The Brook Network is an exchange of ideas and growing set of relationships aimed at helping Christians find God’s wisdom to be people of influence in our needy world. Sponsored by Elmbrook Church, the Brook Network offers events and group experiences, learning opportunities, audio and print resources, and a blog where you can engage with the issues of the day.

Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and is the director of The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, for ten years as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help serious believers engage with each other. Mel is the author of thirteen books, the latest, Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership (Zondervan, 2012). See other books here.

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A letter from Mel Lawrenz

Dear friend:

We live in amazing times! No one knows when the next catastrophe will be upon us, or the next opportunity for the kingdom message of Jesus to be that clarion call, the singular call, that pushes us to a new level of obedience. We need people of influence today–good, informed, wise believers who occupy every sector of our society. And in that we need each other. The Brook Network (www.thebrooknetwork.org) is a new commitment by Elmbrook Church to be a resource for you, focusing on two things: sharing ideas, pursuing wisdom.

Over the past decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church, and in the years previous in other responsibilities, I’ve witnessed an amazing spreading of creative new forms of ministry. Many leaders have gone from protecting the past to envisioning the amazing opportunities for the future. We have gone from talking about “engagement” to actually engaging. Not a vague engagement that means tasting the soup of our culture, but engagement in the sense of closing the gap between divine resources and human need. Not grinding the gears (the machinery of ministry), or merely revving the engine (all talk, no action), but really getting the clutch engaged. Engagement in transforming worship, in genuine koinonia, in community action, and in global initiatives.

At a practical level, we need to pay attention to the nuts and bolts of Christian life and witness today–but if we never get beyond that point we will be creators of machines and not movements. We need good ideas from each other. But we need more than that. Whether the subject is global mission, local outreach, worship, spiritual growth, or evangelism, we need good ideas that are rooted in great ideals. People of influence need more than passion and vision–we need wisdom. The Brook Network is founded on this metaphor from Proverbs 18:4; “the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” We need to drink from that source today!

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