The Face of Success

KCCS CEO Address 2015

What a joy it is to see so many Christian leaders gathered together in one place. For those of you who may not know me, my name is David Kalamen, and I am the founding pastor, and the CEO of Kelowna Christian Center Society. As you can see, KCCS has become more than a church ministry, morphing into educational, administrative, technological and missional expressions.

I lead this organization through an executive team that has been expanded to represent all spheres of the Society. That executive team account to a Board of Directors ensuring that we fulfill our spiritual responsibility to God for the mission, belief and values and to government for the Society’s commitment to financial integrity, interpersonal health through HR and compliance to best practice.

Note: DAVE Talks is a Society bulletin that you will all be receiving monthly. The focus – unlike TED Talks – technology, entertainment and Design – will be a commitment to disciple, advise, value and energize. Though many of you are working in different departments, you are all an extension of the heart and vision birthed in the heart of this one entity, Kelowna Christian Center, nearly 34 years ago.

For us to succeed, we are all on the same page. In Matthew 12:25, Jesus said, “Any kingdom (organization, ministry) that is divided against itself is being brought to desolation and laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will last or continue to stand.” Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last (among others), said it another way: “We succeed at our very best only when we help others succeed.

KCCS Mandate and Method

             So, let me introduce you to KCCS’ mandate and mission. When KCCS was born in 1982 – “John said, “What is born of God overcomes the world” (1 Jn 5:4) – its DNA was established by the Lord in a passage of scripture familiar to most of you (Isa 61). That portion has been a guide post to what we have done and why for 33.5 years.

In this passage you will see the fundamental need for the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and that through the anointing we would be able to rebuild lives, ruined cities, devastated generations and cultures, eat the wealth of nations, and our children would be known as blessed around the globe. This is the why we do what we do. We are called to be a missional, transformational and kingdom building force, at home and abroad.

The way we do it is through Christian discipleship. Every extension of KCCS has a discipleship design and purpose: KCC, HCS, HCOS, ICOS, church planting, missions. Christian discipleship is mission critical to everything we do. Its absence, at any level, undermines the success of the call and mission. We must learn to live for what’s worth dying for!

I believe that you are here because of that common goal: as pastors, educators, administrators, financial managers, technicians, and business leaders, you have seen the end goal and are committed to impacting lives, families and communities and influencing a nation. Horst Schulze said, “Don’t hire people to fill a position, select chosen people to fulfill a dream and to serve a purpose.” Bonnhoeffer said it more succinctly in the Cost of Discipleship, “He bids us to come and die.” The team that is here has demonstrated that heart of sacrifice: eg. earliest pastors and teachers served freely at times to get us to this place.

Beliefs and Values

The mission is personal, community and global influence through the anointing and the declaration of the gospel. The method is Christian discipleship. The process of doing so is guarded over by core beliefs and values. Because our beliefs are clearly defined by a Statement of Faith, I want to outline some of our key values, values that will hold us together in times of internal and external threats.

Here are some shared values that I contend are the essence of what true success looks like.

  • Visionary leadership – we believe that God does not lead through committee’s but by raising up leaders who He anoints to lead. That leadership must be accountable, both to God in terms of ethics and integrity, and to Government, internally and externally. Everyone must be accountable to someone. It may be difficult at times for you to see from your perspective why a leader is making certain decisions, but unless they are doing something unethical, unbiblical, or immoral, pray for them and yield. “Without a vision (and a visionary), the people perish (cannot succeed)” (Pr 29:18 –“ If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed” (Msg).
  • Mutual honour and respect – KCCS has worked hard to develop a culture of honour and respect. I am very aware that what has been built over a lifetime can be undermined in a minute, so honour and respect each other, and this should be evident by the way we think, feel, speak and act towards each other. This principle extends upward, downward and sideways. No one is above the need to yield to these values, regardless of position. Romans 1 depicts the devolution of a society when God is not honoured. Key to the restoration of honour is to walk in the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 15:33 states, “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honour” (NIV). Proverbs 22:4 says, “Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honour and life” (NIV). Authority and submission replaced by honour and covenant!
  • Relational integrity and long-term commitment – many of us have walked together for many years, through good, bad and ugly. Eg Billy Graham. We have given grace and received grace in that time period, and grown through it. I met with departmental managers this year to establish better ways to secure and enhance our relationships through a “conflict and resolution policy.” I am committed to ensuring that every employee is treated with dignity and value, and that we grow old, not “get old” together and are still in love with each other at the end of the day. One man said, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” True success is the result of teamwork. As Maxwell said it in his book, “Teamwork makes the dream work.
  • Personal purity and spiritual growth – character development and maturity is not the only thing, but it is a critical component of what the face of true success looks like. Craig Groeschel stated, “If your character is not strengthening, your future potential is weakening.” Truly successful people do not compete or compare themselves to each other: they collaborate with others and are committed to being the best they can be, as they live their life before an audience of One, knowing that one day they will have to give an account. When you puff yourself up and put someone else down, both of you lose. The health of the private life is more important than the image we present to others through the outer life (character over charisma). People see what you do, but only God (and you) see who you are. It takes great people to refuse to sacrifice “who they are” for “what they can get!” Success here requires a vibrant relationship to God.
  • Multi-generational continuity and legacy – truly successful people (and organizations) concentrate on “significance” over “success.” They think of “eternal impact” and not “” The common adage is this: “There is no success without a successor.” True success is not uni-generational, but multi-generational. Jesus was thinking about you when He died. The Holy Spirit was given to the disciples and to all who were afar off. True success is reflected in the drive to be “mentors” as well as “movers.” The race we are in, according to Hebrews 12, is not a one-man race, but a race that has people who have gone before us and those on the horizon to join us after we are gone.
  • Faith driven rather than fear driven – truly successful people and organizations have never been afraid of failure. There is a great divide between “failing” and “being a failure.” I was young and now I am old, and this I have found to be true: “Failure is only a delay, not a defeat,” a “temporary roadblock, not a dead-end street” (William Ward). The law of failure is one of the most powerful laws of success. With God, if we learn to fail forward in humility upon His grace, He has the capability of redeeming every defeat and turning into victory. They believe in the resurrection life of God.

Conclusion

I saw a saying recently by Heather Cortez. You may have read it. She said, “To the world you may only be one person but to one person you may be the world.” Never under-estimate your value, to God, to this ministry, to your leaders and fellow-workers, to future generations, and to Canada, as it sits on the precipice of either revival and reformation or infamy.

God has invited you – you are not hirelings, you are called and chosen ones – to work on His agenda, using the talents you have been blessed with, to serve Him in ways that will have eternal impact. I pray that you see your place here as more than a job or career but as servants for His Name’s sake. Do what you do as unto the Lord, knowing that to Him one day you will ultimately account and may that day be one of exceedingly great joy.

When you look in the mirror, just remember KCCS Who is looking back at you! “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4).