Christ-centered Leadership

Summer Blog Series

Several months ago, the team at Freedom to Lead gathered together to think strategically about the future. One of the things that came out of our meetings was a Vision Statement for the next five years. Over the last few weeks, this Vision Statement has been unveiled for partners, friends, and supporters.

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What About the Women?

God is doing a new thing. I (Michelle) live and work in the world that is global church leadership. As a woman I am limited; as an unmarried woman without children, even more so. Lately I have been challenged by how I can maximize the freedom I have in Christ, not just in terms of my salvation, but also in terms of my life and leadership. Better yet, how can I encourage other women in the same way? As we study scripture, we see how women like Esther, Deborah, and Mary influenced others, pointed them to God, and helped them walk in His purposes. These women remind me that I can’t change the world, but I can be an influencer of it.

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Self-Centered Leadership: The Odds of Finishing Well

Most leaders I know want to finish well. Yet studies show that the majority of us don’t. Money, sex, pride, power, family problems, and plateauing are cited as the big barriers facing leaders who want to finish well. But what causes leaders to fall prey to these pitfalls? Why do successful, talented, and bright leaders so often sabotage their professional and personal lives through immoral and destructive behavior? Self-Centeredness In most cases, a fall is neither sudden nor without warning. On the contrary, the path of leaders to bad behavior is often a predictable process. The first step toward a downward spiral is growing self-centeredness. Leaders become increasingly confident about their accomplishments until they start to believe that they are special. As a result, they begin to make decisions in isolation, discounting the contributions and counsel of others.

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Seeing The Future Through the Fire

Carpus and Papylus In the second century after Christ, Carpus and Papylus were brought before a governor in Rome and charged with the “crime” of being Christian. The governor of the district had discovered that Carpus and Papylus did not celebrate the pagan festivals. The governor ordered the two men to be arrested and commanded them to accept the Roman pagan religion. The men replied that they would never worship false gods.

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Time Calms Kings

Today finds me sitting by the Atlantic’s seashore in The Gambia, West Africa. Children are kicking up sand as they play soccer on the beach. They seem oblivious to this week’s FIFA scandal that has cast suspicion over just about every major decision in the soccer world over the past twenty-five years. Eighteen officials are charged with offenses including racketeering, fraud, and money laundering. Their cozy lifestyles of kickbacks and obscene per diems are finally on global display. Time has its insistent way of bringing truth to light.

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Benchmarking and Vanilla Ice Cream

Benchmarking is an aspect of strategic planning that has been widely accepted in recent years. It is the practice of comparing one’s organizational products or performance to others considered industry bests. Much can be said in its advocacy, but it has one potentially serious liability: benchmarking can result in vanilla ice cream.

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The Leader’s Lens of Conscience

Human conscience acts like a judge, alternately accusing and defending us. Leaders rely on it. If the lens of conscience is clear, its job is to tap us on the shoulder and point out whether our walk matches our talk. In a perfect world, conscience acts as a safeguard to let me know I’m on track or as an arbiter to tell me I’m off course. Unfortunately, in real time, leadership gets complex and messy. The leader’s lens of conscience bends with the warp and woof of life.

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Back to the Present

David Burnham, renowned behavior science researcher and partner of the Burnham Rosen Group, states that the charismatic, visionary leader is being superceded by the leader who: (1) brings a focus on creating accountability within others, (2) cedes decision making to others, (3) encourages experimentation and flexibility, and (4) concentrates on building a shared sense of purpose and shared values. The formula for leadership success today is taking its script from the ancient past.  The 21st century is finally catching up to Jesus’ paradigm for leading.

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Kingdom Entrepreneurs

Shark Tank is one of TV’s most watched programs The show’s popularity taps into our surging attraction for people with fresh products and plans for a morphing world. These entrepreneurs fuel the future for successful businesses, great societies, and Kingdom advancement.

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Spiritual Formation: Life Abundantly

As we are at the end our series, two questions are asked:

  1. We’ve been looking at all of these streams as integrated with each other.  We have said that healthy spiritual leadership is more likely when leaders set out to make ALL these streams an integral part of their lives and leadership.  If integration is our goal, what happens if any one of these streams is practiced in isolation from any of the other streams?  In other words, what are potential weaknesses of the Compassionate Life stream, for example, if practiced in isolation from the New Life, Abiding Life, and Empowered Life?
  2. So, what?  Why does all this matter?  What does all this really mean for me as a leader?
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Leadership Matters

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