Leadership: Your interactions today will be the topic at dinner tonight

As a leader, you must have the self awareness to understand that every interaction you have with your team today will have an impact. Like waves that radiate from a stone thrown into a tranquil pond of water, your interaction will wash into the lives of the families and friends of your team.

Have you heard the name Stephanie Louise Kwolek? Probably not.

Kwolek was a Polish-American chemist who worked at DuPont for nearly 40 years. In 1965, she invented one of the most significant materials in modern times. This material has saved millions of lives.

Five times stronger than steel. Kevlar is an unbelievably durable material. It’s mainly known for use in “bullet-proof vests.” But, Kevlar can withstand 500 °F for seventy hours. It holds up in −320.8 °F cold.

“Kevlar is used as a material in more than 200 applications, including tennis rackets, skis, parachute lines, boats, airplanes, ropes, cables, and bullet-proof vests. It has been used for car tires, fire fighter boots, hockey sticks, cut-resistant gloves and armored cars. It has also been used for protective building materials like bomb-proof materials, hurricane safe rooms, and bridge reinforcements. During the week of Kwolek’s death, the one millionth bullet-resistant vest made with Kevlar was sold. Kevlar is also used to build cellular telephones; [Wikipedia]

At nearly 48 years old, I’ve been in the trenches and learned so much about relationships – often times the hard way.

In leadership roles, I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded. My failure file is much larger than my success file.

When asked about all the failures he experienced attempting to invent the first lightbulb, Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” In other words, Edison saw failures as vital steps toward success. I imagine Stephanie Kwolek failed a few times as well on her journey to create Kevlar.

Today, I see my failures at creating durable relationships as steps toward success. While I’m still a work in progress, I’ve at least made progress at becoming a bit better leader than I was yesterday (I hope).

As I see it, every interaction I have with someone adds credit to a relationship account. Every time I open up and allow the team into my life to see the good and bad, more credit is added to that account. Every time I can own a mistake or ask for forgiveness for doing something wrong, more credit. Every time I can celebrate with a teammate, credit. Every time, I can come along side and help them through a tough time, credit. Every time I pray with and for my teammates, credit. Every time I invest even a moment acknowledging their contribution to the mission and vision, credit is put in that relationship’s account.

My cup runneth over!

This is not about some flimsy transactional relationship model. I use the word ‘credit’ because that’s the best way I can think of to describe how to build and cultivate deep relationships on a team.

Perhaps, I’m trying to be like Stephanie Kwolek, I want to create the most durable fabric possible within the culture of my team. I don’t want to create cheap thin polyester fabric, I want Kevlar relationships – bullet-proof relationships with a lot of grace and dynamism.

Your interactions today will be the topic of conversation around the dinner table tonight.

As a leader, you must have the self awareness to understand that every interaction you have with your team today will have an impact. Like waves that radiate from a stone thrown into a tranquil pond of water, your interaction will wash into the lives of the families and friends of your team.

If you stop and think about it, as a leader, you have the power to shape the conversations long after the work day is over.

If you have such significant influence in someone’s life, don’t you think it’s important to understand the consequences of every single interaction with your team whether its verbal or non-verbal? It’s a relational stewardship – a huge responsibility.

How was your day?

Imagine someone on your team whom you lead going home after a hard day at work and sitting down at the dinner table with his or her spouse and children. Perhaps, the spouse asks, “How was your day?” The children pause eating and cast their gaze exhausted parent.

This is where your earlier interaction has the power to shape the entire evening of that family.

What if your team member responded with a description of how you ignored her or berated her over a mistake, or lost your temper, or didn’t listen, or made them feel like a cog in a wheel, or didn’t communicate something important, or allowed conflict to fester within the team?

What a sad story to tell at the dinner table, right?

That story will have a ripple effect beyond dinner. The children sharing their winning goal at the soccer game, or good grade on a math test matter very little when their father or mother is demoralized and feels unloved or unseen by their leader.

On the other hand… What if that person on your team responded to the question, “How was your day?” differently.

What if, their eyes lit up, a huge smile crossed their face, and a tear of joy moistened the corner of their eye as they excitedly shared what their leader said to them today? They tell the family how you (the leader) stopped by and took time to remind them they are important to the organization. How you said, that the project you’ve been working on for weeks matters, despite the challenges. How you thanked them for their hard work and grace with you as the leader. How you asked about their family or prayed for them on the spot!

Perhaps, you as the leader asked for forgiveness for being short or owned a mistake? Maybe, they tell the story of how you recognized their contribution or comforted them or asked for advice on an important project. What if it all you did was simply give your team member a big smile, a nod of approval, and wink of the eye just to acknowledge their contribution or a job well done?

That interaction will not only place more credit in your account, it will strengthen the relational fabric of the team – making it more bullet-proof and fire-resistant.

Most importantly, your interactions with your team today will be the topic of conversation around the dinner table tonight – and beyond.

What is the story you want told tonight?

Not a story all about you, but about how you made someone feel significant, appreciated, cared for, valued, and connected to something bigger than themselves.

That should be the story every leader should want told about them around the dinner table tonight.

So, why don’t you create that story when you go to work today? Don’t just pass by your team members without being aware that you have the privilege of shaping their story.

What that story will be is up to you. Make it a good one.

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”
– Proverbs 22:1

Special Thanks to my mentor and coach, General David Warner (Ret.) for making me aware how my attitude and actions impact the people around me. It makes me want to be a better leader, a leader who leads like Christ.

In-person Course: Culture and the Christian Worldview – Ft. Worth, TX

Deeper questions won’t be answered by shallow arguments.

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Culture and the Christian Worldview – 8 week In-person Course at Christ Chapel Bible Church (Fort Worth Campus)

SPACE IS LIMITED – REGISTER TODAY

I want to share some exciting news! We’ll be offering a new class at our Fort Worth Campus beginning Sunday, May 1st. We will be covering how a robust biblical worldview should inform and guide our thoughts, conversations, and actions.

– Do you feel equipped to share you Christian worldview?

– Do you understand how and why people think the way they do?

– Do you struggle having crucial conversations with people who seem so far away from the truth?

– Do you grieve for loved ones, friends, and a culture that appears to be spiraling out of control?

– How do we disciple people through this cultural moment while reaching the lost?

Please feel free to forward and share with family and friends who may be interested.

Course Details:

Dates: Sunday, May 1st-June 26th (not meeting on Mother’s Day)
Time: 12:30pm-1:45pm
Location: The Den (Fort Worth Campus)
Childcare Available
Lunch provided
Resources provided
Cost: $20 per person
Ages: High School Student +
*This course will NOT be streamed or recorded – in-person only*

Register here…

Purpose and Expectations:

“Culture and the Christian Worldview” is an 8 week deep-dive into what it means to live out a Christian worldview in your spheres of influence. You’ll learn how to respond to our cultural moment in light of God’s Story.

The purpose is to equip and train you to:

1. Think critically about tough issues.
2. Articulate a biblical worldview with confidence.
3. Reach others for Christ for His Glory.

You will gain valuable knowledge, practical skills, and the confidence to engage in conversations about the important issues we face in this cultural moment.

What to expect:

– Develop a Christian understanding of worldview.
– Discover how culture informs us.
– Explore current societal pressure points.
– How we can walk wisely in our cultural moment (a cultural response).

As we explore topics and cultural issues, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in table discussions and ask questions in a context of Christian community.

We are created by God and called by God to this cultural moment!

Reflect on the following passages:

“God made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”
(Acts 17:26)

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
(Ephesians 2:10)

In other words, God made you for this time and place in human history to be His ambassador to a broken world.

Thank you and see you this Sunday!

Learn more and register.

*This course will NOT be streamed or recorded – in-person only*

Gaining Wisdom and Cultural Intelligence

Cultivating Wisdom and developing greater Cultural Intelligence will help you understand the time and place you live, along with the people who inhabit the world with you.

In a world of disinformation, misinformation, mass-formation, click-bait, and soundbites how are we to know what to believe or respond?

How are we to navigate challenging conversations? How are we to create real solutions for seemingly impossible problems? The majority of real and lasting solutions to problems are created locally, not by distant institutions or bureaucracies. You and I are responsible for bringing solutions in our own spheres.

Now more than ever, we need Wisdom and Cultural Intelligence. How?

Let’s begin with wisdom.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Wisdom is defined as;
a : ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight
b : good sense : judgement
c : generally accepted belief
d : accumulated philosophical or scientific learning : knowledge

The world defines wisdom as a proper application of knowledge, or judgement.

While that definition is helpful, a theological definition brings a fuller vision of wisdom into view. Michael S. Craven defines wisdom as an “ancient virtue.” He develops it further by stating, “Wisdom is an ability, it’s a skill. It’s the ability to discern what is good, true and beautiful.

Wisdom is not the same as education or knowledge.

Wisdom is not attained through academic or intellectual pursuits. Wisdom and its opposite folly (or foolishness) are moral categories. No amount of education can make one wise. Wisdom can’t be learned by just reading books or listening to lectures. Those are just means of transferring information. By all means, we should all read and learn. However, we should not confuse academic knowledge with wisdom.

We all know wise people who do not have a college degree or who barely finished high school. Think of that older lady or gentleman in your life who may not have a formal education but, they are extremely wise. You seek out their advice and act on it, right?

On the same token, we all know foolish people who have degrees from the finest universities. They’ve attained the highest levels of knowledge but they are foolish. Think of professionals, CEOs, doctors, heads of state, attorneys, and the like who make foolish decisions and end up in jail or on the front page of the paper. Would you seek out their advice?

In our modern culture, we falsely believe we can educate people into being moral and wise citizens. Highly educated people are not necessarily wise people. In fact, education devoid of morality and the virtue of wisdom can create morally empty monsters (fools). They use their academic knowledge for ill. Today, we educate a man without cultivating virtue in him. Thus, we give him more advanced and sinister devices to commit evil.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”


– C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Biblical wisdom is deep, immeasurable, priceless, and rare.” (Dr. Michael A. Milton)

My working definition of Wisdom.


Wisdom begins with the fear of God. Wisdom is the art and virtue of living one’s life by applying understanding of God’s moral commands. It is the active application of knowledge, understanding, and discernment to everyday life. It leads to answering the deeper questions of life. Wisdom is designed to be passed down to future generations. In fact, not transmitting wisdom to the young is foolishness.

What is the purpose of wisdom?

Wisdom brings the individual in line with reality as God created it. It aligns the one who attains wisdom with God’s commands. The result is a rich and meaningful life that brings a ‘moral good’ into the culture.

It begs the question, “Do I want my children and grand children to live wisely or foolishly?” If I hope for the former, then it is my responsibility to transmit wisdom to them. It is their responsibility to apply wisdom and live accordingly.

Cultural Intelligence

Without going into too, much detail, I’ll give you my working definition. Cultural Intelligence is the understanding of the place, time, people, and movements of a current moment. It combines a kind of a cultural situational awareness with an understanding of historical antecedents, current reality, and ability to extrapolate where society is heading. Cultural Intelligence is the ability to draw the cords of the past, present, and future in order to understand how to respond. In other words, Cultural Intelligence is understanding the times in order to respond properly.

To be culturally astute, one must understand the assumptions and sub-currents that shape current reality. This affects how we think of ourselves in relationship with others and the world around us.

How does one cultivate Cultural Intelligence?

It requires effort. Reading books, news papers and blogs, watching forms of media, and such is required. The objective is to posess a general understanding of how an issue became an issue. Reading primary sources and counter-perspectives is vital to Cultural Intelligence. Understanding where and why people disagree is clarifying and helps our critical thinking. Talking to others who are either experiencing something or have a good working knowledge of an issue is important as well.

For instance, the suicide rate among teenagers and young adults has risen significantly in the last three years in America. Why? What set the preconditions for this to occur? What are the root causes of the current suicide crisis? Simple, one answer conclusions rarely reveal the root cause. We must dig deeper. When we do, we often discover a confluence of movements, events, sub-currents, and philosophies leading to the current moment. The massive uptick in suicides did not just appear out of thin air. We’re seeing the emergence of an issue that is decades in the making.

The Tsunami Example

An analogy may be helpful. A tsunami is created by the shift of tectonic plates deep with in the earth (or volcano). That shift generates an earthquake. The movement from the quake displaces water deep beneath the ocean’s surface. It transfers energy from land to water. As the energy moves through the ocean, it creates a wave. That wave undetectable on the surface until it approaches shallows. By the time it crashes on the shore, they tsunami can be a hundred feet tall and move at 20-30 mph (NOAA).  It only takes one foot of water moving at these speeds to carry away vehicles and destroy buildings. Remember the tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004? It was devastating.

So, the suicide epidemic in America is much like a tsunami. In order to solve it, we must understand how it came to be – it’s root causes. This is where Cultural Intelligence comes in.

The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert to cultivate Cultural Intelligence. You just need to be open-minded, a critical thinker, and willing to accept facts as they are. You have to be willing to learn from history and explore deeper understanding. Often times, that will require conversations with people who are very different from you. That’s the exciting part!

Combining Wisdom and Cultural Intelligence

In the final analysis, cultivating Wisdom and developing greater Cultural Intelligence will help you understand the time and place you live, along with the people who inhabit the world with you. We live in a world of massive institutional programs and one-size-fits-all solutions pushed by governments and corporations. Wisdom and Cultural Intelligence will help you bring meaningful solutions that are localized to your community. The majority of real and lasting solutions for social problems are created locally, not by distant institutions or bureaucracies. At the end of the day, you and I are the ones responsible for bringing solutions to the problems we face.

Wisdom and Cultural Intelligence are necessary now more than ever. Below are some resources to help you on your quest!

 …

Additional Resources:

What does the Bible say about wisdom?

Proverbs: The Wisdom We Need Right Now

BreakPoint Podcast and Commentaries

Colson Fellowship

What Time Is It?

The modern concept of time is truly unique to moderns.
One of the most powerful technologies ever invented was the clock. Prior to the clock, time measurement was not precise. Seconds, minutes and even hours were not something humans considered. Think about a world without clocks and watches for a moment.

What time is it? What if I told you, your watch, the timepiece on your phone nor the clock on your wall can tell you what time it is. Time is a realm we think we understand but don’t.

We’re told that in the grand sweeping scope of human history, we’re just a ‘blip on the radar’ – Here today and gone tomorrow! That is true to some extent. But, are we to live like a ‘blip’?

Are we simply left to resign ourselves to a YOLO (You Only Life Once) mentality in which we strive for every mountaintop experience or pleasure we can find? Or are we just left to thoughts of life as some cruel joke?

Do our individual, family, community, and national stories trickle like meaningless isolated streams through human history?

Are we to adopt the fatalistic determinism of Friedrich Nietzsche where human existence is a cold dark reality and life is absurd and hollow?

By no means!

Here’s the question behind the question.

Does your individual life have meaning?

Either life has meaning or it doesn’t. How you answer that question will determine how you live.

What we believe about the meaning of life will determine how to understand time.

A major over-arching theme in my work is to help individuals realize they are created for a time and place. Moreover, you (reader) were born into a certain family, in a specific location, culture and time in history.

The modern concept of time is truly unique to moderns.

One of the most powerful technologies every invented was the clock. Prior to the clock, time measurement was not precise. Seconds, minutes and even hours were not something humans considered. Think about a world without clocks and watches for a moment. Today, cultures remain that do not share the modern-western understanding of time. We tend to call those people “backwards” or “behind the times.” But are they really?

As moderns, we are time bound slaves to the clocks on our wrists, phones, walls, and calendars. I hear the refrain, “I don’t have time!” “I’m running out of time!” “I’m killing time.”

In our rush and hurry between meetings and events, we miss the everlasting moment that is rich with meaing. Frantic activity is followed by chronic inertia. It’s exhausting and sucks the joy and meaning out of life. We wake up and ask, “Where did the time go?”

Don’t confuse the moment with the story. Don’t miss giftedness of each moment.

“Time is at the heart of our existence.”
– Os Guiness

Time therefore has a purpose. You were placed in a specific time and location in history. Don’t miss the significance of that.

In the book, “Carpe Diem Redeemed – Seizing the Day, Discerning the Times“, Os Guinness makes two points to reflect upon.

You have a choice to know and develop a relationship with the “Author of Time” or not. If there is a God who created time, space and reality, don’t you think it’s important to know him?

If you determine that God is the “Author of Time” then, you need to learn what part He calls you to play in His “grand story.”

Os Guiness suggests, “We will never be able to see and understand time objectively” if we are so immersed in time that we miss the bigger story we’re a part of.

I leave you with the question and one of my favorite passages.

What time is it?

Reflect and meditate on this passage:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

Ecclesiates 3:1-11

“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Escapism vs. Reality – Comfort vs. Growth

The comfort zone is the enemy of growth. The butterfly can fly because she built the necessary strength by breaking though her cocoon.

Nothing is more thrilling than reality.

That includes experiencing pain and discomfort. Human beings don’t grow by pursuing pleasure and comfort. Humans grow strong and resilient in the soils of pain and discomfort. In order to recover what it means to be human, we must ground our experience in reality as it is. In the midst of everyday life, we can explore that which is good, true and beautiful.

Real reality is far richer and meaningful than anything man can contrive. Therefore, escapism in all its various forms is our attempt to safely reside within our comfort zones to avoid reality.

The comfort zone is the enemy of growth.
Only when we push outside our little cocoons do we experience growth and a fuller vision of life and reality as God created it.

Meaning in life is found in travails and pain, not comfort and pleasure. An eagle’s muscular strength to soar through the heavens began with the struggle of breaking through the shell of safety and comfort of his egg. The butterfly can fly because she built the necessary strength by breaking though her cocoon.

Humans can’t grow or gain anything valuable in life by attempting to escape. Reality is far more fulfilling, meaningful and deep when we embrace the reality of life as God intended it to be.

Only then, can we understand that ultimate reality is eternal reality in knowing Him.

You can try to fool yourself by pitting escapism against reality, but you will discover reality will win every time. So get comfortable being uncomfortable outside your comfort zone. That’s where the growth and joy are to be found.

For Such A Time As This

“Trying Times call for tough leaders. In God’s providence, you and I were put in this moment in time and this place to live for him.”

Don’t miss the moment. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.

You are called to a Savior, a Kingdom, and a moment. What are you going to do in this moment?

For such a moment, you must lead. And lead you must. Nowhere in the Bible is cowardice or apathy rewarded. In fact, cowardice is punished (Numbers 14). Moral courage is always rewarded and blessed. Standing up for righteousness is an act of obedience.

We must recover and embrace God’s definition of ‘leadership.’

“Biblically, leadership is not someone at the top or someone out front. (A leader) is a person who takes the initiative and takes responsibility for either the opportunity or the crisis right in front of them…. That is what we must recover.”
– Os Guiness

Trying times call for tough leaders. In God’s providence, you and I were put in this moment in time and this place to live for Him. For God’s sake lead! Whether it is your family, your community, your workplace, or your church, you are called to take initiative and responsibility for the opportunity or crisis you are facing right now. If God placed the crisis or opportunity in front of you, don’t be fearful – Be faithful!

“It is going to take an enormous amount of biblical commitment, theological clarity, and individual and congregational courage to stand against the tide of the moral and ideological revolution of the culture.”
– Albert Mohler

Do not miss the moment. It has arrived.

The question is, “What are you going to do in the moment?

Reflect and meditate on the following scriptures that will challenge, equip and encourage you to lead!

“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation….” Acts 13:36

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place…” Acts 17:26

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son…” Galatians 4:4a

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

“Those who know God’s plans are responsible to live courageously for Him.” – Dr. Bill Egner