God’s Design of Relationships
You mention on your website that the Relationship Model™ is patterned after God’s design of relationships in the Bible, but you don’t explain that anywhere. Can you give me some more insight into the connection between God’s design of relationships and your governance, leadership and management model?
Thanks for asking. I have been meaning to develop a section on this subject for some time. You’ve given me the nudge to begin it.
The same design of relationships is found in virtually every single relationship in the Old and New Testament. We get to see both the positive and the negative sides of relationships, but they all start from the same principles. Here are the six statements that describe all human relationships in which authority and responsibility are delegated. The principles apply to parent-child, teacher-student, employer-employee and the relationship of marriage.
1. All human behavior is determined by our values – positive or negative.
2. Everyone has some authority.
3. Authority always has limitations.
4. Everyone has some responsibility.
5. Responsibility always comes with expectations.
6. Everyone is accountable to someone.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate these universal components of human working relationships is to examine the relationship between God the Father and God the Son in His human nature. This relationship is one of the most well described relationships in the Bible.
The Bible passages listed are not “proof texts” but rather examples of the hundreds of references to various aspects of the relationship. The Bible teaches through stories, not through the analytical style that the western world has come to use for teaching and learning.
We will begin with what we consider to be the three basic values that God demonstrated in His relationship with His Son: affirmation, involvement and servant leadership. We follow that with the concepts of authority, limitations of authority, responsibility, expectations of responsibility and accountability.
VALUES – AFFIRMATION
Luke 3:22 “and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
VALUES – INVOLVEMENT
Luke 4: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has
anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.”
VALUES – SERVANT LEADERSHIP
Mark 1:2 “It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my
messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”.”
Luke 22:43 “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.”
Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
John 12:49 “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.”
John 7:16 “Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes
from him who sent me.”
LIMITATIONS OF AUTHORITY
Hebrews 5:8 “Though He was a son, yet he learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”
Romans 8:3 “For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin.
Luke 4:19 “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and
recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim
the year of the Lord’s favour.
Mark 10: 45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but
to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
John 3: 17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn
the world, but to save the world through him.”
Matthew 26: 42 “He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father,
if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink
it, may your will be done. “
Luke 4: 40,43 “When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.” “But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
Acts 2:32 “This Jesus God raised up, of which we all are witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit…”
Mark 16:19 “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.”
If you and your organization are interested in applying these principles to the way your organization works, we invite you to contact us. We can lead you through the preparations of a Board Governance Manual in one weekend retreat. There are many other services we offer in the governance, leadership and management of Christian non-profit organizations. The first on-your-site presentation of 2-3 hours to your board or staff anywhere in the world is $250 plus travel expenses.