Friday, August 20, 2010

"Great leaders rally people to a better future."

Title quote from Marcus Buckingham via What's best next. Leadership mumbo-jumbo and psychologising-babble or a glimpse of truth? It's along the lines of Henry Ford: “If I'd asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse" Or Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
A Christian has an unbeatable vision of a better future because they have a vision of Jesus . A Christian has the potential to be a leader - not necessarily a politician, a business-tycoon or even a church leader, but someone who is marked by a gospel optimism that lifts others - and called by God to rule the world under God. We know history is a story that is going somewhere, and with a happy ending that anyone can share in. We believe in history. And we're convinced its a comedy.
"This means that a leader must have a talent for optimism. If you are not an optimistic person, nobody will want to go to the future that you see. Leaders rally to a better future. “As a leader you must believe, deeply, instincitvely, that things can get better” Matt Perman with a quote from Marcus Buckingham
But Utopia isn't in my heart or my brute force or my mindset. Hope is a Christian distinctive that the resurrection permits me to believe in. As I've read Revelation recently that vision of the future that has lifted my heart. Jesus said to the church of Pergamum in Revelation 2:25 "Only hold fast what you have until I come." and the application of the book has to be 22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”


The Book of Revelation is a revelation of Jesus (1:1) to call me to hold to the gospel til Jesus comes, crying "Come" with increasing urgency. This happens as I'm shown a great vision of Jesus the Victorious Husband. The one who wins by being the slain lamb who laid his life down to crush his enemies and win for himself a bride, the church. It's a vision of a better future. In the letter to Thyatira shows the Divine Husband as the one who will crush the seducer who is forever whispering lies in the ear of the bride, or to Pergamum where a similar critique against false teaching comes with the hope that it will be met by the sword that is the word of God that comes from the mouth of Jesus to cut down the lies and establish the truth. Each page paints a picture of a better future.

Of course a Christian leader is realistic about people, about sin, and very much about their own failings and weakness and hardness, but remains an optimist not in self but in the gospel. A leader knows that life now might be hard, training, service even dying, but what's ahead is approval, a crown, a harvest and resurrection life reigning with the eternal king (2 Timothy 2:3-13). The better future is Jesus. Meanwhile this week:
"Professor Priyamvada Natarajan of Yale University, a leading cosmologist and co-author of this study, said that the findings finally proved "exactly what the fate of the Universe will be"."
I don't want to dismiss science out of hand and people can hold whatever story they want, but the long slow chillout being a particularly compelling vision of the future, any more than merely chemical creation stories make for a compelling opening. Left to "it's own devices" maybe the universe would end up as cold as an abandoned cup of coffee (a true tragedy), I'm just not so sure it's just been left to cool down. The appeal of a story isn't everything, it needs facts too (to which Christians turn to the historically evidenced resurrection of Jesus) - takes both to move people. A vision of a better future that isn't mere fantasy but backed up with evidence, sounds like Christianity to me.

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