Christian Governance Interfacing with, and contributing to, Canada’s public policy process. Educating, mentoring and motivating Christian youth and adults to be engaged Christianly in Canada’s public life. Thu, 25 Jun 2015 04:49:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I Believe in Your Vision. What You are doing is Important Thu, 25 Jun 2015 04:49:43 +0000 Last week (June 15th to 19th 2015) was quite the rollercoaster ride with the Lord. This series of events all had to do with finances.

It started on Monday June 15th with the “death” of my phone. It could neither receive calls nor make calls. We had just had a session of personal financial coaching, and had spent some time discussing the changes we might have to make for WAY camp 2015.

Considering that this loss of connectivity was happening just three weeks before WAY Camp, it was a problem. There were plans to be made, people to contact and a Board meeting for Wednesday June 17th to discuss – Way Camp, of course!!!

Suffice it to say that Tuesday was a day of dealing with phone issues, and re-calibrating my connectivity. I was putting a Plan B together for the Board due to low registration numbers for this camp. One of the things I have learnt from Mark Miller (Great Leaders Serve) is that leadership means one has to be flexible enough to make necessary changes when they are warranted.

Wednesday morning found me on my knees weeping before the Lord, asking for direction in our decision-making process. By Wednesday afternoon, in preparation for the meeting, I asked our son to check my computer to ensure that the sound was working for the board meeting.  The sound on my computer had been acting up for some time. Another computer we ordered had not yet arrived.

When the sound did not work, our son tried to restart the computer. All he got was A BLACK SCREEN!!! After numerous attempts and getting the same results, I gave up in despair. I had not completed my Plan B for that night’s meeting.

Oh… and did I say the left lens of my glasses fell out while attempts were being made to resuscitate the computer? And while attempting to put the lens back in, the screw popped out? Thankfully the latter was easy to retrieve.  We do not have such a small screwdriver to fix glasses, but our son was resourceful enough to find a solution using a staple. For a brief moment, I was even more short-sighted, but there was nothing to see on a dark computer screen anyway.

By that time, I was too much of a nervous wreck for a meeting. BUT, I had a working phone! So I quickly contacted the Board members to postpone the meeting to Friday 19th. What I did not realize then, was God’s gracious provision in all this.

On Thursday, I called all of the speakers for WAY Camp, letting them know of the low attendance. Except for a speaker who had to come a great distance, the other speakers, one after the other, echoed each other, not knowing what the others had decided, saying: I believe in your vision. What you are doing is important. I am still willing to come and speak. They did not change their minds even with the limited funds to use for honoraria.

I fell on my knees before our Heavenly Father and confessed my sin of doubting Him. He had intercepted that meeting to give me the time to contact the speakers and hear words of encouragement. I spoke to the parents of the kids registered, and they assured me that they are excited to participate in this great opportunity. One parent offered this perspective: It is sad that with such a fine program the registration numbers are so low. I wonder if some people’s priorities are misplaced, with the result that they miss out on an excellent opportunity to benefit their children.

I thank God for faithful committed speakers and parents, excited attendees, supportive Board members and all the others who stand behind this fledgling work and say to us: What you are doing is important. I was encouraged by the following words in John Rinehart’s recent blog post:

… offload the pressure you feel to God. You do that by speaking, praying, and believing verses like these two:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:10)

You can read the full post here:

I shared this on my Facebook wall a few days ago: Just recently, hymns of my childhood have become my internal monologue. One of the verses of the Hymn, ‘On To The Goal’, says: Never mind what the others do, on to the goal keep pressing; They cannot run the race for you, on to the goal keep pressing; Whether they run or turn aside, whether in sin they still abide, fixing thine eyes on Him who died, on to the goal keep pressing.

Sometimes, when we hear the voice of God calling us to serve Him many will doubt and understand neither the vision, nor the passion that drive you. This happened with Joan of Arc.  I pray that God would make me the kind of leader like she was, as set forth in this article:

As you serve, it is quite an encouragement to hear the words: I believe in your vision. What you are doing is important. At the same time, if you know without the shadow of a doubt that God has called you to do a specific job, you must be willing to follow Him, and like Joan of Arc, not look back to see who’s following… or NOT following.

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Leadership Nuggets from the Garden Thu, 30 Apr 2015 02:51:29 +0000 Every gardener encounters ants in the garden. For a leader, these ‘ants’ could be people, circumstances or issues which ‘bite hard and leave you in discomfort’. However, there are valuable lessons to be learnt from the ant. Difficult circumstances will most surely come, but they should move you in the direction of becoming like the ant – disciplined, diligent, developing structure, team-work, service, and most of all, visionary – pacing yourself to provide for the future.

These are all principles you should practice for effective leadership. Proverbs 6:6 says: ‘Go to the ant, O sluggard. Observe her ways and be wise’. Learning how to manage your life means that you can be dependable and trusted. An effective leader learns from the circumstances that bring discomfort, and keeps focussed on the vision.

Learning to work as a team reflects God’s design order of support for each member of the body. ‘For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ’. 1 Cor.12:12. Teamwork develops and reflects the Unity in Purpose that a leader inspires in his followers.

Just like the daily sunshine gives some predictability to growing plants, effective leaders lead with purpose. The purpose of sunshine is to provide an environment where productive energy is high and where growth and reproduction are happening. Purpose gives meaning to life. Our purpose on earth is to glorify God. It begins with a strong relationship to God that is relentless in multiplying and being fruitful.

Learning to treat others as you would like to be treated is the distillation of the 10 Commandments: ‘Treat others the same way you want them to treat you’. Luke 6:31.This teaches Love for God and love for neighbour. This is the kind of servant leadership Christ taught His disciples. When you examine the leadership qualities of the One Whom we follow you will see that Luke 2: 52 said of Him, even in childhood: ‘and Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man’. These are the seeds of growing leaders who serve others.

Learning to memorize Scripture to guide your life becomes one of the most practical out-workings of the seeds of sowing and reaping. What you think about, what motivates you and what you eventually become passionate about, is an indicator of what you will become. Therefore the warning to:Guard your heart‘, is worth meditating on – Prov.4:23.  A wise leader also guards his heart by meditating on Scripture to guide his thoughts and passions.

If you were to examine many of the Biblical characters provided as role models for you to follow, you will see that they all exhibited a strong vertical relationship with God, before they experienced a horizontal relationship with their fellow men.

  • Noah believed God when no one else did. He exhibited Faith and Courage
  • Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. He exercised Faith, Courage and sometimes Fear
  • Jacob exercised Faith, Diligence and Hard work, Courage, Integrity and even Fear
  • Joseph exhibited Courage, Trustworthiness, Wisdom, Integrity
  • Moses had Faith, Courage, God-given Vision, Humility
  • Joshua had Faith, Courage and a Vision for the future.

One aspect of leadership that God instituted from Moses’ time is the need for a leader to train others to do the job when he is gone. There must be succession training. Parents train children, so they can train their children and the subsequent generations. The children of Israel were told to ‘write these things and teach them to your children and to your grandchildren’. Moses was told to recite these things in Joshua’s ears.

So how should you measure your leadership?

Effective Leadership is disciplined and diligent; it develops structure, team-work and service; is visionary – looking to and planning for the future. It develops teamwork which reflects Unity in Purpose. Purpose gives meaning to life. Our purpose on earth is to glorify God.

Effective leadership begins with a strong relationship to God that is relentless in multiplying and being fruitful. Effective leadership is also servant leadership, which is what Christ taught His disciples.

Effective leaders grow in self-awareness. They are constantly asking themselves:

  • Am I a good steward of God’s resources and faithful in little?
  • Do I have integrity? (keep my word, dependable, faithful, trustworthy)
  • Do I have a vertical relationship with God and can others recognize it?
  • Who do I admire/esteem?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What social issues stir in me, a deep grief because of a lack of righteousness in the land, and what can I/my children do about them?
  • How am I preparing the next generation to lead?

How You Should NOT Lead

Matt 20: 25-28: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

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Vision, The Raison D’Etre of Leadership Mon, 06 Apr 2015 02:10:32 +0000 Vision, the Raison D’Etre of Leadership

Every Spring I plant a garden. It never turns out quite like I expected. The environment in which plants grow and thrive are met with many variables. Sometimes my best efforts become limited by abundance or scarcity of rain, time, health and schedule. Regardless of the outcome, gardening takes vision. The plot needs to be prepared for the plants you will grow. Your garden needs to be tended with love and consistent effort to keep weeds at bay. At the end of the season, if you are planning to do it again, your vision might be modified appropriately.

General Principles of Sowing and Reaping:

Leadership is like a garden. The ground needs to be prepared, seeds need to be sown, plants need to be nurtured and weeds need to be pulled. Sometimes plants need to be staked and most of all, they need to be watered.

Early seeds of leadership take root and sprout where you spend most of your time as a child. For home schooled kids, it is in the home. For kids in school, it is the school environment. Most home schoolers believe in some measure of scheduling. They might try to have their schedules run exactly as the schedule in the regular school system, or they may have a looser structure based on their unique situations. I had the best of both worlds. I was planted in a home of 15 kids, with 12 of us living at home at any given point in time.

When my Mom began teaching her kindergarten-aged kids to bring order out of chaos, the neighbours asked to send their kids too. Thus was born our own kindergarten school. Without some kind of a general schedule and system to guide her daily life, she might have gone to an earlier grave (she died at 73). For the kindergarten to work, she needed to operate within our unique situation and without a rigid schedule.

When I was 6, I went to a Christian Primary school. My Christian education continued into high school. For me, the seeds of order, discipline, structure, team-work, expectations of excellence, respect, diligence, trust, and service were planted and watered at home and at school.

The Home as Garden:

At home, we were all roused from sleep at 6 am for family prayer time. We each had chores to do before going off to school – making trips to the communal water pipe to fill barrels, wash-tubs and buckets with water. That allowed us to have baths before school, and my Mom to have enough water to scrub laundry and cook meals before we returned from school. The process was repeated in the evening to replenish our water supplies.  This taught us service, diligence, dependability, discipline and order. We also had to make beds, sweep floors, clear/ wash dishes and get dressed into uniforms pertinent to our different schools. The structure did not run perfectly but that was the general idea.

Dad was the ‘Master Gardener’ who planted Scripture in the garden of our hearts. He expected us to memorize them so that he could use them as the standard of  behaviour when we needed rebuke. As in all families, some of us had harder hearts with much more weeds to be pulled. Dad and Mom were relentless in pointing out those weeds that needed uprooting. Weeds of bad habits and slothfulness were uprooted with Dad’s version of Prov. 24:23-24 – “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and so shall your poverty come upon you as a bandit, and your want as an armed man.”

The School as Garden:

At school, I was blessed by Christian teachers who guided my education. In fact, the die was cast for me to become a teacher from my first day in Primary School. My teacher, Miss Vena (as we fondly called her), was the epitome of the Fruit of The Spirit – kindness, gentleness patience, peace – and who made me feel so loved and special that I thought right away: “When I grow up I want to be just like her”.

We were taught discipline and order, both at the Primary School and at High School; that cleanliness is next to Godliness; that  punctuality was important (dependability); that absences needed to be properly dealt with by a written note (accountability); that we should take pride in our printing and keeping books clean and papered with brown paper for protection (stewardship/pride of ownership); that appreciation of poetry and good literature taught heroism, comedy and tragedy; that teamwork was important for Sports Day and School Bazaars; that we could work hard and play hard; that we could experience great joy when the whole school sang in unison; that we were ambassadors of the school while were dressed in its uniform and that we should carry ourselves with a certain decorum as befitting an ambassador.

The Weeding, Pruning and Watering:

Unpredictable life circumstances have a way of throwing the most organized and schedule-oriented parent or teacher off-track. As with gardening, those times when parents or teachers were inconsistent in monitoring our progress, weeds of carelessness, and indiscipline naturally took over and chaos reigned. There was a remarkable growth in lack of respect, grumbling, complaining and defiance of rules by those who would capitalize on weaknesses in teachers and parents alike.  Inconsistent rebuke or correction, scarcity of watering with encouragement, less of a supportive and nurturing environment, all conspired to thwart progress until we were all back to the routine and schedule again.

Those who ‘did not follow the multitude to do evil’ were the ones who were most likely to become leaders in the community and experience success. Experience has shown that those who followed well, learnt to lead well. They developed the leadership qualities that others appreciated. Many tenets of Scripture became living values that guided their lives. The principle of sowing and reaping was evident: ‘He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much’ – Luke 16:10

Part 2: Leadership Nuggets From The Garden

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Servanthood – The Calling of a Leader Sat, 21 Mar 2015 22:59:26 +0000 How could two words (servant and leader) which seem mutually exclusive be put together in the idea of ‘servant leadership’? Have you ever wondered how to serve and lead at the same time?

I have been listening to the Old Testament regularly over the last few months. I am only just beginning to understand what God meant when he told Moses to ‘recite these things in Joshua’s ears’, or in Deut.17:18 where He said: “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul…

In light of my thoughts on Servant Leadership, when I heard the word ‘servant’ used repeatedly, I paid attention. It seemed like the context was clearly of someone doing another’s bidding, or working in the best interests of and on behalf of another. This occurred whether the term was used by the patriarchs or by any other person in the Old Testament.

The servant represented someone else’s reputation or name. The dictionary meaning of ‘servant’ is: a person, who performs duties for others; a devoted and helpful follower or supporter.

As I researched this idea, I came across this: “The five words in the New Testament translated “ministry” generally refer to servanthood or service given in love. Serving others is the very essence of ministry”. (

In Matt. 20: 25-27, Christ contrasted the world’s idea of leadership with Godly leadership: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant [working in the best interests of others] and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave [serving often without payment.”

Paul references Christ as the example of servanthood in Phil.2:6-7: “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant (working salvation on our behalf) being born in the likeness of men.

This week I saw a “Desiring God” article by Larry Osborne. He said that servant leadership meant just that – being treated like a servant. He made the point that he loved the idea of ‘servant leadership’ but when people started treating him like a servant, he was not happy.  He suggested that the idea of servant leadership was exactly as Jesus prescribed – being treated like a servant.

Osborne further suggests that if you cannot lead joyfully and gratefully then the kingdom is better served if you step aside. If you can’t lead without grumbling and complaining, God will send someone else to do it, so step away.

So what do I believe about servanthood and leadership?

·         Servant leaders act on behalf of others and in their best interests

·         Servant leaders serve others but follow Christ

·         We should all, as Christians, be involved in ‘ministry’ which is serving each other in love

·         The world’s way of leading is to ‘lord it’ over others, but Christ’s way is to expect to be treated as slaves (no payment and very little appreciation and gratitude from others)

·         God, as Christ, is our example of servant leadership – Who did not think too highly of himself to condescend to the form of a man to work salvation on our behalf

·         this is a difficult calling, but who the Lord calls, He enables.

May God help us to exercise servanthood with our leadership.

Send your comments to:


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Communication – Can’t Lead Without It. Mon, 16 Mar 2015 03:11:14 +0000 I love reading Mark Miller’s blogs about leadership. Recently he wrote two great articles about leadership and the ability to communicate. He posits: “If you can’t communicate you can’t lead”. You can read his Part One here:

In this article, he tells us that “communication is perhaps the most difficult aspect of leadership,” that clear communication is both critical and daunting, and that the difficulty in communicating increases as the size of the audience increases. He goes on to list some of the factors that contribute to the hurdles that leaders need to overcome. Three of my greatest hurdles I recognize and am working on are:

Bias – People hear what they want to hear, and leaders forget that we bring our own biases into our message. We assume that our audience will hear past our own biases to the real message. We forget that what we are communicating has been coloured by our past, beliefs, personality and our perspective on the future.

Time – We are all busy people. Leaders are especially so. We are always thinking ahead of the curve. Miller says: “the demands on our time and the time of our audience create tremendous pressure and additional noise that must be acknowledged and mitigated.” Both we and our audience are bombarded with information from many sources, making clear communication the “Mount Everest” of leadership and very challenging.

Noise – We live in an information dense environment, with all kinds of information devices, and we can forget that our message is just one small drop in the ocean of information. The competition for the attention of our hearers is fierce and often contradictory. All leaders are challenged to overcome ‘noise in the communication channel’. To overcome those problems, Miller proposes some important steps, four of which I can readily apply to my life:

Prepare before you speak: His instruction here flows out of the fact that great and effective communication happens with preparation. Even the greatest speakers who could “wing it” much of the time know that they need preparation to preserve and improve their skills.

Here, I will put in a plug for Toastmasters. My husband and I have been members of a Toastmasters club for more than a year. It is a fantastic program which encourages incremental growth in developing speaking and leadership skills. It teaches you how to package the message in a speech for maximum effect – using good grammar, sentence structure, humour and delivery, and more – all in less than ten minutes. If you have never considered Toastmasters as a vehicle for effective communication, you should.

Simplify the message: Messages that are not easily understood by the audience suggest that the leader was unsure or unprepared. (Been there! Done that!) Great messages have been re-written, distilled, purified, and simplified numerous times before they are expressed. Members of Toastmasters clubs develop the skill of presenting the most important facts with simplicity, clarity and precision. That way the message targets the hearts and minds of its hearers. Simplify, simplify, simplify!

Repeat the message: One lesson I learnt as a schoolteacher was that: “Repetition is the mother of memory.” Our vision is to train the next generation of Christian leaders to be courageous, disciplined and visionary. This needs to be repeated over, and over again. We believe that our message is important enough to be repeated frequently so that, among the cacophony of noise in our communication channel, our message would resonate and not be lost.

Walk the talk: In my recent Toastmasters speech I referred to the statistic that communication is 10% words, 20% tone and 70% body language. Sometimes, we say the right thing but there is a disconnect between WHAT we say and HOW we act. We can say the right things but act in a manner contrary to our words. This kind of communication affects our credibility. “Actions speak louder than words.” We have to learn to let our words and actions converge.

A leader is looked up to as an example, so he becomes both a target and a specimen. He becomes a target because it is easier to shoot at anything that is elevated; a specimen because he is under a microscope as every action is examined against his words. We will not escape the watchful scrutiny of our followers.

A leader who desires to influence others must strive to become a more effective communicator, must recognize the key hurdles of his own bias, the limits of time both for himself and his audience and the noise in the communication channel. He can overcome problems by being prepared, by simplifying his message, by repeating it often, and by developing integrity between his actions and his words.

I am but a babe in learning these things. My prayer is that I would receive much ‘undeserved favour’ or grace from my followers as I face each hurdle – and possibly trip over a few – as I work towards becoming proficient at leadership-level communication.

You can read Part Two here:

Share your communication experiences with us, as a follower and as a leader at:


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