Saturday, December 6, 2008



by Erwin McManus

Know That You Don’t Know

Uncertainty“I’m afraid,” he confessed, as Maven stood with him in the place where his quest would begin.

“Of what?” Maven asked in his calming voice.

“For this journey, have I learned all I need to know?”

“Ayden,” he replied, “you know all you need to learn.”

“What should I take with me?” Ayden continued.

“Leave all you have and take all you are.”

Ayden persisted, “And the path, is it safe to travel?”

Maven looked at him sternly for the first time he could remember and scolded him, “It is not safe to remain!”

“It is not the place but the Presence that upholds you! This is your only certainty.”

“Go! Walk where no man has walked yet you find footprints.”

Monday, December 1, 2008

Obama's leadership style

An interesting article (read it all here) suggests that Obama (who it has been suggested, is an ENFP) 's Cabinet picks reveal this about his leadership style:

• He is an intellectual, who is more impressed by academic and governing credentials than familiarity and loyalty.

• He is willing to take big risks.

• He is very focused on governing—and prefers persuasion to force.

• He isn’t so disdainful of the “Washington insiders” after all

• He is willing to jettison campaign promises to suit the political landscape

At the risk of discussing politics(: ...
implications for church leadership?


Some tips, if your research and/or passions are touching on the "immigration issue"

See you tonight!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Abraham, rabbis and steering cats

This next session will be especially interesting.

Rabbi Adam Bernay of Beit Tefillah Messianic Fellowship will be with us to to talk about leadership from a Messianic Jewish (believer in Jesus) perspective. I think he will be basing his conversation of Abraham.

Uh, to clarify...that's Rabbi Adam on the right, and Father Abraham on the left...though I doubt it's a real photo of Abraham (:

I don't know what Adam say, but it will be good.

Feel free to bring a few friends...and enemies.

When I think of Abraham, I often link to
Hebrews 11:8:

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went..
even though he did not know where he was going."

Wow, if the very father of faith didn't know where he was going...

There's hope for us.

Thank God he knew WHY he was going!

Two related quotes..the first from the Len Sweet textbook...about the primacy of preparing over planning:

"It could be you're spending too much time planning and not enough time preparing. The planning mode leads to dissonance. The modulation mode leads to consonance....There is no evidence that 'planning' leads to a brighter tomorrow. Never has. Never will. Ask any gardener... Modulation means replacing 'plans' with metaphors and songlines of preparedness. M odulation means replacing a philiosophy of 'results:' (production, sales, cash flow, net profit, membership gains...) with a philosophy of "resonance' where power and success reside not in rank or position but in relation and being.. What organism plans its life? What person can plan his or her future? Can you plan your love? Life is false to formula.. In our world, planning is worse than a mistake-it's an evil.. Ever try to steer a cat or a puppy? No one steers a living thing, it moves forward one step at a time. No living enterprise moves forward by 'planning'.. When you come to a pothole, you don't need a strategic plan to get by. You improvise. After a brief pause, you ad lib your zig zags until you regain your bearings." :-Leonard Sweet , Summoned to Lead 76-77

And this:

"New Reality Number Five is the shift from planning to preparation.. Much of what has ultimate effect on the church happens outside it it and its control...Typical approaches to the future involve prediction and planning. This works OK in a world that expreiences significant continuity. It doesn' t work in the current environment. Planning tends to be invcemenmtal, pushing what we currently are doing into a world that we imagine wil be the same as today. Incrementalism as an anticipatory strategy is dead,, The Bible sounds a recurrring theme : Go0d wants his people to pray and prepare for his intervention ...It is God who declares 'I know the plans I have for you ', in Jer 29.11. He does not say 'I am waiting for you to develop plans I can bless." I am not against planning. I am just suggesting,.the North American church has settled for (its imaginations, plans and dreams).. The future belongs to those who prepare for it, not plan for it. If the North American church is going to make the leap off the sigmoid curve and avoid the sure death guaranteed by incrementalism, it will have to shift its beginning point from present to future. -Reggie McNeal, The Present Future, 92ff

Leadership Prayers

This book (Leadership Prayers),as we have talked about, is composed of actual prayers centering around different facets of leadership.

Full disclosure: My father-in-law wrote the book; some of you will be aware of him. You may beg me for an autographed copy...for a price (:

"Leadership enables people to risk the safe and comfortable present to gain a significantly different future."

"Leaders pray to maintain the right relationship with God. From that relationship between the human spirit and the Spirit of God come the divine perspective, insight, direction, and courage the leader must have to serve well."

-Richard Kriegbaum, in
Leadership Prayers

Monday, October 27, 2008

audio:"Hearing God's Voice" and "Joyfully Accept Confiscation"

Two sermons for those who like to IPOD it/listen online that touch on recent themes of our class:

!)For all the reading from Sweet, with his emphasis on finding our leadership voice and soundtrack, and hearing God's voice, some may want to hear a message called
"Hearing God's Voice When Shift Happens"
which touches on some amazing scriptures dealing with hearing/seeing God's voice in tough times such as these:
Listen HERE

2)Here's another mesage, spoken to the Fresno Rescue Mission breakfast (volunteers, friends and clients of the mission), about

"joyfully accepting the confiscation of my property."

Ever heard a sermon on that? It's in the Book: Hebrews 10:25.
Listen HERE

Oh, to be more like Jesus...who

  • heard/saw God's voice


  • radically humbled himself

That's a leader..

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

alternative assignment: take the Sweet-Tickle plunge

After a couple class sessions and becoming familiar with the basic teachings of Leonard Sweet and Phyllis Tickle regarding the unique time we live in, some of you may be ready to take the challenge"

I will let (allow/dare/bless) anyone who wants to,

as an alternative to ALL THREE PAPERS ...and the mid-term (!)....

substitute ONE paper (6-8 pages) :

Paper:Summarize the views of Leonard Sweet regarding what he calls the "EPIC" days we are living in, and the argument of Phyllis Tickle that we are in a "once-in-500-years" juncture in church history. Draw out implications for what church leadership should/can look like in our day if we talke seriously both our biblical foundations and the times we live in. Suggest implications that may especially apply to Hispanic leaders or churches; and suggest implications that may be especially relevant for those in the Pentecostal/charismatic stream of the church.

Sources: Two books: "Postmodern Pilgrims" (or "Aqua Church" or "Aqua Church 2.0") by Sweet and "The Great Emergence" by Phyllis Tickle. Of course, your best bet is to read both books; but with the many articles, podcasts and excerpts we have already posted (and will post) on the "Helpful Websites" section of this blog; I will accept a paper that shows a serious engagement with the views of both authors , whether or not the entire books have been read.
Note: books can be very cheap on if you check "new and used" ;I see the Sweet "Aqua Church" book is 37 cents right now).

HELP:I would not be surprised if you could score an interview with one or both authors(Sweet's website is here, Tickle's is here) for an interview about these questions...they are both delightful and accessible "real"people; and I can help with contact. Just be sure you have done your homework and have a basic grasp of their overall arguments before the interview.