Review of *UnLeader* by Lance Ford

Hear ye, hear ye … I have just posted my first-ever book review on Amazon!

It is for UnLeader: Reimagining Leadership … and Why We Must, by Lance Ford (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2012). I received a review copy in September 2012 and read it then — and have peeked at it (and the stack of notes I wrote!) off and on ever since. I was planning to post a review last year, but other circumstances took over for a while and many things disappeared into that vortex.

However, what the time-lag added to the writing of my review was the reality that for 16 months, UnLeader keeps coming back to mind as really something extraordinary. I hope what I’ve posted will give a fresh and helpful perspective on grasping the value of what Lance Ford has produced, and the gift it is to the Kingdom. I also hope you will buy a copy, read it, and be changed by the  powerful and empowering message that Lance Ford offers!

And here is that review … Continue reading

New Tutorial on Critical Thinking Skills and Transformation Tools Posted

It has been a long time since I posted anything here. But that doesn’t mean I’ve been inactive! Over the past few months, I’ve been writing and editing a huge amount, actually. I am nearing completion of an introduction to bringing together “Opal Design Teams” for transformational, intercultural ministry. My deadline to get that short book to the editor is coming up soon, and it should be available in January. I’ll post details once everything gets finalized. Once it’s done, I plan on launching into the final edits on my curriculum series that expands out this introduction with more detail, illustrations, images, case studies from films, etc.

Meanwhile, I did produce a new futuristguy tutorial on Transformation while in the process of writing on critical thinking skills and tools for transformation, for the Opal Design Teams book. (This also appeared as a two-part guest post on my friend Julie Anne Smith’s blog.)  This tutorial is futures-oriented. It covers some basics of how to detail events and discern the times. For my main illustrations, I’ve drawn on case studies from secular and Christian organizations that are dealing with allegations or proven situations involving abuse of power, failure to report crimes, cover-ups, and the like. Sadly, this represents a significant layer of bullying in contemporary culture. But there is hope for that situation to change …

So, check out the tutorial – and I hope you find it of help in seeing new ways of perceiving an individual’s or organization’s past, present, and future!

Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #4: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-How Do We Fix a Leaky Boat, and Who Can Best Lead in Doing So?

If you haven’t read Addendum #3 yet, start with that. This post won’t make sense without it …

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Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #3: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-When Churches are Like Leaky Ships, How Do We Fix the Boat?

Addendum #3 deals with church systems being like leaky ships. Addendum #4 will suggest tools for fixing the boat, and preview who might be best equipped to lead in that process.

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Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #2: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-Six Trends toward Systems Solutions

This post and the next one pick up the theme of moving beyond the rubble of deconstruction. They deal with reconstructing ministry systems. After these, I’ll plan to continue with the planned posts on reconstructing “spiritual parenting,” and then on to reconstructing leadership. This may not seem like a very logical way to present this material, but all I can say to that is I post them when it seems like time to post them. I trust there’s a Spirit-directed flow to them for reasons I cannot fathom, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. And there you have it, so here we go!

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Predictions on Church, Ministry, and Emergence (2007)

SUMMARY. Gives a one-paragraph description of nine “predictions” of unfolding cultural trends. I wrote this article in July 2007 to share with a doctoral cohort in their course on Emerging Cultural Trends. I served at that seminar as their culturologist “practitioner in residence.” My extrapolations of underlying trends address issues on: collaborative governance in churches, team-based ministry, the limited overlap period with both conventional and holistic paradigms, eco-stewardship, how conflict clarifies paradigms and theologies, theological “defragging” and changing “platforms,” emerging ministry roles, how whole-person perspectives will become indigenous, and mentoring innovators.

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Thoughts on Brother Maynard’s Post on “Institutions vs. Collaboration”

SUMMARY. A riff on a portion of Brother Maynard’s post about “Institutions vs. Collaboration,” in which he refers to the five stages (or layers) of grief identified by Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I apply this framework to my observations of different types of leaders, especially in conventional/institutional models of church, who are in different frames of being in relation to facing the realities of organizational transition and the grieving that goes with it. I also suggest specific ways to help church leaders move toward acceptance of the death of the Traditional (Builder generation) and Pragmatic (Boomer) paradigms, and the transference of church legacy to those of Holistic (Buster and beyond) paradigms. The final section of the post offers a litmus test question to help leaders consider whether they truly are in acceptance mode about working on transition, or just enamored of the “idea” of transition. It ends with some powerful quotes on risk and relinquishment, from two cultural creative leaders in each of Western and tribal perspectives.

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Recovery from Spiritual Abuse Part 3C-Power Addiction is Like Porn

Our addiction to power is like porn. In both, we objectify people, dehumanizing them to the status of props in our own melodramatic “Story of Me.” We become their invincible masters, whether through aggression or submission, dissociation or seduction. And they become some meaningless but necessary extras whose only role is to let us manipulate them in whatever distinct ways ensure that we receive increasingly stronger and longer doses of our all-important, most-preferred, and well-deserved brain biochemicals that offer us ongoing ecstasy.  The power we hold over them subordinates their story to ours, removing them from the possibility of fulfilling their own providential story with a plotline in which they are their own main character and in which we should play a supporting role. But that’s worth it for the pleasure of our own endorphin-enhanced story …

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