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Tag Archives: brokenness

Projection and Transference

Ernst Becker, in The Denial of Death, observes we have a universal human need for heroic figures who are less helpless or broken than ourselves. We transfer our childlike feelings of dependency to celebrities, mega-church pastors, or other authority figures. (Freud called this transference). They appear to have triumphed over the hardships of life. They dazzle us with their self-confidence. We compare ourselves to them, feeling diminished in their presence. If we happen to get close to them and see their ugly side, we feel shocked and betrayed. We forget. They too feel frightened, inadequate, and vulnerable like the rest of us. Read the biographies of all spiritual, military, economic, intellectual, political, and artistic leaders through history. You will discover they each had their shadows and monsters. People will, at times, put you on a pedestal, idealizing you and projecting onto you qualities as if you were indistinguishable from the rest of humanity. But. Read more.

Projection and Transference

Ernst Becker, in The Denial of Death, observes we have a universal human need for heroic figures who are less helpless or broken than ourselves. We transfer our childlike feelings of dependency to celebrities, mega-church pastors, or other authority figures. (Freud called this transference). They appear to have triumphed over the hardships of life. They dazzle us with their self-confidence. We compare ourselves to them, feeling diminished in their presence. If we happen to get close to them and see their ugly side, we feel shocked and betrayed. We forget. They too feel frightened, inadequate, and vulnerable like the rest of us. Read the biographies of all spiritual, military, economic, intellectual, political, and artistic leaders through history. You will discover they each had their shadows and monsters. People will, at times, put you on a pedestal, idealizing you and projecting onto you qualities as if you were indistinguishable from the rest of humanity. But remember:. Read more.

What Makes a Leader Christian?

We can learn many things from secular sources about leadership. Yet Christian leadership is different. 1. Our leadership is ultimately about pointing people to Jesus. 2. Our leadership aims to equip people to become the living presence of God in the world. 3. Our marriage and singleness are calls to be a living sign and wonder of His love to the world. 4. Our plans flow out of a deep dependence and communion with God. 5. Our identity and authority emerge from a different foundation. 6. We lead out of our brokenness. What might you add?

What Makes a Leader Christian?

We can learn many things from secular sources about leadership. Yet Christian leadership is different. 1. Our leadership is ultimately about pointing people to Jesus. 2. Our leadership aims to equip people to become the living presence of God in the world. 3. Our marriage and singleness are calls to be a living sign and wonder of His love to the world. 4. Our plans flow out of a deep dependence and communion with God. 5. Our identity and authority emerge from a different foundation. 6. We lead out of our brokenness. What might you add?

Insights from Jean Vanier of L'Arche

Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities for people with severe mental and physical disabilities, recently offered an interview with Krista Tippett on her show, On Being. Vanier, one of those few hidden, great Christ-followers, is now 85 years old. The following are, in his own words, a few rich insights from that interview. I invite you to read them slowly and prayerfully. 1. The deepest desire for us all is to be appreciated, to be loved, and to be seen as someone of value. 2. Martin Luther King Jr. rightly said that we will continue to despise people until we have loved and accepted what is despicable in ourselves. 3. We need to love people, not because they are beautiful, but because they are human. 4. Those considered marginalized and disabled can restore balance to the world as to what is important, i.e. love and tenderness. 5. The goal of L’Arche is not to change. Read more.

What are the Foundational Values of Your Leadership Team?

I recently finished Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry (IVP,2008).  I enjoyed it thoroughly and found a number of valuable insights for my own leadership at New Life. I recommend it to you.  One unique insight was to clearly articulate the values of your  leadership team as you enter into  challenging, difficult discussions.  The following is my first draft for our NLF staff team (Her team’s can be found on pp.176-178 of her book). 1. Personal Spiritual Transformation – We consistently labor to maintain balance in our lives as leaders, ensuring that we have time for prayer, rest, healthy relationships (play) and work. Our rhythms are our first work and foundational for both our lives and leadership.  2. Community – We are a microcosm of the larger New Life and seek to maintain and build unity in our relationships as Christ did with the Twelve. While the work itself can easily distract us away. Read more.