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PLI is devoted to empowering leaders for wider influence for the sake of the gospel in their communities and effective leadership in their ministries. Learn more about our vision and process here.

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Blog

Tap Into Some New Ideas

By: Jock Ficken

Can I offer a word of encouragement and an idea going into Thanksgiving and Christmas? Because… It’s tough to be a leader now. You’re tired! Are you discouraged, too? Let me suggest “Idea Parties” at your church. Keep it light and fun! The next great idea for the future of your congregation almost certainly won’t … Continue reading

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Gathered and Scattered

By: Jock Ficken

Remember when we all shut down and scattered back in March…for two weeks? Remember when whatever it is that you lead adjusted…adapted…zoomed…went online…got creative? And remember when you started talking about “going back to normal?” Do you remember the first time it occurred to you that “back to normal” would not be “normal”—maybe similar but … Continue reading

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Letting Go of the Single Voice to Reach the Many

By: Gail Ficken

Many of you know that I grew up in suburban Washington, D.C. Our neighbors changed based on who was ushered in by the most recent presidential election. To say that “I work for the government” was oftentimes code for CIA or FBI, or someone who wanted to appear important or mysterious. As a child I … Continue reading

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3 Fundamental Problems Facing the Christian Church in the U.S.

By: Jock Ficken

Last year, pre-pandemic, we proposed that the 2030 church landscape in the U.S. will look dramatically different—mostly gone as we’ve known it! You can download the epub or a PDF.  There are 3 fundamental problems facing the church in the U.S. Allow me to simply name them today and talk about doing something with them next week. … Continue reading

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A Picture of Urban Ministry

By: Jock Ficken

Dan Czaplewski continues the conversation from last week about urban ministry, systemic racism, activity in the city, etc.  Tell me about bringing Ben Piering on your staff as community minister and director of youth. Ben is great. He had just joined us when the riots occurred here in Milwaukee in 2016. The next morning he … Continue reading

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Leading in an Urban Community

By: Jock Ficken

I recently interviewed Rev. Dr. Dan Czaplewski about leading in the urban community of Milwaukee. Over the last 30-40 years 55 Lutheran churches have closed in Milwaukee. Today, Mt. Calvary is a vibrant church and school a few blocks from the location of the 2016 riots in Milwaukee. Here’s part one of two offerings. Dan, … Continue reading

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Lessons for the Church…from the Geese

By: Jock Ficken

Did you ever think you’d be getting leadership lessons from geese? “Geese in the rear of the formation honk to encourage those up front to up their speed. It is important that honking from behind be seen as encouraging. Otherwise, it is just—well—honking.” Dr. Robert McNeish Here are three thoughts: Thought #1— Leadership got decidedly … Continue reading

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Book Review: Maximizing Board Effectiveness

By: Todd Moritz

Maximizing Board EffectivenessBy James C. Galvin This is a masterful piece of work by Dr. Galvin. This is by far the best book I have ever read on board governance. As the executive director or chief executive of large not-for-profits over 20 years, I have read many books – and annually would take my boards through continuing … Continue reading

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Meet Young Leaders Alex and Rachel

By: Jock Ficken

Gail recently sat down to record an interview with two gifted young leaders to share with our advisory board. Alex Stoll works in corporate finance and is completing 1,000 Young Leaders. Rachel Stathakis leads the children’s ministry at her church in Hales Corners, WI, and is wrapping up Leadership Essentials. They recently got engaged and … Continue reading

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The Muddled Mess of Leadership

By: Jock Ficken

I have three simple thoughts today for our COVID-19 world and the muddled mess of leading a congregation! There’s a deep longing to go back to what used to be, to put it all behind us and return to normal. We want to escape the anxiety and ambiguity and go back to what we used … Continue reading

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