Peter Drucker, a Medal of Freedom recipient often referred to as “The Father of Modern Management,” coined several, useful phrases that are applicable to everyday life. Perhaps one of his most well-known phrases was “Know Thy Time” – a concept about being able to accurately judge one’s effectiveness for a “greater good” (such as a company) while simultaneously self-reflecting honestly. Another groundbreaking concept was the idea of the “knowledge worker;” in layman’s terms, “seeing the value and potential of the low man on the totem pole.” Central to Peter Drucker’s philosophy of management was a sense of non-elitism. Even at age 90 and above, Peter Drucker (a man who once mentored Rick Warren of Saddleback Church) routinely, with a thick, Austrian accent, answered his own phone that was listed in the local telephone book. This kind of lived-humility transferred to the notion that someone on the “ground level” of a company might, one day, have an idea that would benefit the corporation as a whole and this person should “know thy time” well enough to both think of ideas and stage a proposal. He encouraged multi-level access in all that he was involved in and, in many ways – for a man whose pamphlets were burned by the Nazi’s in 1938 – never forgot that changing circumstances slowly from the inside was the most effective way to use time. He was a man whose “banner” (life-philosophy) was easy to follow and often led to victory in whatever internal (the man within) and external (the surrounding greater good) battle a man – or woman, or child – might face.
As Pastor Dave taught last Sunday, after the Israelites had escaped Egypt and when they were battling the Amalekites, Moses “held up the Lord’s banner” by lifting his arms over the battlefield. He was symbolically declaring a victory for the Lord and, when he did so, the Israelites would experience victory. If he lowered his arms, they would experience defeat. At one point, Moses – whose arms grew weary – even required help to have his arms lifted. “Banners” (flags) were also, literally, used by ancient armies to indicate where soldiers should fight next and to rally them to their cause. So, Moses, essentially, was letting the Israelites know that God was continuously on their side.
An effective leader – whether in Biblical times or in the context of modern management – can bring about great change. Here’s the best part: We are all capable of leading something or someone. The question that lingers is this: To what cause do you rally your time, energy, and efforts? A skeptic/pessimist might even ask, “Well, if God is real, then to what cause of mine does HE pay attention to? How do I know I’m even important enough to matter?” Aside from Christ sacrificing himself on the cross to atone for our sins, the very fact that Christ was even sent to Earth showed that God cares about each and every one of our little – or not so little – hurts in life. I once heard a saying that said, “If it matters to you, it matters to Him.” I believe that to be true. Whether you’re battling something like anxiety and depression or trying to figure out how you’ll afford your coffee this week, I truly think the Lord pays attention to everything. His answer isn’t always “yes” – sometimes it’s “maybe” or “I’ve got something better in mind” – but He does watch over everything. And, as the great hymn once said, “His banner over me is love.”
Now, God has several different names; each of which Capital Christian Center will review in the upcoming sermons. And, as Pastor Dave taught, calling God by one of God’s official names (This Week’s Name: “Jehovah Nissi” – The Lord is my banner.) is no different than calling a father “Sir” vs “Abba,” because “Dad” is always the default and the person does not change. In fact, in Pastor Dave’s opening prayer, he prayed as if he were all of us, begging, “God, don’t let me limit you to my beliefs.” He also scripturally cited this prayer…Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV). It’s a good prayer.
So, ask yourself as Pastor Dave asked the congregation: “What wrestling match are you in with God?” Then, self-reflect, and ask how the following might impact your life: “What if my life moved between the different of knowing God might have some purpose for me vs. I am clear what God has in store for me?” Moses was clear about the victory of the Israelites. Peter Drucker was clear about the importance of not stepping on the “little man.” Through the vehicle of the attitude of “love/compassion,” we can express the practical side – hands and feet, so to speak – of the Lord’s banner to all those around us…and subsequently lead without even intending to. (The Methodists very skillfully say it this way: “Love is an action verb.”)
As Pastor Dave said, don’t let the values you tell everyone conflict with the values you hold inside. Align those two, decide what “banner” you want to rally for, and realize the Lord does care…about history, about us, about you.
Questions for Reflection:
1. Read the lyrics to the hymn, “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” What does this song mean to you in practical terms? How could you show God’s love to a neighbor?
2. If you have children or are mentoring someone, do you pray “the Lord’s banner” over them? If so, how? (Please only share if you want to.)
3. In last week’s sermon, Pastor Dave said, “You become what you commit to.” Have you chosen a home church yet? If not with Capital Christian Center, is there another house of worship to which you belong? (If not, what are some reasons you haven’t yet found a church family?)
4. Consider the following quote: “Fathers tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.” – Pastor Dave…How has God been a father to you?
5. Take one moment to reflect on the concepts of “Know Thy Time” and “Knowledge Workers.” How, in your life, can you apply those descriptions to your everyday actions?
House of Worship: Capital Christian Center – Lacey, WA