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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.


Life is better connected. Connect with others to experience life-giving community and build authentic relationships. We have several learning communities. Find the best fit for you.


We provide a number of resources and materials to educate both our participants and the general public on effective leadership principles.


Interested in how PLI can impact your ministry? We'd love to get to know you and learn how we can empower your ministry.


The 5 Courage Killers

By: Jock Ficken

Here are 5 courage killers that any leader, woman or man, needs to know and confront. They’re embedded in who we are. (And they’re adapted from Heifetz, Grashow and Linsky’s book The Practice of Adaptive Leadership.) 1. LOYALTIES TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE YOU’RE DOING THE RIGHT THING It’s an unstated social contract that a good … Continue reading

This We Must Do! 3 Simple Questions to Answer

By: Jock Ficken

Most congregational leaders and leadership groups lack FOCUS. The urgent constantly distracts from the important. Clear, singular focus: “This we must do!” See the note to the right about the church in one region of Tanzania has focused on seeing the witchdoctors converted to Jesus. “This we must do!” So, here’s a simple tool: Do … Continue reading


Part-Time Pastor Pete and the Hand of God

By: Jock Ficken

Let me tell you about an incredible, self-effacing man of God nearing retirement. I’ll call him part-time Pastor Pete. He and his church will remain anonymous. Part-time pastor Pete joined PLI’s Discipleship to Missional Community and introduced himself: “I’m not quite sure why I’m here. I guess I thought I owed it to myself and … Continue reading

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Some Faces of our 1000 Young Leaders!

By: Jock Ficken

Earlier this month Phil and Kyrie Klopke, PLI’s 1000YL Directors, and the PLI team welcomed 35 young women and men to Nashville for the first annual gathering of 1000YL. It was the first time most in this two-year online training met in person. Ph.D., student, HVAC apprentices, engineers, truck driver, businessmen and women, stay-at-home parents, … Continue reading

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Dennis…You’ll be Blessed by His Story!

By: Jock Ficken

“It was absolutely the work of the Holy Spirit that I came to faith!” Let me introduce you to Dennis, a deacon at our host church in Denver last week. He shared some of his story at a pastors’ lunch at PLI last week. Allow me to try to briefly share it here “First, I’d … Continue reading


Don’t Face Goliath in Saul’s Armor

By: Jock Ficken

Too many leaders are like David trying to face Goliath in King Saul’s armor. Nearly 20 years ago Peter Drucker claimed that “successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values” (Harvard Business Review, March-April 1999, “Managing Oneself”). Drucker … Continue reading

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Identity! Capturing Freedom to Lead and Live

By: Jock Ficken

Every person I know risks fastening their identity to the wrong thing. That’s alarming given the fact that Identity might be the most fundamental of leadership building blocks. The Flourishing in Ministry study funded by the Lilly Foundation interviewed thousands of pastors. Their results showed that placing your identity on the wrong thing is one … Continue reading

What’s the Expiration Date?

By: Jock Ficken

Ever reach to the back of the refrigerator and pull out the pickles or the yogurt? Past the expiration date? Too late. Done! Throw it away? Now…what do you think might be the expiration date on your congregation? If nothing changes? What about your denomination? Or your network of churches? Write down an expiration date … Continue reading


Get In The Game

By: Jock Ficken

Get yourself in the mission game if you’re not there already! Don’t wait for all those folks to one day wake up and decide they should ask you about Jesus. (You’ll wait a long time.) PLI Entry Paths It was incredibly difficult when I started down this path. I didn’t know how to have a … Continue reading

Can we say Thank You?

By: Jock Ficken

Allow me to say Thank You to you for leading in your role. Thank you for serving and caring for your congregation and people that don’t know Jesus and for whom Jesus extended His arms on the cross and died. Let’s be honest. Leading is difficult. Oftentimes lonely. So, simply, for who you are and … Continue reading

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