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Summer 2009, Vol. 6

Message from the President: The Way I See It

Byron D. Klaus, D.Min.
President, Professor of Intercultural Leadership Studies, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

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Martin Luther once said, “God hides His power in weakness, His wisdom in folly, His goodness in severity, His justice in sins, His mercy in His wrath.” The core of the Christian faith does not follow an earthly trajectory. Its logic defies the bigger is better and more is preferable value system of American culture.

I am increasingly convinced that effectiveness as a Pentecostal leader owes surprisingly little to sheer skill and much more to my clear and conscious awareness of the present tense of Jesus in my life. My observation is not meant to minimize the requisite skills for effectiveness in organizational life. I do want to acknowledge that eternal business, which is the core of what we do as leaders in the Church, requires the eternal resource that only a deepening trust in God can provide. Henri Nouwen put it this way,

The strategy of the principalities and powers is to disconnect us from the memory of God. When we no longer walk in the presence of the Lord, we cannot be living reminders of his divine presence in our lives. We then quickly become strangers in an alien land who have forgotten where we come from and where we are going. Then we are no longer the way to experience of God, but rather in the way of the experience of God. Then, instead of walking in God’s presence we start walking in a vicious circle, pulling others into it.1

In recent years, I have become more and more aware of my own tendency of overreliance on humanly devised resources. These assets are readily accessible and can provide opportunity for self-congratulations when used with success. The problem is that they have a short shelf-life and seem to have a voracious appetite for “upgrade.” I am aware of my tendency to default to the readily accessible resources to ensure my leadership effectiveness. I am also learning that trust in God is never simplistic but rather the hard business of maturing in our walk with God to realize that the work of ministry is an enterprise with eternal dimensions that requires eternal resources.

Endnotes

1. Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Living Reminder: Service and Prayer in Memory of Jesus Christ (New York: The Seabury Press, 1981), 29.

Updated: Friday, June 16, 2006 10:22 AM