Tuesday, November 2, 2021 3:05 AM

Short Cuts over Long Ways

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 3:05 AM
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 3:05 AM

by Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International

Short cuts along zigzag lines over wilderness wanderings to Christ’s will

Jesus, the Leader, was real. Radically, totally, absolutely real. This means He was fully God and fully man in the same person.

However, He emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives and was absolutely free, not of His deity, but of His rights as God, His self-reliance and His own will. He limited Himself and accepted human limitations and human needs, yet without sin. He was fully man with no sin. He was Genesis 1 without Genesis 3.

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:32 PM

Reproducing Leaders Over-and-Over Again

Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:32 PM
Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:32 PM

by Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International

Matthew 28:18-20 Again and Again

All authority has been to Me in heaven and on earth,

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . .

 

Jesus commands us to be leaders who obey Him by reproducing His kind of leaders over-and-over again. In fact, our lives are all about doing what He tells us to do by using our opportunities to accomplish what He directs us to pursue. So, if you are a business leader or an educator or a politician or a pastor or an athlete or a coach or an artist or a draftsman or a factory worker or a husband or a wife or whatever your role in life is, you are most of all a disciple-maker, His kind of leader. In other words, you give yourself to the Lord to be used by Him to be His instrument to make those you influence His reproducers for Him. This is your constant purpose in all that you are doing with your life. You see, your task in life is to form everyone you influence to be His instrument wherever He puts you. This means it is our task to do what He wants done with His life in us: to make that man or woman we influence His kind of disciple-maker as a result of His life through us.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021 11:28 PM

Fear Not

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 11:28 PM
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 11:28 PM

by Bill Lawrence, President of  Leader Formation International

Fear not, the prophet says to the leader.

Even when everything goes well, fear dominates so many leaders and they are afraid.

In seasons of prosperity, we worry that financial security will go away unexpectedly. In times of health, we constantly seek to avoid illness. We tend to think that good times will fail suddenly, and bad times will last forever. In moments of safety, we anticipate accidents. When things go badly, we expect them to stay bad.

 

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021 4:46 AM

Working to Make Disciples the Jesus Way

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 4:46 AM
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 4:46 AM

Matthew 28:18-20 Again and Again

by Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International

Jesus commanded us to be leaders who obey Him by reproducing leaders over and over again. In fact, our lives are all about doing what He told us to do by using our opportunities in life to accomplish what He directs us to do. So, if you are a business leader or an educator or a political leader or a pastor or an athlete or an artist or a draft man or a factory worker or whatever your task is, you are most of all a discipler and a disciple maker. In other words, you give yourself to the Lord to be used by Him to be His instrument to make those you influence His reproducers for Him as well. This is your constant purpose in life, all that you are doing with your life in all that you do.

 

 

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:12 PM

Exalted Humility: The Mark of the Ultimate Leader

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:12 PM
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:12 PM

Exalted Humility: The Mark of the Ultimate Leader

By Bill Lawrence

President of Leader Formation International

Philippians 2:5-11

1. To be Christ’s kind of leader we must become followers, something few of us do naturally.

Few of us realize that Jesus was the ultimate follower.  We may know this theologically because the Bible speaks on many occasions that He submitted Himself to the Father, especially in the Garden when He accepts the cross when He would rather not be crucified

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Good Start, Strong Finish
Apr 26 3:18 PM

Good Start, Strong Finish

Apr 26 3:18 PM
Apr 26 3:18 PM

Good leaders start well. Great leaders end well. There are many good leaders. There are few great leaders. What makes the difference?

In between a good start and a great finish is one decision the leader must make over and over again—the decision of the altared heart.

I don’t doubt at all that you have made that decision. Your heart is on God’s altar—or at least it was when you put it there.

Mine certain was. I put it there when I was twelve years old, and I meant it when I did it. It was only later when I unexpectedly hit the wall of inadequacy that I realized my heart had outgrown my altar, that the altar of a twelve eyar old wasn’t big enough for a pastor and a seminary professor and I discovered that what I thought was an event was actually a process.

And that’s the difference between a good start and a great finish.

My start began in Philadelphia in the northeastern part of the US.

I have been in the UK on many occasions and I remember a time when I was standing In Hounslow, the borough in London, and I had one of the strangest feelings I ever had, a deju vu kind of feeling like I’d been there before, but I had never been there ever. Then it hit me. This feels like Philadelphia, like where I grew up. The row homes—that’s what we called them—with the front gardens so much like one of the homes my parents owned after I was on my own—it was all there. As it turns out, to me Philadelphia is one of the most British of cities in the US.

And it was there that I started my pilgrimage in Christ, a pilgrimage that has led me into ministry all over the world through which I have learned a great deal about ministering in cross cultural settings.

And I long ago learned how futile it is to export American methods into other cultures. In fact I learned three reasons why it’s so futile to do this.

First, it doesn’t work. It simply doesn’t work. It’s a waste of time. Worse than that, it’s an insult to the culture. What good does it do to bring American methods to solve problems British churches don’t have? That’s simply crazy!

Second, we tend to export our worst solutions, like the CEO model of leadership for churches, an ungodly model for churches if there ever was one. The CEO model works great in business when it’s exercised with care and concern for the well being of the followers as well as the prosperity of the business. But the biblical model of leadership is shepherd, not CEO, and that’s the model we need most to focus on.

But thirdly, our ministry, Leader Formation International, is a message ministry, not a method ministry. You have plenty of leaders in the UK who have developed all kinds of methods that are effective in your ministries. Our ministry, instead, is a message ministry.

Much to my amazement I have been invited to share my message, the message of the altared heart, the message of walking with God in the ways of wholeness, all over the world. I never sought this. I never planned this. I never expected to be making this video today. It ahs just happened through the sovereign grace of God.

Years ago, when I started as a pastor, the Lord blessed our ministry. Then, unexpectedly, I hit what I since realized was the wall of inadequacy, a season when nothing in my education or experience worked, when I struggled without success to break through to what I expected to achieve. It was through that season of brokenness that I came to understand to some measure what it means to walk in God’s ways of wholeness.

Across some time I realized the role of the cross in leadership, how the cross frees us from our expectations of power, success, and control, how death leads to resurrection, how power, success, and control no longer matter—not that they ever did—but how they no longer matter to real leadership, not personal power or

personal success or personal control. Instead what really matters is love, service, and sacrifice through the cross. That’s what great leadership is whether anybody hears of us or not.

Now we know what a great leader is, a leader whose heart is on God’s altar through the cross.

So that’s what we are at Leader Formation International: a cross broken altar focused message ministry seeking to walk in the ways of God’s wholeness as we strive to move from a good start to a God-glorifying finish.

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