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

For such a time as this…

Written by: on September 14, 2023

As I read Walker’s book two verses kept burning in my heart. With every page chills went up and down my spine. The verses below screamed off nearly every page.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”1

“In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.”2

Even though I was reading a book on leadership, I felt the Spirit of God whispering in my heart, “These leaders were appointed by me at the proper time.” This is why they were so great. Each had a set of skills that were meant only to be used for an appointed time. The servant Jimmy Carter would have failed as President during the American Civil War. Winston Churchill’s pacesetting strategy would have failed miserably during The American Great Depression. As great a leader Martin Luther King was, he would have failed as President of the United States at any time. His visionary leadership was needed to bring out an oppressed people.

Judge Deborah was a fierce leader but may have failed in Queen Esther’s place. Moses who led millions out of Egypt may have failed to preach a dynamic sermon on the Day of Pentecost. Noah who obeyed God and built a big boat may have struggled in Solomon’s place to build The Temple. The point is it appears all leaders have their calling and place in God’s Kingdom. Maybe it is easier to lead with nothing to lose when we know where the Lord has called us and how he has gifted us to change this world.

With this in mind, this book kept me thinking about my NPO and my leadership. It’s not about being famous or well-known but how do I know God has actually called me to do what I am doing? And if I am in God’s will how does he want to change the people and culture around me as he delicately transforms me. How does he want to use my NPO above and beyond what I could ever imagine or think. As a leader I am an authority figure that he has established, and my heart is in his hand to channel it toward his will to change my community and beyond.

Walker illustrates from history the strengths and weaknesses of eight different styles of exercising power. “Leadership involves power and influence over others, and it is incumbent upon a leader to use that power and influence benignly.”3 Walker goes on to talk about how issues from our childhood can still negatively impact our leadership and cause us to defend ourselves. Overall, Walker does an excellent job at explaining why it is important to be able to use all 8 leadership styles in order to be an effective leader. I definitely agree but I also realize we will gravitate toward one or maybe two styles most of the time. To become better at being a fluid leader, Walker touched on a former aide to Henry Kissinger that asked three questions during Richard Nixon’s administration at its daily conferences. They were these:

1. What is actually happening right now?
2. What is likely to happen next?
3. What will A do if B does X?4

Those three simple questions highlight what good strategy is all about: knowing what is actually going on (rather than guessing or being content to be ignorant), being able to predict where things are likely to go and being able to forecast what kind of reaction any action will provoke.

So, now I am wrestling with the thought, “What does it mean to lead with nothing to lose?” How can I actually have the boldness to lead with all 8 styles when the opportunity arises. This is something I am going to take to my Life-Coach so he can help me wrestle with this. For now, I will work on practicing the strategies I shy away from in order to become better at them. I had no idea this book would do such a number on me and challenge me so deeply! It hurts but the pain is necessary to grow. Like Esther, I truly believe I was made for such a time as this and everything in my past has prepared me for this moment.

1. Romans 13:1, New International Version (NIV)
2. Proverbs 21:1, NIV
3. Simon P. Walker, Leading with Nothing to Lose: Training in the Exercise of Power (Carlisle, UK: Piquant Editions Ltd., n.d.), ix.
4. Ibid. 140.

About the Author

Todd E Henley

Todd is an avid cyclist who loves playing frisbee golf, watching NASCAR, making videos, photography, playing Madden football, and watching sport. He is addicted to reading, eating fruits and vegetables, and drinking H2O. His passion is talking about trauma, epigenetics, chromosomes, and the brain. He has been blessed with a sensationally sweet wife and four fun creative children (one of which resides in heaven). In his free time he teaches at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and is the Founder/Executive Director of Restore Counseling Center.

5 responses to “For such a time as this…”

  1. Jenny Dooley says:

    Hi Todd,
    You asked some very reflective questions here that I am going to steal!
    1. How do I know God has actually called me to do what I am doing?
    2. If I am in God’s will how does he want to change the people and culture around me as he delicately transforms me?
    3. What does it mean to lead with nothing to lose?

    I love how you are asking and engaging with these questions for yourself. I will keep these questions in mind as I reflect on my NPO and leadership journey moving forward. My simple answer for now are:

    1. I am noticing signposts along the way. Little affirmations that I am on the right track.
    2. I am noticing changes in me. Mostly the willingness to try new strategies and move toward the front stage. I keep thinking of Satell’s cascades of change. I can’t help but think that as we change and transform so do the people and cultures around us.
    3. I am discovering that leading with nothing to lose is, at the very least, moving me to a new place of freedom and inviting others to do the same.

    Great post and great questions! Thank you!

  2. Esther Edwards says:

    I agree with Jenny. Your poignent questions are good for all of us to ask ourselves as we move into the Design phase of our NPO’s. This summer I looked back in my journal to where I had listed all the God moments that led up to me starting the doctoral program.
    I needed to be reminded of the who and the why. Who called me and why it was necessary to be obedient in the moment. Steps of faith like these are unnerving for me. I’m not sure how this year will unfold, but if God has called me, then he is faithful to accomlish it (I Thessalonians 5:24).
    Thank you for another well-written post! Looking forward to seeing you in Oxford!

    • Hello Esther! Thank you for your kind and gracious words. That’s beautiful you looked back to see your God moments that led you up to this wonderful program. And you’re right, since God called you, he will definitely see you through. I like that verse. Thank you. I’m looking forward to seeing you soon, Esther.

  3. mm Russell Chun says:

    Ahhh growth.

    I am amazed at how this course is stretching me in new directions.

    Leadership tool boxes, threshold (Aha) moments, Syntopical thinking. Obisidian, Zotero, AI…the list goes on.

    Walker’s thoughts though, provide me with options. I like that. I begin to realize that I am in a leadership rut. My Churchill style falls flat when consensual leadership is needed.

    I will have to circle back to Walker over this semester…my direct application is to the new work in Ukraine. What is needed? Who are the players? What does God want me to do.

    Availability with Humility (not pride).


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