Thought Leaders Series: 2018

Lifelong Learning

If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you fall down, how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan? (Jeremiah 12:5)

Operative Narratives (ON) can be compared with the operating system in a device. The older the operating system the more it is inefficient in coping with the demands placed on it. Just imagine using a 10 years old computer to write-up a report, or perhaps design a flyer or website, or CGI animation. It was once functional and fit for purpose, but with the passage of time and advancement in thinking, it is now a relic.

ONs are psychological safe spaces we agree to confine ourselves into, and we often retreat to these spaces when faced with stress, challenges or anxiety. It takes the shape of the story we deduce from early life experiences. They become interlocked in our belief systems, our values, and concepts. They become principles that guide our decision making, codes and rules that we adhere to.

Here is the problem. Whenever we encounter a more powerful or more compelling narrative, we loose our orientation, and end up stuck.

This was exactly what happened when my African ancestors encountered the sophistication of the machine gun of the Western army. Centuries of military strategy, manoeuvres, physical discipline, stamina, formations, communication, motor skills etc; suddenly became obsolete.

Let us take one of these skills — motor skills. Scientists define motor skills as permanent change in the ability to perform a skill as a result of practice or experience. These skills would have been learnt from adolescence. They would have been incorporated into dance routines during events and festivals, farming practices, and even sports.

At the encounter with a machine gun, seasoned generals suddenly had no answers and crisis ensued. The machine gun requires new skills and new thinking. They either fight valiantly to their end, or surrendered gracefully in the hope that their people will live and learn from this seismic shift. Similar to Africa we see civilisations disappear in America and Asia. With a slightly different twist we see the conviction of Islam take over most of the Middle East, parts of Africa and even Europe. Much later the battle of ideas in Europe with the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution etc.

Ideas are powerful. Ideas are responsible for all the major changes on planet Earth. To this end the need to constantly upgrade our mental library cannot be overemphasised. The need to identify obsolete ONs, delete them, and replace them with up to date versions becomes a moral imperative.

Do not limit yourself spiritually or psychologically, step up to the challenges of the 21st century. I plead with Christian leaders to stop burying their heads in the sand, using the idea of a Rapture as lazy answers to the challenges facing our World. This has been used at various times in history and even most recently as we moved into the new millennium.

It is a terrible error which often sets the church behind. Sadly, because our leaders refuse to upgrade, engage, challenge and enquirer; we end up excluding ourselves from the most pressing debates, and out of public discourse. We end up becoming even more irrelevant.

The prophets of old, John the Baptist and even Jesus were all at the fore front of the socioeconomic debates of their era.

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

Like most people that made positive impact and left a legacy in this world, Jesus spent 30years preparing himself for a public ministry which most theologians argue spans between 2-3years.

During those years of his public ministry he was hugely unpopular, so much so that the people demanded the release of Barabbas (a man thrown in prison for insurrection against the Roman authorities and murder) when presented a choice.

Even after his death it will take centuries before his thoughts and ideas gained any form of mainstream traction.

However those 30years to me are more vital than the years of his public ministry. Those years were years of ugly hard work. The sort of effort and perspiration that eventually makes you an ‘overnight success’. This hard work the world never gets to know, see, or even talk about.

Therefore, in order to produce work that the world sees and celebrates, we have to first be willing to consistently produce work that no one might see or even notice.

Dear friends, our effort must be consistent, deliberate, and regularly improved through personal or external feedback process in order for them to yield any sort of dividends. This is particularly important in our season of obscurity.

Sometimes, this even involves working for free with a view to learn and master our craft. We can only make demands when we are in demand.

Let’s go to work!

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today at healingsprings fellowship

Time is only a human invention, therefore 2018 is an idea we subscribe to through human cooperation.

Unlike the concept of Jubilee in Judaism where the economic and social slates are wiped clean, with a view to give everyone a fresh start, largely, 2018 is a continuum, hence a direct product of 2017.

The present is explained by analysing the past, therefore at 11:59 on 31st December 2017 when the dials of the clocks move to what we have agreed to call a New Year based on our calendar system, nothing much changes.

After the fanfare, pleasantries, and excitement; our material existence will still be the same.

We will still be in the same house, contracted to the same employer, running the same business, in the same relationships, have the same social and economic commitments etc.

Interestingly, our metaphysical existence is not altered either – this dear friends is the crux of the matter. Therefore, except we are intentional, events on their own do not posses any power to bring about meaningful change or transformation.

Join us for the The Power of Intentionality as we explore how to harness and unlock possibilities in 2018.

3:00-4:30pm, coffee and light refreshments afterwards.

St John’s Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

In order to understand a phenomenon, first seek to grasp the concept. Until you achieve this all your toil is futile.

Once you grasp the concept, then you will be able to spot the patterns and trends from the facts or data.

With regards to Christianity for instance, it is not about memorising facts or data (Scriptures), and forcing it into our lives by faith (living by faith), but about understanding the various Jewish concepts of the Divine in the Old Testament, and how they translate into Jesus’ teaching as captured in the New Testament. Then we begin the tedious exercise of trying to work out what that thought or idea means in today’s World.

It is not about ‘Bible believing’, more about understanding what the contributors of the library we know as ‘The Bible’, were trying to convey based on their understanding of the Divine and how the World operates.

Therefore be wary of people who take the Bible literally. We know through history that their interpretations of the Bible often cost lives, and create negative operative narratives in the minds of people. These operative narratives become deep seated in their psyche, preventing them from unlocking and harnessing the fullness of their God-given potentials.

They often miss the Big Picture of what the Text is trying to convey, and what that means in their time.

Revive | Recover | Revive

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Time is only a human invention. The 31st of December and 1st of January is an illusion.

Unlike the concept of Jubilee in Judaism where the economic and social slates are wiped clean with a view to give everyone a fresh start, largely, 2018 is a continuum, hence a direct product of 2017.

The present is explained by analysing the past, therefore at 11:59 when the dials of the clocks move to what we have agreed to call a New Year based on our calendar system, after the fan fair, pleasantries, excitement; our material existence will still be the same.

In other words, you will still be in the same house, contracted to the same employer, running the same business, in the same relationships, have the same social and financial commitments etc.

Interestingly, our metaphysical existence is not altered either – this dear friends is the crux of the matter. Therefore, except we are intentional events on their own do not posses any power to bring about any meaningful change or transformation.

So I urge you to envision new possibilities, but perhaps most importantly – live intentionally! Start now!

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series 2017

A brilliant example of a Meta-Narrative is seen in the movie Forest Gump (an American drama film based on a novel with the same title by Winston Groom).

In this movie we are presented with an alternative narrative of how to achieve ‘the American Dream’. The American Dream is simply a Capitalist concept centred around achieving or finding wealth, love and happiness.

In contrast to ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, (a movie based on a true story starring Will Smith), where we see the classic values of the American Dream at play. This includes virtues like hard work, persistence, endurance, perseverance etc., at play; Forrest Gump presents a counter narrative.

In Forrest Gump we see a guy who was socially and intellectually challenged. However, these ‘challenges’ helps him as he navigates life naively and completely oblivious as to where his life choices will land him. And through a series of concentrated effort and chance events, he ends up fulfilling the American Dream.

Largely, most people will achieve the American Dream, or come close through the virtues we see demonstrated in In Pursuit of Happiness’. But like stories in the Bible, Forest Gump serves as an alternative meta-narrative.

These alternatives or counter narratives reminder us that there is no absolute formula, and that there are forces far greater than us at play in the complexities that life presents. Perhaps most importantly, they also teach us that while scripts are great, sometimes, we might need to improvise.

So, I present you with a third approach as we look forward to 2018 – find Meaning.

Meaning offers a completely different paradigm which draws on our conscious and subconscious elements. In this realm we harness our physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional capital in enhancing humanity.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Our Operative Narratives (ON) can be simply defined as scripts, rule book, philosophy, stories or narratives; we use to navigate our lives through the complexities of this world.

There are good and bad scripts. Good scripts enhance our personal effectiveness, while bad scripts hinders it. Perhaps most importantly, bad scripts are often replayed in times of change or difficulty.

Scripts can also be divided into two levels, namely: meta scripts and personal scripts. Meta-scripts are the overarching stories of how the world operates, and personal scripts are our understanding of how the world operates.

Daniel Taylor puts it this way:

“You are your stories. You are the product of all the stories you have heard and lived – and many that you have never heard. They have shaped how you see yourself, the world, and your place in it…

Our stories teach us that there is a place for us, that we fit… the more conscious we are about our stories, and our roles as characters in them, the more clarity we have about who we are, and why we are here, and how we should act in the world.”

– Tell Me a Story: The Life Shaping Power of Our Stories

To this end Jesus urged his audience to Repent with a view to identify these scripts – especially bad ones, and begin the process of personal transformation.

Join us for Operating Narratives as part of my end of year reflections.

3:00-4:30pm, coffee afterwards.

St John’s Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk