(Part 2) The State of the American Church: The Narcissism of Minor Differences

Leadership is important; maybe I should say, critical.  Or you could even use the word, vital. Anyone who wants to be effective in any endeavor has to understand the principles of leadership and get really, really, really good at them.  That’s a given.  We all understand that.  And with that said, let me say this.

The study of leadership, as an end in itself, is a narcissistic endeavor. It ends up with people saying things about leadership in order to be creative, distinctive, or new.  But the truth is, the principles of leadership have been around forever: written about in epic works of research and application.  So most of what we say in the church world today is a reiteration of what has already been said, discovered, and applied both scientifically and practically.

Here is my concern: that the conferences we attend, the books that we read, the podcasts we listen to, are basically an individual’s approach to the subject of leadership that may or may not be a new, fresh, or creative insight into the whole science.

The result: boring books, boring conferences, wasted money, and people frustrated.

Here is the breakthrough, ladies and gentlemen.  Leadership is not about leadership. It is not about those who talk about leadership or write about leadership, and it’s not about those in leadership.  Leadership is not something we need to spend most of our lives thinking about. It’s what leadership allows us to do. And that is, to have an impact on people; to change the world.

So, that having been said, Paula and I have decided that we’re going to focus our attention on marriage: two people coming together to build something special and powerful over a lifetime.

What we have found is this.  The leaders that are leading us are failing at home.  And if you fail at home, the rest of your leadership gets compromised and it sometimes totally disqualifies.

So in the days, months, and years ahead, you’re going to be hearing more and more from us about marriage and what it means to be married, what it means to go from making marriage work and miserable and tolerable, to making marriage fun again.

That’s what we’ve discovered in leading churches, starting movements, being a part of the endeavor in every stage; that basically what we’ve focused on is building organizations in which we train people to fit.  At times we don’t focus on people and what it means to live in the real world.  We focus on people and how we can get them to do church work rather than the work of the church.

What is the work of the church?  Being relate-able, being connected to God and other people for the purpose of making the world a better place.

For us, the greatest difference that can be made in the church, in leadership, and in the world today, is to focus like a laser on helping men and women get married, stay married, have fun in marriage, build amazing marriages, have confident kids, and leave a legacy that will change the world.

As you study the Scriptures, both Old and New, a movement toward God was usually a movement of families, of tribes, of groups of people; not simple individuals.

Here is what is amazing to me.  Listen to the average sermon on Sunday morning in America today and you’ll hear very little about marriage, raising kids, doing the hard work; very little about how men today are under attack in every arena, how women have been turned into objects and things and cast away by narcissistic, self-indulgent men.

So it’s time to change.  It’s time for a movement; a movement away from leading for leading sake and going to conferences and talking to each other about each other; a time to focus on people and relationships, how to teach people to be relate-able.

What I’ve found today is most men aren’t even marry-able.  They don’t know how to work, create wealth,  how to woo, win, or wow a woman,  And that’s what we’re going to do: teach men how to be men who love, respect, and honor women; teach women how to be women who know how to hold out for the right kind of man and not be weak and give in because they are love-starved.

It’s a new day, it’s a new decade, it’s a new opportunity to change the world by changing the way we look at marriage. Think about it.  In 1930, over 87% of all Americans were married.  Today, it’s under 50%.  And yet 93% of all Americans asked today, list having a successful marriage as one of the top priorities of their life. Men being man-up men, godly men, and virtuous men; and women being godly, virtuous, and confident, women.

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