Soaked in Holiness?

February 22, 2015 — 4 Comments

Early in my ministry years a mentor invited me to regularly read cover-to-cover through the Bible. Thirty years later I find myself grateful that I have taken his advice to heart.

This year, in reading through the Message, I stumbled across this gem, “soaked in holiness,” in Exodus 29. Moses recounts the story of how God was forging a new nation. The raw material of this new entity came from an extended family of two million slaves who had endured four centuries of brutal oppression. This new nation required extraordinary leadership by ordinary people. God wasn’t asking the leaders to be perfect; he was requiring them to be holy. The phrase “soaked in holiness” appears when Aaron and his sons are being ordained to serve the people, and a new altar is being consecrated for seven days. “The Altar will become soaked in holiness–anyone who so much as touches the Altar will become holy.”

Holiness does not mean perfect or prudish or self-righteous or standoffish. Holiness means set apart for special use.

The idea of being soaked in holiness complements well the new testament’s exhortations for saints–people set apart to God–to walk in and be filled with God’s Spirit.

Lord Jesus, would you make me, as your disciple, a man soaked in your holiness? Not a man dripping in my goodness or competence or self-righteousness. I repent of all attitudes and actions that get in the way of my life being set apart to you. Amen.

How about you? Are you a leader soaked in holiness?

Can I request two minutes of your time?

I need your help. After seven years of blogging about leading well, and after publishing a book on leading across distance and cultures, I’m ready to address some fresh ideas and topics.

There’s an overwhelming amount of information on basic leadership that gets circulated, regurgitated, and retweeted each hour out there. That’s good. Sometimes we don’t need new ideas but just to be reminded of timeless principles.

But, maybe, like me, you’re hungering for some fresh insight.

What are two or three leadership questions or issues you’d like to know more about in 2015?

Would you take one minute to think, and another minute to post a comment here or tweet to me @kencochrum?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Unhindered Leadership

October 23, 2014 — Leave a comment


That’s the last word in the book of Acts, Luke’s account of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in spreading the gospel from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, to the remotest parts of the earth. Acts 28:30-31 records: And [Paul] stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.

I’ve been meditating on these two verses for the past month. Can you imagine Paul, one of history’s greatest pioneers, locked down under house arrest in his final days of ministry, chained to a Roman guard (and paying for the privilege), welcoming anyone who comes to visit with his arms and heart open wide? I would be tempted to find those circumstances bleak. But God uses the terms “open” and “unhindered.”

Lesson: Your leadership doesn’t have to be hindered by circumstances or other people’s actions that are beyond your control.

In my own leadership journey I’ve often been hindered, and observed other leaders getting stuck, by some of the following:

  • a poor attitude
  • constant cynicism, criticalness, selfishness, self-pity
  • inability to forgive and release people from past mistakes
  • getting continually (and willingly) sucked into other people’s smaller problems that I cannot solve
  • shifting blame for missed deadlines or underperformance rather than accepting personal responsibility
  • “every day is a crisis” mindset
  • inability to have brief, crucial conversations with colleagues in real time as conflicts arise

By faith, I seek to live freely. Open. Unhindered.

How have you experienced hindered or unhindered leadership?