Some time back I wrote about leadership as accepting personal responsibility for one’s actions. Responsible leaders face up to the consequences of what they have done. They don’t externalize blame by saying it was the fault of someone or something else. Admitting responsibility can be excruciatingly difficult, especially when significant consequences are involved. They run away from accountability and betray the principle of personal responsibility. C. S. Lewis once said, “Courage is every virtue at the breaking point.” For far too many leaders, acceptance of responsibility is the point where their integrity begins to fray and break.
The biblical account of Cain and Abel provides an example of a still deeper problem. In a fit of jealousy and rage, Cain murders his brother Abel. After the event, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He is not seeking information about Abel. He knows what has happened. Rather, he is calling Cain to account for what he has done.(more…)
This is chapter one from the second edition of my book Strategic Planning for Christian Organizations. You can find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Strategic-Planning-Christian-Organizations-Direction/dp/B08C94SL7J/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=saffold+planning&qid=1596930738&s=books&sr=1-1.
“All this is in writing,” David said, “because the hand of the Lord was upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.(more…)
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
My son is a runner. Recently he completed a race through the Canadian mountains, finishing the course after 22 hours. What a course! It took him from mountain tops with beautiful vistas through deep valleys that required slogging through mud and muck – in the dark! “The organizers set the course,” he said as he painfully limped home, “we just had to run it.”(more…)
“What is leadership?” It’s a simple question but very difficult to answer.
“Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth,” was the observation of James MacGregor Burns. It is most observed because we encounter it everywhere in large and small forms. It is least understood partly because it is a many-sided and complex. We know it when we see it–or at least think we do–but its essence is hard to describe. It’s a question that has many answers.(more…)
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)
Whose ministry has touched your life most deeply?
A wonderful friend, now more alive in the Lord’s presence, was a man of great peace and joy. Some of my warmest memories are of travelling together, sharing in ministry. We prayed often, talked endlessly, and laughed constantly. I often wondered how he found so much joy in living. No doubt his emotional “thermostat” tended toward a “high” setting, but the real secret was his close walk with Christ in the Holy Spirit.
There is confusion today about the Holy Spirit and much unhealthy fascination with dramatic manifestations. To be sure, he can work powerfully. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you,” said the angel to Mary. The birth of Jesus soon followed. Sometimes the Spirit changes the course of events and even entire lives.(more…)
It is essential that Christian leaders have a clear understanding of how to lead in a Christlike way. At ACTS Seminaries we developed this statement ti express our convictions about leadership.
Definition: Christian Leadership
Christian leaders take responsibility to know God deeply, to reflect His holy character, to draw together and to Influence and transform communities through loving relationships, In order to fulfill His purposes in the world.(more…)
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. (1 Peter 2:16)
It’s the great paradox of Christian freedom that those who are most free, choose to live as obedient slaves of God. Understanding this is critical to a rich and expanding faith.
We are truly free. We have been released from spiritual ignorance and darkness. All our sins forgiven. All debts to God cancelled. Our future in Christ’s kingdom assured. We have received the Holy Spirt as a sign and seal of that freedom.(more…)
The witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man name Saul. . . . And as they were stoning Stephen. . . Saul approved of his execution. (Acts 8:1)
It’s hard to imagine anything more vicious. As a hail of rocks, thrown in hate, smashed life from Stephen’s body, the young man Saul stood by giving his approval.(more…)
Furious with rage, Nebuchadnzzar said, “If you do not worship the image I have made, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. (Daniel 3:13-16)
Picture three men about to be thrown into a furnace. Fire roars in their ears and waves of superheated air flow toward them. Pain!(more…)
There is a claim, some even call it “a prophecy,” that Donald Trump is a leader appointed by God to rescue America. He has, it is said, the “Cyrus anointing.” If this were just a case of suggestive comparison, it could perhaps be justified. Unfortunately and too often it is used as the basis for claiming divine blessing on the Trump presidency.
In Isaiah Cyrus is summoned “by name” to fulfill the Lord’s purposes in a specific situation. It is a basic principle of biblical interpretation that none of what is said there can validly be applied to the President of the United States in 2019, and there is, in any case, no similarity “by name” to “Trump.” But there are other more important biblical reasons for doubting the link between Trump and Cyrus.(more…)