>>So, this is the requisite intro post that tells my readers a little bit about who I am and what I mean by thought leadership. It won’t be funny, I guarantee, because I’m a boring guy. You may ask (and you probably should):
“Why should you read what I write?”
Because I’m boring in such a valuable way! Think back on the care-free days of High School. Do you remember all those things you were forced to learn in school, that you sardonically asked, “When am I ever going to use this?!” It usually happened to me in math classes. For you engineers out there, it probably happened around grammar rules in English class.
Well, as I moved beyond the caricature of high school melodrama, it turns out that most people who want to do more than wait on tables, need to know a lot of the stuff that just seemed so superflous and boring at the time. All that jazz in high school (no…not the glee kind of jazz) seemed so out of touch and pointless because it didn’t address my felt needs. It had nothing to do with relationships – which is the majority of what the felt needs of school revolve around. So most of those obscure mathematical principles or MLA bibliographical guidelines never showed up on my radar. I’m willing to bet most people share that sentiment.
>>what i learned
The most valuable thing I learned in school (second only to: milk left alone in your locker becomes yogurt) is, if I’m only valuing things that address my felt needs, I’ll always be in a reactive mode, and will rarely be equipped for the future. Think about that for a minute. If the lion’s share of my energy is wrestling with trying to wring clarity and meaning from a challenging present, I’ll always be struggling with the present. It’s like a person who never learns to live beyond paycheck-to-paycheck mode – they never have the economy to prepare for the future. I’ve been exposed to some great thinkers and thought leaders – and I’ve come to realize that I’d much rather struggle with the future and enjoy the present – no matter what it is.
CS Lewis expresses a concept that when we are happy, we are fully in the moment, and that as soon as we begin to examine our happiness, we’re no longer in that happy state, we have shifted to an analytical state of mind – that to recognize our happy state, we must by necessity disconnect from it somewhat in order to examine it. I want to experience my present as fully as possible, and to do that I must be more analytical about the future. This blog will be about thought leadership, about recognizing and discussing principles that just make life work better! I want to discuss some of what I’ve seen others model, some of what I’ve learned, and some of what I hope will become part of my praxis in the future. Because I am a highly spiritual man, and a pastor – a lot of that will revolve around what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and how that plays into the church.
>>what would he do?
For instance, consider Jesus going about his daily ministry. He was often surrounded by crowds of people, some needing healing, some guidance, some provision – all of them needing salvation (from sin, from stifling Jewish legality, from Roman oppression). Jesus’ ministry was on mission – it had crystal clarity, and he exemplifies thought leadership. He did not spend all his time addressing felt needs. It must have broken his heart to walk by people and leave their needs unmet, but he did for the sake of accomplishing his father’s mission. He rejected opportunities because he was addressing the tumultuous present with the future in mind. Mat 8:18-22
So this is the end of the boring introduction, in which I try to excuse my lack of entertainment value by convincing you that there are things worth spending time considering and discussing, that pay big dividends in the future. The problem is, my teachers were never able to convince me of that – I had to wrestle with the troubling and confusing present, lacking clarity for years before I began to think differently.
So…if you’re a thought wrestler – maybe we should get to know each other. Maybe this blog is for you. I know that I want to learn from you. Take a minute and answer this question in the comments below:
What one thing have you wrestled with because you were not equipped when it appeared in your life?
Thoughtful. I don’t think it’s boring though, lol. I like the lighter and more broad approach to thought leadership. I really like thinking about Jesus as a thought leader. It makes sense. I just never thought of it like that. I don;t agree with saying that He rejected opportunities. How do you see that?
btw, the thing that I’ve really wrestled with because it was unexpected is how to manage money. No one ever taught me how to manage my finances well, and when I got out on my own, and when I started leading youth ministry I couldn’t do a budget for anything. Got me in a lot of trouble. Still does.
What I mean by Jesus rejection opportunities, is that for the sake of focusing on the Father’s mission for Him, He must have often left needs unmet. He rejected opportunities for ministry that did not fit inside the main goal. He didn’t capitalize on his popularity with the crowds – in fact, he even said things that purposefully sent away those who weren’t fully invested in His purpose. Whether the 5K, or the rich young ruler. How many pastors do you know that would send away a wealthy businessman that wanted to contribute to the church, and was living a good life, following God’s laws? Jesus had the opportunity to win over Pilate and the Jewish leaders multiple times, yet alienated most of them – seemingly on purpose.
Why? There were so many opportunities for things to turn out “better” from the human perspective, but it seemed that Jesus kept doing things that focused on one terrible and majestic goal. There was a ruthless pursuit of His Father’s will in a singular and unique calling.