Archives For Andy Stanley

Gods Who Are Not God

September 13, 2016

Andy Stanley is currently sharing a series in his church geared towards people who may have walked away from God.

In the message entitled “Gods of the No Testament”, Andy explores several false conceptions of God, which we as the church are often guilty of promoting.

These are versions of God we have been told exist, but in fact do not. These are gods we SHOULD walk away from. For those who have lost faith over these things, there might be reason to reconsider. These versions of God are not God!

Here are the groupings Andy uses. I will insert some of my own thoughts in each one.

Bodyguard God– The god protects from all harm. In this view, God doesn’t allow bad things to happen to good people. This doesn’t hold up to our experience or even that of Jesus. The author of our faith had some pretty bad things happen to him. Christianity started with horrible things happening to a very good person. Many have walked away over personal pain or the suffering of the world when God is viewed through this lens.

Great leaders ask questions. They are always seeking to learn and grow from others.

In his recent leadership podcast, Andy Stanley looks at the power and influence questions can accomplish. This short talk has stayed with me for days. It is extremely profound, yet refreshingly simple.

Asking questions of ourselves and others do three things for us:

  1. They reveal values.
  2. They reinforce values.
  3. They reinforce behaviors.

But perhaps the greatest questions great leaders ask is the ones they ask of themselves.

Andy shares the story of something Bill Hybels shared with him about decision-making. Hybels when faced with a decision, will ask himself a profound thing.

“What would a Great Leader Do?”

Roads Academy Masterclass, Warwick University, November 2010.

This question accomplishes four things:

  1. This raises the standard of our leadership above the circumstances and emotion of the issue we face. We can make sound decisions rather than those which cater towards the loudest and most immediate need.

Top Books of 2014

November 22, 2014

Each year, one of the popular features of NoSuperHeroes is a look back at the best books I’ve read in 2014.

Take a look at my list and add your favorites in the comments section below.

Here, in no particular order, are the top books of 2014.

With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. I say these are in no particular order, but this book is far and away the best I have read this year. Counting the number of blog posts which drew inspiration from it illustrates this. Take a look at:

“For I have the desire to what is right but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:18)

Paul eloquently demonstrates in Romans 7 the struggle so many of us feel as we walk with God. We want to do what is right, but keep making the same mistakes.

Disobedience is not in our hearts, but it keeps rearing its ugly head in our lifestyle.

In Verse 24, he hits the ultimate expression of frustration exclaiming, Wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Our “wanter” is broken

We don’t live consistently with that which we genuinely desire to do.

Change is not something we get out of a machine or through an app on our phones.

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So What do we do? We usually go to one of two extremes.

I’ve done a lot of reflecting recently on my past years in leadership when I worked with a multi-cultural international team overseeing a missions campus.

I am still haunted by several poor decisions we made.

These are clearly seen in hindsight, but in the midst of busy schedules and deadlines, often go unnoticed until it is too late.

When you are on the outside, it is much easier to work at identifying ungracious culture. We excel at pointing the finger or identifying dysfunction.

But when you are engaged in an organization in the day to day, I’ve found it hard to spot or react to in the moment until you are carried downstream by it, only becoming enlightened in retrospect.

This type of a culture manifests itself in multiple ways:

  • Working around leaders rather than confronting or dealing with issues head on.