By JOHN FORTMEYER
PORTLAND — A local resident who is nationally known for helping transform how people lead and live life offered some ideas here on Good Friday to more than 1,000 eager listeners.
“On Good Friday, we celebrate God’s love,” Daniel Harkavy told the huge crowd during the eighth annual Portland Good Friday Break-fast at the Oregon Convention Center. “Your purpose is to love, to share, to bring about God’s glory, and you do that whichever way God’s wired you.”
The breakfast event is sponsored by Open Arms International, a Portland-based outreach to needy in the African nation of Kenya. Open Arms co-founders David and Rachel Gallagher established the breakfast in 2007 to reach out to the Portland metro area with an evangelistic message of God’s love.
Harkavy is founder and CEO of Building Champions, a business coaching agency based in Lake Oswego. In his talk, he drew from his experience coaching thousands of leaders over the past 25 years, as well as from his own perspective as a family man and a follower of Christ.
Harkavy said his work has allowed him to look into the hearts of some brilliant leaders.
“Exceptional leaders see what most people don’t,” he said. “Leaders have clarity around where they’re headed. Their future state is so compelling … it causes them to face failure and the fear of that. The best leaders see that the best is yet to come.”
But while many leaders have their business strategies figured out, they often don’t do as well with their personal lives, Harkavy said.
“I can’t tell you how many leaders … struggle with deep depression,” he said. The result for them is addictions, hopelessness and broken relationships.
With that in mind, Harkavy and staff offer a “life plan program” that focuses on getting one’s life’s priorities in order so as to more positively influence others.
“We believe that self-leadership always precedes team leadership,” he said.
Harkavy offered his own testimony of that of a “Jewish kid who was money-motivated” and a surfer and partier while growing up in California. But the prophecies in the book of Isaiah that foretold Jesus Christ as Messiah “really rocked me,” he said, and he eventually became a believer.
Harkavy said that in any large group such as the one he was addressing, people can generally be placed in three camps regarding the messages of Good Friday and Easter:
• Camp 1 — those who are “not interested in the Messiah thing,” but curious;
• Camp 2 — those who believe, but are not fully surrendered to God’s plan for their lives; and
• Camp 3 — those who believe, and are living out God’s plan.
In his case, choosing to be a follower of Christ moved him from the first camp to the second, but it wasn’t until about age 30 that a Promise Keepers men’s event persuaded him to move into full commitment in the third group, he said.
Harkavy called for those in the audience who have not made a similar commitment to Jesus to do so. He especially encouraged those Christians that might fall into the second camp to examine their hearts and see if they are truly, in the power of the Holy Spirit, “loving people and seeing people as God does.”
“Is there a possibility that you’re coasting?” he asked.
Even with life’s many challenges, said Harkavy, a daily walk with Christ is full of purpose and meaning, “I’m guaranteeing you a life of intentionality, a life of impact, coupled with joy and peace. There’s nothing better than that.”