Are you wrestling with yourself over how much of your heart Christ really has – versus how much your flesh controls your life through the many moments of your day?

Is it your desire Christ has all of your heart and that out of a love for Him you will truly abandon yourself to Him – allowing Him to pour His love for people through you?

If those are your desires, then The Spirit Driven Church may be the resource you are looking for. Check our spirit driven website.

Don’t Hide the Light

May 4th, 2010

Two weeks ago, as I was preparing to give a talk, I stumbled upon this narrative written by Marianne Williamson in the book entitled “A Return to Love.” I found this to be profound thought; something I believe is common to most people.

“Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be so brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God: Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” [source]

I do not think the idea in this is that God’s people should get an exaggerated opinion of themselves. That would be egotistic. Rather we should recognize what it is that God has done in our lives and not hide it under a bushel.

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The Cosmopolitan Servant Leader

April 3rd, 2010

This paper introduces a need for a cosmopolitan servant leader to successfully engage and deal with today’s changing cross-cultural emerging world. Among others, the works of Winston and Patterson, Spears, and Marquardt and Berger, provide a platform to synthesize the characteristics of a servant leader and a cosmopolitan leader. From the synthesis, the research provides four core competencies for the cosmopolitan servant leader relative to the follower: valuing, preparing, focusing, and activating followers. The cosmopolitan leader is like a gardener who has the big picture of the completed garden and knows each and every plant. Anything the gardener does not know becomes a point of intentional and applicable discovery and understanding. The cosmopolitan servant leader is fully a leader who does leadership activities, fully a servant who is concerned for the welfare of the follower, and fully a cosmopolitan who comfortably lives out values and responsibilities in a cross-cultural and complex world.
You can read the article in the Journal of Strategic Leadership.

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Beacon Rock

April 2nd, 2010

Just how do we judge the challenges that lay before us on a day-to-day basis? Often we evaluate the future difficulty based on a number of assumptions that may or may not be true. It is those assumptions that are not true that can often cause us to shy away from a challenge before us. I had one of those experiences this week. My wife and others in my family have been challenging me to climb Beacon rock. As you can see by the picture, it looks like a very challenging climb. In reality the climb was not difficult at all. In fact it is a climb made by many families today.

As you can see by the other two photos, it is not the kind of experience you would expect when you hear the words “climb.” This does not mean it was an easy walk to the top. But rather than being difficult,  it simply required one step at a time on a path that is not only well marked but is also complete with guard rails. As it turns out, the view from the top was fantastic and well worth the effort.

The walk to the top of Beacon rock is like life much of the time. We expect to have to struggle over what seems to be insurmountable barriers when all we must do is take one step at a time and persevere. If you find yourself in that situation and are facing what seem to be insurmountable struggles, please remember that God did not ask you to take your whole life at once. God is simply asking us to take the moment and walk in it. He will guide our path and provide the guide rails.

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School is Done; What is Next?

March 23rd, 2010

It is been long time since I entered a post on this blog and for that I apologize. I feel like many people lately who have visions of doing certain things only to find those things not getting done.

On the other hand, I have finally completed my degree of Doctor of Strategic Leadership from The School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship at Regent University. His been a long four years of hard work and it is nice to have it completed. This of course raises the big question that everybody asks, “what are you now going to do with this degree?” I am now 68 years old having just finished this degree and ask myself the same question.

Initially, I had dreams of teaching in a seminary or Christian college but that has not yet developed. I wrote a final project on the human brain as a metaphor to apply to both leadership and organizations. My plan has been to expand the manuscript into a larger book for publication, but delivering a message through the book format seems to be dying. So now I am beginning to look at options such as videos and DVDs.

Some of you have asked how The Spirit Driven Church book is doing. The answer to that depends on how you look at. The number of books have sold are still in the lower thousands but the breath of the sales is now worldwide. As you can see from the website, the book is now in Korean and Spanish. A big percentage of the book written in English is selling outside the United States which when added to the Korean translation into Spanish translation would bring us to the conclusion that the book is primarily an international book, which is good. The number of countries that have come to the site as new visitors now exceeds 104 different countries.

I have a request for you. If you have read this book and have a story to tell about it how it helped you or your church, I would appreciate your passing on to me. I believe it would help to post some of the stories on the blog with the purpose of drawing attention to what God can do. May God bless you.

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This article is from the Journal of Strategic Leadership

July 12th, 2009

A Credible Leader for Turbulent Times:
Examining the Qualities Necessary for Leading into the Future

Allen H. Quist

This article introduces a credible leader with leadership qualities that are needed to successfully lead an organization through the turbulence of our present world. These credible leadership qualities include:
1) a demonstrated competency in leading an organization through turbulence;
2) an honorable intent in the eyes of his or her people;
3) a commitment to personal and staff learning;
4) a leader who is comfortable dealing with people and cultures different from his or her own;
5) a future-oriented leader who studies the current driving forces, searching for likely futures the organization may experience;
6) a leader with a sense of personal creativity and innovation, as well as the capability and commitment to provide an organizational environment conducive to creativity and innovation. Finally, this article presents suggested steps for the reader to develop him or herself into a credible leader for turbulent times.
For the full article – click here

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Check out my article in Leadership Advance Online

August 27th, 2008

Here Today – the World Tomorrow:
Transitioning Your Organization to Go Global

What a world this has become – a world where distance and borders are no longer barriers. Local and international are continuously intersecting each other. Needing help with my software, I phoned a domestic phone number and within minutes had my problem solved by a technician in India. A book ordered from Amazon in the United States arrived from Singapore within 48 hours. Worldwide ATMs from downtown Caracas, Venezuela, to rural Mexico automatically deduct from my hometown bank account to provide me with a handful of local currency. Every day we experience a shrinking world linked by a growing global network of technological systems, social systems and communication systems. Our everyday world is quickly becoming deeply global, pressuring us to adapt.

Pause for a moment and consider your own organization. How are you reacting to these intrusions into your local and predictable organizational patterns? Are you transitioning to or ignoring the growing global systems of changing technology, communications and international social interaction? What barriers to adaptation will your organization need to overcome to compete in our rapidly changing world? How will you lead your organization through the needed metamorphosis to become a more globally systemic organization? To address these questions, this article will consider:

The systemic global socio-technical organization;
Barriers that can stop you;
The key to transition;
The global challenge.”

For the full article – click here.

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The Ukraine Milk Cow

June 16th, 2008

A few years ago, my wife and I traveled to Ukraine to teach leadership. I remember having some thoughts about what to expect, but was surprised. I must share what I experienced.

During our time in the Ukraine, we lived with a wonderful family out in the country – a family with a cow. Now to understand what was about to happen, I must share that on our family farm, my dad had a cow, and milking that cow was one of my frequent tasks. However, the family we were staying with only knew me as a retired banker and teacher, so with smiles on their faces and giggles in their voices, they invited me to try to milk their cow. I discovered the cows in Ukraine are no different from the cows back home. I even think they talked the same language.

There is another interesting characteristic of someone who milked a cow when a young person, it is like riding a bike – you never forget how. Of course, I had somewhat stiff arms the next morning. But that was fine with me. I was worth the joy of watching the surprised look on their faces as I finished milking.

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Costa Rica Spirit Driven Church

May 10th, 2008

It was Friday night in Costa Rica – the night before we were to leave to return to our home country. With sweet memories of our previous visit with our friends on a similar Friday night a year before, we eagerly gave up sleep to close our time. We knew that this would be a Spirit-driven evening filled with singing, testimony, eating, and just being together with friends.

The activities were not different from the activities we do when we get together here at home. But there was a different sense of time. Here in our U.S. church, we had a starting time, a schedule of how long each part of the event would last and a fairly firm ending time. At home, we sense in people a stronger commitment to time and less commitment to relationships. But in Cost Rica, we felt a much stronger sense of focus on relationships between people, one to another and less commitment to time. In the Costa Rica evening gathering, there was no set ending time. There was also no expectation that everyone would arrive or not leave by a certain time.

You may ask, “Which is better?” I do not know. The point is that the cultures are different. But individual people are less different than the average cultural norm. In Costa Rica, some of our friends were people at the gathering who were on time and were more committed to moving the event along. On the other hand, here at home we have friends who are more casual about starting and ending time. As I pointed out in the last post, people are not an average national culture. People are individuals and God’s unique creation.

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Costa Rica Family of God

April 29th, 2008

It is easy to get trapped into unintentionally relating to people as a commodity – that is until you begin to form relationships with them. I remember when we were in Costa Rica going to Spanish language school and living with a family who were initially strangers to us and therefore included in whatever foolish stereotype we had about Costa Ricans. As we developed a friendship with this wonderful family and their friends, we began to see them each as an individual – a unique and special person.

Over the years of going back to Costa Rica and visiting our new and now close friends, we have learned it is dangerous and misleading to put anyone into some type of cultural norm. People are God’s creation and each one is a one-of-a-kind creation, special in God’s sight and to be special to us. These friends are wonderful people of God – our family.

We learned an important leadership lesson in Costa Rica: You cannot manage or lead people based on generalizations about them. A leader must learn about them as unique creations of God.

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Am I a Person or a Commodity?

April 28th, 2008

Years ago when I was a young banker I remember when my employer changed the name of our personnel department to the “human resource” department. I also remember in business management class when people were sometimes referred to as one of the organizational “input factors.” It always bothered me that the company I worked for would think of me as a human “resource” rather than just as a “human” being or a person. I always saw myself as a person as did my family and friends – except maybe for a couple of my teen-age years. But the idea of being thought of as a human resource or input factor made me feel like a commodity – to be used up and discarded.

This brings me to the question, “When do people cease to be people and become a commodity in the eyes of leadership – be it business, organizational, or church?” Or, “When and how might human commodities cease to be a resource and become partners in relationship with leaders?” Why don’t we engage this theme and see where it leads.

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