Did you know I am being recognized as a “leadership guru”!? Who’d have ever “thunk”?  When experience tames, trains and grows us, I guess even slow learners like me inevitably become experts. Combine learning with teaching, and one becomes a pundit! Mix it with a little grey hair to look like a sage, and I have earned my stripes to speak with experiential authority, not just theoretical abstraction. I find it surprising that non-profit and business leaders beat a path to my calendar and ask how to run life, organizations and companies. “I serve in the leadership space, with my specialization being self-management,” I tell pre-Christian leaders. “You can’t lead yourself—that takes God; but you can manage your life under God.” The distinction provides all kinds of interaction. If it doesn’t end up with Christ and the gospel, I have wasted everyone’s time.

Last month began with speaking on “Spiritual Convictions for Life in Leadership” to about 100 church and society leaders in South Asia. They took copious notes and complained that I finished only one of my five points on the outline—over an hour and 15 minutes. My mentor, Fred Smith, referred to this as “speaking from overflow!” At some point, one’s whole life has been preparation, and I think I am in that season.

An honored development was the launching of the RREACH Chair of Biblical Preaching and Pastoral Ministries at SAIACS—the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, perhaps the premier theological institute representing the large part of the world to which I owe my earthly birth. First in Bangalore and later in Dallas, we celebrated this pilot initiative to elevate preaching and the local church, preventing them from getting lost in theological and missiological concerns alone.

I have been meeting many friends simply to thank them for their generosity towards the GProCongress. We have created a RREACH culture of thanks (and service, gifts, hospitality and execution) because of the sad question Jesus asked only one of ten lepers who returned to say thank you. We want to give thanks frequently, adequately, quickly and specifically. Thanksgiving is year-long and hopefully life-long!

In that vein, thank you for praying. Let’s introduce the One who changed the timing and toning of all history, geography and peoples to opinion leaders and then grow them by strengthening pastoral leaders. Have you noticed that our strategy statement highlights leaders? Indeed, I am a leadership guru!

I wish you and your family a wonder-filled Christmas season.

For the very best of many everywhere,

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