Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Inspirational Biblical Leadership

The Inspirational Centurion

Some months ago I was reading Luke 7 during lunch, and for the first time was awestruck by the Centurion in verses 1-10.  This is for several reasons:
  1. First of all, he was in all likelihood a manly man - a tough and accomplish enough soldier to lead 100 other soldiers.
  2. He was also a very important man (leader of 100 men, the Jewish elders went to Jesus on his behalf, he built the synagogue, etc).
  3. Despite his position and authority, he still cared for and valued his servant (sought Jesus' help for him).
  4. He had tremendous faith, as not only expressed by his actions but also reinforced by Jesus ("I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”).
  5. His faith was present despite not having seen or personally been with Jesus, to our knowledge (not a disciple, apostle, etc).
  6. Despite his strength, authority, and importance, he was incredibly humble before Jesus/God ("I do not deserve to have you come under my roof... I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you.").
Could it be said that this man is one of the best examples of what all men should strive to be?  Strong and authoritative, yet still caring to those below him in status, and possessing great faith and humility.  I know I do (strive to be like that).

The Wise Pharisee

The above heading seems like an oxymoron when you consider the roles and the reputation that the Pharisees had in the stories of the Bible.  I recently read a possible rare exception though in Acts 5:33-40, where a Pharisee named Gamaliel cleverly and logically persuaded the Sanhedrin to stop persecuting the apostles.  This is leadership at its finest - standing up for the right cause, and doing it effectively enough so that you persuade your audience to change course.

Book Review - Discipleship in the Home

 The leader/founder of the home group that we attend recommended this book for the men, when we were meeting weekly at Bob Evans at 6am (sick, I know).  It's a fairly short book, but long enough to be effective at relaying the author's ideas.  The basic premise behind it is to relay the deliberate and extensive effort by Mr. Friedman to determine which values and knowledge to teach and instill into his children, and how to actively attempt to accomplish it.  As a parent, it seems to me like it's easy to feel like I'm in survival mode and trying hard enough to take care of the kids, the "stuff", ourselves (if/when possible), and maybe encourage the kids to take some extra-curricular activities.  But this book helped to persuade me how effective it can be in determining which goals to help your children pursue and then being extensive and purposeful in planning their success, as much as possible anyway.

I don't agree with all of the specific items on his list of things to teach/train to his kids (some seemed geared to aggressively push the kids into a position of ministry), but I really like his simple yet brilliant idea of being intentional about being engaged in teaching/learning/guiding.  In addition to these useful ideas, I enjoyed (and am still enjoying) Appendix 2 of the book, which is the "Hidden in the Heart" Catechism.  Here he provides a list of 126 basic, essential theological and family-oriented questions to discuss with your kids to help them commit basic Christian premises to heart/memory.  I'm trying to periodically ask one or two at dinnertime, as a way to not only provide an interesting dinner table discussion, but also to help them grow spiritually/mentally.

This book wasn't the most exciting I've read, nor was it a theological revelation, but I think Mr. Friedeman's ideas have the ability to utilize your children's potential in a way that not much else can.
counter stats