Canoeing the Mountains

canoeing the mountainsI’m currently reading a fantastic book on leadership by Tod Bolsinger: Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory.

I imagine in past years I would have steered clear of such books, mainly because I would have seen them as a bit too business-oriented. However, what has drawn me to this book (other than it being a part of my doctoral studies) is that it’s centered in the primacy of relationship, while giving keen insights on Christian leadership. It still recognizes that there are business aspects within a Christian organization (though Bolsinger calls it biology over and above business), but there is much more insight here than “how to run a Christian business.”

Just a brief introduction to the main thrust of the work. Continue reading

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Non-negotiables

In my last post, I mentioned a special gathering of some of our more mature as well as younger leaders, within Global Horizons, gathering together for discussion and prayer. In the discussions, we talked about some of the ‘non-negotiables’ that have become near and dear to our hearts. Not in any sense of wanting to break fellowship with others who might not hold to these things, but those foundation stones, even revelations, that the Lord has shown as dear to his own heart.

Of course, there is already a sense of the importance of the essentials of the faith, centred in Christ and the gospel, his death and resurrection. But these points came forth as part of the charismatic restoration movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. These became so very important, as we understood them as important to Christ himself.

So I list them here. They are in no particular order and some of them repeat somewhat. But these stand as non-negotiable foundation stones of Christ, the cornerstone, and the apostolic-prophetic foundation that has been and is being laid (Eph 2:19-22). Continue reading

Influence and Authority

In the coming weeks (at least I hope), I will spend some time putting together a paper on the nature of apostolic authority today. Yes, I believe apostles (and prophets) still exist today. Jesus was the greatest apostle (not Paul), he sent the Spirit to continue the same apostolic work, that Spirit empowers the whole body to walk out their apostolic calling in Christ, and, thus, it only makes sense that Jesus would continue to gift people as apostles to help equip and prepare the church (ala Eph 4:11-16).

Of course, they aren’t called to write canonical Scripture. And they are called in line with the original apostolic gospel-foundation laid by the first apostles. But such a ministry is very much needed, since we very much need the whole of Christ’s ministries in our world today. I share more about what an apostle is here.

Over the past weeks, as I’ve pondered some things that I want to share in this paper, I also had a brief discussion with a recent church leader about the nature of apostolic authority. I mentioned the paper to him, as he works with a network of churches similar to the one I work with, also believing apostles are needed today. And he made an interesting comment, one where he was recognising a fault. It went something like this.

In today’s world, authority is more about influence.

In all of this, it has got me thinking a lot about the difference between these 2 words: authority and influence. Continue reading

Leadership Starts With…

About 6 or 7 years ago, I attended a church leader’s conference during my time of living in the UK. It was particularly launched by an American leader with a desire to train up leaders in today’s world, but the material was being taught wider than America, hence why it was over in the UK.

Yet, to be honest, It was a bit awkward at times, at least for me and those pastors I relate with in our network. Why? Mainly because there were two American pastors of megachurches, one leader from a church of 3000 and one leader from a church of 7000, this being quite different from the normal church context of Europe and the UK. In a European context, a healthy church would consist of anywhere from 50-75 adults, while a larger church would consist of 100+ adults. Quite a different scene than what is at times presented in America (even different from the actual average church in America, though so many look to attain to the 1000+ mark). Continue reading

Prayer Retreat

It is good to take some time away, very good, even if it is only for a 24-hour period. And, thus, I am much anticipating this weekend in which our leadership team will draw away to the Ardennes of Belgium for a short, 24-hour period to be together, seek God, hear from God and respond to His leading of our lives and the life of the church we lead.

I pray it is like a refreshing rain during a hot mid-summer’s day.