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This year’s presidential campaign focuses quite a bit on President Obama’s statement earlier this year about the relationship between businesses and government.  The line “You didn’t build that” is central in the contest of visions between Republicans and Democrats on individual initiative, personal enterprise, and government action. Most of the debate here is important but hardly new.

I was interested though a couple of weeks ago in a column by columnist David Brooks that explored this question beyond the political and market arenas. Brooks traced out the way that a person changes in his life as he thinks about the relationship between his individual initiative and the role not of the government but of mentors and colleagues and proteges in his life and work.

Much of Brooks’ understanding is rooted in an evolutionary model of human nature that I don’t share, but he’s on to some important insights that resonate, I think, with what the Bible tells us about how we’re to think of our place in the mission of the church.

In this episode of “Moore to the Point Audio,” I reflect on how Brooks’ essay prompted me to think about how we as Christians should see our own gifts and ministries.

Let me know what you think. How have mentors and role models and specific churches shaped your ministry? How can you encourage the next generation in their unique individual gifts and drives, for the service of the rest of the Body?