Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
The School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship of Regent University will host the inaugural Biblical Perspectives in Leadership Research Roundtable on May 8, 2007 at the Founders Inn and Conference Center located on the campus of Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA.
The Biblical Perspectives in Leadership Research Roundtable is an attempt to create a platform of discussion and exploration where scholars, researchers, ministers and practitioners who are interested in research and exploration of leadership studies focused on the Hebrew and Christian scriptures can present and test their research. The roundtable invites papers and discussion forums covering topics such as:
- The use of exegetical methods to explore leadership
- The relationship between scripture, faith, theology and leadership
- Models of biblical spirituality and leadership
- Models of tribal and other forms of leadership in the Pentateuch
- Models of ruling, leadership, governing and organizational structures in the history of early Israel
- Leadership values in the wisdom writings of the Hebrew scriptures
- The relationship between prophecy and contextual leadership in the prophetic material of the Hebrew scriptures
- Comparative studies of leaders and leadership models across the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
- Historical studies of leaders in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
Group dynamics in the Gospels
- Historical Jesus and leadership research
- Pauline perspectives in leadership
- Organizational design and dynamics in the early faith communities of the Christian scriptures
- Follower-leader relationships in the Christian scriptures
- Organizational and leadership values in the Christian scriptures
- Models of spiritual and leadership formation in the Christian scriptures
- Models of future studies and strategic foresight in the apocalyptic material of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
Please contact Dr. Corné Bekker, the editor of the Journal for Biblical Perspectives in Leadership (JBPL) for further details regarding the registration costs, program and submission guidelines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, December 21, 2006
For your convenience, the audio message is provided in two audio formats below.
Real Media: http://real.regent.edu:8080/ramgen/schgle/misc/2006_christmas.rm
Microsoft Windows Media: http://media.regent.edu/schgle/misc/2006_christmas.wma
"The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master's crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand."
"It happened in the third year before his death, that in order to excite the inhabitants of Grecio to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus with great devotion, [St. Francis] determined to keep it with all possible solemnity; and lest he should be accused of lightness or novelty, he asked and obtained the permission of the sovereign Pontiff. Then he prepared a manger, and brought hay, and an ox and an ass to the place appointed. The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many and brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise. The man of God [St. Francis] stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem. A certain valiant and veracious soldier, Master John of Grecio, who, for the love of Christ, had left the warfare of this world, and become a dear friend of this holy man, affirmed that he beheld an Infant marvellously beautiful, sleeping in the manger, Whom the blessed Father Francis embraced with both his arms, as if he would awake Him from sleep. This vision of the devout soldier is credible, not only by reason of the sanctity of him that saw it, but by reason of the miracles which afterwards confirmed its truth. For the example of Francis, if it be considered by the world, is doubtless sufficient to excite all hearts which are negligent in the faith of Christ; and the hay of that manger, being preserved by the people, miraculously cured all diseases of cattle, and many other pestilences; God thus in all things glorifying his servant, and witnessing to the great efficacy of his holy prayers by manifest prodigies and miracles."
"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Willard's great contribution in this book is that he links the Gospel call to secret service (or service in obscurity) with freedom from dependency on reputation and material wealth - precisely the "stuff" contemporary leadership studies are so enthralled by.
As I am re-reading this provocative book I could not help but to hear Sam Phillips singing in the background. The inherent falseness of the promises of power and prestige is a common theme that runs through the lyrics of her songs. One example is the lyrics of the song "Zero, Zero, Zero" from her very experimental disk: "Omnipop: It is only a fleshwound Lampchop":
Shane Helmer reviews Phillips' Omnipop and picks up on this central theme of power/powerlessness in her music:
"Pop culture seems obsessed with its own definition of success. Money and power equate with popularity and position. Those who do not fit neatly into the equation are continuously reminded by pop culture icons, who ironically have achieved such success, that they are zeros in society. Admittedly, 'regular folk' feel powerless sometimes. But to have this perception so intricately woven into our culture's consciousness robs us of our enthusiasm for living and crushes our dreams beneath the cynical wreckage of society. There seems to be far too much whining and not enough constructive criticism. It is into this tension, this world of zero-speak, that singer-songwriter Sam Phillips wedges a truly alternative perspective."
The question of what to do with power remains an important element in our search for authentic, Biblical Leadership.
"Sam Phillips' sardonic look at popular culture" by Shane Helmer. Music Review: Omnipop (It's Only a Flesh Wound Lambchop) by Sam Phillips. (Virgin Records: 1996).
"The Divine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard. HarperSanFrancisco (1998).
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
"This is also evidence of great progress: that, almost forgetful of ourselves, surely subordinating our self-concern, we try faithfully to devote our zeal to God and his Commandments. For when scripture bids us leave off self-concern, it not only erases from our minds the yearning to possess, the desire for power, and the favor of men, but it also uproots ambition and all craving for human glory and other more secret plagues. Accordingly, the Christian must surely be so disposed and minded that he feels within himself it is with God he has to deal throughout his life. In this way, as he will refer all he does to God's decision and judgment, so will he refer his whole intention of mind scrupulously to Him... “
We seem to have lost something today of the formative power of reading and studying God's Word.
For more on this see Luder G. Witlock’s excellent article, “Spiritual direction in the Reformed tradition.” in the Journal of Psychology and Theology. December, 2002.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
* Institutional leaders lead because the institution has passed them as fit to lead.
* Incarnational leaders lead because they emerge from being rooted in a community into recognised leadership.
* Institutional leaders carry their own style into the church and shape it to their preference.
* Incarnational leaders only get to lead because their style fits with the culture of the community they lead
* Institutional leaders are vested with power and authority by the institution.
* Incarnational leaders are granted their power and authority by the community they lead.
* Institutional leaders can still hold leadership positions whether or not they practice what they preach.
* Incarnational leaders can not assume that same luxury (or indulgence?).
* Institutional leaders can live off the admiration and adulation of the congregation.
* Incarnational leaders must continually re-earn their place as leaders. Their power and respect rises and falls with the perceived level of their integrity, authenticity, and deep commitment to the life of the community.
Here is a link to the original blog:
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Nouwen's great contribution to our understanding of Christian Leadership is best summarized in his book: "In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership." Nouwen wrote this book shortly after he left a position of great status and privilege at Harvard University to go and live amongst mentally handicapped people in the L'Arche Community. The following excerpt from this book show Nouwen's theology of voluntary self-limitation as the first step in the recovery of authentic Christian Leadership:
"The first thing that struck me when I came to live in a house with mentally handicapped people was that their liking or disliking of me had absolutely nothing to do with any of the many useful things I had done until then. Since nobody could read my books, my books could not impress anyone, and since most of them never went to school, my twenty years at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard did not provide a significant introduction.… Not being able to use any of the skills that had proved so practical in the past was a real source of anxiety. I was suddenly faced with my naked self, open for affirmations and rejections, hugs and punches, smiles and tears, all dependent on how I was perceived at the moment. In a way, it seemed as though I was starting my life all over again. Relationships, connections, reputations could no longer be counted upon. This experience was and, in many ways, is the most important experience of my new life because it forced me to rediscover my true identity. These broken, wounded and completely unpretentious people forced me to let go of my relevant self—the self that can do things, show things, prove things, build things—and forced me to reclaim that unadorned self in which I am completely vulnerable, open to receive and give love regardless of any accomplishments.”
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
May the Word become Flesh in our Leadership.
Monday, December 04, 2006
“Whatever humanity and divinity may mean in terms of a static philosophy of
metaphysical natures, in religious terms for the man who recognizes Jesus as
his God, the human and the divine has been brought together in such a way
that they now represent one and the same religious value. In this sense
Jesus’ divinity is not something totally different from His humanity. Jesus’
divinity is the transcendent depth of His humanity. Jesus was immeasurably
more human than other men…”
Regardless of some of the obvious theological difficulties of some of Nolan’s arguments, his Christology does open exciting possibilities in ethical discussions in leadership and service.
In embracing the His own humanity and thus the humanity of others, Jesus “redefined neighbor in terms of praxis, not propinquity” (Sorenson 2004, 461). This “praxis” is one of charity, identification with the one being served and of authentic love. Vanstone (1978) has developed a phenomenology of love in which he characterizes three characteristics of authentic love (Gregerson 2003, 371-372). Authentic love is limitless, precarious and vulnerable (Vanstone 1978, 44-51).
- Authentic love therefore does not impose boundaries on others (limitless) but “accepts without limit the discipline of the circumstances” (Vanstone 1978, 44),
- is precarious in that it avoids the “the distortion of possessive control” (Gregerson 2003, 372)
- and finally true love revels in being vulnerable in that it gives the one loved a “power that could not otherwise be there” (Vanstone 1978, 51).
Christian Leadership that takes the call to Christological mimesis seriously will exhibit this embracing of humanity in love that is limitless, precarious and vulnerable.
Howard, G. 1978. Phil. 2:6-11 and the Human Christ. Catholic Biblical Quarterly 40(3): 368-387.
Nolan, A. 1977. Jesus before Christianity. Cape Town: David Phillips.
Sorenson, R. L. 2004. Kenosis and Alterity in Christian Spirituality. Psychoanalytic Psychology. Vol. 21, No. 3, 458-462.
Vanstone, W. H. 1978. The Risk of Love. New York: Oxford University Press.