Monday, March 10, 2014


Have been reading quite a bit about cross-cultural ministry.  A statement that John Perkins made in his forward to John Hayes' book Submerge has stuck with me.  "Cross-cultural is where the war is and that's where the violence comes from."  He was thinking of national cultures when he wrote that, but I was thinking "all cultures...everywhere...even the church."  The church is multi-cultural by design.  And challenges to unity come along predictable fault lines.

Can those who are committed to evangelism get along with those who are committed to discipleship?
Can those who are of Apollos get along with those who are of Paul?
Can those who are emotional in their approach to God get along with those who are intellectual in their approach?
Can those who are pioneers get along with those who are settlers?

There are perhaps a thousand of these cultural distinctives that can be found in the body of Christ.  One of the roles of a Christian leader is to help people build bridges across these divides.  Remember what Jesus said?  Blessed are the peacemakers.  It is near and dear to God's heart to help people put down the weapons (even if the weapon is a twitter account), and get along.  

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


As a Christian leader you have people around you, and they typically fall into two categories:  The Fors, and The Froms.  The Froms are the ones who want something From you.  They want your counsel, they want your teaching, they want your approval, they want your support, they want your friendship.  Based on Jesus' experience, this is probably the majority of the people around you.  And it's ok.  We are called to give of ourselves to others.  Like Jesus, we may need to get away from the Froms occasionally to refill the tank, but as a servant leader filled with the Spirit, you are ready, willing and able to serve.

But every leader is blessed to also have a few (maybe a precious few) who are there For them.  They are for your marriage.  They are for your ministry.  They are for you on a personal level.  They rejoice when you rejoice.  They weep when you weep.  They may be happy to receive from you, but they are intent on being a blessing more than a burden.  Generally, you can tell that you are dealing with a For because after an exchange with them you don't feel depleted.  They are positive.  They are uplifting.

I bring this to your attention, because some leaders make no room in their schedules (lives?) for Fors.  They are so busy with Froms (whom they will always have with them) that they feel guilty or frivolous about spending time with those who need nothing from them.  Remember, Jesus washed others feet.  He also got his feet washed on occasion.  Are you O.K. with that?