Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jesus as Agent of Change: Transformational and Authentic Leadership in John

Leadership is preemptive to the reality of human existence. Leading change is one of the most important, and still difficult, aspects of leadership. This paper utilizes a socio-rhetorical analysis of the twenty-first chapter in John’s gospel to explore the Johannine figure of Jesus as an agent of change and guidance. The data is extracted using the inner textual aspect of the model, which does not consider the translation of the words used in a context, rather the placement of the words to derive communication intent. The data is then compiled using two different, yet similar, models for change. First, is the Gestalt model for a cycle of experience. Second, is the still popular force field model postulated by Kurt Lewin in the 1950s, which defines behavior as a function perception experience. The textual data also supports that Christ’s function, as an agent of change, is representative of two emerging trends of leadership theory: transformational and authentic. Bass and Steidlmeier argue that truly transformational leaders are grounded by moral foundations, and that lasting change is representative of the moral development of the followers. The data presents practical implications that effective change agents, such as Jesus, also exist among the elusively high stages of moral development.

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Vision Casting

Six Steps to cast your vision:

1. Go somewhere alone to think it through. I recommend you spend an entire day without a phone. Just God, you, a pen and pad and your Bible. Worship for a while and let the creative juices flow.

This is the best method I know for goal setting and vision definition. You can't rush your destiny! Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God!"

2. After you set your goals, get a team of trusted confidants around you and get their input. See if they catch the vision with you. If they do, everyone else will catch it too. If they don't, keep working on it. They will help you fine tune it.

Proverbs 15:22 "Without counsel , plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established."

3. Sell it to your leaders first! If your leaders don't by it, it will not live past the first month. If they buy into it, the vision will last as long as you keep speaking it into the atmosphere.

Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit."

4. Pick a theme to sell the vision. If you can build a sermon series around it, your momentum will increase tremendously.

5. Find creative ways to drive your point home!

Here are some ideas:
- Play video clips from movies, GodTube, Wingclips or Sermon Spice.
- Do dramas, skits and human videos.
- Special music from the music department.
- Use props and/or pictures in your sermons.
- Ask the children's department to do a special presentation.
- Think of a way to make your messages memorable and engage the congregation.

6. Don't let it die. You have to keep speaking it out and giving it life until it lives. A vision starts out as a dream and a great idea. It's like a child. You have to feed it, nourish it and give it time to grow. Sometimes it gets sick and you have to make it well. When it grows up, it becomes a REALITY.

The most common mistakes pastors make is preaching ONE sermon and calling it a vision.
Ask every ministry in your church to do something that will enhance the vision. It takes time for a vision to catch on, but once it does, look out.

Habakkuk 2:2 "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry."

Now the vision is plain and someone can RUN WITH IT!

[By Brian Cutshall]