Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Techno Twins

I can't help but let the imagination fly with video ideas for church commercials.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Great Decisions that I Would NOT Advise

1. I've made a few deals with God in my life (again I do not suggest these). I asked God if I love Him with everything, would He take care of all of my leadership shortcomings. I need God to fill in the gaps in the church because I do not have everything that everyone needs.

2. Only do what only you can do. You will be more valuable if you do the things you are really good at irrespective of your portfolio.

3. The mission of the Church is bigger and more important that my personal success.

4. Practice saying “no” to opportunities. You need margin in your life in order to have focus.

5. A sustainable pace is one of the most important steps leading teams.

6. Never violate the principles of God in order to gain or maintain the blessings of God.

7. Jesus has promised to build the church, and so why do we try so hard to do His job.

8. Generalists and specialists do NOT see eye to eye. Generalists have the broadest knowledge and have the most contact with the congregation. Specialists are highly trained to be experts in a particular area. Their perspectives and opinions will be focused on their respective area. Don’t try to make them alike, just try to bridge the gap. Learn each others language.

9. Conflict does not build character; conflict reveals it. If someone can produce and receive conflict, keep them forever.

10. My twenties were about passion and "stupid stories" but my thirties are about figuring out the plan. People can only handle so much “heart” and “passion” before they want to know a plan. There is nothing more contagious than knowledge on fire (thanks AGTS).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

5 Functions of Healthy Ministries

Nancy Ortberg (wife of John Ortberg) recently wrote an article for Christianity Today's Leadership Journal titled "Ministry Team Diagnostics." It is a great interpratation of Patrick Lencioni's hallmark book 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. You can review the team dysfunctions here. Nancy applied her insights from Patrick's book to ministry teams.

"Team" is just business language for "community" - the intersection of task and people. Every community has people working and contributing and since it is made of poeple, you can be sure that every community is susecptible to dysfunction.

1. Absence of Trust
Vulnerability-based trust makes a team great; without it, people position themselves to politic in church. (Church Politics?:-) Admit your weakness as a leader and model vulnerability.

2. Fear of Conflict
Unaired conflict goes into the parking lot or behind closed doors. Conflict isn't pleasant, but it's your necessary friend. Do not avoid it; insist on it.

3. Inability to make a Commitment
Some decisions are sabotaged by negelct and lack of attention. Leadership is, at its heart, about the promises we make and keep.

4. Avoidance of Accountability
Great leaders perform autopsies on poor results. What could we have done differently? What did we learn from this, for future desicions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Going Dark Green!

I recently read the article for the new "Green Bible." You can catch up on the overview here.

If you take the "going green" initiative too far you probably start coming up with things like "The Green Bible."

I believe in creation care and conserving all we can. My natural gas and electric bill this month was $77 thanks to my energy star appliances. However, somehow using the "going green" thing to market a new Bible seems a little dark. I call this "going dark green." I am getting burned out on all the different systems telling me that I need something else to complete my life. I recently joined the Junky Car Club and celebrated my 10 year old car while politely rebelling against consumerism.

I am positive that I have piggy backed on top of some secular phrase for marketing purposes but I think I will try a more subtle approach in the future.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley

Sometimes I hear feedback. I've said many times that feedback is the most necessary and over-rated leadership practice. I know that feedback is necessary but it is painful. Setting aside pride is not easy for anyone. Andy Stanley's book Practices of Effective Ministry is a great guide to evaluation ministry effectiveness. Below are the 7 practices he describes in his book:

Steps to Achieve Effectiveness (Practices of Effective Ministry – Andy Stanley)

1. Clarify the Win
Define what is important at every level of the organization

2. Think Steps, Not Programs
Before you start anything, make sure it takes you where you need to go. Begin with the end in mind.

3. Narrow the Focus
Do fewer things in order to make a greater impact

4. Teach less for More
Say only what you need to say to the people who need to hear it

5. Listen to Outsiders
Focus on who you’re trying to reach, not who you’re trying to keep

6. Replace Yourself
Learn to hand off what you do

7. Work on it
Take time to evaluate you work and to celebrate your wins

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oasis Leadership Retreat

Spent the weekend with the Fusion Student Ministry leaders at Oasis 08. Great bunch of leaders who are hungry for God and hungry for life change to happen in the ministry.

I talked on Keeping Integrity Under Pressure. It was an hour long 12 point message driving home the point of watching our internal gauges (spiritual, emotional, physical, social, intellectual) and personal growth.

The Church and Force Fields

Mark Beeson, pastor at Granger, makes a great illustration about the Church in this video. I love the descriptions and the arrows of the Church as a force.