Be the first to know…

“Spiritual leadership means awakening people to the creatures they really are in Christ. It is like rousing armies of people who are asleep to a great work they must do.”

Spiritual Leadership Today

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW…

Later this month The Brook Network will offer an online leadership development seminar with Mel Lawrenz for church leaders, parents, educators, leaders in business settings, healthcare workers, community leaders, etc.

Why We Need to Persevere

Modeling Perseverance is one of the most powerful forms of spiritual influence.

We don’t seem to use the word perseverance very often. Maybe because it has the word severe in it. Or maybe it seems a bit old-fashioned, like King James Bible English. There is no question that other words roll more easily off the tongue, like winning, succeeding, finishing. But here it is, the biblical mandate: persevere.

The best influencers know how to persevere. Whether or not they know the duration of the effort, the struggles ahead, the distance to the finish line-or even whether there is a finish line—they keep going. One foot in front of the other. Progressing one inch at a time. Each day a new opportunity to start again. People who persevere hold to a conviction that plodding ahead pleases God, even when there is no applause and no immediate reward.

In Times of Crisis

Crisis opens us like an earthquake cracking the crust of the earth. A crisis is a time to decide, a turning point. Crisis moments require spiritual responsiveness and open a whole new opportunity for sustained spiritual influence. Crisis is where we learn about our base instincts, because people’s hearts are torn open, what is inside comes out, and new truths and values may enter in.

Of all the formative influences in people’s spiritual lives, the experience that is the most influential is crisis. People never forget a heartrending, danger-ridden passage—a true crisis—and what they learned about faith during and after that time. The most deforming experiences in life often turn out to be the most formative.

The Ministry of Presence

Time and again in the Scriptures, what God says in times of crisis is: I am here. I will not abandon you. You are not alone.

Walking Lightly in the Halls of Power

On this big news day in which power and influence are on people’s minds, Billy Graham turns 94-years-old. His life illustrates godly ambition.

From “Sanctify Ambition” in Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership.

One man has proclaimed the good news of Jesus to more people in the world than any other person in history. Over a period of six decades, he has been sought by the men who have been president of the United States. He walked through open doors of foreign heads of state, leaders of industry, and religious leaders of every sort. Hundreds of millions of households knew him through the television screen. And all this happened because Billy Graham is a most ambitious man.

A Call for Wisdom in Washington

To our leaders in government:

We will perish in foolishness if we do not grow in wisdom.

We elected you to office to do near-impossible tasks: to defend us in an unsafe world, to structure the basic services of an ordered society, to protect those who are vulnerable. We ask you to govern, but with our consent. We plead with you to address major social and economic problems, but we know that our culture often works against solutions.

Applying “Taking Initiative”

Check back here for questions and comments applying part 2 of “Deepen Your Influence – the Online Seminar.”

After you view the seminar segment (“Taking Initiative”…)

Where do you find the very best ideas for the work of influence and leadership? [comment below]

If spiritual influence includes “making things right,” what is one way in which you have seen that in action? [comment below]

Have you experienced a time when crisis was an opportunity to have spiritual influence? [comment below]

Eleven Nations—One Pursuit

If we want to pursue wisdom for our life and work we must reach beyond the circles we normally move in to find people who have the same questions we do, but whose life experiences are different than ours. This past week I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of guiding a diverse international group of leaders into a learning community, exploring the ways we can make an impact in our families, our churches, and our communities today.

The fifteen guests for this year’s session of The International Center sponsored by Elmbrook Church come from Malaysia, Nepal, India, Iran, Paraguay, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Brazil, Belize, and Cuba. Fifty years ago this week the Cuban Missile Crisis was unfolding–and now we have with us three pastors from Cuba.

Online seminar starting soon

For months now we have been preparing a special online learning experience for you that will help you make a greater impact in your work, your leadership, your family, your church, and your life.

I have done the “Deepen Your Influence” seminar now with many groups in the U.S. and overseas, and I am genuinely enthused to engage with you in an online version of it which will spread over 8 weeks beginning the week of October 15. With everyone’s schedules being so full, we’re glad to offer this learning experience you can engage in from the convenience of your own home or office.

Here’s more info (important to sign up now).

 

Transformation of the Heart

Bill Lenz, pastor of Christ the Rock Community Church, recently informed me of a leadership development program called “Transformation of the Heart.” I’ve known Bill for many years and respect their ministry. And this opportunity in beautiful Green Lake, Wisconsin, looks fantastic. Go HERE for more information, including two videos that explain their program.

Transformation of the Heart is a journey designed to promote life change in the hearts of Christian leaders, pastors, and their spouses. When you look at an iceberg, only the top 10% is visible above the waterline. Many churches are struggling because efforts are focused on the visible 10% of our lives which are externally visible, butdo not seem to help transform our emotional and spiritual core-the 90% of our being that is not externally visible. At Transformation of the Heart, God moves individuals and church communities to examine and transform emotional and spiritual health in a facilitated small group model. It is for church communities which hunger for a way to engage the underlying brokenness and sinful patterns in our hearts and to allow God to redeem and transform them. This has been the pivotal path through which Christ the Rock Community Church has discipled hundreds of new and old believers for over 20 years.”

A Call for Wisdom in Washington

A Call for Wisdom in Government

Mel Lawrenz

To our leaders in government:

We will perish in foolishness if we do not grow in wisdom.

We elected you to office to do near-impossible tasks: to defend us in an unsafe world, to structure the basic services of an ordered society, to protect those who are vulnerable. We ask you to govern, but with our consent. We plead with you to address major social and economic problems, but we know that our culture often works against solutions.

In short, we ask you to do those things that do not come naturally to human beings. But we need you to try.

We all must grow past the foolishness of naivety, irresponsibility, and cynicism. And we need leaders who will lead the way. We call on you to seek a higher wisdom in your leadership.

You have power, but the corruptions of pride and arrogance will ruin your integrity.

You have authority, but you need to develop moral authority to have an enduring and honorable influence.

You have responsibility to speak truth, but there are powerful forces compelling you to spin, obfuscate, and lie.

We need you to be intelligent and learned, but with wisdom. We need strong leadership that comes not from force of personality and will, but from the strength of truth. We do not need you to dictate what we should do, we need streams of wisdom so that we will all understand what we may do and should choose to do.

Above all we need respect. We need you to respect all people in every part of the world regardless of their station in life because the dignity of human beings bestowed by God the Creator is the foundation of a civilized society. (1)

The “unalienable rights” of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness need to be balanced with the responsibilities of justice, equity, and generosity.

We need you to come up with good ideas that are based on great ideals. We, the public, understand that disagreement, debate, and tension are all part of the process of governing. But we implore you to find consensus for the vexing problems of our times.

We have elected you to do near-impossible tasks. That is why you need “the wisdom from above” which is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (2) If your work is infused with that quality of wisdom, there is no telling how much you might accomplish.

Carry out your tasks by modeling what is required of all people: “to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” (3)

Winning is not enough. Dominance is empty. Common sense is not at all common. We pray that you will have the the courage and selflessness of Solomon who said to God on the day he became a leader: “give me wisdom… to govern this great people.” (4)

Notes

1 Genesis 1:27
2 James 3:17
3 Micah 6:8
4 2 Chronicles 1:10

Mel Lawrenz

[If you agree with this statement, use the SHARE function below.]

What Does God Require of Us?

All of us wrestle with the expectations that other people have of us. The only expectations that matter, ultimately, are God’s expectations. If we live up to those, with God’s help, we will be fulfilling the reasonable expectations others have.

The prophet Micah said, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). God has shown us what is good. He has not left us in the dark. We don’t need to invent or reinvent the mission of God.

Planting the Seminal Idea

When we think of the great leaders of the past, we may remember their accomplishments, but just as likely we remember some great idea–a seminal idea–which dominated their lives and drove them to accomplish the great thing. Seminal, from the Latin word for seed, means something so compelling that it has a profound influence on others. The seminal idea sprouts and grows, and then it bears fruit. It gives life. The seminal idea spreads its own seed in hidden places. It infiltrates. It may subvert. It has the potential to prevail.

Abraham Lincoln was compelled by the seminal idea that the union of the states could not be broken. Winston Churchill championed the seminal idea that tyranny should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Martin Luther King Jr.’s seminal idea was that all people are owed the same respect because they have the same God-given dignity.