VQ and PQ: Two Indispensible Leadership Keys

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I discovered something recently that has revolutionized the way I gauge the future success or failure of leaders. I call it a leader’s VQ and PQ.

The VQ stands for Vision Quotient.

What is the leader’s vision for the future of the organization? Is it grand and compelling? Such visions, which are not formed overnight, inspire and motivate others to put forth their outmost to achieve the vision. (more…)

Desiring the Kingdom: A Critical Book Review

James K. A. Smith, Philosophy Professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI

James K. A. Smith, Philosophy Professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI

The following is a book summary and critical review of James K. A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom. I highly recommend the book for anyone in Christian leadership or education. It is a lengthy post, but I believer readers will find it thoughtful and engaging. 

Introduction

One of the most disconcerting challenges facing the Church in North America is its overall lack of influence on society at large. Anecdotal as well as empirical evidence strongly suggest that the Church is failing to penetrate society. For instance, polling data by George Barna shows little to no distinct difference in beliefs and lifestyle between professing adult Christians and the general public.[1] This raises some interesting questions for Christian educators. Why are so many young adults departing from the religious practices of their youth?[2] Why has the craze about Christian education (i.e. home schooling, private, undergraduate, or graduate) failed to produce the intended outcome of transforming the culture? (more…)

Top 10 Characteristics of Good Leaders

NormanSchwarzkopf

“You learn far more from negative leadership than from positive leadership. Because you learn how not to do it. And, therefore, you learn how to do it.”

~ Norman Schwarzkopf, US Army General, Persian Gulf War

  1. “The Buck Stops Here” Mentality – Good leaders always accept responsibility for events occurring on their watch. They never blame their predecessors. Neither do they unfairly and disingenuously mischaracterize their opponents. (more…)

6 golden nuggets for great small group discussions

Small group discussions can be the catalyst for transformational growth in the lives of young people – if they are led well.

Since one of my passions is empowering leaders to pursue their God-given calling with greater effectiveness, I want to pass along six golden nuggets that have consistently met with success.

Whether you’re a volunteer leading a Sunday School class or a more seasoned veteran preparing a team of volunteers for an upcoming retreat, you’re bound to glean something helpful from the following list: (more…)

3 Transforming Principles for Effective Communication

communication3How is it some communicators can rivet you to your seat bringing laugher and tears all within the same presentation while others seem to offer the perfect cure for insomnia?

As a retreat speaker and regular youth presenter, I’ll be the first to admit that effective communication is as tricky as no-clutching a 13-speed transmission. There are dozens of variables that have to be just right in order to achieve success.  So for the benefit of all those aspiring to increase their communication effectiveness, I want to suggest three transforming principles every speaker needs to know in order to transform the lives of listeners.

Principle #1: Communication is more than what is said. (more…)

A Healthy, Vibrant Life Requires Coordinated Effort

major-league-clutz_designThis evening I had the joy of watching a seventh grade basketball game. Most of you know that “people watching” is a mild form of amusement for me. So I make it my regular practice to watch the teams play when I drive their bus to sporting events. This particular game was both comedic and instructive.

To begin, these guys played their hearts out. They were diving after loose balls, sprinting down the court, jumping after rebounds, setting picks, and batting down passes.

(more…)

How to Change the World, 4/4

(Summary: In these series of posts, I’ve attempted to raise an important issue facing Christian leaders today, specifically how we go about fulfilling our cultural mandate in a fallen world. Then I offered a critique of the common assumptions and solutions for how the Church has historically sought to bring about lasting change. Seeing that the Church has embraced a definition of culture that is woefully inadequate, James Davison Hunter suggests culture is so complex that no one person or group can possibly hope to transform the culture. This brings us to this post where we will finally discover the best solution for world change.)

“WE CAN’T!”

That’s right. I said it. We can’t change the world. (more…)

Is it all worth it?

Every now and then a guy needs to know that his work is not in vain. That’s where I found my thoughts drifting this morning.

Is all this study at DTS going to be worth it?

Will the hundreds of hours I’ve given to my work for rezlife be profitable?

When will I ever see the fruit of all this hard work? (more…)

How to Change the World, 3/4

In a previous post, I asked the question, “Precisely how do we define culture?”

This question is important for Scripture gives the Church a clear cultural mandate to bring all of creation under the rule and dominion of God.

Obviously ours is a paradise lost. Therefore, in order to redeem, or transform, that which is lost we must first be clear about what culture is. Or, in order to defeat your opponent you must first know your opponent.

I appreciate the insights of James Hunter in his book To Change the World.[1] He shatters the common definitions of culture, and proposes a more refined understanding that I believe better reflects reality. He defines culture as: (more…)

How to Change the World, 2/4

For Christian leaders, I submit there are fewer questions more worthy of thoughtful consideration than how the church goes about fulfilling its cultural mandate.

It is not that the question is new because nearly all denominations and para-church organizations share a deep desire to change the world for the better. But good intentions are not good enough. How we answer this question is just as important as the mandate itself.

Hang with me for second. (more…)