Presence not Presents

A serious post on Friday? How can this be? Oh well, it’s what you get.

It’s been an intense season of life and ministry for me lately. It’s no excuse, but it sure surfaces the reality that I easily care more about what God does in our ministry than just being with Jesus.

The story of the women who annointed the head of Jesus in Mark 14 resonated with me yesterday. She cared more about being with Jesus than the cost of the perfume. She would do anything to be close to him. Everything else was secondary, including her iPhone.

I like to say that all I do is win, but the truth is…I fall short. Miserably short.

But the story doesn’t end there, mired in my personal failure. There is hope. Like any good story you have to walk through conflict before reaching the sweet peace of resolution.

Hebrews 4 beckons us to draw close to the throne of grace. Jesus tells me to draw near and find rest and peace in him. So thankful that in my weakness I can draw near.

Hhhmmm, guess I’m preaching the Gospel to myself again. Hope that’s cool with you.

Initiating vs. Responding

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about building our Campus Crusade staff team here in Portland for the future. Other than a soft teachable heart, the most common characteristic I want people on our team to have is the ability to be initiators. It’s not the end all and we recognize our staff develop over time, but we want you to be an initiator not just a responder.

A while back Brad Lomenick wrote a couple posts that put into words what we’re thinking as a team.

Initiating vs. Responding #1

Initiating vs. Responding #2

Favorite quote…

Make sure you have a team of leaders who initiate at their core. It’s much easier to slow down a racehorse by having to pull back on the reins vs. having to spur and kick and get out the whip in order to move forward.

Where have you seen the value of being surrounded by initiators rather than responders?

Photo courtesy of Malkov

Social Media in Ministry (NST 2010)

This page was designed for the Greater Northwest New Staff training attendees on October 28, 2010 in Portland, OR.  But if you’re not a a new staff feel free to stick around. Majority of Social Media framework content is attributed to Michael Hyatt and Chris Brogan.

Social Media Revolution video that you don’t get in the slides above.

Read Blogs and get Blogging!

  • Sign up for Google reader and start subscribing (and commenting).
  • If you would like to start a free blog I recommend using wordpress.com to get started. You can always import your blogs into a different platform later if you need to.

CCC Staff Blogs worth your time:

Other favorite spiritual leadership or social media blogs:

Is there some content I missed? Was this helpful? Any feedback would be awesome. Let me know if you have any other questions and I can point you to someone smarter than me!

CCC Blogference

I highly recommend that you check out the Campus Crusade blogference blog. It’s got some great interaction from Campus staff all over the place. The recent discussion about how large evangelistic events do more harm than good was intriguing.

I may be tooting my own horn but I posted over there today about getting better at listening in evangelism. I’d love for you take a look, but only if you promise to mix it up in the comments. Tell them Matt sent you.

Does being online help spiritual growth?

Maybe I preaching to the choir when I ask that question, but I want to know! What online technology has spurred spiritual growth in you?

Examples:

  • Podcasts
  • Bible on your phone
  • Challenging articles
  • Facebook links
  • Bible study resources
  • Twitter links from spiritual leaders

Are there any specific stories you can point to where the Lord used an online resources to grow you as a follower of Christ and as a spiritual leader?

You’ll hear about one of mine on Monday, when I post on the Campus Crusade for Christ, ReThink Blogference site.

Planning is guessing

This is what my life feels like right now. My staff team is officially launching the ministry in Portland right now and I’m in Boise waiting for our son to be born. Not the way I planned it.

Writing a plan makes you feel in control of things you can’t actually control. Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses. Start referring to your business plans as business guesses, your financial plans as financial guesses, and your strategic plans as strategic guesses. Now you can stop worrying about them as much. They just aren’t worth the stress.

Rework – Fried and Hansonn

Things just don’t go as planned do they? Don’t get me wrong, there is great value in planning and thinking about the future. But we must build into our plans enough margin to seize opportunities and improvise if needed. And sometime we need to stop having meetings and start working on today.

Do you have tendency to overplan? I do. How do you balance necessary planning with being nimble enough to take advantage of God opportunities?

A Recruiting Method

Part of my job as Operations Director of the ministry in Portland, Oregon is building the necessary manpower and team to move us toward our vision of every student having a chance to hear about Christ. Below is simple tool that I just revamped that I like to talk through with graduating students and potential volunteers.

I wanted something that was simple, clear, visionary and yet gave specific enough details that a potential staff member could see themselves working here.

If they don’t live here I also show them this video…dispelling the myth that it’s miserable to live here.

We’re a little different cause we’re starting from scratch, but do you have any go to recruiting methods or tools?

Pictures are courtesy of Portlandground

Top 5 Influential Books (Leadership Category)

Here are the top 5 books that have shaped and challenged me the most in the leadership category. These are the ones I keep coming back to and I’m not sure what I’d do without.

Next Generation Leader – Andy Stanley. Far and away this has been the most helpful book for me to grow as a leader. I’m revisiting it right now!

Master Plan of Evangelism – Robert Coleman. A hard look at the way Jesus did discipleship, his plan to change the world and how it applies to us today.

Five Dysfunctions of Team – Patrick Lencioni. A must for helping you and your team grow and function well.

Changes that Heal – Henry Cloud. For personal growth that has bounces all over your ability to lead well, this is a great one.

Communicating for Change – Andy Stanley. Increase your ability to leverage communication opportunities for the Kingdom

Am I missing any? What leadership books have shaped you the most?

Got Focus?

I think Jim Collins say’s it something like this. “If you have more than 3 major initiatives, then you’ve really got none.”

In the context of a metro student ministry with 15+ campuses, where every other day we are invited into a new ministry opportunity, we have decision after decision of what to say yes to. If we say yes to everything, then we really say yes to nothing. (Keep in mind we don’t always say no, sometimes we say, “not yet.”)

But the reality is, this is true wherever you are in ministry right? I didn’t forget about you Pullman, Washington and Bozeman, Montana! You’ve got more job security than you can handle right?! You have so many things tugging for your attention, so many plates spinning it could drive you crazy.

Stop it! Stop trying to do it all. Instead start to….

bring clarity. You can do this a number of different ways, but you must have organizational clarity. In other words, your team needs to know where you’re going and what you’re doing for significant periods of time to get there. You better have the lens of your vision, top goals and top strategic path-steps for the year clear, because you’re about to filter a boatload of ministry opportunities through that lens. I mean come on, we’ve all experienced those crazy-maker ideas that freshmen in your small group has to reach people in Kentucky for Christ (Sorry if you’re from Kentucky…I’ll send that freshmen your way).

If you want to see where you’re at with the clarity issue, just ask your team “what is it that we do best, what is that drives us and that we are deeply passionate about?” In other words, what is it that only you can do? You, your team and your organization need to be able to answer that question because…duh, you should do that. Live in your strengths and your DNA, it’s way more fun.

Once you know what you and your team does best then you can answer the question, what do you need to stop doing? Regular evaluation of this for you, your staff team and your organization will lead to greater effectiveness and less burnout.

Just a little glimpse into what we’re thinking about over here in Portland. Enjoy!

What about you, what are some of the best resources, tools for bringing clarity to your team you’ve used?