What I Learned Watching Ferguson.

What can Christians learn from the events in Ferguson?

Not necessarily politically or even racially, but with the Kingdom in mind, what can be learned?

Like many of you, I found myself last Monday night watching the grand jury verdict and the ensuing demonstrations (both peaceful and violent). I’m pretty sure the media was the only winner. There was little middle ground to be found. There was, however, much division. Where there is no middle ground, landmines always abound.

In the death of Michael Brown, I don’t pretend to know the details. The vast majority of us don’t, either. So as I searched for #Ferguson tweets while watching CNN’s coverage, I pondered what could be learned from this moment. Primarily as a Christian, what does this event teach us? Considering God’s concern for humanity — God’s desire to see all men know to Him — what should we learn?

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Why Are Christians So Angry?

I couldn’t believe the comments that people posted!

My friends at churchleaders.com recently reposted an article from my blog. They’ve done this a few times. I’m happy to allow them access to anything they believe is helpful. What I wasn’t ready for was the comments that ensued. Wow! I’m glad I have thick skin!

If I remember correctly, I was called a heretic. I believe one person questioned my salvation and even suggested I prayed to Satan. It was suggested that I was ruining God’s church. That was flattering, because I didn’t realize I had that much influence! I engaged with some of the responders, but I quickly realized the futility of open conversation with angry Christians.

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He Knew Everybody’s Name. Personalize Your Values, Part 6

This is the sixth and final post in a leadership series, Personalize Your Values, all based on what I learned watching Dan Cathy’s surprise visit to a local Chick-fil-A restaurant. In case you missed it, here are the previous posts:
POST 1POST 2POST 3POST 4POST 5.

There was much to be learned watching Dan Cathy’s surprise visit to a local Chick-fil-A location, but for me personally, this last observation might be the most important:

Leaders connect relationally.

It was quite astounding, but before Dan left the store, he knew everyone’s name. Literally. He personally engaged and learned something about every single customer in the restaurant. Whether this is his natural gifting or not, Dan has cultivated the act of service personalization. It was impressive, to say the least.

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I’ve Got A Question…

 Common ground is the common denominator for connection. Gavin Adams

As a younger leader, I made a lot of statements. Actually, I made a lot of exclamations – with multiple exclamations marks!!!  I guess I believed great leaders knew a lot about pretty much everything. As a younger leader, even though I thought I knew a lot, I really didn’t know very much at all. If you tried to tell me that, though, my response would be followed by several exclamations points!!! Of course, in the moment, I didn’t know, because we all have a tendency to not know what we don’t know.

Nevertheless, I wanted to look good as a leader and display confidence, so I made a lot of statements and shared my opinion openly and frequently. Nobody ever questioned where I stood on any issue, because I was all too willing to share. Yet I could not seem to gain influence, and at the time, I was not sure why. In hindsight, it’s very clear. Statements end conversations. Statements push people away, down, or to the side. Statements do not engage others. Exclamations are even worse.

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