67% of high school graduates head off to college each year, including followers of Christ. Many opportunities and challenges await, whether one is attending a secular or a Christian institution. The College Faith Podcast features Christian leaders who understand the people and ideas of higher education. They share their insights and wisdom, helping students thrive in loving God with their heart and mind during these formative years.
We are often asked, “What do you do?” Our response is often something like, “I work at the ABC Widget Company.” This response says volumes about how we see work in our modern milieu. This is an eleventh shift in thinking we must understand.
C.S. Lewis, the brilliant Oxford and Cambridge professor, observed fifteen differences between the way we are conditioned to think in our modern times, and conflicting ideas, assumptions, and values that those of earlier periods believed to be true. As we identify these differences, it becomes clear that not all new ideas are better. In fact, in these fifteen cases, new certainly does not mean improved!
We all want to be faithful to our Lord’s command to see the gospel permeate and change the world. As Christians, we see countless ways things are not as they should be—people alienated from God, one another, God’s good creation, and even themselves. As a result, they live and lead from non-Christian beliefs and values, which results in shattered lives, fractured families, human trafficking, oppressive regimes, and many other forms of alienation from God and one another.
Last Tuesday I lost one of my heroes. Christian speaker, author, and editor Jim Sire passed “from the land of the dying into the land of the living” to a great reward at age 84. He not only had a massive influence on me and countless others through his many books (such as The Universe Next Door, which is one of four books I suggest each parent read with their children before college), he was also a friend and mentor to me and so many others. We can learn at least three lessons from Jim’s life.
In my last post, I offered the first reason why, especially during this Christmas season, it is important to remember Jesus is fully human. In this article I suggest a second—to not do so means we minimize the worth of God’s creation (including ourselves). The incarnation is a constant reminder that God, more than anyone, values the physical world just as much as the spiritual world.
CEO Uzziah got it almost all right. He built a great company (country). He was well respected in his country and by the nations around him because he lived by the first three leadership best practices. He also apparently followed this fourth best practice for some time. However, he forgot this fourth principle after he was seasoned, and it cost him his position as a leader and more. What happened? And as we are successful how can we avoid this same fate?
CEO Uzziah is blessed by God and becomes an exceptional leader. But this is not only because he followed the first two leadership principles. He also understood and applied a third principle—trusting God is not enough. We must also work to be excellent at what we do. This is the secret of the “both/and” and makes all work a spiritual endeavor. Only understanding this can energize a leader to lead well for the long haul.
Within the past two weeks, Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and Hurricane Irma swept over Florida. My wife and I have many friends and relatives in Florida, and so we have been glued to the news. Now that we have all had time to catch our collective breath and begin to assess the damage, there is much to learn. I see three reminders in the events of the past few weeks: we live in a fallen world, everyone knows this is not the way it ought to be, and our call is to be good stewards of this world. (I’m interrupting my leadership blog series to discuss these reminders this week.)