Sep 23, 2008

Maxwell Challenge

by Amanda Thomason

Inspirational author and leadership development advocate, John Maxwell addressed the Liberty student body last Friday.
Maxwell has authored more than 30 books, many of which have made the New York Times Best Seller list. He also spoke in both morning services at Thomas Road Baptist Church Sunday morning.

In convocation, Maxwell spoke about three biblical characters that can bring a strong and hopeful word to people today, including David, Rebecca and Daniel. Maxwell said that the message to be taken from David is that each person can overcome the limitations that others place on them. He said that all people have had limitations put on them throughout life, but that those limitations should not be what holds them back.

“I grew up in a smaller church and had never seen a big one before. When I was exposed to one, such as TRBC, for the first time, I became excited,” Maxwell said. “When I went back to my church, I was told that I could not do something like that because I could not break out of that which I already was.”

“I really enjoyed his ability to grab my attention through his truth and encouragement from the Bible while also being able to use small humor to make me laugh,” sophomore Tyler Wise said.

At the end of the service, Maxwell announced that there would be a few of his books on sale, including, “Making Today Count” and “Running with the Giants.” He stood in the front of the stage after convocation to shake hands, sign autographs and take pictures with students.

“I was really excited to be able to buy Dr. Maxwell’s book, ‘Making Today Count,’ and get his autograph after convocation,” senior Ashlea Varndell said. “It was neat because he took the time to find out my name and how I was doing so it didn’t feel like an imposition, but it seemed like he truly wanted to meet me.”

“I personally feel that Dr. Maxwell is the best speaker we have had all year,” transfer student Christ Herbst said. “I enjoyed his style and how he built up his message, used a little comedy and got to his point.”

Maxwell’s father was a pastor of a small church while he was growing up, and he started to develop a similar passion to follow the same path. He attended Circleville Bible College in Ohio and then moved with his wife, Margaret, to Indiana. He became a pastor of a small Wesleyan church, where he began to form his values of leadership and growth.

He has spoken in religious, business and political atmospheres and addresses more than a quarter of a million people each year. He has also spoken to athletes from the NCAA, the NBA and the NFL. Maxwell has founded multiple organizations to present a message on leadership, including INJOY and Maximum Impact.

Liberty’s student leadership department has used Maxwell’s messages to speak to its leaders on campus. Each year every student leader is required to read a specific book and write a paper on it. The book that Liberty uses for first year RAs is Maxwell’s “Developing the Leader Within You.”

“I liked his book and it has aided me in being an RA,” junior Amanda Thomas said. “The best point I got out of it…was how it discussed that we cannot line up the different experiences in our lives, but we can be in control of our attitudes about them.”
Maxwell has made numerous speeches throughout his life in front of many versatile audiences. Although each speech is different, he expressed how much he enjoys having the opportunity to speak to so many diverse people.

“My favorite part about public speaking is connecting with the audience. When the connection is there you know it and they know it,” Maxwell said. “I love being able to speak simple truths that are able to speak to the heart. At the end of the message they think you have been talking to them personally.”

 


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