Sunday, August 31, 2008

Worldview Leadership: Origins

As I've mentioned previously, I teach classes at The Brook Hill School in Bullard, Texas. This year I am teaching a class on worldviews. Without giving an extensive lesson here, let me summarize the worldview concept: worldviews are best understood as a "lens" through which we view the world and try to make sense of reality. Worldviews are built by our presuppositions, and they answer the most basic of questions: where did I come from, what went wrong, what is the solution, and where am I going. If you are interested in a thorough discussion of the concept (with special attention to its Christian applications), see David Naugle's Worldview: The History of a Concept. For a recently published brief introduction to the concept and a reflection on its implications, see (Re)Thinking Worldview by J. Mark Bertrand.

Let's spend a few weeks being a bit more philosophical about leadership. That means we need to ask some deep questions and look for some deep answers. This week I'd like to reflect on the leadership implications for how we answer the question, "Where did I come from?" Though the tongue-in-cheek answer, "a mommy and daddy who love each other very much" may be a good start, I'm talking about much bigger issues. How did humanity begin? Are we the product of random chance? Are we simply "dust in the wind"? Or, is there a greater purpose in our lives? How you answer the first worldview question has tremendous implications for your leadership. If there really is a purposeful force at work in the universe, then servant leaders must ask themselves how their leadership fits within the plan of that Divine Purpose.

The standard Christian answer to these questions is that the universe really is purposeful, in spite of its seeming randomness. Additionally, Christians can find both a great hope and a great burden in being part of that purpose. The hope: our trials are only temporary, and they serve a kingdom that will never end. The burden: our king expects us to be diligent servants.

IDEA LEADERS: (1) Do you believe the universe is purposeful or random? (2) If the universe is purposeful, what is its purpose? (3) How does your leadership responsibility fit within that larger purpose?

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