After taking a sabbatical from my blog to focus on my new job as the Communications Director at my home church…I will pick up the digital pen once again on January 1, 2017.
Archives For Ministry
The new year is almost upon us and another chapter has been written in history. When you look back and reflect on your life, what do you see? What emotions stir in your heart when you think of the choices you made…or didn’t make. For me, 2011 has been a wild ride. It has been bitter-sweet. I love where my life is now, but I do miss where it was…
My family and I have transitioned from a great ministry in Toledo to a new exciting adventure in Indy. In 2011 we added to our quiver, and now with three boys ages 5 and under, it is definitely full…lol. Personally, I made the move from being a full-time pastor at a church to a full-time stay at home dad. I went from just living my life to learning how to share it with others. BUT, reflection is more than just mentally revisiting the timeline of your life, it is about learning from your decisions….good or bad.
When I hear the names of certain brands there are always vivid images, emotions and stereo-types that flood my mind. Some of them negative and some positive. Why is that? What is it that makes us loyal to a brand, and what makes us throw a brand name aside to save money on a “generic brand”…which ironically is actually a brand in and of itself?
One of my “hobbies” is marketing, advertising and teaching people and churches about how to protect their personal brand. Yes, I said personal brand…because whether you want to admit it or not…all of us have a brand. When people hear your name or see your church/ministry, there are certain emotions, images and stereo-types that come to mind when they think about you and what you represent.
I believe leadership is influence and here’s a twist – time is influence. Time spent is money in the bank. As a parent, I am learning this lesson with my kids. The longer you are with someone, the more impact you have in shaping who they are…especially if you start when they are young.
Now, the type of impact you have will vary based on your on-going interactions with that individual and the motives you have for creating influence in their lives. It can breed loyalty, followers, fans or even disciples. The outcome is based on strategy. So what can we learn from Jersey Shore (MTV) and Mickey Mouse (Disney)? They have a strategy for impacting those around them…and knowing that time is influence…they are more successful at getting the outcomes they desire if they begin influencing those individuals when they are young.
So who is “they”? What are “their” motives? How can we learn from “them”?…
I remember when I was in high school, I swore that when I graduated I would never read a book again, but little did I know that most of my time in college would be spent reading for an exam or class assignment [thank God for cliff notes]. It wasn’t until I was launched into ministry and leadership did I understand the benefits of reading. Maybe I like it so much now because know one is forcing me to do it…lol
Everyone has different tastes in how and what they read. Some like fiction, biographies, love stories and how-to-books. Some people read the paper, blogs, on an e-reader or through audiobooks. Personally, I like to listen to audiobooks, but will read a “book” if one is not in audio format. I have found that I prefer fiction or how-to-books in order to learn and expand my influence. I am actually a huge book-junkie and love to refer a great book or blog to people I encounter that might be looking for answers to certain life, business and ministry questions. I am also a firm believer that if you are not growing or reading…you ARE NOT going to have influence or see growth in your life. Period.
How do you shop for a church anyway? My family and I have recently relocated to the Indianapolis area and we have been looking for a new church. The fact that my wife and I have been in full-time ministry for more than 15 years and that I have been on staff at some great churches…I have dreaded this part of our transition since we made our decision to move. It’s hard when your job has been “doing” church and evaluating ministries and churches for years, not to be overly critical when you walk into a “new church.” From the signage, logo, communication pieces, visual elements of worship and the kid/student areas…my mind naturally goes into evaluation mode and “what is wrong” rather than what is good.
Well it’s Sunday morning and I just finished “breaking bread”, or eating bagels on the floor of my new house, with some new neighbors in Indy and I realized that there was something missing…it was the hundreds of people each week that I used to worship with at a YMCA in West Toledo. There is something special about gathering with lots of other Christ followers with hands lifted high and a great band playing in the background.
Are you a Mac or a PC? Some say (usually PC users) that Mac enthusiasts are a like a cult…if so, I am a proud member. It is true though, most Mac users are loyal, outside of the box thinkers, culturally savvy, dedicated to Apple’s mission (to change the world) and seem to have a deep connection with others that have a Mac product. Call it “cult-ish” if ya want, but there is something inspiring and special about being part of a community of like-minded people. It’s kinda of like being a part of the staff at Northpoint…except for the “cult thing”.