Thursday, October 27, 2011

Outsourcing God - book excerpt #20

Yesterday I found myself in a conversation/debate about leadership styles. I argued that a true and healthy leader does not provide 100, 80, even 50% of the answers for those following, but that we must push back with more questions to create a desire and make the vision that of the person questioning (so as to not live out the other man's faith). My friend argued that we must present our position with certainty and confidence; that anything short of it is un-true, and does no good to the one asking. I could go on and on, but I thought that this section of my book spoke to the subject:

(c) 2010 Ross Christopher Donaldson

To those of us that currently call ourselves leaders…here’s permission to not always having the answer. If you don’t feel permission to leave things a bit unhinged and untidy, I’m sorry. It’s the nature of the beast – plus it feels good when we/I have all of the (right) answers. I quickly gain public persona and become the _________ answer man (you fill in the blank).

I tend to believe however, that Christ came to demonstrate a new type of leadership. His new leadership is completely counter-cultural that it leads people to scoff terms like radical, crazy, otherworldly, revolutionary, and un-realistic. But what we know of Christ is that he rarely did things in the assumed way.

When He should have ridden a stallion, He rides the colt of a donkey. When He can raise a legion of furious militant angels, He turns His cheek and remains silent. When He has the power to assemble the most just and righteous government known to man, He instead compels young fisherman to take up His cause. Jesus does little in the likeness of your standard leadership self-help books and gurus, but Jesus taught a better and holy way.

Jesus, our model leader, was asked a slew of questions throughout his three-year ministry, and from the four gospels, he responded over 50 times with questions – not answers. Jesus spoke often through the use of parables: quick, pithy, succinct questions or stories that strengthened the community by fostering deeper thought and conversation. Perhaps our response should be similar...

...It seems like in a world where people gravitate to either black or white; Jesus poses a question to blend the two. We all know our friends that see the world in total black and white. There’s no middle ground. It escapes nothing. Not politics. Not sports. Not foods. Not entertainment. Not religion. And in this world that is painted in stark contrast, Jesus is leading out of the gray. For it's in the fog of gray that we truly search for our way(s) and discover truth.


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