7 Questions with Michael Allen
Name: Michael Allen
Current title: CEO and Principal Consultant
Current organisation: The Allen Consulting Firm
Michael has over 17 years of leadership and organizational development experience and is the founder, CEO, and Principal Consultant of The Allen Consulting Firm. Michael has held executive positions in profit and non-profit organizations including CEO, COO, and Executive Pastor positions. Michael’s expertise in strategy, organizational development, and execution, drive his firm’s commitment to excellence in delivery and impact. He and his family have called Houston home for over 30 years.
1. How would you summarise your area of expertise in a few paragraphs?
I am an organizational and social change leader. I identify internal and external barriers to change, develop teams of change agents and change strategies, identify barriers to execution, and eventually drive execution through an agile approach. This approach can be taken in church and in the secular work. Understanding broader social dynamics along with capacity to change within groups is the key to unlocking growth. Without those, you are creating change in a vacuum and any progress can quickly be diminished if not altogether lost. As a student of grace, I understand the barriers inherent in our local church and broader church culture in the United States. Knowing how to address those barriers, both on a macro and micro level, is something that I have developed over time and has been helpful in local church reformation and national church vision. Understanding God's purpose and objective for each believer adds nuance to any approach.
2. One big idea: Can you please unpack the one big idea from your work that seems to resonate most with Christian leaders?
Grace for sanctification. The US has done an excellent job preaching grace for salvation; however, we miss the mark with grace for sanctification including church growth and evangelism. All good things come from our Father as a gift, not as an earned achievement. Our Christian life starts by receiving the free gift of salvation, but most local church programs miss the mark when it comes to living and fulfilling the Christian life. If we begin to preach sanctification in the same way we preach salvation, we will be much further along, and church growth can become more than church member swapping.
3. How did you become a Christian thought leader? Can you please briefly tell the story and share ONE tip for any Christian leaders out there who'd like to become Christian thought leaders themselves?
I became a Christian thought leader by default, I did not set out to do so. As I began to share the gospel as a foundation for Christian living, I became increasingly aware of how little this simple new testament/covenant principle was preached and applied. Being a thought leader is great, being dedicated to God’s call on your life is better. If you are called, you will be equipped.
4. You're sitting down over a coffee with a Christian leader and you can only give them ONE tip to help them as a Christian leader. What would you say to them?
Don’t confuse new testament commands with old covenant principles; the two do not mix well.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your thoughts on Christian leadership? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted you?
Master Plan for Evangelism by, Robert Coleman, hands down. This thoughtful piece dissects the approach of Jesus in disciple making. I love to use this book in secular managerial training as well.
6. What's the most recent significant Christian leadership lesson you've learned?
God is far more interested in leading people to Jesus than I am. Believe that and new covenant principles are closer in view.
7. What is one meaningful story from a reader or someone who's been influenced by your Christian thought leadership so far?
Too many to count, however, I am always pleasantly surprised when someone that has been a part of the Church for a long time realizes the transformative power of the gospel in Christian living.