Leadership crucial in the church, life


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WHY IS TRUMP CHOOSING SO MANY MARINES FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS?

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, today, I’d like to talk about leadership. I’d like to take you to a blog written by Chris Bollinger. Chris is a military air defense professional, retired Marine and he’s also a screenplay writer. He makes the point that Marines have a certain qualification that perhaps is unique with just Marines.

DR. REEDER: He brings this phenomenon — many of us have noted it — that this particular administration under President Trump has had a penchant to reach into the military for leadership to bring those leaders from military into the positions of civil leadership or governmental leadership.

GOOD LEADERSHIP IS BIBLICAL — AND HARD TO FIND

Immediately, there’s concern, “Well, is that the military taking over?” I think it’s something else that’s happening and that’s this. We all know that leadership is crucial. If you look at the Word of God from a Christian world and life view, whenever God says to do something, He first raises up a leader. He frames the leader, forms the leader, develops the leader and then the leader is used. The leader is always imperfect and, almost always, the Lord surrounds him with another leader because of the plurality of leadership which is crucial in and of itself.

In the church, where there are elders — plural — if you see, we call them the elders, presbyters — plural — of the church because, with every man’s strength, you get his weaknesses, which it means you need a plurality of leaders.

But you need leadership and so here is our present president reaching into the military in general, but by the way into the Marine Corps very specifically, which is what this article highlights. You’ve got General Maddox who’s the Secretary of Defense, you’ve got General Dunford, the head of the joint chiefs of staff, you’ve got General Kelly who is the chief of staff in the White House and they’re all Marines.

And then you look at in society where someone recently did an article about how many corporations now look to the military where they try to find these junior officers that are retiring at 20 years of service and bring them into their corporation and groom them for leadership.

THE MILITARY, THE MARINES IN PARTICULAR, PRODUCE GREAT LEADERS

I think there’s a couple of reasons why. One is how the military in general and, by the way, the Marine Corps in particular… I remember the day I went down to fill out the papers to volunteer in February of 1969. I remember my dad’s stories of being in the Marine Corps.

Tom, there’s always been something about the Marine Corps experience, not only how they develop their Marines but also how they develop their leaders. I think it is also comparable in the other branches of the service, as well, which is why the military has become this fishing pool for leadership in our society.

Other places don’t develop leaders. I don’t look into the world of academics and I don’t find leaders there. In fact, I find very frightening people, recently, and you and I are thinking about doing a program on this. Alan Dershowitz, when the academic elite get together at Martha’s Vineyard, they won’t have him there because he had made an argument from the Constitution — which is what he is, a Constitutional lawyer, and he had made an argument that defended President Trump’s actions while making it clear he wasn’t defending President Trump but he was arguing about the Constitution. Well, now he’s not allowed because they just can’t handle that around him.

Anybody that can’t handle someone who makes a defense of the Constitution that I can’t answer tells me that person’s not much of a person. First, they can’t learn and, secondly, they can’t handle somebody that can persuade them or someone that instructs them.

IN A WORLD WHERE LEADERSHIP IS LACKING, EVEN THE MBA PROGRAMS LACK PRINCIPLES

Therefore, I don’t look to the academic world for leadership and I don’t look to the media for leadership so where do you look for leadership? Well, if you’ll go to the colleges, they have jettisoned ethics in the MBA programs. The corporate world doesn’t go to the place where they ought to be getting their corporate leaders from the MBA program because they’re not turning out leaders with any principles.

Where do they go? They go to the military.

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, is it safe to say the opposite end of a strong Biblical leader is someone who says, “I’m a victim”?

DR. REEDER: One of the things you’re looking for is, without arrogance or self-importance, you’re looking for someone who is not a victim in life but who knows how to lead others to victory in life. And I think that’s why we’re seeing this phenomenon is the military is the place where that’s happening and, the Marine Corps, they do some very pointed things. As this guy points out, you never see a Marine, when he goes into a hotel, having his bags carried by anybody — he carries his own bags and, by the way, he’ll carry the bags for other people. He also notes that they always eat last — they never eat first but they always eat last.

JESUS “TRAINED LEADERS” BY TEACHING THEM  SELFLESSNESS AND QUIET STRENGTH

Are there Biblical principles here that Jesus, in his leadership training, used when he told his disciples in regard to being first when they wanted to know, “Do we get the seat of honor?” he said, “Listen, if you want to be first, you’re last. If you want to be the leader of all, then you are the servant of all.”

By the way, here’s something else: who trains leaders in the Marine Corps? Go to Quantico and look at the sergeants training the future leaders. Tom, I even had an experience in that as I did a commissioning ceremony for a second lieutenant in our church and there with him was a gunny sergeant. And I took the liberty, even though I was there to give a Biblical perspective and to pray for his installation, I said, “If you don’t mind, just a little personal word here, I’m looking forward to how the Lord is going to use your leadership. And I’ll tell you, one of the first things the Lord would have me to tell you is you get fastened to that gunny sergeant over there and listen to him. He’s one of the most important people in your life.” And that’s what Marines do — they develop a relationship from their own training forward with enlisted men and the enlisted men are engaged in their training.

And the other thing is this: they are expected to learn that you don’t just learn from people who have ranks higher than you but you learn from people who have ranks lower than you. That’s part of what it means to be trained — you’re a learner and you learn 360 degrees.

THE NEW LEADERS MUST COME FROM THE CHURCH

However, I’ve got another proposal, Tom. It’s in my book, “Leadership Dynamic,” that’s being republished in October — “3D Leadership,” would be available — and that is simply this: the church should become a leadership factory, defining, developing and deploying leaders in every sphere of society. We would be the ones that people would look to — again, the John Newtons who would produce the William Wilberforces. The great Presbyterian pastor, Dr. Phineas Gurley and Dr. James Smith who influenced, and developed and led to Christ Abraham Lincoln.

There are so many examples of when the church has developed leaders for every sphere of society — the family, the government and the business — who operate from a Christian world and life view and bring Biblical principles to bear in all of life.

Tom, I think this article has highlighted something that’s very important. First, there will always be a need for leadership. Secondly, instinctively, society will start moving toward those institutions that produce leaders that benefit society. Third, the places where they go will be places where they teach leadership that is principled, ethically driven and that is other-concerned, not self-promoting and that shows a conduct in life that has courage married to humility, that has conviction married to compassion. That’s what we’re looking for is those two threads of strength and courage. Joshua says, “Be strong and courageous,” and the other thread, sensitivity and compassion.

TRAINING CHRISTIAN LEADERS MUST START WITH STUDYING OUR SAVIOR

Of course, the leader of all from my Christian world and life view is my Savior and I love the moment in the Book of Revelation when John is utterly in despair for there is no one who is worthy to open the seals of the book and then a voice from Heaven says, “Weep no more. There is one who is worthy.” And John looked and then he saw the lion of Judah standing as a lamb that was slain.

There’s our great king and there is the picture of leadership, lion-like in life and lamb-like in heart. There is the Lamb who had given Himself, yet He’s standing, strong and courageous, the victor over sin, death, Hell and the grave. And He can make you a victor and He can make you a leader in your home, in your marriage, in your church and in society but first fix your eyes on Him. See Him and His leadership as He goes to the cross, counting it all joy to lay down His life that we might have victory and lay down his life in victory as He comes forth from the grave — victorious, our great Savior and Lord. Come to Him and watch what He does to make you like Him.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

 

12 hours ago

Birmingham-Southern College to impose fee on unvaccinated students

Unless students of Birmingham-Southern College are vaccinated against COVID-19, those who attend the private liberal arts school will be forced to pay a $500 fee “to offset continual weekly antigen testing and quarantining.”

In an email sent to students, the college announced its pandemic protocols for those returning to campus for the fall semester. In what appears to be an effort to encourage students to receive the vaccine, BSC told students it will levy a monetary charge against those who are unvaccinated. The school cited the need for funding to be applied toward COVID-related mitigation measures as a reason for the charge.

The email reads in part, “Due to the lack of federal funds for pandemic precautions this term, all students will initially be charged $500 for the fall term to offset continual weekly antigen testing and quarantining. Students who are fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of fall term will receive an immediate $500 rebate.”

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The college announced in the email that it has also set separate move-in dates for vaccinated and unvaccinated students.

The College Republican Federation of Alabama (CRFA) has condemned the move as discriminatory against students who have chosen not to receive the vaccine.

“The College Republican Federation of Alabama condemns this obvious attack on students who are not vaccinated,” says CRFA chairman Clint Reid. “While vaccines are an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 we are still a free society where one should not be held at ransom to the tune of $500 if they do not feel the vaccine is the best course of action for them. We call on Birmingham-Southern College to drop this outrageous fee.”

The college’s email goes on to direct students who have been immunized against the virus to complete a “Vaccination Report Form.” BSC stated that the school’s goal is to achieve an 85% vaccination rate among students, faculty and staff.

Portion of the email sent to BSC students as follows obtained by Yellowhammer News: 

Birmingham-Southern College did not respond to a request for comment. Yellowhammer News has inquired with the Attorney General’s Office regarding the legality of BSC’s guidelines and will provide updates accordingly.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

13 hours ago

Tim James: A house divided against itself cannot stand

Last week the discussion of COVID vaccination burst into the news and ripped the scab right off the wound exposing the divide among Alabamians about whether to vaccinate or not. We all know there can be tense moments among friends and family when the vaccine topic comes up especially when there are differing opinions in the room.

Well, last week the discussion hit a fever pitch on a grand scale and landed on the front pages of the national news outlets. According to news reports, in Alabama, there are about 2.5 to 3 million people that have CHOSEN NOT to take the vaccine out of the state’s population of 5.1 million. Approximately 60% of all Alabamians have made this their personal health choice.

I am writing this letter today to express my distaste for those bent on shaming people in which they disagree on the vaccine issue. They divide Alabamians into two classes: the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. The media’s contempt is in overdrive for anyone that dares to disagree and not blindly follow the government directives. So, they shame by spewing their poison proclaiming the unvaccinated are the problem. Their assertion of “Blame” by extension means the unvaccinated are responsible for the spread of COVID. If you want to blame someone or something, blame the virus and the makers of it. As everybody knows, it was not the bats.

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The problem is not the unvaccinated, but rather those spawning division among the population. It’s the BLAME GAME.

They shake their fingers in the face of millions of Alabama citizens for refusing to take the vaccine and are beside themselves when everyone does not fall in line like sheep. I guess the unvaccinated are the “New Deplorables.”

I’ve listened to their shaming long enough and felt it was time to stand up for millions of Alabamians that have made their decision, over the many months, NOT to take the vaccine. I fall into this category; however, like most families I have family members that have chosen TO take the vaccine. Alabamians know full well what is going on in their communities, local hospitals, nursing homes and churches. They are not ignorant to the medical realities and associated risks. Neither are they reckless or selfish.

Every unvaccinated person has considered whether to take the vaccine for months. They have discussed the matter with others, prayed about it and even may have tolled back and forth on the decision. In the end, their “call” was to not take the vaccine for their own personal reasons. I can’t help but wonder why so many vaccinated people lecture everyone else when they themselves have marginal health risk as they are the vaccinated class.

Has it occurred to them that their shaming is certain to follow children into the classroom in the form of bullying? Do they care about young women in childbearing years who are rightfully cautious about what goes into their bodies? It’s ironic that people that CHOOSE NOT to take the vaccine are labeled dissenters even though they are the majority in Alabama and cross all races and political lines.

Going forward I want to encourage people to take a deep breath and stand back from the situation. COVID, of course can be lethal, but at the same time the odds of fatality are extremely low. This is one of those times when we must not succumb to fear. Fear is the root from which anxiety and worry bud.

Fear is a weapon used to manipulate the public, and the press is its enabler. The Lord speaks to the issue of fear through the Apostle Paul. “For God hath not given a spirit of fear but of power and sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7

I also would like to take this opportunity to say something about Governor Ivey’s statement last week concerning unvaccinated Alabamians. She said, “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

The unvaccinated people represent approximately 60% of the population in our state. The Governor’s comments triggered uncontrollable elation and gaiety from politicians and news anchors at CNN, NBC and others. As one could expect, President Biden and Dr. Fauci were ecstatic at Alabamians being scolded by their Governor over this issue. I believe the Governor’s comments were off-base. I also believe she likely misspoke in the heat of the moment; something any of us could do. As we navigate forward, we need to lower the tone and not take the bait of those whose goal is to sow seeds of division amongst Alabamians.

I have a message for the American press corps concerning their hysterical, fear-based coverage of the pandemic.

It’s a quote from Edward R. Murrow, the great broadcast journalist during the first half of the 20th century.

He effectively warned his fellow journalists what would happen if the free press became compromised. He wrote: “No one can terrorize a whole nation unless we are his accomplices.”

Tim James, the son of former Gov. Fob James, is a Greenville, Alabama businessman. He was a 2010 GOP candidate for governor.

13 hours ago

Regions names Jason Isbell senior vice president of state government affairs and economic development

Regions Bank has tapped one of the state’s foremost experts on banking law and government affairs to serve as senior vice president of state government affairs and economic development.

Jason Isbell comes to the Birmingham-based bank brandishing nearly two decades of legal and government affairs experience in the public and private sectors.

Elizabeth Taylor, head of government affairs and economic development for Regions, highlighted Isbell’s depth of knowledge and relationships throughout the industry.

“Regions Bank has a strong history of working with government leaders and other stakeholder groups on issues impacting our associates, customers and communities,” Taylor said in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “Jason Isbell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on a variety of financial services matters to this role. His work building relationships and navigating a myriad of legislative issues will serve us well. We look forward to his service advancing economic development opportunities that move our communities forward while also building on the strong relationships we have in the areas Regions serves.”

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Isbell most recently worked with Maynard Cooper & Gale where he represented a wide array of clients, including Regions, as an attorney and lobbyist in the firm’s Government Solutions Group.

Prior to his time at Maynard Cooper, he held the position of vice president for legal and governmental affairs at the Alabama Bankers Association (ABA). Isbell was charged with implementing ABA’s legislative and regulatory agendas at both the state and federal levels. He honed his skills in public policy during his 11 years in state government, first as a fiscal analyst for the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office and then as general counsel to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Isbell is a member of the Faulkner University board of trustees and is a graduate of the school’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.

Regions Financial Corporation recently reported $748 million in second quarter earnings. The company cited strategic decisions in high-growth areas, such as Florida, Texas and Tennessee, as contributing to those earnings.

Isbell noted the momentum of the bank’s growth and influence throughout its footprint as he prepares for this new endeavor.

“I’m excited to represent an institution with such a rich history and stellar reputation,” he told Yellowhammer News. “Regions Bank is poised to continue making a positive impact on communities in Alabama and beyond. I’m grateful for this opportunity and look forward to being part of the Regions team.”

Isbell is set to officially join the bank in mid-August.

RELATED: Joia M. Johnson appointed to Regions board of directors

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

14 hours ago

State Rep. Wes Allen: Biden administration’s mixed message on COVID shows he doesn’t put Americans first

The Biden administration is issuing warnings to Americans regarding the increasing number of COVID cases across the country. Calls for a return to mask-wearing and social distancing are becoming more frequent from the President and his advisors.

Businesses, large and small, fear the possibility of mandated shutdowns that plagued our nation last year. Parents are wondering if they will be forced to face the inadequacies and challenges of remote schooling again. These are all worries that are being forced upon law-abiding, tax-paying Americans by the Biden administration.

But it goes further. Our northern border with Canada remains closed to non-essential travel for fear of spreading the virus. Biden and his team cited concerns over the Delta variant as the reason for banning travel from 26 nations including most of Europe, South Africa and Brazil.

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This all seems like a concerned President who is trying to save our nation from the death and damage of a pandemic. But a closer look at Biden’s policies proves that his concern is not for Americans and he has little to no desire to stop the spread of COVID from coming across our border.

His policy that allows thousands of illegal immigrants to move freely across our southern border and into our towns, neighborhoods, restaurants and schools without any regard for their immigration status or their COVID test results prove that the Biden administration doesn’t care about America or Americans. Is the health of Americans, the success of our economy and the fate of our schools and health care system of any concern to this President or his advisors?

I think not.

State Rep. Wes Allen is a Republican candidate for Alabama Secretary of State.

14 hours ago

Alabama League of Municipalities launches Economic Development Academy

The Alabama League of Municipalities (ALM) on Thursday announced the creation of its Economic Development Academy, which will partner with local leaders in an educational capacity to offer their assistance regarding business and industry recruitment practices.

Developed in conjunction with the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and supported by an advisory council of industry leaders, the Academy will engage local leaders and help them further understand their role in the economic development process.

The Academy is specifically designed to educate and engage municipal officials and designated community business leaders on best practices and strategies for successful economic and community development. Additionally, the ALM says the Academy will focus on the role of elected officials regarding evaluating abatements, legal processes and implications, correctly marketing the community, gaging the community’s expectations, workforce development as well as other key aspects of the development process.

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ALM says the Academy is unique from other economic development programs in that it is tailored to municipal officials using a team model. The mayor or another designated elected or administrative official and at least two council members are required to participate from each community to form a team of up to five members.

In promoting the new program, ALM executive director Greg Cochran conveyed the importance of economic development efforts that take place at the local level.

“Our organization is pleased to collaborate with the Alabama Community College System and Neal Wade to launch the ALM Economic Development Academy,” said Cochran. “It is our goal for the Academy to develop intentional programming and identify resources to empower our municipal officials so they can create legacy programs and projects within their cities and towns. Municipalities are the foundation of our state’s economy, and it is the League’s mission to provide our members the necessary tools to build a community where citizens can live, work, play and prosper and where businesses can thrive.”

The Academy will take place over a full year and consists of an orientation; four one-day sessions that include community assignments; and a special graduation ceremony. To graduate, participants must conduct an economic vitality survey of their communities; complete a community assessment/project; and attend all sessions.

At the conclusion of the year-long program, graduates will be presented a certificate of municipal economic development from the League and ACCS.

Neal Wade, former head of the Alabama Development Office as well as a consultant for Alabama Power, The St. Joe Company and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, has been tapped to develop the Academy’s curriculum and conduct the classes.

“The objective is for Alabama communities to be the best they can be and competitive for growth and new revenue,” Wade said. “Setting realistic expectations for each community will be foremost.”

In addition to working with Wade, the League has developed a partnership with ACCS to provide classroom space and workforce development resources for Academy participants. The four mandatory sessions for selected municipalities will be conducted at ACCS campuses throughout the state based on each region.

Chancellor Jimmy Baker praised the partnership and expressed his optimism on the potential growth opportunities he believes can stem from the Academy.

“At Alabama’s community colleges, everything we do is workforce development – from education and training to providing wraparound services and hosting community events,” Baker said. “We are honored to work alongside the Alabama League of Municipalities to launch the Economic Development Academy and host its participants at our campuses across the state. Education is so often the linchpin to positive change and the resources and training this effort will provide will have a positive impact on Alabama for years to come.”

An Academy Advisory Council has been developed to add input, assist with training and provide additional resources to the process. The Council consists of state and federal government agencies, ACCS presidents, utility partners, League strategic partners, local economic developers and statewide business associations.

Academy applications will be accepted via the League’s website July 29 – August 31. Applicants will be thoroughly evaluated and candidates chosen by mid-September. There is a community fee to participate.

Those interested in attending the Academy may apply via online application at almonline.org.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL