Last week we met with Ken Blanchard (pictured above) while we were in San Diego for the National Outreach Conference. Few people have impacted the day-to-day management of people and companies as has Ken Blanchard. A gregarious, sought-after, and prominent author, speaker, and business consultant, he is universally characterized by friends, colleagues, and clients as one of the most insightful, powerful, and compassionate men in business today. His coauthored The One Minute Manager library, includes The One Minute Manager (1982), Putting the One Minute Manager to Work (1984), The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey (1989), and The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams (1990). The library has collectively sold more than nine million books and has been translated into more than 20 languages. He shared with our small group very candidly and passionately about his conversion to Christ in his 40's.
Two days ago, our group had lunch with N.T. Wright (pictured above...the guy in the center with the cool clerical collar and cross) and his wife, Maggie. The Rev. N. T. Wright is Bishop of Durham, Church of England. Bishop Wright is one of today's best known and respected New Testament scholars. From 1978 to 1981 he was Fellow and Chaplain at Downing College, Cambridge. In 1981 he received the D.Phil. degree from the University of Oxford. He then moved to Montreal as Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies at McGill University. He returned in 1986 to Oxford as University Lecturer in New Testament, and Fellow and Chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford. He became Dean of Lichfield in 1994, and Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey in 2000. Also in 2000 he received the earned D.D. degree for his post-doctoral published research work, principally The New Testament and the People of God, The Climax of the Covenant and Jesus and the Victory of God. In 2003 he was elected and ordained Bishop of Durham. Bishop Wright has written over thirty books, both at the scholarly level and for a popular audience.
These are two very different Christian leaders, one a Christian business person whose books and speaking have shaped millions of people for business and the other a Pastoral theologian whose books and speaking have shaped millions of people for vocation. These leaders together symbolize what the Beeson Program is all about, the merger of practical ministry (Blanchard) with thoughtful theology (Wright).