Are you worth following

orange-shoes-going-up-stairs

Do you have what it takes to lead others, not just in the ministry that you may oversee, but lead them into being what all God has called them to be?

Why would anyone want to be led by you?

Is your leadership truly worth reproducing for today? Do you still do what you did 5 or 10 years ago, except your calling it something different?

Many today in churches want volunteers to join them in what they are doing. Many wonder and complain that others are not following them or jumping on their teams. Many are finding (maybe I should say, making up reasons) why people are not joining their teams, all the while they can see some teams thriving. Why?

For years I have trained my teams on how God is a great shepherd and not a butcher (excuse the extreme verbiage) so He will not call people to join a church or a ministry to just get hurt. His Love for us is too great. This is why I always stress that we need to prepare ourselves and be truthful for where we are now at and where God is calling us to be at, so we can shepherd His people correctly.

How do we do this?

1. Be strategic about your growth.
There are reasons you see terrible odds for people who choose to throw their money away in playing the lottery. Odds like 1 in 293 million! Because it is by CHANCE. People becoming who God is calling them to be should not and can not be put in the chance category. It cost Jesus everything, and so should at least cost us the time and effort to be purposeful in growing ourselves.

2. Attend to your prayer and Bible reading life.
If it is Gods Kingdom that we are getting the privilege to take part in growing then why do we often time either not consult Him or ask Him to join us after we have started something. Spend time with the owner and do what He wants and then we will see success in being that leader that will help others be who and what all God wants them to be.

3. Surround yourself with others who are stronger than yourself in leading.
There are always others who are around the corner from where you are or have been. They can speak into your life but usually will not unless you have made it clear they have the red carpet invite to do just this.

To help this previous suggestion, allow me to let you know that I am more than happy to help you grow into all that God has for you. I am a National Trained coach for Kidology and with Open Bible as well. You can also get me through my link on this blog of mine here. All of these are designed to help you but they go about them in different ways. Pick the one that works best for you.

These 3 suggestions should you get you going in the right direction to be a leader worth following. What others would you add to this?

Two tools that help my email inbox

keyboard

It started with just one, and before I knew it, there were 8 of them. Eight of what, you ask? Email accounts of mine.

Really, it did start as a great idea and a way to handle more through a better system. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But, now I need all of them for a variety of reasons. I have done the usual with batching emails, answering only a couple of times of day, passing some accounts off to virtual assistants who answer all the ones that come into their email accounts that I have handed over to them and the list goes on and on of what I have tried to do to handle the amounts of emails.

There are 2 tools that I want to make sure you are aware of that have been a great help to me and feel it would do the same for you. Here are the two tools.

Unroll.me
Here is a tool that will collect all of my subscription emails or non-subscription emails that will fill up my inbox quickly. This tool sorts through and then gathers these emails and then will ask me once a day what I want to do with each of these emails. Your choices are, Keep in inbox, Unsubscribe, add to roll up. If you choose to unsubscribe, this tool will take care of that for you. If you choose to keep in inbox, well then, it stays in your inbox. If you want it added to roll up, then it adds it to this list that will be sent to you once a day or however often you choose to have it sent to you. You never miss a thing, except, a full inbox that is out of control.

The next tool is called Slack.
In Slack, what is called Channels, they Organize your team conversations in open channels. Make a channel for a project, a topic, a team, or anything—everyone has a transparent view of all that’s going on.
Then you have Private Channels for sensitive information, create private channels and invite a few team members. No one else can see or join your private channels. The lastly you have Direct Messages
to reach a colleague directly, send them a Direct Message. It’s completely private and secure.

Go and check these 2 resources out and see how it will free up your email box or boxes and allow you more time for your productivity.

Stop wasting your on loan opportunities

ipad-stock-trend

The Pareto principle of 20/80 really does apply in ministry as well. Actually, because of the eternal outcomes we deal with, I would say it applies even more!

Look over your past week and see how you spent your time? How much went into eating lunches with friends? Working on the computer to build a better data-base or write another policy manual? Creating t-shirt designs for your youth or children’s ministry? Looking for that perfect app that will solve all of your problems? Watching T.V., enjoying your favorite hobby with all of your Christian buddies? The list will go on and on probably with all the diverse activities that we all take part in.

What if…we not only knew that we needed to invest 80% of our time into the top 20% of activities that we are in because that is what gives us the 80% of return, but we actually lived this out? What would happen if we understood that God has loaned us every minute we have here on earth to carry out what He wants to see happen?

Read this and give it some thought.
Matthew 25:14-30 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Are you really investing your time into the things that matter? Or are you burying the time that has been given to you through activities that do not pay off? They are not in the 20% that will give back the 80% return.

Stop wasting your on loan opportunities. Remember, delayed obedience is disobedience.

Parenting is more modeling than anything else

Jenelle in viking shirt

Parenting is more about modeling than anything else. It’s a really scary thought for most parents that the values, core beliefs, and more come from our children watching what we model and copying us! There may be a handful of parents who are relaxed about this having a clean conscience about their language, their attitudes, their manners and other behaviors. But for many this can be a very heavy thought. Especially if you consider all the possible areas our children are subconsciously absorbing values that we didn’t intend to pass on to them.

When my children were little, I will admit that I tried to influence them into liking the Minnesota Vikings and my wife tried to get them to sway toward the chiefs. But there are so many other areas that are not as easy of topics or values that we will model for our kids through our behaviors that will come out in many ways that they will pick up on. For example, what attitudes do we model? When something is hard do we give up? When our football team wins how do we handle winning? If they lose how do we handle that? What about our regular attendance at church? Our Bible reading or prayer?

How do we handle our feelings? When I’m sad, do I do we turn to the ice cream in the freezer and then wonder why kids obesity is on the rise? When I’m angry, do I put others down or criticize or resort to sarcasm? What do I do when my self-esteem is low? Do I go shopping or give up and withdraw?

When someone has upset me do I speak rationally to the person concerned or do I bottle up my feelings or explode? Do they see you resolving conflict well? Do they know you’ve made up with your spouse after a fight and do they learn how you resolved things?

If you’re feeling a bit sick by now, keep reading as it gets better.

If I want my children to develop good social skills, how am I modeling that? Do we all eat together at the table having conversations? Do they see me with my friends? Do they hear me talking positively about friends and family or do they hear a list of complaints? How you talk about your parents is how they’ll talk about you in adulthood!

What about lifestyle? We all know how important it is to encourage our children to eat well and take exercise and get enough sleep, but what do they see us doing in these areas? Is your breakfast a cup of strong coffee and do they hear that you were up half the night? Do you exercise with your kids or on your own where they don’t see it?

I have not arrived myself and this post comes from being as large of a challenge for me as it is for some of you, but it is one I must work on. Our families depend on it.

Will you join me? What are some ways you will change what you are modeling?

Back to school and Back to blogging

sitting at desk with computer

The summer of 2016, where did it go?

During summer in Take TWO Family Ministries it was a whirlwind of incredible activity, and, a ton of fun.

Here are only a few of the fun times had by all.

Soccer Camp.
soccer camp 2016 503x503

Marriage Scavenger Hunt. (For the record my wife and I won this one with another couple from our church, the Underfers)
Marriage scavenger hunt 2016 503x503

Kids Camp
Kids Camp 2016 500x503

Family Service week with KidzTurn
KidzTurn at First 2016 503x503

Stay tuned as I will be getting back on a regular schedule for posting blog post.

The Wired Soul book review

the wired soul book cover

Tricia McCary Rhodes, an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary shares the same enjoyment and connection to technology as the rest of us. But she takes the time to investigate the cost we exchange for technology. What are our screens doing to our relationships, brains, and soul? This was a hard reality check for me.

This may have been why the book started off so great for me but felt like it fizzled out through the rest of the book. I started in with some gut check reality stats and as the book progressed for me I ended up in more known type information.

I cracked the book open and within the first 2 chapters I was completely drawn in and excited, not to mention all the new info that I was taking in during these first couple of chapters. I was telling all of my coaching students about the info I was learning and the lessons that I was putting together to teach them as well.

Then it happened, just as I feared. The book should have stopped there. The remaining of the book really was just drawing out my excitement from the first couple of chapters. I still picked up a gem here or there, but it never felt like the same book that I started reading.

Some good stuff did come from my time in this book. I am walking away with the new knowledge from the first couple of chapters but also other lessons. The importance of journaling and how even that writing on paper will slow us down so that we can become aware of the little things that God may be trying to get our attention with. Some simple breathing exercises, and slow reading and the importance of it.

I won’t be giving up my smartphone or laptop anytime soon, but this book has made me reconsider reading more books in print including my Bible.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I need to let you know that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing.

Very Influential Person book review

VIP

The Bible says that God has “assigned to you an area of influence” (2 Corinthians 10:13). What will you do with it? O.S. Hawkins takes readers through what it takes to create a life of Vision, Influence, and Purpose in his newest book VIP.

When I picked this book out as one that I would review, I began anticipating its arrival in the mail. Finally, that day came when I could see this box in my mailbox and then a bitter-sweet experience took place. The sweet part was when I opened the box it was this book, the not so sweet part was the box was big the book was small. I sat down and read the book in one sitting. The book comes in at 118 pages and that is being generous.

Small book as it is, it does have some large nuggets of goodies. I enjoyed how O.S. Hawkins starts the book off explaining the problem with the assumed definition of V.I.P. and draws you into his reason for a new definition of V.I.P..

I will keep this review short in the same style as I mentioned the book was written as well, short. All said, I did enjoy the book and think it would be a good Graduation gift for students entering the work force. This is the idea I wrote down that I am thinking about using it for in the future. Another idea I wrote down was using it if you have an intern program at your church, use this as one of the books you take them through.

Enjoy. Now go and discover what area of influence God has assigned to you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

You don’t have because you have not asked.

boy and girl sitting on roof

It is amazing how many parents will tell their kids, “You don’t have because you have not asked”.

This should be a phrase that is internalized by many in church leadership. We often times complain that we don’t have any volunteers. We have no help. No one cares or people are lazy.

I am not sure this is completely accurate. Here is why.

In The Volunteer Revolution, Bill Hybels says, “Despite our efforts to publicly communicate needs and ask people to serve, by far the most effective ask is the personal one—and the more personal, the better. In fact, volunteers make the best volunteer recruiters.” I love those sentences by Hybels. Many today depend on the pulpit guilt trip, bulletin ask, or mass email being sent out to all the church asking them to volunteer. That is not an “Ask”, that is a “Plea or Begging”. People are not moved or wish to answer this.

So, instead, we need to “Ask” individuals.Social media has many advantages but it can never take the place of the real thing, the meaningful conversations, and the personal invitations to join us in ministry.

Keep it simple, “Ask” people to join you in the bigger picture that God has opened the doors for you to join Him in ministry.

You have no volunteers or a lack of volunteers because you have not asked them individually.

Big Red Bible Review

ICB artwork

The Big Red Bible from Thomas Nelson is formatted for children, ages 6-12. The BIG RED BIBLE is an International Children’s Bible translation. One that children can read and understand. I enjoyed the vivid 3-D pictures throughout the Bible. These pictures helped in visualizing Bible stories and gave the reference where they could be found.

There is a Bible dictionary at the end which is useful anytime if looking for meanings of specific words. I also liked the other helps at the end of the Bible including ‘Memory Verses for Life’. I can see this as a valuable tool in reading to children in devotional settings and more. Here’s a Bible that the even the younger age kids will understand right along with everyone else.

The text is larger, which makes it a little easier for even some of the earliest readers to read. This also makes it a ton more fun for kids who can now follow along in their own Bible as people read out loud in theirs. Kids begin to build comfort in reading along in their own Bibles, they will want to keep taking them to church.

This Bible was a good one for our group. The main thing we would have wanted is more of the graphics that are in the Bible already.

Feel free to check out these links to continue to aid you in falling in love with this Bible.

ICB YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2YEOvzN1_4
ICB Link: http://www.tommynelson.com/kids-can-read-the-bible/

Herm Edwards speak on leadership lessons that must be learned

The following are Leadership Lessons That Mist Be Learned according to Herm Edwards. All quotes are from Coach Edwards.

“The only thing you can control, you be ready to go…” Take Personal Responsibility For Your Preparation

There Is A Limited Amount Of Opportunity. Take Advantage Of It. – “1,900 football players are professional football players. That’s it.”

Talent Is Never Enough – “Right now they got more experience than you. Nothing you can do about that.
You might have more talent but they have more experience.”

Providing For Your Family Is A Privilege – “It’s not a right but a privilege to play and coach in the National Football League.”

Unto Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required – “Talent, expectations, and production can sometimes be a curse. You’ve got so much talent you don’t live up to it.”

God Gave You Your Talent – “Talent, you didn’t earn it. God gave it to you.”

“You got talent but does the production equal the talent?..If you’re not a productive player then it becomes a curse.” Parable, of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30.

Don’t Waste Your Talent – “You’ve got an opportunity. Don’t waste your talent.”

“Expectations. A goal without a plan is a wish…What’s your plan to be a professional football player?” Take time now, to make a plan for your future, your career, your family.

“Nobody’s going to play for you. Nobody’s going to practice. You got to do that. You got to do all the work.” You won’t just happen to fall into your ideal future. You need to present it to God. Take time to listen to Him, ask Him what are the plans. Then prepare!

“This is where young players struggle. Priorities. Your habits create who you are.” Habits are serious. Little ones or big ones, they all shape you.

“If you’re not willing to change your habits, you’re not changing.” Be a change agent not just with your work or ministry, but with yourself.

“My priorities are real simple – My Faith. My Family. My Occupation.”

“When you leave this room today there are cameras watching you wherever you go.” You Are Always Being Watched. You are part of a larger team and we were paid for with a huge price. We are not our own. 1 Cor. 7:23

“It’s embarrassing (when a player gets in trouble).” Immature Behavior Is Embarrassing

Your Immature Behavior Affects All Of Us – “You think it only affects you. It affects everybody.”

“You think, ‘I’m all this.’ You ain’t all that.” Stay humble.

“When you get that jersey it’s rented. When you come out of the league they’re going to take your name off and give somebody else your number.” Lead and manage with an open hand.

“Everything you do on the field, and now off the field, it becomes news.” You Have More Influence Than You Know

“Nothing good happens after 12:00 o’clock…After midnight, something bad’s going to happen.” Don’t allow yourself to get into any compromising positions. Live above reproach.

“You get one girlfriend OR you get one wife. You can’t have both.” Stay faithful to your spouse.

“If you play for the Dallas Cowboys and you go to Philadelphia, you still got that one girlfriend or that one wife. Don’t screw that up.”

“You’ve been told.”

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