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 True Leader
Jul 29 12:25 PM

The True Leader

Jul 29 12:25 PM
Jul 29 12:25 PM

I am the true vine

John 15:1

 

A long time ago, on the night before Passover, twelve men walked the narrow streets of ancient Jerusalem going from an upper room to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

All of them were from Galilee in the north—fishermen, craftsmen, one tax collector—ordinary men with no value in the Roman empire, except for the tax collector.  They were led by, of all things, a carpenter, though by the time they were together He was a recognized Teacher. He had attracted a handful of men who listened to what He said and debated it among themselves. They had a different understanding of what He was saying, but He was radical, and they were radical, so they listened to Him with expectation that He meant what He said. Eventually they would become as radical as He was, but not yet.  Nonetheless, we need to understand His words to them in that upper room, today as much as they did if we are going to be used to make the difference He wants to make through us. Consider these few words.

I am the true vine.

I AM

For us this has the ordinary meaning of who He is, a statement of identity, but He means far more than that. He means I AM YAHWEH, the God of the Old Testament, the One Who Is, the Ruler of All, the Covenant Maker and Covenant Keeper, who delivered the nation out of Egypt and gave them the privilege of being His people. He is the One who met them at Mt. Sinai and made them into a nation, and who has kept His covenants with them. What it must have been like to walk along the streets of Jerusalem with Him after hearing Him declare that He was the Maker and Keeper of the New Covenant through the Cross.

THE

He is the One who made the New Covenant, the only One who makes eternal covenants and keeps His word, the One who we can trust no matter what happens. Jesus, in John 15, is talking to His leaders, those who will speak for Him, equip others for Him, reproduce for Him, and who will prepare one generation after another for Him.  We, as His leaders, must also lay the foundation for Him, bear fruit for Him, and matter for Him.  These are the aspects that give us life, strength, and value, all the elements that make us leaders.  There are many claims, but He is the only one who does what He does. The, a small word with an amazing meaning that speaks to us, His leaders, in the 21st century.

I AM THE TRUE

He is the true vine, the real thing, in radical contrast to all others who claim to be the true sources of life and success. Large numbers of leaders rely on false resources in the name of Jesus, and don’t even know they do that. The primary source of significance for many who lead is themselves. They do all the things they must do to become leaders, but what they produce is temporary, weak, without fruit, and then gone. Only Jesus does what is eternal, and He does this through us. No other vine can bear eternal fruit.

I AM THE TRUE VINE

He had to tell them this on His last night with them to prepare them for His departure and to get them—and us—ready for the Great Commission. This is part of the coming assignment.

Think about Jesus as the Stem in your life and ministry because He is the Source.

He is the Sustainer of your Life.

He is the Strength of your Life.

He is the Enablement of your Life.

He is the Stability of your Life.

He is the Fruit of your Life.

He is the Value of your Life.

He is the Identity of your Life.

He is the Reason for your Life.

He is the Hope of your Life.

All of this is what it means for Him to be our Vine.  As a leader, we must be radically dependent on Him because HE IS THE TRUE VINE.

The only way you can be effective as His leader is to be radically dependent on the Vine for life and fruit. You can have position, recognition, honor, authority, and all the other elements that are part of leadership, but you will never bear His kind of fruit without His enablement.  Draw on these truths and you will accomplish things you would never have otherwise. 

 

 

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