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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The Self Imposed Wilderness
Nov 28 9:39 PM

The Self Imposed Wilderness

Nov 28 9:39 PM
Nov 28 9:39 PM

Many of my wilderness experiences have been self-imposed. They grew out of drivenness within me; the fruit of selfish ambition, fear, and the anger that created unmet needs in my heart. And those needs should never have been met. That means that many of my wilderness experiences could have been avoided if only . . .

If only I were aware of my drivenness; if only I had realized my ambition—pursued, sincerely I believe in the name of Jesus—was mixed with the slag of my glory even as I sought His glory; if only I had understood that my fear actually was pride and my anger was anger. I carried inner anger without even knowing what it was. I gradually came to understand that these feelings within me were harmful and that prayer alone could bring me release. By then I had been a pastor for probably four or five years and realized I needed help from other leaders to be free. That’s when I asked the elders of our church to meet with me early every Sunday morning to pray because that’s how I gained some deliverance along the way.

So it was that I entered into burnout and edged toward depression for a period of time early in my pastorate. So it was that I struggled with comparison and competition and feelings of failure because I wasn’t as good as others or I hadn’t reached the standard of success I set for myself. Now I realize that that standard of success was self-imposed and not from God or anyone else; now I realize that it doesn’t make any difference whether I’m as good as others; now I realize that those wilderness experiences were self-imposed and unnecessary.

I don’t like to project myself on other leaders, but, as I have talked about these concerns in cultures all over the world, I have found many fellow leaders who identify with me because they’re in the same self-imposed wilderness. I’m just a little bit ahead of them. As I talk about these wilderness experiences, I find them responding, recognizing their own struggles and seeking freedom. So what can leaders do when they find themselves in the self-imposed wilderness?

Find the joy of the wilderness, the rugged beauty, the blooming wild flowers, the cooling shade, and the refreshing oases of flowing, refreshing water. How?

  1. Stop denying the truth about you and fall on your face before God in prayer, acknowledging that virtually everything you blame on others comes from you.
  2. Read the Bible in the light of your responsibility and God’s grace and make Christ your life, not only the One you talk about, but the One you depend on to live.
  3. Find someone you can talk with honestly and tell him/her the truth about you and listen to what you hear back no matter how much it hurts, even if you must travel hours and hours to get to him.

While many, probably most, of my wilderness experiences have been self-imposed and unnecessary, they have been critical to my growth as a man, my sensitivity as a husband and a father, and my impact as a leader. I wish I could have avoided them, but I couldn’t make it without them. So, I encourage you to keep on wandering in your wilderness. Sooner or later you’ll get to an oasis of refreshing rest. But after you’re there a while, you’ll start over again with another season in the wilderness—and that will be the best place you can be if you want to be God’s kind of leader.

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