Leading Through Complexity
Humility as a Guide
As a writer just starting out I found Bishop McKinney to be a humble man who was easy to entreat. He gave me access to do my job as a writer just starting out with COGIC. My confidence was increased by his cooperation as he freely gave me information and opened up without a reservation to candid questions. I kept his number saved in my phone for years even though I only used it on two different occasions it was like having power in my pocket. When I called him the second time he obliged me and participated in a panel discussion in The Whole Truth (TWT) article called, “Leading Through Complexity” that appeared in April, May, June 2017 edition. (RE Boswell)
Leading Through Complexity
TWT: Does your personality assist or take away from handling tough issues?
Bishop Mc Kinney: I was born the 9 of 14 children in abject poverty. A son of a Pastor and Sharecropper early in life, I experienced health problems and the pain of racism and discrimination. We learned to Trust God, practice love and forgiveness and God would see us through. My personality reflects this Faith and dependence on God. My patience and confidence in God enable me to deal with tough issues.
TWT: How do you maintain your spiritual growth?
Bishop Mc Kinney: I maintain my spiritual growth through practicing “the presence of Christ”. I believe he is with us all the time. I practice the spiritual discipline of prayer, meditating, singing, reading, worship and service to the least among us.
TWT: How do you strengthen yourself when facing internal opposition?
Bishop Mc Kinney: When facing internal opposition, I strengthen myself through prayer. I want to know how I contributed to the internal opposition. I pray for wisdom and the spirit of righteousness and peace that there be no bitterness or unforgiveness. How I face, opposition is informed by Mark 11:22-28 and Matthew 18.
TWT: What is the biggest problem when working with a council of elders?
Bishop Mc Kinney: The biggest problem when working with the Council of Elders is engaging them in a journey from carnal worldly thinking to biblical spiritual thinking and from “church thinking” to kingdom thinking.
As a Climate Change Advocate
The Centennial Proclamation (2007) presented by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake was an interfaith document that called for a directive for future leadership to reverse current “ill-conceived” social trends, including those that threaten the environment.
In response to the Bible’s God-given mandate to exercise good stewardship over the earth (Gen 1:26, 2:15). Church of God in Christ (COGIC), General Board (the presidium) Member and Bishop George D. McKinney, Ph.D. Prelate of the Southern California Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Senior Pastor of St. Stephen’s Cathedral submitted a resolution on behalf of the General Board at the April Call meeting entitled, Climate Change 1 which was quickly recognized and resolved into COGIC
The COGIC Climate Change Resolution: “resolved to take action and recognize our role and responsibilities in confronting climate change, and engage in measurable stewardship actions that reduce energy consumption, use sustainable practices in our houses, building and houses of worship, and seek good counsel in peer-reviewed climate scientist that will increase our knowledge and actions to confront climate change (Prov. 12:15; 15:22).
Also, the Church of God In Christ, Inc. pledges to find ways to reduce the impact and risk of climate change through promoting good stewardship habits and increase awareness in our houses, business, relationships, and congregations” 1
As an Author
Bishop McKinney, author of eight books and contributor of many more also wrote a chapter in a collection of sermons and lectures published by the Evangelical Environment Network (EEN) called, The Best Preaching on Earth. Bishop McKinney has been a member of EEN since 1993.
Psalm 24 is a foundational scripture for Bishop McKinney’s view concerning environmental issues. According to Bishop McKinney action must be taken in response to the scientific findings relating to the current condition of our environment.
Bishop McKinney affirmed in his review presented on behalf of the General Board, the findings of a United Nations Program, called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that, “confirmed the increase of the number and length of heatwaves, the increase of the frequency of heavy rainfalls and the increase of duration and intensity of droughts.”2
Bishop McKinney presented findings from the IPCC this study “the surging carbon-dioxide (greenhouse gas) levels in our environment are from fossil fuel emissions, recent global temperatures demonstrate human-induced warming, the current sea-level rise is underestimated, the acceleration of melting of glaciers and the delay in action risks irreversible damage.”3
Bishop McKinney said, “In light of these findings, protection of the atmosphere and addressing human suffering are both a moral responsibility and spiritual answers to the divine commandment that humanity takes excellent care of the earth (Gen. 2:15) and that people love God and their neighbors (Matt. 22:37).” 4
- Change is past due, Americans are less than 5% of world population but consume 25% of the world’s resources is not a successful model to those outside American shores and can’t be convinced that our system is the best. 5
- COGIC Resolution # 042013-13, submitted April 10, 2013, by Bishop George D. McKinney
- IPCC, 2012: Summary for policymakers. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaption [Field, C.B., et al. (Eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Proposal Group I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-19.
- The Copenhagen Diagnosis, Executive Summary (2009)
- Proposed Resolution to the General Board, The Church of God in Christ, Inc.
- The Secret History of the American Empire by John Perkins, Aug 7, 2007