Kari and I spent last Wednesday through Sunday participating in the LEAD program with Dallas Seminary. It is a four-day intensive Leadership Evaluation And Development (hence the name) program to help ministry leaders and their spouses be even more effective. 

I'm sure I'll unpack more of what we learned once I have had time to process it, but I can tell you it was a really great experience for both Kari and I. If you really want to serve your pastor or a mission partner in your church, talk your elders into forking over the $3500 to allow he and his wife to participate. Or, pay for it yourself. It is worth the investment. 

One of my "coaches" this past week articulated something extremely well that I want to pass along. George Hillman worked with Kari and I in the area of developing a "Life Dream." As we talked about leadership and the necessity of adding continued depth and character to our leadership, George said "What you really want to do is descend into greatness.

Don't you love that image? 

The most majestic trees in the forest have the deepest roots. The most magnificent icebergs are even more majestic below the surface. And the greatest leaders are those who descend to get there. 

Most leadership books focus on characteristics and traits that are observable to others. Few focus on the traits and characteristics  which no one can see. But those are the ones that separate the influential leaders from the powerful leaders. Henri Nouwen says it this way: "The way of the Christian leader is not the way of upward mobility in which our world has invested so much, but the way of downward mobility ending on the cross" (In the Name of Jesus, 81-82). 

A descent into greatness; that's what I'm after. How about you? 


George M. Hillman Jr. said...

Had an awesome time with you and Kari this past weekend.

To give credit where credit is due, I got the phrase "descend into greatness" from a Bill Hybels book (

Happy reading (along with everything else I assigned :)