Practicing greatness - mcneal

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Andrews University

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary



A Reading Report

Presented in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctor of Ministry


Diói Cruz

June 2012


The key point that McNealwants to teach in his book is that greatness in the kingdom of God is a journey toward humility. Greatness in the spiritual world cannot be pursued without cultivating God-consciousness. Jesus idea of greatness is resumed in acts of humility and service to God and to others.

Great leaders bless people. Great leaders help people be a part of something bigger than themselves. Great leaders leavepeople better off than they were before the leader entered their lives.

McNeal describes the seven disciplines every leader must learn and commit themselves to. He also makes it clear that these disciplines are a process and that leaders need to be committed to them during their entire lives.

Self-awareness: knowing what you are good at and not good at. Knowing how to maximize your strengths.Knowing why you react to things a certain way, why some people rub you the wrong way, why you have the tendency to certain sins or certain things attract your attention.

Self-management: Leaders that fail to manage themselves are vulnerable to self-sabotage and derailment. McNeal talks about most of the usual areas of self-management: a) The importance of "muse time", b) the importance of"emotional intelligence" and, c) the importance of managing money.

Self-development: “leaders are learners.” Who will you learn from? How will you learn? What will you learn and grow in? McNeal also focuses on the importance of developing your strengths. Focus on your talent and develop it.

Mission: Leaders order their lives missionally, and don't allow themselves to be hijacked by others'expectations and agendas, or dissipated by distractions that rob them of energy. A leader a) has a call, b) he has a passion for it, c) he has talents which will assist him to accomplish his mission and d) he has a personality that will prepare him to accomplish his mission.

Decision making: Great leaders did not arrive at their level of competence without paying attention to these requirements: a)ask the right question, b) get enough of the right kind of information, c) consider timing, d) involve the right people in the process like key leaders, legitimizers, veto holders, implementers and those affected by the decision, e) operate with right motives and, f) understand intended outcomes.

Belonging: Leadership is lonely, but it can be less lonely that many spiritual leaders make it.In order to maximize the leader’s capacity for belonging to his family: a) as much as possible, you need to be in peace with your family of origin, b) if you’re married, determine to work for intimacy with your spouse, c) bless your children. A leader must also belong to his friends and make effort to develop trust and long term friendship through a) integrity, b) vulnerability, c) humility, d)willingness to listen, e) sensitivity and responsiveness and, f) realistic expectations. Relationships and community take work, time and effort.

Aloneness: Leaders need to set aside time to be alone in spiritual retreat to evaluate and reaffirm his mission in life. Some examples of leaders who spent time alone are Moses, David, Elijah, Paul and Jesus. Some key practices are: a) observing Sabbath,b) having extended prayer times, c) fasting and, d) journaling. The enemies of alones are: a) time, b) boundaries and, c) distractions. McNeal says that no leader goes through wilderness unchanged. Great leaders would not exchange the wilderness experience for anything. It is often in the wilderness they come to their truest understanding of who they are and what they want to accomplish....
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