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!




Family Leadership Summit draws packed crowd

A standing-room-only crowd of over 600 ticketed guests, plus media, speakers, and staff, filled the halls of Hy-Vee’s Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines July 12 for the 8th annual Family Leadership Summit.

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Attendees included pastors, church and community leaders, elected leaders, and everyday Americans yearning for cultural transformation and a revived America that honors God and blesses people.

The FAMiLY LEADER’s Vice President of Church Engagement Greg Baker welcomed the capacity crowd with a warning and a promise: “You’re going to feel like you’re drinking from a firehose, but you’re going to be SO encouraged today!”

Both the warning and the promise came true.

The Summit’s speaker list featured nationally prominent leaders in the church, government, business, and entertainment fields, including U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, James Lankford, Ben Sasse, and Tim Scott, as well as actor and comedian Brad Stine, BlazeTV personality Steve Deace, MyPillow CEO and executive producer of the film “Unplanned” Mike Lindell, former U.S. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Rob Roozeboom of Rise Ministries, and Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER.

The 2019 Summit also brought significant national and local sponsors, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Embrace Life Chiropractic, Focus on the Family, Informed Choices of Iowa, Iowans for Tax Relief, the Liberty University Helms School of Government, and Susan B. Anthony List.

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The ongoing theme of the Summit is “Principle Over Politics,” a theme Vander Plaats stressed in his first opportunity.

“Do we know what the victory is?” Vander Plaats asked. “Is a victory re-electing [President] Trump? Is victory having a Republican majority? Is victory winning the argument of the day? Or is it … to think bigger, look higher?

“What is our victory?” he continued. “Politics, elections, policy – they are downstream from culture. We need cultural transformation. We need revival.”

Several of the speakers highlighted tangible ways to impact culture.

Mike Lindell, CEO and inventor of MyPillow, testified to how God redeemed his life from cocaine addiction. And he described his new effort, Lindell Recovery Network, which links addicts to real recovery stories and to vetted, Christ-based recovery centers that have a 70 percent success rate, versus the national average of 20 percent success.

In an interview on stage with Vander Plaats, Sens. Lankford and Scott told the story of Solution Sundays, their racial reconciliation effort, which challenges people with a simple question – “Have you ever invited someone of another race into your home for a meal?”

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Racial discord, the senators insisted, won’t be solved by politics or policy, but by people.

“I don’t believe Washington changes the country. I think the country changes Washington,” said Lankford. “And there should be no prime mover stronger than the Church for engaging the gospel throughout a community.”

“Division starts in our own hearts,” added Scott. “To pastors and leaders, the first thing we should do is check our hearts.”

Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds both championed the sanctity of human life.

Iowa’s Heartbeat bill – passed in 2018 to protect the lives of unborn children from the moment their heartbeats can be detected – has “ignited a movement,” Reynolds said. “Due to Iowa’s leadership, [several] states passed bills to protect innocent lives.”

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BlazeTV host Steve Deace and Christian comedian Brad Stine brought both laughter and a challenge to Christians seeking positive change in America.

“Don’t try to save America; try to save Americans,” Deace said. “When we turn sinners into saints, the culture will take care of itself.”

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One of the biggest highlights of the day, however, was the spotlight put on The FAMiLY LEADER’s Church Ambassador Network and its spread to other states through a program called The Daniel Initiative.

TFL’s Greg Baker explained how pastors are changing the spiritual temperature at the Iowa Capitol and restoring the voice of the Church in the halls of government. He revealed how TFL has facilitated over 1,300 pastor visits to the Capitol in the last few years – not to fight for passing laws, but to minister to those making the laws. And by deliberate, non-partisan prayer and ministry, TFL has seen members of both parties come to faith in Jesus Christ.

The Summit then welcomed to the stage representatives of five other states who are engaging Church Ambassador Networks in state capitols across the country.

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For many in the capacity crowd, it was just the kind of encouraging report and inspiring vision that makes The Family Leadership Summit a can’t-miss event and an annual tradition.

Keep watching TheFamilyLeader.com in the coming weeks for more amazing content from the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




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/.




The family grows by five

The FAMiLY LEADER is a growing organization, including the staff. Over the past few months TFL has added five Kingdom-driven employees: Nick Bal, Katie Bentley, Leonardo Lazarini, Duane Nordquist, and Grace Nordquist.

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Nick Bal from Ames, Iowa, is TFL’s new vice president of advancement. He and his wife Carol have two daughters, Ava and Amelia.

Prior to his current position, Bal was the director of donor ministries at The Gospel Coalition, director of development for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State, associate pastor at Willow Creek Baptist Church, campus missionary for the Great Commission Ministry, assistant director of annual funds at Drake, and assistant director of alumni and parent programs at Drake.

KatieB smallKatie Bentley of West Des Moines, Iowa is the new administrative assistant at The FAMiLY LEADER’s office. Katie Bentley is engaged to her fiancé Tyler LaFollette .

Prior to TFL, Bentley worked for a real estate brokerage as an administrative assistant and then got involved in real estate abstracting from 2015-2018. Yet she knew she wanted to be more involved in ministry.

Shortly after a conference at which she was assured God would help her through a difficult job transition, Bentley was let go from her position, only to have her mother discover an email that TFL was hiring. Bentley started at TFL in January 2019 and now feels she is where she is called to be.

LeoL smallLeonardo (Leo) Lazarini from São Paulo, Brazil, now lives in Des Moines with his wife, Deborah. Leonardo works in community outreach and is a regional coordinator for TFL.

Lazarini got connected with The FAMiLY LEADER through current TFL employee Greg Baker. After working with the Honoring God campaign in 2018, Lazarini started working for TFL in May of 2019. Lazarini feels led to ministry and is a full-time student at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. Unsure where God will lead him, for now Lazarini knows this is God’s place for him as he continues to see God’s vision at The FAMiLY LEADER. He’s excited to be “helping pastors to see God’s vision for the church and government.”

DuaneN smallNordquist has a background in sales and currently sells insurance product for estate planning as well as investments in precious gold and silver. After attending rallies and events with The FAMiLY LEADER, God was putting TFL on Nordquist’s heart and had him praying for TFL. Having attended staff meetings since June 2018, Nordquist started to work part time for TFL in January of 2019. Nordquist is excited for what The FAMiLY LEADER is doing for this country and to “be used by God to further His Kingdom.”

 

GraceN smallGrace Nordquist of Panora, Iowa, is a summer intern writing and creating content for social media platforms as well as shadowing event planning. She is a full-time student athlete at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Nordquist is a mass communication major and a captain of the Women’s swim team.

Nordquist was connected to The FAMiLY LEADER through her father, Duane Nordquist. She was seeking an internship that aligned with what she desired to do in the future, to help gain experience. She’s excited to work with TFL “because it’s work for the Kingdom, and I feel like I’m making an impact.”

You can read more about the new employees, and the rest of TFL’s, staff on our website’s TFL Team page.




Pastor Equipping Webinar: Combating porn in the church

How can pastors and church leaders help the people in their congregation struggling with pornography?

According to a recent study, 87% of people say that no one is helping them in their fight against porn, and 54% of those couldn’t even think of anyone who could help.

Pastor Luke Hukee of Walnut Creek Church in Des Moines shares key insights, strategies, and help for churches who want to help people find freedom from addiction to pornography:

Research Resources:

Josh McDowell: The Porn Epidemic Portfolio
The Porn Phenomenon by the Barna Group
Fight the New Drug.org

Ministry Resources:

“Clean” by Doug Weiss
“The Game Plan” by Joe Dallas
Conquer Series
“Redeemed Sexuality” by Andrew Boa
“Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness” by Ellen Dykas
“Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken” by David Powlison

Accountability Resources:

Covenant Eyes
Accountable2You




4 U.S. senators confirm for Family Leadership Summit

The FAMiLY LEADER announces four U.S. senators – Tom Cotton of Arkansas, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Tim Scott of South Carolina – have confirmed they will address the 8th annual Family Leadership Summit at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, July 12.

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Get your tickets to the Summit today!

In addition, Sens. Lankford and Scott will present a discussion on their unique approach to personal, racial reconciliation, which they’ve dubbed “Solution Sundays.” The idea is to intentionally invite families of other races to their homes to share a meal.

“Just to have normal conversation, it breaks down barriers, it sets a good example for your children and quite frankly develops relationships that can only happen around a table,” Lankford told CBN News. “It doesn’t have to all be about race. It can just be about friendship.”

“We have benefitted from just being able to break bread with someone who’s not quite like you,” Scott agreed. “I have benefitted from having diversity as a part of my everyday life, which I think is a blessing from God. I think He made us all differently so that as a body of Christ, we fit together and we provide something that the other part could not have provided.”

Cotton, Lankford, Sasse, and Scott join four other, confirmed speakers for the Summit thus far: actor and comedian Brad Stine, BlazeTV personality Steve Deace, Rob Roozeboom of Rise Ministries, and Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER.

The list of additional invitees includes U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, author and youth evangelist Nick Hall, Pastor Tony Evans, and U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley.

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

Further announcements will be made when invited speakers confirm their attendance.

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.

Learn more about the Summit – and register for your tickets – here!




Family Leadership Summit invitees announced

The FAMiLY LEADER has announced the list of invited speakers – some confirmed to attend, some yet unconfirmed – to the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on Friday, July 12, at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The list includes prominent names from the faith community, culture, and government – including Pastor Tony Evans, comedian Brad Stine, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. Not all of the invitees, however, have confirmed their attendance.

“We’ve had so many people ask us who will be speaking this year, we felt it necessary to make an announcement about who we’ve invited,” says Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “At the same time, amid a busy political year leading up to the presidential caucuses, many of the invited speakers can’t yet officially confirm their acceptance.

“So today we’re releasing the list of the invitees to reaffirm that attendees can expect the same, inspiring blend of national faith, culture, and government leaders that makes The Family Leadership Summit such a unique and can’t-miss event,” Vander Plaats said.

Discover more about the Summit and get your tickets today!

The list of invitees includes U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Blaze TV personality Steve Deace, Dr. Tony Evans, author and youth evangelist Nick Hall, Rob Roozeboom of Rise Ministries, actor and comedian Brad Stine, and U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley, James Lankford, Ben Sasse, and Tim Scott.

The list includes only those whose invitations remain outstanding. Earlier this year, The FAMiLY LEADER made national headlines by inviting to the Summit the top seven Democrats (by polling average) seeking the presidential nomination. But as all seven declined the invitation, their names are not included in the announcement.

Additional announcements will be made as invitees confirm their attendance.




Gov. Reynolds signs judicial nomination reform into law

The FAMiLY LEADER was at the Iowa Capitol Wednesday, May 8, to witness and celebrate Gov. Kim Reynolds signing a law that reforms how Iowa nominates judges to the State Supreme Court.

The law grants Iowa’s governor an additional, Senate-confirmed appointee to the commission that nominates judges.

For years, Iowa’s system has allowed a small group of left-leaning attorneys to dominate Iowa’s judicial nomination process. Regardless of who was elected governor, the system enabled attorneys to ensure a liberal majority on Iowa’s Supreme Court – as evidenced by a study that revealed Iowa has the second most left-leaning high court (compared to the people of the state’s views) in the country.

But with the signing of this law, the people of Iowa will now be given a greater voice through their elected governor in choosing Iowa’s Supreme Court justices, hopefully providing a more ideologically balanced and representative Court.

“For the first time,” Gov. Reynolds summarized at the signing ceremony, “the majority of the nominating commission will represent the people of Iowa and not just the Bar and the Bench [referring to attorneys and judges].”

Watch TFL’s Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley explain why this is a momentous victory, over 50 years in the making:

The FAMiLY LEADER celebrates this significant improvement to the system and honors Gov. Reynolds for leading the charge to give the people of Iowa a better, fairer, and more representative form of government.