Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Finding Wonderland

Written by: on October 24, 2019

In reading Down the Rabbit Hole of Leadership: Leadership Pathology in Everyday Life by Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, one can not help but contemplate the realities and effects of Christian leadership and influence in our great nation. It seems as, in our efforts to become enlightened, to find truth, to understand what’s happening around us[1], we have found ourselves in quite the conundrum. Nevertheless, we have found ourselves tumbling down the rabbit hole, it is one of another kind; for the world, at the end of the dark tunnel is no Wonderland.Instead, it is a dystopian Wonderland in which everyone seems to have gone mad and life functions according to its own logic, throwing all kinds of obstacles in the search for truth.[2]


World Unhinged

Whereas, the rabbit hole in Alice’s story leads her to a Wonderland whereupon madness is welcomed to assist her on the quest to find understanding to the ways of the world, authority relationships, the power people play (how to make sense of seemingly arbitrary rules), the ambivalence of time, and the inevitability of death[3]; rabbit hole to a dystopian Wonderland leads us to a world unhinged.

Our world looks and feels increasingly like the chapters that might immediately precede a work of futuristic, dystopian fiction.[4] Consider this in the world of dystopian fiction; there are no small businesses just corporations that are run by, or in conjunction with, the Big Government. Technology is so advanced, its magical. Information comes from centralized sources. And the oppressed thirst and fight for basic rights, such as freedom of speech, expression and association.[5]

Oh For the Sake of Eternity

“I don’t think –” “Then you shouldn’t talk.”[6]

Make America Great Again has polarized the nations and even pinned Christians against one another, us against them, leaving the world to watch the aftermath while others fight to find their truth in identity and place. Build that Wall or Lock her up in the Age of Trump sounds very much like the Red Queen’s Off with her head?[7] It is quite appalling to see how politics have replaced the sanctity of Christianity, and that divisiveness has replaced compassion. Moreover, in theological terms, Trump has been able to convert evangelical political ethics from an ethic of principle to a consequentialist ethic, where the ends justify the means[8].

Vocalized rhetoric of discourse and hurl of epithets thrown about concerning political parties, other countries, governmental policies, and immigration proceedings in the US has presented a place of disillusionment amongst many followers of Christ and discontentment amongst fellow citizens of the nation.

The disillusionment presents itself in the case where people who identify themselves as Christian repeat and support such actions that do not align with the character of Christ. There can be a debate on the church’s role with the government. However, the issue lies in how we are portraying Christ to the world. The firm stance in the political arena causes the evangelical church to have an inability to connect with nonbelievers in a way that they understand.[9] Its major issue is that the evangelical church is now unable to speak the gospel intelligibly to most Americans, and is perceived to be concerned only with increasing its own power rather than a common good.” [10] Consider the previous statement when deciding to support a political party or issue; is it the place that exemplifies a personal agenda or a place of God’s kingdom agenda?

Christians are ambassadors of Christ to perform God’s mission in this earth which is to set things right in a broken and messed-up world…to redeem the world and restore it to its intended purpose; to fulfill God’s mission, and when we participate in God’s mission we become living signs of God’s intended future for the world, bringing glory to God.[11]

The hope is there is an opportunity to amend our position; whenever Christians speak out and act against injustice, inequality and the dehumanization of the human being, they serve as the ambassadors and servants of Christ. [12]

Finding Wonderland

“Why, sometimes I have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”[13]

With current turbulent political waters, the likelihood of all Christians turning their focus to the biblical mandate of God from the political is improbable. However, there is hope on the horizon.

Madness has exploded in our society and America has significant issues placed before it concerning religion and politics. We have hit the grounds in protest for our truths and justice. Everyone wants the opportunity to be heard and followers of Jesus have been given this commission than “more broadly conceived; it is the work of Christians in the world to minister in a word and deed to gather together to do justice.”[14]

However, we all need to be able to meet at the table of our discomforts and confront the uncomfortable places to have hard conversations. One listens while the other talks. May we all be bold and wise as we engage an increasingly hostile and confused culture with the greatest news the world has ever known—Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. [15]


[1] Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, Down the Rabbit Hole of Leadership (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2019), 4

[2] Ibid, 4.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Jean Card, “America the Dystopia?,” US News, May 13, 2016, https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-05-13/could-america-and-the-world-become-a-real-version-of-dystopian-fiction.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1993), 77.

[7] Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, Down the Rabbit Hole of Leadership, 5.

[8] Greg Sargent, “Trump’s Rage at Christianity Today Gives Away His Scam,” The Washington Post, December 20, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/20/trumps-rage-christianity-today-gives-away-his-scam/.

[9] Timothy Keller, Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 225.

[10] Ibid, 225.

[11] [11] J R. Woodward, Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World (Downers Grove, IL: Praxis-IVP Books, 2012), 28.

[12] Jerry Pillay, “The church as a transformation and change agent,” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 73, no. 3 (February), http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4352.

[13] Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1993), 193.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ed Stetzer, “Engaging an Ever-Changing Culture with a Never-Changing Gospel,” Christianity Today, August 1, 2014, https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/june/avoiding-church-culture-pendulum-swings-engaging-ever-chang.html.

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Shermika Harvey

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