Thought Thread: Humility

Welcome to the Thought Thread. This week we're pulling on the thread of HUMILITY. Remember that the best way to keep tabs on this content is to subscribe to the newsletter via email. You can sign up for it by clicking here. 

1. LINKS
Why people fall for narcissistic leaders
Leadership research continues to mine new concepts explaining why we tend to follow certain leaders. If you've ever wondered why egotistical leaders seem more prevalent than humble ones, this article might help explain it.

Are you really that good?
While humility is a spiritual issue, we should recognize that our very human nature can work against us. While teaching in Seminary, I made this point to my students via the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This short video is a great summary of the concept. 

Humility from the Holy Land
In 2005, when my wife and I visited Israel, I was surprised at how many churches were built over biblical sites. While it was sometimes distracting, I've always remembered the architecture of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Here's an inspirational thought concerning the pilgrimage to the manger site.

My Thoughts: Coworkers or Competition?
Ministry leaders face what seems to be a paradoxical challenge: to elevate the kingdom (universal) AND motivate our church (local). Sometimes this leads us to feeling competitive with other churches. When planting an urban church, I myself struggled with it. Here's a reflection on how I came to grips with my jealousy of other ministries.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach
These scholars deconstruct the myth that we humans are fully rational. Again, as the Dunning-Kruger affect affirms, it's important to recognize that our minds play tricks on us to keep from being humble. Before you read, you can click here for some selected quotes.

12 Years a Slave
During Oscar season, we're reminded of the great movies of our past. The 2014 Best Movie winner is not only a compelling choice during Black History Month, but it unravels the struggle of free man Solomon Northup's journey of humility after being sold into slavery. Currently, the best digital rental rate is on Amazon.com.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD
I'm continuing an examination from Paul's letter to the Colossians, entitled WHY JESUS WINS. As we examine the exclusivity of Christ, we dig into his humility.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Why Jesus Wins: Humility (Colossians 1:15-29)

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The primary source of textual research I used is the Smyth and Helwys commentary on Colossians by Nijay Gupta
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavy exegetical, there is no need to attribute content to me.  

Thanks for reading. If you have thoughts about any of the above articles, feel free to start a conversation below. 

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Relationship

Welcome to the first edition of the Thought Thread. This week I'm thinking about RELATIONSHIP. Remember that the best way to keep tabs on this content is to subscribe to the newsletter via email. You can sign up for it by clicking here. 

1. LINKS
The Ikea Effect
I found this concept fascinating because I've had an old piece of Ikea furniture sitting in my basement for years. This pop-psychological label states that people place a higher than average value on things they create themselves. As ministry leaders seek new ways to mobilize their churches, are there ways we can further release the creativity of worshippers so their relationship with Jesus is even more dynamic?

How Smart Should a Leader Be?
One of the reasons I started Thought Thread was to inspire Christian leaders to become better learners. There is a danger, however, when leaders position themselves as more intellectual than their followers. How can you create healthy relationships with your subordinates when they think you're a know-it-all? This research offers some advice.

Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble
We're hearing a lot about Bitcoin lately, but very few people understand it. Over the past months, I've repeatedly been asked to explain it, and this New York Times article does as well as anything I've seen to break it down simply. While I'd suggest that Bitcoin is actually a commodity rather than a currency, keep an eye on the technology behind the fad. Our relationship with blockchaining will far outlast this cryptocurrency and will infiltrate many aspects of our lives. 

My Thoughts: A Better Rule For Christian Men
Last month, I wrote some thoughts on the Billy Graham Rule (now known as the Mike Pence Rule) You might not agree with my perspective, but it's important for male Christian leaders to consider how we ought to interact with the women in our church.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
Scale by Geoffrey West
In this book, a theoretical physicist shows the relationship between organisms/organizations and growth. Those of us in ministry should be fascinated to see that a secularist believes that the propensity for growth is hardwired into the DNA of the universe. Before you read, you can click here for some selected quotes.

Heavyweight
This podcast is produced by Gimlet Media and explores where relationships went wrong. To be clear, this isn't a Christian podcast, so be aware that there might be some language that one could find offensive. 

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD
Over the next few months, I'll be sharing a sermon series I taught from Paul's letter to the Colossians, entitled WHY JESUS WINS. My goal here was to help the people in my church see that Jesus and Christianity make exclusive claims, making it unique among all other worldviews. 

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Why Jesus Wins: Relationship (Colossians 1:1-14)

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The primary source of textual research I used is the Smyth and Helwys commentary on Colossians by Nijay Gupta
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavy exegetical, there is no need to attribute content to me.  



Thanks for reading. If you have thoughts about any of the above articles, feel free to start a conversation below. 

Photo credit: Dustin Lee on Unsplash

Pulling the String: What is Thought Thread?

Entering the third decade of professional career, I've had a diverse journey: from teaching in a seminary, to planting a congregation in the city, to working in finance; I’ve covered some ground. My vocational path forced me to take a unique view of the world: to think differently about work (and ministry) and to discover how random threads can be woven together to create new ways of thinking.

That's what Thought Thread is all about. Every two weeks, I release an idea and trace the thread that binds together various resources. So you can expect:

  • Links from around the web. For years I've drawn content from random sources to provide an atypical perspective on my work. Here you'll find items from off the beaten path.

  • Book, podcast, and film recommendations. There's a constant flow of new content developed daily. I'll show you what you might have missed and how it can help.

  • A free sermon. Since I’m an ordained minister, I have years a spiritual content. If you're a preacher caught in a bind and need something to preach/teach, or if you’re someone wanting a deeper exploration of the Bible, you can use this resource.

I'm here to serve. I pray something here will help you in your work.