Some Simple (but not Simplistic) Summer Reading, part 2

As our country prepares for the presidential election, there will, no doubt, be a lot of conversation about leadership. For the next 5 months, there will be all kinds of talking heads talking about what kind of leadership qualities are necessary in a president.

But it’s not just the folks at the top who need to better understand, and live out, leadership. All of us could benefit from a better understanding of that. For true leadership isn’t about the leader, but the led. As the writer and pastor Eugene Peterson puts it, the leader should ask him/herself: “Who are these particular people, and how can I be with them in such a way that they can become what God is making them?”

To that end, let me commend to you two articles that help us see leadership, and those we lead, in a very helpful light. These articles come from Randy Gariss, who also wrote some helpful stuff on the personal element of faith. (In fact, I blogged about those last week; if you haven’t read those yet, let me encourage you to start with those two. You can find them here, and here.)

The first one on leadership, simply asks the question: How Should We Define Leadership? In this article, Randy Gariss gives us 3 models of leadership: The Storefront Model, The Foreman Model, and The Shepherd Model. All 3 are prevalent today, but only one is true, faithful leadership. I’ll bet you can guess which one; read the article, though, to find out why.

The second article also asks a question: How Do We Make Disciples Who Look Like Jesus? Whether you have a title or not is not the point – all of us should be leading someone. And if you are going to lead anyone, how is it done? The truth is, all of us who are followers of Jesus should be helping at least one person learn how to follow him, too. Randy offers a simple, but not simplistic, perspective on how that happens. Read it, and be encouraged to tune your life into the ways you can lead others.

So, four simple articles that, frankly, are foundations for much of what we who follow Jesus are called to become, and do. If, after reading these four, you’re ready for more, you can find more of Randy’s writings here.

Some Simple (but not Simplistic) Summer Reading, part 1

I’ve only met him one time, and that, barely. I was at the North American Christian Convention, and happened to walk by him. So I briefly said hello to Randy Gariss, and thanked him for his writing.

Thirty seconds, maybe, of conversation. That’s it. So I hardly know the guy. But if his writing is any indication, then Randy Gariss knows God, understands Church, lives his faith, and has a solid grasp of what leadership should look like. So, Randy is a powerful example of someone who can guide through the power of the written word – and a faithful life.

So, over the next two weeks, I’m going to give you a dose of what I love so much about Randy, and what I really only know about him – his writing. Over the past ten years or so, Randy has written a handful of articles for Christian Standard magazine. Each one is insightful in its own way, so I’m going to share some of those with you this week and next. This week, I will share with you two articles that focus on your personal identity and your personal journey. Do yourself a favor – read and savor these two pieces.

The place to start is the article Looking for Wholeness, where Randy gives ten aspects of the complete life. Each one is both essential, and unsurprising. But the combination of these ten is challenging, and charts a course for a life-long journey of faith. Read it and see if you don’t agree.

The second one you should read is Chasing after Integrity. In this article, Randy doesn’t simply lament the lack of integrity, he charts a course for a life of integrity. He doesn’t simply point out the lack of integrity in our world, he recognizes that we, who follow Jesus, struggle with our own integrity. Read it, and find a path to what Randy calls “the undivided life.”

Next week: two more articles from Randy, focused on leadership and the disciple-making process.