Episode 11: The Path and The Pattern - Part 1
In this episode, Jimmy and Patty sit down to continue the discussion about how the Five Dysfunctions of a Team Can affect our ministries through something we called the Upside Down Triangle. The Upside Down Triangle puts results-first and trust last. This "results-first" mentality, turns Christianity into a transaction based spirituality and reduces a relationship with God into a series of boxes to be checked off.
The pathway out of this transactional-based Christianity begins and ends with trust. We begin our discussion by showing how the pathway to healthy ministries starts with a foundation of trust.
In our next episodes we will be going up the rest of the path, and showing how this path is an echo of a biblical pattern that has reverberated through the scriptures and human history since the beginning of time.
Summer Reading List
***in case you did not get your summer reading books yet!
The Path and The Pattern Part 1
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
In the last episode, we went over the Five Dysfunctions of a team. We went up the triangle and talked about how any group of people can become unhealthy. We saw how everything stems from an absence of trust.
As we will see in the Path and the Pattern, the pathway from for a group to become healthy starts with trust.
This is aligned with the overall narrative of scripture and forms a pattern that repeats itself again and again in scripture, human history, and in the individual story of our lives.
An Upside Down Triangle
One of the biggest problems of many organizations and the church is what we are calling the upside-down triangle.
This is a results-first mentality. At first glance putting results first seems intuitive and natural. In any planning meeting, there is typically some goal that a group of people are shooting for.
You define the goal, and then back-plan so that you can create deadlines, benchmarks, and strategies on how to accomplish your goals. This seems natural and this is how many good books on planning and achieving on an organizational level counsel.
As Patrick Lencioni and we are proposing this is backward. A result-first mentality will always backfire and sabotage an organization at its core.
The Only Possible Result of Results First Christianity
Putting results first without creating a foundation of trust, creates a lot of problems for churches and ministries. This problem is seen clearest in the misuse of Revelation 3:14-16. Typically I have heard this preached in churches that put results first that there are basically two types of Christians: hot and cold.
Hot Christians are those that have learned how to check all of the boxes that they are supposed to. They have mastered transactional-based Christianity. They no how to do all the things that they are supposed to do that make them 'good Christians'. Cold Christians are not good at checking all of the boxes. Mostly it is either because they fail to see the point of a transaction-based Christianity, or because it is hard for many people to do things just for the sake of doing things.
The scripture is preached as imagining that because some Christians are hot, but the majority are cold Jesus is not happy with the church. The message preached usually raises the stakes by warning that if the cold Christians do not learn to become hot then the entire church is in danger of metaphorically being spit out of Jesus' mouth. The mixing of hot and cold Christians causes a church to become lukewarm and disgusting to Jesus, so all of those cold Christians better shape up and learn to become warm.
This. Completely. Misses. The. Point.
Or as aged Luke Skywalker once said:
The book of Revelation is notoriously hard to understand for modern Christians. Like all apocalyptic literature, it presupposes that you have the rest of the Bible completely downloaded into your brain. Particularly the part of the Bible that to most Christians is a complete mystery -- the Old Testament.
While we are not going to completely go into the proper interpretation of this scripture, it does bear a quick mention of how we should be thinking about this scripture.
To give you a hint reflect on what it could mean to be a hot or cold Christian. Reflect on Jesus's own words on what is the entire point of the Hebrew Scriptures. What is the Greatest Commandment, and what is the second greatest commandment that is like it? What is it that the entire law and the prophets hang upon?
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
So the entire point of Christianity is love. A Christian who has grown cold may have lost their ability to love God and to love others. This should be the lens that scripture should be viewed and interpreted through: love.
Challenge of the Week (C.O.W.)
Every journey starts with a single step. Our goal is for us to personally share our takeaways and put things into action. Do you want to be held accountable? Or hold us accountable?
Choose one or two of the challenges below.
Welcome to the Life to the Full Community!
Episode 11 C.O.W. (The Path & Pattern - Part 1)
Get your summer reading material below! This summer we will be working on increasing our vulnerability. We are recommending that everyone buy and read the books below.
Book nerds! Below are this episode's book recommendations. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, then please use these links below.
They help support the show with no additional cost to you. Thanks in advance!
Summer Reading List - Book 1
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is a highly influential book on leadership, and its concepts have timeless truths for churches everywhere. It is told mostly in narrative form, and it is a very easy read.
This is the number one book on our summer reading list, during our season of increasing our vulnerability.
Dare to Lead, by Berne Brown, is a great and sobering look at the need for vulnerability in every area of our lives. This is especially true in our church traditions as well, where all too often we fail to lead with vulnerability.
Good to Great, by Jim Collins, is a great look into what makes a good company great. He argues that in today's fast-paced and competitive market that it is not enough for a company to be simply a good company. To remain competitive they must be a great company.
Okay this section is for deeper dives. Here we will be recommending a variety of resources that we could not fit into the podcast. Some were mentioned on the podcast and some were not mentioned at all. They are videos, other podcasts, online classes, and other ramblings that Patty would not let Jimmy bring onto the podcast otherwise it would be a four hour show.
Also all promised handouts should be found here.
We get it reading is hard. In case you are not going to be able to read some of the books we recommended for this summer here are some video book summaries, so you can track with our discussions for this summer.
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Dare to Lead
Good to Great
However, if you do not have time for more books, or you are looking for a summary of the book, then check out the video below for a great summary of the book.
The Bible Project recently did a great series on understanding Apocalyptic Literature. Check it out to gain a better understanding of Apocalyptic Literature like the book of Revelation, and how to understand some of these so-called problem scriptures.
Also for a quick refresher on the book of revelation check out thier videos on the book of Revelation for an overall view of the often understood last book of the Bible.
Though I do love The Bible Projects videos, I am truly a fan of their podcast and their classroom. Check out this great podcast series on apocalyptic literature. It is AMAZING!