The 2018 Blog Year in Review


2018 has been a remarkable year for the ministry of Leadership Resources International. In teamwork with our international partners, we’ve trained over 12,000 pastors in almost 50 countries.

The LRI blog has also experienced fruit and growth. The following links give a Year in Review for our blog. We hope the posts encourage and challenge you to faithfully minister God’s Word in your life and ministry.

Articles

Audio Resources

Video Resources

Stories from the Field

Central Asia: Preaching the Word with Clarity and Confidence

One preacher told Turstan that before this training “we got stuck in our own web. The harder we worked to make things clear, the more we confused even ourselves!” Now he preaches from the Word with both clarity and confidence.

Colombia: “Lord, please make this pastor go away!”

Costa Rica: “The pulpit now is no longer a burden, but a blessing”  [Video]

Cuba: Empowering Faithful Word Ministry

“TNT [Leadership Resources’ training for pastors] is really cool because students develop thoughts and sermons based on the principles we learn. This fuels us and also gives us feedback. At the same time, the student can be reproducing this training in home groups, Sunday School, and other places. . . . TNT has helped us greatly.”

Kenya: “His passion is channeled by the text itself. . .”

“His teaching has become more clear and to the point. He doesn’t just appeal to emotions. Paul is still a passionate preacher, but his passion is channeled by the text itself.”

Philippines: From Fear to a Passion to Preach God’s Word

“Everyone there had a far greater understanding of God’s Word. I thought I could never catch up.”

Security-sensitive Asian country: A Movement of the Word…Even Among Drug Addicts 

“A few years ago I was wondering, ‘Who will I train?’ A group of drug addicts at a local rehabilitation center were eager to learn, so I began with them. Soon they were changed by the power of God’s Word. Their hunger for the Word grew further still.

Security-sensitive Asian country: Transformed Pulpits Lead to Transformed Communities 

Chinh’s passion is to equip churches to shower the love of Christ on their communities by meeting social, physical, and spiritual needs . . . acts of love which “adorn” the gospel (Titus 2:10). These churches build schools, care for widows, dig toilets, and help farmers gather their crops when they are sick – they serve both Christians and non-Christians. When asked why, their reply is simple, “Because we love you! And because God loves you so much.” This outpouring of love has created a spiritual hunger among unbelievers to know this God of love. And as a result, many have come to know Christ.

25 Quotes from The Vine Project: Shaping Your Ministry Culture Around Disciple-Making

The Vine Project - Shaping Your Ministry Culture Around Disciple-Making Book Cover

Our friends Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, authors of The Trellis and the Vine, have recently released a “sequel” to the book that Mark Dever called “The best book I’ve read on the nature of church ministry.”

The Vine Project: Shaping Your Ministry Culture Around Disciple-Making seeks to sharpen and build upon the principles shared in The Trellis and the Vine to comprehensively and practically answer the question, “How can we shift the whole culture of our church in the direction of disciple-making?”

The quotes below give a snapshot into the heart and content of The Vine Project. Learn more about The Vine Project in our review.

This book does come with a minor language warning: several times American readers will be shocked by an extra “u” in a word like “behavior”, referring to “mom” as “mum”, or calling a shopping cart a “trolley.” We sincerely hope you can overlook the peccadillos of our friends ;).

Order The Vine Project on Amazon or through Matthias Media’s website.


We long for Great-Commission style ‘vine work’ to be the normal agenda and priority within our churches. We yearn for every member of our congregation to grasp this and to live it—to pray for and reach out to those around them to make new disciples, and to nurture and edify and encourage one another to maturity in Christ. (15)

How can we shift the whole culture of our church in the direction of disciple-making? That’s the question that The Vine Project is aiming to answer. (16)

Disciple-making is really about calling people to faith and hope in Jesus Christ in the midst of this present evil age, with all its pressures. To become a church more focused on disciple-making is to become a fellowship that understands more clearly why life is often hard, and what resources God has given us to grow in faith and hope and love in the midst of the struggle. A disciple-making church is actually better able to handle the crises and pressures of everyday life. (17)

You can’t usually change culture by trying to change culture. You must change deeply held beliefs/convictions that underpin culture (even underlying ones) and activities, practices, structures that express those beliefs. (31)

This is why we want to make more and more disciples of Jesus Christ: because God’s goal for the whole world and the whole of human history is to glorify his beloved Son in the midst of the people he has rescued and transformed. (58)

Making disciples is not primarily a human activity with goals that we set (although it is those things in a subsidiary sense). Whatever happens in Christian ministry and in church, and whatever happens in our neighbour hoods and families and work places, is part of what God is doing to move all things inexorably towards their goal and end—which is Jesus Christ. (59)

The people Jesus calls to be ‘learners’ don’t have a blank slate. Their slate is very full—of foolish, darkened, enslaved thinking that is opposed to learning Jesus at every point. Becoming a learner of Christ therefore requires a radical change. It requires a great work of God to rescue us from the dark domain in which we were enslaved, and to transfer us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. From our side, it requires repentance—that is, a dying to the web of lies that our lives once were built on. (67)

Everything we do as God’s gathered people (as ‘church’) should be an exercise in the transformative learning of Christ. (71)

What is a disciple? A forgiven sinner who is learning Christ in repentance and faith. (74)

Disciples are made by the persevering proclamation of the word of God by the people of God in prayerful dependence on the Spirit of God. (83)

In the New Testament, the proclamation of the word is the basic means for creating and growing ‘Christ-learners’. You could even say that there is only one central activity in making disciples—the speaking of the word of God —and that all the other elements describe in what Spirit, by which people, and in what manner that speaking is done. (84)

One symptom of a congregational culture that is weak in ‘disciple-making’ is that there are few contexts or instances beyond the Sunday sermon in which the Bible’s word is regularly being spoken.(86)

Prayerlessness, like Wordlessness, is a classic symptom of a sick disciple-making culture. (90)

The goal of every form of Christian ministry could be summarized simply as seeking to help each person, wherever they happen to be…to come closer towards hearing the gospel and being transferred out of the domain of darkness into the kingdom; and then to press forward towards maturity in Christ in every aspect of their lives. (96-97)

Moving to the Right Graphic from The Vine Project - Trellis and the Vine

With confidence that God will work through his word and Spirit, even slowly and gradually over time, we can all do our part in helping everyone around us take a step forward in Christ. (99)

In a church where the four Ps are being widely practised by many believers across the congregation, the sermon is an occasion not just where one man speaks, but where he teaches a multitude to speak. In his preaching, a pastor sounds the tuning fork so that the whole orchestra knows in what key to play. He teaches and guards the sound deposit of the gospel so that all may know it clearly and thoroughly (for how else will they speak it?). He shows them not only what the Bible says, but how they can read and speak that truth for themselves. He constantly teaches the sound doctrinal framework that shapes the Bible reading and speaking of the whole congregation. (117)

The Expository Church Diagram — Colin Marshall

If we want a church culture of transformative learning, our households need to reflect this vision, and our families need to be taught and encouraged and equipped to embrace it. The connection between home-based and church-based disciple-making is very close. The one will nurture the other. (140)

“It is better to hear one sermon only and meditate on that, than to hear two sermons and meditate on neither.” Thomas White (164)

If we wish everyone in our congregation to be feeding on and digesting and praying over the word of God, then we cannot ignore the importance of doing so ourselves. (165)

Prayer comes before transformation, as we beg for God to change us by his Spirit; and prayer follows transformation, as we verbalize and express our growing trust in Christ. (165)

A successful activity/program in the church: an activity or program is ‘effective’ to the extent that it facilitates the prayerful speaking of the word of God (in whatever way) over time with the result that people ‘move to the right’. (187)

Christianity does not have two messages, one for the outsider and one for the insider. The gospel word that builds someone into the church is the same word that builds them up in the church. (214)

Small groups have enormous potential to move people to the right—but their frequent failure to do so is in very large measure due to poor quality leadership. Whatever energy or resources we put into recruiting and equipping small group leaders will pay enormous dividends over time. (277)

Strategic planning is actually the easy part. Execution is where nearly everyone falls down. The truly challenging stage in driving any deep culture change is actually executing your plans—persistently, flexibly and effectively over the considerable period of time that will be required for any real change to take place. (315)

Pastoral leadership flourishes and is effective when pastors are constantly seeking to invest in and deploy new pastors and co-workers to serve alongside them, whether as volunteers, part-timers or full-time staff. We need more pastors (not less) who can teach the faith, nurture spiritual maturity, and take responsibility to lead and equip the saints in all aspects of Christian living and 4P ministry. (323)


We recommend these other great resources from Matthias Media:

What Makes an Excellent Bible Teacher? Dick Lucas Answers.

Leadership Resources - Missions and Expository Preaching Blog

What makes an excellent teacher?

In a recent episode of Help Me Teach the Bible, that is the question Dick Lucas answers.

Dick Lucas, former Rector of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate and Founder of The Proclamation Trust in the UK, has taught the Bible for over forty years. Lucas was one of Leadership Resources’ primary influences for launching Training National Trainers, training pastors worldwide to preach God’s Word with God’s heart.

Listen to the audio below or download the mp3.


Download (Right Click and click “Save As”) | Podcast

Dick Lucas UK Preacher at St Helens Proclamation TrustSome of Lucas’s most helpful thoughts are summarized below.

1. Seek honest feedback in the context of friendliness and fellowship with the goal of everyone getting a little bit better. Receiving feedback is like jumping in a cold swimming pool: “Once you love jumping in the cold swimming pool…you love swimming around.”

2. Preachers need to be both called by God and properly equipped to preach.

3. Excellent teachers have a hunger to learn. Be a reader. (See LRI’s recommended reading)

4. It is the job of a pastor to be looking for people in the congregation who are able to teach.

5. Ask the following questions of a preaching text:

  • What does the text actually say?
  • What significance has this for the world, my church, my neighbor?
  • How can I get that into order? (The outline of the text for speaking.)

6. Clarity in speaking is key. “The one supreme need of the speaker is clarity.” [This is why our training uses the Main Idea and Intended Response hermeneutical principle.]

7. Illustrations are helpful for giving people mental rest and catching the attention of the sleepy. [See 10 Pro Tips for Better Sermon Illustrations.]

8. Deal with discouragement. If you can’t deal with discouragement, you can’t continue in ministry.


Related Posts:

Free eBook: Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout

Free Ebook Finishing Well in Life and Ministry Battling Burnout

Burnout is inevitable.

Apart from the sustaining presence of God, the pressures of the ministry are more than any man or woman can bear. We, as church leaders, battle against a host of enemies: unrealistic expectations, unrelenting schedules, resistant people, a morally bankrupt culture, and spiritual forces of darkness. How are we to survive this onslaught, let alone flourish in the ministry? Finishing Well in Life and Ministry will give you hope as you discover that you are not alone.

For a limited time, Leadership Resources is offering the eBook version (Kindle, ePub, and PDF) of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout free of charge to subscribers to our blog.** This book co-written by our Founder Bill Mills and President Craig Parro will lift your soul by unpacking God’s sustaining provision for us in Christ.

To unlock your free eBook:
1. Enter your email in the email subscription widget or on this form
2. Select preferred frequency: Every Post (two or three per week) or Weekly Digest
3. Click on the link in the email you receive to confirm your subscription
4. You will then receive access to the book.

**When you subscribe to our blog, you will receive ministry updates and resources to help the Word of God flow mightily through your church.


A sneak peak from the book’s introduction:

“The key to life and ministry is found in our view of God, our view of ourselves and in our view of ministry…As our vision of God becomes greater, our hearts will become freer and our ministries will grow fuller. We will be continually coming back to God, seeking Him for His eternal resources, which alone can sustain us from day to day.”

What Amazon readers are saying:

“This book is full of Scripture. Though it is written for pastors, I found it very encouraging as it points you to the Lord in every trial explored! Highly recommended for anyone in any area of serving!”

“As a pastor who is nearing the close of pastoral ministry before retirement, I found this book quite helpful as I reflect on how to finish well and not coast.”

“Such a powerful word to encourage His servants, to keep their eyes on Jesus. Great book to use in a pastor’s small group.”

The book is available in paperback in our web store and on Amazon.

Six of the Best Books on Prayer for Pastors and Leaders

List of Best Books on Prayer for Pastors and Leaders

“The wheels of all machinery for extending the gospel are moved by prayer.” —J.C. Ryle

The importance of prayer in the life of a pastor or ministry leader cannot be overstated.

Without prayerful dependence on God Almighty for wisdom, grace, and gospel fruit in ministry, we are tempted to serve in our own strength. To make a lasting impact ministering God’s Word to a lost world, we must be people of prayer.

The Bible is by far the best way to learn and grow regarding the topic of prayer. In addition to the Bible, Leadership Resources recommends the following books that have helped us better understand the crucial subject of prayer.

1. Prayer and the Voice of God by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne.

This is a simple, yet profound introduction to prayer. It covers a whole range of questions people have about prayer in a very clear, concise (125 pages), biblical manner.

Description from the Amazon page:

Prayer doesn’t have to be a mystery or a burden. In this Guidebook for Life, Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne open up what God himself says to us in the Scriptures about prayer, including what prayer really is, why we should do it and why we often don’t. This insightful, practical book offers powerful motivations to get us back on our knees and praying, as well as helpful discussions of what to pray for.

Buy on MatthiasMedia.com.

2. The God Who Hears by W. Bingham Hunter.

This is a thorough, yet easy to read book on prayer. LRI staff member Phil Smith recommends this and enjoyed Hunter’s focus on the nature of God informing us on how and why we pray.

  • “If God really cared he would answer my prayer.”
  • “I hesitate to ask him anything.”
  • “I can’t understand why he continues to ignore my deepest needs.”

Bingham Hunter recognizes that most believers have these thoughts from time to time. He encourages us to look at prayer from the standpoint of who God is. The true aim of prayer is intimacy with God. We pray effectively when we make him the desire of our hearts, Hunter answers our questions about prayer by directing us to the nature and attributes of God and to our own lives. God responds not to our prayers but to who we are–what we think, feel, will and do. Prayer is communication from the whole person to the Wholeness that is the living God.

3. Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson.

What better way to grow in prayer than a deep study of how the apostle Paul prayed? In Praying with Paul, D.A. Carson expounds the New Testament prayers of Paul in a way that encourages and equips readers to conform their prayers to the priorities of Scripture as modeled by Paul.

God doesn’t demand hectic church programs and frenetic schedules; he only wants his people to know him more intimately. The apostle Paul found that spiritual closeness in his own fellowship with the Father. Praying with Paul calls believers to reject superficiality and revolutionize their lives by embracing a God-guided approach to prayer. By following Paul’s life-shaping principles, we can hear God speak to us today.

4. Language of the Heart: 20 Worship Prompters & Meditations on Prayer by Bill Mills, Founder of Leadership Resources.

LRI Founder Bill Mills presents twenty worship prompters and meditations on prayer to lead readers into a rich experience of awe and wonder as they contemplate God’s deep and marvelous mysteries.

If you are looking for a book to stir your heart to pray and enjoy communion with your loving heavenly Father, Language of the Heart is the book for you. Read a sample of the book or buy the book in our web store.

5. The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions edited by Arthur Bennett

This collection of Puritan prayers features prayers from the works of Thomas Shepherd, Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, William Williams, Philip Doddridge, William Romaine, David Brainerd, Augustus Toplady, Christmas Evans, William Jay, Henry Law, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and more. Reading and praying The Valley of Vision is the next best thing to like joining a prayer group with spiritual giants of yesteryear.

I personally enjoy praying The Valley of Vision to help me add rich, biblically-rooted substance to my prayers. The deep Trinitarian theology and gospel focus stir my heart and fill me with renewed affection for God while expressing those thoughts to the Creator.

You can also read these prayers online for free.

6. Prayer by John Bunyan

John Bunyan’s blood has been described as “bibline.” That bibline blood comes through in this short, two-part book on prayer. The publisher’s description:

Two works on prayer are here brought together. In Praying in the Spirit Bunyan defines what it means to pray with the spirit and with the understanding, and deals with difficulties in prayer. In The Throne of Grace, he explains how to approach God’s throne in prayer and opens up the blessings God’s people receive from the high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ.


Six of the Best Books on Prayer for Pastors and Leaders

While we’re on the topic:

Complete Audio from The Trellis & Vine Talk Podcast

Trellis-And-Vine-Marshall-Payne-Best-Quotes-Quotations-Summary

A few years ago, our friends Tony Payne, Colin Marshall, and friends hosted a podcast called Trellis & Vine Talk, coinciding with the release of their influential book on church ministry The Trellis and the Vine. This podcast unpacks the major themes in the book and goes deeper in talking about implementation.

Below you will find the nine episodes embedded for your listening convenience. You may also be interested in audio/video from the Re:Growth Conference that shared what Tony and Colin have learned in the five years since T&V debuted.

Leadership Resources and Matthias Media (the publisher of The Trellis and the Vine) are partnering together to foster an expositional mindset in pastors and churches. Learn more about our work.

You can download the audio by right clicking (audio) and saving the file to your computer.

1. Not about small groups (audio)

2. Who is Your Sheep? (audio)

3. Are Evangelistic Events Worth it? (audio)

4. All About Small Groups (audio)

5. Disciple-Making a Mental Virus (audio)

6. Discipleship Teams (audio)

7. Common and Uncommon Preaching (audio)

8. Sunday Sermons: Necessary, but Not Sufficient (audio)

9. Church Planting and Personal Discipleship (audio)

The Vine Project Conference with Colin Marshall (Audio and Video)

ReGrowth Conference - Colin Marshall - Disciplemaking in the Local Church

In the fall of 2015, Leadership Resources had the privilege of hosting the Re:Growth Conference with Colin Marshall, author of the acclaimed The Trellis and the Vine (watch a short video summary of The Trellis and the Vine) for a conversation around growing a culture of disciples making disciples in the local church.

UPDATE: Much of the content from this mini-conference is included in the recently released book The Vine Project: Shaping Your Ministry Culture Around Disciple-Making by Colin Marshall. Read our review.

What is Re:Growth?

Re:Growth is more than a training course: it’s a theologically driven approach to leading culture change. Rather than a superficial fix or a short course, Re:Growth is a robust process that aims for lasting and true change.

The ultimate aim of Re:Growth is to change the ministry DNA of the whole church, by doing a deep work in a few change makers, a work which will multiply as they, and you, make disciples.

Re:Growth has been developed on biblical principles of discipleship, and a tried and tested framework that has emerged from real world experience and groundwork of coaching churches in many different areas and contexts.

Here is a short biography for Colin Marshall:

Colin has spent the past 40 years training men and women in the ministry of the gospel, both in university and local church contexts. He is a graduate of Moore Theological College and the author of The Trellis and the Vine (with Tony Payne)Growth Groups, and Passing the Baton. He was the Director of the Ministry Training Strategy (MTS) for 15 years to 2006 and took up the role of International Director until 2009. Alongside his work for MTS, he was Chaplain to the NSW Cricket Team for 8 years.

Col founded the Vinegrowers ministry in 2010 to help pastors and church leaders implement the principles of The Trellis and the Vine and build churches where disciple-making affects everything. He works alongside the ministry team at St George North Anglican Church in Sydney, training men to be effective leaders of disciple-making ministries.

Suggested ways to use this resource:

  • Watch with your ministry team and go through the discussion questions provided by Marshall. (If you would prefer to listen in on discussion from the discipleship conference, you can watch the version with discussion here.)
  • Follow along with Colin’s PowerPoint and take notes on the ReGrowth Handout.
  • Consider browsing the Vinegrowers website and engaging Colin Marshall as a consultant for your church or ministry. You can also sign up for Vinegrowers newsletter to stay in the loop.
  • Watch the video or download the audio of the four sessions below.

Download Conference Audio

Session 1:

Session 2:

Session 3:

Session 4:

Webinar Announcement: When Helping Hurts Cross-Cultural Leader Development

MissioNexus Logo

Leadership Resources President Craig Parro will be presenting a webinar for Missio Nexus called When Helping Hurts Cross-Cultural Leader Development on October 29th at 2pm Eastern Time.

Read the description below:

craig1Good intentions aren’t good enough. Even a humble, servant heart isn’t enough for successful cross-cultural leader development. What are the vulnerabilities that Westerners face as we seek to serve Majority World leaders? When do our strengths tend to morph into weaknesses? In what ways do we end up undermining the very leaders that we’re seeking to build up? This webinar will explore the significant and often hidden challenges to healthy cross-cultural relationships. We’ll be discussing this subject as practitioners, not theoreticians. The facilitator has abundant experience, having worked with pastor-trainers in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the South Pacific. Fortunately or unfortunately, his “experience” also means that he’s committed virtually all of the cross-cultural offenses that we’ll be talking about! Join us for this conversation of mistakes made and correctives found.

Learn more or register

How to Walk into Church by Tony Payne (Review)

How do you walk into church?

This question doesn’t seek to address your walking style, how many kids’ noses you are wiping as you cross your church’s threshold, or how you have on your “Sunday best.”

What author Tony Payne is getting at in his brief 64-page book How to Walk into Church are core issues like “What is church?” and “What is my place in it?” (10). Our answers to these two questions form a mindset that will govern all of our conversations and activities in church; from greeting the greeter—to choosing a pew—to conversations scattered throughout your time on Sunday morning—to what we do before and after attending a church service.

One of the lies Payne seeks to shatter in this short and accessible book is that ministry is for paid church staff and not the everyday attender. This book is a practical guide to how every church attender can minister on Sunday mornings (or whenever their church gathers). Chapters include what church is, our role in church, the before, during, and after of church attendance, and how church doesn’t ever “end” (among other chapters).

As is so often the case, Tony Payne makes his vision painfully easy to implement by sharing practical tips we can all put into practice. Here are a few examples:

  • Payne recommends to pray about where to sit as you walk into church, which shows we are “trusting that what we do at church really matters; that God has something important for us to do—in particular, someone he wants us to sit next to, talk with, listen to, pray for and encourage.” (13)
  • When you meet a new person, look for them in future weeks and seek to reconnect and help them get plugged in. (49)
  • After church, encourage those around you with the Biblical truth presented earlier that day. (See Colossians 3:16) (52-53)
  • Before you enter church, pray that God would use you to encourage people that day, and pray throughout your day for opportunities. (53)
  • Be a good host to newcomers by listening to their story, introducing them around, or inviting them to a meal. (55)

Payne clearly and succinctly lays out a biblical vision of church that has personal growth in Christ and disciple making at the forefront. This book takes the mindshift presented in The Trellis and the Vine and boils it down specifically for church goers.

You can use this book in a variety of ways. First of all, every church-goer would benefit reading it for reasons stated above. Because of that, many pastors will find it helpful as they seek to train up leaders who can minister by prayerfully speaking the Word of God to others on Sunday morning and throughout the week, especially if they have a ministry team looking to care for people and welcome new attendees. Small groups will find this a fruitful discussion starter to encourage members toward a greater vision of their individual parts in “every member ministry.”  This is also a valuable book for pastors to give to new members.

After readers get a greater sense of what church is and their place in it by reading How to Walk into Church, I imagine that many will never walk into church the same way again.

Buy How to Walk into Church on Amazon or through Matthias Media’s website.


Related Posts:

Language of the Heart: 20 Worship Prompters & Meditations on Prayer

The following is from the foreword of Bill Mills’ new book Language of the Heart: 20 Worship Prompters & Meditations on Prayer.

We have a limited number of copies available in digital or paperback we will provide for free if you agree to leave an honest review on Amazon.com before October 15th.

To request your book, please share what format you would like and your address (if paperback) in an email fuseline@leadershipresources.org.


Language of the Heart Front CoverAnother book on prayer…I’m for it!

Years ago I received notice of a conference being offered on marriage. I did not recognize the speaker for the event nor the promoters behind it so I asked a fellow pastor for his opinion. Without hesitation he exclaimed, If it’s about marriage…I’m for it!

Why do some subjects arouse, even demand, such daring response? Do they slow us down just enough to consider the human condition? Do they whisper in our ear, All is NOT right and likely never will be as you wish? Do they exercise a unique power to stir the depths and bring to surface the ache of the soul? Could it be they tap into a primal hunger for God and longing to be whole?

Just here prayer comes in. What is prayer? Quite simply, to pray is to talk to God. It is the natural and reciprocal response in the relationship we have with Him. Why pray? We pray because we cry…because we are weak…because we know all is not as it should be. We pray because we long for a better day. We pray because we look forward to an eternal paradise and reach out to embrace the good and glorious God who will bring it to pass. We pray because we hunger for Him and long to be whole.

Bill asked if I would write the foreword to his new book. I am not sure why. I hesitate to ask. I suspect it was his gentle, yet devious plan to pull me from my busyness and push me to read his words…words he knew I needed. Speculative? Perhaps. What I do know is that I feel a great sense of honor.

I have known Bill for more than 20 years. I have worked closely with him for the last dozen. By closely I mean just that. I have logged hundreds of thousands of air miles and served countless hours with him across the globe. We have known great joy and occasionally found ourselves in a bit of trouble. God has been good and I am honored to count him a dear friend. Why do I heartily commend his book to you? I do so because Bill is a man of prayer and his book will help you to become one, too.

In these pages you will peer into one man’s soul. You will see what many say of him, the “real deal,” a man who loves God with heart, soul, strength and mind. “Higher plane”…perfection this side of glory? No, he does not live as if he has arrived in heaven, but as one who is on a journey to it. He does not act as if he fully knows, but as one who hungers for God and longs to be whole. Read these words with care. They are imperative for true spirituality and go a long way to explain Bill’s passion for and practice of prayer.

Alongside this book, you will also find help to become a person of prayer. Bill describes his book as worship prompters and meditations on the theme of prayer. I think they will prove much more. They will prompt and lead you to meditate, but will also stir, hearten, enliven and galvanize in you a desire to grow as a person of prayer. They will put you in touch with that primal hunger for God and longing to be whole.

Another book on prayer…I’m for it.

Todd Kelly
Global Ministries Director
Leadership Resources International


Below is a short interview with Bill Mills, the founder of Leadership Resources and author of Language of the Heart: 20 Worship Prompters & Meditations on Prayer:


Language of the Heart is available in paperback or an eBook in our webstoreAmazon, and in the iBooks Store.

From July 20th—23rd, a free sampler of Language of the Heart is available in the Kindle store.

     

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    The mission of Leadership Resources is to launch pastoral training movements worldwide. This blog shares articles, resources, and updates from staff of God’s work around the world through our training. If you’re new to our blog, start here.

     


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