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Leaders Who Cage and Tame Tigers: Part 1

Posted on February 25th, 2020

In this podcast, I explore the issue of caging and taming “tigers” who emerge under our leadership. These are among the most difficult, and revealing, moments for us as they test our level of differentiation like few others.  I define a “tiger” as someone who invades and damages the overall health of our community due to their own lack of awareness and immaturity. I frame the podcast from a parable called “The Friendly Forest” out of a book by Edwin H. Friedman called: Friedman’s Fables. Friedman was a well-known ordained rabbi and a practicing family therapist who applied family systems concepts to synagogues and churches. The fable describes a Tiger who is allowed the join a Friendly Forest community of animals but, by his presence and nature, threatens a lamb who eventually feel obligated to leave the community. A number of questions emerge out of this story such as: Why do the other animals. Read more.


In this podcast, I share an important truth from one of my favorite biblical characters – John the Baptist. In the midst of a religious system filled with anxiety and expectations for the kind of prophet/leader he is supposed to be, John clearly defines who he is and who he is not. And, as you shall see, as we look closely at this passage in John 1:19-28, it is a key foundation for his authority from God. The following is the handout I refer to in the message that we placed in the bulletin for people to fill out. I trust you will find it helpful: “There are different kinds of voices calling you to different kinds of work and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of society, say, or the super-ego, or self-interest. By and large, a good rule for finding out is this: The. Read more.


Teams that Embrace Rhythms and Limits-Part 2

Posted on February 11th, 2020

Building on last week’s podcast, I build on the theology of rhythms and limits from Genesis 2:15-17 and seek to apply it practically to our most important task – cultivating a deep spirituality with and for Jesus. We want to be role models for those we lead by embracing God’s rhythms and limits in the midst of a world that respects neither. Like the apostle Paul, we want to say: Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Towards that end, I expound briefly on the Desert Fathers of the third through fifth centuries who served as spiritual role models for the first 1500 years of church history (and continue to do so for the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches of today). In particular, I highlight their development of “rules of life” that they developed to give structure and rhythm to their monastic communities, enabling them to pay. Read more.


Teams that Embrace Rhythms and Limits-Part 1

Posted on February 4th, 2020

This podcast discusses limits and rhythms as two of the most counterintuitive, difficult truths in Scripture to embrace. They touch the core of our relationship with Jesus, how we function as a team, and the way in which we lead. Both limits and rhythms fly in the face of our natural tendency to want to play God, control outcomes, and run the world. Yet they remain deep truths to which we must return, over and over, as leaders and teams. In this podcast, I examine Adam and Eve’s original rebellion against God as a refusal to accept God’s rhythm, and limit, for them. God gave them enormous freedom in the Garden. Then, without explanation, He set a boundary before them. They were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen.2:15-17). They were to trust and surrender to Him, bowing humbly before His incomprehensible ways. They were to be active, then. Read more.


 Each of us has been “formed/discipled” by our family of origin in the early years of our lives – whether we were Christians or not. We learned, for example, how to think about relationships, work, success, ethnicity, and anger from our families. When we came to Jesus, however, we were birthed into a new family. And it is Jesus’ new family that we were to learn and be formed into disciples of Him. That laboring till Christ be formed in people is the core of our work of leadership (Gal. 4:19). But it must begin with us. In this podcast I invite you to do three things: 1. Think theologically. Everything rises and falls on theology. If we are going to multiply deeply changed discipleship and leaders, we must begin with ourselves and our teams. 2. Think of leadership as the inner work to define yourself in Jesus, not growing in expertise.  This is much. Read more.


In emotionally healthy teams, people understand that their family of origin has enormous significance in their ability to function maturely as a team. ­They’ve realized from Scripture that an intricate relationship exists between the kind of person they are today and their past. Numerous external forces may shape us, but the family we have grown up in is the primary and, except in rare instances, the most powerful system that will ever shape and influence who we are. In this podcast, I examine how it is that making sense of our stories (with their flaws, gaps, losses, and blessings) can powerfully transform us, our teams, and those we lead. I frame the podcast around five major points: 1. Identifying how your family has shaped you. 2. Discerning the major influences in your life. 3. Doing a genogram of your family and sharing it with your team. 4. Remembering genogram is something we work on. Read more.