In HOPE
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David Timms 

Issue 5.9

Ministry Resource

David Benner has authored a couple of very powerful little books I have commended to you before (Surrender to Love and The Gift of Being Yourself). He has just come out with another book entitled Desiring God's Will (IVP, 2005, 123pp). It promises to be as insightful as the earlier works. 

HOPE Happenings

The University is preparing to roll out a whole new web-site design in about a month - a major overhaul of what is currently found at www.hiu.edu. It will feature easier navigation and a sharper format. Keep an eye out for the switch-over.

 

Passionate Leadership

This Passion Week challenges much that the world holds dear about leadership. It provides a spiritual chiropractic adjustment.

 

As the clock counted down towards the Cross, Jesus gathered His disciples around Himself. Good leaders would do that, too. But His actions then surprise us.

 

In the Upper Room, gathered around a meal table, Jesus failed to assign a successor to lead the movement in His absence. He neglected to build a strong organizational flowchart indicating who would report to whom when He was gone. He apparently forgot to jot down on paper His most important insights on leadership and ministry, but trusted His disciples to simply remember His words. He did not weigh into the politics of the culture, nor did He assail the Roman occupation or the Greek immoral influences. He did not lay out a detailed strategic plan for Kingdom growth after His departure.

 

By every measure, the Kingdom of God should have folded that Good Friday. Of course, it looked very much that way to the disciples, too. With Jesus' death, the enterprise apparently ended. No structures + no plans + no leader + no money + no facilities = no future.

 

Yes, the Passion Week drives us to look at leadership in the Kingdom differently.

 

In the world, great leaders cast enthusiastic vision. They speak in grandiose terms. They use "power language". They inspire their teams with success stories. They lead the charge to take hill after hill. But Jesus delivers an antithesis to this rah-rah. As John records the Last Supper (John 13-16), we get a starkly different picture.

 

Jesus does not deliver a motivational seminar, but He gently takes a towel and basin and washes the disciples' feet. The "power language" is entirely absent, replaced by language of love, trust, and intimacy with the Father. There are no "hills to take" just a single hill to climb ... and die on.

 

The contrast continues.

 

Stock prices tumbled dramatically in the Kingdom that week. Judas cashed in his shares, Peter abandoned his, and the other disciples were left feeling like dot-com executives in 2003. The party was over. The Kingdom "bankruptcy" was all but complete. Gloom settled in the corporate boardroom of Apostles, Inc.

 

Little did they realize, at first, that Christ had to lead them to death before He could lead them to life. Not just His own death, but theirs. While He endured the humiliating and brutal crucifixion, each disciple endured their own death - death to selfish ambition, death to petty competition, death to pursuit of status, and death to worldly success. 

 

The world's greatest leader took His followers to the grave of shattered hopes and crushed dreams, so that they would never lead the same way again.

 

This Passion Week provokes some obvious questions. Have we, who are leaders in the Kingdom, sat long enough around the Last Supper and seriously enough before the Cross to "never lead the same way again"? And what are the chief resources we depend on for our leadership?

 

The world is desperately in need of passionate leadership - not just the emotional hype and positive thinking of pop-psychology, but the godly leadership that emerges from the Passion Week.

 

In HOPE -

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and his views are not necessarily those of the administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/