Monday, September 04, 2017

Game On!!

After a summer break in Ontario and perhaps the strangest summer ever in BC politics, a collective 'Game On' is just around the corner.  BC resumes this coming Friday with a Throne Speech and the first NDP government in 16 years.  Ontario resumes on Sept 11 and heads into the last 9 months before an election.  Saskatchewan follows in early October and is undergoing a search for a new premier.  (Who says politics is boring?)

In all of it, Leading Influence is present and well positioned for another season of ministry to our political leaders.  We believe that our nation is in desperate need of a spiritual awakening among our political leaders!  Our belief is rooted in a deep conviction that God loves leaders in every part of the political spectrum and yearns to reveal Himself to them in profound and meaningful ways.  We are thrilled to be called to fulfill that part of God's plan on the Canadian political scene.

Do You Know Someone Who Might Fit?

Like any non-profit, we have our challenges and opportunities.  We continue to seek full-time ministry associates in Edmonton and Toronto.  These are crucial opportunities to see the Kingdom of Heaven come in key places of influence in our nation.  Pray with us that God would send us workers who share our vision to reach and impact leaders with a message of hope, help, and strength.  

We Need Your Help!

We are also experiencing a financial challenge at this time.  Summers are always a bit of a challenge for us and we normally do a summer appeal to our friends and partners and see an excellent response, but this year's wildfire situation in the BC interior made reminding and encouraging our BC donors inappropriate because of the pressing need all around them.  We are so proud of the way some of our friends and donors stepped up to volunteer and provide assistance to the thousands who were displaced.  We fell well short of our anticipated goal of $15,000 through July and August.  While we have a need, we are confident in God's ability to provide and make a way for us!

Your gift of $25/50/75 or any amount you choose to help us with will make a huge difference for us right now.  You can click here to give by credit card or to find how to give through the mail.  Thanks for standing with us at this crucial time.  We are confident that with the support of many people just like you, we will see our budget needs met!

A New Season

September is a bit of an anomaly.  It marks the beginning of fall, harvest and the end of summer and yet it always feels like the beginning of a new year/season.  Our prayer for you is that this coming fall season would be marked with God's blessing, bounty and goodness in your life, home, family and business/work in every way!  Have a fantastic September!

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!