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creating memorable moments

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Life is defined by moments, especially the ones that we don’t see coming. It’s those surprising moments and how we respond to them that have the potential to shape the entire trajectory of our lives. And while life-changing moments may surprise us, they don’t just happen. More often than not, they come as the result of great planning and hard work. They come from a series of decisions, and doing the right things…or the wrong things, over an extended period of time. Eventually, in a moment, it shows up. This principle is true of companies, churches, and families. In fact, this past weekend we created a memorable experience for my daughter’s 7th birthday. Creating memorable moments can be an art, and all take the following into account:

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Posted in Family, Leadership

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when life doesn’t go according to plan

Sometimes when you’re preparing to teach it has more to do with what God wants to do in you, than what He wants to do through you. This past week I had planned on diving into a teaching series about the life of Joseph. But instead of teaching about it, I find myself living it. Life just hasn’t necessarily gone according to plan this week. So maybe the teaching series will have to wait a little bit. But until then, here’s some of the stuff I’m living in the moment.

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Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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fighting the sin of becoming a boring church part-2

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Broken Window Theory is the idea that your environment tells you to act. That is to say, if you live in a community with run down dilapidated buildings, with broken windows, graffiti, and trash on the streets it affects your ideas, feelings, and ultimately your behavior. In the 1980’s New York City was at the height of one the worst crime epidemics in its history. In particular perhaps one of the worst places to be, was on the New York Subway. As a result, in the mid 80’s the New York Transit Authority hired George Kelling as a consultant to help with the problem. He urged them to go about combating crime in a unique manner. Clean up the subway, literally. Get rid of the trash and the graffiti. Then they began going after fare beating, people who jumped the turnstile to sneak onto the Subway without paying. Two incredibly small, non-essential, seemingly inconsequential items when you’re talking about fighting an epidemic of crime. But guess what happened. The environment of the Subway changed and with it so did the criminal behavior on the Subway.

We all know that the environment we place people in matters. And when we’re dealing with heaven and hell and not simply selling more lattes, cars, clothes, or fast food it matters all the more. Below are four simple criteria to consider when building your environments:

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Posted in Leadership

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the 5 dysfunctions of a team

Of all organizations on the planet why does it seem that Churches, more often than not, tend to get lumped in with the most dysfunctional? Could it be that it’s due to the fact that dysfunctional teams typically lead Churches? I’m not saying that Churches aren’t led by well-meaning, well-intentioned, high integrity, even godly people. But they just seem to be led by people who are trained to know more about the Scriptures than they are trained to lead people well. Contrary to popular belief, the two are not synonymous. The book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, is a great resource that Church Leaders would do well to pick up and wrestle through. The author, Patrick Lencioni, tells a leadership fable that will surprise you with some incredibly transferable principles and tangible steps that will help bring alignment and an opportunity for legitimate forward progress. In it you’ll learn about the following dysfunctions and how to combat them:

 

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Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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fighting the sin of becoming a boring church part-1

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Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, was once quoted as saying, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel.” If this is true, then there are churches all across America that are repeatedly sinning every single weekend by communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the most stale, vanilla, outdated, and yes even boring deliveries systems and presentations. The Scriptures however would teach us that the environment, or the context matters. It matters a lot.

“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” I Corinthians 3:5-7

According to the Scriptures our responsibility is to plant and to water; in other words to tend to the context or environment. God’s responsibility is to bring about life-change. We cannot manufacture either spiritual birth or spiritual growth. But we can set the table for an interaction to take place between a Holy God and a people that need to meet Him.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

The act of Creation was not only completed by Intelligent Design, but with Intentional Design. The Bible teaches us that He established and determined the boundaries of the waters. It wasn’t an accident, nor was it flippant. Creation itself is the ultimate environment the He has set us in. All of this was done in order to reveal Himself to all of mankind and draw us to himself.

Building compelling environments matter! They matter because they influence our ideas, feelings, and ultimately our behavior! In fact, the Business World spends billions of dollars annually to discover and leverage a principle that has been clearly revealed to the church. But unfortunately forgotten. Companies understand that everything from the height of the ceiling, the colors on the walls, the texture of the floor, the music that’s playing, the temperature of the room, and the way they speak to their customers matters. And they’re doing it to sell more cars, clothes, lattes, or burgers. And we’re talking about Heaven and Hell being in the balance!

And our answer, or perhaps better put, our excuse is, “just preach the word.” Hmmm…how’s that been working out for everybody?

Check out Part-2 of this post to for 4 simple criteria to consider when building your environments.


Posted in Leadership