Leadership is intense –both inside and outside the church. The pressure, conflicts, and resistances we encounter touch “raw material” and powerful dynamics deep beneath the iceberg of our lives. We go to seminars and conferences on how to do better strategic planning, cast vision, delegate, better manage conflicts, and hire to our weaknesses. We read books on leadership and listen to podcasts on how to grow and expand our impact. That is good and commendable. I do those things myself. It is simply not enough. Our executive leadership team at New Life recently had two half-day meetings around a recent difficult event that we experienced together. We resolved the leadership/organizational issue well, but I was painfully aware profound “hot buttons” deep within our icebergs had been touched (i.e. issues coming out of our own early family histories). I knew God wanted me, and us, to stop and listen to Him. These “triggers” needed to be. Read more.
For the last two weeks I have been meditating/memorizing Isaiah 53:2-6 and the spirituality of descent of Jesus. Out of a desire to offer a “sincere gift of Himself,” Jesus chose a downward journey of ordinariness, obscurity, rejection and powerlessness. He chose crucifixion. It preaches well but my resistance to death (and thus resurrection) is deep. Contemplating the cross, however, has made me sensitive, at least recently, about the choices I make each day to follow, or not follow, the crucified Jesus. The following are three simple gifts God gave me this past week: 1. I visited one of our core church family members this past week. Their child has Lennox Gestaut Syndrome –www.lgsfoundation.org, a severe type of epilepsy. For the past four years, they have been in and out of hospitals, working with countless doctors and specialists to control their son’s seizures, and carrying full time jobs in the NYC school system. Their son, once. Read more.