Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why are you Here?

No really, if you've stumbled into my former home, let me apologize for the look, I hope you'll find my new home to be much more informative and interesting, come visit!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stand Alone

A friend sent me this video, it's a good reminder of the power of words, and the sacrifices young men and women are still making on the other side of the world for you and I to enjoy the comforts we take for granted every day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I have a lot on my plate. I have a great wife, two incredible kids, lots of friends, a good church, and fun job, along with a body to get into better shape, a growing garden to tend, etc...

I was thinking about it all while driving home from some appointments I had for work last week. My job isn't terribly difficult, it involves getting churches to stop doing some things and start doing others, okay that's a little over simplified, but it's not rocket science. It does, however, require a fair amount of time away from family, and it hits occasional spots where I'm gone more than I'm home, I've recently come out of one such period.

At the same time, I have a new baby, five months old this Sunday, and a three year old with all the zeal and energy I could hope to muster packed into a 40 pound body that is a perpetual whirl of motion during daylight hours. And a wife, a beautiful, smart, and occasionally sassy wife, whose sassiness seems to grow in direct proportion to my time away.

I also have been working to help a local church plant with several projects and have found myself much more intimately involved than originally intended, working on their SERVOLUTION events this Summer, and speaking (poorly) on a Sunday morning last month.

So with all that, it's easy for some very important things to fall by the minimize this, I try to spend at least a few minutes every morning focusing on what's important, from general ideas to specific tasks that will make that one day a success.

The things that help make everything else fall into place a little easier for me are pretty simple... If I have done these three things before 9 a.m. then I have a pretty good chance of it being a great day. Those three are... Spend a few minutes with my three year old who is the only other one up before 8, Workout for at least 30 minutes, started P90x this week...OUCH, and read a few chapters of the bible and maybe another book in addition. If I have done those things, time with son, time on body, and time in the word, everything else can happen much more smoothly.

What are the Big Rocks in your life that make everything else easier once you've moved em?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Start a Movement

I don't remember where I saw this video first, but…It’s AMAZING! Carlos Whitaker wrote a post I cannibalized for this one.
Watch the whole video, you won’t get it if you don’t!

A few things we can learn from this video…
1. One man can start a movement.
2. A movement need not be started by the most skilled.
3. When you look around and nobody else is joining your dance, just keep dancing.
4. When the one guy who joins your movement slowly fades away, keep going.
5. Before you know it, the people joining your movement won’t even know you started it.
6. When your movement takes a life of it’s own, just let go… There will be no stopping it.
7. The very people who are staring at you like your nuts, as you “movement” alone, will be the same people dancing the hardest in the end.

It's time to start your movement, or if you already have and it doesn't seem like anyone has joined the dance...keep dancing!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Magazines worth reading

I read a lot of books, but those take a certain amount of devotion and time that I don't always have or want to invest in that way. So I also read a lot of magazines. A couple of the things I enjoy about magazines are...

variety-one magazine can give me several different perspectives and topics vs the same time spent in a book...

timeliness-sometimes a book is stale the day it arrives on the shelf, but magazines offer fresh insight on timely issues weekly/monthly/quarterly...

So with that in mind, here are some magazines that keep me up on various issues in culture and the church that I would recommend any ministry leader check out and while some are more geared to persons in a certain role (XP, Youth, etc.) all are worth a skim just to see what others are doing

Relevant--good magazine which gives me a christian take on pop culture

Rolling Stone- it's like Relevant only better and more relevant...also has more cursing and fewer christian ads

Church Executive-this one is pretty dry but always has a nugget or two of administrative wisdom

Church Solutions--similar to above

Time--a good place to get news and an opinion on it

Creation Care--Love the perspective and insight I get from this one, only wish it was published more frequently

Sojourners--intelligent insight on a variety of Justice issues

GOOD--eclectic mix of news, environmentalism, and general thought provoking goodness

Leadership Journal--christian, good, but not as good as...

Harvard Business Review--most expensive thing I read, but least costly...SOLID

REV--all about the reverend in a sometimes irreverent way

strategy+business--similar to (but less expensive than) Harvard Business Review

So there's the dirty dozen at the top of my reading list for church leaders...what other periodical resources are you and your team using???

Friday, August 7, 2009


This is a recent post from my buddy mike. If you want to read more of his musings his link is in the blog roll...part 2 on Volunteers coming soon!

beginnings are often subtle. it is not always easy to realize when it is the end of one season and the beginning of another. usually we look back and say, "that's when it all began." sometimes we resist the beginning of the next and other times we long for it to come. times overlap like the links in a chain. even if we recognize the beginning of the next, there are still remnants of the past.
i think the times of transition are the most difficult. when is it time to let go and take hold?when does the beginning actually begin? i am reminded of Moses' transition from desert dweller to national leader. when did he actually embrace being God's agent of deliverance? did it begin at the burning bush? was it the moment he entered Pharaoh's court? maybe it wasn't until he parted the red sea? it doesn't seem clear to me. maybe it wasn't to Moses either.even the creation story. while it starts with 'in the beginning' we see that creation actually took some time. the light and the sea did not begin at the same time. the plants and animals and adam did not show up on the same day. did the world begin with verse 1 or was it when God was finished and said 'it is good'? then we can debate if each 'day' was a literal 24 hour period or a more hebrew understanding of 7 days or period of time. did the beginning happen in 144-172 hours or was 144-172 billion years? and is the beginning marked by the dawn of humanity? or by the voice that spoke it into existence?
how long was the beginning?how long IS the beginning?how long until we look back and say, "oh . . . that was it right there . . . " ? sometimes we don't get to enjoy the transition times, the overlapping of the seasons, because we are too busy holding on to what is slipping away or maybe too preoccupied with what may be coming. Past/Future fear/hope nostalgia/dread.
i think i'm ready for the beginning, of course it may have already happened.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Church Chat---Volunteers

I'll be doing these church related posts pretty regularly. As much to process my own thoughts and ideas on issues as anything, so if it doesn't make sense, ignore and move on. If you have some additional experiences, advice, insight to add I'd love to hear it!

Today I'm thinking about Volunteers.

They are an important part of any ministry and for many they are the primary (even ONLY) people involved in the functioning of the church. I talk with about a dozen churches every week and see volunteer importance and focus all over the map.

On the one extreme you have the church that has zero to few volunteers because they rely on paid staff to do everything and on the other side you have the church with no paid staff where without volunteers there wouldn't be chairs on Sunday. Obviously, most churches lie somewhere in between but the importance of a good volunteer base for the healthy and growing church is pretty high on the pyramid of must haves...

It's important to have a good group of dedicated volunteers for a number of reasons...

First, volunteers are the best way to increase the bandwidth (I'll be talking about bandwidth in a post very soon.), the church's ability to do more, be it on Sundays or in their community. It's one thing for the church staff to write a check to Habitat for Humanity, it's an entirely different (better) experience for that same church to follow up the check with a volunteer build day.

Second, volunteers can provide fresh insight and new perspectives on what's important in children's ministry, at the front door, even on the stage. Of course, to gain this perspective you must create a venue for volunteers to share and capture this insight.

Third, volunteering is a natural step in the maturation and leadership development process. If your church has a goal of simply seeing as many people as possible come through the doors, you may develop a user mentality about volunteers and see them merely as a means to an end, but once you realize that the volunteer network is a natural part of the discipleship and maturation process this can change and both the experience and the volunteers will benefit.

We could go on for hours about all the important reasons to have volunteers, but to me, some of the most important are above. The best volunteers and volunteer systems provide for two way communication, growth, and improved experiences for all involved.

Imagine having only paid musicians, greeters, child care workers, speakers, bookkeepers, an entire "company" of people paid to stick around, not because of their passion for the ministry, but because its their job.

Next time we talk volunteers we'll go into some steps you can take to set up a good volunteer system and how to manage, run, and grow it.