Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Leading Through Reflection

Charged with heresy and sentenced to die through lethal ingestion, Socrates boldly stood before his accusers and stated, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Much of what we know about Socrates is through the writings of his protégé, Plato. Because of his reputable work in both moral and political philosophy, which has become the basis for Western philosophy, Socrates contributed a major factor in theoretical reasoning. Known as the Socratic Method, or dialectical technique, Socrates interacted with many philosophers of the day by refuting their position on any doctrine or teaching. Once a philosopher introduced a principle, Socrates offered a series of rebuttals to discover their underlining beliefs and continue with a verbal assault to prove their lack of knowledge.(Wikipedia; Philosophypages; Stanford)

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8

“Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” A phrase for every Christian leader. The writer of Hebrews prompts us to bear in mind those who have lived before us. As we reflect and study their lives, we will do well to follow in their footsteps as they pursued our Lord. We will face the same obstacles as they did; however, our challenges will be masked in different garments. In his book, The Making of a Leader, J. Robert Clinton suggests that the lessons learned from our predecessors will reveal patterns and themes which will benefit many leaders to come. He writes, “Leadership is a lifetime of lessons. It is not a setoff do-it-yourself correspondence courses that can be worked through in a few months or years. In our attempt to ‘think back on how they lived and died,’ we will learn to analyze these lessons...we will see various patterns emerge that will indicate the many ways God developed and strengthened leaders in the past for their particular leadership roles. We can profit from both how God developed them and what God taught them. As we apply these lessons to our lives, we will be imitating their faith” (40).

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