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Category: Personal Development
Am I a Disciple?

My daughter Brittany shares some of her thoughts on discipleship…what it means to be a follower of Jesus (originally written as a blogpost, I had her tweak it for this video).

Failing Forward

Have you ever worked for someone who encouraged you to take risks and fail forward? In this short video I discuss the environment of empowerment that Christ’s disciples experienced under his leadership.

Bread of Life

Bread features prominently throughout the Bible. In fact, Jesus is referred to as the Bread of Life. In this short video you will hear a New Year’s challenge to lead like Jesus in the context of His statement, “I am the bread of Life” (John 6:48).

Are You Someone Worth Following?

The key question in the Gospel of Luke is, “Who is Jesus?” One might wonder why the disciples would abandon everything and follow Him so readily. Why should anyone follow me or you?

The “Boy” Jesus: A Servant Leader

Digging deeper into Luke 2:41-52 (“12-yr. old Jesus in the temple”), what is meant by the term “boy Jesus”? If Jesus was asking questions why were the teachers amazed at His answers? Considering Jesus’ obedience to His parents in this story what is meant by His words later in Luke 14:26…that in order to come to Him one must hate father and mother?

Finishing Well

I got up to walk around in my seminary library and was almost startled to notice no one else around in the middle of the day. A backpack on a desk, a notebook computer at another, and lights on in a small meeting room, but no one around. I walked further. Still no one. And then, finally, a person emerged from a tiny room at the end of the library. The rapture had not yet happened!

Now before you literalists judge me about my lack of assurance let me state the point of this post: starting out well in life’s journey is important, but not near as critical as finishing well! In the spirit of Shakespeare, “I feel a soliloquy coming on”, or perhaps in this case, a sermon. But unlike Shakespeare, I’ll keep this short.

I was reading today in 1 Peter 5, preparing for a reflection paper due in my Leading Groups & Organizations class tomorrow. Peter warns those of us who are leaders to not take our responsibilities lightly; we are moving targets for the devil who would love to destroy us. I am especially aware of this fact after the recent suicide of Tom White, CEO of Voice of the Martyrs; a man who was in my home as a child and one I have always highly respected. No leader is farther away from losing everything than one small misstep. My faith must be firm, states Peter, in order to resist the devil and suffer well in my leadership role in the Kingdom. Peter wraps up this section by affirming that the God of all grace restores, establishes, and strengthens us. Yes! In Eugene Peterson’s words: “That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (The Message, Hebrews 12:3)

Also significant is Peter’s allusion to faithfulness at the end of his letter. Silvanus was a “faithful brother” he writes. And that’s how I want my story to end. I want to be known as one who was faithful to the end. Starting out well is noteworthy in the Christian race; but finishing well is of utmost importance. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:27 that he strikes a blow to his body and makes it his slave so that after he has preached to others, he himself will not be disqualified for the prize. And at the end of his life he wrote that he had fought a good fight, he had finished the race, he had kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). How serious am I about finishing the race? What will it take to finish well?

Again, I am keenly aware of this in light of Tom White’s suicide that occurred around the same time Chuck Colson died. The latter finished well. I want my leadership story to speak of faithfulness; of the One who ultimately restored, established, and strengthened me from start to finish. To Him be glory forever and ever, Amen.


“Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest,” Jesus once said to His disciples. And this was based on His personal experience. Several times in the Gospels we read of Jesus getting away by Himself. It was vital to recharge His batteries by spending time with His Father in solitude.

Presently our family is in Colorado for three weeks of downtime. Though I have a few speaking events scheduled I’ve spent very little time hunkered down behind my computer screen. Rather, I’ve been out in the open air sitting on a tractor seat, hiking in the Rockies, and hanging out at a ranch. I’ve also cut back on listening to podcasts and music. I’m taking time to listen and pray.

The skies are vast, the air is fresh, and my mind is currently at rest.

Several years ago while still living in Southeast Asia my wife and I came to a point of mental, emotional, and physical burnout. Instead of traveling back to North America for a furlough we opted for nine weeks of rejuvenation in the beautiful country of New Zealand. We moved far away from schedules, meetings, and the obligatory demands we tend to put on ourselves. One of the critical decisions we made during this “vacation-with-a-purpose” was to say “No” more often in order to say “Yes” to the most important.

Through past experiences we have learned that “Good” often becomes the the enemy of “Best”. Attending numerous events to keep friends and family happy and generally over committing in an attempt to serve others had caused us to burn out. Maintaining a healthy tension between rest and service is difficult but of critical importance. In one New Testament story Mary chose what was best by sitting at Christ’s feet while Martha concerned herself with what Jesus deemed unimportant (see Luke 10:38-42).

More of us need to spend time putting together “Not-to-do” lists rather than “To-do” lists. We also need to schedule more solitude times to get the mental and emotional rest necessary for the long haul.

So schedule some solitude time. Re-align yourself with your personal values. Set aside a day this month or a week in the coming year to get away from the busyness of life and rest, think, and listen.

So Right Yet So Wrong

Many years ago my friend Dave and I took a tour of a Mormon temple right after a $5 million renovation had taken place. It was open to the public for just a short time; I finally had my chance to satisfy my curiosity about what was inside one of these massive structures.

The halls were lined with very friendly Mormons who answered all our questions. Many of them told us that we just might feel a “burning in the bosom” as we walked through their temple. This would be a divine invitation to join the Mormon faith.

I remember some ladies showing me the room where my “future bride” would prepare herself for our special temple wedding. The carpet alone in that room cost $600 a square yard! I also remember the baptismal font. It consisted of a large basin (think pool) in a massive room perched atop twelve life-sized oxen, similar to what was in Solomon’s temple.

As we approached the top floor and entered the Celestial room where the ceilings were etched with 22 karat gold I leaned over to my friend Dave. The only burning in the bosom I was feeling, I told him, was a desire for the celestial bathroom; my bladder was screaming. In any case, I never did feel the “burning in the bosom”. I left the temple that day more convinced than ever that I needed to somehow convert Mormons out of their delusion.

I read up on Mormonism and studied the contradictions in their books: “Doctrine and Covenants”, “The Pearl of Great Price”, and the “Book of Mormon.” I also learned more about Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of this movement.

Armed with knowledge and arguments I entered into debate on various occasions with Mormons. I also bought Gospel tracts that were written specifically for Mormons and distributed them. I could argue and point out fallacies in their thinking. Not once, however, did I convert a Mormon out of his religion.

A little over a year ago, I met Bodie Hodge, Ken Ham’s son-in-law. Bodie had just delivered a lecture at the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, OH. We discussed the role of apologetics in Christianity and how public debates between Christians and evolutionists have often failed to win over the antagonists. We talked about another approach; one in which argument did not form the basis for debate, but love. Bodie told me how he much rather prefers to take visiting anti-creationists into his office and sit down for a conversation about the issues than to tear them to shreds in front of an audience. In other words, private discussion on the issues versus public humiliation and shrewd debate. Bodie told me of an evolutionist from South Africa who later came to faith; in part he believes, as a result of a closed-door meeting. Bodie had shared one-on-one with him in the context of compassion and concern.

In his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie tells us that you can’t win an argument. If you lose it you lose it, and if you win it you still “lose” it. The person who lost feels inferior; he resents your triumph. In fact, you’ve lost any potential impact you may have had on him. In Carnegie’s words: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Avoid ALL arguments, says Carnegie.

A few days ago at my son’s soccer tournament we made a new friend. Callie had come to faith from a Mormon background and joined her husband’s church. It was the difference she noticed in Christians that compelled her to seek out a different belief system. She confirmed how disparaging arguments against Mormonism are simply a turnoff. For her it’s all about Christians’ love for others that wins out.

So let me ask you: have you ever won an argument? Have you ever pushed them into a corner, forced them to acknowledge that you’re right—but in the process lost a friendship and any impact you might have had in terms of determining their future destiny? You can be so right and yet ever so wrong.


A little over a week ago our family was in Washington DC with some missionary friends of ours, the Robinson family. We were delighted to meet with Congressman Marlin Stutzman from Indiana and have our own private tour of the Capitol Building.

Before moving to Southeast Asia I had actually worked on an agricultural cash-crop operation (that’s right…a “farm”!) alongside Congressman Stutzman before he entered politics. We developed a friendship while planting and harvesting crops and since leaving the farm have touched base a few times over the years.

What struck me with such force that day in Washington was Congressman Stutzman’s humility and modesty. He embodied it. I was especially impressed with how he related to one lady in particular—the woman who operated the small open train that took us underground from his office building to the Capitol.  He took time to stop and talk with her, showing an interest in her life.

Both of us come from an Amish/Mennonite background. We’ve both been exposed to the Amish perspective on humility and how it fleshes out in daily life. The Amish dress simply, are generally quiet and reserved, and value submission and obedience to the rules of their community. Their attitude of humility is so specific they have a special term for it: “Gelassenheit.” This characteristic permeates their culture. Based on the Biblical concept put forth by Jesus—”not my will but thine be done”—the Amish abhor all individuality, selfishness and pride.

Unfortunately there is also a downside to this remarkable trait. Maximizing their God-given gifts and abilities or embracing a specific calling from God is often seen as prideful. Hence, many in this tradition have “buried” their talents instead of multiplying them (see Jesus’ parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 or Luke 19:12-27).

Congressman Stutzman has clearly opted to maximize his abilities and opportunities. He believes that his call revolves around influencing government policy toward positive ends. He’s making a difference at one of the highest levels in our country. And he does it with humility. Congressman Stutzman realizes that the “Most High is over the kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.” (see Daniel 4:17, 25, 32 & 5:21) He realizes that his position provides an opportunity to serve others and bring glory to God.

We all have a responsibility to respond to God’s call on our lives. We all will give an account of how we utilized our God-given gifts, skills, and opportunities. Whatever world you’re in—education, homemaking, medicine, agriculture, business, science, politics, etc.—you are called to maximize your talents and bring honor and glory to God in that sphere.

Yes, there is always a danger of becoming prideful of our talents or arrogant in our calling; something the Amish have endeavored to avoid. Someone recently reminded me that arrogance is only perceived in others; we can’t see it in ourselves. If our motive is to bring glory to God by serving others we will fulfill our calling in the proper spirit of humility.

So serve in the true spirit of gelassenheit. Yield yourself to the will of God. Discover your gifts and abilities and use them to impact your world every time an opportunity presents itself. Don’t buy into a false humility or take gelassenheit to such an extreme that you bury your talents on the backside of Lancaster County.

Fathering Vision

Today Donald Miller spoke at our church on the need for fathers to have vision for their families. He pointed out that if you don’t have a plan for your family someone else will. His recent engagement to Paige Smith has him somewhat freaking out about the responsibilities marriage will bring. It really is a big deal. Dads are called to lead their families…and that’s no small undertaking. Miller went so far as to warn single women to stay away from guys who aren’t freaking out about marrying them.

Fathers need to give their families a purpose; something beyond simple survival. Listen to John Piper’s words in his book, Don’t Waste Your Life: “Oh, how many lives are wasted by people who believe that the Christian life means simply avoiding badness and providing for the family. So there is no adultery, no stealing, no killing, no embezzlement, no fraud—just lots of hard work during the day, and lots of TV and PG-13 videos in the evening (during quality family time, of course), and lots of fun stuff on the weekend—woven around church (mostly). This is life for millions of people. Wasted life. We were created for more.”

Writing that plan down is critical. It helps you stay accountable. It also places before the members of your family a reminder of who you believe them to be and what you think they are capable of achieving. It reminds me of the power of goal setting and writing those goals down. A Harvard Business school study between 1979-1989 makes a good case for this. Students in the graduating class of 1979 were asked if they had any goals set for their future. 84% had no goals, 13% had goals in their minds, 3% had written goals. Ten years later at the end of the study a survey was taken. It was discovered that the 13% of the students with unwritten goals had achieved success twice the amount of those without any goals. And the big finding? The 3% with written goals had achieved ten times more than all the other 97% combined!

So where exactly is your family going? What does your preferred picture of the future look like? What will each member be doing if they turn out the way you have proposed? In other words, what will things look like if they go as planned?

John Maxwell once said: “I want to make a difference with people who want to make a difference doing something that makes a difference at a time when it makes a difference.” What a great place to start! We want our families to make a difference in this world. So fill in the blanks. Describe the what, when, where, and how of making a difference.

How about it dads? Do you have a vision for your family? Can you easily articulate it? Will you take the next step and write it down? Click here for a basic template and a link to CHAZOWN (Hebrew for “vision”) where you can utilize a life development tool to determine spiritual gifts, vision, values, and goals.

I know what I need to do. Although our family has had a basic mission statement for a number of years it’s time to help each member begin writing down their own personal vision. That’s right…time for me to plan some date nights with my wife and kids.

Easter Blues

It’s Saturday night and Easter Sunday is just hours away. I’ve watched several online videos about the significance of the Death and Resurrection of Christ but I’ll have to admit—I’m feeling numb to it all. I know I should be excited about this day. I know it’s the pivotal event for Christ-followers. But I’m just not feeling it.

Does this just happen to me? Have I heard the story so many times that it no longer grabs me emotionally? Can I blame it on the burnout I’ve recently been grappling with? (I’ve been traveling a lot lately; too many road miles it seems. My body has also been run down; I think I’m finally getting over a head cold that has gripped me for several weeks.)

Or is it simply another reminder that our faith is not based on feeling but on fact?

Not too long ago I delivered six sessions on one day. By number five I was really dragging. I felt that my presentation had fallen flat; that I had lost all passion for one of my favorite stories in the Bible. What fascinated me, however, was how well the Q & A period went right after I had finished my labored delivery. We got on to this issue of faith versus feeling. That faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). That often as we mature in our faith our emotions, feelings, and experiences lessen—that we must tenaciously hang on, especially when we don’t feel like it. That sometimes, though not always, feelings might follow the choice to act out of our beliefs.

I believe that the death and resurrection of Christ is the greatest event that ever took place in history. I have a joy that is deep-seated though not always felt. And tomorrow I will choose to worship with thousands of others based on my beliefs rather than on my feelings. Perhaps my emotions will be touched, and possibly not.

So how about you? Have you discovered that the longer you follow Christ the more you walk by faith than by sight? What about the frequency of your feelings and emotions? If that is going down how do you deal with it? Is your faith growing cold or is it actually growing deeper?

Getting Ticked Without Sinning

A little over a week ago my wife and I were returning from our 15th anniversary getaway. While enduring a rather lengthy layover in Chicago’s O’Hare, we were startled to see a man get kicked off his flight. After a United agent had checked his boarding pass, this young man had thrown a rather rude comment over his shoulder while entering the jet bridge. Apparently he had had enough that day with flight delays, re-routes, gate changes, etc. That brief retort did him in, however; a manager rushed onto the plane and forced him off. Cursing and yelling, this angry traveler demanded his rights and berated the gate agents while his flight continued to board without him. He finally stomped off down the concourse in a fit of rage.

I’m sure most people present thought he was a complete loser. But I couldn’t help putting myself in his shoes and feeling his pain. He had been pushed to the edge, and had snapped. Has that ever happened to you?

I vividly remember when I once lost it. It also happened right before I boarded a flight. I was still single, traveling in China with a group of guys. Struggling with culture shock and fear of getting apprehended by the authorities, I came unglued when a security agent asked me to open my bag. I pretended I hadn’t heard, put my head down, and forged ahead toward my gate. Of course I didn’t get far. They held the plane for me that day though. And after investigating my bags they let me board without further trouble.

I remember my embarrassment; my overwhelming sense of guilt for having left such a terrible testimony. I also did a lot of repenting that evening—before the sun set.

Ephesians 4:26-27 gives us some directives on handling anger. “In your anger do not sin,” Paul says. “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

First, note that the Greek word for anger here is actually a command. Anger is an emotion that must be felt—not suppressed or denied. We’re ordered to be angry. In fact, anger is a negative emotion one keenly feels when perceiving that an act of injustice has occurred.

So not all anger is bad. It’s evidence, you might say, that we’ve been made in God’s image. Something within us cries out for the world to be made right.

Next, Paul points out; do not sin in your anger. “Go ahead—be mad,” he writes, “but when you’re ticked off, remember that sinning is off limits!”

Our problem is not anger; rather, it’s the sinful ways we tend to respond to it. Expressing anger in immature, selfish, and hurtful ways is always sin. If we don’t properly deal with our anger it can destroy both us and others. Buried anger eventually leads a person into pits of depression. Concealed anger eventually leaks out and poisons relationships, much like toxic waste that seeps into the water table.

Last of all, deal with your anger quickly—before the sun sets! The longer you wait the harder it is to resolve an issue. Going to bed angry makes your anger behave like cement; it hardens during the night. Holding on to anger also builds a wall of resentment between relationships. One person wisely said, “Do not erect a shrine to your anger in your heart. If you do, the devil will appoint himself its priest.”

So how do you deal with your anger? Do you tend to own it and get over it or do you tend to excuse it or suppress it? Be brave, leave a comment. Share your strategies for overcoming anger; your coping mechanisms.

Discovering Your Gift

At age seventeen I flew out to Alberta, Canada to visit my brother who was teaching in a small parochial school on the prairie. Escaping the classroom, Tim went skiing with me in the Rockies and introduced me to his hockey-playing friends. I dodged moguls at Lake Louise, floated through powder at Castle Mountain, and played hockey against a team consisting mostly of RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officers. It was an unforgettable week!

Two years later I headed west again. I was destined for more phenomenal skiing and fast hockey plus some school teaching on the side. I thought I had my gifts figured out—something to do with sports and the great outdoors. But during that first year I played very few games and hardly hit the slopes. My first year in the classroom turned into a second and a third. I was discovering my areas of greatest strength by trying something new. In fact, teaching and speaking became a passion. Had you interviewed me prior to moving west, however, you would have heard something entirely different. I would have told you that concrete construction or something connected with agriculture was on my horizon.

Last week I talked about maximizing your gift. But what if you haven’t discovered it? What if you don’t know what your strengths are and are only painfully aware of your weaknesses? Can you in fact discover your gifts and begin moving toward your strengths zone? Where does the journey begin?

Author Marcus Buckingham has produced some great resources on discovering one’s strengths. I’ve used his Trombone Player Wanted video series to help others discover their gifts and start putting them to work. One of my hottest selling resources at leadership seminars and youth conferences has been his book, The Truth About You.

Buckingham believes that many people have bought into three myths—two which are: (1) As you grow your personality changes, and (2) You grow the most in your areas of greatest weakness. But the truth is that, (1) As you grow, you become more of who you already are, and (2) You grow the most in your areas of greatest strength.

Consider your daughter coming home from school with an A in English Literature and an F in Calculus. What do you typically focus on? Do you help her conquer her Calculus or stoke her passion for English Literature? Most likely you focus on areas of greatest weakness and thus work on the Calculus. Now while it’s true that you ought to assist her in attaining a passing grade, far more time should be invested in your daughter’s love of English Literature. Her greatest potential lies in this sphere; she may in fact become a great poet, author, or journalist.

So how do we discover our strengths? Buckingham suggests several things to get us started. First, can you think of any activities that you excel at? Second, is there any work activity you’re involved in that recently went from good to great? Third, when your team is in a crunch and needs a great performance, what is the “play” that everyone knows only you can run? Or, what do others think you’re really good at doing? Fourth, are there any activities that make you feel strong, powerful, and fulfilled? Fifth, can you think of any activities that you especially look forward to; meaningful activities that someone might hire you for? And last of all, as with many hobbies, are there work activities you enjoy so much that you almost forget time when doing them?

If most of your answers were negative it may be time for you to try something new. Experiment. Risk. Be bold and adventuresome. Perhaps God has something big out there waiting for you to discover that will bring Him the greatest glory and you the most joy.

For the present, here’s a good place to start. Track your activities for a week. Whenever you do something that intrigues you, holds your interest, or perhaps even makes you feel magnificent, write it down and ask yourself some questions. Why did I enjoy it? Can I deliberately do this more often? Can I take this activity from its current level of performance to something much higher? In other words, are there some skills I need to develop in order to sharpen this strength? And lastly, is there someone I need to talk to about allowing me to work more in my area of greatest strength?


At age seventeen I flew out to Alberta, Canada to visit my brother who was teaching in a small parochial school on the prairie. Escaping the classroom, Tim went skiing with me in the Rockies and introduced me to his hockey-playing friends. I dodged moguls at Lake Louise, floated through powder at Castle Mountain, and played hockey against a team consisting mostly of RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officers. It was an unforgettable week!
Two years later I headed west again. I was destined for more phenomenal skiing and fast hockey plus some school teaching on the side. I thought I had my gifts figured out—something to do with sports and the great outdoors. But during that first year I played very few games and hardly hit the slopes. My first year in the classroom turned into a second and a third. I was discovering my areas of greatest strength by trying something new. In fact, teaching and speaking became a passion. Had you interviewed me prior to moving west, however, you would have heard something entirely different. I would have told you that concrete construction or something connected with agriculture was on my horizon.
Maximizing Your Gift

I remember winning the privilege of standing before my whole school to recite a speech. I had spent hours and hours writing it, then rewriting it, and finally memorizing it. After presenting it to my class, I was chosen along with several others to present it to the entire student body.

I well remember my apprehension leading up to that event. I was frightened by the thought of staring into a sea of faces while quoting from memory my carefully prepared speech. What if I forgot a line? What if everything crumbled from that point onward? What if I made a complete fool of myself?

I did okay. I survived. I think some even enjoyed it. But my discomfort leading up to that moment and throughout those five minutes on stage was not quickly forgotten.

Thinking back on all the stress I experienced in connection to that speech makes me wonder why I ever continued on in that sphere. Why am I a public speaker today? What motivated me to press on? Why do I absolutely love what I do now but feared so much back then? What ultimately prompted me to work on a God-given gift I didn’t know I even had until years later?

It wasn’t until the end of my teen years that I began to flow in this capacity again. I was given a special oratory part for a choir program. I started teaching school and coaching my students in how to give effective speeches. I preached at the local church I attended. I got involved in prison ministry and spoke to inmates from the platform. All this happened before I had discerned a life career.

Did I just wake up one day and decide to be a public speaker? Did my awareness of God utilizing this gift within me come into sharp focus in a moment?

No, not at all. In fact, just the opposite. I more or less grew into it. My fear of audiences slowly faded.  My speaking style morphed over time into what it is today. Oh, I still get nervous sometimes before getting on stage. I still quake a little at the fear of failure. And I certainly still have a great amount to work on in developing my speaking skills and presentations. But I’m moving upward and onward. I read books on communication. I both listen to and watch great communicators on DVD. I also constantly seek feedback on my presentations.

I think I’ve discovered my gift. God orchestrated various events throughout my childhood and adolescence to bring me to this point. I clearly know that this is the talent he has called me to utilize for His glory. He requires that I not bury it, that I not waste it.

I was reminded of all this while reading Erwin McManus’ insights into the parable of the talents (Luke 19:11-27) just this week: “God sees not only who we are, but who we can become. When we neglect our God-given capacity, when we refuse to maximize our God-given potential, it is wickedness in the sight of God.”

Did you catch that? The guy who buried his gift is called a “wicked servant”! Sometimes sins of omission are just as great as sins of commission.

Every one of us has potential. Every one of us has a God-given talent that He wants to maximize for His glory. And to not utilize it or develop it to its full capacity is wicked.

So what is your gift? Have you discovered it? If so, what are you doing with it? Are you going to do everything in your power to maximize it for God’s glory?

Contact MeContact Me

Let's Connect

I’d love to connect with you via email or phone. Snail mail can be sent to the address listed below.


725 Newgate Ln Apt C, Prospect Heights, IL 60070


(+1) 269.625.3400

Booking InfoBooking Info

Logistics and Details

Select me as your speaker, and I will give you my best effort. See me as a catalyst or facilitator that will help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your event. When you win, I win, It’s as simple as that. I’m here to serve you in life’s journey.


A venue for the event should be chosen with the target audience in mind. All-day or half-day workshops are ideally hosted in rooms where food can be served and participants can gather around tables for group dialogue and breakout sessions (click on links for preferred room setup: round/long tables). All venues should be suited for multi-media presentations and wired for sound.

Once a date and presentation topic have been confirmed for an event, the venue name and address along with a contact phone number should be submitted for advertisement purposes. I can provide advertising media for all events including online registration if needed.



A room featuring a multi-media projector with 3000 lumens or greater is preferred for all events. I will use my own projector when one is not available. Please note that for most presentations and workshops I need my laptop at the front of the venue from where I’ll be speaking. My system can accommodate VGA/HDMI cables. I can also supply an Apple TV for systems that require wireless projection from the front. Most of my presentations are designed for widescreen (16:9).

For audio I prefer a lapel or Countryman microphone. For presentation/video audio I can supply my own speaker for groups under 100 people. For larger groups I need a mic cord (to plug into my direct box) or an audio cable (3.5mm mini stereo) that plugs directly into my laptop.

Replace lecterns and pulpits with a small table or stand on which to place a laptop. Standard telescoping music stands are ideal.

For workshops, have a flip chart or white board available with markers in several colors.

An eight-foot table should be available on which to place books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources for sale. Cash, checks, and credit cards are all accepted.


I do not charge a set fee when speaking at non-profit events. However, donations are welcome to support my family and cover bills. The suggested donation amount is $500/day for each day I’m on the trip plus travel expenses. If I’m within a few hours of an event I will drive (suggested reimbursement of $250), otherwise, I typically fly (if within the USA, $500). I fly out of Chicago, IL and typically purchase my own tickets; a reimbursement check made out to “Luke Kuepfer” can be mailed to 725 Newgate Lane, Apartment C, Prospect Heights, IL 60070.


I’d be delighted to come to your event and speak. I typically keep my events within a 1-3 day time period due to commitments to my family; anything over this length of time is generally reserved for international travel. Workshops can be facilitated as whole-day or half-day events. My multi-part series can be easily held over a weekend, beginning Friday night and ending Sunday morning or beginning Sunday morning and ending Monday evening.

About MeAbout Me

Speaker, author, and life coach.

Born in Ontario, Canada, I moved to El Salvador at age 4 to live as a missionary kid for three years. At age nineteen I moved to Alberta, Canada where I taught school for three years. After leading several short term teams to Asia focused on unreached people groups, I married Amy from Northern Indiana and lived in that area for a year and a half. In 1997, we moved with our infant daughter Brittany to Thailand where I served as
director of Global Tribes Outreach. During our ten-year stint in Southeast Asia, God blessed us with two more children—Courtney and Jamin. In 2008 we moved back to North America and bought our first house in Kentucky, USA. I acquired a Masters in Christian Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2014 and began to travel both domestically and internationally to develop leaders. In 2019, with all three of our children in college and our eldest married, Amy and I moved to Prospect Heights, IL. Amy works for Prayercast and I continue to develop leaders in both the business and non-profit arenas.

As a leadership developer and life coach I help non-profit and business leaders understand how to maximize their God-given potential to lead and serve others. I am the author of A Serving Leader’s Devotional and the President of the Reverb Network.


I’ve spoken broadly on personal & global mission, leadership, team building, and numerous Biblical subjects over the last 20 years on four continents and numerous states and provinces in the USA and Canada.

I am committed to a Biblical worldview and dedicated to motivating the church toward missional thinking and practice in all areas of life. I believe that everyone has a God-given purpose to love and serve others like Jesus. I firmly believe that having our thinking challenged is not enough; it must be translated into change.


I have heard from other staff members who agree with me, this was one of the best/productive workshops we've attended.

Dan Domer
Staff Member, Covenant Church, Winterville, NC

Your talk rocked my world.  

Qian Wang
Perspectives Student, College Station, TX

Luke Kuepfer’s high-energy presentation of the material was delightful, articulate, and profound! If you are looking for a fresh and life-changing look at Jesus’ servant leadership model, look no further! Give Luke a call!

Don Showalter
President, Hearts Alive!

Luke is a dynamic speaker with the gift of clearly articulating Biblical truths in an easy-to-understand manner. He speaks in humility but with authority, and injects his message with the experience and global perspective gained from living abroad as a missionary for many years.

Santosh David Poonen
Elder, River of Life Christian Fellowship, Loveland, CO

Luke’s enthusiasm and passion for the local church and its impact in the community is inspiring. I highly recommend his teaching and ministry!  

Clarence Miller
Deacon, Sharon Mennonite Church

“Transformational” is the one word I would use to describe the seminar. Luke has a true gift in communicating God’s truths with clarity and passion.

Joe Bacher
Pastor, Foothills Fellowship Westminster, SC

Luke is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, presenting the interactive material creatively. It is a unique presentation unlike the usual “leadership seminars” taught from the front. Luke presents it with expertise, fun, and interest in each attendee.

David Livingstone
Regional Manager, North-East & Mid-Atlantic Region, The JESUS Film Project

Luke really has an incredible way of captivating everyone’s attention and making a seminar meaningful. He speaks from his heart and lives what he preaches. As a result of this Encounter we’re taking our family to Southeast Asia on a two-month mission trip with the possibility of moving there long-term.

Lloyd & Mary Ellen Esh
Pastor, New Covenant Mennonite Fellowship New Holland, PA



Years Lived Abroad
Countries Visited
14-ers Climbed in CO
Places Lived
2014 - 2020


Presentations and workshops in both non-profit and business venues around the world on leadership, people skills, and life purpose.

2011- 2013


Masters Degree in Christian Leadership.

2009 - 2010


Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies.

1997 - 2008


Founded and served as Field Director of Global Tribes Outreach (GTO), a non-profit organization based in Southeast Asia committed to church planting and social work.

1994 - 1996


Floor finishing in concrete construction and equipment operator on a cash crop farm.

1990 - 1993


Taught elementary through high school students in a self-directed learning environment.