Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Wild West

The rest of Canada refers to BC politics as “The Wild West” and certainly the last month has only cemented that moniker.  So much has happened since the election on May 9th but on that evening I stayed up until the very end.

I’ve been watching elections results since the late 70’s but this one was entirely different for me.  It wasn’t that the results were the closest in BC election history (which they were) that kept me up.  It also wasn’t that BC now has its first minority government in 65 years, with the BC Greens holding the balance power, that kept me tuning in until 1am. 

What was different this time was that I had come to know so many of the people involved.  Some I had just visited in their offices weeks before, with many I had shared a laugh or an encouraging word in the hallway.  Many were being re-elected that night, some were not, while a few ridings were so close that it went late into the night (and beyond) before winners were declared.  I knew I needed to stay up because people I knew were up.  In some small way, I needed to stand with them.    

I was reminded again how difficult the life of a politician can be for them and their families on election night.  How when the results come in you’re either celebrating victory or suddenly it’s over.  In previous elections, I have paid more attention to what party that was being elected, this time I cared much more for the people in those parties.

Fast forward to today as I attend the Throne Speech and connect with new and returning members, some for the first time. Each member is someone I can potentially serve, encourage and pray for through this next parliament.  My hope is to make my days and time count here in significant ways through what may be the most interesting parliament BC has seen in some time.

It's an honor to be here and serve this way. Pray with me for open doors and opportunities into the lives of those God has called to serve us as leaders in BC.

Help Us Win $10,000!!

What would you do with an extra $10,000??  I know what we would do with $10,000.  We'd pour it all into serving and reaching leaders across Canada.  We'd expand the boundaries of our tent and put every penny of it to good use!  

We are very thankful for CanadaHelps and the excellent donation processing service they provide to us.  This year, CanadaHelps is offering an incentive to support Canadian charities like Leading Influence.  Each dollar given to Leading Influence through CanadaHelps between June 1-30 qualifies us for an entry into a draw to win $10,000.  We are excited about our plans for the future and an extra $10,000 would be very helpful!!

Our Summer Appeal goal is $15,000.  We will use those funds to underwrite our in Ontario as we continue to establish our presence there.  If 100 of our friends and partners would sow $150 towards that budget in honor of Canada's 150th birthday, our need would be met.
We know it’s not always that simple.  Some can’t give $150.  Some can give much more.  Our hope is that in some way, you will hear God speak and sow into Leading Influence to help us meet this need. 

Thanks for standing with us!  Our partners are the most important people at Leading Influence!  We can't do this without you!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ontario Update

We are so excited to be serving at Queens Park in Toronto.  The challenge is enormous but the strategic value of establishing a strong ministry presence here leaves us no option but to rise the opportunity and lay a strong foundation for the future.  The decisions made at Queens Park affect 13 million people.  That’s 1 out of every 3 Canadians! 

Apart from reaching out to members and building relationships there, much of our work in these early days is meeting people and introducing them to our work.   It was my privilege in April to host a group of intercessors who have adopted what we are doing at Queens Park into their prayer routine.  Our work can only be successful as it is built on a strong prayer foundation. 

Included in this group are Derk and Anita Maat who provide leadership to Transformation Canada and Transformation GTA.  Anita’s team of intercessors joined us for the day.  One came from as far away as NY State just to be with us for the morning.  This was a special time as the group was able to pray for the member before we left.  He commented on feeling renewed and refreshed as a result.

Part of what we do is connect Christians with politicians because transformation starts with relationships. The most common discovery for both sides is almost always positive and sets the stage for something good to happen!

Presence Matters!

Many years ago, I was the guest speaker at a small country church and was invited to a board member’s house for ‘dinner’ after church. The roast was perfect, the buns were fresh baked, the potatoes, veggies and salad were garden fresh.  Dessert was freshly baked rhubarb pie and ice cream with coffee.

Are you hungry yet? 

We all waited until everyone was served and our host took the first bite. Let’s just say that her reaction is etched in my memory because rhubarb pie without any sugar packs a punch when you aren’t expecting it.  We found a way to make it work with sugar and ice cream, but it was memorable.

Presence matters…

Jesus said it this way… ‘You are the salt of the earth’. ‘You are the light of the world’.  I find it interesting that Jesus chose to use the two elements that were most common and essential to their daily living as tools to make His point.  Without salt, your food rotted.  Without light, you stumbled in the darkness of the middle eastern night.  His hearers immediately understood His message, these elements have an impact.

Our sole purpose at Leading Influence is to be salt and light in the lives of those who serve us politically through the ministry of presence.  We don’t lobby or petition because we believe in the transformative power of being salt and light in the life of the leader.  Sooner or later the combination of prayer, presence and the prompting of the Spirit unlocks the door into someone’s world and we discover that God is already doing something amazing.  

We see that God is shaping core values, affecting decisions and confirming and affirming a vision for our nation in the lives of those He has called to lead.  It’s not something that happens quickly or suddenly but we see it happening.  We often can’t share what He’s doing because we are committed to protecting those we work with, but we can say that it’s exciting to watch!  By faith, we see the day where ‘He shall have dominion from sea to sea’ because of the work in and through the lives of leaders we see Him doing now!

2017 marks our 10th year of full time ministry to Canadian politicians this month.  We began with 83 members in BC in 2007.  As we close out the end of our 10th year, our ministry footprint extends from Victoria to Toronto and we are positioned to serve over 50% of the provincially elected members in Canada.  The harvest truly is plentiful!  The opportunities are endless and the doors are wide open!

Presence matters now more than ever!

And So It Begins...

I don't think I'm alone in saying that I'm not much of a fan of uncertainty.  I prefer a firm plan, a clear decision, and a straightforward path.  The more I learn about who God is and how He works, I'm starting to see that He has little concern for my preferences and that His chosen path is rarely anything but clear and straight forward.   The more I get to know Him, the more I see that God's favorite working environment just might be the one where things are murky and unsettled.  

The first place we see Him at work is in Genesis 1:2 where ‘The earth was an empty waste and darkness was over the deep waters.’  It's also the first time we hear him utter those powerful words, 'Let there be Light', order takes shape out of the chaos and God sees and says that it is good.  (Every time I read Genesis 1, I wonder what it would have been like to see it happen ‘live’.)

While the election results aren't quite in Genesis 1 territory, we are in the midst of an uncertain moment, (BC’s first minority since 1952).  This I know to be true, God knows what he's doing!

Daniel spent his life with politicians and kings, said it this way: God takes Kings away and puts others in power according to His purposes.  (2:21 NLV) I am certain that God is in control and that this outcome is in keeping with His plans. 

For the past 3 provincial election campaigns, we led a daily prayer initiative where we asked God to give us men and women through whom He can work to accomplish His plans and purposes for our province.  Over the course of this campaign, we had more people praying with us than ever before.  I can only believe that God knew what the outcome would be and that He planned it this way. 

Our prayer at Leading Influence is that God will give those who lead and serve wisdom, strength and courage to lead our province forward and into a place of prosperity and blessing.  We encourage you to pray along with us to that end!