Wednesday, April 05, 2017

BC Election 2017 - It's Time

It's the season for pundits, politicians, promises and prognosticators! It’s election time in B.C.

As British Columbians, we have the incredible privilege of choosing who will form government in our province. As believers, elections present us with the opportunity to invite God into the electoral process, asking for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done!  

This is our time to pray with intention and purpose!

Over the next 5 weeks, there will be a barrage of advertising and news on the election. For politicos, it’s Christmas in April! But we see elections differently.  

We believe an election is an opportunity for God to give us men and women through whom He can work to accomplish His plans and purposes.  This is a time where the church can fulfil its mandate and effectively stand in the gap on behalf of our province - no one else on the planet has the anointing to do that!  

It's important to understand we aren't praying for a particular party or candidate to win.  We trust that God is able to use people with a variety of ideas and ideologies to accomplish His plans.  We are praying for the right people to be elected. 

Here's what you can expect from the 'It’s Time!' Campaign:

1) Videos: leaders from across B.C. will join our Leading Influence team to record video prayers we’ll share daily via email and social media throughout the entire campaign. We encourage you to join us! “Like” and “Follow” our PrayBC Facebook page or “Follow” us on Twitter. For daily emails, click here and sign up under the “Join Free” form at PrayBC.

2) Facebook Live: watch for us on Facebook Live through our PrayBC page starting on April 11 at 10 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm. We’ll be live talking about the prayer for the day, taking questions and encouraging others to pray with us. 

Want to help? It’s simple!
We want to build a network of 10,000 people across BC and Canada who are praying along with us. You help us make that happen every time you share or retweet a prayer on social media or forward our email to your personal network!  

We are convinced that God is EAGER to hear from heaven and respond according to His purposes and plans for our province.   He is just WAITING to hear from us over the next 5 weeks – don’t miss a day!

This is always an amazing journey!

It's Time!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Choosing Faith!

A few years ago, I got an email telling me that I'd been selected to be added to a 'Who's Who' list. It was a heady moment!  Imagine... me .... on a 'Who's Who list.  The very thought made me feel brighter and better than I ever dreamed possible!!

Initially, my curiosity got the better of me and I started responding to emails and voicemails to learn a bit more about the 'exclusive club' I was being invited into.  At first, it was almost too good to be true.  And then I found out that the whole thing was a scam.  It was a very good scam perpetrated by someone with a very 'posh' accent, but a scam nonetheless.  

The upside was that my credit card company was able to reverse the charge for the 'initiation fee'!  

(I know you're laughing at me... I can hear you from here!!)  

The initiation fee for a legit 'Who's Who' list usually isn't paid by credit card, it's earned by achieving something amazing and overcoming multiple obstacles along the way.  There are no shortcuts. There is always hard work, focus, courage, persistence, discipline, self-sacrifice and the list goes on.

Hebrews 11 has a long list of people who made God's 'Who's Who' list.  The stories behind the names on the list make my heart beat a little bit faster and stir something deep inside me.  I love the wins that come along with following what God puts in your heart.  As I read about the price these people paid to see those wins come to pass, I tremble at the thought.  Add to that the sobering reality that some never saw the fulfilment of what they believed for and the price just becomes that much greater.

Along the way, they 'conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; they shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; their weakness was turned to strength, and they became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.' (v. 33, 34)  The very thought of what they experienced takes my breath away... and they accomplished it all through an obedient faith that propelled them forward and did not permit them to quit.

For the past few days, I have been reflecting on the scope of what we have undertaken as a ministry.  If I say it quickly enough, the vision to provide chaplaincy ministry to every politician in Canada almost seems attainable. When I take the time to say it slowly and measure the weight of that goal and the challenges that it presents, the task starts to feel more impossible than doable.  At this point, there are only two options before me.  I can permit myself to be overcome by the scope and size of what God has put before me, OR I can align myself with the saints I read about in Hebrews 11.  

I choose the latter because those people made their lives count for something!

Nothing worthwhile happens unless we are PRAYERFUL, FAITHFUL, COURAGEOUS and OBEDIENT.
(LI Value Statement)

We know we won't get there by ourselves and we know that we can't get there without people like you praying for us, believing with us, partnering with us and supporting us.  Right now, your prayers, encouragement and partnership mean more to us than ever before. 

Thanks for standing with us!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Something's Happening Here....

You could be forgiven for assuming that mixing leaders from government, business, church, and community together for an event might look more like a science experiment gone wrong than a gathering of friends and family, but that's the feeling I get every time we host our annual MLA Prayer Breakfast!  

Our most recent event was no exception.  140 church, community and business leaders and another 30 Members of the BC Legislature came together in a buzz of conversation, appreciation, reflection and inspiration!  
What I love most about the breakfast is the way paradigms change over breakfast and the relationships that are built around the table.  Here's what I mean...  

The Church doesn't necessarily have a reputation for being gracious, kind and affirming of politicians.  Most of that comes from our general lack of engagement in a positive manner.  Most first time attendees come through the door with a measure of trepidation as they ponder an hour with strangers over breakfast.  What they discover makes me deeply proud of my spiritual family.

Members meet people who are interested in them, like to be with them and in every way do their best over that hour to honour, affirm and connect with them in meaningful ways.  Some become friends who stay in touch over the years, some make commitments to pray for the member at their table for the next year.  Over time, the event has become an anticipated gathering of friends where everyone around the table is believing the best about everyone else sitting around the table.  

My favourite comment out of this year's breakfast happened during introductions later that day.  A member who had just attended his first breakfast commented on how he had enjoyed his time and couldn't recall hearing 'O Canada' sung with such passion and volume previously.

This event works and improves every year because of the people who sit around the tables and very intentionally show and share the love of Jesus and His love for leaders in gracious and respectful ways.  

To those who attended the Prayer Breakfast this year or in years gone by, let me thank you for helping us build a fantastic event.  If you've never come but have prayed for us, thank you for standing in the gap for us!  

If you are reading this and thinking 'I'd like to do something like that', let me encourage you to do so.  The rewards are amazing!!

Click here to see view more photos from the breakfast!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Getting Growing ...

I rarely lack for vision and goals, but I've become a bit tired of goal setting.  There are so many variables at play that at times goals are really nothing more than my best hope for an ideal outcome.  I'm okay with that because as one friend is fond of saying 'if you shoot for the moon and miss, you just might hit a star!' 

As I weighed out where I wanted to go in 2017 and what I wanted to accomplish, I came to the conclusion that what I needed more than goals was a plan to grow.  My job has changed considerably.  My responsibilities have increased.  I have more to manage.  I have more to lead.  I am responsible for finding high capacity people and recruit them to join our team. Most of all, I am tasked with the challenge of turning a comprehensive vision into a national reality.  These are huge changes for me and ones that require something more than just another list of goals. 

Flatlined leaders have believed the lie that growth 'just happens'.  You can identify flatlined leaders by listening carefully.  They are replaying the same script that they playing a year ago!  The reality is that growth happens because we plan to grow.  Growth is INTENTIONAL! Getting intentional for me means that I devote an hour of my day, 5 days a week to personal/professional growth.  Some days I read and take notes, some days I listen to podcasts.  Some days I watch a video.  

Six weeks into my plan, I am seeing enormous growth and results.  Some of that growth is seen the way I am thinking.  Some of it is showing in the way I respond to situations and people around me.  Some of my growth appears in the content I have at my disposal in conversation and coaching.  It's been refreshing to do something more than repeating the same ideas I've had for years.  (Admittedly, not every new idea is a good idea, but not every new idea is a bad one either!)

I ran my first marathon in 2012.  Training was hard work and required more discipline and mental toughness than anything I had done before.  My muscles were sore more days than they weren't, but I grew from being a rookie runner into being a marathoner.  It wasn't always easy, but it was incredibly rewarding to cross the finish live upright and alive on race day!  

I'm seeing the same kind of growth happening in my life.  It's not always easy.  Some days I'm challenged on things that I've just been lazy about.  Some days I'm confronted with blind spots that I have intentionally ignored.   Other days, it's like I get an 'atta-boy' when something I've believed is confirmed to be true.  (It's rare, but it happens!)

If you're leading ANYTHING, you need to find a way to be intentional about your growth.  The people you lead, the people who look to you need you to be a growing leader!
What are you waiting for?  Get growing!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

10 Years Ago....

This moment seems so far away and at the same time, feels like it happened yesterday.  It marked the beginning of an incredible journey of faith, trust, favour and open doors.  I had no expectation that God would show up in my world in such a big way that day, but He did... and He keeps showing up (and showing off!!) on a regular basis!   

Check out what happened 10 years ago this month!

I attended the Speech from the Throne in Victoria today as the guest of a local MLA/Cabinet Minister who is a friend of the ministry. I arrived in plenty of time to people watch, chit chat with those who were sitting around me and just get the feel of the place. 

I noticed my MLA friend come out onto the floor about 10 minutes before things were to begin. He greeted a few people and then began to scan the public galleries greeting a few people he recognized. When he looked my way, I waved and smiled to catch his attention hoping that he would see me up in the "cheap seats". Upon recognizing me, he motioned for me to come down to the main floor and meet him at the door to the Chamber. When I arrived, he introduced me to the Sergeant at Arms who explained that the minister that had agreed to open the session in prayer had cancelled and could I/would I be willing to open in prayer. When I agreed (which took all of about .5 seconds, I was whisked to the Speaker's office and was asked again if I would be willing to serve in this way. 

I told him I would be happy to serve and he directed me to go with the Sergeant where I was led through the door behind the Speaker's throne and shown my seat where I was to wait until I was called upon to pray. After that he asked if I'd like to see their prayer book or just pray one of my one. I looked at the book and opted to pray my own... :-)

I spent most of the speech just trying to get my head around what had just happened... I'm going back next week for the Budget speech. As I was walking to the Speaker's office, my MLA friend turned to me and said "we know who's really in charge here don't we Tim!" He was as excited as I was!! 

I have to tell you that I am absolutely amazed at how God orders our lives and our days. I had absolutely no expectation to do anything more than attend the speech and perhaps have a moment to visit with my friend. God had set up an entirely different day that allowed me to meet virtually every Cabinet minister in the province and to publicly intercede for the MLA's and ask His blessing on this session. I was even on TV! (Okay, it was BC Leg TV and only political junkies watch it, but still it was pretty amazing!)
The same God who showed up (and showed off!!) on that day is still the same today.  As BC and Ontario resume sitting this month, we are looking forward to seeing God open more new doors into the lives of leaders!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Partner in Something Exciting!

Last Christmas my kids pooled their resources and gave me the kind of gift that took my breath away when I opened it. Their gift exceeded anything that I had expected of them.  I’m enjoying a delicious cup of coffee made by that very gift as I write this.

2016 feels a bit like God decided that this would be the year that He would take my breath away in terms of what He would do in, for and through Leading Influence. 

There’s not enough space to tell all the stories, but our biggest leaps forward have been to add Jason Goertzen to a full time role with us in BC, welcoming Dr. Scott Francis to our Saskatchewan role, while I have taken on the exciting opportunity to establish our work in Toronto this fall where we are being very well received!  Today, our ministry footprint extends from Victoria to Toronto and we have the unique privilege of serving and supporting leaders whose decisions affect the day to day lives of over 60% of Canadians.

This year has taught me that God delights in responding to the combination of vision, faith and sacrifice and it’s exciting to experience God’s response!

Leading Influence wouldn’t be here without your much-appreciated support and partnership!  2016 has stretched us financially and we need your help this year more than most as we look towards starting 2017 in a strong position.  As you consider any year end giving that you might do, we would be grateful if you remembered us!  As always, you can give online by clicking here.  (You will be taken to our CanadaHelps page) or you can mail to:

Leading Influence
626 Blanshard St
Victoria, BC V8W 3G6

From all of us at Leading Influence, have a very merry Christmas!