November 4, 2013
Follow the Leaders.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Leaders go up-front; followers behind. Without someone going before them, most folks slow down, measure their steps and hedge their bets. Risk rises when you are stepping on fresh ground; conscious deliberation is needed when you have no one leading the way…
American families have always had prime-time models to invite into their living rooms; for 30-60 minutes, once a week, they would show the home audience how it’s done, for better or for worse. Over the decades, the names have come and gone: the Ricardos (Lucy and Ricky), the Nelsons (Ozzie and Harriott), the Waltons (John and Olivia), the Bunkers (Archie and Edith), the Bradys (Mike and Carol); all made their mark on American family life.
Fast forward, to a new Millennium: scripted comedy and drama have given way to “Reality TV.” No longer the brood next door: now we have extended – and, extraordinary – family characters who come from the extremes into the mainstream.
Among the most known/most watched in the current mix: the Kardashians of Southern California, and the Robertsons of Northern Louisiana. Both have fathers with a background in sports, and strong matriarchs who embody the family values. Adult progeny who make their parents proud by living out the family’s values. The West Coasters prey – a lot; the Southerners pray – just as frequently. One exemplifies what it means to be “famous for being famous” (see Wikipedia); the other has become famous as hard working, average Americans who cling to their guns and religion and “got lucky” while working and living a boring, moral, faithful-to-their-beliefs life.
Offer me a seat at either family’s table, and I’ll be the clean-shaven old guy sitting between the camo-clad Robertson brothers (most likely, the senior siblings: Phil and Silas).
I’d ask Si about his recent endorsement of Operation Christmas Child, the massive outreach effort sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. Shoeboxes of practical gifts for kids find their way to the front-lines of need and disaster. Over 100 million boxes have been delivered – along with the Story of Christmas – to children in need of a Savior, since 1990. Watch the video to see Si packing his OCC box!)
During the next few weeks, families, churches and companies all over America will show their heart for the less fortunate – and, their strategic interest in the Great Commission – by packing boxes and promoting the effort with their family and friends. Explore your options to be involved on the Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child website; it’ll put the heart back into your Christmas preparations!
One more suggestion: this Thursday – November 7th – is Billy Graham’s 95th Birthday. In classic Billy Graham style, he has a gift for us. It’s called My Hope America, a 30-minute special that will be aired on the Fox News channel at 10:00p (Eastern)/7:00p (Pacific). I’ve seen it three times; expect a deeply meaningful time with a man who has spoken truth to the world for over a half century.
Do you have influence – with people in your social network, your professional relationships, your church connections – whom you could leverage for goodness’ sake? I would encourage you to take the bold step of pointing folks who trust your opinion to watch – or, TiVo for later – this historic and moving moment with a man who has counseled presidents and premiers, and has shared Truth with more people – live – than anyone, ever. Click here to check out the preparations for this national broadcast.
If I could snag a seat at a family table, I’d head for the Robertsons… and send my regrets to the Kardashians. We need some leaders in our culture right now; whose direction seems safest, to you?