January 22, 2021
implications of a biblical worldview of leadership
The primary threat to the church is the “tendency to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than the Spirit.” Many church leaders crave a “big name,” he continues: They “stand on the backs of others” in order to achieve power, influence, and reputation instead of exhibiting the humility of the Master who washed His disciples’ feet. In this naturalistic framework, persons become merely “objects for objective manipulation in the market and the political arena.” Though Christians would never accept naturalism as a philosophy, many have absorbed a naturalistic approach to marketing, adopting techniques that treat a target audience essentially as passive “consumers” to be manipulated into buying a “product.”. Ethics is, in plain terms, simply the study of morality. worldview and erroneous educational practices and thus diminish the extent and authority of God’s Word in our lives and culture. What implications does a biblical worldview have for education? In fact, he may run the risk of losing his job.  Schaeffer, True Spirituality, in Complete Works, vol. Rather, we see history as linear, a meaningful sequence of events leading to the fulfillment of God’s purposes for humanity (see Eph. And no wonder they find our message unconvincing. Christians can be infected by secular worldviews not only in their beliefs but also in their practices. They organize focus groups to determine where to aim their efforts. “The nonprofit economy has become more like the for-profit world,” writes Thomas Berg. . For example, a Christian ministry once hired a young man who had just received his master’s degree in marketing to head up its fundraising department. A former high-ranking executive at a parachurch organization told me he had resigned after discovering an internal “culture of lying–a regular pattern of shading the truth and cutting ethical corners in order to look better and win influence–all for the good of the ministry, of course. The overconfident leader, on the other hand – as in the case of Moses – easily falls prey to carelessness and invites disaster for his people. Clearly, biblical principles are not just Sunday school pieties. The Bible calls this living in the “flesh” instead of in the Spirit, and Paul addresses the problem in the book of Galatians: “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. He stood a little child in their midst and said, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. Take Moses for example. The other side of the coin is that it is quite proper for members of the Body to claim ownership of their own work. Day by day, they are to make choices that would make no sense unless the unseen world is just as real as the seen world. A larger-than-life standard is set up that attracts financial and other forms of support from donors and foundations that might otherwise have gone to worthier causes. The purpose in assigning proper credit is to identify gifts within the Body of Christ, for the sake of more effective ministry. 3, 47. What does this mean in practice? How can I help you succeed?” The best organizations regard the nurturing of their own employees as a spiritual mandate. But it is morally wrong to pretend to the public that you wrote something yourself when you did not.  H. Richard Niebuhr, Radical Monotheism and Western Culture (New York: Harper & Row, 1960), 140. If you and I do not have the courage to confront worldly and sinful practices in our own ranks, what makes us think we will have the courage to stand against powerful secular leaders? 34:3). It is scandalous that Christian ministries and publishing houses often turn a blind eye to this form of deception, especially when it involves top-selling names. The exclusion of a Christian worldview from the curriculum is not just limited to lessons on the history of Christianity. A Christian school is a community and one should see a loving, caring, Christ-centered environment. Download for personal use only. "Leadership" in general is an idea that seems to be getting a lot of promotion these days. For additional groups and links, see www.elevate2004.com/main/marketplace_ministries_links.html. Little children and beggars are kings and lords in this strange new world (Luke 9:48, 16:25). Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said that the Lord’s work must be done in the Lord’s way, if it is to have the Lord’s blessing. The same contradictory pattern often emerges in the way Christian churches and organizations function–in their management of the workplace itself, treatment of employees, and leadership style. Rather, we see history as linear, a meaningful sequence of events leading to the fulfillment of God’s purposes for humanity (see Eph. In the Body of Christ, the eye is not the ear (1 Cor. Even secular businesses are starting to recognize these principles. In the East, where the Confucian tension between shame and honour is a worldview pillar, biblical models of authority and leadership can become supplanted by cultural traditions. They unconsciously assume “that God measures success by the numbers, that more money means more ministry, which means more success for God’s kingdom. Paul was scrupulous in refusing to take credit for what others had accomplished: “We do not boast . I once addressed a group of Christian graduate students earning advanced degrees from some of the nation’s top universities in fields like philosophy, literature, and political theory. Yet its importance is often overlooked in discussions of Christian worldview. The first is simple humility. It can happen when a leader or supervisor takes credit for the success of a program without mentioning the creative work of team members. He understands that the perils, the anxieties, and the sleepless nights will be endured not for the sake of personal gain, but for the benefit of somebody else. Because they are true to the real world, they actually work better in making people and companies more productive. Sadly, many Christians live much of their lives as though the naturalist were right. Leaders must hear God’s calling to lead and respond to that call. . That’s always a bit uncomfortable. How can I bless you? Adam and Eve were requested to …  Jim Collins, interview (on the website for the National Association of Convenience Stores), at www.nacsonline.com/NACS/Resource/ Corporate/cm_010901a_ir.htm. The opposite is likewise true: If Christians use the weapons God has ordained–if we lay our talents at His feet, dying to our own pride and ambition, obeying biblical moral principles, empowered by His Spirit, guided by a Christian worldview perspective–then even if by external standards we seem to have lost, we have really won. It originates in a quintessential Kantian paragraph that emphasizes the power of the perception of the human mind. They may sincerely want to do the Lord’s work, but they do it in the world’s way–using worldly methods and motivated by worldly desires for success and acclaim. They lived derivative lives, feeding off his fame and public identity.”. It found that the most effective leaders are those who regard workers as part of their mission, not merely as a means to larger goals. When she started her new job, however, she was disappointed to discover exactly the same dynamics at the parachurch ministry.  Schaeffer, No Little People, in Complete Works, vol. There is no attempt to hide the fact. Kant writes, “If the human mind is nonetheless to be able even to think the given infinite without contradiction, it must have within itself a power that is supersensible, whose idea of the noumenon can… In every case, the offender is essentially co-opting someone else’s spiritual gifts and calling by claiming them as his own. As Schaeffer put it, “with God there are no little people,” which means we cannot treat anyone as a mere means to other goals. The tragic fact, Schaeffer says, is that in many Christian organizations, “there would be no difference whatsoever.”. First, what is teaching from a biblical worldview NOT? 3, 44ff. The overriding question is not, “Is this morally and spiritually right?” but rather, “Will it sell?”. As Lesslie Newbigin writes, fellow Christians should stand ready to support those who speak the truth to power and pay a price for it, even providing financial assistance to those whose moral courage costs them their livelihood.. Many groups are Christian in what they profess but not in the way they operate. Would that make any difference in practice in the way we run our churches and organizations? He was filled with divine power and wisdom as long as he doubted his own ability (Exodus 4:10). How does relying on statistically reliable patterns persuade a watching world that God is at work? Ask how he treats his support staff. However, simply having such an environment does not make a school a Christian school. They hire ghostwriters to write copy under the leader’s name for columns, newsletters, daily devotionals, and websites. At Phoenix Seminary, President Darryl DelHousaye is known for asking his staff, “How can I help you? Where is our passion for truth and authenticity? . An executive at a Washington think tank once worked at a Christian ministry where the atmosphere was so negative that he developed stress-related physical symptoms. Newbigin is talking about the church’s imperative to support Christians who suffer for confronting secular organizations, but the principle certainly applies equally well to those who confront unethical practices within Christian organizations. Other groups include Marketplace Leaders (www.marketplaceleaders.org) and the International Coalition of Workplace Ministries (www.icwm.net). AREOPAGO PROTESTANTE uses “COOKIES” in order to guarantee the proper functioning of our website, improve its security, obtain better efficiency and personalisation, collect statistical data and show you relevant advertising.  Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality, in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, vol. One early example of nurses caring for others is found in Exodus 2, when midwives would not kill infant boys because they feared God more than they feared Pharaoh. Modesty. Start the business meeting with prayer, by all means, but then employ all the up-to-date strategies learned in secular graduate schools. A Christian worldview has implications for understanding history. Home » Family QAs » Get Help » Family Q&A » Faith Q&As » A Biblical Perspective on Leadership. It does this through explaining a God or a greater strength that is no longer anticipated for the works to be saved shape the worldly life. Biblical Worldview PAPER INSTRUCTIONS. The biblical narrative provides a solid foundation for a comprehensive worldview, offering implications for the Christian faith and Christian higher education. It was the same codependent relationship with a Big Name.” The emotionally unhealthy pattern was all too recognizable, and wisely she left the new position after only two months. A true leader shies away from his calling because he knows there’s nothing in it for him. We cannot “structure sin into our method of doing business” (to use a phrase my husband once coined), and then expect God to bless it. Christian Worldview and Business Management Introduction The notion of management can be traced back to the beginnings of this planet. All rights reserved. If we cannot run with the footmen, we are fooling ourselves to imagine we will be able to run with the horses (see Jer. Whether I'm at church, in a bookstore, or at work, it seems the assertion that "everybody needs to be a leader" is always being pushed. The Orient and Confucianism . Do we recognize a pattern here? The celebrity style of leadership. But it rarely becomes real in practice until we encounter an overwhelming crisis that pushes us to the end of our own resources. For a familiar example, think of the ubiquitous fundraising letters that sound like they were all written by the same person–because they were ghostwritten by staffers all trained in the same techniques. ... provide an education with a solid Christian foundation and to ensure that every SOE program completer understands the implications of a biblical worldview for the field of education. They had the same effect on Jesus’ contemporaries. Yet in only three years, he pulled together a team that turned the company around. The Biblical Worldview Assignment is course-embedded into every degree program in Liberty University’s School of Education (SOE). Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Tench Coxe, 1799. When life ends and we stand at the believers’ judgment described in 1 Corinthians 3, some of our most successful and impressive projects may prove to be nothing but wood, hay, and stubble devoured by the flames. Without really thinking, we begin to stretch the truth to enhance our image and attract donors.  Jerram Barrs, personal correspondence, March 18, 2003.  One of the most damaging trends in recent history has been the tendency to select dazzling celebrity leaders, Collins concludes. It was produced by a committee of writers, marketers, and fund development professionals, carefully calculated to elicit a response. Since the entire foundation of Nat… It means we sometimes act in ways that seem irrational to those [who are naturalists], who see only the physical world. Sheer activism may bring about results that look impressive to those sitting in the naturalist’s chair, whose only frame of reference is the visible world–but they will not be the results the Lord wants. Have Focus on the Family resources helped you or your family? The biblical view might be better represented by Thomas Jefferson’s observation that “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on [public office], a rottenness begins in his conduct.”Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Tench Coxe, 1799. It also means following biblical principles in the personal and practical spheres of life. Contrary to the common stereotype, says author Jim Collins, these successful leaders “are not charismatic, nor are they celebrities.” They are not “hard charging” leaders who feel they have to whip up employees to perform. “Before I begin,” he said, “I want to thank the two people on my staff, Mark Rodgers and Sydney Leach, who did the research for this lecture and wrote it.” He then proceeded to deliver the lecture.  Quoted in Helen Lee, “The Forty Best Christian Places to Work,” Christianity Today, April 2003. Imagine that you were to wake up tomorrow morning, Schaeffer says, and that by some magic, everything the Bible teaches about prayer and the empowering of the Holy Spirit was gone–it was erased from history and had never been said. What does genuine biblical "leadership" look like? 6:12), and if we try to fight it in the flesh, we will be merely shadowboxing. Churches and parachurch ministries may generate a great deal of publicity, hold glamorous conferences, attract huge crowds, bring in large donations, produce books and magazines, and wield political influence in Washington. “We’ve all encountered the know-it-all leader, the ‘submit-or-else’ type of leader,” according … ), and it should not pretend to be, by claiming the ear’s work as its own. A Christian worldview has implications for understanding history. 3, 5. It is someone who, in Senske’s words, refuses to use people as means to an end–who always asks, “Am I building people up, or am I building myself up and merely using those around me?” A servant leader creates an atmosphere of “transparency” in which all relevant information is shared openly, so that everyone has an opportunity to make responsible decisions. Finally, a servant leader lets go of command-and-control methods, and creates a culture that allows everyone to grow into leaders, stretching their own God-given talents.. My visions, motives, and actions must be a reflection of our relationship with God. .  Organizations like CBMC (“Connecting Business Men to Christ”) and the Christian Labour Association of Canada bring a biblical worldview perspective to the world of business and industry, demonstrating that biblical principles actually work in guiding day-by-day decisions and procedures. They have absorbed what H. Richard Niebuhr calls a “depersonalized and disenchanted” perspective that lacks even the conceptual vocabulary to deal adequately with the human person. Outsiders looking on may conclude that we have failed. But if any secular organization can achieve the same results using the same “guaranteed” methods, where is the witness to God’s existence? And that’s to name just a few. This is just as important as framing a worldview perspective on the “isms” of our day. Can we compromise the truth without undermining our effectiveness for the Lord? Leadership, affecting change simply for materialistic or self-serving goals, is values. The church as a whole then loses the benefit of their gifts. The second reason is more subtle. Used by permission of Crossway Books. There is the often-unnoticed problem of excluding a Christian worldview from an academic topic. If you think it might be helpful to discuss these concepts at greater length, call us. Copyright (c) 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Clearly, any practice that deceives the public ought to be off-limits, no matter how much money it brings in for the ministry. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this has some pretty radical implications for our normal human assumptions about “leadership.” The disciples ran smack into these implications on at least two noteworthy occasions. Christianity 9 to 5 © 2021. In the secular, leadership tends to be viewed primarily in terms of a company’s bottom line and how well the leader can urge employees to … As often as not, the crisis is half-manufactured and the anecdotes half-fictionalized for greater emotional impact. It is to be a vital part of the content of the curriculum and integrated with all subject matter. It can happen among coworkers–when someone discusses an idea with a colleague, who then presents it to the boss as his own. Cited in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 268. 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