Archives For weakness

I have an attraction to leadership books which describe real leaders, rather than those with a polished, corporate facade. I fully acknowledge we can learn from books touting secrets and methods, but I find much more encouragement in those which help me lead in and through my weaknesses.

An all time favorite of mine is Leading with a Limp by Dan Allender, which I have spoken about multiple times on this site.

A new addition to these ranks is a book I am currently reading. The Way of the Dragon, the Way of the Lamb by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel is study of leadership in weakness.

Coupled with their musings, they interview multiple humble giants of the faith. The authors spent time with J.I. Packer of Knowing God fame, Eugene Peterson who paraphrased the Message, and several others. The heroes share many of their observations on the North American church, which has been largely influenced by power, prestige, platform and personality.

Why is it we feel we must portray a model of perfection as Christians?

For as long as I can remember, the stereotypical Christian was one who cleaned up well and always answered the “How are you Doing?” question with positive enthusiasm.

Do we present a church which has arrived and is all together, or one filled with people on the journey of figuring it out?

Donald Miller, in his refreshingly candid book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy says,

“Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either.”

A photo by Keith Wickramasekara. unsplash.com/photos/C-6TaN2fxK8

Sometimes it is these imperfections which bring beauty.

Miller would imply Christianity, at is core,  is an admission of weakness. We seem to grasp this as a way to enter the door of faith.

The End of Me

December 16, 2015

“Finish the sentence, “Jesus became real when….”

Often our walk with the Lord is relegated to an afterthought when life is good. It takes a tragedy, a bad medical prognosis, or news of an impending crisis to force us to our knees.

It is precisely during those times when Jesus becomes a more realized presence in our hearts and lives.

I’ve recently seen some friends who nearly lost a newborn express this sentiment saying, “I  can say this was a time of depth with my God that I did not know existed.”

This sentiment perfectly illustrates the premise of this book.

“Jesus became real when I came to the end of me.”

I was asked to review Kyle Idleman’s new book, The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins.

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.

Malcolm Gladwell explores the concept of being at a disadvantage in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles in his new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. His premise is that weakness is not always what it seems.

Gladwell combines stories, history, research and psychology to draw his conclusions.

All these tools lead to the same conclusion as the gospel.

Weakness can be a strength.

This book uses different means and methods, yet arrives at a similar connection to the message we explore on NoSuperHeroes.

It is not always about being bigger, better, faster, or stronger. In my book Death of the Modern Superhero:How Grace Breaks our Rules, I explore how the gospel of grace breaks many of the rules we are taught through society. Gladwell does the same thing.

He starts with the story of David and Goliath.