UNLEASHING POTENTIAL IN STORYCENTRIC COMMUNITIES

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Savoring New Stories that are Old Stories

Savoring New Stories that are Old Stories

Before Luke launches into Christmas, he issues a call to remember. Luke starts with a new story that is really a familiar story. It’s a story about a childless, old couple. Luke called them “righteous.” They were careful to follow all God’s commandments. They were good people, models of piety. But now they are old and childless.

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Will You Give Us a Seat at the Table?

As we approach the Christmas holidays, we can’t help thinking back to our Thanksgiving. Uncle Ed likes white meat; cousin Megan dark meat. Oh yes, can’t forget the onion casserole. And we must remember to get a highchair for little Chrissy. Let’s not forget that Aunt Beth needs someone to pick her up. And we need to make the dining room table bigger. Where did we put those extension slats? It’s all so busy but so exciting – great food, familiar conversation. Catching up with those we haven’t seen in a while. And, at the center of all of it, thanking the Lord for all He has provided. Could I ask you, in this season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as you gather with family and friends this year, to “give FTL a seat at the table?” To remember Freedom to Lead International in your prayer as you sit down to eat?

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Thanksgiving Looks A Little Different This Year

Thanksgiving looks a little different this year. Today I am exchanging turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin for ugali, chapatti, and mandazi. Instead of watching schoolchildren perform plays about pilgrims and Indians I am watching a host of nationalities and tribal groups as they role play stories of old. But one thing remains the same: I am deeply grateful. This week Freedom to Lead is in Kenya. Next week we will go on to Zambia. In these weeks I am rubbing shoulders with men and women leaders from many nations who are deeply committed to the work of Christ and to leading well in their spaces. And I am deeply grateful. My large extended family in Florida is gathering potluck-style on folded tables outside. And while I miss being with them this year, I have a different kind of family right across the table from me here.

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Investing In My Twelve Year Old Self

As I approach Thanksgiving this year in the context of being a member of a ministry that seeks to raise up Christ-centered leaders, I think of a man who poured character and principles of leadership into my own life.

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The Impact of Images

Well, of all the modules we have gone through – I remember the one that spoke of the field from which I learned patience. And often as-as I said from the beginning, I’m very sanguine, I like to rush things and get results as soon as possible. But with this module I learned how to prepare people like a field – to sow the seed, to maintain and nurture it until the harvest. It can be a long process. — Often when someone comes to church or has just accepted the Lord, I have learned that I should be patient and work alongside the person until the person reaches maturity.

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Season of Prayer

Will you join us for a season of prayer throughout the month of October? Listen to more about this here:   You can download an electronic copy of the entire October calendar by clicking here.

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Treasure in a Clay Jar

Frequently I ask people to name the leader who has personally influenced them the most. People typically respond describing leaders who are neither famous nor incredibly successful. In fact, they often talk about leaders who would not even be considered leaders by conventional definitions. Yet these leaders left an indelible mark. They bring to mind the Apostle Paul’s image of “treasure in jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Common on the outside, but the content is priceless.  My mother was one of them.

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Remember Your Story

The Discipline of Remembering Remember your leaders who spoke the Word of God to you – Hebrews 13:7a Since childhood, the churches I’ve attended emphasize “holy habits” that should be part of a Christian’s routine; bible reading, prayer, and deeds of compassion are always high on the list. However, the practice of remembering never seems to make the cut. That’s a mistake. Remembering our story of God’s faithfulness is essential to our present faith and our future hope.

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The Wow Factor

Telling the Story As a global team in a faith-based nonprofit, a big part of our job is to tell our story. Depending on the audience, we might craft the story a little differently or choose to hone in on a specific kind of story that resonates best. But our job is to tell the story. It is the story of Freedom to Lead International. They are the stories of men and women in Asia and Africa who are being developed as Christ-centered leaders in their areas of influence. We tell stories of people who are seeing communities impacted and churches coming together and peace being made. Yes, there are even stories of hardships and challenges with prayerful hopes that God will make his way in these situations.

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Effective Leadership Development – The Blind Men and the Elephant

Last week examined the categories for effective Christ-centered leadership development that make up its components. An organization or ministry may focus on one or more of these categories.

  1. character formation
  2. biblical literacy
  3. context-specific skills
  4. ministry development

By sizing up the task before us, knowing we are functioning in these categories, we think that all’s well that ends well, right? Yes, but here’s the caveat. Research shows that “while every emerging Christ-centered leader needs all four of these categories to be truly effective, no single school or service provider is proficient to develop leaders effectively in all four categories.

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Leadership Matters

We believe that leaders make a huge difference in people's lives.