Monday, June 29, 2015

The Church and the LGBTQ Community



I've been thinking about the controversy around same sex marriage approval in the USA. I'm a bit puzzled about why my Canadian friends are so upset. In some cases, same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for 8 or 9 years so it's not like this is some sudden infringement on our rights, freedoms and privileges.
When I think about Jesus and who he engaged with and how He did it, I think I see a path that we need to follow as the church in responding to the LGBTQ community. The most common accusation against Jesus was about who He spent his time with. If you are even a casual student of the scriptures, you'll know that Jesus spent considerable time with 'sinners, drunkards, tax collectors and prostitutes.' The Pharisees (the religious right of the day) hated him for it.
Some of the conversations that Jesus had with these people were recorded. Like the time, he encountered the woman caught in adultery. His response to her, after quietly rescuing her from certain death at the hands of the 'righteous' was 'go and sin no more'. His encounter with the woman at the well (multiple divorces, and at least one common law relationship) was to offer her Living Water after which he told her all about her life and ministered to her deepest needs. He met her where she was, offered her truth that set her free and gave her hope for a better day. I could go on, but the pattern is always the same.
Here's the difficulty with what I hear/see many of my friends posting and reposting. There is no hope, no mercy, no grace, and no love on this issue. There is only fear, outrage, anger and judgement.
To say that God is going to bring His judgement on American/Canada because of this particular issue reflects how messed up we really are. God doesn't need this to judge our nations. He can judge us for anything from the way we have treated First Nations peoples to the way we treated Jews and Sikhs who were seeking to flee persecution in their homeland to the way we treated the Chinese or the Japanese or the way we treated children in Residential Schools. The list is long and we are guilty on all counts.
We need to stop looking to politicians and judges to either save us from or solve our many difficulties and challenges. It might be better for us to weep for our nation and the mess that it is in, not because our law permits same sex marriage but because we, the church have been lax in fulfilling our mission and mandate to serve, love, go and give.
Perhaps once we own our sin and become 2 Chr 7:14 people, our nation will find healing, wholeness and the blessing of God.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Spying Out The Land

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I've just returned from a 5 day trip to Ontario. While I'm a westerner at heart, every time I'm there, I'm reminded about the significant place that Ontario and Toronto in particular has in our nation.  Ontario is our largest province with over 13 million Canadians.  Almost half of them live in the Greater Toronto Area.  Ontario is a centre of political and economic power not to mention a social and cultural leader.  

I felt a bit like one of the 12 spies from Numbers 13 as I walked up both Bay and Yonge street on my way to my hotel.  I kept looking up at office towers and thinking about what the view would be like from the very top.  I expect that I would look smaller than a grasshopper from the top floor of any one of those buildings.  

The height of the office towers in Toronto is really meaningless in light of the significant spiritual, philosophical and social challenges that await.  Without a doubt there are giants in the land!  It would be easy to be overwhelmed, discouraged and to take the stance that the challenge is too big, and that would be completely the wrong position to take. 

What happens in Ontario eventually becomes the norm across Canada.  This is why we must invest in the leaders of Ontario through providing intentional and purposeful pastoral ministry.  Over the past 8 years God has helped us to establish meaningful relationships with political leaders across 3 western provinces using the ministry of presence.  Simply put, we show up and we build relationships.  Those relationships become platforms of ministry where we are able to serve, speak and engage with leaders around the most important issues of life and leadership.  

7 years ago, I walked the grounds of Queens Park with a group of friends who also believed that God was calling us to establish Leading Influence there.  We prayed around the buildings asking God to give us every place where we set our foot, expecting that we would see Him answer in due time.  I believe that the time to see the fulfilment of that act of faith is NOW  and so we are investing heavily in terms of time, energy and resources to see a full time chaplaincy established in Ontario in 2015.

We need your help to make this happen.  

If you would like to sow into Ontario, we would greatly appreciate it!  If you would like to do that through supporting our IronMan of Golf or simply through a donation through our secure donor portal or by giving through cheque or online banking, we are grateful for your support.  




Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ironman of Golf - 5.0

It's our 5th annual IronMan of Golf!  

We took a break last year and you told us you wanted to do it again.  The IronMan of Golf is our summer fundraiser.  This event supports our travel budget through the summer months.  Our goal for this summer is to raise $5000 and iti's important that we reach it!  Our summer ministry travel plans depend on these resources and we need your help to make it happen.

The IronMan of golf works as follows:

1.  Make a pledge.  You can pledge/hole or simply make an event pledge.  
           
           $10/hole is a $1000 pledge.  
           $5/hole is a $500 pledge.  
           $2.50/hole is $250
           $1.00 hole is $100 
           
           Or you can pledge another amount of your choosing. 

           Click here to make a pledge.

2. Follow Through.  
         You can pay your plege immediately by credit card, online banking or by cheque. 
         If you prefer to wait until after the event, that's fine with us.  We will contact you after              the event.

3.  Watch Tim's progress on our Leading Influence Facebook Page on June 22.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 MLA Prayer Breakfast Video


Legislative Prayer Breakfast - 2015 from Online Discipleship on Vimeo.

Faith, Fear and Everyday Living...

I've been thinking a lot lately about the tension between fear and faith.  

A dear friend got some very bad news yesterday.   Another is waiting for a doctor's report next week. I want to be full of faith for them and their situation, but fear is doing it's best to have it's way in my heart and mind.  

If you watch the news, you'll know that ISIS is doing it's best to create fear by executing Christians for their faith.  

The fear of terrorism (which is all about creating fear...) has impacted government, social and transportation policies throughout the Western world.  Our freedoms and personal privacy are slowly eroding away because of the fear of what a few might be capable of doing.  

How do you live a life of faith in a world where the fear of what might happen is ever on the rise?

At our recent MLA Prayer Breakfast, our speaker said this:  'We cannot let fear dominate our politics.'  I agree completely.  I would take it one step further and say that we cannot let fear dominate our everyday lives.

The antidote to fear isn't higher walls, bigger guns, better drones or more cameras.  The antidote to fear is always faith.  Everyone has faith in something or someone.  The Western world is putting it's confidence in military strength and prowess, tech based 'intelligence' gained through sorting through countless emails, phone calls, 'chatter' and Terrabytes of video gained through the ever present cameras.  Terrorists have placed their faith in their ability to create chaos through their words and actions.  I am confident that both of these options will ultimately fail.  Despite our best work, those committed to instilling fear in the hearts and lives of good and free people, will find some success.  At some point, those same good and free people are going to grow weary of hyper security and the growing loss of freedoms and privacy and make a clear and concious decision to step away from being dominated by fear and choose again to live in freedom, in spite of what terrorists may choose to do.  

Fear is exhausting financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Fear robs us of peace.  Fear doesn't come from God.  God gives us power, love and a sound mind so that we can overcome the power of fear in our lives.  Fear lives in our imagination and is mostly False Evidence Appearing Real.  Those who overcome fear in the very core of who they are have learned to focus their hearts, minds and lives on the ONLY ONE who cannot and will not fail them.  His name is Jesus.  The Prince of Peace!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Great Expectations...

The Legislature resumes next week with the Throne Speech.  Along with the Throne Speech comes pomp and circumstance, protesters, parades, cannon fire, an Honour Guard and the list goes on and on.  My favourite ‘outside’ throne speech moment was the year a protester ran to the front of the marching military band and pretended to be leading the parade himself.  It was great entertainment, especially when he missed the corner where the band turned and was half a block away when he realized his leading had turned into a solitary walk…. But I digress….

Throne Speech day always feels a bit like the first day of camp or school for me.  While MLAs return from every part of the province to do the business of government, I know that God has His own business that He wants to accomplish in their lives.  While the business of government may change laws, tax rates, speed limits and a hundred other things, the business that God has in His heart will change the lives of leaders and as a result impact the lives of 4.3 million British Columbians over the course of time.

I am filled with anticipation about what God will do in the lives of BC MLAs in the next 3 months.  I expect that He will open doors of ministry into previously closed lives.  I expect that there will be opportunities to sow seed in the lives of some and to bring the warmth of God’s love and grace into others.  Most of all, I anticipate that there will be opportunities to see lives impacted in powerful and profound ways by God’s grace and mercy. 

I meet with a group of MLAs who pray together on a weekly basis.  One of them almost always prays and asks God for a revival among his peers and colleagues.  His request has stretched my faith in days gone by, but I am anticipating that I will see God begin to answer what has become our request over the next weeks and months.

As we begin this session, would you pray for us?  We need wisdom, grace, strategies, sensitivity, boldness and discernment as we engage with the leaders of our province and nation.  Thanks for remembering Leading Influence!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Why We Support Leading Influence

My husband Will and I have supported Leading Influence from the time it was just a vision in Tim’s heart.  It has really been a transformation of our hearts and minds. We have moved from a posture of criticizing these leaders, to honour and respect, even if we don’t always agree with the decisions they make.  We are able to see past the politics, and glance upon these men and women, who have a common goal to make our province a better place to live and work.  

Tim has been a pioneer, directed by the hand of God, with an unbiased desire to serve those, who serve us.  He has become the bridge, to help us to honour, care and pray for those who lead us. It has been a privilege to partner with Leading Influence Ministries and we encourage you to do the same.                                                             Donna Pechie
Victoria, BC           

Our leaders make decisions that set the course of our province and nation. They do that in a very stressful and often high pressure environment. Leading Influence ensures that there is a non-partisan pastoral presence that is both present and available to care for them as they work within that context.

We do not seek nor receive government funding for our services.  By choice, we raise our own support through individuals, churches and businesses.  This support ensures we are able to care for those who lead our provinces and nation.  

There are many ways you can partner with us:

If you would like to give by cheque, please mail to:
Leading Influence
626 Blanshard St
Victoria, BC V8W 3G6

If you would like to give by online banking, use give@leadinginfluence.com as the email address for the e-transfer.

If you would like to give by pre-authorized debit, please contact our office for assistance.

If you would like to give by credit card, please click here.  You will be taken to our CanadaHelps giving page.  CanadaHelps is a registered Canadian Charity that provides online giving services to other Canadian Charities.

We appreciate and value your financial partnership with us.  We cannot do the work we do without your support.  Thanks so much for your generosity and partnership!


Leading Influence Ministries is a registered Canadian Charity.
CRA No. 856565767RR0001

In Their Own Words

Just to keep things interesting, I've asked several people to share their thoughts on Leading Influence.  Here's what they have to say.

I have known Tim for over a year now. We met in the public gallery of the B.C. legislative Assembly, where we were both interested in the work our legislators do on behalf of all British Columbians in drafting what is often very difficult legislation.

For Tim, his focus was not only an interest in the legislation, but also how the legislators are doing with their personal lives and the many challenges they face. Tim, as the legislative Chaplain is a consummate listener and has the kind of caring core values and engaging personality that give people an almost instant trust in him.   

While not all MLA’s in the legislature are of one spiritual faith they all seem to have great faith in Tim, and the work he does as a non-judgmental and non-partisan basis when they need a person to just listen.


I am personally privileged to call Tim a friend and confidant

Lynn Klein, Victoria, BC

Tim Schindel has become a good friend of many of the MLAs of the BC Legislature, on both sides of the House.  Tim has a very welcoming personality and he takes a genuine interest in the lives of the elected politicians.  I regularly observe him engaging with MLAs - and legislative staff - and they seem very comfortable conversing with him.

He is especially supportive of the approximately 10-12 Christian MLAs - such as myself.  Tim organizes regularly prayer times for those MLAs when the House is in session.  He is excited about his ministry and seeks opportunity to present the Gospel to the majority of MLAs who have yet to come to faith. 

It has been a pleasure getting to know Tim, as a new MLA (elected in the election of last May) and I look forwarding to benefiting from his important ministry over the balance of this term of office.

Simon Gibson, MLA Abbotsford-Mission

My husband was elected MLA in 2009 and is now serving in his second term.  MLAs work long hours and are often away from home.  Marc and I came to know Tim Schindel when we started coming to Victoria for sessions in the Legislature. He is an encouragement to us both and we are very blessed to have a chaplain like Tim reaching out to us and the other MLAs and their families.  When things have been challenging, Marc has felt comfortable sharing with Tim and praying with him.  Tim is caring, encouraging and is dedicated in his chaplaincy service to MLAs. 

Marlene Dalton (Marc Dalton Maple Ridge-Mission) 

I am very thankful that Tim Schindel is able to support, encourage and visit with members of the BC legislature. Tim has a wonderful sense of humor which is very helpful, he is an awesome listener and is someone I can trust and that is important when it comes to this work. Tim is a real blessing and a shining light who makes me smile even when I think of him, thanks Tim ,may God bless you richly always!

Bill Routley, MLA Cowichan

Looking Back at 2014

One of the highlights of my year is to reflect back on what God has done with and through Leading Influence.  I am never disappointed and almost always have to choose what I’m going to leave out because there are just so many highlights.

In January, we officially welcomed Barry and Stella Berglund to our team.  Barry provides chaplaincy services at the Saskatchewan Legislature.  We had a great visit with them here in Victoria and made plans to be with him in Regina in February.

February … Regina… what was I thinking??  It was a chilly -52C when I got off the plane.  Even the locals admitted that it was a ‘bit brisk’ outside.   However the warm welcome that Barry and I received at the Saskatchewan Legislature made up for the frosty conditions outside.  It was exciting to watch God open doors for Barry as he made new friends and renewed some established relationships.  God is doing something amazing in Saskatchewan.  As a side note, once you’ve experienced -52, -25 feels balmy! 

The BC Legislature resumes in February and for me at least it’s like the first day of camp.  Everyone comes back from their community to resume the business of government for the next 4 months.  It’s a great time to reconnect, hand out hugs and catch up!  The return to Victoria also marks the beginning of our weekly prayer gatherings.  I love being a part of praying with leaders who are positioned in places of influence and listening to them ask God for help and direction.

We held our 8th Annual MLA Prayer Breakfast in April.  Mark Donnelly ‘Mr. O Canada’ was our guest speaker.  It wasn’t our usual kind of breakfast.  There’s nothing quite like having the Vancouver Canucks anthem singer lead ‘O Canada’ in a banquet room!  There were patriotic buttons bursting across the room!  After breakfast, I toured the building with Mark and we had a series of impromptu mini-concerts wherever we went.  God opened some unique doors that day and we are still reaping the benefits.

In May we hosted our first ‘Leadercast’ event.  Leadercast is a leadership development simulcast that provides world class leadership training and equipping event.  We had a great response and look forward to doing it again in 2015.

June through August are generally devoted to Sunday preaching opportunities, MLA office visits and vacation time.  The pace is usually a bit slower but this year was a bit different.  Through a series of events, we were able to launch PrayOntario and shortly after, PrayMB.  Today our ministry footprint extends from BC to Ontario and we pray daily for the leaders of just under 30 Million Canadians.  We also added a new chaplain for Alberta to our team. Uve Knaak is well qualified to do an incredible job for us.

The BC Legislature resumed in October.  My personal highlight was welcoming back a member who has been fighting cancer for the past year.  I told him I was looking forward to a bear hug!  He willingly obliged!  We had been praying for him and staying in touch so it was especially rewarding to see him back in Victoria.

In November, I visited Edmonton to be with Uve during his first few days at the Legislature.  (As a side note, I’m becoming more and more in favor of adding a Caribbean island to Canada ) We had a marvelous time together and he is on his way to a successful ministry!  There are bright days ahead for our work in Alberta.


The BC Legislature breaks for the winter at the end of November.  This is a time to catch up on administration, write Christmas newsletters and finalize our plans for 2015!  Thanks for your partnership and support!  We see exciting things on the horizon.  Check in with us in January!  Have a blessed Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

It's National Giving Day

It's National Giving Day.  (I checked it out, Dec 2 really is National Giving Day) NGD is a way to bring some balance and perspective to the general excess of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  If you don't know what Black Friday and Cyber Monday are, that's probably a very good thing! If you do, you'll know why National Giving Day matters.

Leading Influence is entirely funded by the generosity of individuals, churches and businesses that believe in what we do.  This gives us tremendous freedom because our funding is subject to political strings and influence.  We made a concious decision when we founded the ministry that we would not seek government funding to do our job.  Instead, we would share our story and trust God to provide for us as we are faithful to serve those God has chosen to lead our province and nation.  7 1/2 years later, that decision continues to pay dividends!

There are multiple ways you can partner with us financially.  While the secret of our stability is found in monthly/bi-monthly giving, there are many people who give annually, periodically or through one of our fundraising events.  We are tremendously grateful for generosity of the many who make what we now do in 3 provinces through chaplaincy and 5 provinces through our prayer networks possible. Our ministry footprint extends from BC to Ontario and none of it would happen without the faithful partnership of our donors and supporters.

If you are new to us, or would like a bit of a 'refresher' on giving options, pay close attention as our options have changed.

1) You can give electronically through interac etransfer.  After you login to your online banking account, choose the interac transfer option, choose the amount you would like to give.  Follow the instructions on your screen.  Make the question, 'Who is this for?' and the answer 'Leading Influence'.  Use 'give@leadinginfluence.com' as the email address for notification.  We will receive your gift promptly and you will be receipted at year end.

2) You can give by Credit Card through CanadaHelps.  CanadaHelps is a Canadian Charity that provides Credit Card processing services for other charities.  If you give through CanadaHelps, your information is secure and you will be receipted through CanadaHelps at year end.  Click here to visit our CanadaHelps Donor Page.

3) You can give by Pre-Authorized Debit.  Contact our office through the secure form by clicking here.  We continue to see many people opting to give in this manner on a monthly basis. 

4) You can give by cheque simply by mailing to our office at Leading Influence, 626 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC V8W 3G6.

If you'd like to speak with us about how you can give, please contact us directly using this form or call our office at 250-483-5934.