Dave Brown’s Story: Making His Practice His Ministry
His dad climbed Mt. Everest, won his age group for the LA Marathon at the age of 87, and was a founder of Muscle Beach in Southern California.
Dave Brown is no stranger to challenges or lofty goals.
After graduating from law school, Dave founded the law firm of Brown & Streza, LLP in Irvine, California in 1975 and today serves nearly 4,000 clients as a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated attorney, the highest rating possible.
However, Dave’s professional accomplishments are shadowed by chronic back pain that has plagued him his entire life. The pain keeps him from physical activity, but helps to focus him on what he can do rather than on what he cannot do.
As a member of the first Master’s Program taught by Bob Shanks, Dave read Halftime by Bob Buford. The message deeply resonated with Dave and he started giving the book Halftime to clients and advisors that he worked with. Ten years ago, Mark Smith, who had come to work at Brown & Streza, suggested that Dave meet Bob and host a Halftime Summit in his office. Mark had read Halftime and befriended Bob after losing a teenage daughter in the mission field. Eighty people attended the first summit at Brown and Streza, and Dave has been doing them ever since.
Dave’s entire way of relating to his clients has been transformed as he has learned to make his law practice his ministry through his engagement with Kingdom Advisors and the Halftime Institute, which have given him the community and resources he needs.
When Dave tells his story to a group of his peers at a Kingdom Advisors event, he remarks:
“Most of your clients look like my clients. I know them well. They’ve been clients 20 or 30 years. I know where their kids are in college. I know when they sold their business. I see many of them regularly for their annual review, but sometimes they wander in every 20 years to add a child to a trust or estate. They wander in to talk about business.
I learned from Lloyd Reeb, Primary Spokesperson and Coach for the Halftime Institute, to listen and ask questions. When I sit with my clients, right behind them on the wall is a flyer for the next Halftime Summit. It reminds me to ask questions such as…
‘Have you ever thought about spending a day with a great coach to write down the next season of your life’s mission and purpose statement?’
I tell them that we spend a lot of energy in business writing down values, mission, and vision. There’s a lot of power in that. They can see the power in their company. I ask them why they have never written that same statement for their family.
After ten years of hosting Halftime Summits, I’ve seen life transformation in over 500 families who are doing amazing stuff all over the planet.”
Early in Dave’s journey of hosting summits, Lloyd asked him what he really wanted to be able to do to change the world sitting in his desk chair and leveraging the client relationships God had given him. Dave replied, “I want my client families to go on a journey of harmony and generosity.”
With that goal in mind, Lloyd helped Dave to craft specific questions for families in various spots on a harmony/generosity continuum so that he can intentionally come alongside his client families to help move them toward greater impact and health in these two key areas – moving them from fighting and stingy to harmonious and generous.
As for gospel impact, Dave reflects on the fact that over 50% of the clients who have attended the Halftime Summit are not believers.
“We are all created with a God-shaped vacuum. Clients don’t know that it’s shaped like Jesus…they think it’s shaped like accomplishment or money or fame. Many people that attend the summit are not believers, but they can meet their Maker along the way in a journey like this.”
While the reality of Dave Brown’s physical limitations have put limits on his ability to travel the globe for Kingdom purposes, the opportunity to impact clients’ lives and shape their thinking about their purpose in the second half of their lives has made him a conduit of amazing Kingdom impact on a global scale.
As Dave says about the opportunity to share this halftime message with his clients, “Do you think God is going to give us something we can’t do or something we can do in His power? Praise God that He has used my disability to His glory and to the blessing of His church!”