The Intensive Does What No Book Can

Loriana Sekarski

March, 2018

When I wanted to figure skate in my 20s, I bought ice skates and a book. The book was well-written, complete with pics and detailed explanations. While it helped me with Figure 8’s, I don’t think I would have ever landed jumps successfully until I took lessons and hired a coach. Having a live experience, versus simply reading, accelerated my growth, produced results, and prevented a lot of unnecessary pain. The Intensive Training had the same level of impact.

We Rolled Up Our Sleeves and Got Into the Nitty Gritty

At the Intensive, we dove into what it takes to implement a cultural change in which the entire church shifts its mindset and operations to focus on reaching people outside the walls naturally and organically. This powerful two days of training and discussions enabled me to 

  • See first-hand what good execution looks like as we witness live clusters and influence team meetings.
  • Identify nuances in implementation that are critical to success.
  • Ask questions to understand how the concepts apply to the groups I am working with.
  • Discern best approaches in different situations by learning from Kevin and Walt’s wisdom and experience with many different types of churches.
  • Build critical relationships with other leaders who will be resources now and in the future.

We Dealt With the Tough Issues of Shifting Culture

Each participant had different takeaways and “aha moments” pertinent to their personal situation and organizational setting. For me, Kevin’s simple phrase “You can’t live what you don’t lead” really resonated personally; I have also used it with clients. These plain truths are powerful because they are so simple and often overlooked. In my experience as an organizational change consultant, this inability or unwillingness to “walk the talk” by any of the leadership can easily undermine a change effort.

Moreover, simple to understand doesn’t mean easy to implement. That was the most significant value contribution for me at the Intensive. It dealt head-on with the more difficult aspects of shifting the church’s culture. We were challenged (in a most loving way) to look in the mirror and ask, “Am I living this? Are we doing the right things?” The instructors shared tips on how to influence others, with and without authority, to get others to shift their thoughts and behaviors.


"For me, Kevin’s simple phrase “You can’t live what you don’t lead” really resonated personally"


5 Simple Actions Can Maximize the Value Received

If you are considering implementing Organic Outreach®, I would highly recommend attending the Intensive. It is an excellent investment because it will help you bear fruit sooner as well as save you time and resources on the backend. To maximize your gain, I highly encourage you to

  • Write down questions as you read the books before going to the conference.
  • Develop learning goals before the experience.
  • Identify specific challenges you face that you need help with.
  • Get to breakfast sessions early so you have ample time to build relationships with other leaders and learn from each other.
  • Pray for protection because what you will learn and be able to do as a result of the Intensive has the potential to bring many people into God’s Kingdom, and Satan will fight you every step.

When you go, strap in and buckle up, because you are in for the ride of your life!

Loriana Sekarski is the founder and president of BONSAI, a consulting company that transforms leaders (and businesses) into the best version of themselves. As a leadership coach, Loriana teaches leaders how to hone soft skills, spur workplace engagement, and achieve untapped levels of potential. Outside of BONSAI, Loriana serves as an adjunct professor at Washington University’s graduate student program. Additionally, she’s fine-tuning her passion project, TakeFlight, a program that addresses domestic abuse within the Christian community.

Editor’s Note: We have several Organic Outreach® Intensive Trainings planned in California and the Midwest in 2018. For a full listing, visit:

If you are interested in hosting an Intensive at your church, contact Robin Maguire at

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