Recently a close friend sent me this content. It doesn’t belong to me, but, seeing the embed option, I figured it was created with the intent to share. It is from a conference that was recently held by an organization that supports churches and ministries. I want to encourage you to watch it.
I am not super familiar with the speaker, tho we met once on a plane a decade ago and had an interesting interaction about Jesus, but his words here got my attention. They will help you, I believe.
If you’d like to see the original location of the content, and the other keynote speakers who were a part of this effort, click here.
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward … promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
By the time you see this post, the BrotherHood Summit in Lake Michigan may be in full swing, or over. Nevertheless, I thought I would capture a few thoughts on the importance of men encouraging men.
We started BroSummit some few years ago, maybe three. We do them every nine months or so, and have alternated between US and international, with two being abroad, one in Monterrey, Mexico area and the other in Nicaragua. This will be our fifth, and we are thankful for the chance to come together, as men.
A quick online search reveals that ninety-three times in the Old Testament this expression, “the word of the Lord came” is written in the New American Standard Bible… beginning with Abram in Genesis 15, and finally in Zechariah, which is the next to Malachi, the last book before the New Testament begins. The description of this kind of communication changed from Old Testament to New Testament, but the personal communication from the Lord is in no way withdrawn or rendered obsolete. Across the Old Testament we see this happening with prophets and great figures. In the New Testament, THE WORD, Himself, very literally CAME to us, the man Christ Jesus, so His communication becomes altogether more personal, direct and 1:1.
A few thoughts here on the current and recent happenings in Nicaragua. As you likely know, there is significant unrest in what seems like most of the country. With many friends, loved ones and brothers / sisters there, I wanted to add a perspective. I’ve been working in Nicaragua since 2010, with my first trip there being in 2006, and have received personal and direct communication from many on the ground inside what is happening… Please pray for Nicaragua, NOW.
First – the unrest that you are seeing now has been growing under the surface for a long time.
Second – the current government has been consolidating power in an illegal way for some years, and likely since it was elected to power.
Third – returning to what was – peace at any cost – is, in my opinion, a misguided sentiment.
Nadie puede empezar como un líder experimentado, independientemente del talento o potencial. Empezamos desde el principio.Si nos comportamos sabiamente, podemos ahorrar la preparación, para llegar a ser un líder experimentado, un tiempo innecesariamente largo. Si somos imprudentes, alargamos el tiempo, o peor aún,
To say that I understand in any complete way what I am going to get into here would be an overreach. I don’t. Understanding comes little by little, but if we are paying attention, a picture begins to form that is recognizable before it becomes complete, and sometime well before. I think that is the part of the process, and is where I am with this idea. I am starting to see a little clarity come into view.
To start, a quick question: Why are we always starting over?
We have established a new priesthood, not after the order of Levi, and certainly not the order of Melchizedek, but after the order of Luther, and, after that, pick your flavor of preference.
We have done any and all of the things those who came before us did, and we have made all their mistakes, including Adam, those at the tower of Babel, the children of Israel, the Pharisees, the early Church, and on and on. Have we owned up to that? Wait… we are better than them, less prone to errors, more enlightened, stronger.
Strongholds in the heart limit us in the complete expression of our life in Christ, and restrict our contribution, and thereby, our fruitfulness. We are constricted and cannot surrender fully when we have strongholds in our hearts. These have to be confronted and shown for what they are, enemies of the cross, in order for us to be free to come to full expression / reflection of Christ. This confrontation can be (and is) gentle at times, and other times dramatic. Our attitude may have a bearing on how gentle or dramatic it is, as well. Continue reading “Strongholds”
Sarahi Garcia and Scott McClelland talk about key leadership qualities, mentorship, and how great leaders are empowering and capturing the hearts of millennials. Visit https://fxmissions.com for more great content like this or to ask a question.
Rod Kirkpatrick and Scott McClelland talk about building trust in leadership, traditional worldly perspective in the church, and one key to building trust with those we lead. Visit https://fxmissions.com for more great content like this or to ask a question. Show notes at https://fxmissions.com/99
The Thai summer break for Geshem and Iris is coming to a close. Next week Iris will start Preschool Level 2 and Geshem will go into grade 4! We were elated when we got Geshem’s first ever standardized test scores back last month. Even though we know that standardized tests aren’t the best indicator of skills or knowledge, we were amazed that Geshem scored around 17 percent higher than the national average in 2 of the 3 areas tested. We are so proud of who he is becoming. He has strong academic skills, as well as social emotional skills. He is a good example to us, his peers, and his sister:) Continue reading “Lorensen Thailand Update – May 2017”
A lot of times when people think that others have left the path of the Lord, what is really happening is that the other people are actually just no longer pacing with them, or they have been led in another direction. We see ourselves as the standard of what it means to follow the path of the Lord, but we are not.
Let’s be gracious to others and not impose ourselves as the standard of what it means to follow the Lord and keep pace with Him.
The book of Jude is one of my favorite books in the Bible… I really relate to his urgency and concern. He doesn’t mince words, but comes straight at what he perceives as opposing to the Lord and His work in the lives of people. He wants to make sure that we are not deceived, unwittingly accepting influence from wolves in sheep’s clothing. I have a lot of respect for him, because he senses our weakness and extends himself, sending an alarm. Today, many may think of Jude as an alarmist, but I think of him as a friend, and a faithful one at that.
We had a good time in Juarez… Team was solid and relationships were meaningful. Great to be re-united with some friends we haven’t seen in a few years. Thanks to those who went and those who received us… the road is long and the hours also, but, it was completely worthwhile.
Much appreciation to the folks at Juarez House of Prayer for inviting us, and also to our good friends at Punto de Encuentro Fellowship for having us back. Always a blessing to be with friends. We were able to capture a number of Leadership Moment podcast episodes while there, so watch for those coming up soon. Continue reading “Juarez May 2017”
A recent family photo that our friend Paul took. It is at our favorite mountain place called Mon Jam. If you come visit, we will take you there:)
The days have flown by since our last update. We had a great Christmas break, thoroughly enjoying the time away together with just our family. January started back with school and routine. Apart from teaching and working in schools we have other regular weekly activities. Every Tuesday is date night for Tracy and I. Joy and Get take care of the kids for us, with help from Samara. Wednesdays are our home group, Friday game night, Saturdays have various activities and Sundays are Farm Church with Pat. The routine keeps us busy with a lot of meaningful opportunity to invest in people. Continue reading “Words of a Friend from a Distant Land”
Scott McClelland catches up with Ita Hernandez in Nicaragua to talk about her perspective and experience. Listen to discover the main way we lead, how we’re always leaders, and why it’s important to choose our leaders wisely.
Seems like, for the most part, we Christians continue to primarily organize ourselves around public, group meetings. Doesn’t it seem like the “Sunday morning meeting” is highest priority in the congregation you attend? This is the one you get the most social demerits if you miss, right? Continue reading “An open letter to my brothers and sisters”
Some people object to taking vows, but in the Bible you will find many great men of God directed by covenants, promises, vows, and pledges. The psalmist was not averse to the taking of vows. He said, “Thy vows are upon me, 0 God, I will render my praises unto thee” (Psalm [56:12]).
My counsel in this matter is that if you are really concerned about spiritual improvement – the gaining of new power, new life, new joy, and new personal revival within your heart -you will do well to make certain vows and proceed to keep them. if you should fail, go down in humility and repent and start over. But always keep these vows before you. They will help harmonize your heart with the vast powers that flow out and down from the throne where Christ sits at the right hand of God.
Scott McClelland of Foundational Missions and Tracy Lorensen talk about how she offers leadership and support to her family and the Thai people that goes beyond the stereotypical missionary wife. Visit https://fxmissions.com for more great content like this or to ask a question.
La palabra liderazgo puede ser difícil de definir, pero comprensible cuando lo ves. Esto significa que la esencia del liderazgo no sólo se conoce por su definición, sino también a través de verlo en acción. Después de todo, el Reino de Dios no es solo palabras sino es poder junto con acción.
Antes de continuar, piensa en alguien que sea un gran líder. ¿Quién, además de Jesús, es tu líder favorito de todos los tiempos? ¿Puedes nombrar a alguien? Volveremos a esto, pero quiero animarte a pensar en el nombre de un líder.
Five years ago I interviewed a friend of a friend who had just completed The World Race. You may have heard of it or known someone who has been on it… you know, 11 countries in 11 months. If you don’t know, google it. There’s a lot out there on it. I had been down to visit the founder and some of the directors of the program prior to that, but wanted to get a perspective of someone who didn’t work for Adventures in Missions (the organization who runs The Race). I was thankful for Samara’s transparent feedback. If you want to read that interview, click here….
This time we didn’t catch up over Skype, like the time before. We sat down in Chiang Mai for a face to face, and even though I knew Samara a little better over the time in between, this was my first time to meet her in person. I was thankful for the opportunity. Continue reading “Samara Marie…. 5 years later”
If my life is so unremarkable, why the idle chatter and incessant neediness? Are we attempting to be coddled in the ambiance of indifference, from the echoes of our own voice and those who sound just like us? Let’s all live down to the averages or below, and spew idle and persistent encouragement to our comrades in chains, snared in uselessness and blind wandering. Will we ever grow sick of ourselves? i hope so.
Why do we set our eyes, hopes (and fears) on everything that surrounds us, and not lift our gaze to the only One who imbues with transforming power? Or should we go on and continue to let our circumstances define us, drawing our identity from mediocrity?
We seem to have gone so long on the road of the nominal – keeping within expectations – that we are trying to make it a more comfortable passing, instead of rising above it. Perhaps we prefer all of this underwhelming existence to the risk required to break free? And yet, even with a hint of hope that breaking free is possible, it lingers just outside our grasp. How can we summon the courage necessary for change?
As leaders, it is our responsibility to create an environment where people feel honored, and therefore, safe to be confronted. There will be no culture of honor without the active use of effective confrontation. The skill of combining these two relational elements-honor and confrontation- is the key to sustaining an environment of grace.
There isn’t a place in the world I wouldn’t want to go, at least once. I don’t say this in a bragging way, it’s just the way I feel. Not sure why. I guess I like the idea of seeing new places and meeting new people. With this in mind, I was happy to make my first ever trip to Asia a few weeks ago.
The way I tend to do travel, and decide where to go, is probably not that unusual, tho I haven’t discussed it at length with others, and didn’t get the idea from observing some other person. It’s on the basis of relationships that I decide where to go. Clearly the Lord can prompt us to go to places where we don’t know anyone. For the most part, that hasn’t been the way it’s worked with me.
As we talked with persecuted believers, we discovered that they often wanted to talk not just about their own persecution, but also about us, workers from the West. As darkness settled in, after a full day of stories and interviews, I asked these believers about Western missionaries.
“What do we do well? What things do we not do well? What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? What should we pick up? What should we lay down? What makes a good missionary?”
If you are like me, you’re on the go a lot. Windshields and window or aisle seats are my fairly constant companions.
But isn’t that true of life? Passing through.
I had a moment of inspiration this morning as I passed a traveler at 4:20am who was on an airport cot. She was doing her best to get some sleep, somewhere in between where she’d started and where she hoped to get. Continue reading “In Transit “
How Crazy Love, Kony 2012, charity: water, and the Vlogbrothers changed my life.
Three years ago I didn’t have a Facebook, I thought Twitter was stupid, and I was seriously considering spending a year as a monk (not kidding). Now I have a YouTube channel, a podcast, a blog, and I’m incessantly promoting myself on several social media platforms, multiple times a week.
Here’s what: Francis Chan. Jason Russell. Scott Harrison. John Green.
No one can start out as a seasoned leader, regardless of talent or potential. We start at the beginning. If we behave wisely, we can keep from making our preparation in becoming a seasoned leader from being unnecessarily long. If we are unwise, we will elongate the time, or, worse yet, destroy our potential for influence, regardless of our calling or how big it is.
A few months back, a friend and I were reflecting on some observations we were making about this subject, specific to the context of missions. What resulted was these three bullet points that characterize what we were seeing in some of the young missionaries who were newly going out. Keep in mind, this was those going out from the US to other cultures. Also, note, you can be new at what you are doing, regardless of your natural age, and therefore susceptible to newbie mistakes….
So 4 Mexicans, 5 Americans, 4 Nicaraguans, a Swedish woman, and a Swiss man walk into a Young Life Camp…. It sounds like the beginning of a bad missionary joke, right? In truth, it is the beginning of a divine encounter that I shall now attempt to describe.
Leadership, it may be hard to define, but you know it when you see it. This means there is an essence to leadership that is known through observing it in action, not just in contemplation. After all, the Kingdom of God is not in word only, but in power (with the idea of action)!
Who is your favorite leader of all time, after Jesus?
Think about this before you go on, please….. Can you name someone? We will come back to this, but, I want to encourage you to stop and think of someone until you come up with a name. Thanks…
Here are a few definitions of leadership for you:
Short version: Influence
Leadership is being exemplary – Not all persons with responsibility are good examples, but in the Lord’s estimation, leadership and living a good example are the same thing. Continue reading “What is Leadership?”
It was dollar-a-slice night at Carmela’s Pizza. This local dive was our favorite place to be on Tuesdays. While you might infer our affinity was due to the fact that Tuesday was also dollar draft night, the real reason for this ritual was simpler: Friendship. Sometimes all the guys would come out, but on this particular occasion it was just my Brazilian friend Davi (DAH’vee) and I. We sat at the usual spot, talking intermittently around grease logged bites of pizza. After we finished and paid the check, I stood up to go. But Davi didn’t stand up. Instead he looked up at me quizzically.
“Are you in a hurry?”
“Noooo, not really,” I replied, clearly puzzled.
He nodded his head and asked, “Do you have to be somewhere?”
I slowly shook my head and shrugged, “Nope, I don’t.” What does he want? I wondered, raising my eyebrows.
“Why don’t you sit down and lets talk for a while?” he indicated toward the booth seat opposite his.
“Ohhhhhh, ya!” came my slow reply. “I’d never thought of that before!” I stood there grinning like an idiot at my discovery: I don’t have to get up and leave right away! This is not another checkbox on my to-do list.
Huh…Continue reading “Friendship”
War is now, and greater war is coming. Many cannot see it. The war that comes will push out all the middle ground. There will be very little DMZ, and what demilitarized area there is will not be fixed ground. These battles, as with all, will have there ebbs and tides, but the time will come when there will be no place to hide from the battle that now seems so far away to many. How will we prepare ourselves? We can look around to witness what is considered by many to be very turbulent times. This shaking is minimal.
Leadership styles can throw us for a loop, especially if they are foreign to us. What we are used to may not be right, and what we aren’t used to may not be wrong. Check out Bryan’s perspective on leadership styles, and so much more. And thanks for joining us for this edition of Leadership Moment. Rate us where you found this podcast and pass it along to someone you think could benefit!
Bryan, a long term friend of all forms FXMissions Podcasting, comes from the engineering chair to make a guest appearance in this first of two podcasts on Leadership! He is no dunce with the blade, let me just warn you. Join Bryan and Scott as they plumb the depths and survey the shallows, and be encouraged as you do.
The Explorer 1898 “THERE’S no sense in going further—it’s the edge of cultivation,” So they said, and I believed it—broke my land and sowed my crop— Built my barns and strung my fences in the little border station Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop. Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated—so: “Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges— “Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!”Continue reading “Rudyard Kipling – The Explorer”