Tag Archives: leadership

Why do you believe God has called you to ministry?

Last week I opened my weekly column by walking through two questions I was asked during my church planter assessment that continue to hover just over my shoulder: “Why do you believe that God has called you to ministry?  What were the formative events that led you to this conclusion?” In order to introduce myself I answered the second question by tracing several formative ministry calling events. Today I’d like to answer the first question: Why ministry?

For pastors, Mondays can be a particularly great day to sit back and marinate over this question after a jam-packed week and even more jam-packed weekend. Perhaps you’re a small group leader who needs a reminder of why you signed up and volunteered to minister to a group of souls week in, week out. Whether you’re in professional ministry or not, sometimes we need a reminder of why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Before I get to my answer, what’s yours? Why do you believe that God has called you to ministry? What’s your why?

Your answer can be a strong antidote for those moments when you feel discouraged or distracted from God’s call on your lives. Actually, as I write this I find it to be important in my own ministry life at the moment. And one of the best books I’ve read recently that summarizes why I believe that God has called me to ministry is summarized in its two word title: Spiritual influence.

Deep in my inner being God has wedged this insatiable desire to impact people spiritually—to influence people in such a way that they give their life and lifestyle to Jesus Christ, as Lord and Rescuer. Another word for spiritual influence is discipleship. My story seems to confirm this calling time and time again.

The Spiritual Influence Blog Tour

Mel Lawrenz, leadership, discipleshipThe “Spiritual Influence” Blog Tour

The blog tour is this week! I’ll be keeping a list below of the stops on the tour. I will update it as the reviews are posted. So be sure to check back.

Spiritual Influence: The Hidden Power Behind Leadership is a book written for leaders at any level of any organization, or even leaders in the home. This book is about the hidden currents of power behind leadership. It’s about character, wisdom, integrity, and perseverance. This book will help people understand how they can make lasting change in whatever sphere they live in a way that pleases the Lord and connects with the Holy Spirit. Read on for more!

The Blog Tour

  • The Squirrel Factor blog – One of my favorite book reviewers suggests that the book could be read in a small group or taught as a semester-long course. Great idea! (She also includes a mini-rant about the subtitle. If you have an opinion, I’d love to hear it.)
  • MGPC’s Pastor’s Blog (Gary Ware) – In this review a pastor tells us “what he liked” and “what he’s not sure about.” I love the format. It’s so helpful for quick reading. Thanks, Gary.

Spiritual Influence is available in print and as an eBook wherever books are sold.
Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, ChristianBook.com, and Zondervan.com
Download a PDF sample.

Spiritual Influence by Mel Lawrenz…the reviews are popping up!

Mel Lawrenz, leadership, discipleshipSome of you have already signed up for the Spiritual Influence blog tour. (Reminder, the tour is scheduled for 8/20 -8/24. If you’ve not gotten your copy in the mail yet please wait patiently. It will be there soon! ;-) Other bloggers are starting to review the book as well. I wanted to highlight two today:

The High Calling Blog - I love this quote from the review because I think many, many readers will resonate with this feeling:

I had never thought of myself in these terms—had never considered serving as a form of leadership. But according to Mel Lawrenz in his book Spiritual Influence: The Hidden Power Behind Leadership, serving is a form of worship and one quality of an effective spiritual influencer.

Read the whole review here.

Choose the Cross Blog – Have you ever read a book on leadership and walked away amped by your own potential and talent? I’m not saying a little boost to your self-esteem is always a bad thing. But I think that sometimes certain leadership books can leave us feeling like WE have all the power to do whatever WE WANT.

This reviewer points out that Spritual Influence offers a

I found that reading the book was a spiritual experience in itself, an exercise in practising humility rather than the boost to selfish ambition that discussion of leadership success often provides. …the book is more about influencing by taking on failures, heartbreaks and frustrations than it is about achieving worldly success.

Now that’s refreshing! Read the whole review here.

Blog Tour Sign Up: Spiritual Influence by Mel Lawrenz

Mel Lawrenz, leadership, discipleship“Mel Lawrenz has given us all a new baseline for leadership that is personal, wise, and spiritual. It spans generations and reaches across cultures. Just think what will happen if believers in positions of influence tie into the wisdom and the power that come from God in order to bring restoration in our broken world!” – Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor, National Community Church

This blog tour sign up is now closed. Sorry! Check back to read the reviews during the week of August 20-24. 

Spiritual Influence by Mel Lawrenz

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Spiritual Influence is available in print or as an eBook at these and other booksellers:
Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and ChristianBook.com

‘If you are in a position of positive influence, if you exercise leadership in any way, your faith in God gives you a power—a hidden power—that will allow you to make an enduring difference in the lives of other people and organizations. But how does that power work?’

So says Mel Lawrenz in this fresh look at leadership which offers practical and biblical guidance to believers who want to have a deep influence and who want to know: What is the proper use of authority and power? Where do good ideas come from? How can we deal with failure? What does God expect of us?

Drawing from more than thirty years of experience in pastoral ministry, Lawrenz writes for Christians in any position of influence. This book provides a new baseline for 21st century Christian leadership, addressing issues such as:

* building integrity
* seizing opportunities
* exploring new horizons
* speaking into crises
* receiving power
* accepting authority
* promoting truth
* managing expectations
* dealing with criticism

Using real-life examples, key Scripture passages, and history, Lawrenz shows that when believers align their responsibility to lead with the teaching of Jesus and the work of God’s Spirit, their spiritual influence will have integrity and enduring effectiveness. Download a sample chapter.

“Lawrenz gives us hope that the leadership pendulum which has swung from “over- spiritualized” to “de-spiritualized” in recent generations may have finally come to rest where it always belonged-upon Jesus Christ.”

Skye Jethani, Senior Editor, Leadership Journal (from the foreword)

“It is exciting to think about believers at every level of society rising to a new call to exercise powerful spiritual influence. In his newest book, Spiritual Influence, Mel Lawrenz has given us all a new baseline for leadership that is personal, wise, and spiritual. It spans the generations and reaches across cultures. Just think what will happen if believers in positions of influence tie into the wisdom and the power that comes from God in order to bring restoration in our broken world!”

Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor, National Community Church in Washington, D.C.

Purchase Spiritual influence now on Amazon.com, BN.com, and CBD.com or download a sample chapter.

The Bill Hybels leadership 3-Pack

Coming soon to a bookseller near you…


Andy Stanley at Catalyst 2011

I was blessed to attend the Catalyst Lab Day this year, and the first day of the Catalyst Conference. The opening session was Andy Stanley.

Chris Fann (sometimes-contributor here at EC) and I heard him speak together and have been buzzing about it since. Others have typed up more detailed posts here, here, and especially here, so I won’t bother to do that now.

But I do want to pass on the two big ideas that blew me away:

1) “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”
2) “When you do for one, you often end up doing for more than just one.”

Regardless of your employment, I assume your work is like mine: an overload of connections, distractions, and opportunities to serve other people. Andy talked about how we tend to drift towards one of two opposite extremes when we become overwhelmed, we either try to help everyone and burn out; or we shut ourselves away and serve no one.

That’s where the above statements come into play. We need to be wise, discerning, and prayerful about who we pour ourselves into. If we serve where God would have us serve he will often end up blessing many more people as a result of our faithful service to just the one we originally set out

Catalyst Conferenceto serve.

That’s it in a nutshell. Andy was more eloquent in his delivery, of course.

I was thankful to be there and hear that message.

John Dickson webcast: “If I were God I would end all the pain”

I’m looking forward to a webcast Willow Creek Community Church is putting on with John Dickson. It’s a few weeks out right now but I want to mention it to all as soon as I heard about it. It’s called: “If I were God I Would End all the Pain.”

John Dickson recently released Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership
with Zondervan. He’s one of the most profound and impressive scholar/pastor/historian/evangelist writers I’ve ever read, and he’s just as good when he speaks live. Here’s the blurb about the webcast from Willow Creek’s site. You can sign up for the webcast (it’s free and it will be archived online) here.

If I Were God, I Would End All the Pain

with John Dickson

September 21, 2011
11:30 am – 12:30 pm CST

Join John Dickson Wednesday, September 21st at 11:30 a.m. (CST) for a discussion on “If I were God, I Would End All the Pain.” Dickson will explore the contrasts between the views of pain and suffering between different world faiths and Christianity.

Read the rest of the post and sign up on Willow Creek’s page.

Here’s John’s video for Humilitas

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