Creativity, Leadership

Everyone is creative

So just recently I made this statement about the church and Theology. First, let’s unpack what Theology is in the case that you might not know.

Theology is the study of God.

In the religious world, words that end in ology mean “the study of”. So Soteriology means the study of Salvation. Pneumatology, the study of the Holy Spirit. There is so much more than just the study of God or Theology.

Here’s my problem.

The Church has been known for far too long as a boring place where you learn about God.

Family, Leadership

Confession Time

I have a flaw. Just one.

 

But it’s a big one! =) Being completely facetious here because the truth of the matter is that I have more flaws that I know what to do with.

My biggest flaw can actually be a tremendous benefit as well but isn’t that the nature of some of these things.

Here we go…

Grand Point - Ship, Leadership

The Power of Development

Vacation week and we are loving it. It has been so wonderful to just be with the family for consecutive days without interruption, no distractions or phone calls, no counseling evenings or late meetings. This is the stuff of lifelong memories.

Our kids will forever remember their first fish and jumping into the lake with uncle Kyle, cooking over the fire and so many other things.

But, at this critical time frame, work must still go on. In ministry, the work never ceases, and it’s in times like these that I am most grateful for the people the Lord is calling to help carry the load of ministry along with me. People who are deciding to bear the weight of life change because the Lord is asking them to do so. It’s in that way that ministry can continue to happen regardless of one persons presence or absence.

Over the past years, I’ve spent the majority of my focus not on preaching messages, but on identifying people to develop and in the years that I’ve been here, I’ve come up with a group of about 20 people who are committed, heart and soul. They are the go anywhere, do anything type of people who don’t know when to quit and exhibit extreme ownership on so many levels.

This week our church continues because they are committed and are owners.
Ecclesiastes 9:11, The race is not always to the swift…, our goal here with this church is not to make the most attractive church. That would be fairly easy but in the long run, totally exhausting because it would then all land on the shoulders of either 1 or 2 of those to whom the church could pay. Our goal is to make disciples who are owners and committed propagators of the gospel message. At this point, I’m not sure they all see themselves in that way, but they’re getting there and that’s what I’m praying them to.

I’ll take an extreme amount of pride in the fact that in my absence, the work moves on. I’ve taught them over the years that it’s everyone’s responsibility to build the team and essentially the church. Every one of us must take on the mentality that it’s “my” church. It’s not “his” church. It’s not “your” church, no, it’s “my” church. Because when it’s my church than it’s my responsibility. I’ve seen them do this and become owners and when they’re owners, they make the world move.

Family, Leadership, Purpose

The Power of Platform

Do you know what your purpose is? The one thing that God has gifted you with that is above all the other things. It’s the thing that gives you the most filling, the best sense of passion and completion. Maybe you don’t even know this is a thing, but at Christ followers, we are given some incredible gifts.

As if Salvation wasn’t enough, God goes way beyond by giving us His Spirit as a promise of His presence and then gives us a specific tangible gift for us to use throughout our lives.
I believe one of the most devastating things is the person that never knew they had this gift to be able to use their whole lives. The second most tragic thing would be the person that knew about it but just never activated it and used it for all it was worth.

I discovered and began honing in on my gift about 5 years ago when I took a class called The Chazown Experience. I can’t advocate enough for this experience. Over the course of several weeks, if you do it correctly, you will begin to see the formation of your life and be able to make life course corrections to be able to bring that purpose to your full potential.

What I found was that my passion is in helping people experience the fullness of God. That may mean little you to, and it took me quite some time to figure out how to put that in practice but when I did, I began to discover the joy and sense of fulfillment that I had never experienced before. It became almost drug-like for me!

The purpose statement for my life became this phrase right here:

to help people experience an amazing God through incredible ways

And I’ve seen God use me to do that time and time again. You might press me on “how arrogant are you to think that you can help someone experience God through incredible ways!?” But I’ve seen it.

I see it in the eyes of the person in whom I can see potential and I am the first person in their lives to give them platform to see that potential become tangible.

And that’s the game-changing moment, people need someone to believe in them and believe in them enough to give them platform.

Platform is risk.

Platform is saying, I believe in you enough to entrust you with this to see what you’re going to do. It might mess up, but beyond that, it might work better than you thought too.

We owe it to our people to believe them.

We owe it to them to give them platform and see what God is working in their hearts as well.

Platform is more than the sense I am speaking here too. I need to give my son platform to prove ability. I have to give him the chance to use a power tool, to drive a car, to pray for dinner. These are all platform building spaces. We all have them and we are all leading someone around us that needs our belief.

It’s one of the most powerful tools we have access to.

Creativity, Leadership

This Year’s Reading List

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

I am not an avid reader. At least I don’t consider myself to be. What I do know is that there is a lot I don’t know and I am eager to learn. Of all the things I want to learn right now, fathering is at the top. (I’ve got 57 kids you know 😉 and they all require something different. So at the top of my list and one that I have just finished reading is Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters.

I want to seek to know more of how to handle our financial future, so you’ll see some books about finances here. This is one of my strongest areas and I want to seek to improve on it.

One of the areas I am weakest is in managing, so I will be doing some reading about how to become a better manager.

Creativity is my game when it comes to church. This may be a controversial statement but I feel there is as much need for creativity as Theology in church. I’ll write about this statement in more detail at some point in the future, so be on the lookout for that.

There is as much need for creativity as Theology in church.

So without further delay, here are the beginnings of my reading list for 2019 with the same goal of 20 books. Some of the books I’ll be tackling this year are:

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker, M.D.

Grit by Angela Duckworth

The War of Art by Steven Presfield

A Marriage book of which I have not determined.

Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing by Robert T. Kiyosaki

First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Jim Harter

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need by Todd Henry

Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

So what’s on your reading list? I’m curious to know what you’ll be seeking to learn over the next year.

Leadership

Books of 2018

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Last year I made it my personal goal to read 20 books over the course of the year. I didn’t quite make it all the way through that goal and got a little bogged down right at the end, but here’s what I covered over the year and a few thoughts about them.

How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins

Published by Michael Hyatt

Own the moment by Carl Lentz

Decision Points by President George W. Bush

Platform by Michael Hyatt

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

Night by Elie Wiesel

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin

Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining by Darren Kizer, Christine Kreisher, and Steph Whitacre

No Fail Meetings by Michael Hyatt

Why We Want Tou to be Tich by Donald Trump and Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

The Power of a Positive Team by Jon Gordon

These are not listed in any sort of order, just a copy and paste from my Evernote file where I had them listed. There are a few books on here that stand out above the rest. By far, my favorite books from 2018 was Decision Points. I know that may come of some surprise but I have always been intrigued with what went through the mind of the President during three of the most tumultuous events of our lifetime, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of the housing market and the following recession of 2008/2009. You can learn a lot of leaders who navigate through events like that and I was supremely amazed at the composure and character of President Bush during those situations. We all have a different outlook on any President and I’m not here to argue anything, but what I do believe to be entirely true is that Mr. Bush is an impeccable leader who faced insurmountable difficulties.

The most life-altering book for me as I read through 2018 was Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I read through that book in a matter of just a few days. I literally could not put it down! The way Mr. Kiyosaki writes is so incredibly fluid and easy to understand. Sure there were some borings parts that I skimmed through, but that book completely changed my outlook at how I handle money altogether. Let’s just understand it this way, there is more than one way to face your finances and not any one guru has all the right answers. If I could leave you with one thought that I learn from his book, don’t think you have your current and future finances completely figured out and literally question everything you are currently doing when it comes to your investments. 

The most helpful book I read in 2018 hands down, must be awarded to Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining. I read this together with several others from our church and have been so convinced of its viability, we defined most of the serving culture in our church around the premises found therein. This book will not pertain to everyone but it did to us in a most profound way. If you are a part of an organization, ministry or entity that is heavily dependant on volunteer help, then this book is a must for you!

So what read last year that helped and challenged you? Help us out! I’m curious to know what I should be looking at for 2019.

Leadership

The 8/9 List

The 8/9 list are the things that you alone are best at. So you stick to just those things in your life and give everything else away. Each one of us should have something we are constantly trying to give away to someone else. This is a process toward leadership development but it’s more than that. By recognizing not every ministry needs your direct involvement, gives the beauty of ministry to someone else who just might be able to take it higher than you and so We’ve got to be constantly giving ministry away.

We could call this training several different things.
Stop it
Give it away

I heard it explained recently by the 8/9 list and it made sense. On a scale of 1-10, one being lowest and 10 being greatest in line of things you are great at and love to do. Hopefully, you are hired at your 10 level and there are a few things you do that are 8 or 9 on that list. If anything falls below an 8 you should do your best to either stop it or give it away.

For me, a program came along that wanted our churches direct assistance and because they called me, I became the one who would champion this project. Now I had a decision to make! Do I just say, “NO” because it’s not super high on my list or do I say “YES” knowing it’s a good thing but would for me rank only as a 5 or 6?

After praying about this, I decided it really was something we should become involved with, so I took the risk, said yes and moved forward, but knowing that my immediate end goal would have to be to give this 5 or 6 away to a more dedicated and capable leader.

I think this is a mark of great leadership. The ability to see great investments, knowing that I personally cannot handle it, but that I have the determination to help someone else become a ministry owner. And that’s what I set out to do.

What I realized was that 1) doing things that for me are only a 5 or 6 starts to put me on edge. I start to become overwhelmed. 2) It greatly takes away from the things that only I can do and so the excellence of my 8-10 begins to decrease. 3) I realized there are much better leaders out there who super eager to become owners and they just need to be asked. 4) Most importantly! Those leaders can take my 5 or 6 way higher than I ever could.

I had to make a choice for my “Yes”. Either stop doing it altogether and disappoint a lot of people in the process or give it away, developing a new leader and a program got better because of it.

By living on this principle, you are actually enabling a culture of leadership development as it draws people closer to the top where your leadership lives.

God has instilled in every person on earth a level of leadership.

We all desire to be owners of something that’s bigger than we are. It gives us a sense of value that is otherwise absent from our lives. This is where that value begins to formulate.

So it boils down to this:

What do you need to stop doing immediately?

What should you actively seek to give away?

Who are a few people you can think of that you might be able to help level up in leadership?

Experience, Family, Leadership, Rest

What’s Most Important?

Because of the sheer velocity of life right now and learning to juggle so many different things, it’s become very important to evaluate what’s most important in life and say no to just about everything else.

The very creative, Steve Jobs said, ”Innovation is saying no to 1000 things.” I love creativity and innovation. If it can be done better than we should try. If it’s always been done this way than maybe it’s time to disrupt that flow and try something new. But to do that, we’ve got to be super intentional about what’s most important.

My little Crew. They trump my list right now. I try to find some sort of intentional moment each day with each of my family. Whether that is just a few moments of eye contact, or a game, a conversation, something to just focus on them. They may not remember these moments, but they will certainly remember the moments I missed.

Crystal Dawn. I love spending time with my best friend. We have so much to still get to know about each other and she makes me better when I’m with her. I really find it fun to create time and opportunity to hang out together. She bought us an inflatable hot tub this year and it’s been wonderful for that. Several times we’ve gone out for just a few minutes and a few minutes has most of the time turned into an hour of great conversation.

Great Friends. Relationships are the stuff of life. In fact, I believe that sewing into relationships is an act of Worship. Think about it for a minute. Everything about Jesus revolved around people. When we are specific and intentional about relationships, we are doing Jesus stuff.

God. I want to be very clear about this so as not to throw you off. God is not on my todo list. I don’t have a specific “bible reading” time I try to accomplish every day. I don’t beat myself up at the end of the day if I haven’t read my bible and prayed. I believe a relationship with God is supposed to be lived in the view of each moment rather than a moment in itself. Let’s integrate God into everything rather than try to restrict him to a single spot of the day.

Notice how everything on my list is about people. I’m learning right now those are the things that are most crucial. Literally, nothing else matters. At the end of the day, it’s not about the job or accomplishment, it’s about the relationship. That becomes the filter for everything.

What’s most important to you and how do you struggle with making decisions to sew into those things? What about having to let some other things go? Is that difficult?