26 October 2023
Paul Friend has been involved in Christian leadership for the last 25 years including leading SWYM and a local church. Paul is passionate about the South West, this generation and Liverpool football club! This week, we invite him to unpack what can we do to bring change and announce the launch of his new book ‘Fierce Humility’.
Have we got it all wrong? Today we’ve got books, podcasts, training courses and blogs on every facet of leadership and yet in feels like every week there are more stories of corruption, abuse of power and moral failure from our leaders. It is exhausting and depressing. Sadly the church doesn’t stand out in this regard either so have we got it all wrong?
What can we do to bring change? How can we reverse the trend?
The answer at sunday school was always ‘Jesus’ and once again I believe the answer is ‘Jesus’. In my book ‘Fierce Humility’ I explore what humility is, how it is part of the character of Jesus, (He described himself as ‘gentle and humble in heart’) and how we might lead from a place of humility. Often when Jesus is portrayed we see a picture or painting of the meek and mild Jesus. I think we’ve misunderstood – The book is entitled ‘Fierce Humility’ because I’d suggest we see in Jesus a fierce fight against pride in himself and his followers. He knew that pride was at the root of all sin and so when he saw pride He always called it out. Whether it was to correct the hyposcrisy of the Pharisees or with his disciples coming out with phrases like ‘Not so with you’ or ‘Get behind me Satan.’ We see a strong, fearless leader who doesn’t just let things go.
In the book I ask in a world so fixated on celebrity and the stage how we might return to the way of Jesus. This counter-cultural path demands a deep reflection on our own hearts and so we explore in the first half of the book how we must humble ourselves before God including how we encourage and give space for our teams to do this too. Secondly we go on to explore how we must learn to humble ourselves before others covering everything from releasing not controlling, forgiveness, serving, unity and vulnerability and accountability. With each of these areas we unpack it for us as leaders first and then explore how we encourage, model and support our teams to do the same. With questions for reflection/discussion at the end of each chapter the book works well for a leadership team/housegroup to explore together.
Right now as leaders we must live lower, choosing to humble ourselves and fiercely fight against pride both in our own hearts and in our teams so that we might see a church set apart from the world with leaders who walk like Jesus in a radically attractive relational way.
To order your copy of the book or take advantage of a bundle offer visit – https://swym.org.uk/fierce-humility/
Creation Fest and SWYM work closely together to see young people in the Southwest (and beyond!) reached to live in confident faith.