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

Integration of voices

Written by: on October 6, 2022

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist who received the Templeton prize in 1983. He is known for his criticism of communism and for raising global awareness of political repression in the Soviet Union. When he received the Templeton prize and gave his speech in 1983, I was five years old. Although I heard about the Templeton prize, I was unaware of his name and speech until I read about it this week. When I was growing up in Korea and America, to my naïve eyes, the world seemed peaceful and pleasant. But, as I got older, read into global history, and gained a greater global perspective, I now understand that the world was never at peace. The world was always in a state of chaos and oppression, just as Aleksandr opened up his speech by saying, “Men have forgotten God: that’s why all this has happened.” Indeed, a lot and a lot is still happening all over the world today. Although the world has made significant progress towards freedom and improved lifestyles over the centuries, the present world is still very messy and volatile. Today, I woke up to face so much anxiety-triggering news: gas prices broke $7 in my town, the Russia-Ukraine war is still raging on and Putin is threatening to use a nuclear weapon, and North Korea flies warplanes after shooting a series of missiles, and it is already Thursday which meant I have to post this week’s blog.

One of the significant changes that I am discovering about myself as I grow older is that I am drawn more and more to be attentive and influenced by the local and world news. The communication platforms in our world have changed radically in the past ten years. Most people are not receiving information and news through the traditional platforms of newspapers and favorite tv news channels. The local and global news that greatly impacts and influences the minds of people have transformed into the digital platforms of websites, YouTube, and weaved into social media channels, pouring over a tsunami of biased information 24/7. The radical change also took place in the quality and quantity of news that people intake daily.  We are not just simply reading news, we are now seeing the news as it is happening live. Perhaps in the previous generations, Men have forgotten God because they were censored, restricted, and limited in receiving the truth. Perhaps in this generation, Men have forgotten God because we have too much fake news that skews and distorts the truth. The main geopolitical and global perspective lens that I have been using comes from my cell phone. I try to read from various lenses that are offered through the following apps:

  • TGC
  • Christian post
  • CNN
  • NBC Bay Area
  • Korea Joongang Daily
  • BBC

When I was 5, I was at peace because I was simply disconnected from what was happening in the world. But, now that I am 44, it’s difficult to be disconnected from what is happening in this world because, as a leader, one must learn to gain a greater and accurate global perspective and be able to communicate truthful thoughts rooted in the Bible. Godly leaders who have inspired and led others were able to remember God amidst all that has happened in their world by integrating the voices of this world into a practical steps towards freedom and truth.


About the Author


Jonathan Lee

President of Streamside Ministry Lead Pastor of EM @ San Jose Korean Presbyterian Church in Sunnyvale, CA

11 responses to “Integration of voices”

  1. mm Roy Gruber says:

    Jonathan, as you’ve leaned into more global news and awareness of global issues, how do you think it has helped you in your role in ministry? Of the sources you mentioned, if you could only choose one, what would it be?

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      Kids these days are interacting with global and local news because they receive input from their classmates and internet. The sources helps me understand how kids these days take in and react in a way different from adults. Many times they soak in biased views of their teachers and majority voices at schools. The one that I use a lot is CNN and NBC bayarea because it helps me understand majority voice of America.

  2. Kayli Hillebrand says:

    Jonathan: I’m interested in your work with youth if/how you encourage them to filter the news unfolding in front of their eyes on social media in a biblical way.

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      I think kids really need a mentor to discuss with them and teach them to think more theologically and biblically about everything. I have been enjoying interacting with my 7th boys Sunday school class.

  3. mm Troy Rappold says:

    Jonathan: You’re right when you discovered that the world has always been at war. But with today’s media coverage, we certainly get a lot more details about the conflicts that continually happen around the world. At times it does feel oppressive when all we here is bad news. And there is a line we have to walk between time spent reading news and time we spend reading scripture and focusing on our spiritual responsibilities.

  4. mm Nicole Richardson says:

    Jonathan, thank you for sharing your reflection on how you saw the world as a child compared to the world as an adult.

    How does Matthew 24:6-13 sound to you in the midst of what has recently caused you anxiety?

  5. mm Eric Basye says:

    Thanks Jonathan. As you are investing in shaping tomorrow’s leaders (the young people you work with), in what ways do these lessons you are learning about current events, news, etc. shape and inform how you instruct future generations?

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      I think it’s very important to began to teach our kids about different perspectives because they will be interacting with it more and more as they grow up. Also, to help them own direction of faith for their generation is also important

  6. mm Denise Johnson says:

    Nice summary. You have given a very interesting list of sources. Which of those would you consider the most valuable and why? I am curious how you maintain the peace of your childhood in the midst of the current world situation?

    • mm Jonathan Lee says:

      I utilize CNN and NBC bay area a lot to gain majority voice of America. Maintaining childlike heart is very difficult these days. There is a childlike heart where I dont want to grow up (face and wrestle with reality), but growing up involves taking a stand in what we believe and ministering to others through our convictions and perspectives. I love fellowshipping with other Christian leaders because it brings peace and joy into my life and heart.

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