Monday, January 14, 2008

Organic Church Conference - CA Style

Early registration is coming to a close so time to pony up and get out to the Organic Church Conference in beautiful Ontario CA (I am making that last part up). This should be a good time with Neil Cole, Alan & Deb Hirsch, Wolfgang Simson, Tony & Felicity Dale and a few other simple church hoodlums. The dates are February 8-10 . . . a great place to connect, learn and dream. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Last month was quite sad. Linda used to joke with me that I had two sad times a year - sometime in middle spring, and then some point in the NFL playoffs. But of late, I have come into my own with this crazy emotion. December has been a sad month.

So my friend Kathryn Taylor got some good advice from another good friend - David English, on sadness. David wrote:

There are things that cause us to be emotionally sad or feel something like that. Sadness is an emotion we feel when there seems to be no control we can exercise. It also happens when our expectations are not fulfilled. Sadness can control us and sometimes for a lifetime. It can be the predominant emotion that characterizes some people's lives. Sadness is not bad. Jesus was referred to as "a man of many sorrows."
Here is a process to deal with sadness:
Low entitlement High gratitude Don't take failure personally Rest

Thanks David via Kathryn - I needed that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Moltke the Elder - on Planning

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy - Count Helmut von Moltke the Elder

I was able to spend a couple of hours with Ken Cochrum this past week. Ken is the director of the Global Campus Ministry with Campus Crusade. After serving for a number of years in Asia, he is back in the US hoping to give traction to campus ministry on a global scale. Ken is a good leader who understands movements and what it means to be driven on biblical principles. His passion is spiritual leadership and helping leaders lead well.

It was in this conversation that the Moltke quote came up.

Moltke's phrase (along with War is a matter of expedients) did not mean that he not believe in planning, but more that he saw strategy as a practical art of adapting means to ends - and doing so in a fluid environment forced leaders to act from goals and principles rather than prescribed methods or wishful thinking.

Helmut von Moltke (the Moltkenator to his friends) was the Purssian Army Chief of Staff for 30 years. He also had a mean cross-over dribble.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Blog with Candor

I am perusing Small is the New Big, Seth Godin's offering from 2006, which as some nice nuggets (it is basically a collection of nuggets that you dont want to read all at once).

Seth suggest six things for leaders (CEOs) to make sure they have in order to communicate well via the blog craze.

  • Candor - speak the truth, don't try to snow me or pump sunshine up my . . . trouser leg.
  • Urgency - key to change is the introducing the angst that will help us want change.
  • Timeliness - must talk about something that is happening or needs to happen.
  • Pithiness - make it readable.
  • Controversy - don't embrace timidity and positivity - create some angst and edginess.
Many leaders I know in Christian organizations (including Campus Crusade where most of my leadership experience is from) are not very comfortable with any of these. Not verbally, and definitely not in written form. There is usually an attempt to minimize controversy, smooth over urgency and it is done by avoiding candor and embracing political speak, vision casting and sunshine pumping.

This does not serve us well when we need to embrace reality and move toward radical, substantial and lasting change. A healthy critique from leadership directed at the organization they lead, allows followers the satisfaction of knowing that leadership is aware of what is needed and is engaged in changing that reality.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Kiss the Pig

My neighbor Frank, a all around awesome guy and one of the best neighbors anyone could have, hosts an annual kiss the pig party every Jan 1. You cook a whole pig over a pit and enjoy friends and neighbors while Michigan puts the wallop on Florida.

The theory on kiss the pig is this: If you kiss a pig on the first day of the year, not much worse is going to happen to you the rest of the year - you have already hit bottom.

Good time - thanks Frank and Jenny!