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Remarks to the Los Angeles Office Team and for discussion with Foursquare district supervisors:

1. We inherit together a difficult transition. With our convention body, our supervisors, our cabinet and our board, we have been helped toward a new era. That doesn’t solve everything for us, but it does put us on line for a decision: What will we do together now?

2. We inherit a pattern of traditions–A staff culture is a real entity. A life of its own. It can be healthy, sick; weak, strong; toxic, therapeutic. Leadership determines whether there will be: Trust or peace; fear or doubts; transparency or secrecy; Openness or repression; disclosure or veiled agendas; Candor with loving correction, or reprimand with reprisal.

3. Even in the secular marketplace, positive atmosphere exists where positive principles are observed. At the same time, the world spirit which will reveal itself in the of human exercise of power, privilege, insensitivity, etc. often invades the culture–manipulation, exploitation, undercutting, gossip, etc. occur.

4. We are not a secular institution, so to begin with there are higher issues at stake for us as a team than in the average arena of business activity. We face the challenge of being at least as “good” at what we do business wise (if not better), but also “more” than merely matching the best corporate atmosphere you would find in the secular arena. (There are many outstanding ones; e.g., Starbucks, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Disney, etc.)

I believe when people are treated honestly, openly, graciously and respectfully, there are at least three things that become established in a culture:

(1) Everyone’s happier (2) Everyone works better (3) Everyone grows
These are three concepts rooted in God’s Word:

  • He made you to know Him, be with others in community and to know joy in living.
  • He gifted you with unique capacities to serve and do well at distinct vocations.
  • He called you to walk with His Son and increase in character and effectiveness.

They are three realities the Holy Spirit can produce in us.

As we move forward together, I am inviting you to join me in building a staff culture that pursues a climate and relationship–with the Lord and with one another–that brings these things into a reality among us.

This will call us to a new stance toward mutually acknowledged spiritual priorities.
As a spiritually commissioned institution we cannot succeed with secular values.
At the same time, spiritual passion and partnership can never be coerced–the words “one accord,” “agreement,” “unity,” among God’s people are realized by mutual submission, not by subjugation or authoritarian demands. So I request of you:
(1) That you prayer arrive at a decision…and then, continue with prayer.
(2) That you prepare to join together as a team, in the Word and worship.

As we set our steps forward together, I commit to lead in ways that will build an atmosphere of partnership, enfranchisement, graciousness and love in Christ.

(1934-2023) was the former president of The Foursquare Church and founding pastor of The Church On The Way.