Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Much has been written in the 20th and 21st centuries about the responsibilities of business leaders. Peter Drucker, Stephen Covey, John Maxwell and others have written extensively on the subject. Many have approached the topic from a contemporary secular point of view and a select few have written from a more biblical perspective.

The Bible addresses the responsibilities of leaders in Colossians 4:1 as follows: “Masters give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in Heaven.”

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary has this to say about Colossians 4:1; “Employers also have a duty not to take advantage of employees. Instead they should offer a just wage, proper benefits, and adequate rest. In contemporary societies, many of these benefits are required by government regulations.”

So if Colossians 4:1 is the leader’s instruction, let’s dig a little deeper. Part of the instruction is “to be fair”. The Online Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary says fair is “marked by impartiality and honesty: free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism.”

Impartiality implies treating all equally or indiscriminately. How many leaders’ careers have been shortened as a result of terminations and litigation resulting from discriminatory actions? A quick query through Google on the topic returned 1.4 million hits (in 0.42 seconds). It’s a safe bet it’s happened a time or two.

What can cause a leader to be impartial or to discriminate? Here are a couple of common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Preferential Treatment - Some leaders fall into a trap of providing preferential treatment to those they befriend; those they have similar interests with; those who are of the same race or sex. In God’s eyes we are all the same. In Galatians 3:28 we read: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." God does not treat us preferentially. God is impartial, loves us all equally and we are likewise instructed to live in a God like manner.

  • Dishonesty - Honesty is a component of fairness. We all believe we know what honesty is. James defined it like this in James 5:12: “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.” In other words, be truthful. Speak the truth and act the truth. Lying and cheating are dishonest - period. In general, if you have doubts about whether you are being honest or not it would be best to examine your motives very carefully.

In summary, being a good Christian leader means to "do as you say you will do" while treating everyone in the same fair and just manner. Pay the employee who you share friendship with outside of work in the same manner as you do any other employee. Treat the employee who is of a different race or sex the same as you do the employee who is just like you. Do exactly what you commit to do even when it may come at a cost to you personally. As a leader IF YOU TREAT YOUR EMPLOYEES FAIRLY AND JUSTLY YOU WILL FIND YOUR FAIR AND JUST REWARD – the favor and blessings of God.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Every truly great organization, secular or Christian, consists of great leaders at all levels of the organization. Leaders are often defined as those who influence individuals or groups to think, feel and take positive action to achieve goals. Based on that definition one could say that all Christians are called to be leaders. How so? Matthew 28:19-20 calls for Believers to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;…”. This call from God to make disciples of or to “evangelize” all nations is actually a call to leadership for every Christian. By sharing the Gospel Message Believers "influence others by causing them to think, feel and take positive action" when they receive the Gospel Message. It is important to note that the Believer is only able to influence others to action by sharing the Gospel Message with them. Only the Holy Spirit can convict a non-believer of their sin and true need for repentance. Scripture is clear that God intended to use Believers as leaders in His plan to make disciples of all nations.

Every great organization, secular or Christian, understands what its key challenges are and develops strategic missions and plans to achieve its goals. And the Church has quite a challenge in “making disciples of all the nations”. While much of the world has been reached estimates are that about 35% or better of the world has yet to hear the Gospel Message. According to the Joshua Project ( ) approximately 7,000 of the estimated 16,600 People Groups in the world have yet to be effectively reached. People Groups are simply a breakdown of the various nations of the world and groups within each nation. That means roughly 3 BILLION people are at risk of dying without hearing the Gospel Message. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 70,000 people die per day in this world without ever hearing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. That startling statistic alone is reason for a sense of urgency in evangelism efforts. The body of Christ still has a lot of work to do when it comes to the spread of the Gospel Message. And therein lays the great need for Believers to embrace their roles as leaders. In Matthew 24:14 we are told “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the entire world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” God has placed a great responsibility on our shoulders and we are not done until the entire world is reached.

Every great organization, secular or Christian, must assume responsibility at all levels of the organization for achieving its stated plans and goals to be successful. If ever a time existed for Christians to step forward and take charge in the field of evangelism it is today. The call to evangelize all nations is clear in scripture, there is much to be done and the challenges are many. According to the Joshua Project for every dollar of Christian giving only one penny goes towards Church planting in the un-reached People Groups. Financial reforms in Churches relating to the allocation of monies to Missions are critical to church planting efforts on the Mission Fields in these final frontier areas. Funding for Missions in the unreached People Groups must be increased to a level that permits adequate and timely progress to be made.  The Joshua Project also points out that the nations in which the un-reached People Groups reside are among those nations that are the most closed to Christianity and where scripture has in many cases yet to be translated into the native languages. See the Map of Un-Reached People Groups areas of the world below:

Missionaries frequently find obstacles at every turn in these tightly controlled countries and often face personal risks to their own lives. Probably due in part to all of these challenges only 10% of missionaries are estimated to be working among the unreached People Groups. Finding ways to increase the presence of missionaries in these hard to reach countries is critical to advancing the Gospel Message.  Obviously the lack of Bible translations in the native languages of the unreached People Groups makes communication more difficult and time consuming.  Finding ways to expedite translation work is a key to the spread of the Gospel.  The Church will have to sharpen its focus and its allocation of resources to address the challenges in reaching these remaining People Groups.

So the next time someone asks you “who are the leaders in your Church that are responsible for world evangelism” you won’t have to look far for the answer – the leadership is wearing your shoes. Possessing great leaders at all levels, having solid strategic plans to achieve goals and taking personal responsibility for action are THREE TRUTHS ABOUT GREAT ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE A ROLE IN CHRISTIAN MISSIONS.

Monday, October 1, 2012


How many times did you see Joe Montana looking frightened at the line of scrimmage right before the ball was snapped when it was fourth and goal in the final minutes of a close game?  Like me, I bet you remember seeing that courageous expression on Joe’s face that would have made a combative lion think twice about making a move.  Do you think Jack Welch ever walked in the doors of GE thinking “this company is facing so many problems it’s doomed and I just need to quit”?  No, he strolled in with fierce determination to tackle the problems head on.  Can you imagine Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane telling James and John He had decided to run rather than surrender to fulfill His purpose on earth?  Christ’s optimism that His impending suffering and death would be overcome was symbolic of His faith.  All these great leaders had something essential…they had the right attitudes.  No family, team, organization or collective group of people ever achieves lofty goals without leaders who possess the right attitude. 

Here are some, but not all, of the key attributes of a leader’s attitude that are absolutely critical for a leader to elevate the team to its full potential.

·         An Attitude of Courage – God repeatedly instructed Joshua to be “strong and courageous” because God knew the Israelites would need to see Joshua’s courage and strong conviction to follow him into the many battles that would take place in the journey to claim the Promised Land.  God asked Joshua on numerous occasions to step out in faith and Joshua’s courageous actions allowed him to lead the Israelites to conquer the land God had pledged to them.  Can you imagine the troops in any army charging in to battle when their General always cowers in fright in a bunker until the fight is done?  An organization will follow a leader through the greatest of challenges if the leader has repeatedly demonstrated an attitude of courage in the face of battle whether it is during an armed conflict or in the midst of a severe market downturn.

·         An Attitude of Determination – Historian Thomas Fuller said “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”  Winston Churchill was certainly one of those “great men” that Fuller spoke of.  Churchill’s fierce determination to reject a negotiated settlement with Germany changed the course of the war that ultimately led to the defeat of Nazi Germany because Churchill could see what the long term outcome for his country and for the world would be.  A lessor man would have looked at all the reasons there were to compromise and would have simply given in to the German demands.  Not Churchill.  He was determined to do what he thought was best for his country and the world no matter the cost.  The leader who makes principled decisions and then has the determination to stick to those decisions in the face of monumental opposition is the leader who gives his organization the will to succeed.
·         An Attitude of Optimism – Nothing will defeat the possible quicker than the impossible.  Legendary Packers Coach Vince Lombardi once remarked "We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible."  In Joshua we find our Lord telling Joshua “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  God’s instruction is simple…there is no reason for anything other than optimism for God is with us no matter what the trial or tribulation.  Have you ever experienced the tremendous sense of joy and relief when you trusted in God to get you through a difficult time and He delivered?  Think about how much sweeter it was when you faced those times with the full belief and comfort from the very beginning that things would turn out well.  And if that doesn’t encourage you enough to be positive…think about how many times you expected the worst to happen, you worried yourself sick and then it didn’t happen?  In Luke 12:6-7 we are told “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.“  There’s really no good reason to expect the worst to happen with God in your corner.  The greatest leaders have that contagious attitude of optimism that keeps their organizations in high spirits. 

Courage, determination and optimism…if you’re a leader who works continually to display these attributes in your attitude then you can be confident that your family, team or organization is being lifted up because THE LEADER’S ATTITUDE DETERMINES THE ORGANIZATION’S ALTITUDE.


In 2008 my wife Mary and I stopped on the side of a dark roadway to render aid to a young man injured in a motorcycle accident. That young man, who we came to know as Dane, died that night despite the best efforts of many people to save his life. What transpired over the months to come after that fateful night would remind me of the lengths that God will go to in order to comfort us in times of tragedy and how closely He is involved in orchestrating the events of our lives so that He can be glorified through us.

We came to know Dane's Grandmother Elsie as a result of this tragedy. As God used Mary and I to help comfort Elsie in her grief He was silently working on answering the prayers of someone who was hundreds of miles away and lost in a world of drug addiction. Over the next few years God worked a plan of healing for my drug addicted nephew that was directly related to Dane's death. God has used Dane's life here on earth to work in the lives of many others.

Mary and I co-authored a book with Elsie about our experiences and how God has dealt with us all after the night of Dane's death. The book is titled "And God Sent the Dragonflies". It is a true account of the events that happened in our lives and is clear proof that with God we are never alone or without hope in dealing with tragedies and addictions in our lives. I am humbly asking that you consider purchasing and reading our book. I would also ask that if you feel moved by the things you see in the book that you would recommend it to others, whether they be friends, family, coworkers, fellow church members or anyone else you feel led to refer to it. We realize the power that modern day electronic media has to reach others through our various personal relationships. It is our sincere prayer and hope that if sharing the story brings one lost soul to Christ or delivers one person from their hopeless addiction that God would be further glorified through that.

Links to the book, available in both print and digital formats, are located on the right hand side of the page below the author's photo. The book is available at the Scroll Christian Bookstore in Tyler, TX and can be found on the shelves, as well as ordered, from select Hasting Stores. For those who prefer you can contact the authors directly to purchase a book until such time as they are available in your local stores. Mary and I intend to donate our portion of any profits from the book to the various charities and ministries that we support. We will be doing some promotional stuff (book signings, speaking engagements, etc.) that I will try to keep posted on this blog. You can contact me at if you have any further questions, comments or just want to catch up on life.

In Christ Jesus...Bruce Hinton