Quotes and Leadership Lessons from Jesus Revolution


Jesus Revolution is a new movie directed by Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle. The film was written by Jon Erwin, Jon Gunn, and Greg Laurie (based on his book). A cool fact I found out is that one of my friends on Facebook, Matt Dickerson, was part of the marketing team for the movie.

Jesus Revolution examines the Jesus Revolution that rolled through California (and the country) in the 1970s. Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney) is a young man struggling to find his way. He seeks hope, love, and joy in drugs, women, and more.

Greg doesn’t find what he’s looking for in any of these activities. Only when he’s had a bad trip and the driver of the van he was in almost crashed does he realize things need to change. He stumbles out of the van and runs into a hippie preacher named Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie) that had been given the pulpit by Pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer) at Calvary Chapel.

Greg’s life changes. So do the lives of those around him.

Based on true stories, this film is inspirational and couldn’t come at a more interesting time. With the revival happening at Asbury University, it seems divine that this film releases about a revival in a different time and place.

I’d highly recommend checking out this film. You’ll find yourself enthralled by the story and how God changes lives.

You’ll also discover great leadership lessons and quotes in Jesus Revolution. Put on your Reel Leadership hat and prepare to grow your leadership.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Jesus Revolution

1. The best organizations have people who cheer each other on:

Jesus Revolution opens with a baptism scene at Pirate’s Cove. There are crowds of people gathered around, watching people give their lives to Christ and get baptized.

As people are being baptized, the crowds cheer them on. They encourage them through their words.

It’s a fantastic scene.Create organizations where your people cheer on their coworkers – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


I believe it’s also a sign of a great organization. Organizations that know how to get their people to cheer on, and not compete negatively against, others is a healthy organization.

People want to stay where they feel supported. They want to know their team members have their backs.

Instill in your people a sense of community and teamwork.

2. Janette Smith(Ally Ioannides):

Sure, and there’s the problem, you’re passing judgment on people you know nothing about. You’ve never even met a hippie

Janette had a confrontation with her father. He was a pastor of a small church. During this time, hippies weren’t welcome in churches, even his.

Chuck was apprehensive about the hippies coming into their community. He didn’t want no dirty, stinking hippies in the church.

The problem? He never met a hippie. He knew nothing about them.

Once he learned about the hippies, he came to love them.

Who are you afraid of? Who do you not know or never met that concerns you?

Give them a chance. You may discover that you have more in common with them than you think.

They may even change your life.

3. We say one thing but mean another:

After their conversation, Chuck told Janette that he wanted to meet a hippie. Chuck was in luck. Janette met a hippie named Lonnie.

She brought Lonnie to their home. When they arrived, Chuck freaked out.It’s a bad thing to speak out of both sides of your mouth. Say what you really mean – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


Janette told her father that he said he wanted to meet a hippie. Now there’s one there. Chuck admitted he’d lied. He didn’t want to meet a hippie.

We have to be careful of what we say. We can fall into the trap of saying people-pleasing words to get them off our backs. We may even do it to avoid confrontation.

leader who cannot speak the truth is in a dangerous position.

Be a truth-teller. Stop lying to appease others.

4. Lonnie Frisbee:

There is an entire generation searching for God.

Lonnie shared his story. He’d sought purpose and meaning in drugs and sex and more. Through all of that, he found emptiness.

It wasn’t until Lonnie experienced the life-changing power of God that he found what he was looking for.

He wanted to bring this to others. He knew there was more to life and that people were searching for God.

You won’t find your purpose in drugs, sex, rock and roll, or other means. There’s only one way to find your purpose.

Find yourself in God. He will give you direction and help you discover who you really are.

5. You don’t have to be well-known to matter:

Greg wanted his name to matter. He wanted people to hear his name and know who he was.

Talking with Cathe (Anna Grace Barlow), an attractive blonde student, he mentioned how he wanted to be known.

Cathe said his name meant something to her. He didn’t have to be famous to matter.Your name matters, even if it is only to one person – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


You don’t have to be well-known or famous to matter. You are making an impact on those around you.

Stop chasing the big lights, headlines, etc… Your name matters whether or not the world knows it. The people around you know your name, and that’s what matters.

6. Lonnie Frisbee:

If you want to reach my people, you’ve got to speak a language they understand.

Chuck invited Lonnie to church. He wanted to share the gospel with these hippies. He didn’t know how.

While Lonnie was at Chuck’s house, he rearranged the living room. This was to accommodate a band called Love Song.

Lonnie confronted Chuck. He told him he needed to speak a language his people could understand.

Chuck worked on this.

What language are you speaking to the people you lead? Are you speaking a foreign language like the creatures in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? Or are you finding ways to ensure what you’re saying is understood by those around you?

If you can’t communicate with those you’re leading, you will find yourself in a world of frustration. Learn the language of the people, man.

7. It’s okay to make people uncomfortable:

One of Chuck’s parishioners told him that he was making other congregants uncomfortable. The hippies were dirty and didn’t fit in. This was going to cause trouble in the church.

With a sense of wisdom, Chuck told the parishioner that maybe that’s the problem… He had allowed people to be too comfortable.

It’s okay to make people uncomfortable. When we get comfortable, we stop growing.

Find appropriate ways to make your people uncomfortable.

8. Kay Smtih (Julia Campbell):

The truth is simple.

Chuck was telling his wife, Kay, of the issues he faced by having the hippies in the church. People were getting upset. People were more upset about the dirty carpets than the souls being brought to Christ.

Kay, full of wisdom, told Chuck what he needed to hear. She said to him that the truth is simple.The truth is simple. Don’t overcomplicate things – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


Leaders!!! The truth is simple. You cannot hide from this fact.

Don’t complicate things. Keep things simple. That’s where the truth lies.

9. The organization’s doors work both ways:

Chuck invited the hippies to feel at home in the church. He said that the door would always be open for them.

He then went a step further. He told the congregants that the door works both ways. The door opens out to the street as well. They were free to leave.

Several families did.

Organizations change. They look different.

You have to be willing to allow new people in while allowing people who no longer fit an opportunity to leave.

The door works both ways. You’ll gain people while losing others. That’s okay.

10. Great leaders sit with people:

Greg escaped from a van being driven by a high driver. He ran from the van once it stopped.

Eventually, he ran into Lonnie. Lonnie had heard Greg’s screams and came to see what the issue was.

Lonnie told Greg he would sit with him for as long as he needed.Great leaders will sit with their people – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


Great leaders don’t rush past people. They take the time to mentor, grow, and encourage them. They sit with people who need their presence.

You have been given the responsibility and opportunity to sit with people in all stages of life. Sit with them for as long as they need.

11. Leaders invite others to participate:

A man in a wheelchair came into the church. He says that he needs help.

Lonnie agrees. What Lonnie does next is what great leaders do.

He invited the churchgoers to participate. Lonnie asked them to pray for the man.

You need to invite your team members into action. What needs to be done? Ask your team.

Give them a way to participate. They will.

12. Find ways to use the talents of your people:

Greg and Lonnie were talking about the story of Jonah and the Whale (The Book of Jonah in the Bible). Greg used flashy language, saying that the seas were raging.

Lonnie liked this verbiage. He said he would use it in his message.

Then, Lonnie asked Greg to use his talents. He asked Greg to record his preaching.Great leaders find ways to help their people use their talents in service of the organization – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


Your people have talents beyond what they were hired to do. Find these talents.

Then invite your people to use those talents. You’ll discover they’re more than eager to do so.

13. Leaders have to be ready to go:

Chuck was becoming jealous of the attention Lonnie was receiving. Lonnie became full of himself as more people came to the Jesus People revival services.

In an attempt to get Lonnie to go to a new location, Chuck offered him another possible church. Lonnie turned down the opportunity.

However, Greg overheard the conversation. He told Chuck he would go and preach.

Are you ready to move, to go at a moment’s notice? Leaders are prepared to go when needed.

14. Connie (Charlie Morgan Patton):

You want to act like this is all about God. It’s all about you.

Connie was Lonnie’s wife. She saw that the more famous Lonnie had become, the more he started to make things about himself.

Lonnie didn’t see this. He struggled to understand how his wife could say something like this.Be cautious not to let things become all about you – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


It was true, however. Lonnie started to see himself as more important than he was in all of this.

As we rise up the ranks, we start to see ourselves as more important than we are. Our ego gets in the way of what truly matters.

Check our ego at the door. Don’t let your ego be your ticket out.

Stay humble. Finish well.

15. Lonnie:

I start things, man.

Lonnie began to realize he had to move on from Calvary Chapel. He’d helped start a startling revolution that even Time Magazine covered.

Yet, he wouldn’t be the one to finish the revolution. He was a starter, not a finisher.

Do you know what part you play? Are you a starter? Or are you a finisher?

It’s okay not to finish what you started. It’s also okay to finish something you didn’t start.

Know what your role is and fulfill it.

16. Kay Smith:

Don’t be so arrogant to think God can’t work through your failures.

Chuck began to realize he had some major failures in his life. One of those was the way he treated Lonnie and the other hippies.

His wife called him out on the table. She knew that his failures didn’t define him.Don’t be so arrogant to think God can’t work through your failures – Leadership lessons from Jesus Revolution


God could use Chuck’s failures to do something great.

Heed Kay’s advice. Don’t be so arrogant to think God can’t work through your failures. He can. He can redeem your dirty, rotten mess.

Allow God to work despite your failures.