TKN Audio: The Meaning of Success Podcast

Recently, through my connection with  a brilliant social media marketer Alejandro Reyes, I had the pleasure of meeting Zeb Welborn.  Zeb has a well-subscribed podcast and agreed to interview me about The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  The podcast doesn’t usually touch on religious topics, but Zeb was a terrific host and interviewer.  I enjoyed talking to him and his audience about the reality of God and about why Jesus was a great networker and how He continues to work the Kingdom Net today.  I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the podcast here:

http://ec.libsyn.com/p/c/f/8/cf82062d7a158e90/Defining_Success_Podcast_-_Joseph_Castleberry.mp3?d13a76d516d9dec20c3d276ce028ed5089ab1ce3dae902ea1d01c08532d1c8552c13&c_id=6308007

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

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Jesus Wrote the Book on Leadership

Last weekend I spoke for an important Hispanic church conference at Life Center Spanish Church in Tacoma.  The leaders there asked me to address the topics of The Leader’s Tasks”” and “The Leader’s Team.”  In preparing for the first topic, I instantly thought of the classic book, Leaders:  The Strategies for Taking Charge by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus.

Bennis & Nanus say leaders must employ four strategies to lead effectively: (1) Attention through Vision, (2) Meaning through Communication, (3) Trust through Positioning, and (4) The Deployment of Self (by which they essentially mean putting talented people to work in ways that allow them to fulfill themselves in service).  I decided to share these principles, but since I’m a preacher, I looked for a Biblical text upon which to anchor my comments.

As I looked at the launch of Jesus’ leadership in Matthew 4, I was amazed.  He began (4:17) by gaining people’s attention through a bold vision:  “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”  He then began to create meaning through social architecture as he called his disciples (4:18-19) and began to teach them about the Kingdom and their role in it as “fishers of men,” i.e. Kingdom Networkers.  Then he established trust and credibility for his organization through positioning as he networked “about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and … disease among the people (4:23).”  Finally, after doing these things, he “gave [the twelve] power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness … and diseases (10:1)”—i.e., to do the very same works he was doing.

Those who know nothing but their Bibles, as Matthew Arnold once famously said, do not even know their Bibles.  It is amazing how secular literature on leadership can call out principles that open our eyes to things in the Bible that we gloss right over in our daily reading.  It’s also wonderful to recognize that Jesus knew everything about leadership.  Though he never wrote a word that survived history,  we can find no better textbook on the topic than his open-book life.

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

My Interview on “Live from Seattle” with Doug Bursch

A couple of weeks ago I had a great interview about The Kingdom Net with Doug Bursch on Live From Seattle on KGNW 820 AM.  If you have read the book, you may enjoy the additional insights that show up on the the radio interview;  if you haven’t read the book, I hope you’ll enjoy the interview!

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

 

The Honor and the Glory of Employers

Many people go out to network, not because of Kingdom priorities, but because they need a job!  Most workers want to have an employer, but some don’t want to serve one, so it doesn’t take long for their relationship with an employer to sour. Pop culture music continually resounds with songs about bad bosses, and Marxism has had a long run (150+ years!) of wild popularity in haute couture circles, averring that the very act of paying people money in exchange their time and work constitutes evil exploitation. Sometimes employers do treat workers unfairly, even as some workers fail to appreciate their employers.

In today’s climate of dramatic high unemployment in America (not to mention the rest of the world), I’d like to take a moment to honor employers.  In most cases, employers take significant risks with their own money to put people to work. If they win, they may win big or small.  If they lose, they can lose big.  To everyone who ever put their money at risk and gave me a job, thank you!  May you win big and retire well!

Employing people carries intrinsic dignity, but the Bible confers another essential honor on employers in Genesis 2.  Long before the Fall or the Curse, work made up an essential element of the Creation, and God honored all workers by becoming the very First Worker (Gen. 2:2).  A few verses later, Genesis reveals that God was the First Employer.  “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15, ESV). 

Employing people is a godly thing to do.  The honor of employers is to follow in God’s example as the First Employer; their glory is to treat their workers with the same love, grace, and justice God’s workers enjoy.  Hooray for employers!  May they carry their risks and responsibilities with God’s own integrity.

Networking: Reaching Out to Reach In

Recently I attended The Boeing Classic, a PGA golf tournament at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club.  I got the tickets for free because a local business wanted to connect with my CFO and me about a business deal.  Knowing there would be lots of great people there, I brought my networking gear to see what other angling I might do.  (Golf and fishing–what a combination!)

Just after local favorite Fred Couples birdied the first hole, I ran into my friend Tim Knapp and a bunch of his friends.  (Tim shows up in The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  He models Kingdom networking as well as anyone I know!)  One of his friends, Brian Heathman, told me about a new student who had just enrolled at Northwest University (NU).  As President of AudioInk (http://audioink.com/), a cutting-edge publishing company, Brian walks the walk on networking.  “You’ve got to meet this student!  He’s a leader for the future,” he said.

Always interested in meeting future leaders, and having instant access to all NU emails, I popped out an email to the student as soon as my conversation with Brian ended.  We met for coffee, and I really appreciated Brian’s good work in bird-dogging me to a really promising young leader right under my nose.

The fruit of the work ripened quickly, as Brian received the following note a couple of weeks later:

Let me first start off by saying that I really appreciate the integrity of your word. When you mentioned that you would set me up with the president of NU I wasn’t quite sure what to think other than, “wow, okay.” 

 Well, two weeks ago, I received an email from President Castleberry of Northwest University. After a couple emails back and fourth, we set up a time to have coffee.  It was a fantastic time of sharing our stories and discussing the impact of God in our lives.  All this to say, none of it would have been possible without your connection with Joe and your follow through.  

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him. It was the beginning to a wonderful friendship. 

Bryan, I can not thank you enough. 

 Blessings,

 [Name]

 

I think this case provides an interesting example of reaching out to reach in.  Making a new connection off campus became the conduit to an important relationship with someone right under my nose.  In years to come, as this young (freshman) leader would have emerged at Northwest, I would have followed his progress from my perch as president.  The fact that we got off to a fast start through a networking-brokered relationship will mean that I will be more likely to have closer relationship to a key student leader all the way through his career at Northwest.  The benefit needs no further explanation.

Is there an important connection within easy reach that you remain unaware of?  The key to making that close connection may lie in someone who stands at a distance.

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

Suffering Fools Gladly

One of the key tasks of networking involves helping people tie into a new trend, concept, product, or service.  I sometimes hear the phrase “suffer fools gladly” as a compliment given to people who are patient with others who “don’t get it.”  Undoubtedly, networkers should value the virtue of patience highly.  An even better approach would illustrate the virtue of humility.  They fact that people don’t get some concept doesn’t make them fools, and humbly walking through things with people to help them understand marks a person as humble, good, helpful and wise. Honoring someone who “suffers fools gladly” really misses the point.

In my doctoral studies in the field of International Development at Columbia University, I learned a crucial concept that has served me well:  everyone is smart.  Human beings are intelligent beings, and they do what they do for reasons.  In many cases, they may be reasoning correctly on the basis of false premises.  Doing that will almost always lead to the wrong conclusions and to actions that may seem foolish.  But that doesn’t mean people aren’t smart.  Helping people we might regard as “fools” to see the truth and reality and to establish valid starting places for their thinking does a world of good.

The phrase “suffer fools gladly” comes from the Bible, but it has a different meaning there than it sometimes carries in popular parlance. In 2 Corinthians 11:19, Paul uses that phrase to lash out at people who were gladly tolerating and even accepting false teaching from false apostles who were undermining the Gospel.  Paul certainly didn’t see it as a compliment!

Under no circumstances should we see “suffering fools gladly” as a virtue.  First of all, people deserve that we treat them as smart and capable of understanding the truth.  We should patiently work with people to connect them to reality or even to the latest fashion, cultural, or technological trends.  Second, we should never “go along” with people who peddle real foolishness.  We don’t have to get as passionate as Paul in most circumstances, and we need to reserve the word “fool” or “idiot” for extreme cases.  People deserve respect, and they NEED truth.  Teaching the truth with love and respect displays true virtue.

 

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.

Networking to Wake Up a Spiritually Sleepy Nation

 The moral and spiritual situation of America seems to have hit an all-time low, especially if you haven’t lived for all time (i.e., for all of us).  Marriage disappears as births out of wedlock predominate.  Divorce puts an end to half of marriages.  Pornography and foul language proliferate, even among our national leaders.  Corruption in our society runs rampant.  Church attendance continues to slide.  Historic denominations not only lose members, but drive them away by taking unbiblical, unorthodox doctrinal and moral stands.  The church unquestionably needs a revival and the society needs an awakening.

Nevertheless, the idea that we face an all-time low in faith bears further consideration.  Recently a friend of mine facebooked the following quote from J. Edwin Orr, a greatest historian of revival:

Not many people realize that in the wake of the American Revolution there was a moral slump. Drunkenness became epidemic … Profanity was of the most shocking kind. … Women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were a daily occurrence.

 What about the churches? The Methodists were losing more members than they were gaining. The Baptists said that they had their most wintry season. The Presbyterians in general assembly deplored the nation’s ungodliness … The Lutherans were so languishing that they discussed uniting with Episcopalians who were even worse off. The … Episcopal Bishop of New York … quit functioning… The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote …  that the Church “was too far gone ever to be redeemed.” Voltaire averred, and Tom Paine echoed, “Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years.” 

Take the liberal arts colleges at that time. A poll taken at Harvard had discovered not one believer in the whole of the student body. They took a poll at Princeton, a much more evangelical place: they discovered only two believers in the student body, and only five that did not belong to the filthy speech movement of that day. Students rioted. They held a mock communion at Williams College; and they put on anti-Christian plays at Dartmouth … They took a Bible out of a local Presbyterian church in New Jersey, and burned it in a public bonfire. Christians were so few on campus in the 1790s that they met in secret … and kept their minutes in code so that no one would know.

  In case this is thought to be the hysteria of the moment, Kenneth Scott Latourette, the great church historian, wrote: “It seemed as if Christianity were about to be ushered out of the affairs of men.”–J. Edwin Orr (see http://www.jedwinorr.com)

One of the most powerful functions of the Kingdom Net (what I call the global network of people who submit to Christ’s Kingly Rule) involves our ability to call each other to prayer.  God has seen America descend into spiritual chaos and sinful squalor at several times over our history.  (Remember the Wild West, the Gay ‘90s, the Roaring ‘20s, etc.)  Things have been as bad as they are now, and we can indeed see a new revival of the Church and another Great Awakening in America.

And it can only happen as we use our personal networks to let God’s call to repentence and faith spread.  It does not start with railing accusations of the sin of others.  It starts with personal prayer and repentence.  It starts with our own testimony of renewal.  May it start soon, before the damage goes any further.

As Kingdom networkers, would you join me in repentence, sorrow, and earnest prayer for the awakening of our nation?

For more, see The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013).  Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  joe@josephcastleberry.com

Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus.  Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.