7 Contrasts Between Titular And Functional Leadership

Through the years, I have observed various types of leadership styles as well as how people operate within the flow of leadership titles; In this article, I use the word titular, to refer to a person who tries to lead primarily on the merit of their title and or official position. When I use the term functional, I am referring to a person who earns the respect of their peers and subordinates through their effectiveness and relational capital.

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7 Power Principles of John The Baptist

John the Baptist has always been one of the most intriguing men in all of human history. He was an outlier, living outside of conventional norms and was cited by Jesus as the greatest man ever born (Matthew 11:11).  Since Jesus gave John such an amazing endorsement, we need to learn as much as we can from his life.

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Since the dawn of the “positive thinking” message of Norman Vincent Peale in the 20th century, there has been an avalanche of preachers teaching variations of this message.  (The “health and wealth” prosperity gospel, “name it and claim it”, along with various modes of motivational types of preaching.) Although this positive message extracts truth from Scripture and has great merit, when isolated outside the whole council of God, it can be misleading and even dis-heartening for adherents who fail to see their dreams come true. Furthermore, when the objective is “self-fulfillment”, the message often reduces the gospel of Christ to appease the narcissistic dreams of half-baked Christians.

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8 Traits of Biblical Outliers

In this article, I use the word “Outlier” to describe an exceptional person who operates largely outside of the norms of mainstream to change the world. Notable biblical heroes such as John the Baptist, Jesus, Micaiah, Elijah, the Apostle Paul, and our Lord Jesus Christ, were all outliers since they did not conform nor function within the institutional religious frameworks of their day.

For example, before Scripture mentions the word of the Lord coming to John the Baptist, it gives a litany of all the so called great and influential men alive during his time that God bypassed to speak through John in the wilderness (Luke 3:1,2). When Jesus taught, the religious leaders were shocked by His knowledge because He was not instructed formally through their institutional systems (John 7:15). The prophet Micaiah risked his life and wellbeing when he refused to speak in sync with the majority of the Jewish prophets who were declaring victory for King Ahab (1 Kings 22). Certainly, Elijah usually stood alone before God, and was active in confronting wicked queen Jezebel while seven thousand prophets were hiding in caves (1 Kings 19). Even though the apostle Paul was not one of the original twelve apostles, he wrote most of the New Testament and was chosen by God to bring the gospel to the gentile world.

In church history, perfect examples of religious outliers are Martin Luther and John Calvin who bucked Roman Catholicism and launched the protestant Reformation; 18th century Evangelists, George Whitfield and John Wesley, held enormous crusades in open fields because they were shut out of the Anglican churches; 19h century Evangelist, Charles Finney, resisted hyper Calvinism and brought the Second Great Awakening by establishing new measures in Evangelism; later on in this century, Healing evangelist Alexander Dowie, not only taught , but founded the city of Zion Illinois ; 20th century pastor William Seymour, used a shoe box as his pulpit and launched the Azusa street revival that brought Pentecostalism to the globe; finally,  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used his amazing oration, strategic wisdom, his convening ability and his brand of non-violent civil disobedience, to launch the Civil Rights movement of the 20th century.

Why does God sometimes use outliers? Does He need to use them today? (Some would argue today that president Donald Trump is an outlier in regards to the political establishment) I believe yes, God has to use outliers at times when mainstream culture (religious, political or otherwise) is so corrupt that God chooses to operate outside the norm to perform His purpose.

The following are eight traits of biblical outliers :

1-Outliers are resolute

Every one of the outliers mentioned above were committed to the point of death to their cause. Isaiah prophesied about one of the traits of the coming Messiah when he said that He (the Messiah) would set His face like flint and give His back to those who would smite Him and not hide his face from shame and spitting (Isaiah 50:4-7).

2-Outliers are creative

Outliers usually get bored with conformity to the norm, they think outside the box, and look for unique ways to accomplish their mission

3-Outliers take the road less traveled

While most people in the world look for safe, secure and predictable pathways, outliers enjoy pioneering new trails for others to follow.

4-Outliers are prophetic

Outliers have an acute prophetic sense regarding their mission, and how that fits in with contemporary society.  They are the ones who intuit a trend before it happens and create new paradigms to be at the tip of the spear of new realities. These are the ones who see things before most people notice them. While most are just discovering the truth of a matter, the outlier is already implementing possible solutions to the challenges this new discovery may bring.

5-Outliers understand the true needs of the day

While most people accommodate themselves to, and embrace the a priori conclusions of mainstream culture, outliers dig underneath the surface until they discover the root issues responsible for cultural maladies. Outliers then use their creative ability to transform problems into possibilities that burst forth into new avenues of opportunity.

6-Outliers are prepared for their time

Most people are short on preparation and long on activity. Outliers like John the Baptist prepared themselves thirty years for a six-month ministry while Jesus prepared thirty years for a three-and-a-half-year ministry. Outliers practice and hone their skills so that when their moment comes they are more than ready.

7-Outliers risk all for truth

All the biblical and historical outliers mentioned above had one thing in common, they were ready to die for their faith and mission. They did not live a life built upon convenience but crafted a life built around their purpose.  The worst thing that can happen to an outlier is not physical death but missing their purpose.

8-Outliers fear God more then men

Biblical outliers do not live for the accolades of others. They love and fear God more than men.  During Jesus day, many of the rulers of the Jews believed in Him but did not confess Him publically because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:42,43).

I have met many prospective leaders in my time, but many of them have made the wrong choices and limited their potential in life because they were afraid of being out of the mainstream. Outliers are voices, not echoes. They shun cultural group think, stand on biblical verities and declare scriptural truth.

In conclusion, we are living in a day in which many in the Evangelical church have acquiesced to popular culture, even to the point of agreeing with laws and policies that are unbiblical. Many in the church have taken the safe road and act like the prophets of Micaiah’s day (1 Kings 22), only declaring things that they know will give them the approval of pop culture and the political establishment.

May God nurture prophetic outliers who are willing to pay the price, stand against compromise, and use their unique calling to advance His Kingdom.



Why Some Christian Movements Avoid the Law of God

Historically there have been many expressions of Christianity that have held less than a scriptural view of the law of God. In this article, the law of God refers to the Ten Commandments given to Moses (Exodus 20), and the civic laws that apply these commandments as case law in society. (For a brief example: Exodus 20 reveals the Ten Commandments and Exodus 21-23 apply these commandments as civic laws). Since there are 613 civic laws, hermeneutically we need to discern which ones were only for the nation of Israel during Moses’ time period, and understand how the application and penalty for breaking these commandments have been modified in the New Covenant. (As well as understand that the ceremonial law has been done away with after the death and resurrection of Christ. Read Hebrews 10.)

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7 Powerful Traits of The Joshua Generation

During the past several months in prayer, our congregation has been sensing the next few years will be a time for the true church to regain the ground it has lost both in culture and in blessings. Now, more than in the past decade, the Spirit seems to be saying that it is a time of battle, not a defensive but an offensive battle and advance. Now is a time for the presence and goodness of God to be manifest through the church to the world.

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10 Reasons for Pollution in The Pulpit Today

I was recently with a friend of mine (whom I will leave nameless for obvious reasons) who said that the reason his city is in such a mess is because “the pulpits are polluted”! When he said this, I immediately began to think and pray about the implications and reasons for this strong statement. Upon reflection, I found his statement to be true based on conversations I have had with numerous leaders across the globe.

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10 Reasons for Pollution in The Pulpit Today

I was recently with a friend of mine (whom I will leave nameless for obvious reasons) who said that the reason his city is in such a mess is because “the pulpits are polluted”! When he said this, I immediately began to think and pray about the implications and reasons for this strong statement. Upon reflection, I found his statement to be true based on conversations I have had with numerous leaders across the globe.

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10 Traits of The Jesus Driven Church

The word of God teaches us in Romans 8:29 that believers were predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Since this was written to the church in Rome, we understand the subject of the verse as the corporate body of Christ. Hence, local congregations are called to become Christ-like in their methodology, mission and essence.

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