By Carl Stagner
Brad Lomenick served as lead visionary and president of Catalyst for over a decade. While credited with growing the conference into one of the most influential leadership brands in the United States, he hasn’t let that go to his head. In fact, one of the chief ingredients for effective leadership is humility, a virtue he’s highlighted in his latest book. Looking to Jesus as the ultimate Leader, Brad has first followed the ever-winding course his Captain has charted, even as it took him to places and heights he never planned on seeing. Born and raised in a Church of God home in Oklahoma, Brad Lomenick looks forward to speaking life into the Movement at the Church of God Regional Conventions in Fairfax, Virginia (September 18–19), and Safety Harbor, Florida (September 25–16).
Brad’s ministry backstory is anything but conventional. Following his spiritually formative years at First Church of God in Bristow, Oklahoma, he earned a college degree in history. Hoping to enter law school after a six-month break working at a guest ranch in Colorado, Brad hadn’t considered a future in ministry or leadership development. Before he knew it, four years had passed. Brad was still on the ranch. Good thing for thousands and thousands of pastors and leaders who would one day be influenced by Catalyst, Providence was on the ranch, too. It “just so happened” that guests of the ranch included representatives of ministry consulting organizations, such as Cornerstone Group. One thing led to the next, and Brad would become acquainted with the work of the renowned John Maxwell. God had plans for Brad Lomenick, but practicing law wasn’t one of them.
“For me, the place I really like to hang out is the intersection of faith and the marketplace,” Brad reflects. “I’ve always worked in an environment where my vocation and Christianity are merged. I’ve never thought of it as vocational ministry because it’s all ministry to me.” The traditional route to ministry wasn’t what God had in store for Brad. Though he’s not been on staff at his local church, he’s always been heavily involved as a lay leader, and he’s quite the cheer leader and source of wise counsel. But combined with his intense passion of Jesus Christ, his leadership acumen is why pastors, ministry directors, board chairpersons, and a slew of other Christ-centered leaders are flocking to hear what he has to say—and what other great leaders at his conferences have said.
Within the insulated four walls of the church, ideas can be limited. In camp meeting tabernacles and convention centers, the perspectives of featured speakers from the local church can be relatively congruous. Sometimes an outside perspective on Christ-centered leadership—biblical principles tested in the marketplace outside the church setting—is exactly what the Doctor ordered. When asked about other Christian and secular companies he’s observed both leading well and fostering an atmosphere of leadership development, Brad cites Chick-fil-A, Hillsong, and Apple.
Whether you’d prefer to eat more beef or download music from a Windows phone, you’d be quick to recognize the success of such brands! So, what thoughts and feelings do people in your community associate with your church? Do they see consistency between what is preached and what is practiced, between the pew and the parish? “These brands do an amazing job of building culture that permeates to the different franchises (or partners),” Brad explains. “Wherever you go, it’s the same. I regard them with great admiration and have learned a lot from them.”
As you might imagine, anticipation is building to hear from this leadership expert. As pastors and lay leaders gather in Fairfax and Safety Harbor this September, they can expect to receive practical tools that apply across the board among Christ-centered leaders—in small churches and large churches, parachurch ministries, and Christ-centered businesses. “For me, it’s all about leadership,” Brad explains. That’s the angle I come from. I also have a passion for thinking about the next generation of leaders and how we’re going to create a runway for the twentysomethings and thirtysomethings. I want to help make better leaders and raise up new ones. John 10:10, the Regional Convention theme, is a powerful scripture that makes us all better. I’m all in on that!”
Hear more from the Lord through Brad Lomenick in Fairfax, Virginia, or Safety Harbor, Florida. Early-bird registration ends for the Fairfax Regional on August 16, and for the Safety Harbor Regional on August 23. Register now at www.chogconvention.org.