WATCH: Sen. Joni Ernst stands up for life

Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst spoke to the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines, sharing her heart for unborn children.

One of the highlights: Sen. Ernst’s inspiring story of her own daughter, who stood for life among a generation that may be more pro-life than we realize:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




WATCH: Sen. Tom Cotton defends religious liberty

At the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) reached back into American history, built upon his own military service, and spoke to today’s headlines to deliver a powerful and inspiring defense of what he called our “first freedom,” our religious liberty.

Issuing a call for all Christians to stand together in unity, Sen. Cotton’s speech was one of the highlights of the 2019 Family Leadership Summit:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




VIDEO: Teens recap amazing LEAD week!

Forty-six teenagers from Iowa and beyond attended The FAMiLY LEADER’s 2nd annual LEAD week, a program that disciples students through biblical worldview training and practical leadership experiences.

LEAD is a big part of extending to the next generation TFL’s mission of inspiring Christ-like leadership, as we seek a revived America that honors God and blesses people.

And in this second year of the LEAD program, the TFL staff added a “media” track, training students in news journalism with integrity and giving them the opportunity to try their hand at reporting the week’s top news. The media students researched, interviewed, and wrote stories for a daily newspaper as well as produced a pair of news broadcasts to cover the week’s events.

The video below is the second of those broadcasts, a light-hearted but earnest look at many of the week’s activities:

LEAD is not a typical summer camp. LEAD runs authentic leadership simulations where high school students have the opportunity to experience the roles of community leaders (like state legislators or news media) first-hand, making decisions that would affect millions of people in the state. Mix that in with engaging biblical worldview discussions, faith-building worship and chapel, a hearty dose of games and recreational activities (and awesome relationships built throughout the week), and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what LEAD looks like.

But the real heart of LEAD is equipping a new generation of leaders to be ambassadors for Christ in whatever field God calls them to. Whether the students become legislators, reporters, businesspeople, pastors, parents – wherever God takes them – the LEAD experience inspires the confidence and biblical thinking skills needed to be salt and light to our culture.

Next year’s keynote LEAD worldview speaker is Sean McDowell! Make sure you’re on TFL’s mailing list, so you can get YOUR teen signed up as soon as registration opens for 2020 LEAD!




Chuck Hurley talks ‘religious tolerance’ on KCRG-TV

The FAMiLY LEADER’s Chuck Hurley appeared on KCRG’s Ethical Principles on The News episode “What Does Religious Tolerance Mean Today?” with moderator Leon Tabak on July 23. Joining Hurley on the show, representing the Muslim community, was Imam Hassan M. Selim from the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids and from the Jewish community, Rabbi Todd Thalblum of temple Judah also in Cedar Rapids.

During the episode, the representatives discussed topics like division in America and how we can tolerate or respect people with views and religious beliefs that differ from our own.

When discussing whether store owners have the right to refuse custom services that violate their conscience, like in the Masterpiece Cakeshop of Colorado incident where the owner refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony, views around the table differed.

Rabbi Thalblum argued Masterpiece Cakeshop’s refusal amounted to illegal discrimination, claiming store owners are obligated to serve the public. Chuck Hurley countered that the State of Colorado’s punishment of the cakeshop infringed upon on the store owner’s right of conscience and religious liberty.

“My view is all Americans should be able to live and work according to the dictates of their conscience without fear of unjust government punishment,” Hurley said.

At the conclusion of the half-hour discussion, the differing views came together to agree on one thing: respect. Although they, and the rest of the nation, may disagree with one another, it’s important that we still respect each other.

“We’re supposed to love our neighbor even if we disagree with them,” said Hurley, vice president and chief counsel of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Is it difficult? Yes. Vital? Absolutely.”

“Its OK to have differences,” said Selim, “as long we know how to express them and listen to each other.”

Watch the full episode and hear what Hurley and the other guests said below:




WATCH: Sen. Ben Sasse talks ‘tribalism’ at Summit

One of the highlights of the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines was an analysis of division in America, presented by U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE).

In a fast, but deep and content-packed address, Sasse discussed the cultural and historical factors that have led to a breakdown in community and a rise of “tribalism,” both in politics and in the American culture.

Put on your thinking cap, buckle your seatbelt, and see for yourself why so many of the 2019 Summit attendees were buzzing about Sasse’s speech:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




WATCH: Senators talk racial reconciliation at the Summit

One of the highlights of the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines was an interview with U.S. Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Tim Scott (R-SC) on their grassroots work to encourage racial reconciliation in America.

The FAMiLY LEADER President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats spoke with the senators in a conversation that was more humorous, uplifting, and genuinely Scripture-packed than anyone at the 8th annual Summit was expecting.

See for yourself why the discussion about #SolutionSundays is quickly becoming one of the most talked about moments from the 2019 Summit:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




Bob Vander Plaats talks ‘racist’ Trump tweet on CNN

Once again, CNN couldn’t understand why a person wouldn’t be either sold out for President Trump or dead set against him.

And once again, Bob presented The FAMiLY LEADER’s consistent message of “thinking bigger” than politics – being willing to commend our leaders when they do well and holding them to account when they don’t.

In the latest controversy over Trump’s allegedly “racist” tweets, Bob argues, “I don’t think anybody wins when we go to the lowest common denominator.”

Was Trump’s tweet storm telling four Democrat congresswomen to “go back” to their home countries racially insensitive? Yes. Poorly worded? You betcha. Language, frankly, beneath the office of the president.

But, Bob says, it doesn’t help the divisiveness in America or real racial reconciliation to point fingers and use “racist” in name-calling:




WATCH: Mike Lindell speaks at 2019 Summit

Mike Lindell, CEO and inventor of MyPillow, tells the 2019 Family Leadership Summit in West Des Moines, Iowa, about his redemption story – from cocaine and crack addition, through invention of his revolutionary pillow, to becoming an executive producer of the pro-life film “Unplanned”:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




Join the July 14 Call to Prayer

The FAMiLY LEADER’s If 7:14 book and ministry are based off of 2 Chronicles 7:14’s call to prayer for revival. Part of the ministry includes the 7:14 prayer initiative.

The prayer initiative encourages believers to pray twice a day, at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m, for personal revival and revival in your marriage, family, family, church, community, nation, and world.

On July 14 (7/14) TFL takes the If 7:14 prayer initiative one step further. On 7/14 TFL and If 7:14 ministry encourage Christians to join in a day full of prayer. Each hour has a new prompt to pray and starts at 7:14 a.m. until 7:14 p.m. (12 prompts).

This is the 4th year of the 7/14 “call to pray.”

“Our goal was to call people to pray.” Kathy Van Solen, If 7:14 prayer ambassador, says. “This is a way to get people everywhere to join. They can do it at work, home, in the car…”

Follow the prayer prompts at If.17.com!

While the prompts have changed each year, they follow the general ideas of confessing, thanking, and asking God.

The FAMiLY LEADER and If 7:14 ministry invites you to join us in a call to pray on July 14. The prompts for each hour can be found on the If 7:14 app, available for free in the app store.

Join the call to prayer, and download the app, at If 7:14.com!




National sponsors back Family Leadership Summit

Several national and local organizations have added their names to the list of sponsors encouraging you to attend the 8th annual Family Leadership Summit at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, July 12.

Among the Summit’s sponsors are the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Embrace Life Chiropractic, Focus on the Family, Informed Choice of Iowa, Iowans for Tax Relief, the Liberty University Helms School of Government, Susan B. Anthony List, and more.

“We’re incredibly grateful to these leading organizations for helping us bring the Family Leadership Summit to Iowa,” says Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of the The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our sponsors recognize how important it is to inspire Christ-like leadership, and they share the Summit’s goal of encouraging and equipping those who yearn for a revived America that honors God and blesses people.”

Get your tickets to the Summit today!

“I’m so impressed and excited about all that TFL is doing to affect the culture,” said Shawn Akers, former dean of Liberty’s Helms School of Government, which is sponsoring the Summit. “I don’t think there is a better contemporary example of the characteristics of [America’s] founding generation.”

Confirmed speakers for the 2019 Summit include U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, James Lankford, Ben Sasse, and Tim Scott, as well as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, former U.S. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, actor and comedian Brad Stine, BlazeTV personality Steve Deace, MyPillow CEO and executive producer of the film “Unplanned” Mike Lindell, Rob Roozeboom of Rise Ministries, and Bob Vander Plaats.

Earlier this year, The FAMiLY LEADER made national headlines by inviting the top seven Democrats seeking the presidential nomination (by poll standing) to the Summit as well. All seven Democrats, however, declined the invitation.

The annual Family Leadership Summit brings to the Midwest prominent, national leaders from a variety of fields to encourage Christians to engage in Christ-centered cultural transformation that “thinks bigger” than politics and elections to impact not just government, but also churches, families, and individual lives.

Discover why you don’t want to miss the Family Leadership Summit on July 12!




“Unplanned” executive producer to speak at the Summit!

Mike Lindell, inventor and CEO of MyPillow and an executive producer of the pro-life film “Unplanned,” will address the 8th annual Family Leadership Summit at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, July 12.

“Mike Lindell’s life story is unbelievably inspiring – from drug addiction and adversity, through transformation in Christ, to becoming a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and an impactful leader for life,” says Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of the The FAMiLY LEADER. “I’m so excited to bring him to central Iowa. Lindell is joining an already fantastic lineup of speakers, including national leaders in the fields of business, government, entertainment, and faith. The Summit is truly a day you don’t want to miss!”

Get YOUR tickets to the July 12 Family Leadership Summit today!

Lindell joins U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, James Lankford, Ben Sasse, and Tim Scott, as well as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, former U.S. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, actor and comedian Brad Stine, BlazeTV personality Steve Deace, Rob Roozeboom of Rise Ministries, and Bob Vander Plaats as confirmed speakers for the 2019 Summit.

Earlier this year, The FAMiLY LEADER made national headlines by inviting the top seven Democrats seeking the presidential nomination (by poll standing) to the Summit as well. All seven Democrats, however, declined the invitation.

The annual Family Leadership Summit brings to the Midwest prominent, national leaders from a variety of fields to encourage Christians to engage in Christ-centered cultural transformation that “thinks bigger” than politics and elections to impact not just government, but also churches, families, and individual lives.

Don’t miss out! Learn more about The Family Leadership Summit today!




Iowa’s ‘leading ladies’ join Family Leadership Summit

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst have accepted The FAMiLY LEADER’s invitation to speak at the July 12 Family Leadership Summit in West Des Moines!

“We’re thrilled to welcome Gov. Reynolds and Sen. Ernst to the Summit,” says Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of the The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our attendees will be encouraged, and rightly so, by the example of Iowa’s only two women elected to statewide office, Iowa’s ‘leading ladies,’ if you will. Reynolds and Ernst have been pioneers of leadership in our state, and their attendance is another reason the 2019 Family Leadership Summit is one of this summer’s most can’t-miss events!”

Reserve YOUR tickets to attend the Summit today!

Reynolds and Ernst join U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, James Lankford, Ben Sasse, and Tim Scott, as well as actor and comedian Brad Stine, BlazeTV personality Steve Deace, Rob Roozeboom of Rise Ministries, and Bob Vander Plaats as confirmed speakers for the July 12 Summit.

The annual Family Leadership Summit brings to the Midwest prominent, national leaders from a variety of fields to encourage Christians to engage in Christ-centered cultural transformation that “thinks bigger” than politics and elections to impact not just government, but also churches, families, and individual lives.

For more information about The Family Leadership Summit, and to get your tickets, visit https://thefamilyleader.com/fls/.