April 2004

Discount giving? : Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16 2004 by Jim Royston

Discount giving? : Friday, April 16, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004

Discount giving?

By Jim Royston
BSC Executive Director-treasurer

You may have observed a TV commercial where a man is laughing and displaying the super discount ticket as he boards an airplane. The rest of the passengers, who have paid much higher fares for the exact same trip, look very disgusted at his good fortune.

Everyone wants the best deal and we may even feel cheated if we know someone who purchases a home, automobile or appliance at a better price than we did. I wonder if congregations ever look at their gifts to the Cooperative Program Missions budget and say, "We receive the same benefit as other congregations, but we do not give as many dollars or as high a percentage to missions."

I realize I am dating myself, but I grew up in a church and pastored churches which believed in giving as much as possible, not as little as they could. I have always wanted to give as an example of grace. I was always proud to encourage denominational mission efforts in the churches I served and I do not sense as much pride among pastors and churches to give as in the past.

The apostle Paul laid the foundation for what we call "not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice" when he wrote I Corinthians 16:2: "on the first day of the week set aside as God has prospered him." Paul was teaching faithful, proportionate tithing and giving. I am afraid we have created an attitude which wants to "sow sparingly," as opposed to "generous sowing and generous reaping" (2 Corinthians 9:6).

Every member and every church giving will make an eternal difference. Your state missions staff, our colleges and agencies do not withhold services from any Baptist, but we sure could use some extra effort in mission giving. Our effectiveness in service and global missions are depending on you and your church.

4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jim Royston | with 0 comments

Mormonism focuses on temple : Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16 2004 by George W. Braswell, Jr.

Mormonism focuses on temple : Friday, April 16, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004

Mormonism focuses on temple

By George W. Braswell, Jr.
(EDITOR'S NOTE - This is the last in a series of occasional columns on world religions.)

Joseph Smith started the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830 in up-state New York on a vision and a dime. Now, Mormons are one of the fasting growing religious bodies around the globe with some 12 million followers.

Attractive Mormon churches are found in city and suburban areas that provide worship, educational, recreational and family activities for their members. One may be baptized into the church in the facility as well as be joined in marriage.

However important the local Mormon church is, the Mormon temple is the real heart of the faith. Joseph Smith built the first temple in Kirtland, Ohio. Brigham Young built the central temple in Salt Lake City. There are now more than 60 temples worldwide with one of the latest built in Apex.

Not every Mormon is allowed inside a temple. A non-Mormon cannot enter once it is dedicated. A Mormon must obtain a "Temple recommend" from the local authority based upon financial and moral standards. They include a tithe to the church, refraining from caffeine products and faithfulness to one's spouse. In other words one must follow the "Words of Wisdom" from the book Doctrine and Covenants. It is estimated that less than half of all Mormons qualify for entrance to a temple.

Why are the ceremonies in the temple so important, and what are they?

Family is most important to Mormons as well as the celestial heaven. In the temple a Mormon may practice three ceremonies. First are the ordinances of cleansing rituals. Second is the ceremony of marriage for eternity, known as celestial marriage, in which the spouses and their children are bound together to live in the celestial heaven throughout eternity.

The third is baptism for the dead in which a Mormon may vicariously perform a ritual to ensure that a deceased one, whether a family member or someone else, may have the opportunity to live forever in the celestial heaven. The deceased person may not have deserved that opportunity on their own, but a temple ceremony can provide it for the deceased.

A Mormon who does not have temple privileges does not have marriage for eternity or assurance that loved ones or friends through baptism for the dead will have that opportunity. Those Mormons will have to rely upon a temple Mormon to perform rituals on their behalf once they are dead.

Where did Joseph Smith get his authority to inaugurate the temple and its ceremonies? Mormonism is founded upon the visions of the prophet Joseph Smith and the later succession of prophets in the church known as seers and revelators. Written authorities are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Mormons believe the Bible only as correctly translated by other authorities.

Thus, for Mormons the real heart of their faith and practice is to gain entrance to the temple with permission of a "Temple recommend," which permits them to bind their families together for eternity, and through their temple rituals to bring the dead with them into eternity.

Mormons will tell you that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands or falls on the validity of the visions to Joseph Smith found in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. Temple ceremonies give Mormons satisfaction to know that families and loved ones may be together for eternity.

A question one may ask Mormons is: "If the temple is the place to ensure that families and friends will live together for eternity, why would every Mormon not want to quickly qualify for this great experience and promise?"

Once Jesus said, "Tear down this temple and it will be raised in three days." He meant His resurrection after the crucifixion and the inauguration of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.

(EDITOR'S NOTE - Braswell is distinguished professor of missions and world religions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.)
4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by George W. Braswell, Jr. | with 0 comments

Thanks, Mel Gibson : Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16 2004 by

Thanks, Mel Gibson : Friday, April 16, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004

Thanks, Mel Gibson

First of all, to Charles Austin, author of "Hey Mel - How about a sequel?" (BR, April 10): please do not assume that Gibson's film has caused me or many other pastors a problem. In Webster's Dictionary, the definition of "passion" includes "...the sufferings of Jesus, beginning with his agony in the garden of Gethsemane and continuing to his death on the cross." That is exactly what Mel Gibson showed.

Austin stated that the story of Jesus' crucifixion is only part of the story and that preachers have to continue to preach all the other Sundays. But the rest of the story that Austin speaks of in its entirety would be useless, moot and senseless without the crucifixion. He seems offended by it's graphic violence or as he stated, "blood and gore." Bless God, He and I and most anyone else who reads this should be very thankful that they were not present at the real event. I am confident that Gibson's portrayal did not even come close to the reality of what did take place.

Yes, I too would love for Gibson to do some sequels, as suggested by Austin. If he could even come near the authenticity and passion he did with this movie, they too would be moving and successful.

Thank you, Mel Gibson, for using your gifts and talents to provide for those "preachers of the nation" and beyond, yet another tool with which to further offer the gospel of Jesus to a lost and hurting world.

And the good number of people who have regularly attended our worship services since viewing your film after the first week it opened (our church rented the theater four times) and have made good on their new commitment or recommitment to Christ, thank you also.

James A Harrington

Moyock, N.C.

4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments

Family Bible Study lesson for May 2: Trusting God : Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16 2004 by Vic Ramsey

Family Bible Study lesson for May 2: Trusting God : Friday, April 16, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for May 2: Trusting God

By Vic Ramsey
Focal passages: Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 John 2:1-11

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of contemporary Christianity is the prevalence of nominal Christians. These are the people who populate our inactive and non-resident membership lists. They profess a faith, but lack a lifestyle that sets them apart from non-believers. They were "raised in church," but do not participate today. They live next door to us. We work with them, shop with them, and do business with them.

And, sometimes, they are staring back at us when we look in the mirror.

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5-6

The proverb asserts that a relationship with God is fundamental. The "heart" is not just the seat of emotional life; it is the source of thought, judgment and will. It is the center of one's personality and character, the essence of who a person really is.

The writer of Proverbs contrasts a trust in God with a self-reliant dependence solely on our own intelligence and reason. This does not mean that faith requires stupidity. Quite the opposite: true wisdom accounts for the fact that God is the ultimate reality with which we must deal. Failure to account for God's presence is as foolish as failing to account for gravity.

Verse 6 promises that, if we consider God in all our dealings, God will "make his paths straight" (NIV). The point is not that everything will turn out rosy, but that God will lead us to do the right thing.

Depend on Jesus' Work

1 John 2:1-2

Christian life is lived in tension. We are commanded not to sin, but in fact, we do sin. Denying our sin is self-delusion (1 John 1:8,10). Surrendering to it is apostasy.

Jesus enables us to live in this tension. John describes Jesus as our "advocate" (HCSB) which the NIV paraphrases as "one who speaks to the Father in our defense." In the metaphor of a courtroom, Jesus serves as our defense counsel.

The Greek word translated here is paracletos, which means "one who comes alongside." It is the word used by Jesus in the gospel of John to describe the Holy Spirit.

John also describes Jesus as an hilasmos, translated "propitiation" (HCSB) or "atoning sacrifice" (NIV). The word appears to have two related meanings: "to appease or satisfy" and "to wash away or cover." Through our relationship with Jesus, our guilt and sin are removed, and God's anger regarding our sin is abated.

Keep God's Commands

1 John 2:3-6

Saving faith is more than just a change in our status before God. On the contrary, transformation of character is the evidence that a genuine relationship with God exists.

He who claims a relationship with God, but does not order his life by God's commands is a liar. A follower of Jesus must live as Jesus lived.

Another tension of the Christian life is evident here. We do not earn our salvation by obeying God's commands. That is by grace, not of our own doing.

But grace transforms us. If we cannot show evidence of change, then perhaps we have not really been touched by grace.

Love Other Christians

1 John 2:7-11

John focuses obedience narrowly, on the singular obligation to love our fellow believers. The "new command" of verse 7 is a reference to Jesus' instruction given in the upper room for His disciples to "love one another."

Here the social dimension of our faith rubs up against the personal. Our relationship with God brings us into community with others related to God.

That community is to be marked by love. John calls the failure to love "blindness," and claims, boldly, that he who hates his brother is still "in the darkness," that is, outside the light of Christ, i.e. lost.

Nothing is quite so sad as Christians who can't stand one another. Evidently, it was a problem among the earliest Christians. Sadly, it remains an issue today.

4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by Vic Ramsey | with 0 comments

Family Bible Study lesson for May 9: Loving Spouses : Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16 2004 by Vic Ramsey

Family Bible Study lesson for May 9: Loving Spouses : Friday, April 16, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for May 9: Loving Spouses

By Vic Ramsey
Focal Passages: 1 Corinthians 7:1-6; Ephesians 5:22-25,28-33

There's nothing uniquely Christian about marriage. After all, almost everybody gets married. However, when Christians marry, we bring our unique understanding of life, love and faith to this most intimate of relationships.

Love and Respect

Ephesians 5:22-33

Verses 22-33 are governed by verse 21: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." The verb "submit" literally means "to place under, to yield to," and implies "a readiness to renounce one's own will for the sake of others." It is used in a variety of settings: the submission of all creation to Christ, the submission of citizens to governing authorities, and so on. The word may be used of forced submission, but in most instances, the submission is voluntary.

Verses 22-24 concern the responsibility of wives. For women, particularly women whose husbands are not believers, the temptation would be to rebel against the husband's authority. Paul instructs wives to yield to their husbands "in everything." Modeled after the relationship between Christ and the church, Paul argues that the proper response of the gospel is voluntary submission.

If women would be tempted to rebel against authority, men would be tempted to abuse it. Paul argues that the responsibility of husbands is modeled after the relationship between Christ and the church: husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and "gave himself up for her." Paul further argues that a husband should treat his wife with the same care and tenderness with which he treats his own body.

He summarizes by saying that wives should respect their husbands and husbands should love their wives. While Paul uses different words, there is but one thought - husbands and wives are to live together in mutual and reciprocal submission.

The first century household was organized around a pattern of male dominance. How that translates today is an issue we all wrestle with. Paul does not give specific and universal guidance as to who works and who doesn't, which duties are the husband's and which are the wife's, or even how decisions are made between them.

What is clear is that selfishness is utterly foreign to a marriage between Christians. Selfishness is acid to our union and poison to our common life.

Sexual Exclusiveness

1 Corinthians 7:1-2

In 1 Corinthians, Paul speaks to a series of issues the church had raised in a letter they had sent to Paul. Among them was a question about sex and marriage.

The sentence: "It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman" may be Paul's own words, but more likely is a quote from the church's letter. The word "have relations" ("touch," KJV) is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.

It is unclear whether the issue is marriage per se, or a misguided desire to abstain from sexual relations within marriage. Regardless, Paul's response is that, due to the strength of sexual desire, and the need to avoid immorality, "each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband."

Sex requires an exclusive, enduring relationship. Only within the confines of such a sturdy relationship can sex function between a man and a woman as God intended.

Some view sex merely as recreation, and think Paul's instruction are outdated and old-fashioned. However, even among non-believers, sexual betrayal is universally greeted with shock, anger and bitterness. Adultery may make interesting TV, but in real life it is always tragedy.

Marital Intimacy

1 Corinthians 7:3-6

Marriage is, at its base, a sexual relationship. The Bible expresses this in the phrase "the two become one flesh."

In verses 3 and 4, Paul instructs husbands and wives not to neglect each other sexually. Boldly, he declares that in the bedroom both the husband and the wife have a reciprocal obligation to meet each other's needs. Naturally, this does not mean that a partner is obliged to fulfill our every fantasy. What we ask for, and how we ask, is just as much an expression of love as the physical act itself.

Couples have sex to express love, to make up, to forgive, to play, to conceive a child, to reassure, to grieve and to celebrate. The marriage bed should be marked by generosity, by sensitivity to each other's needs, and by a mutual celebration of the couple's love.

4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by Vic Ramsey | with 0 comments

Formations lesson for May 2: Christian Joy : Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16 2004 by Mike Womble

Formations lesson for May 2: Christian Joy : Friday, April 16, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004

Formations lesson for May 2: Christian Joy

By Mike Womble
Focal passage: Philippians 1:1-26

Who is your closest friend? Do you have someone with whom you can share your deepest fears and your exhilarating victories?

When we read the focal passage for this week we see Paul sharing with his closest friends some of his deepest thoughts and concerns. His circumstances of incarceration have given him time to reflect on the important things in his life. As he writes he shares about his relationship with the Philippians and his insights on their relationship.

Past, Present, Future

Philippians 1:3-11

There is something to be said for the discipline of remembering. If you keep a journal you realize the value of going back and reading past entries. It is in the reflecting that you begin to understand your state of mind during that snapshot of history.

In the opening of this passage Paul is remembering his fond memories of the Philippians. He is like a proud parent who watches his child grow into maturity. Paul recollects how the Philippians have grown.

Their faith has truly matured, and he brings that out by painting a picture of the possibilities for them because of their continued faith. In verse 6 Paul sounds like a coach giving a pep talk to a team that has prepared for years for the final tournament: "We've come too far for you to sit back and rest now. Remember everything we've been through? Let's go!" For Paul, the nostalgia of the past becomes a driving force for his future and theirs.

Paul then moves to the present. His confidence in Christ and his deep connection with the Philippians radiates from verses 7-8. Because of his relationship with these friends he can sustain joy in the midst of his imprisonment. His heart breaks to be with his friends and he isn't afraid to share that emotion.

In verses 9-11 Paul shares his hopes and dreams for the future of the Philippians. He proclaims the very best for his friends. Because of his deep connection he is able to pray specifically for the Philippians and offer them hope as they wait with anticipation for either Paul's release or death. While staring into the face of death Paul remains full of hope and joy because the love he shares with God can only come from Jesus Christ (v.11).

Doing Life Together

Philippians 1:19-26

Now that Paul has shared his hopes and vision for the Philippians, he transitions into this section of self-reflection. We get the impression that we are reading a diary page from Paul's journal. We do not see complex theological theories or rigid laws, but rather a man who is possibly facing death as he shares his innermost thoughts with his closest friends. Even though Paul is facing the real possibility of death, he relies on the Spirit to fill him with confidence and joy. He shares his thoughts with these friends on his release from prison - either by death or by unlocking his shackles. In either case, Christ will get all the glory!

By seeking truth and love in his captivity Paul encounters peace and longs to share it with his friends. He sets the example for what it means to do life together - facing adversity with close friends and experiencing it as a community.

Several years ago one of my closest friends was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She told me that no matter the outcome she was going to give God all the glory. As Paul faced the uncertainty of his future he came to the same understanding of God's presence and love. Despite what the Philippians may have thought if his captors ended his life or if he was set free, God was to receive all the glory.

Now What?

As you face challenges in your life, what will it take for you to give God all the glory? How can someone facing unbelievable circumstances claim true joy and hope? In what ways have you experienced the joy of Christ when facing your fears?
4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by Mike Womble | with 0 comments

Formations lesson for May 9: Living Like Christ : Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16 2004 by Mike Womble

Formations lesson for May 9: Living Like Christ : Friday, April 16, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004

Formations lesson for May 9: Living Like Christ

By Mike Womble
Focal passage: Philippians 1:27-2:13

The central question of this week's lesson is probably one of the most important questions one can ask about faith: "Who is Jesus, and what does He mean for our lives?"

As believers, we disagree about many things in our lives, our families, our churches and our denominations. When we boil it all down, the question about the impact of Christ in our lives is the common bond between us all.

Yet, somehow as we listen to others we get the impression that their agenda is elevated higher than the one Paul suggests. That offends us. Why? Aren't they thinking the same thing about us? Why the "them" vs. "us" anyway? The discussion seems to slip downhill from there. Each person gets stuck in his or her own mindset and is not able or willing to lessen their own interests.

In this week's passage Paul connects with the Philippian community with authentic words that lower him below his friends, despite his circumstances, It is by His actions, His words and His humility that we begin to see the example Christ set for Paul that Paul is now trying to set for his friends. It is through Paul's relation with these friends that he lays the foundation for communicating love - just as Christ did.

Living in Community

Philippians 2:1-2

The first section of chapter 2 is closely tied to the earlier section of Philippians 1:27-30. This is really part of the same flow of earlier affirmations. In the Greek translation we often loose the sense of deeply connected community. The "if" in Philippians 2:1 is often looked at as if there was uncertainty in Paul's statement about encouragement. In Greek, the use of the word is better understood as "since," according to Fred Craddock. "What is important to keep in mind is that Paul is not raising any questions ... about the Philippians' faith. Rather he is affirming them," Craddock wrote.

This affirmation is one example that Paul shows us in order for us to imitate Christ - always looking for the good in others while living in community.

Living with Limitations

Philippians 2:3-11

The author of this lesson raises an incredible point about his challenge in explaining the Trinity. He is not afraid of exposing his limitations.

In reality, isn't that what Paul is trying to say about Christ? Not that He had limitations, but instead that He lived in such a way to raise up others, not Himself.

We hear Paul saying that as believers we are to live with an unselfish eye, a heart that listens and lips that bring blessings and not judgment.

Brother Lawrence's Practicing His Presence provides a modern example of living every single moment for Christ and not for self. With doing the dishes or working in tandem in a well-connected community, Lawrence intentionally focused his soul toward God. In doing so he found that he also raised others and lowered his view of himself.

Paul's affirmations set the stage for bringing the Philippians to a state of humility like never before. In such a close community, Paul is free to call the Philippians to rise to the occasion (or in this case fall).

How often are we connected with a group or community so deeply that we can be this honest and still be received with anticipation? What would it take to get to that type of relationships in this community?

Living out Salvation

Philippians 2:12-13

To be honest, this passage always seems to fly in the face of what I have learned from James about works and faith. How can anyone "live out" their salvation if it's not about works?

Paul is setting the example for us by living faith together with others. It seems that Paul is actually calling the Philippians community to live out their faith. He calls them, not to try to earn their faith, but to live together in such a way that everything they do is connected with each other and their faith.

Living out our salvation is about living in such a tight-knit community that our momentum leads us forward together, not leaving anyone behind.

4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by Mike Womble | with 0 comments

Dearest Dorothy, Are We There Yet? And Dearest Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out! : Thursday, April 15, 2004

April 15 2004 by Charlene Ann Baumbich. Penguin Books. 2004. $10.95 each.

Dearest Dorothy, Are We There Yet? And Dearest Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out! : Thursday, April 15, 2004
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Dearest Dorothy, Are We There Yet? And Dearest Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out!

By Charlene Ann Baumbich. Penguin Books. 2004. $10.95 each.
Review by Wayne Hager

Watch out Mitford, N.C. and Father Tim. Dorothy Jean Westray and her hometown of Partonville, Ill. have arrived on the scene. Fans of Jan Karon and her Mitford series will be pleased to meet a new hometown and its matriarch, octogenarian Dorothy Jean Westray. Dorothy is full of faith, spunk and humor enough to keep the reader chuckling all through the book. Dorothy is joined by a host of unforgettable characters that provide the backdrop for Dorothy's exploits. This series will warm your heart and draw you willingly into Dorothy's life as she lives in faith and confidence in a loving God.

As we meet Dorothy, she is trying to decide whether to sell her beloved farm to a development company. Her decision will not only change her life but will have profound effects for her community. All through her story, Dorothy's moves as easily in and out of conversation with God as she does the entertaining assortment of characters who live in Partonville.

Baumbich has created a delightful character in Dorothy and placed her among people that are most memorable. More mature adults will probably find one of their friends among the pages and younger adults will wish that they had someone like Dorothy to glean wisdom. If you want some enjoyable, good-hearted reading, try this series. I hope more books are in the works for the future.

4/15/2004 12:00:00 AM by Charlene Ann Baumbich. Penguin Books. 2004. $10.95 each. | with 0 comments

The Purposes of Scripture in Your Life : Thursday, April 15, 2004

April 15 2004 by Gene Madeira. World Missions Associates. 2003. 382 pages. $19.95

The Purposes of Scripture in Your Life : Thursday, April 15, 2004
Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Purposes of Scripture in Your Life

By Gene Madeira. World Missions Associates. 2003. 382 pages. $19.95
Review by Wayne Hager

The subtitle of this book is "a user friendly, culturally relevant Bible handbook for lay people and Bible study teachers." The goal of the book is to raise the functional literacy of people in the pew and to expose non-church goers to a concise summary of the Bible.

Other books exist which try to do the same thing. What is unique about Madeira's work is what is included in its organization. There is the standard section dealing with purpose, theme, scope, application, etc. What is an exciting addition is the summary section that addresses how the particular book of the Bible meets the reader's needs. This section goes beyond application but explicitly addresses common needs of 21st century people and how the biblical text speaks a word.

Madeira does not get long-winded or preachy but simply shows the Bible's everyday relevance by highlighting three or four common needs (different ones each chapter) and how the Bible addresses that need.

Madeira is a retired missionary and part of the power of the book is his multi-cultural perspective. He has no theological or social ax to grind and what he writes is useful for any serious Bible student.

This book is going to be hard to find in bookstores since it is published by a missionary society. Bookstores and individuals may order the book by calling (800) 230-5265 or by visiting www.wmausa.org.

The book is not copyrighted so readers are encouraged to copy and distribute portions of the book. Should you choose to use the book with a group volume discounts are available from the publisher. This makes it a great resource for Bible studies for small or large groups. It can also serve as a valuable study aid in church or school libraries.
4/15/2004 12:00:00 AM by Gene Madeira. World Missions Associates. 2003. 382 pages. $19.95 | with 0 comments

Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23 : Thursday, April 15, 2004

April 15 2004 by Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. Jossey-Bass. 149 pages. $14.95.

Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23 : Thursday, April 15, 2004
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23

By Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. Jossey-Bass. 149 pages. $14.95.
Review by Wayne Hager

The 23rd Psalm is possibly the most memorized passage of scripture in the Bible. Young children learn it and mature people recite it for comfort. McCormick and Davenport see more than just spiritual comfort in the 23rd Psalm. They see a good model for leaders, not only in churches but business as well.

In order to make their point, the authors sometimes stretch the analogy of the shepherd a bit too far, and they sometimes admit that they are moving beyond the strict boundaries of the image of a shepherd. Nevertheless, this is an excellent book that points out that leaders can be vigilant without being adversarial, serve without being passive, and can guide without commanding.

I particularly took chapter one to heart, which is entitled, "Shepherds Transform Conflict." Most leaders attempt to keep conflict from happening, but the authors point out there is such a thing as "healthy" conflict. The problem is that most conflict is interpersonal rather than intellectual. The shepherd leader seeks a culture in which destructive conflict is held in check, while healthy conflict contributes to productivity.

I also found their concept of "seeing the immortal soul" within people as an important adjustment to the attitude of a leader.

This book is well written and not overly detailed. It can be utilized by anyone, in any job situation where leadership and supervision are required. Shepherd Leadership is not a book of techniques but rather a guide to a particular spiritual life, which will make a more effective leader.

4/15/2004 12:00:00 AM by Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. Jossey-Bass. 149 pages. $14.95. | with 0 comments

Displaying results 21-30 (of 48)
 |<  <  1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5  >  >|