Friday, June 15, 2012

Walking the Wire

I'm not sure all the exciting things you may have planned for this weekend, but it will tough to top what Nik Wallender has planned for this evening (Friday, June 15, 10:15 p.m.).

Nik was just six years old when he saw Niagara Falls for the first time.  Ever since then he has dreamed about walking across the chasm on a wire.  Now, twenty-seven years later, that dream is about to become a reality.

It's been done before but not since 1896, when Glover Cleveland was president. Famous funambulists such Jean Francois Gravelet (also known as “the Great Blondin”) and Maria Spelterini walked the gorge.  Blondin is best know for carrying his manager across on his back and Maria did it blindfolded. But, it's been more than 100 years since the last crossing, primarily because the various governmental agencies instituted "anti-stunting" regulations.

Now, after years of training, and months of lobbying the authorities for permission, Nik Wallenda has the opportunity to add his name to the list of high-wire legends. However, he won't be walking this tight-rope alone.

Nik is not only the seventh-generation Wallenda to master the art of tight-rope walking, he also walks with God.  Here are some of Nik's statements that you may not read in the main-stream media:

"I grew up in a born-again Christian family. A Bible-believing, God-fearing family. That's the way I was raised, and I find comfort and peace in that. It's the most important part of my life..."

"I believe in a thing called unmerited favor. It's undeserved, but God's involvement in my life has gotten me to where I am in my career."

"God's hand is involved in every step of my life..."

"I pray and I talk to God a lot and I find peace in that. That's how I can remain calm when people would think I could go nuts during this whole process."

All of us in ministry are called on to take risks.  Leadership inevitably brings us to crossroads where we have to decide again whether we're willing to put our resources, our reputation, our comfort, on the line.

No, your challenge may not be walking 1375 feet across a 2-inch wire with 400 million people watching, but leading is not for the faint of heart.

What's the biggest risk you've ever taken in ministry?  What giant step of faith is God placing before you for in this next season of leadership?

Nik didn't skimp on his planning and personal preparation, but he also reminds us about the power of prayer when we're facing a chasm that is not easily crossed.

In case you're wondering, I don't have anything quite this exciting planned for this weekend (or next), but I do have a few challenges ahead in leading an exciting ministry like Kingswood University (  Walking the wire in leadership keeps me continually grateful for God's unmerited favor and resting in His peace.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Robert Quinn's definition of TEAM

Gary Hicks, another one of our many outstanding Kingswood University alumni, posted this definition of team on his Facebook page: “an enthusiastic set of competent people who have clearly defined roles, associated in a common activity, working cohesively in trusting relationships, and exercising personal discipline and making individual sacrifices for the good of the team.” – Robert Quinn in “Deep Change”

That's what we're working toward at Kingswood University.  I'd love for us to model this so well that our graduates move into their ministry assignments with a compelling picture of what it means to work together for the glory of God.  

How does your team do against this definition?