Monday, September 25

If My Office Was On Fire!

You probably have a few resources that you have come across in ministry that have been almost priceless to you. Think about them for a minute. You might even want to make a list. There probably will be a few names on the list, maybe a conversation or two that radically changed everything for you. Here's the question: if your office was on fire and you could only grab 3 books (besides your Bible), what 3 would you grab? Yes, you've already grabbed the picture of the family, your diploma and your ordination certificate...but beyond that what would you grab?

Of course, if my office was on fire that would mean that HQ was on fire and that would mean that your USF would be going up! Moving right along...

I'm only going to mention one of those books right now because I don't want to sidetrack you with the other titles. "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. Seriously, this book has literally impacted everything I do. I might unpack more of its contents in future postings, but let me try to sum it up in a few words for now: lower your stress, clear your mind, know where everything is, stay on top of all your to-do's, handle paper once, keeping your Inbox under control, clearing free space in your mind and work day for more creativity and productivity, etc.

If you've read the book, you know the system and you are nodding in agreement. If you haven't read it yet, there are probably people in your world who are hoping you will read it ;->

I'd love to know if you have read it or are going to. What do you think?

Friday, September 22

An Excellent Resource on Community

I review a lot of materials and every once in awhile I come across something that has an edge over everything else I have been looking at:

"Group's Body-Building Guide to Community" - strengthening relationships in your church, probably $12-15.

From the back cover, "Here are 15 ways to encourage deep, lasting friendships in your church. Friendships that move past discussing the weather. Friendships that become biblical community."

What Group has done is compiled 15 ideas from 15 different churches that are working right now to help those churches achieve community. As I was reading them, I was thinking "this is practical, usable stuff that any church can use right now." These aren't ideas that will take you 12 months to get off the ground. These ideas are doable now, or at least sooner than later.

(Group should be paying me for reviews like this!!) Enjoy.

Thursday, September 21

Silver Dolar City

Branson, Missouri is actually quite pretty and has tons of things to do. The major problem is the traffic. Go figure, the founding fathers (or mothers) of that little town didn't picture 13 million annual visitors. We did have a great time though!

Is your church ready to handle a sudden influx of visitors? Are you ready to handle traffic?

Tuesday, September 19

Personal Change Survey

They say (whoever 'they' are) that the only one who likes change is a wet baby. Actually, I kind of like change. I enjoy seeing new development spring up around our community. I love trying new coffee. I even enjoy it when, gasp, they introduce new music in church!

I recently went through a personal change survey and I'm going to recommend that you do it as well. After you see the questions and realize that this is going to require some vulnerability on your part, you will likely cringe. At first you will think that you would rather bath a cat or chew on tin foil. I felt the same way. But, after I had sent out the request, I started to look forward to the responses because I realized that the only way I can improve on my blind spots and weaknesses is if I listen to those who know me best and want the best for me.

Here's the deal: Find one person who will 'catch, organize, and deliver' the responses to you. Send an email request to at least 10 people asking them to take about 5 minutes to answer these two questions about you and then email their responses to the person you have chosen. Your person will compile it into one document that they will then email back to you and Voila! you have your personal change survey.

Here are the questions:

What is the single most important change this person could make in themselves to be more effective as a ministry leader?

Leading Change
What is the most important thing this person could do better at when leading change in this ministry?

Friday, September 1

Indiana Beach

The two old guys...
Hope Guptill, Riley Wright ( back ) Emily Wrigth and Autumn Guptill ( front )


There is actually more to Indiana than corn and soy bean fields! Amazing. My kids were pleasantly surprised to know that if you drive far enough north and far enough west in Indiana you will reach the Indiana Dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan. ( Besides the beach, best perk #2 would have to be the Krispy Kreme restaurant in Lafayette - Exit 172 is permanently drilled into my memory! )

Alan Wright is the Assitant Pastor at the New Life Wesleyan Church in Chesterton, IN. Al is currently in the thick of leading his church through the Sunday School - Small Group transition. I had the privilege of preaching in the two morning services and then leading a small group leaders training session after lunch ( thanks again for that chocolate cake! ) This church is a small group lab of sorts for anyone who would like to offer more opportunities for transformation in their church. It's not that we are trying to do away with Sunday School. What we all want to accomplish is changed lives.

I was really impressed with the quality of his leaders and their desire to see everyone enter into authentic relationships and community. Way to go Al! Lead on!

Do you have a similar story? Where is your church in this transition?

Last word: Yes, I have been working extra hard in the gym this week to combat the donuts and cake ;->