DNA of Jesus
by Liam Glover
[5 minute read]
Whilst on Long Service Leave this year in the Northern Territory, I came across a shirt which had on it a fingerprint in yellow, with a backdrop of red and black (essentially a stylised Aboriginal Flag). The words, “It’s in my DNA” were printed underneath the fingerprint.
I resonated immediately with the shirt, recognising my indigenous heritage from the Bundjalung people of the Northern Rivers of NSW. I pushed through the clothing on the racks trying to find a shirt size for me, and, frustratingly, was unsuccessful in my endeavours.
As I left the store, and after some limited research, I realised I could grab my size online. I would have usually pressed straight away the buy now button but I didn’t quite get that far (and to be honest I’m still receiving emails saying that I haven’t completed my order).
I continued to ponder and recognised that I didn’t need a shirt to tell the world that it’s in my DNA, but that my life should reveal that it’s in my DNA. My mind hopped from me having indigenous DNA to me carrying (and revealing) Jesus DNA to me seeing a picture of the DNA strand.
Arrow is committed to developing Jesus centred leaders, whose leadership is reflective and constitutive of Jesus’ DNA. I am an Arrow Leader, so what does this mean?
If Jesus is “in my DNA” then the data (metrics) of my life should reflect that reality. For example:
The time I spend engaging in Kingdom activity – seeking the right ordering of life, pursuing justice for those without justice, enjoying beauty and artistry, engaging in creativity, encouraging reconciliation, etc – should be noticeable.
The way I handle my finances should also bear testimony to Jesus being Lord of my life and King in his Kingdom. Living generously, my bank account should reveal me giving towards the local church, supporting those who are praying and acting towards the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, “your kingdom come and will be done on earth as in heaven” and being a blessing as the opportunity presents.
I would also be maintaining my connection to the vine (John 15) and increasing in my experiential knowledge of God and his son Jesus, through study, devotions and learning in community. “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth” (John 17:3).
In what ways does your life ‘data’ reflect Jesus in your DNA?
Similarly, if Jesus is “in my DNA” then the narrative (story) of my life should reflect that reality. For example:
I would be sharing with others stories of Jesus’ life giving work in those I know, pointing people towards a life with Jesus.
I would also be sharing stories of Jesus’s redemptive work in my life – not merely the time I came to experience his saving grace but his ongoing redemptive work where I “throw off those things that so easily entangle and sin” (Hebrews 12:1). In this way I am bringing testimony to the greatness of Jesus Christ through my words (and actions).
I would be inviting those who would listen to weave their personal story in with God’s redemptive story to discover God going “immeasurably abundantly beyond what we hope or imagine” (Ephesians 3:30).
In what ways does your life ‘narrative’ reflect Jesus in your DNA?
Having reflected personally on the questions above, I then wondered how our answers would be different if we considered these questions at an organisational or departmental level.
How do your organisational metrics – key result areas / impact measures / return on mission – reflect the DNA of Jesus? We can sometimes be so consumed with sustainability of the organisation that attention to the mission / purpose of the organisation diminishes.
Might organisations that reflect the DNA of Jesus have, for example, proactive ways of reducing friction in internal and external processes (right ordering of processes). As well as justice and truth in all ways at all levels with all stakeholders and strategies to bring peace to unresolved conflicts?
What organisational narrative is perpetuated, shared, and celebrated at team meetings, lunch breaks, company wide announcements and through media releases that point toward, in part at least, flourishing lives? The enduring narrative, shaping organisational culture, reveals what is most important “around here.”
And of course, these two elements —data and narrative — interact with each other in an adaptive way.
I find most people can share a great story. These stories might be outliers (exceptional stories of transformation) or indicative of the average outcomes of our leadership or influence in the organisation in which we serve. Only data will confirm this reality or otherwise.
An engaging narrative stirs hearts and can cause people to act differently through allocating in new ways their resources (time and money). This compelling narrative informs data, which catalyses new stories to be told which again stirs hearts, and so on. There is an adaptive link between data and narrative.
Some questions to think about:
So how does your Data, Narrative and Adaptiveness (DNA) reflect the DNA of Jesus?
And how do those you lead know and experience your DNA?
In what ways does the DNA of your department, section, church or organisation reflect the DNA of Jesus?
What are the new data series (measures of success) that needs to be developed?
What is the new narrative that needs to be told and retold?
What new ways are needed to be increasingly adaptive?
Liam enjoys an abundant life having served for many years in start-ups in the Christian Not For Profit sector. He is passionate about most things, but particularly his relationship with our trinitarian God, his wife of 30 years, his three adult boys (+ new daughters), development, the kingdom and coffee. He loves ideating, communicating complex concepts simply, writing and exercise.