If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3)

So Which Is Which?

What I’m going to do here is to give you two descriptions of teaching. In no particular order one will come from a secular business company which uses human potential teachings of the new age and the other is from a well known Southern Baptist pastor. I have personalized the company into speaking as an individual.

I’ll present both of these compendiums and leave you to think about which is which and then at the end I’ll give you a bit of introduction to this particular pastor of emerging influence within the SBC. These are compilations from each of their source materials readily available on their websites compressed into a short presentation of some of their teachings.

Here is the first:

My enterprise continues to expand globally, customizing itself to fit the particular needs of those I serve. The mission is to affirm the right of all individuals to achieve their God-given potential. The application of our education empowers people to recognize their ability to choose growth, freedom and personal excellence. I’m committed to providing this education, all over the world, through all means that are just and appropriate.

Most leaders gloss over values and focus on an important role in culture. Let’s take a minute to define culture. It is the shared beliefs that drive the attitude, thinking and behaviors of a group. Simple enough, right? I help you define your values, and beliefs are an outcome of the values you espouse, but you probably haven’t really defined what you mean by those values. That is critical because these values become the driving force of a constructive community gathering.

In defining values, we often tend to describe what we mean by the word as that seems only logical. It becomes essential that we define the value in terms of the expected behaviors. I’m to help you to manage, change, set and achieve goals, lead more effectively and think in ways that create success. From the beginning I have held to the vision that the education they had put together would be beneficial to people all over the world. Yes, cultural differences do exist, but the basic knowledge of how the mind works is constant from individual to individual, country to country.

In my enterprise we help you to develop the concepts and tools for successfully achieving lasting personal and professional growth, to begin reaching the exciting new levels of success you deserve and I provide the concepts and tools to allow you to move from potential to performance. I help you understand habits, attitudes, beliefs and expectations as they affect personal and professional results, to develop self confidence and positive life strategies. When you self regulate you reach higher levels of personal performance, maximize leadership and mentoring skills and build resiliency and increase efficiency.

And here is the second one:

I am a cultural leader and activist in pioneering an enterprise whose primary focus is to serve and I’m also the catalyst behind a team of dreamers and innovators committed to creating environments that expand imagination who specialize in the field of developing and unleashing personal and organizational creativity. Convinced that the world is changed by dreamers and visionaries, I serve humanity through my commitment to maximize the divine potential in every human being and organization. This reflects my commitment to creativity, uniqueness, innovation and diversity.

We all have dreams, passions, and talents. But why do some of us realize our uniqueness and advance forward with maximum impact, while others watch timidly from a distance and wonder why their life isn’t going the direction they hoped it would? All of us have dreams hibernating inside of us, but we often find it difficult to make them come alive. The quest to live out your dreams begins by unleashing your creative spirit and coming face to face with the uniqueness of your potential as a human being.

There was a time when people did not think of “myself.” People had an assimilated view of self–a person’s only sense of “self” was as part of the tribe. People thought of “we” before “me.” It did not occur to people that you could be understood as an isolated individual. Along the way in life, we discover the importance of character in this journey and are confronted with the primal essence of who we are. My enterprise focuses on unleashing your creativity, elevating your influence, challenging your character, and maximizing your leadership potential.

My organization can make these ideas a reality in your life. Convinced as I am that the world is changed by dreamers and visionaries, my enterprise serves the purpose of history by engaging such issues as culture, creativity, change, and leadership, I am widely known as a thought-provoking communicator as well, a distinguished lecturer and futurist. I teach you true leadership affects the soul of the organization and the spirit of the people. The irony is that, while secular leadership has become blatantly spiritual, Christian leadership has become blatantly (and blandly) secular. I believe we need to recapture the invisible aspects of leadership.

We must focus our attention on the creating and shaping of ethos and then on the structures that best nurture and harness its potential. In the end leadership is nothing less than spiritual. And spiritual leaders are essentially cultural architects. Spiritual leadership is both art and science, so I am both artist and engineer. The context is invisible, mystical, of the spirit-both the Holy and the human. The product is real, tangible, transforming both personal and cultural. The metaphor of a leader as a cultural architect encompasses this dynamic, not on a parallel track in the leadership process but as an integrated component. The cultural architect effects cultural transformation from the wisdom of both disciplines.

The Emergent Future Of The Southern Baptist Convention?

There you have it. The first comes from the website of a human potential company which is called The Pacific Institute that a friend had brought to my attention. That’s what really sparked this short piece because that second presentation is made up from the teachings of a Pastor I had already been researching whose growing influence is now further emerging within the Southern Baptist Convention.

In fact they sounded so much alike that I felt led of the Lord to place them side by side for others to see. The second compendium of ideas and teachings were compiled from the personal business website of the man who “serves as Cultural Architect and Lead Pastor of Mosaic in Los Angeles,” Southern Baptist Pastor Erwin McManus. “From the global center of change, Mosaic emerges as a reference point for the future.” (The Barbarian Way, back flap)

We’re also told that McManus “partners with Bethel Theological Seminary as a futurist and distinguished professor.” Futurist and cultural architect Erwin McManus is actually involved with a number of other projects as well such as Origins, Awaken Humanity, The International Mentoring Network, founded by his brother Alex McManus and yelo, an awakening of the human spirit to name a few.

As a matter of fact Erwin McManus just finished up with Ethos NY 2006 “The Fuel of the Movement” which was presented by Awaken and was billed as:

A leadership development experiment designed as an opportunity to dialogue with cultural shapers and innovators from Los Angeles, New York, and around the world on topics ranging from leadership, culture, creativity, innovation and the future of the Church.

The President of the SBC, Dr. Frank Page, is on record as saying:

I see many valuable contributions to the SBC coming from the Emergent Leaders Movement. I believe it is a positive thing to see a broader number of participants in our convention’s direction. I personally applaud this movement.

SBC teacher Phil Perkins asked Dr.Page to clarify that statement and in Open Letter To Dr. Frank Page, Page replied, “I was referring to a group of young leaders in churches who were reaching the lost with the clear message of Christ.” One can’t help but wonder if Erwin McManus with this centered of the self skubalon is among those “young leaders” who are making these supposedly “valuable contributions to the SBC” that Dr. Page tells us he is so ready to “personally applaud.”

Well, you can take it to the bank that I’ll have more on the Emergent doctrine of Southern Baptist Pastor Erwin McManus in the near future. SBC Pastor, human potential advocate…or both? But for now we leave this with a bit more “wisdom” from our cultural architect of human potential and distinguished futurist:

“…it is more important to change what people care about than to change what they believe! You can believe without caring, but you can’t care without believing.”

Erwin Raphael McManus
Taken from An Unstoppable Force