Lifework Leadership Blog

Saturday, April 18, 2015 •

Lifework speaker, Tom Sittema, was appointed CEO of CNL Financial in 2011, and is turning heads with his leadership:

"I'm a faith-based guy," he says carefully, as if trying to avoid any preachy tone. "I believe, Biblically, that more is expected to whom more has been given. And I think business people have unique talents that can get results in community organizations."

Read the full story in the Orlando Sentinel here.

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Monday, March 30, 2015 •

Gordon Pennington returned to his Michigan hometown a new man ready to help create a renewed city

In the 1920s Owosso, Mich., produced auto industry supplies and other industrial goods. A five-story red-brick warehouse just off Main St. was once home to the world's largest coffin-maker, the Owosso Casket Company, which produced 150 per day during the 1918 flu epidemic. That building, now four-fifths vacant, symbolizes Owosso's prosperous past and troubled present. Is it possible for the building and the city of 15,000 to have a second life?

Owosso native Gordon Pennington, 59, knows second lives. He moved to and conquered New York City, becoming director of marketing for Tommy Hilfiger and other Fortune 500 companies. But the big city conquered him: Alcohol, cocaine, and divorce left him thinking of suicide until a morning in 1997 when he awoke to an impression of light that made him think the words "choose life" were burned on his retinas. "God was calling out to me," Pennington recalls. He regained his faith in Christ and put his life together.  Read more.

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Monday, December 29, 2014 • Steve French

Wow... what a year 2014 has been for Lifework Leadership!

In 2014, we heard God's call to "Go" where He opens doors. I traveled to China (four times), India and numerous USA cities to give more Christian business leaders the training to transform their companies, churches and communities.

Here are a just a few numbers that show what "Go" meant for us: 

11% - growth in transforming USA leaders! 

50% - of the world's population was opened up to us in 2014 (China, India, Kenya, and South Africa)

$253k - of gifts needed for our 2015 budget

The key to changing the world is to change the lives of its leaders! Leaders have a multiplied impact. 

While 2014 was a trailblazing year, we now need to focus on Growing the opportunities... and we need your gifts for the multiplied impact we expect. Jesus changed the world by changing the lives of twelve marketplace leaders.

Let's emulate His model!

Enjoy the pictures below looking back at 2014 and then look ahead with me to 2015 by following Jesus' model of training leaders to transform the world!

Steve

P.S. Please donate and support me in transforming leaders in 50% of the world!

P.P.S. The average cost to support and train a leader is $1,500. If transforming the world seems daunting, consider giving to support training just one leader-that's where it begins!

 

Speaking to Chinese Christian business leaders hungry to learn how Jesus train his marketplace leaders.

Speaking to Chinese Christian business leaders hungry to learn how Jesus train his marketplace leaders.

Jacksonville, Florida. One of the numerous USA graduating 2015 classes. 

In May I had the privilege to address ten Chinese and ten American business leaders at The Cove, Asheville, NC 

Training leaders in Bangalore, India with some amazing leaders from Chick-fil-A.

My teammates unintentionally captured my silhouette as I absorbed the amazing Taj Mahal.

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Monday, October 06, 2014 • Steve French

Dear Friends:

"Be my witnesses" - did you know that this is the most common command in the New Testament?  Jesus' main concern was for His followers is to watch what He is doing and then tell others what they have witnessed! I've been watching and here is my witness here is what I see:

He's "safe." Even though it took took me 102 hours to travel to China (27 gates, 11 planes, and numerous taxis and trains), God gave me strength to endure without an ounce of jet lag, no sign of illness, no disharmony with teammates, and I actually enjoyed the various foods that were served even when I had no idea what I was swallowing!

He's "sovereign."  He is opening doors of opportunity that only He can open.  He is giving me His favor ZDL, the only government approved Christian publisher in China and China's largest marketplace ministry (name withheld). It's chairman (name withheld) is one of China's leading influencers on the Chinese economy and in my opinion, and others, is China's version of Alan Greenspan. He has become a Christian and is committed to training Chinese business leaders to follow Jesus by partnering with Lifework   due to the endorsement of Lifework's Board of Advisor, Bill Pollard and numerous other successful marketplace leaders who are following Jesus.  Chinese leaders are "witnessing" our impact! The content and contacts that the Lord has entrusted to me are what these Chinese leaders desire.  Another sovereign door God is opening is at Beijing University.

American and Chinese business leaders meeting in Asheville, NC

American and Chinese business leaders meeting in Asheville, NC

This Chinese version of Harvard, has asked the Chinese marketplace ministry and me to host American exchange trip experiences for post MBA leaders who are not Christians and have enrolled in their two-year course focused on "Is There More to Life than Success?"  I have responded to Beijing University's request by beginning the process of designing a one-week experience in March or April of 2015 that would introduce the role of Christianity in the lives of successful American business and government leaders.  If this trip goes well, they wish to bring new groups over to America on a quarterly basis. This is too good to be true! God is at work!

He has a sense of humor. I have trouble with the English language never mind Mandarin! The Lord however used my white hair and white skin to give me a platform of respect that created audiences who were eager to learn.  I spoke at two conferences hosted by our Chinese Marketplace partner and ZDL with over 300 Chinese Christian marketplace leaders in attendance. They loved my commitment to showing how Jesus modeled leadership development. They were so encouraged to hear how Americans are able to lead their businesses with a Christian faith that is vibrant. As a result, I hope to move forward with designing leadership programs for both these Chinese organizations.

What I am witnessing is that God is at work in China right now

The key factor with the Chinese is our commitment to developing relationships with them. These initial trips are laying that critical foundation.   I need financial support now so that over the next year or two I can build a relational foundation that will reap global influence and impact in the days ahead. If I can raise the funds for laying the foundation for Lifework globally (15k per month for two years) then over time we will be able to enjoy the fruit of having a self-sustaining ministry in China because of their willingness to financially support the ministry once it is in place. 

At the Great WallIf we can seed this opportunity, the Chinese leaders will sustain it!

God loves to stretch me.  Our staff in Nairobi needs our prayers. They have made a commitment to launch Lifework, but few have expressed interest….yet. I believe the Lord wishes for me to go and help them launch or introduce Lifework to Nairobi leaders in early February 2015.  Would you like to join me? Many believe Nairobi is perfectly placed to influence East Africa with its business and economic influence.  I am one of those believers. 

God is also stretching me with Chick-fil-A's LifeShape Foundation.  They have invited me to join them on a trip to India (this Friday!) to explore a partnership that envisions Lifework being a follow-up to their SERVE seminar. They offer this seminar to leaders in many different countries as a mission endeavor. They will pay for my ground expenses. I need to raise my salary and travel expenses. The opportunity is God-sized and is available now. What I am witnessing causes me is go in faith. Only God provides these kinds of opportunities and only God will stir my friends to support me!

The stakes are significant and I am trusting that prayer will make the difference. If God stirs you to give to these efforts then please do so.  I trust this update encourages you ... you are a witness of God's activity!

Steve

Steven French | President

 

P.S. If you see God at work, I encourage you to support it!

 

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Friday, June 27, 2014 • Steve French

Greetings Friends!
 
I am thrilled to announce our first global affiliate - Lifework Leadership/Nairobi! 
 
On February 6 & 7, 2015 we will launch our opening retreat in Nairobi Lifework alumni and friends are invited to join me as we "GO" speak, encourage and coach leaders in Nairobi. Besides launching Lifework, we will host some "best practice" seminars that will give us opportunities to develop personal and professional relationships with leaders there. Will you give or go towards God's activity?
 
Here is my introduction of our Nairobi staff ... 
 

Nairobi News from Lifework Leadership on Vimeo.

Over the last two years, alumni and friends have been in conversation and prayer with leaders in Nairobi and several other global cities.  Our mission (transforming leaders), vision (transforming cities) and values (Christian, Leadership, Excellence) remain. What is new is an intentional commitment to Jesus' challenge to His leaders, to make disciples both locally and globally. We will "go" to any city where their leaders are willing to sustain what we help them start.
 
Today's global economy has created global interest in American leadership practices and principles. This interest gives us an unprecedented opportunity to introduce the leadership & life Jesus modeled.
 
I want to be clear - I need the gracious commitment of my friends to give or go!  I'll continue to keep you updated on my life, my leadership and Lifework Leadership!
 
 
   Transforming Leaders,
        
      
PS: Be a part of giving or going to our Nairobi launch. For more details contact Mary Abernathy - info@lifeworkleadership.org
 
 

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Friday, June 13, 2014 •

Greetings!

It's time to give you an update on the exciting ways in which God is using Lifework to transform leaders! With Peter Zhao, Leading Chinese Economist


This Tuesday, June 17th (8pm-9pm eastern), you are invited to a video conference call that I will be hosting, featuring pictures and insights from cities around the world. This includes insights from my time with Peter Zhao (pictured) who is one of China's leading economist. You can also participate in a Q & A segment or simply listen in. Just click on this link:  

https://zoom.us/j/841619717 / ID: 841 619 717

{Audio only: (415) 762-9988 / ID: 841 619 717}


Our time together will feature first-hand stories from leaders in the USA, China, and India along with an official announcement from our team in Nairobi of their new launch of Lifework Leadership/Nairobi this October. We will also outline opportunities for YOU to give, go and guard me in prayer.  God is at work and He may stir you to support His obvious activity.

Finally... exciting news for the French family... Sharon and I are now on "high alert" as our first grandchild is due on June 30th!  Can you tell I'm excited? God is at work all around us!

Steve French

PS. If you are unable to join us this Tuesday, you can learn more here. I am happy to provide you with a video recording as well.

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Thursday, March 06, 2014 •

 

Henry Blackaby and I (pictured) were waiting for this Lifework class to finish their table discussions, and he turned to me and said, "Steve, leaders need a global heart. These leaders will understand the heart of Jesus better and be more effective in their leadership if they go to other places around the globe."
 
Henry's words echoed a two-year prayer of mine, "Oh God, help me to lead leaders and follow your global heart." Lifework is receiving inquiries and invitations to "go" to cities in the USA, China, India and Africa. As a result, a group of alumni will be "going" to China  this April and November to share Lifework's content and connections along with our alumni's business best practices with Chinese students and leaders.  We will "go" wherever God invites us to go whether its to Sacramento or Shanghai.  We will offer to seed our leadership program if local leaders can demonstrate an ability to sustain it. I am inviting my friends and Lifework alumni to join me in going global and giving to these exciting mission efforts. We need monthly and momentary contributors. Monthly contributors provide the critical foundation to sustain us. Momentary contributors provide the larger gifts to seed our new initiatives. Would you include us in your monthly or momentary contributions? Help me "to lead leaders and follow (God's) global heart."  Our mission hasn't changed (transforming leaders), but our vision (transforming cities) will expand to compliment Jesus' global heart. 
 
PS: Due to the unique challenges of China, if you wish to receive more insights to our exciting China opportunities please contact me - steve@lifeworkleadership.org.
 

Our Impact!

 
Several hundred Lifework Leadership alumni in South Florida held a "western" Beast Feast last month! How inspiring it was to have these leaders enjoy one another and share their stories of how God is beginning to use them to touch and transform South Florida.
 
This Beast Feast was held at the home of Lifework alumni, Wayne & Fonda Huizenga Jr., who were thrilled to hear how God is making our Lifework dream come true!  We were challenged by the story of a woman who will be benefiting from the upcoming Lifework class and alumni service project to build her a home with Habitat for Humanity. I also had the opportunity (pictured) to remind all the alumni of how Jesus challenged his marketplace leaders to "go global" and that He is challenging Lifework leaders to do likewise. If you lead like Jesus, you will serve locally and have a vision globally.
 
Connect with me or your local Lifework staff member and discover how to respond to Jesus' challenge "to go" locally and globally.
 

Our Insight!

 

Lifework Leadership has always sought to provide leaders with "vetted" speakers and authors that are some of the best in the world!  In his book, Every Good Endeavor,  Tim Keller has done a masterful job of bringing a critical and complex topic such as "Biblical Worldview" and made it simple and meaningful for leaders. Here are my summary notes on the book, with the hope you might be encouraged to purchase and enjoy the book. Keller's reflections on Biblical Worldview are found in Chapter 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 •

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- One South Florida foundation is showing the love on Valentine's Day by building their own "Habitat for Humanity."

More than 100 leadership executives from the National Christian Foundation of South Florida are touring Broward's largest Habitat-built community in Fort Lauderdale, Friday.

The group is working to raise awareness of local social issues to see how they can help make a difference. Executive Director of the National Christian Foundation of South Florida, Laura Bishop said, "We do a business leadership course called Lifework Leadership. We meet monthly, have different topics, integrity, dedication, leadership. Today's topic on Valentine's Day was compassion, so [we're] taking a look at our community, seeing the needs of the community and how we can best serve them."

The National Christian Foundation is said to be the largest Christian grant-making organization.

The local chapter has raised $70,000 to build a habitat home.

Read Full Article Here.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014 •

 

Greetings!

Can you tell by the picture I chose that I love what God has called me to do?
 
 
Today, I am launching a monthly newsletter in the hopes of keeping my friends updated on my life, my leadership and Lifework Leadership!
 
 
Last night, I hosted a wonderful hour-long video conference call with my mentor Henry Blackaby. I announced some exciting news: Lifework friends and alumni are invited to China to influence the lives of business students and leaders. The video conference  call ended with me sharing my heart and announcing my big step of faith to "GO" where Jesus leads me and the support I will need from my friends. 
 
 
 

   Transforming Leaders,

 
        Steve French
 
 
 

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Thursday, July 18, 2013 • Lifework Leadership

What if you could invest all of your money and time to create a technology to help churches reach their communities more effectively - and then just give it away? That's what Jim Morgan did and it's making an true impact.

Lifework Leadership Alumni in Action!

Jim Morgan was living the fast life 12 years ago, charging banks $470 an hour for consulting advice and traveling four days a week, when he dreamed up his worst business idea.

He would develop a software program that would help churches run their food banks and toy drives more efficiently.

He would give away his product for free.

"Who else is going to spend 10 years and spend millions to make this software to give it away?" said Morgan, 47. "It's one of the worst business ideas you could ever think of."

But it also may be his most personally rewarding idea. Twelve years later, his Tampa-based nonprofit, Meet the Need, helps coordinate the volunteer and charitable operations of about 800 churches and nonprofit groups nationwide.

Read the FULL article here.

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