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Thursday, March 3, 2022

Class Assignment: LEADERSHIP: LOVE – CHARACTER – STRENGTHS | Leadership Reflection Paper
























Table of Contents



The problems with “leadership” as usually presented. 3

Character 4

Love. 6

Strengths-Focus 7



Strategic Position of Opportunity and Influence. 11




Vales Clarification: 15

Northouse Assessments: 15


Darrell’s LIFE Mission Statement 16

Ministry is Imaging Yahweh to others at all times. 16

Being an Image Bearer for God: 16

Being an Image Bearer to the de-churched and disenfranchised (irreligious Christianity): 16

My Ministry Philosophies: What and why I do what I do. 17

Transformational Teaching: I teach them to think differently and seek freedom. 17

Transformational Community: Building community through relationship (doing life together) 17

Wolfe Rules (Gibb's Style Rules) – My curated truisms to living well. 17





How one defines leadership tends to direct how they systematize, categorize, and discuss the topic. I find that many of the topics authors use to discuss “leadership” have to do more with charisma and capacity than character. While discussing the ways one takes up physical or experiential space, uses their organizational skills, has some “it factor”, creates a vision, establishes tasks and accomplishes goals have some value, they make up together a sub-set of issues in regards to leadership. Essentially, these types of investigations are the results of leadership (secondary skill sets); but not the primary drivers of leadership. Note: For the purposes of this paper, “leadership” will be further narrowed to the specific focus of leadership within the Kingdom of God (body of Christ) regardless of occupation.

As I reflect on 41 years of serving leaders (and leading teams), a stack of leadership texts (including the texts for this course), I find that three primary drivers are the ones I use to evaluate myself and any leader who seeks to earn my loyalty. In my experience, Character, Love, and Strengths-Focus are the core elements of leadership that will determine the success the organization will experience under that leader. The three primary drivers that get my attention are defined as:

·         Character – The unseen realm of the heart (usually worked out {or not} in the development stages).

·         Love – The seen realm of the heart in action.

·         Strengths – The intersection of passion and talent (both in the leader and the team) that create the “Sweet Spot” for synthesis and fusion of teamwork and productivity.

My key-theme to drive the entire discussion is: “Loving Others to Fullness”.[1] This paper will also define (as a result of these three core drivers and key theme) the topics of leadership development, and my competencies and growth strategies.



The problems with “leadership” as usually presented

In my experience, good leadership has been harder to identify, define, and quantify than bad leadership. It’s much easier to bring to mind examples of bad leadership at a moment’s notice than what examples of what leadership should be. Still, there are diamonds in the rough (to quote Disney’s Aladdin) which we can each conjure to mind as examples of doing it right. The most recent example of “doing it right” came to me recently. As my girlfriend told the local pastor about a young woman who needed assistance, he immediately agreed to help. Without ever having met her or qualifying her through official forms, he gathered two men and met us at her home to clean it in preparing for her coming home from the emergency room. This was love in action. They left before she returned and have yet to meet her. But they served because it was the heart of the Father to do so. In my book, that is what leadership looks like.

Morse identified my struggle with the subject of leadership in the punchline of her opening story; “He stopped right in front of me, leaned in close and carefully said, "I am the speaker. You are a workshop presenter." With that, he walked away.”[2] In that example, she showed a so-called “leader” who lacked integrity, character, and love, which are the primary hallmarks of a good leader. Too often, we promote men and women to these positions because they have skills the “organization” can use to be “successful” which is usually defined as growing the membership and increasing the giving (money). Morse highlights the fact that in some organizations gender may play a role in pastoral placement above “leadership ability or preaching skills”.[3] In highlighting one error, she inadvertently highlights another. The idea that leadership ability or preaching skills would play any role (primary or secondary) in the placement of a pastor is itself an issue with the way the modern church is structured. Leadership ability or preaching skills have no direct correlation with one’s heart to shepherd individual hearts. I have served under countless “pastors” with high degrees of leadership ability and preaching skills that I would never choose to serve again.

But Morse also captured the essence of what I think marks a good leader in her statement; “power used well is redemptive”.[4] In order to use one’s power redemptively, they must be operating within their wheelhouse and doing so within a developed character and action-oriented love walk. When a leader is ill-suited for the position, even with character and love in place, their impact will be minimal.


In “Good to Great”, Collins observes that Level Four leaders are often seen as having charisma and vision, with ability to lead a team toward the vision and accomplish big results.[5] Images of Steve Jobs and his whirlwind of power come to mind. He started a company and made bold decisions that lead them to the top of the marketplace. After being ousted from his own company, the company sagged under the bean-counters left behind to “lead”. In a last-ditch effort, Jobs was brought back to rescue the company, and the iPhone was born revolutionizing the tech industry a second time. But in the wake of his death, Apple is again on uncertain terms. Organizations lead by Level Four leaders were identified by Collins as having unstained success for the simple fact they relied on this single charismatic leader. My friend Brent calls churches led by these types of individuals “Personality Lead Ministries”. In contrast, Level Five leaders take up almost no space in the public media. Very few ever know their name. They quietly work behind the scenes, taking all blame to themselves, deflecting all credit to their “team”. Level Five leaders operate through team-led initiatives, quietly but steadily work to make the lives of their teams and subordinates better, and lead their companies to sustained success. Without exception, every company studied by Collins that operated with sustained success had a Level Five leader at the helm.

Time and again, examples of lack of character fill the headlines and diminish Christian reputation in the modern west. Priests covering up child abuse, yet another celebrity pastor retires early (or dies) as sex-scandals come to light, money motives taint the community discussion, and arrogant leaders are fired (with podcasts made to discuss the matter) but then promoted back to leadership in another state by yet more celebrity pastors. My CEO, at Wells Fargo, was warned by me and countless others about the mishandling of customers for years before the news broke in 2016. We worked to make the company what it was meant to be on paper (the written vision) while he ignored our cries for help. Then, when the news finally broke, and the company plummeted, the man who lead the ship into disaster jumped with his golden parachute. In a similar fashion, an acquaintance from the local coffee shop tells me the story of how McDonald Douglas took over Boeing and changed all the safety protocols. They went from having a 5-year, 10-year, 20-year, and 40-year vision for new innovation and safety to having a quarterly profit motive and cost-cutting initiatives. In less than a generation, they managed to produce an atmosphere in which design flaws went from being investigated and aggressively repaired to tucked away and hidden, leading the deaths of over 400 people as planes they knew were unsafe kept flying.

Meanwhile, employees, customers, church members, community members, and the “least of these” go on being taken advantage of by these so-called leaders because they were “talented”, “skilled”, had “charisma”, were “such a good preacher”, and other lame excuses for perpetuating the system. Character has become the most valuable and least available asset in modern western leadership (inside and outside the church). But character will only be developed when the motivation is God-Driven (rather than Self-Driven). Character is often a hidden aspect of the heart, but it is seen or demonstrated through the second component: Love.






Dunn observes that “In different ways, the (all three) Synoptic evangelists stress the importance of both commandments (Deut 6:7; Lev 19:18)”.[6]

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength’. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mk 12:29–31[7]

Matthew the gospel author follows this observation by stating that “on these two hang all the law and prophets” (Mat 22:40). In other words, there is essentially no act of human will on earth that is not affected by either the practice of or lacking the practice of these two commands.

            In many ways, Northouse hits on the theme of love as a core element of good leadership without ever quite identifying the word “love”. An overview of the Table of Contents shows examples such as “establishing a constructive climate”, “embracing diversity”, “listening to out-group members”, “managing conflict”, and “addressing ethics in leadership”.[8] The thematic link for each of these chapters was “Love God, Love Folks, Don’t be a Donkey’s Butt”.[9] Morse identifies this love component when she talks about Second Impressions, in which she shares that she made a snap judgment about a conference attendee and fellow leader that turned out to be wrong upon speaking with her.[10] They are friends today because she allowed room for her first impression to be challenged. Morse identifies an example of Loving God first as a way to Love Folks when she discusses her friend Tom who “takes every Monday off and allows no interruptions. This is his Sabbath”.[11] Loving God always comes before Loving Folks. We must come to our interactions with other humans full; and this fullness overflows into the lives of those around us. If we do not make this priority in our lives, we find ourselves empty and unable to give what we no longer have to those around us. Building boundaries (as defined by Drs. Cloud & Townsend) into our lives carves out space for putting on our own oxygen masks first, before helping others.[12] By loving God first (filling ourselves with His love for us) we then go into the world with our “cup overflowing” so we can love others into fullness with that overflow (Psalms 23).


            If we have developed the character to undergird our leadership and the love-walk (vertical and horizontal) to sustain our leadership, then we finally come to a place of understanding how and where our leadership can be best utilized. Tom Rath, in Strength’s Finder 2.0, discussed the results of 40-years of strengths studies. They found that if individuals who were not gifted at something were given extra training, they could improve at a new skill marginally. Meanwhile, individuals who were already gifted for a particular skill set who were given the same amount of extra training began to increase their skill-set exponentially. Upon this foundation, they make the claim that “you cannot be whatever you want to be but you can be a lot more of who you already are”.[13] By studying one’s strengths, personality preferences, and motivations, an individual can learn to spend their time focusing on the areas in which they will provide the most value for their team or organization. Strengths-Based leaders will use a variety of assessments and observations to ascertain the God-given gifts in their team and love them to fullness, bringing out the very best of what God has put in them to do.

            It is in this place we find that Clinton provides a valuable insight: “God is quietly, often in unusual ways, trying to get the leader to see that one ministers out of what one is. God is concerned with what we are” and he defines this as “Phase IV will have this “you-minister-from-what-you-are” emphasis.”[14] Primarily, God is forming the character of Yeshua in each of us, and he is far more interested in that process than in anything we can “do” for Him. Carmen Imes added insights into this process by showing us that when we were made “in God’s image” he calls us to be “Image Bearers”, which is the real emphasis in the second commandment “you shall not bear the image of Yahweh in vain” (Deut 5:11).[15]

            Going beyond this universal call to Image Yahweh to his good world, we each have individual talents, gifts, abilities, and passions. God forms these in us through a combination of nature and nurture, and they converge to become a unique fingerprint of Yahweh inside each of us. Rath states in the Strengths’ Finder 2.0 introduction that the likelihood of anyone on earth having the exact same 34-Strengths in the exact same order is so astronomical that it’s possible that nobody who has ever lived has had the same order as you. That’s just one assessment. There are many ways of seeing the unique fingerprint of God in a person. When I work with individuals, I will start with the Myers-Briggs and Strength’s Finder 2.0 as a baseline and begin the process of helping them see the things God has put inside of them from there.[16] I did find Northouse’s inclusion of Strengths Finder 2.0 plus some new assessments I did not know about helpful, I will be trying these other two to see if I would add them to my arsenal.[17] Although, I find it ironic that he uses Steve Jobs as an example of a good leader (Northouse, 140). Jobs was a Level Four leader (in Collins’s paradigm) and as such a cautionary example, not an example to emulate. Jobs is an example of the types of leaders we need to stop promoting to leadership (both in secular and ministry settings). He is an example of someone who’s Character and Love-Walk were underdeveloped so that his Strength’s (while temporarily successful) ultimately caused burnout in his personal and professional life, and lead to his own death. Nobody should look to Jobs as an example of a Leader. Mother-Theresa would be a much better fit.


After reviewing the key themes of leadership (Character, Love, and Strengths), we move on to the leadership development process. While I find Clinton’s timeline structure/definitions somewhat arbitrary, I do see its usefulness in describing a generalized flow of life-events as one matures in their walk with Yahweh.[18]

In the Sovereign Foundations stage, God is working through a variety of experiences to shape the image of Yeshua into the heart of the leader. These experiences may not seem like training to the individual as they are being experienced. While school may be involved, it is often through character tests, interactions with other people, early jobs and hobbies, and other unconventional “training” interactions that Yahweh works his heart into the heart of emerging leaders. Clinton tells us that “Leadership is a lifetime of lessons. It is not a set of do-it-yourself correspondence courses that can be worked through in a few months or years.”[19]

As a look back at my life at 41-years old, I see experiences in a variety of different jobs training me to see the bigger picture, accept that the only constant is change, see that people matter more than productivity, see that giving one’s life to any entity (corporate or ministry) is a fool’s errand and instead one should seek to Love God, Love Folks, Don’t be Rude, and look for ways to keep those in balance. After almost loosing my marriage, kids, and even my life to a nervous breakdown in 2016, I refuse to allow undue stress to entre my life. I will do my best between 8:00-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. I will not take on burdens my shoulders were not meant to bear. I will look for ways to add value to my environment and put loving my coworker into fullness over “getting things done”. One mentor handed me a leadership book that helped me quantify these lessons and help me see some areas I was “stuck” in.

Using the definitions provided by Clinton in “The Generalized Timeline”, I see a mixture of Ministry Maturing, Life Maturing, and Convergence in my current state.[20] Under Phase III, Ministry Maturing, I have become aware of my giftsets and learned the hard way how people matter more than tasks or feelings of inadequacy. During these years I learned about self-deception and the need to be “out of the box” towards people.[21] I learned that “how something happens is more important to God than what happens” and an emphasis on “identity” over “behavior”.[22]

In many ways, I feel at the end-stage of this phase. Under Phase IV, Life Maturing, I believe I am far down the path of learning is more important to be “with God” than work for him.[23] I have a strong sense of who am I am in Him as I have experienced more isolation and crises than I ever thought possible, which drove me to seek Him and only Him. The sense that “ministry flows out of being” is well engrained in me.[24] The one thing that is still underdeveloped from this category as he defined it us “using his spiritual gifts in a ministry that is satisfying”. In some ways, this has started. After many years of resistance, I am finally in Bible school. As I have pivoted further and further into His will regarding my studies, I feel portions of my inner life that were long dormant coming alive for what feels like the first time. However, professionally I still work for a job a don’t enjoy as much (although its better than any previously). I am not working vocationally or publicly in anything resembling “a ministry that is satisfying”. Behind the scenes, however, I am beginning to see the fruit of the studies and investment in my dialogues with folks one-on-one. I see the lightbulb go off for them as I use the particular gifts I have for shedding light on seemingly difficult spiritual topics. As Clinton defines the term, I suppose I am not in “Convergence” practically. However, internally, I have begun to reach a sense of convergence. It is as though the seemingly disparate and chaotic lessons of my life have begun to congeal into a singular focus and life-message.  So in that sense, the Convergence process has started its early roots.


Strategic Position of Opportunity and Influence

As I’ve learned the ancient biblical languages, I’ve found that this may have been overstating the data. However, I once heard someone define the Greek word “τόπος (topos)” as “a strategic position of opportunity and influence” and it stuck with me ever since.[25] I even named a business after this concept. One of my life-themes is to help others find their own strategic position of opportunity and influence. I have coached many people through finding their path (either in life as a whole or through a particular decision). With that concept in mind, I now consider what the coming season(s) look like for me as a Leader. As a Widower, I am leading two teenage boys who lost their mom (my late-wife) four years ago. We are navigating their transition to adulthood with one of their key champions missing. But, God has given us a surrogate champion (my fellow widow and girlfriend, Jen). I’m learning what it means to lead them through their struggles by not letting them fend for themselves alone but also not doing everything for them. I must come along side of them to help them make decisions (rather than making it for them) so that they can learn to become successful adult men.

I am learning how to lead a new relationship (with Jen) in which both partners have had extensive life experiences and counseling and Boundaries training. What does it mean to walk together without codependency? It was one thing on paper, now I am walking it out. I am learning how to see what I see but maybe not burn down the past to build the future. Maybe there is beauty in what is that can be preserved as I fight for the people’s hearts I see hurting in our current “modern western American Christianity” models, systems, and culture.

During my dark night(s) of the soul, I learned that I am responsible for getting my own needs met in healthy, safe, nonromantic communities. While I have consistently met with my mentor for over a year now, I have yet to take seriously the need to build authentic lasting relationships with other men who will come along side of me and “do life together”. I had a group of men I left behind in Texas (2017) and I always intended to forge new groups in North Idaho (someday) but I have yet to find such a group until recently. I believe I have but it will require I make them a priority (as their meeting times and available are inconvenient for me). Growth comes at a cost, and I must decide its time to pay that price.

            All that being said, the following are the competencies I will be focusing on developing for the remainder of 2022 and the strategic plans to implement them.

1.       Love God – Practice His Presence.  While I find all forms of “spiritual disciplines” to be anathema to my spiritual health, I do find I have let go of being cognizant of his presence as things have gone “better” for me. I will begin doing using my automated calendar reminders to do frequently daily check-ins with HaRuach Elohim, specifically asking “Is there anything you want to talk about right now?”

2.       Love Others – Community Building – Groups. It is long passed time to stop isolating and begin re-engaging the world. During the 2020-2021 pandemic, I among those who quipped “when you find out your normal everyday life is called a quarantine”. For me, my girlfriend, and our kids, it is time to start getting plugged into community groups (inside and outside of “church”). So, we will attend at least two functions a month that are not a “Sunday” event. Having come from zero in four years, that is a start.

3.       Develop Character – Mentorship – Level Up. I have my mentor (spiritual father). I have begun to develop relationships with spiritual brothers. I have two biological sons and two semi-adopted kids. I will begin looking for ways to deepen the relationships with my spiritual brothers, and in so doing be looking for ways to reach down and pull up someone coming in behind me. Practically, I will begin meeting “the guys” on Monday mornings (way too early in the morning).

4.       Develop Strengths – Stretch Thyself. While I can make excuses for the things I haven’t done (legitimately too busy), the fact remains that I know I feel the nudge to begin building my ministry (early steps). So I will begin to write and publish articles (at least six this year) on my ministry website (NoHiding.Faith). I will also record and publish at least six pilot podcast episodes.


The scariest part of this entire paper, was the last bullet of the last section. Working in corporate America, I learned about the concept of doing “concrete and specific” interviews. We aren’t looking for “I usually” as an answer to an interview question. We ask “tell me about a time when” because we are looking for as specific and concrete of an example as you can provide. Taking this same tact, I forced myself to provide concrete and specific answers to the competency and strategy questions. Once I hit send on this to TKU (and cross-post this paper on my personal blog), it will be forever out there that I made these declarations. I am committing to concrete and specific steps toward accepting the next level of my calling and ministry. Even saying “my ministry” without wanting to throw up or punch something is a huge sign of progress since I started this journey back to sanity. While there are many little tips, tricks, techniques, tools, and trends that can be observed in this topic of leadership, it is my experience that learning to Love God, Love Folks, Develop Character, and focus on utilizing your Strengths are the core-thematic elements to good leadership. These are the areas I will be focusing on in 2022. May we all live long and prosper, Shalom (שלום).





16Personalities (NERIS® Model Based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). ©2011-2022 NERIS Analytics Limited. Accessed February 26, 2022.

Arbinger Institute, ed. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box. 2nd ed. A BK Life Book. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2010.

Clinton, J. Robert. The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development. Rev. ed. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2012.

Cloud, Henry, and John Sims Townsend. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. Updated and Expanded [edition]. Boundaries. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2017.

Collins, James C. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap--and Others Don’t. 1st ed. New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 2001.

Hamp, Bob. Think Differently Lead Differently: Bringing Reformation in Your Heart, Your Home and Your Organization, 2014.

Imes, Carmen Joy. Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2019.

Jethani, Skye. With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011.

Morse, MaryKate. Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Books, 2008.

Mounce, William D., ed. Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2006.

Nelson, Jennifer V., n.d.

Northouse, Peter Guy. Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice. Fifth edition. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2021.

Perrin, Nicholas, Jeannine K. Brown, and Joel B. Green. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (DJG). IVP Bible Dictionary Series. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2013.

Rath, Tom, and Don Clifton. Strengths Finder 2.0. New York: Gallup Press, 2007.

The Lexham English Bible (LEB), Fourth Edition. Logo Bible Software. Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2010.





Vales Clarification:

After reviewing the assessment for the “reasons” I answered the way I did and adjusting for the most authentic answers, I found the following is a fairly accurate rate.

1.       CREATIVITY (being imaginative, innovative, coming up with ideas)

2.      INTELLECTUAL STATUS (be regarded as an expert in your field, thought of as smart)

3.       AUTONOMY (work independently, determine the nature of your work without significant direction from others)

4.      CHALLENGE (stimulates full use of your potential)

5.       TIME FREEDOM (flexible work schedule, no specific work hours required)

6.       WISDOM (accumulation of knowledge)

7.      KNOWLEDGE (understanding gained through study and experience)

8.       ACHIEVEMENT (sense of accomplishment by means of skills, practice, perseverance, or exertion)

9.       HELP OTHERS (be involved in helping people in a direct way, individually or in a group)

10.   LOCATION (live somewhere that will fit your lifestyle and allow you to do the things you enjoy most)


Northouse Assessments:

2.3 – While the final total scores matched perfectly (14/14), there were areas in which others rated me higher than myself and where I rated myself higher. Also interesting was that my children who’ve seen me for decades rated me differently than my girlfriend who’s seen me only since my healing journey was well underway. The largest discrepancy was “Self-Confident” and “Determined”. In both cases, I rated myself a 2 and everyone else rated me a 4.

3.3 – Final rating showed Very High for Democratic, High for Laissez-Faire, and Moderate for Authoritarian.

Leadership Style

Sum Score







Very High





4.3 – I am evenly divided between Task/Relationship and score Moderately High for both.








6.3 – While I don’t completely understand what to do with these results, I can say I tested High-Very High in each category. While taking the test; however, I can feel intuitively which skills were learned out of necessity draining my energy and which came naturally with an increase to my energy. Any skills related to working with others is learned and draining for me. Any skill related to being left alone with a problem to think about it creatively until I find a solution is exhilarating and energizing for me.

Leadership Style

Sum Score







Very High



Very High



Very High





7.3 – My score of 48 is considered Very High. The only two items that scored a 4 instead of a 5 were both group-oriented items (which are within my developed skillsets but not my naturally (or enjoyable) skillsets.

9.3 – My score of 126 is considered high; however, my answers are all over the map. For some items I am a solid 5, for others I roll my eyes and sigh heavily with a solid 1. This is an area in which the cultural dialog and accepted vocabulary has been dominated by non-biblical worldviews and pseudo-science with which I take strong exception. I believe we should strongly advocate for the other. Where I disagree with the cultural dialog is areas in which we are supposed to “accept” without “confronting”. While I take a strong stand against modern western Christianity’s tendency to make a big deal of LGBT members of the community (and I would happily bake the cake); I also have had very candid conversations with my LGBT friends letting them know it’s not the perfect will of God for their life and offered to walk along side of them while they submit this area to the Holy Spirit to see what he would do in their heart regarding the matter. This type of mentality flows into other areas, but this is the clearest example in our culture.

11.3 – For the Conflict Style Questionnaire I chose an older conflict (pre-counseling) and a more recent conflict (post-counseling) to see if that had any bearing on my test results. For both conflicts, I scored fairly evenly (Strong and Very-Strong) on Competition, Compromise, Accommodation, and Collaboration. However, on the older conflict, I scored Weak (9) on the Avoidance while I scored Very High (22) for the more recent conflict. So I suppose this means I learned something.


Darrell’s LIFE Mission Statement

NO HIDING: Finding Faith & Freedom to walk out an authentic relationship with God, His Family, and His Word; through Biblical Studies, Stories, and Scholarship

Ministry is Imaging Yahweh to others at all times

Being an Image Bearer for God:

Key Concept: “Think of the “image” of God as a verb, and you’ll get the idea. We were created to image God, to be his imagers—to represent him or be his proxy to each other and to all the earth.” Michael Heiser

Being an Image Bearer to the de-churched and disenfranchised (irreligious Christianity):

Key Concept: I am called to the de-churched and disenfranchised, to love them into fullness and to teach them to think differently so they can find freedom. This means I will sometimes look and act in ways that make religious people uncomfortable, which is just fine with me.

My Ministry Philosophies: What and why I do what I do.

Transformational Teaching: I teach them to think differently and seek freedom.

Key Concepts:

·         By knowing Truth, we are freed from bondage to lies (strongholds).

·         Freedom from Psychological bondage - by thinking differently, we can be freed from unhealthy behaviors and relationship patterns that came through stronghold patterns induced and perpetuated by lies.

·         Freedom from Religious bondage - by thinking differently, we can see where old religious traditions have held us captive to unhealthy ideologies. It is seeing what the biblical authors really meant that brings us the truth of God’s inspired revelation and the freedom that comes from that truth.

·         Freedom from Tradition’s bondage- by studying the Bible in its own Ancient Near East (ANE) and Second Temple period contexts, we can attempt to rid ourselves of all religious traditions and get back to the inspired narratives God wanted to communicate. By doing so, we find the freedom brought by His truth. There is no tradition too sacred too question.

Transformational Community: Building community through relationship (doing life together)

Key Concepts:

·         Need for community: By developing relationships with others, in healthy, safe, nonromantic community we can find our needs for intimacy (to know and be known) and find freedom from lies that breed in isolation as people mirror God’s Image back to us.

·         Forming life-long community by doing life together. For me, community means real, life-long, deep relationship building. While some relationships can be seasonal, the hope-goal is that we (the community) will do life together, and one of us will be at the other’s funeral (should the Lord tarry).

·         Forming real community outside of the modern event-culture. Community is much harder to form by merely attending a weekly spectator event involving a concert and a public speaker, then quickly leaving afterwards. While that event (some people call “church”) can be one avenue of meeting people, it is the activities that bring us into Koinonia (doing life together) that will ultimately create these life-long bonds of community. The event can be a component of that community, but it must not be the only tool one uses to develop community.

Wolfe Rules (Gibb's Style Rules) – My curated truisms to living well.

My highest priority: NO HIDING – Radical authenticity in healthy community is the key to freedom (getting and staying free). -Darrell Wolfe

Doing Life:

·         Plans Fail. Live by Principles. -Unknown

·         When Overwhelmed: Take the next indicated step. -Alcoholics Anonymous/Al-Anon

·         “What you compromise to keep, you will eventually lose.” -Jesse Duplantis

·         “Do what’s right because it’s right, do it right, and do it right away.” -Art Aragon

·         “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” -Albert Einstein

·         “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.” -Albert Einstein

·         “To admit that you were wrong is to declare that you are wiser now than you were before.” -Albert Einstein.

·         “Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.” -Albert Einstein

·         “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Ben Franklin

·         “People who believe in the resurrection, in God making a whole new world in which everything will be set right at last, are unstoppably motivated to work for that new world in the present.” -NT Wright

·         “Prayer is for hearing God’s agenda not for bringing Him yours. Don’t tell Him what you want to see happen. When praying, ask Him what He’s doing and how you can participate.” -Darrell Wolfe

·         “When in doubt: Shift into ‘Low Slow’, listen for His voice.” -Kenneth Copeland

Finding Freedom:

·         “Freedom is not the absence of something, it is the presence of someone.” -Bob Hamp

·         “We are all broken, that’s how the light gets through.” -Ernest Hemingway

·         “It’s OKAY to be not okay” -Unknown

·         “Religion attempts to overcome the Knowledge of Evil with the Knowledge of Good; but the Knowledge of Good will never re-connect you to LIFE, which is the real need of man. Life flows from a different tree (paraphrased)” -Bob Hamp

Studying the Bible:

·         "Religion is the by-product left over after God's move is turned from movement to monument." -Darrell Wolfe

·         “Don’t seek out verses, seek out themes and patterns in the whole Bible. Ask Him to reveal His-Story to you, and your part in it. Only build theology on what the text of the bible can support.” – Darrell Wolfe

·         “Traditions tell us where we have come from. Scripture itself is a better guide as to where we should be going now.” -NT Wright

·         “You are better off knowing what a passage means than you are memorizing it.” -Michael Heiser

·         “The New Testament is essentially an inspired commentary on the Old Testament. So, we need to pay attention to how the New Testament authors read the Old Testament, how they repurposed it, and their understanding of the it is not going to violate the Old Testament in its own original context. In fact, it will build on it. It will reinforce it.” -Michael Heiser

·         "Second Temple literature is really important, and therefore, we ought to pay more attention to that material for understanding the Old Testament and how the New Testament uses the Old Testament than to our own denominational traditions." -Michael Heiser


[1] Jennifer V. Nelson, n.d., Credit to Jen for this phrase.

[2] MaryKate Morse, Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Books, 2008), Kindle Locations 143-144.

[3] Morse, Kindle Location 868.

[4] Morse, Kindle Location 512.

[5] James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap--and Others Don’t., 1st ed (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 2001).

[6] Nicholas Perrin, Jeannine K. Brown, and Joel B. Green, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (DJG), IVP Bible Dictionary Series (Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2013), Pg 511-J. D. G. Dunn, “Law,”- & off=22,

[7] The Lexham English Bible (LEB), Fourth Edition, Logo Bible Software, Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.) (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2010), Mk 12:29–31,

[8] Peter Guy Northouse, Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice, Fifth edition (Los Angeles: SAGE, 2021).

[9] Nelson, interview, (paraphrase of a friend’s way of stating the divine commands).

[10] Morse, Making Room for Leadership, Chapter 7 Second Impressions.

[11] Morse, Kindle Locations 1071-1073.

[12] Henry Cloud and John Sims Townsend, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, Updated and expanded [edition], Boundaries (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2017).

[13] Tom Rath and Don Clifton, Strengths Finder 2.0 (New York: Gallup Press, 2007).

[14] J. Robert Clinton, The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development, Rev. ed. (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2012), 27.

[15] Carmen Joy Imes, Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2019).

[16] Rath and Clifton, Strengths Finder 2.0; 16Personalities (NERIS® Model Based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) (©2011-2022 NERIS Analytics Limited), accessed February 26, 2022,

[17] Northouse, Introduction to Leadership, 127–43.

[18] Clinton, The Making of a Leader.

[19] Clinton, 33–34.

[20] Clinton, 37.

[21] Arbinger Institute, ed., Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, 2nd ed, A BK Life Book (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2010).

[22] Bob Hamp, Think Differently Lead Differently: Bringing Reformation in Your Heart, Your Home and Your Organization, 2014, 12; 92.

[23] Skye Jethani, With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011).

[24] Clinton, The Making of a Leader, 39.

[25] William D. Mounce, ed., Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2006), 187.


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