41sVQM-Z5DLA few years ago we came very, very close to moving to Nashville, Tennessee. How all of that happened is a bit of a long story so I’ll save the space here and just say it was all a “God thing.” The shorter version is that I responded to a job opening that was posted for a church I have come to call my “Church in the south.” When I fired off a resume that day, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would get a call. Outside of attending church on Sunday morning, I had zero experience in ministry. It was one of those “you only live once” moments and I figured I had nothing to lose. So I clicked send.

Before you knew it, I had a phone interview set up with Jenni Catron, the Executive Director at Cross Point Church. The day we set the interview for, I forgot that Nashville is an hour behind us. It was about 100 degrees that day and I was in my car when my phone rang. I answered it and quickly parked in a local gas station so it wouldn’t sound like I had missed the interview time. For the next hour, I sat, nearly sweating to death because I didn’t want to open a window or the door. I was afraid the sound of the car would give me away. Luckily I lived through the phone interview and didn’t die of asphyxiation.

I believe what happened in that one hour phone interview was a common respect between Jenni and I. She too had come from Corporate America to serve as the Executive Director for Pete Wilson. She understood the challenges of leadership in both the business world and in ministry. Surprisingly that phone interview led to a face-to-face weekend with my wife and I in Nashville. Over the course of those few days we would meet and get to know the staff who remain close friends to this day. Although our move to Nashville never materialized, my respect for Jenni and her leadership have only grown over the years.

A few months ago I was in Nashville for their Worship Night. Jenni and I had a few minutes to catch up and I asked about her new book “Clout.” I wish you all could have seen her light up as she spoke about this project. I am so thrilled that soon many will have the opportunity to learn more from one of my favorite voices in leadership. Her wisdom and understanding of navigating the tensions and challenges of leadership are something I have leaned on many times. I received my copy of the book today and will post a review and quotes over the next few weeks.

Without even cracking the book, I can tell you that Jenni Catron understands grabbing your God-Given Influence. I’m not even sure she knows what an influence she has had on me since that day I sat in my car sweating half to death. I can’t wait to read her thoughts and help launch this book. I’m so proud of her for stepping out and sharing her gifts with all that will read it.

Clout launches January 21st.