Our special Easter devotional with Mel Lawrenz starts this Sunday! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mel or his ministry we thought it’d be useful to introduce him via a few questions and answers. Hopefully, this will give you a taste of the pastoral insight and wisdom you can expect if you sign up for the devotional:
Bible Gateway: What do you think we can do to make this time leading up to Easter a time of real spiritual growth?
Mel Lawrenz: First of all, let me say that I am thrilled to partner with BibleGateway in offering this devotional called Knowing Him. I have benefited greatly from BibleGateway and it is exciting to see the new features you are adding.
Every year at this time we have an amazing opportunity to surge ahead in our spiritual growth just by asking God to help us know Jesus better—crucified and risen from the dead. As the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:10 says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection of the dead.”
So how do we do that? Here are some practical steps:
- Seek out a place where you can worship on Good Friday (April 22) and Easter (April 24);
- In the next couple of weeks read the account of the final days and final hours of Jesus’ life (for instance, Luke 22-24) a couple of times, looking for something you never saw before;
- Watch a good film about the life of Jesus (which one depends totally on personal preference);
- Read this daily devotional, think it through, and use the “What Do You Think?” link at the end to engage in a discussion of these important matters.
Bible Gateway: Can you explain the mission of The Brook Network?
Mel Lawrenz:The Brook Network is an exchange of ideas and growing set of relationships aimed at helping Christian leaders improve their leadership. This includes every kind of leader or believer who influences others: church leaders, educators, business leaders, community leaders, organization leaders. We are enthused to be able to partner with BibleGateway to bring a new weekly feature to leaders called The Leader Life sometime soon. For now, people can follow along with our series called “spiritual leadership today.”
Bible Gateway: What is the most important biblical passage for people involved in spiritual leadership today?
Mel Lawrenz: I think it’s 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 where Paul says that there is something far better than “the wisdom of this age.” God has offered us a wisdom from above that gives us a spiritual understanding of all of life. This makes all the difference in the world for Christian leaders. I have been a leader most of my life, and I can say without hesitation that my best days are when I realize that I am not the real influence, God must be. God is the only leader who can transform lives, and so spiritual leadership means that we are God’s instruments in his work. Here is a beginning place for spiritual leaders: Spiritual Leadership—So What?