confuse me. Their discipline is often made to seem impossibly complex. Is there a simpler way to promote our brand? One branding expert says “Yes!” He believes our most powerful marketing tool is our own story. So we’ve given it a try. In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller provides the basic building blocks of a good marketing story.1 He wrote, “Here is nearly every story you see or hear in a nutshell: a CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN and calls them to ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.” This kind of story helps our customers not to burn too many calories in an effort to understand our product.   So here is one non-marketer’s effort to tell our

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Marketing Made Simple

Marketing Made Simple

Marketing is not my expertise. Every day solicitors come knocking via my inbox with the marketing “offer you just can’t refuse.” While I don’t know much about their complex discipline, I do know our small organization does not have money to waste. I get heartburn when other leaders spend precious dollars on marketing efforts only to get little or no results. And when they do receive the final reports, they wonder what went wrong, or worse, whether their product is really any good at all. But what if the problem isn’t the product? What if the problem is the way we talk about the product? Can we make marketing simpler? Building a Story Brand In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller states that organizations typically cause their customers to burn too many calories in an effort to understand their product. When having to process too much information, people begin to ignore

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From Great to Good

From Great to Good

We need a few great leaders. But we need a whole lot more good leaders. “Wait, did I read that right? you may ask. Don’t you mean from good to great?” No. We need a few great leaders, but we need a whole lot more good leaders. Here’s why.

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Was Jesus a Political Threat?

Was Jesus a Political Threat?

Herod’s Perception Shortly after Jesus was born, Herod killed all the boy babies in Bethlehem because he perceived this “King of the Jews” was a political threat. Was his perception correct? According to the church calendar, a few weeks between Christmas and Easter – Epiphany – is the season we retell the story of wise men traveling from afar to worship the Christ child. According to Matthew’s narrative, Herod tried but failed to learn from the wise men the boy’s whereabouts, so he ordered a murderous rampage against all males two years and younger hoping his dragnet would take care of this problem. Some say Herod’s ruthlessness is based on his misunderstanding of Jesus’ purpose in coming to pitch His tent among us in time. Jesus poses no political threat, they say. Didn’t Jesus say, “My Kingdom is not of this world?” Others claim this is a misreading of Jesus’

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My Journey Toward Understanding Leadership Development

My Journey Toward Understanding Leadership Development

This is one excerpt of a complete article that has been circling around some missions circles recently. Read the entire article and to learn of the results of the research. A Search of “Leadership Development” Ordering a search of “leadership development” from Google currently yields 29 million menu options. Both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations invest billions of dollars each year on strategies intended to develop leaders. The pervasive need for better leaders in all spheres of private and public life teases our appetite for solutions. But has all our investment of time, energy, and money paid off? What is the “return on investment (ROI)” for developing leaders? Do our efforts to develop leaders really work? And if so, what kind of leadership development works? I grappled with these questions for many years. Hopefully this article contributes to the discussion.   A Colossal Disruption As a starting point, I share a

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Run Hard Into a New Year – Part Two

Run Hard Into a New Year – Part Two

Last week we began looking at five parallels between long-distance running and Christian ministry. Today I give you numbers 6 to 10.

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Run Hard Into a New Year – Part One

Run Hard Into a New Year – Part One

As we begin a new year into 2018, I see great parallels between long-distance running and the ministry we have with Freedom to Lead. These are personal things I’m learning as I’ve been putting my feet to the pavement these days.   Let’s look at ten of these parallels as we “run hard” into a new year with new beginnings. (the first five will be this week and the other five will be posted next week) 1.    Your attire means everything.  When I first began getting serious about long-distance running I would get giant blisters on my feet and acute pain in my knees. You see, for several weeks I had been running with an old pair of well-loved shoes and cotton socks. All of the experienced runners are right now shaking their heads because they know that’s a big “no-no.” Apparently your shoes and socks can make or break your experience,

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Where No One Has Gone Before

Where No One Has Gone Before

Over the past six weeks we’ve posted a series of posts that introduce the story of Freedom to Lead International. We’ve described FTL’s focus on changed leaders that result in healthier churches that impact communities with the gospel. We’ve shared how integrating music works in leadership development. We’ve reported from the ground in Ethiopia as we interacted with leaders from whom we have so much to learn. And last week we talked about leaders being set free to lead others. Today we are inviting you to “go beyond.” I think it was Star Trek that coined the phrase, “where no man has gone before.” And while we don’t have a fancy spaceship reaching far-away galaxies, FTL is truly going where no one has gone before. Our niche is unique and pioneering. We are living in what may be the most exciting era in church history. Unprecedented opportunities abound to expand the kingdom of God, and

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Leading With Story: a Book Review by Evangelical Missions Quarterly

Leading With Story: a Book Review by Evangelical Missions Quarterly

Originally Posted in October 2017 by Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ) —Reviewed by Benjamin Espinoza, PhD student, Michigan State University.   Story has become a topic of interest for many scholars, pastors, and missionaries. As Christians, we are called to be participants in the greatest story of all time, the gospel. Rick Sessoms estimates that eighty percent of the world’s people are “story-centric learners,” meaning they learn through storytelling (drama, art, music, etc.). This provides a unique opportunity for us to ponder how we can take the gospel to the ends of the earth using story-based methods and leadership approaches. Sessoms has written an insightful volume on story-centric, Christ-centered leadership which will equip a new generation of Christian leaders to share the greatest story of all time. In Part 1, Sessoms explores the prominence of storycentric learning in today’s society. Story possesses the power to change the minds and hearts of people

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Being Set Free to Lead

Being Set Free to Lead

In the past month or so, we’ve shown a few snapshots of what Freedom To Lead International is about. This week we are inviting you to participate. There are many reasons why people may not feel able to lead their churches and communities. Maybe their cultures say they are not qualified. Maybe they can’t lead because some painful experience in the past causes them to shy away from taking on leadership roles. Freedom to Lead International sets out to do just what the name implies. We speak into those issues and cultivate in people a “freedom to lead.” Here are three reasons FTL is a good investment. 1. Men and women are being set free from dominant ways of learning. Literacy-based learning, for example, is appropriate for many people around the world, but it doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for everyone who aspires to be a competent Christ-centered leader.

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We Have a Lot to Learn From These Leaders

We Have a Lot to Learn From These Leaders

Here we are currently in Ethiopia. As I look around. I’m astounded that most of these leaders have been persecuted for this faith, some imprisoned and tortured. I am humbled that we can walk alongside them in their development, for we have a lot to learn from these incredible men and women. These past two weeks we have been teaching on Spiritual Leadership and Leading Teams to these participants. When we leave from this place I will return with our team to the States where we’ll celebrate Christmas in safety with our loved ones. When these leaders depart from this gathering they will face injustice, and will dare to be lights in dark places. But they will thrive because they go in the strong name of Christ. We have a lot to learn from them. In six months they will: come back for our next visit to Ethiopia. return to

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