On Obama and leadership

6 min read

Obama, Obama, Obama. This man elicits highly charged responses depending on which side of the racial, spiritual and political divide one stands. He is the world’s most ignorant leader according to some, or the smartest we have ever seen on the international stage in our generation. He is antichrist to some and a Christian, even a saint to others. He is highly divisive to some and a uniting force to others. With Obama, there is no neutral ground. He is like marmite. You love him or hate him to bits. 

My Christian brother has a very obvious stance on Obama. He likes him as a person, his charm and intelligence and is vehemently opposed to his ideas. As you can gather, he is a conservative and Obama is a liberal, and as usual, these two don’t see eye to eye on a wide range of issues. Obviously then, Trump is his man. Although he doesn’t highly rate his Christianity, Trump has kept his word and fulfilled his campaign promises. For this reason, Trump’s misnomers are just shrugged off. In his own words, “When I see him pull off one of his crazy moves I just scratch my head, shake my head and move on!!”. He continues, “I’d rather have a flawed man who makes a fool of himself in front of the whole world acknowledging God than a polished, smart, politically correct democrat that will be used to unleash wickedness in the land”.

A point my Christian brother made repeatedly was that I loathed Trump and at some point, I had to refute it. I don’t loathe Trump. Loathing Trump would be going against a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith, love.  I repeatedly emphasized the point that it doesn’t bode well for the church when we support Obama or Trump, that the Christian faith stands above politics and politicians.

Our back and forth was about how leaders with Christian convictions should lead in the marketplace—marketplace being anywhere else apart from the church. So this was my response.

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Stop Pastoral Self-Appointments by Conrad Mbewe – My response

8 min read

The esteemed Rev. Conrad Mbewe pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church and a council member of The Gospel Coalition Africa penned a blog post in which he called for regulating the ministers of the Church. You can read the blog here

There is a huge ongoing debate and wrangling in some parts of Africa namely Kenya, Zambia and South Africa about regulating religion but to a greater degree the regulating the Christian faith. This is because of ongoing abuses within the church. This is very rampant and apparent, especially within the charismatic movement. It is then obvious that such measures regarding regulation and screening should happen. Or so we think.

On a casual reading of his piece, you will agree wholeheartedly with his positions. I would. They make sense. They are practical and would safeguard the Church from abuse. Again, on surface reading that would be so. On a deeper reading, however, it may not be as easy as he advocates. 

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Young Leaders: Who Will Replace Eugene Peterson and Other Giants We’ve Lost? By Carey Nieuwhof

6 min read

This is a blog post by Carey Nieuwhof founding pastor of Connexus Church, author, blogger and leadership expert. 

In this post, Carey shares insightful leadership that young leaders need to consider.

I hope you will find this post insightful.

By Carey Nieuwhof 

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Eugene Peterson died in 2018. Like you and so many others, I felt the loss quite deeply.

In the last few years, not only have we lost Eugene Peterson, but also Billy Graham and Dallas Willard among others.

When a giant voice in ministry disappears from us, the question that’s really on my mind these days is who will replace them? Do we have a younger generation of voices being forged who are able to offer the depth of wisdom, insight, grace and perspective that we’re losing when we lose a giant?

To be sure, age and wisdom are frequent companions. To expect a 30-year-old to say what 65-year-old Dallas Willard or Eugene Peterson would say is unfair.

Fast forward a few decades and imagine a world in which perhaps thinkers like Ravi Zacharias, Tim Keller, Barbara Brown Taylor,  N.T. Wright and others are no longer with us…and then what?

Of course, no one can truly replace the unique voices lost. But isn’t it our hope that every generation will have its voices?

Deeper, though, is this question: are the conditions even favorable today for producing men and women who can step into the void?

I fear the answer is no, or at least I’m not really sure.

Why? Well, for a voice to endure—to have real significance—it needs depth, not just breadth.

We live in mostly in the age of breadth. And that makes me worry just a little bit for our collective future.

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On ministry and recruiting

© March 26, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

I believe that the recruiting methods and programs that the Church has employed over the past many years have hurt us. By the Church, I’m talking about the Pentecostal-Charismatic tribe of which I’m a part of. There is a real sense that we have been doing a poor job at recruiting members and leaders because of the methods that we have used

Let me give you a few examples of our recruiting methods. I know at least two very common methods that we use.

  • Draw up a compelling vision statement for the kingdom and then recruit people to help you accomplish the vision. Then, someone’s level of involvement will determine their level of ascendancy or reward. Your level of involvement might mean when you tithe, attend prayer meetings, serve in the children’s Church, lead a youth group, lead a small group at your home etc. Usually, Habakkuk 2:2 is the point verse for this type of recruitment method.
  • Join us and then sign up for certain programs (membership classes, Bible school or school of ministry, Bible studies etc) that will help us know you and assimilate you into our Church. If you complete these programs, then we will consider your membership and/or leadership application.

The results of these methods? My generation has been put off by this kind of organized religion that feels and sounds like a multi-level marketing scheme and have embraced an ambiguous spirituality – where anything goes. They don’t want anything to do with structure, order, and discipline which are vital clogs in the Church. Secondly, overcommitted and overzealous members are suffering spiritual, physical, emotional and even financial meltdown.

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