DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The Bridge between Sunday and Monday

Written by: on November 8, 2017

By far the best review I read on this book was from Mike Bassett on goodreads.com who stated this about Heroic Leadership: Best Practices From A 450 Year Old Company That Changed The World, “The thing that resonated with me about this book was it really bridged Sunday to Monday.” Well said! Mr. Bassett went further by saying this book intrigued him so much that he also attended a seminar by the author, Chris Lowney, and was so interested, he then read further books by Lowney [1]

That is high praise! No wonder that out of 536 ratings, 92% of the goodreads reviewers gave it a 3 or higher. [2]

As I was applying our SQ3R, I noticed while surveying the appendix, this author also recommended one of my favorite leadership books, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins. I have heard Mr. Collins speak several times, specifically at Bill Hybel’s Leadership Summit, put on by Willow Creek Community Church. Though not a Christian (but obviously open to Jesus), Mr. Collins impressed me, so I used some of his recommendations when I was the Athletic Director at Rocky Mountain College. So, if Chris Lowney recommends Jim Collins, I am all ears (which means, I am probably BIASED, according to our most recent critical thinking discussion).

This week’s book is my kind of book. Practical. Full of methodology. Interesting. Not to mention it has Christianity on full display for all to explore. Finally, A Christian company we should and can all be proud of (Chick-fil-a also comes to my mind–and my stomach).

I never knew that the Jesuits, specifically Ignatius Loyola, coined the maxim, “Work as if success depended on your own efforts–but trust as if all depended on God.” [3]  I have heard this phrase repeated often in leadership circles. And to hear Loyola’s successor, Diego Lainez, said this gem, “While it is true that God could speak by the mouth of an ass, this would be considered a miracle. We are tempting God when we expect miracles. This would certainly be the case in a man who lacks common sense but who hopes to be a success merely by praying for it.” [4]

Although the Jesuits were not egalitarian by any stretch of the imagination (Sorry, Jake Dean-Hill), they certainly have earned respect in education circles. Boston College, Creighton University, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount and 26 other United States higher education institutions are graduating countless scholars in many important disciplines. You can, and I will, say the Jesuits have truly changed our world. I believe for the better!

The “Four Pillars of Success” for leaders was impressive to say the least. [5]

1. Self-Awareness  2. Ingenuity  3. Love  4. Heroism  (Self-awareness resonated with me the most. I understood heroism the least, but am digging into it more).

Nevertheless, I am going to take the bait and think critically about the Author’s comments about sports leaders not being part of the real world of the civilian labor force. Ironic, first of all, since today most of the Jesuit Universities have an extremely high emphasis on sport’s excellence.

I will use arguments from one of my favorite leadership authors, John Wooden, who was the winningest basketball coaches at any level in all of history. He coached for UCLA and won many NCAA championships.

John Wooden states in Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan For Success that “The first goal of leadership is getting the very best out of the people in your organization.” [6] Amen, Coach! That should carry over from athletics to any business enterprise…

I believe sports is a microcosm of society, it reflects and exposes EVERY area of our communities as it crosses racial, socio-economic, and spiritual boundaries. Sports has the potential to build character, or build bad characters. But, like it or not, sports are bigger than church in America. My non-Christian friends brag that sports are god (I changed  the spelling to little g). There are more people in my town who go to our high school football game on Friday night than all 8  town churches on Sunday  COMBINED. Church people might even notice that the National Football League is even taking over Sunday mornings. We have Upward youth sports at our church and it far outdraws Sunday School.

His oversimplification of a basketball team is quite ridiculous, especially since he only focuses on professional sports. For every pro player, there are tens-of-thousands who are playing in college and high school. [7]

The best lessons I have learned about leadership have come from my coaches, bar none. Now, trust me, I realize that are some really bad apples out there in sports and I understand pro sports are an ENTERTAINMENT business, and there are some bad apple who spoil the pudding. But I know ten humble and courageous athletes for every two knuckleheads that make the newspaper, but the good guys just don’t get the attention from the press.

In Dr. Jason’s home country, futbol is king. I would guess more leaders are being developed through the game of soccer than in all the leadership conferences in England, for sure.

In fact, I am using Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks For A Better Life in my dissertation as I study generosity toward the local church with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University [8] because faith, reliability and integrity are three areas John Wooden cites for success in leadership.

Please understand, I like this book. My challenge was narrowing down for this post all the great information. I could have wrote 4000 words this week easily. But what kind of leader would I be if I did that?

 

[1] Mike Bassett, goodreads.com on January 4, 2009.

[2] Otis Chandler, goodreads.com as of November 7, 2017.

[3] Edward C. Phillips, “St. Ignatius Doctrine of the Interdependence of Work and Prayer,” Woodstock Letters: A Historical Journal of Jesuit Educational and Missionary Activities: 71, no. 1, February, 1942. p. 71.

[4] Ibid., p. 72.

[5] Chris Lowney. Heroic Leadership: Best Practices From A 450 Year Old Company That Changed The World (Loyola Press, Kindle Reprint Edition: June 30, 2003). p. 9.

[6] John Wooden and Steve Jamison. Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan for Success (McGraw Hill: Chicago, 2009). p. x.

[7] Estimated Probability of Competing in Professional Athletics (NCAA.org Research Division: March 10, 2017)

[8] John Wooden and Jay Carty. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks for a Better Life (Regal Books: Ventura, California, 1996). p. 26-27.

About the Author

mm

Jay Forseth

Superintendent of the Western Conference of the Evangelical Church. Blessed with 28 years as the husband of my amazing wife who I can't make it without. Now three of four in our family are attending University, but both my children are way smarter than me.

11 responses to “The Bridge between Sunday and Monday”

  1. Great post Jay! Ironically in my blog I highlighted the fact that the Jesuits were egalitarian in every other sense besides female, which fit their cultural context but was also revolutionary for that time. I loved the points you brought out from Coach Wooden and how you tied it into the book. I’m curious how you have or would use sports to reach people for Christ.

  2. Chris Pritchett says:

    Hey Jay, great post as usual. You do well to bring out the good in the book and hold it in conversation with Collins and other critical sources. The quote you gave, “Work as if success depended on your own efforts–but trust as if all depended on God,” I have heard attributed to one of the reformers (maybe Luther) with regard to prayer and action: “Act as though everything depends on you; pray as though everything depends on God.” Something like that. Anyway, thanks for sharing the critical source and the comment of bridging Sunday to Monday. It reminds me that our church has been heavily involved in the faith+work / marketplace ministries / vocation work for a couple decades. I’m wondering if you’ve done some leadership work in that area. Blessings brother! Hope your new post is going well.

  3. mm Jean Ollis says:

    Jay,
    Thank you for raising a very important point – the role of athletics in America. Whether we like it or not, involvement in and spectating sports is way more popular than church! Why is that? What is the draw? We all know that not every coach is a great coach. What do sports offer that living for Christ does not?

    • Jay Forseth says:

      I figured since sports were so huge, I would come along side them and reclaim them for Christ, rather than fight them. Plus, where people congregate, we should operate!

      • mm Trisha Welstad says:

        Jay, thanks for your insight on sports in relation to leadership. I am replying to you and Jean because I have similar questions to her and I would love your insight. Jean asked, “What do sports offer that living for Christ does not?”. I wonder what felt need is being met by sports and how the church is missing that. Do you have any insight?

        Also, I have had some great coaches too in sports and ministry. Do you see a difference between your ministry mentors and your sports coaches? If so, what are those? I ask as an interested practitioner!

  4. Greg says:

    Hey Jay,

    I appreciate your take on this book. I am glad you said and saw yourself as biased when thinking about it. You did use reviews that only supported a positive look at this book. I would suggest finding some view that disagreed with the author.

    I love your connection with sports and the view sports have in the world you live in. Sports seen as a subset of leadership and of the world was an interesting angle that I didn’t think of. It is easy to see the good and bad especially with those in the public eye. Good job.

  5. mm M Webb says:

    Jay,

    I am a Collins fan too. Have you read How the Mighty Fall? Great critical analysis of Lowney and good job pulling in review material from Chandler, Phillips, and Coach Wooden. My daughter called me a hero yesterday, on Veterans Day. Like you, I do not really know what heroism means. I just said, “I do” to an oath to support and defend…so help me God.

    Good job linking your Ramsey FPU problem to this post. I like the Jesuit model and believe they have a lot of takeaways that we can use in our global leadership approach.

    Stand firm,

    M. Webb

    • Jay Forseth says:

      I enjoyed reading How the Mighty Fall by Collins. Finally, I have someone in the cohort who shares reading a book with me…

  6. Shawn Hart says:

    Jay, great job. I did want to comment on the fact that you drew attention to the phrase, “This would certainly be the case in a man who lacks common sense but who hopes to be a success merely by praying for it.” I have to admit, though I understand the concept, I always struggle with someone taking away from the power of prayer; Scripture is just to forthwith to the ability of God to answer prayers. However, I also believe that faith without works is dead…that conundrum that cannot elude me.

    I also appreciate the reference to sports you gave, because it reminds us that even Michael Jordan needed those other four men on the court to be the success that he was. I played basketball in college for my club a number of years ago, and in a potluck game, we matched up against a team that had a short stocky football player that had to be pushing 350 lbs. None of us took him serious until he scored over 50 points by himself. We never know the potential of our “team” unless we take the time to discover it.

    Being that your dissertation is focused on finance to some degree, do you have plans of incorporating any of the Jesuit methodology into your research platform?

  7. Jay Forseth says:

    I had not planned on using the Jesuit methodology into my dissertation research, until you mentioned it (grin)…

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