Tag Archives: Spiritual Influence
“The highest currency leaders trade on is trust.”
How’s that for a Monday morning reminder! And what a reminder it is, especially at the start of a week that will tempt us in any number of ways to violate that trust, that will coax us into sacrificing our integrity at the altar of selfish ambition, desire, pleasure, you name it.
This powerful reminder to us ministry leaders comes from Mel Lawrenz’s new book Spiritual Influence: The Hidden Power Behind Leadership. Our highest currency as ministry leaders is the trust we cultivate and maintain between us and our people. In other words, the only thing that matters for spiritual influence is integrity. As I wrote last month, one of the main reasons we believe God has called us to ministry is to influence people. We got into this business, paid or volunteer, in order to influence people to give their life and lifestyle to King Jesus. And the trust it takes to have that privileged influence must be cultivated and maintained.
While flipping through Lawrenz’s book, I was reminded about my weighty responsibility to steward one of my greatest assets as a leader, a life of integrity. He reminded me that integrity carries with it the heavy burden of being whole, intact, connected. And that burden has everything to do with pursuing a whole, intact, connected public and private life. Here are some potent words for us this Monday:
Mel Lawrenz is a minister at Elmbrook Church and the author of Spiritual Influence: The Hidden Power Behind Leadership. He’s offering a free online seminar through The Brook Network. I’ve posted the initial details below. You can read all of the information about the seminar here. This is a great opportunity for staff training and development. It’s free, participants aren’t tied to a set schedule, and the content is from a minister who has been in the trenches of church ministry and who deeply loves the Lord. I encourage you to check out this opportunity and to recommend it to others on your ministry staff.
You are invited to follow along with “Deepen Your Influence – the Online Seminar” beginning in the next couple of weeks. This is not a webinar or a class, but a gradually unfolding learning and networking experience over an 8-week period, ending in December. There are no scheduled sessions. You will be able to follow the steps of the seminar on your own time.
“Deepen Your Influence – the Online Seminar” will help you in four specific ways:
1) “Getting Grounded” focusses on strengthening your spiritual roots; 2) “Taking Initiative” shows how you can deepen your influence through your spiritual resources; 3) “Going Deep” reveals your potential power to produce enduring influence; and 4) “Facing Challenges” will help you get through difficulties and discouragements that prevent you from being a deeper influence.
How will this “online seminar” work? Very simply.
If you sign up, in the 8-week period beginning the week of October 15 you will receive a series of emails that will lead you step-by-step through the seminar.You will learn through four kinds of experiences…
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 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.
Some 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.
“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.
‘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.
For a while now Chris and I have been discussing the idea of sharing some info about the publishing process. Today’s is post is the first to follow up on that idea. We plan to post once per week on the publishing process. Likely, the posts will appear on Fridays. We hope you enjoy these, and if you don’t, well…we’ll stop. But on to today’s topic….
What’s an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)?
In yesterday’s post we gave away advanced reader copies of Spiritual Influence by Mel Lawrenz. These copies have a glued binding like normal softcover books. They’re made with a cream paper and they have a lighter weight paper for their cover than a typical book. They have a Z logo on the front that says “Advance Reading Copy, Not For Sale.” On the back cover they have information about the marketing campaign for the book and the publicist’s contact info. The interior content of the book is nearly final, with perhaps a few more edits pending.
All of this isn’t to say that these ARC’s aren’t good looking, quality copies of the book. In fact, they are just the opposite – which is why we print them.
ARC’s look like real books. They are just as heavy as a real book. They are in the same trim size the final book will appear in, and their covers have just as much vibrancy and color as the final covers will have. ARC’s also have fully designed pages inside. The font, sub-headings, chapter openers, diagrams, images, and other design elements have already been designed by the time ARC’s are made. The overall experience upon reading an ARC vs. a final printed copy is very similar.
So why do we print them?
ARC’s are printed primarily to secure media and publicity opportunities for the author before the book is actually available. Most media outlets – radio, TV, magazines, news websites – work pretty far in advance. Media channels need to know what books are coming out far ahead of the release dates if they plan to showcase the book in their channel at all. So, in the case of Spiritual Influence, which releases in July, we printed the ARC’s a while back so we could begin sending them to magazines and other media channels. Then, when the final book comes out in July and starts really hitting the market in August and September the media channels will be ahead of the game and able to feature the book and interview Mel.
Make sense? Those who have worked in publicity at all could probably go on about this process with much greater detail, but this is at least a snapshot of the why we print ARC’s.
Do you have questions about the publishing process? Let’s us know what it is below and we’ll cover it in one of our Friday posts.