LEAD! Leadership Enrichment And Development
- By Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
- Published 06/9/2008
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar has “been becoming” a Christian for all his life. Though born in Chicago, his family traces their Christian heritage back nine generations to the beginnings of evangelical Christianity in India. He was deeply involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship throughout his eleven years in higher education: 4 years at MIT for an S.B. in Physics, and 7 years at Caltech for a Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics. During that time he ran numerous Bible studies, discipled over a dozen students, attended Urbana five times, and translated the gospel into calculus!
Upon graduation in 1995, he decided that he ultimately preferred people to particles, leading him to spend two years doing business analysis at the Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles. While attracted by the data-rich world of business, he ultimately became disillusioned by consulting’s overriding focus on pecuniary advantage (“To a scientist, money is like toilet paper: it is bad if you don’t have it, but you don’t want to spend all your time thinking about it!”).
By the grace of God, everything came together for him when Apple acquired NeXT in 1997. Initially hired as a summer contractor because of his UNIX background, he rose to senior Rhapsody Product Manager within six months (because the rest of the department was laid off :-). He was instrumental in the launch of Mac OS X Server 1.0, as well as of Darwin, the open source core of Mac OS X.
Today, he is the UNIX specialist on the Mac OS X Product Marketing team, focused on Open Source, Web 2.0, Grid Computing, and other “geeky” technologies in line with his scientific background. He is also one of the key leaders of the Apple Christian Fellowship, which sponsors speakers, socials, and other events to help believers at Apple bring their “whole person” into the marketplace.
He and his wife Sandhya reside in Santa Clara, California where they attend Kingsway Community Church. He can be found online via LinkedIn or Facebook. He maintains numerous blogs and websites (technical, political, philosophical, personal) including this one, where he is attempting to blog through the Bible.
[Or maybe: Leadership Equipping And Development]
Good news! My pastor bought off on my proposal breaking next year’s Leadership Training into three 12-week semesters, structured as a focused bible study. We are using “LEAD!” as the working title. The initial draft syllabus is below.
The catch is that I am signed up to produce all these (though once we nail down the outline, perhaps I can get others to fill in specific pieces). I suppose I’ll start by just blogging appropriate bible studies and going from there. At least I have until September…
I. THINKING THEOLOGICALLY
Here is my best attempt at a minimal 12-week course that covers the heart issues of contemporary theology.
1. Trinitarian Transformationalism: The Divine Plot
2. The Kingdom of God: What is God’s overall purpose for creation, and for us?
3. The Depravity of Man: Why aren’t we fulfilling that purpose?
4. The Fear of the Lord: Where does God’s sovereignty come in?
5. The Sufficiency of Christ: What difference does Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection make?
6. The Necessity of Repentance: How do we appropriate that?
7. The Working of the Spirit: What resources does God provide to help us?
8. The Authority of Scripture: Why must we trust it?
9. The Offices of the Church: To whom must we submit? For what?
10. The Unity of the Body: How can we get along? To what end?
11. The Redemption of Creation: What in the world is God doing?
12. The End of History: Where we are ultimately going.
II. CHRISTIAN CHARACTER
The idea is that each of these steps would be a single “life lesson”, but that together they provide the “full armor of God.”
1. Crucified Shame: Christ’s death heals our deepest needs and fears.
2. Holistic Spirituality: the Holy Spirit superintending our heart, soul, mind and strength.
3. Deep Repentance: confessing and correcting the underlying attitudes and beliefs that thwart God’s will
4. Reconciled Relationships: replacing anger and bitterness with forgiveness and trust
5. Authentic Accountability: frequent interactions on serious issues with a few close friends
6. Submissive Servanthood: honoring our superiors in the way we carry out our ministry
7. Humble Religiosity: pursuing personal holiness while preventing prideful legalism
8. Healthy Sexuality: finding wholeness in constructive ways by dealing with the wounds that could destroy us
9. Harmonious Families: holiness and happiness via respectful marital, parental, and filial relationships
10. Sound Financials: giving to God and saving for the future
11. Vocational Integrity: aligning our work and career with God’s larger call on our lives
12. Sanctifying Sabbath: how genuine rest forces us to prioritize and face painful truths
III. SKILLS FOR SERVICE
Here’s my short list (twelve, again) of the key abilities I believe leaders need to cultivate.
1. Personal Bible Study: Understanding Scripture for ourselves
2. Warfare Prayer: How to shake the heavens.
3. The Slow Fast: Emptying ourselves to be filled.
4. Memorizing the Word: Sharpening the Sword for battle.
5. Daily Journaling: Tracking God’s activity over time.
6. Cultivating Spiritual Gifts: For what has God made us?
7. Failing Courageously: Taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from them.
8. Good Things in Small Groups: Building missional communities.
9. Constructive Criticism: ‘Tis as important to receive as to give
10. Counseling and Discipleship: Helping people reflect God’s glory and grace.
11. Friendship Evangelism: How to get Jesus into people’s hearts.
12. Public Speaking: Communicating clearly and concisely.