The following article originally appeared in the summer edition of our print newsletter called Side by Side. To download a PDF version of the newsletter, click here.
We are burdened to make a difference!
This is the final sentence of IBL’s vision. And it expresses the sentiment of every IBL team member. We long to see God’s leaders advance in their understanding and practice of biblical leadership. We are excited when we see God’s Word make a difference in a leader’s life and ministry, to see their renewed enthusiasm for the work of the ministry, and to observe the God-glorifying impact on the ministries they lead.
How do we know whether we are having impact that makes a difference? One way is by listening to our clients’ feedback. Earlier this year I received the following note from one of our consulting clients, the senior pastor of a large church in the Southeast.
...thank you again for your recent ministry to our church. I am delighted to tell you that we have fully instituted the new structure of the committee you counseled us on. This past Sunday night I shared the new structure and process with the entire church family and it was very well received. The new committee has already been immersed in [its work] and the spirit of the meetings is dramatically different—such a spirit of unity! Thanks again for your time and input.
We have an extensive ministry with this church. Over the past decade we have served them with leadership assessment, organizational leadership planning, role clarification, long range ministry planning, one-on-one leader coaching, and crisis response. So, we know them well; and they know us, trust us, and appreciate our biblical, practical, relevant counsel.
Receiving this kind of feedback is a great encouragement to us. When we hear from our clients of the benefits they are experiencing as they practically apply the biblical principles they’ve learned, then we have confidence that we are indeed advancing toward our vision.
Dawn and I conducted a follow-up online counseling session a few weeks ago. The couple had been with us in-residence some six months prior and they have been making great progress since then. Toward the end of the online session, the wife said,
Before coming to IBL, I was told by another of your clients that if I came I would be given the biblical tools needed to address any situation that might arise in my life. And I really feel as if I now have those tools. I’ve been able to successfully address the issues I was facing, and I’m confident these tools will allow me to correctly address new challenges as they arise.
Just this week I received the following note from a client regarding a teaching I had given him on biblical communication,
That summary page is a “holy 4x4” hitting me in the gut; then when I double-over, it hits me on the butt. WOW! GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY of violating all verses and using the majority of the “cutting and tearing-down words” listed, as well as others not listed. I definitely need what you are teaching me.
Making a real, tangible difference in the lives and ministries of God’s leaders; we are burdened to have this kind of impact. And we praise God that He allows us to do so as we faithfully draw on His Word for insight and counsel.