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Dear Friends of The High Calling and The H. E. Butt Family Foundation,
Welcome to the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. I am excited for the opportunity to guide your daily reflections again starting September 1. Be sure to subscribe to Life for Leaders on the right so you don’t experience any interruption in service.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Life for Leaders and invite you to share with me as I discover how God’s Word can enhance our lives and our work as leaders. Since you’re already familiar with the Daily Reflections from The High Calling and The H. E. Butt Family Foundation, you’ll find that Life for Leaders is very familiar. Same basic format: Bible passage; reflections; questions; prayer. Same purpose: to help you grow in your relationship with God and to discover the difference God makes for every part of life, including our daily work. Same writer: Most of the time. I write the devotions during the weekend. On the weekends, devotions come from my excellent team of co-writers. Same audience: Christians who seek to grow in faith and express their faith in daily life. You don’t have to be an official leader in an organization to benefit from Life for Leaders. If you influence people through your life, then Life for Leaders is right for you. Same delivery system: devotions show up in your email inbox very early every morning. Same price: free!
If you’d like to learn more about Life for Leaders, here’s a bit of background.
Several years ago, while working with The H.E. Butt Family Foundation, I participated in a study of Christian leaders from a wide variety of roles, including entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, pastors, educators, and politicians. My colleagues and I were trying to find out what leaders really need when it comes to the intersection of their faith and work. Among our many findings, two stood out to me most starkly.
First, many leaders feel personally and spiritually depleted. If you’re a leader, though you can be energized by your work, it is challenging and demanding. You may sometimes feel as if your life is being drained away by all the expectations placed upon you, not only at work, but also at home, in your community, and in church. You wonder how you can keep going without recharging your internal battery, yet you’re not sure how to do this in a sustainable way, given how little margin you have in your life already. I know I’ve felt this way throughout my life as I have served in different leadership roles.
Second, we learned that many leaders wonder what difference God really makes in their daily work. You may ask yourself if your faith is mainly something to be shared quietly at work. Or does it provide moral guidance for tough decisions? Is there even more? You may have a gut feeling that being a Christian should make more of a difference in your leadership, but you don’t want to be one of those people who express their faith at work in ways that are awkward or inappropriate. How can you grow in your ability to reflect on your work in light of your faith and vice versa, to think deeply about how God might affect your leadership?
I have designed Life for Leaders to address the needs our study unearthed, needs I expect you can relate to personally if your experience is anything like mine. Through the vehicle of a Bible-based, digitally delivered daily devotional, Life for Leaders will help you connect more deeply with God, the source of all life. Jesus said, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). His words, as well as those throughout Scripture, can help you grow in your relationship with God, thus infusing you with God’s own life.
Additionally, Life for Leaders will encourage you to reflect on connections between your faith and your leadership. Many daily devotionals will show how Scripture speaks to the challenges and opportunities of real, in-the-trenches leadership. But, beyond this, Life for Leaders will help you lay a solid foundation of biblical truth on which to build patterns and practices of life and leadership that reflect God’s values, mission, and calling. I don’t believe you want quick, easy answers to your questions about faith and work so much as a way of thinking deeply about your work as a central part of your whole life, not to mention a crucial element in God’s work in the world.
Why a digitally delivered daily devotional? Honestly, I discovered the power of this medium quite by accident. In 2008, I had the opportunity to write some Daily Reflections for TheHighCalling.org, a sister ministry of Laity Lodge and part of the H. E. Butt Family Foundation. Soon, I heard from subscribers that my reflections spoke to their hearts and helped them grow in their faith. They especially appreciated the solid biblical, theological content of the reflections, as well as my willingness to share my own struggles, hopes, and insights. Though the Daily Reflections were meant for a wide audience, I received gratifying emails from leaders in business, education, government, and the church. They told me my writing helped them be better leaders and more faithful disciples in the workplace. For years, I thought that if I ever had the time, I’d love to write daily devotionals specifically for leaders. Now, in my role as executive director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership, I have the time, and not just the time, but also a sense of calling to this way of serving leaders.
I should mention, by the way, that the De Pree Center seeks to serve leaders like you, so that you might flourish in your life and leadership. We want you to be a stronger, more effective leader, to be sure. But we also want to help you think deeply about your leadership in light of Scripture and in dialogue with other believers. Moreover, we are eager to help you have a rich, full life, not just in your work, but in every way. We believe this will happen as you know the Lord truly and walk with him daily. Life for Leaders is one way for the De Pree Center to serve you in your work as well as in your whole life.
Subscribers to Life for Leaders receive an email devotional each morning before sunrise. There is no cost for this service. It’s a gift to you from the De Pree Center. You can sign up for Life for Leaders by clicking the “Subscribe to Life for Leaders” button on this page. You are welcome to receive the devotionals as long as they are helpful to you. If ever you wish to stop, you can easily cancel your subscription. The De Pree Center will not sell or give away your email address. If you wish to subscribe to other newsletters from the center or from Fuller Seminary, you can do so separately. You will not be automatically subscribed to anything but Life for Leaders when you sign up.
If you have any questions or comments about Life for Leaders, or about the work of the De Pree Center, feel free to contact me at “markroberts-at-fuller.edu.” I look forward to sharing with you what I learn from God’s Word through Life for Leaders.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Mark D. Roberts
De Pree Center for Leadership
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