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

Rocky VIII

Written by: on February 21, 2023

This last week after we learned how capitalism has affected the Great Commission, we now see how geography and culture can have an impact on Christianity and the Great Commission. We take another step in learning and growing in Tim Marshals book Prisoners of Geography and Winchester, The Map That Changed The World. Both authors bring attention to the reader and show great challenges and difficulties leaders must face. A leader that refuses to go down and stay down. If we are going to attempt to bring change or impact in this world, we will face resistance.[1]

I appreciated Tim Marshals book Prisoners of Geography and it is a book I might even use for our school. However, I was more passionate about Winchesters book, especially the story of William Smith. Winchester brings up some interesting key points and I do agree with him in his key idea number three that guns and geographical good fortune make the United States invulnerable. I do believe for a foreign army to invade the U.S. that citizens will have to be disarmed prior to this happening. [2]


William Smith’s story reflects the great challenges we will face when we challenge the current system, culture, or status quo that is in place. As William Smith found, people in power do not like change unless they initiate it and if that change will benefit themselves or their organization. Instead of William being embraced by the current culture of the upper class or English gentlemen, I should say, William struggled to meet these requirements of an English gentlemen because of his physique, dirty hands, and the lacking money in his purse. Worse, he did not have a good track record and was in financial debt.


William Smith struggled with finances and seemed to live outside his means trying to provide a nice home for his wife Mary Ann. However, the Geological Society of London was a private club that William Smith was not allowed admittance into. Not only did they snub Smith, but they stole his life dreams and sold it for considerably less than Smith’s map. The map that Smith hoped to change his financial turmoil, his competition was now using to bury Smith financially.

In time, Smith left London and found new opportunities for teaching, lecturing, and surveying. In the end Smith was awarded a Royal Pension. Smith was known for a man who was willing to take a risk and dirty his hands, especially for field research. Whether Smith is labeled as English geologist or an advocate, we can see that Smith kept digging. He believed in what he did.


I related with Winchesters book in my own struggle to help the poor and bring change in how things were done. In a heavily administrative and regulated industry with food, an average of 60% of food is discarded in food organizations if cannot be frozen. A great benefit of our food ministry is that it falls under the Well Church. We are able to collect and distribute a considerable amount of food because we don’t have to go through all the red tape. We are able to distribute 98% of our food with only two percent loss.  As this comes against the current status quo, this doctoral program and learnings has helped me to recognize, handle, and minister to what these problems are rooted in. I now look at resistance as a tackling dummy and just keep driving my legs forward.


William Smith is another inspirational story for us to keep pressing forward to what God has called us to. There is also some wisdom we can glean from and watch that bottom financial line. Sometimes it is better to slow down, change your approach and allow for buy in. But I am very thankful for this story, as I have dirty hands and somehow the Lord sees me clean. I am reminded of a quote from Winston Churchill.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

[1] Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. (New York, Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2002).

[2] Marshall, Tim. 2016. Prisoners of Geography. London, England: Elliott & Thompson.

[3] Winchester, Simon, 1944-. (2001). The Map That Changed The World . : HarperCollins Publishers.

About the Author


Greg McMullen

Pastor Greg resides in Lake Stevens WA and pastors a small rural church in the Machias area . The Well Church has a large food ministry in which many different cultures come each week to gather food and counsel. The Church has a small school that is bearing good fruit. Pastor Greg has a large family of 10 children and enjoys fishing and hiking.

2 responses to “Rocky VIII”

  1. Jenny Steinbrenner Hale says:

    Greg, Thanks so much for your post! I really enjoyed reading it. I focused on Marshall in my post, so it was especially interesting to hear you talk about William Smith’s story. In your last paragraph, you said, “Sometimes it is better to slow down, change your approach and allow for buy in.” Do you have a specific time when you put this into practice?
    Thanks again, Greg, for your writing!

  2. Jenny,
    Often leaders feel the leading of the Holy Spirit or calling. Leaders can be bold in their pursuit of fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ.

    However, some people do not eyes to see or ears to hear. I believe I could have been more successful in allowing time for people to process and decide if they want to follow or support the mission.

    Buy in can be essential, as often this is your financial support. Change can be hard on people, often people do not respond well to abrupt changes.

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