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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Attending The Leadership Summit With 100,000 Leaders From All Over The World

This past week, we Beeson Pastors took part in the Leadership Summit in Lexington Kentucky with 100,000 leaders from all over the world. The actual conference took place at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago, where Bill Hybels serves as senior pastor, and we participated live via satelite. This three day leadership training event included insights from people such as Bill Hybels, Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter, John Ortberg and others. It was a powerful three day event that focused largely on how we leaders can assertively and strategically make a difference in the name of Christ among the neediest people in our communities and world.

God spoke to my heart in numerous and challenging ways. While the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church, the church I serve as senior pastor, in the past few years has done more than we ever have to serve the hungry, homeless and hurting in our community, there is so much more we can and must do. The needs are great but the remedy of Jesus Christ and His Church is equal to the challenge. There are so many people all over the world, people who are not yet professing Christians or church goers, who are using much of their fame, fortune, energy and influence to tirelessly serve the needs of the poor. This is happening while many Christians in many churches are becoming insular, far removed from engagement with the world's most horrific problems. I don't know about you, but I feel embarassed by how little I have done for the needy, especially in light of how much many agnostics have done. And yet, we Christians are the ones who claim to worship and follow Jesus Christ, who came to preach "good news to the poor and set the captives free" (Luke 4). I came away from the conference asking, how can my leadership be used by God to set captives free in my community and world? I also came away saying, "Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me a sinner."

Tim Gilbertsen, SWC's assistant pastor, is continuing to provide teaching on this important issue as it relates to the church we lead. There are many things going through my mind about how I and we can use our God-given resources like finances, time, gifts, abilities and voice to serve the people who seem to have a very special place, not in the eyes of the world, but in the heart of God.

A body that is disproportionate to the head looks really funny. If we, the church body, fail to be congruent with Christ the head, the world will laugh at the misfit. Therefore, let's follow our leader Jesus Christ who was full of the kind of compassion for needy people that led Him to action.

If we are the body...



Anonymous said...

That’s all very well but what about the meaning of life ?

Anonymous said...

In reference to the comment above, the most meaningful way to live life is in congruence with his Christ lived it- in love for God and others in a way that leads to committed action. Hope this short answer helps.

mulberry5 said...

Hey Lenny,
WoW! What an amazing couple of Bloggs! I wish I was on this journey! You are so blessed to experience this year. I pray for you every day brother and although my heart breaks from missing you guys ,I still smile knowing what you are experiencing. I can totally relate to your monastary experience. I know it is hard to believe that I also could ever be silent but between 4 throat surgeries I had 2 weeks of silence after each so that was 8 weeks of silence and one was 3 weeks so 9 TOTAL! Boy did I learn alot about myself. Silence is good for the soul.(I wish Aliyah was silent for 10 minutes:)!) Len, I miss your mentoring and friendship! Know that We truly miss you and Amy dearly!!!Keep absorbing it all in-What an amazing man of God you are and are becoming. We are all proud of you!!! Love-Jen
PS... Errin says "E-A-G-L_E_S"

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jen. Great to hear from you. We miss you too... immensely. We look for to much fun with you and Errin upon our return. Please tell that old goat I said hello. Thanks for your prayers. We pray for our SWC family often and He is, from what I hear, answering those prayers.

Keep us posted on your lives and especially the cyber school thing.


Anonymous said...

Watching, listening...


dbond said...

Hi Pastor Lenny,
Just got back from FLAME in Indiana and wanted to check up on you. Sounds like you are very busy and it's exciting to hear how God is speaking to you.

I had Bud Bence for Church History and he spoke of the Monestary you went to. That was really neat. Class was great.

Mark Wilson was my professor for Spiritual Formation. He is so funny and a terrific instructor. I'm looking forward to reading John O's book " The Life I Always Wanted". I've been wanting to learn some spirital disciplines and this book is supposed to be very enlightening.

Say Hi to Amy for me and I'm looking forward to your visit in September.

Take Care,

Mark said...

Hello Lenny,
Mark Hampton here. I'm new to your blogg and I like what I've read so far so I thought I would way in. Did not attend the conference certainly "my loss."

Here are my thoughts on leadership.

The most important thing a church, company or organization can do is spend time effectively leading and developing their people. Jack Welch the former CEO of GE spent 50% of his time developing his leaders. Jesus spent significant time as well. (see the pattern?) GE had 14 consecutive years of Growth Jesus has had 2000 years of growth; is this an accident? I don't think so. Creating a culture of effective leadership that consistently develops others leads to the absolute best in people performance! It is critical to remember that it is a person (not a process) who answers the phones in your office or call center. It is a person (not a process) who has positive interactions with your customers and prospects and it is a person who drives every major performacne area in your church, company or organization. Ok, lets be honest it's not like you've never heard this before right? Good, but let me ask you; what are you doing about it? One of the challenges I have consistently seen in the last 25 years is companys who don't do a very good job of creating a learning and devlopment culture among the four levels of leadership. Those four levels are; 1. Executive 2. Management 3. Supervisory 4. Line Satff. Sure, each level listed understands the backend of the business, they understand the reporting etc. But if the truth be told, they are not very good at the people side of that business. The people side of the business actually drives the performance levels. This is done through your ability to have interactions at all levels that develops people who intern want to exceed performance levels. You must understand that there are two levels of influence working when you interact with those whom you lead. The first level of influence is "Positional Influenece". This is influence you have because you are the boss, this influence will only meet performance level. Second, there is"Personal Influence" which is created from interactions that involve motivation, encouragement, acknowledgement and drive. Personal influence is the realtional side of leadership, it is what really drives your bottom line. When you have people who work for you because they want to - you have people who will ultimately drive performance levels beyond expectation. However, it is important to also note that personal influence can drive performance down as well. With this in mind, the real competition between you and your competitors is not the products that you produce or the service you provide -- your real competition is your competitors four levels of leadership. If you can increase the personal influence your leaders have through more effective leadership interactions your company will out-perform your competition. The reason you can expect to out perform them is becuase you'll have leaders who understand and use both levels of influence effectively. They will use both Positional and Personal Influence and your competition will always be one step behind you because they will only have one level of influence working throughout their organization and you'll have two which ensures you'll always out-perform them. If your church, company or organization does'nt have a plan inplace to create a true learning and development culture, I urge you to do so. The reality is that without it, you are not as profitable as you could be and with it you maxiumize your bottom line results!

Anonymous said...

This Mark Hampton guy doesn't have a clue what God is all about.