Worldview – Cultivating a Governing Philosophy of Leadership


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The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
– George Orwell –

Western culture, an idea derived from the tenants and teachings of the Christian faith, has been “under direct and unremitting cultural assault form those who want to destroy the bedrock of values of Western civilization.”[i] “We see the effect of this everywhere in the West,”[ii] and “without a basis for moral authority, no moral consensus can be reached, which is why we are in an ongoing and increasingly strident cultural war.”[iii] This cultural war over Western civilization is a struggle over which governing philosophy or ideology will prevail to dictate the cultural values and norms of civilized society. Will it be “the core values of Western civilization [which] are grounded in religion,”[iv], or moral relativism, which rejects the thought of absolute truth itself? For those of you thinking, “Wait a minute, Western Civilization is a Christian idea? Yes it is! Although the Kingdom of God is neither a Democracy nor a Republic, the very idea of a free society is derived mainly from Christian thought, and the primary reason why we should stand and contend for Kingdom principles to prevail and shape our culture.

In a direct way, Christianity finds itself totally immersed in a cultural war over worship. How is this so? The very root word for culture is “cult”, meaning “a particular form of worship.” Since we all worship someone or something, this someone or something determines how you and I create and order our lives, govern self and our family; how we approach the workplace, and even how we see, interpret and impact culture at large. Those in positions of influence tend to influence the values and mindsets of large segments of society. Culture then receives either an upgrade or downgrade depending on “who” leads and “what” worldview, values or philosophy are being translated to the masses to influence and shape culture. You see, every culture offers a unique expression distinct from other cultures. This exclusivity is their particular brand of worship. Why is a certain way of worship more important than others? It’s simple, you become like the object of your worship, for ‘those who make [idols] will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”[v]

This struggle over worship originated in the pre-material world, when Lucifer attempted to exalt himself over God’s throne (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19) to divert worship from its rightful proprietor. Lucifer’s treasonous act cost him a position and place as God’s “anointed cherub”. As a result of his disloyal conduct, Lucifer was cast out of heaven to the depths of Sheol, which is the abode of the dead. This war over worship manifested itself once again in the Garden of Eden, where Lucifer acting as Serpent tempted Eve, sweeping her and Adam into a forbidden path, which opened the floodgate of evil into God’s material world. Mankind, though created in the image of God, was now tainted by sin with the propensity for evil works. Lucifer’s destructive brand was transferred from a timeless dimension to a limited one, from God’s abode to His material creation. In a brief sentence found in Genesis 6:5, evil’s manifestation within the heart of mankind and its geographical spread throughout the earth realm reached its full measure:

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Since then, this war over who controls culture, and who is to have the supremacy in worship has been fought on various fronts throughout history. This struggle has been the central theme of history’s struggle over good versus evil, which is evident in the visible and invisible worlds; a battle between God’s angelic hosts and Satan’s hordes of demons, God’s chosen remnant and the unredeemed; the righteous who live by faith, and the wicked who live by their own evil creed.

This struggle over which worldview will dominate to dictate the culture norms and trends continues to the present moment; a struggle between the Judeo-Christian worldview and a post-modern, secularized mindset. This cultural crusade is most noticeable in our arts and entertainment, the so-called artistic arena of sitcoms, movies, music, and print media. You just have to visit the magazine racks of your local bookstores to see the evidence; covers glorifying scanty clad women, narcissism, gossip, betrayal, and weekly portraits of break-ups and infidelity among the Hollywood elite. You can also watch daily soaps and nightly sitcoms abounding with immoral scripts, overflowing with sexual innuendo, lust, adultery, and the “new normal” arising in popular culture are same-sex themes. More demonstrative are the movies released in theaters, which are watched by millions of viewers each day spewing a barrage of soft to hard-core pornographic scenes, profanity, the illicit use of drugs and displays of extreme violence. For example, a beloved children’s movie had a scene of a male toy soldier humping another male toy soldier, taking the position for gays to openly serve in the armed forces. The sad part of this embedded piece of propaganda, particularly in a child’s movie, was that it was viewed by millions of young people, and children along with their parents. It was Hollywood’s way of demeaning and rejecting the deeply held values of the traditional family, and the long held views of the nation’s military policies and priorities.

In this section, I have briefly touched only upon the entertainment sector but I can go on with other sectors of culture such as science, education, politics and a variety of media outlets spewing venom and misinformation every day to undermine Christian virtue, and uproot the founding principles, which formed a nation under God.

Therefore, it is critical today, more than times past, for Christian leaders to cultivate a governing philosophy of leadership, which is most commonly known as worldview. A worldview, according to Christian apologist and author Norman L. Geisler is simply a way a person “views or interprets reality.” Geisler adds, the concept of “Worldview is derived from the German world Weltanschauung, meaning a ‘world and life view,’ or ‘a paradigm’… the framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life. A worldview makes a world of difference in one’s view of God, origins, evil, human nature, values, and destiny.”[vi] Chuck Colson’s examination of Christianity led him to this insightful summary:

“Christianity is a worldview that speaks to every area of life, and its foundational doctrines define its content. If we don’t know what we believe – even what Christianity is – how can we live it and defend it?”[vii]

Colson concludes his summary on worldview with the obvious reality that “our ignorance is crippling us,” meaning that without framing a cohesive and comprehensive worldview among Christian leaders today, we will keep losing the cultural war over the biblical values, which have shaped our culture and sacred institutions for generations.

Whether we know it or not we all approach and interpret life through a philosophical lens consisting of a set of presuppositions grounded in our existing reality, which forms our belief structures and value systems. Our value system dictates how you and I live, how we commune with our world, and how we apply God’s moral law and ethics to everyday life. Our approach to solving the problems arising in our world, such as poverty, defining biblical sexuality, marriage, human rights, even preserving human dignity in all phases of life from the mother’s womb to a person’s last breath are derived from a person’s worldview.

Significant Research – Worldview Metrics and Optics

To prove my point, let’s take a look at sound research by the Barna Group, a respected Christian research organization. The Barna Group claims a “worldview serves as a person’s decision-making filter, enabling them to make sense of the complex and huge amount of information, experiences, relationships and opportunities they face in life. By helping to clarify what a person believes to be important, true and desirable, a worldview has a dramatic influence on a person’s choices in any given situation.”[viii]

The distressing reality is that many Christians are not on the same page when it comes to viewing reality through a biblical lens. Research seems to indicate Christians do not possess a comprehensive and cohesive biblical worldview.

In 2009 The Barna Group conducted a study called, Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years, which revealed astonishing factoids, such as – “Only 9% of all American adults have a biblical worldview”, and “among born again Christians, less than one out of every five (19%) had such an outlook on life.”[ix] Now, you can begin to grasp the American Christian dilemma. In other words, Christianity in America is floundering to influence and shape culture? Other critical facts of the same survey reveal, “Varying numbers of Americans embrace the different aspects of biblical worldview thinking.” The survey found that:[x]

▪  One-third of all adults (34%) believe that moral truth is absolute and unaffected by the circumstances. Slightly less than half of the born again adults (46%) believe in absolute moral truth.

▪  Half of all adults firmly believe that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches. That proportion includes the four-fifths of born again adults (79%) who concur.

▪  Just one-quarter of adults (27%) are convinced that Satan is a real force. Even a minority of born again adults (40%) adopt that perspective.

▪ A minority of American adults (40%) are persuaded that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life while He was on earth. Slightly less than two-thirds of the born again segment (62%) strongly believes that He was sinless.

Given these measurements, what optics emerge concerning the Christian believer? The truth concerning the state of our culture is found in the lack of belief in “absolute truth” even among Christians. In addition, the skepticism among the same group that Satan is a real entity is incomprehensible. These numbers should not only cause alarm among our church leaders but should also sound the alarm to rally around making Christ-centered disciples. We must go from a “Disneyland faith” to demonstrating a sound biblical faith, which is grounded on reality and truth. As believers, we cannot be ashamed of Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, and the central tenets of the faith once delivered to the all saints for every generation.

Now, let’s take a look at what I call a Transformative Worldview.

The 3 DNA Strands of a Transformative Worldview

Today’s leaders, who desire to have a drastic affect upon culture, must understand and consistently manifest the three DNA strands of a transformative worldview. The American version of our Christian faith is not working to transform culture. Therefore, we must go back to the foundations of our faith, grounded in the reality of the gospels, the historical narrative of the book of Acts, and the epistles written by the apostles. In my understanding, a comprehensive Christian worldview must instill a firm belief, power and the ability to transform culture. These strands of a Judeo-Christian worldview are demonstrated time and time again, commencing with the four Gospels, and continuing with the apostolic movement in the Book of Acts, and throughout key places and seasons in history. Today, the transmitters of this worldview should note these strands are deeply intertwined, much like a chord of three strands; each part producing a powerful synergistic affect translating to extraordinary results among individuals, society and culture at large. Here are a few samples:

‘And truly Jesus did many other signs [power] in the presence of His disciples… these are written that you may believe [instill belief] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life [personal transformation] in His name.”
–John 20:30-31

This pattern was also a common during the early apostolic age:

“At Iconium Paul and Barnabas… spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed [grounding belief]… So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there [transforming a city], speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders [power].”
–Acts 14:1 & 3

“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months [grounding belief], arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God… This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard [a transformative message] the word of the Lord. God did extraordinary miracles [power] through Paul.”
–Acts 19:8, 10 & 11 (NIV)

As you can see, the dynamics of a transformative worldview are evident in scripture. Therefore, as Christian leaders, we must reassess our worldview and examine if we, ourselves, and, or our ministry is aligned properly to the biblical pattern. Does your ministry bring people into a personal and practicing faith? Does your ministry manifest power via signs, miracles and wonders where people are in awe of God’s majesty? Is His presence evident in your congregation, compelling a curious community to your doorstep on Sunday mornings and other gatherings? Is your ministry spreading its influence by transforming the local neighborhood, city and region? If you can answer, “yes” to all these questions, then you are operating within the bounds of a transformative biblical worldview. If not, then you must reassess your ministry, humble yourself and seek God’s face for His presence and power to be released upon your life and your ministry.


[i] Philips, Melanie (2010) The World Turned Upside Down – The Global Battle Over God, Truth and Power. Encounter Books, New York, New York.

[ii] Colson, Charles W. (2008) The Faith. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; pg. 68.

[iii] Ibid, pg. 68.

[iv] Philips, Melanie (2010), pg XII.

[v] Psalm 115:8

[vi] Giesler, Norman L. (2000) Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Book House, pg. 785.

[vii] Colson, Charles W. (2008) The Faith. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; pg. 28.

[viii] The Barna Group. Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years: http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/21-transformation/252-barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years, accessed 2-3-2013.

[ix] The Barna Group. Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years: http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/21-transformation/252-barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years, accessed 1-21-2013.

[x] Ibid: The Barna Group. Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years.

Default Leadership: The Presumptuous Leader


 presumption

The “presumptuous leader” sounds like an oxymoron. Well, it actually is one! Leaders who are presumptions think of themselves a little higher than they actually are and think they know more than others. Allow me a short illustration:

I was recently promoted to a new position and took hold of my new branch which had a lot of potential for growth and profit. However, after a quick appraisal of the store’s metrics I soon discovered the store also had some areas that required immediate attention and improvement – most noticeably its leadership presence. This particular branch had been on the decline for some months with the present management who was feeling the pressure from top brass concerning some alarming numbers. During my first few days in the office, my objective was to get to know my team members by simply interacting with them and observing how they worked with each other, but most importantly how they perceived me as their new leader. On the onset I detected some resistance from the store manager, the second in command. At first he was a little distant, cold and “short” with me. One time, during a brief interview, he must have presumed we were done with the conversation, so he got up and walked away. I sat on my seat stunned thinking, “Does this guy have any social skills?” Over a period of two weeks, I knew I had a lot more to work on than getting the store to operate at peak performance. I needed to groom my store manager with the right leadership skills for personal, team and corporate success. Throughout my interactions with the store manager I soon found three default characteristics of a presumptuous leader:

1. Previous work experience does not add up to competent leadership

After spending some time with my store manager, I noticed how he would keep bringing up his previous employment experience, “In my previous job I supervised fifty employees.” And the time I asked him to do the schedule he made a point to say, “It’s easy, doing a schedule for four people is nothing compared to what I used to do.” My first thought, “Wow, I have a great leader working with me. We are going to turn this store around quicker than I first anticipated.” Soon enough, within a matter of days, I noticed the incompetence surface. He lacked the basic skills of supervision, delegating responsibility and holding his direct reports accountable for their work performance. My initial thought was, “Now, how did this guy get to a position where he supervised fifty people?” It just didn’t add up.

2. Layered expectations is a form of controlling others not leading them

There’s nothing more I dislike than someone saying, “They are not allowed to do that!”, or something similar, “The previous boss would only let me do that.” After a few comments like these I had to put a stop to that kind of managerial thinking. In a learning environment managers must relinquish some control and trust others to learn and do the job. After all, we must advance not only the agenda of the organization but also employees to their next level of operation. So I asked myself, “Where did he get this learning?” After some brief dialogue, it was the previous General Manager who would not allow certain people to do some basic things, such as count the cash drawer upon opening or closing the store. My style of training is a “cross-trainer” approach where everyone gets to participate and learn a new aspect of the operation. This happens gradually when someone is willing and ready to learn the next new thing. A working environment must be empowering not controlling others based upon one’s position or title.

3. Leading from behind is not authentic leadership

After a week or so I noticed the store manager was not leading his direct reports properly. So I asked him, “How do you lead your team?” He responded, “Oh, they already know what to do. I just let them do it.” I then asked, “How do you know they are accomplishing tasks on time and being effective in their jobs?” He just stared at me. His style of leadership was laissez-faire, from a French term meaning laid-back leadership. When I questioned his style of leadership he simply replied, “I’ve always done it that way.” Presumption – yes or no? As a leader, you have to engage your direct reports with vision and responsibility, and responsibility with accountability, and timed tasks that are measured by effective performance and results.

What did I learn in the first two weeks of this encounter? First, I learned that the more someone is “experienced” the harder they are to train, because “they just seem to know so much” more than you. Employees who brag about their previous work experience must embrace new learning experiences. Second, bringing correction to a leader who seems to “know it all” is difficult to do but it’s a must. A leader must have the courage to have transparent and regular discussions. What kind of discussions? The one’s where you tell your direct report to “push the refresh button” and to start all over by learning how to lead effectively.

3 Essential Ingredients for Corporate Change


Lead Change

Let Change Begin

When I think of transitions, both personal and corporate, I can’t help but to think of Joshua’s great task of transitioning a large community from a desert experience into the Promised Land; a land flowing with “milk and honey”. Individuals as well as organizations can learn three simple principles of corporate transition from Joshua’s example. This experience demanded three indispensable ingredients from Joshua. They are:

1. Courage (Mental Fortitude)

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. (Joshua 1:6, 7 NIV)

Courage is a prerequisite for corporate transitions. We commonly refer to this type of change as reorganization or organizational reinvention. Change is not always easy to implement for any leader since it challenges the status quo culture. “Status quo” thinking is embedded in our human nature; we like to keep things the same because change is too costly and demands too much from us. Courage is simply having the mental fortitude to do the right thing, which is to redirect the organization, regardless of the criticism and the obstacles encountered along the way. Corporate leaders leading change must be ready to encounter resistance from all levels. Therefore, mental fortitude to inspire, supervise, collaborate and lead any change effort is required from leaders.

2. Community (Engaging People through Vision and Responsibility)

So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: ‘Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’ (Joshua 1:10, 11 NIV)

Corporate change must involve the whole community under your care. When you prepare people for change, transitions become, well almost seamless. A leader starts preparing people for change by assessing current and critical resources for the change effort, and establishing timelines for task completion. In other words, what is needed for the journey of change, and how long will it take? From the passage above, the people gathered supplies (resources) for their journey, and set a timeline of three days to accomplish corporate consolidation of these vital resources. The ability to acquire and maintain resources is critical for any change effort. You must know what you have, so you can determine what else you need for the journey. Some things must be eliminated, while new resources and people will emerge to help you with the change process. Effective change occurs when leaders engage their team members through vision and responsibility.

2. Consecration (Personal and Corporate Cleansing)

Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’” (Joshua 2:5 NIV)

The most critical element of change is preparing and aligning people with the right attitude for change. This starts with a good communication strategy. Communicating change must permeate the entire organization, every individual must understand his or her particular role in the change effort. Emotions run high during times of transition since the culture is shifting such as positions, responsibilities, position, and new expectations, etc. Therefore, consecration is essential if a team is going to advance with minimal problems. In this process people have to let go of the past by putting petty differences aside.

Consecration is simply looking within for the purpose of critically examining self to remove personal obstacles that will get in the way of change, even admitting our current condition is insufficient for entering the next phase. We must let go of the old paradigms, and find new ways of thinking. Personal and leadership reinvention may be required from you as well. The right attitude for change must be adopted, encouraged and cultivated among all team members from top to bottom.

The community under Joshua’s care was required to prepare and cleanse themselves for transition. Those who cleanse themselves have a higher probability of moving forward while those who don’t may just fall on the way side, meaning the makeup of your team may change. Personal and corporate cleansing is required for transitioning into new beginnings.

What other principles are involved in corporate change?

Latino Education: The Leadership Challenge of the Next Decade


It’s common knowledge by now; the Hispanic population is rapidly increasing in the Southwest region of the United States. Within in the next decade many states will join the state of New Mexico, the first state to boast a majority Hispanic population. We are beyond counting numbers, what’s emerging before us is evident to all. The Latino population is quickly overtaking many school districts, which are inept to deal with specific issues plaguing Hispanics, especially among the children of immigrants. If our educational system is ineffective in delivering education to this group, what will happen within the next decade when the Hispanic population is projected to overtake the system? Giselle Fernandez’ recent Huffington Post article dubbed The Latino Education Imperative opens our eyes to this dilemma:

The stats say it all and cast the same frightening projection: By 2020, Latinos are expected to represent close to 25 percent of the country’s 18-to-29-year-old population. In ten years, nearly ten million Latinos will be 15 to 24 years of age, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total US college-age population.”

These facts are cause for great concern among us. So what are Latino community leaders doing about it? Facing the facts is not easy, especially for many school districts where the student population is shifting to reflect more of a diverse demographic, more so than a decade ago. What educators design and deliver within the next decade will decide America’s future for the next fifty years. So what quality of life and culture will our children inhabit? Will Latinos be an undereducated and dependent class or an enlightened and competitive one in the ever-changing global markets?

The educational system cries out for more money to improve education. This has been the cry for the past 30 years plus, and we’ve seen no national measurable results to justify more. We can no longer wait for problems to arise then counter them with ineffective measures. We must take a proactive, and at times an unpopular stance, to effect change and correct the current system. Therefore, we don’t need managers of old systems, what we desperately need is more innovative leaders to advocate, experiment and introduce new systems of learning. A starting point is drawn from California’s Monterey County whose Hispanic student population is listed at 73%, while Soledad Union School District Hispanic population lists at 94%. Most school districts similar to Monterey’s are quickly making changes to their educational delivery systems to meet this growing trend by adapting their curriculum and hiring more bi-lingual teachers to talk to and orient parents to how their child’s educational system works.

What role should Latinos and others play in our educational system? At this point a desperate one! We need to summon not just the educational leaders together but leaders from the various genres of culture. We need the faith and business communities to step up, and collaborate to create innovative strategies for new educational systems. I’ve always been an advocate for creating learning centers in faith-based organizations who employ educated staff with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Many immigrants and their children attend church faithfully each week. Why not create learning and tutoring centers at these locations? Immigrants have tremendous respect and trust in their faith leaders, and would follow their vision of education. A connection and dialogue with the faith community wouldn’t hurt education but perhaps add wisdom to the current strategy. In addition, business establishments can also add to learning by inspiring their best employees to give their time and talent to local educational centers to mentor, inspire and tutor marginal students. The business community can also create learning centers with an internship program to teach workforce principles. In my experience, Hispanics are more prone to “hands-on” learning; therefore, an interactive approach to learning can enhance their learning experience. Education in the future must seek community oriented solutions rather than the centralized-status-quo mindset that currently exists.

What are your solutions to the emerging Latino educational crises in America?