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Christians May Learn To Lead Like Jesuscomment (0)

July 24, 2003

By Johnie Sentell

Have you noticed that most people are not “fired up” these days?

Ken Blanchard says the basic problem is leadership. He says all groups benefit when their leaders follow the best role model — Jesus of Nazareth.

To lead a church, a family or any organization, “you’ve got to know how to handle people’s energy,” Blanchard says. So he wants to help Christians learn to lead like Jesus.

Blanchard, a best-selling author and leadership consultant, came to Birmingham for a luncheon July 10 that included pastors, church leaders and others interested in having a positive impact on society.

Hosted by The Church at Brook Hills, the event was held in anticipation of a nationwide simulcast set for Nov. 20 at the church. Executive pastor Tommy DeRamus estimated the luncheon’s attendance at 100.

Blanchard’s message to the group was straightforward: “After studying both the theory and practice of leadership for more than 35 years, I have found that Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all time.”

Although Blanchard began attending church as a child, he actually became a Christian only in the mid-1980s. He and his wife had become disillusioned with church and stopped going when their children were two and three years old.

Blanchard said, “When our kids were 18, if you’d put a gun to either one of their heads and said, ‘Say the Lord’s Prayer or I’m going to shoot you,’ you would have just had to shoot.”

In 1981, Blanchard co-wrote “The One Minute Manager,” which became the best-selling business book in history. He said the book “was so ridiculously successful I couldn’t understand it. My mother said, ‘It must be a God thing,’ and I had to agree with her.”

The author made numerous appearances on television programs like the “Today Show” and was quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal and Business Week.

Influenced by contacts with a number of nationally known religious leaders, Blanchard started reading the Bible again. (“That’s a good Book!” he said.) He finally decided to “suit up on God’s team” and professed his faith in Jesus.

Blanchard reminded the luncheon group how Jesus enlisted His 12 disciples. “You and I would not hire a group like that,” he said. But he noted Jesus’ great leadership was evidenced by what happened after He turned His mission over to the disciples and left. They were willing to lay down their lives, and Chris­tianity had tremendous growth.

In recent years, Blanchard helped start The Center for FaithWalk Leadership, a nonprofit ministry that aims to challenge and equip people to lead like Jesus (www.faith walkleadership.org).

Concerning the Nov. 20 event, Blanchard said, “We want to launch a movement. We are talking about making a difference. We want it to be that someday, everywhere everyone will know somebody who leads like Jesus.”

With a program that will include Rick Warren and Rosey Grier, “It’s going to be an incredible, fast-paced day with music and prayer,” Blan­chard said. “We are going to talk about the heart, head, hands and habits of the leader. You are going to find it very practical.

“Within five years we want people to be flying in to Birmingham and asking, ‘What is happening here?’ We want to help the denominations to unite around Jesus,” he said. “I am amazed at where He is taking us.”

The changeable sign at Immanuel Baptist Church on Ala­bama High­way 77 north of Talla­dega recently read: “If God led you to it, He will guide you through it.”
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