There is a little book called Dedication and Leadership that every Christian leader should read. Here's what the back cover says about it's author, Douglas Hyde:
"On March 14, 1948, Douglas Hyde handed in his resignation as the news editor of the London Daily Worker and wrote 'the end' to twenty years of his life as a member of the Communist Party. A week later, in a written statement, Hyde announced that he had renounced Communism and, with his wife and children, was joining the Catholic Church....In Dedication and Leadership, he advances the theory that although the goals and aims of Communism are antithetical to human dignity and the rights of the individual, there is much to be learned from communist methods, cadres and psychological motivation. Hyde describes the Communist mechanics of instilling dedication, the first prerequisite for leadership. Here is the complete rationale of party technique: how to stimulate the willingness to sacrifice; the advisibility of making big demands to insure a big response....In this small book, so large with implications, Douglas Hyde comments on both Communist and Catholic potential and their lack of maximum effectiveness. He advocates positive Catholic action, not just a negative anti-Communism, and he points out that the guidelines are now down for a decisive choice between total Communism and a total Christianity. Here is a realistic approach to an acute problem uncolored by emotional propaganda, and here is a realistic answer on how to inspire dedication for leadership."
While I'm not Catholic (and I'm certainly not Communist!) I found this book to be hugely beneficial when it comes to my ministry philosophy at Dare 2 Share. Here are just a few quotes from this short, yet powerful, little book:
"Youth is a period of idealism. The Communists attract young people by appealing directly to that idealism. We ahve no cause to complain if, having neglected the idealism of youth, we see others come along, take it, use it and harness it to their cause-and against our own."
If this quote doesn't make a case for youth ministry being driven by THE Cause of Christ (the ultimate dedicated leader) I don't know what does!
"The Communists' appeal to idealism is direct and audacious. They say if you make little demands on people you will get a little response. But if you make big demands on them, you will get a heroic response."
Can I get an amen, or, better yet, a heroic response?
"What distinguishes the Communist movement from most others...and makes it possible for so small a minority to make so great an impact upon our time is the dedication of the average individual member and the immense and dynamic force this represents when all those individuals collectively make their contribution to the cause."
I am giving you three action points from my post today:
1. Buy Dedication and Leadership right now.
2. Read it and then read the book of Acts (be warned: the book of Acts is even better!)
3. Join THE Cause and get trained to live it here.
Are you dedicated enough to read the books and watch the podcasts or are you just going to read this blog and move on? Your answer may indicate your dedication level.
Yes, I'm calling you out.