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One Simple Question By R. Scott Rodin

A Simple Question in a Complicated Age

Let me start with the simple question, “Where are you now with Christ?”

Looking Back

This is the final CLA blog for 2020. What can we say about it all?

It would be tempting to do a retrospective of the year and try to reflect on it all, but our experiences are so varied that it does not seem a helpful route. We could also throw a shovel of dirt on it, say last rights, and walk away glad the whole thing is over, but that does not reflect our conviction that God was at work even in the chaos.

Looking Ahead

Perhaps a better use of this blog is to look ahead, plot a course, and suggest a way forward that will be better than what we leave behind. Yet again, we risk losing the importance of this moment.

It is December 30, 2020. In resisting the temptation to reflect on the past or predict the future, I am reminded of a simple saying I heard long ago that goes,

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”[1]

Ask Yourself

So I will ask you again, “Where are you, right now, with Jesus Christ?”

He responded when the disciples pushed Jesus to answer the ultimate discipleship question. Here’s the exchange in John 6:26-35.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires? Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

That’s it? That’s it. Everything else flows from there. It seems like a missed opportunity to use this blog at this unique historical moment to make such a simple point. But perhaps that’s just the point. We are leaders called to navigate our organizations and people through some of the most challenging and uncharted waters we have ever faced. Perhaps the best thing we can do on a late day in December is to ask ourselves, ‘What do we believe?’ Or more pointedly, ‘in whom do we believe?’

What’s Required

If we follow Jesus’ simple command in John 6 with his chilling question in Luke 18: 7-8, we might have a picture of what is required of leaders at this moment in history.

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”


The persistent widow’s faith was rewarded. She refused to doubt, give up, and accept the injustice she was experiencing. So she ‘prayed’ unceasingly, relentlessly and faithfully. As Jesus tells her story, he asks us about ours. Will Jesus find just such faith among those who call him Lord? Did he find it in us in 2020? Will he find it in us in 2021?

Today Matters

Most importantly, does he find it in us today? Right now? That is our challenge as leaders. Those we lead may be caught up in looking back and looking ahead. The way behind us is littered with questions and confusion. The way forward seems like peering through a fog of uncertainty on so many levels. Navigating through will require keen discernment, skillful leadership, and the wise stewarding of all the resources God provides for our use.


But more than these, 2021 will require faith built through prayer. No one else can do that for us. It is our responsibility, command, calling, and supreme privilege. My appeal is that we start today, which seems to hang in the air between a chaotic year that is passing and an enigmatic year that lies ahead.


What will God require of you as a leader in 2021? Many things, but all of them will be founded on one unequivocal foundation – that we believe, really believe in Him.

What will success then look like for us in 2021? Perhaps one year from today, it will be found in our answer to the question, will he find faith on the earth when the Son of Man comes?

In us? In you? May it be so.

Happy New Year.

[1] This quotation has been attributed to many people,e including Ralph Waldo Emerson.


R. Scott Rodin is the Senior Consultant/Chief Strategy Officer for The Focus Group. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Association of Biblical Higher Education and as board chair for ChinaSource. Over the past thirty-eight years Scott Rodin has helped hundreds of organizations improve their effectiveness in leadership, fund development, strategic planning and board development.



What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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