ar·che·type (ˈärkəˌtīp/) noun

  1. a very typical example of a certain person or thing."the book is a perfect archetype of the genre”
  2. an original that has been imitated."the archetype of faith is Abraham"

When you hear the name of certain people…

  • Einstein
  • Robin Hood
  • Bono
  • Moses

…a series of ideas or concepts come to mind.  

You will often hear an archetype listed after an expression like, “He’s a real…”.  The uttering of a simple name can communicate a volume of information.  In the faith-based communities that I run in, biblical archetypes are often used.  For instance, I would say that my journey has transitioned from being a Paul to an Abraham to a David.  

Let’s look at each one of those in terms of a leadership profile:

  • Paul - A legalist’s legalist.  He was all about whatever he was all about.  The same zealousness he persecuted Christians with, he applied to the way he proselytized the faith.  He is a get it done guy.  He could be clumsy with his conviction and intentionality and his “disruptive for good” posture often antagonized others and made enemies.  Boy can I relate to this guy in the first 15-20 years of my faith journey.
  • Abraham - A patriarch of the faith and an iconic father figure.  A mentor, developer, and sage to those around him and under him.  As an unfathered son, I often referred to myself as an “inverse Abraham,” a son of many fathers.  The last 10-15 years of my faith journey has been a season of being powerfully fathered translating into becoming a mentor, father, and coach to many.
  • David - Unfettered and free.  King.  Passionate leader.  A man who walked with such honesty, integrity, and proximity to his Father that he often found himself praising Him and cursing Him in the same verse.  Thanking Him for His presence and alternatively wondering aloud where the heck He is, has been part of the regular rhythm of my last few years. 

Intending transformation for leaders and the organizations (businesses, not-for-profits, family systems) they lead has been the most invigorating, fulfilling, but often frustrating thing I have ever done.  At times it is effortless and fully embodying God’s intention, impact, and favor.  Other times it seems that everyone, everything, and even the forces of hell are set against us.

They are.

As much as the deliverable of our faith was always intended to be restoration and transformation, the history of many of our organizations, the culture of our families, and even the experience of our faith journey, has been about everything but that.  That is no accident.  Everything the Father desires is specifically opposed.  And everything the Father ultimately intends, is ultimately opposed.

Bringing real honest-to-goodness change (transformation) to lives and organizations has been the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever attempted.  And you will often find me both signing the praises and shaking my fist at the heavens.

But why would you spend your time, money, or
energy, doing anything else?

  • Which archetype do my most identify with in this season of your life and career?
  • Which one do you need a little more of?
  • Are you tired of going through the motions and ready for the real work of being about real transformation?