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Tag Archives: American Christianity

Lessons from the Radical Leadership of Jesus

Leading people in the name of Jesus is complex, demanding great wisdom and discernment. I have dedicated my adult life to the study of leadership. I have written books on leadership, read innumerable books on the topic, and attended more than my share of leadership conferences. But for the last 18 months, I have been meditating on the leadership of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. It has shaken me. The Holy Spirit has challenged me to honestly look at the Western church model of leadership that lives in me more than I care to admit (i.e. bigger, better, more, faster), and invited me to drink more deeply of Jesus’ life and leadership. I have summarized my learnings into five lessons for your reflection and prayer: Jesus rejected the powerful ministries presented by Satan – the sensational, the spectacular, and the speedy. Jesus chose the low road of suffering and the cross. He did not storm. Read more.

Don’t Cast the First Stone!

We often forget that our rich tradition as evangelical Protestants has some “dirty laundry” and blind spots.  For example: Martin Luther’s intensely disliked Jews and wrote essays against them that were resurrected and used by the Nazis. He also advised the German nobles to slaughter the rebelling peasants without mercy. Ulrich Zwingli condoned the torture and drowning of Anabaptists—some of them his own former students—because they believed in baptism by immersion. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield were slaveholders.  African-American believers in our church have questioned me if they were really Christian! The great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Asuza Street (1906) in Los Angeles split terribly over race, resulting in black and white churches throughout America for decades. Many leaders of the Protestant Missionary Movement, along with a number of contemporary Evangelical leaders, failed in their marriage and family life.  John Wesley, for example, couldn’t live with his wife; his marriage was, by. Read more.