Spiritual Influence {Leadership Thoughts from Mel Lawrenz, Part II}

As I mentioned yesterday, this week I am sharing highlights from Mel Lawrenz’s book Spiritual Influence. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Part Two of his book on Taking Initiative.

  • “Some leaders believe that they must always project a concrete vision of the future and define vision in detail; but spiritual influence is often most effective when people are drawn into a vision not yet fully formed, so they get to be a part of the discovery.”
  • People committed to spiritual influence should be the smartest people around because they know that the mind is an extraordinary gift of the Creator, whose mind surpasses all other minds. And they are enthused about and committed to the growth of understanding. They see life experience and education, research and simple reading as the way they feed their hungry souls.”
  • Our impatience and desire for the quick fix make deep thought unattractive. It takes too much time, too much effort. We don’t have margin for conversations or deliberation. We like short-form reading, feel overwhelmed by the number of books available…Piles of coal make us forget there are diamonds out there to be found if we look hard.” 
  • Mel quotes a letter written by John Wesley to confront a pastor he believed had built his ministry on shallow thinking: “I scarce ever knew a preacher read so little. And perhaps, by neglecting it, have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought. Reading only can supply this, with meditation and daily prayer…O begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercise. You may acquire the taste which you have not: what is tedious at first, will afterward by pleasant…Do justice to your own soul; give it time and means to grow. Do not starve yourself any longer.” {Ouch.}
  • Following God’s ways is not the leisurely way; it is harder work than the bullish way.”
  • The call of God to the people of God includes this: do what you can–wherever you can–to make things right. “
  • God makes things right with us and then commands us to act on what is right in his eyes. Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly.”
  • As Christians, we sometimes think that shading the truth is an act of mercy. We must remember that Jesus Christ came and he was ‘full of grace and truth.’ It is not grace instead of truth, but grace with truth.”

I found Lawrenz’s exhortation to action timely since passivity seems to be in vogue. It’s far too easy to walk away from situations that are hard, awkward, or not quickly fixed. Spiritual influencers resist this tendency and instead walk in and help others wake up to the reality of their circumstances, as well as the reality of God’s presence in their lives.

Part Three  of the book is up tomorrow.

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