By: Bill Mann
This is a new MentorLink resource – really an experiment, if you will. I started writing devotionals some time ago, which came out of leading Bible studies and taking passages related to leadership and mentoring and asking pointed questions to make the audience reflect and assess what was being said and what the application of the passage might be in their life, as well as my own.
What I have planned to do here is to write periodic devotionals or other mentor-related discussions which focus on character issues required of leaders. My plan is pretty simple: share my thoughts as someone who has spent more than seven decades on earth. Most devotionals that you read are done by those in vocational ministry – pastors, Christian authors, ministry leaders, etc. Not to be too critical of their efforts, but many of them live in an ivory tower of sorts – many have attended seminaries and they often don’t have a worldview shaped by having been in commerce and working in a largely secular environment.
In my case, I had a 45-year law career with three different firms, including one in which I participated in the management of a large international law firm based in San Francisco for ten years. We had 17 offices all over the world, and one of the things that I quickly learned was to be sensitive to different cultures in order to understand how to best communicate with them. I had some humorous faux pas, particularly with members of our British affiliates in London and Hong Kong. I quickly learned that my British colleagues and I were separated by a common language. Even though we both spoke English, British culture is entirely different than ours in terms of governance and structure, so my inclination of trying to solve an issue was to deal directly with the people most involved. Our British friends, on the other hand, have managed to make simple solutions complex by perfecting structures that make what would seem to be a simple decision involve going through layers of decision makers, committees and the such.I often tried to cut out those layers, resulting in some reverberations from across the pond.
The other, more recent experience, has been my participation singing on a Worship Team in our Church. It has tapped into a creative vein in my spirit, and the lyrics often prompt me to think about worship in its broadest context. Worship includes not only music, but also even the message delivered on Sunday. A devotional is, in the broadest sense, a form of worship. It is our role in life, as Christians, to glorify God using our gifts and talents.
This blog is open to all comers – anyone wanting to post a devotional or other discussion. As one of our national leaders said when he participated in one of our Leadership Institutes which covered material he had already mastered in doing MLI training in his country, he learned by listening to others’ experiences. That’s what this blog is all about – an ability to listen and learn from others’ experiences.
If you are interested in contributing to this blog, please contact me at my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.