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Apple please don’t lose me anymore.

There have been many who have made this claim but I’m not sure they are as accurate as I am about to be with this statement: “I am a Mac-evangelist”. Yes, my name is Todd, and I am a “macaholic”. If Apple made underwear I would even wear them.

There is a change that is starting to happen with me though. I do not like it the feeling that comes with this change, but it is becoming harder to ignore all the time. Is it time to go away from Apple?

Apple has defimately changed sine Jobs is no longer around.  What is referred to as creativity is just a re-branding of old ideas, new software updates are resulting in being pushed out to quick with not enough testing so that the consumer will have a good experience. Then, when the customer does have a bad experience not enough resolve in putting people over procedures.

Let me explain a little.

I updated my iPhone to the new iOS9 and ever since then have had a terrible experience with the calendar. I cant seem to get any resolve with this issue, and have worked even with senior advisors at apple over this as well. End result is I have been told that they are now aware of it and will be coming out with a new update v3 to solve this. Until then, it is extremely cumbersome to add calendar events which is a large part of what I do by living off of my calendar.

Next, in just a matter of a couple days, I update my MacBook Pro to El Capitan to only have it crash. I’ve worked with tech support via the phone with no resolve and then had to make an appointment to take it in. The earliest apointment time was 2 days away. I then am told 1 hour to fix it and they will get back with me. All day I was the only one calling them to find out how it was going? From 11:15am-9pm I never received a call or email from them. Every call I made I knew I was going to invest a min. of 20 minutes waiting to talk to someone. The voice activated call system they had just sent me around and around to all the wrong places and when I thought I finally arrived, it was to only learn I had not.

Lessons that apply to the church as well, or so I think they do.

1. We live in a time where many people have tried the “church” thing and ended up very disappointed and hurt often times. We need to think more about our mission of connecting people to Jesus than we do about even introducing some fancy rebranded idea for a Seasonal event, starting a new ministry etc. Love our Mission first not any delivery Method. 

2. How easy do we make it to connect to the mission as people use the methods we have set up? Like with the calendar, because of an issue with it I now am frustrated everytime I use it and am reminded that it is broken. Everytime someone interacts with your ministry what are they reminded of?

3. There are a ton of options out there for people to choose to spend their time in. You are not the only show around. If you are not meeting and answering the questions people want answered or they can’t get what they want from their experince in your church, they will go elsewhere. I am for the first time exploring the same thoughts about possibly leaving Apple to go to another alternative. There are actually numerous good alternatives out there that can meet what I’m after concerning a computer experience.

There are many other lessons I am picking up over this time of being without a computer that I will write about as time goes on, but allow me to leave you with one last one. 

The longer Apple has me without my MacBook Pro, the more I become resourceful in learning what other options I have easily and affrodably at my disposal. The same with your church. The longer people feel they can get what they need from other sources, like on-line services, books, the internet etc. (all fo these are good as well) the more they will be ok in staying away from your church.

Apple, the ball is in your court. Churches, the ball is in your court as well in the minds of many in your community.

Start to finish, implementation ideas to unpack part 2

Volunteer3 560x841

This post idea started over here first. Go and read this post first then come back and finish this one.

Decide on the right tempo/speed or frequency.

Once volunteers are in place, it’s important to know where you want to take your volunteers. What does that look like? How often will you need to meet? How long? The key is figuring out the speed/frequency that fits you and your churches culture.

Specific examples of speed and culture.

Here at my church I am noticing that Sundays after the last service are good times for tribes of people within Take TWO Family ministries to meet because they’re already used to having a full Sunday and prefer to stay and carry out a meeting than have to come at any other time during the week.

Helpful Content

Good volunteers are always hungry for content that will help them have a greater impact in their role. They are not, however, open to giving up their time for something that seems like a waste. Helpful content is required to develop volunteers and make them want to attend training events. I enjoy recording some of my groups to use as a teaching tool with them.

Easy to Attend

Training events need to be as easy to attend as possible. You can’t appease everyone, but you can do a number of things to take away excuses people have for not attending training events.

Can’t Miss Culture

The best way to have strong participation in volunteer training is to make the events themselves have a “can’t miss” feel to them. What can you do to make those who attend feel glad they did and want to come next time?

Be on the lookout for more post along this line as I unfold these some more.
I would love to hear what you do?
What do you find successful?

Quotes That Inspire Me


I have collected quotes for some time now and have decided to post some of them today. Whenever I read certain quotes they can really be the wind in my sail. My prayer is that you will find some wind for your sail within some of these quotes I’m posting today.

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” James Cameron

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Henry David Thoreau

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” Lisa M. Amos

“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Jim Rohn

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” Tony Hsieh

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.” Anonymous

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” Vaibhav Shah

“Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” Denzel Washington

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” Chris Grosser

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” Albert Einstein

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best revenge is massive success.” Frank Sinatra

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” David Brinkley

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” Henry Ford

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” Bruce Feirstein

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” Ray Goforth

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

“People ask, ‘What’s the best role you’ve ever played?’ The next one.” Kevin Kline

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Thomas Jefferson

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Napoleon Hill

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” Thomas J. Watson

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak

Meet The #OC15 Blogging Team | Orange Leaders

Source: Meet The #OC15 Blogging Team | Orange Leaders

Orange Conference 2015 will be starting soon. If you want to get to know some new and old bloggers alike that will be covering all things Orange, then click on the source link above.

Make sure you have downloaded the app as well to take in the live streaming for those of us who can’t be there in person.

Here is a quick snapshot of those who will be covering #OC15 if you have had a real hard day and clicking on the source link above is more than what you have in you at this time.

Children’s Ministry

Jenny Funderburke, @jen_funderburke and (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and
Kenny Conley, @kennyconley and
Matt Norman, @kidminmatt and It’
Tom Bump, @ptbump and (will be blogging during OC15)
Yancy Richmond, @yancynotnancy and

Middle School Ministry

Elle Campbell, @ellllllllllle and (will be blogging during OC15)
JC Thompson, @jcisonline and (will be blogging during OC15)

Youth Ministry

Aaron Buer, @aaron_buer and
Ben Read, @benjaminread and (will be blogging during OC15)
Chris Parker, @ChrisParker0 and (will be blogging during OC15)
Elle Campbell, @ellllllllllle and (will be blogging during OC15)
Jeremy Zach, @jeremyzach and
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and
Michael Bayne, @michael_bayne and (will be blogging during OC15)
Ryan Reed, @ryanreedme and (will be blogging during OC15)
Terrace Crawford, @terracecrawford and (will be blogging during OC15)

NextGen / Family Ministry

Frank Bealer, @fbealer and (will be blogging during OC15)
Jessica Bealer, @jessicabealer and (will be blogging during OC15)
Joe McAlpine, @joemcalpine and (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and
Michael Bayne, @michael_bayne and (will be blogging during OC15)
Nick Blevins, @nickblevins and (will be blogging during OC15)
Pat Rowland, @pdrowland and
Ryan Reed, @ryanreedme and (will be blogging during OC15)


Brian Dodd, @briankdodd and (will be blogging during OC15)
Dexter Culbreath, @dextext and
Frank Bealer, @fbealer and (will be blogging during OC15)
Jessica Bealer, @jessicabealer and (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and
Matt McKee, @mattmckee and (will be blogging during OC15)
Nick Blevins, @nickblevins and (will be blogging during OC15)
Pat Rowland, @pdrowland and
Rob Cizek, @RobCizek and (will be blogging during OC15)
Ryan Reed, @ryanreedme and (will be blogging during OC15)
Tom Bump, @ptbump and (will be blogging during OC15)


Jenny Funderburke, @jen_funderburke and (will be blogging during OC15)
Jonathan Cliff, @jonathancliff and
Pat Rowland, @pdrowland and
Tom Bump, @ptbump and (will be blogging during OC15)


Matt McKee, @mattmckee and (will be blogging during OC15)

Church Staffing

The Minister Search Team, @ministersearch1 and Minister Search Blog

Start to finish. Implementation ideas to unpack.

start to finish

Strong Start

The first step in having an effective start for any volunteer is making sure that the ministry they are starting to serve in has a clear and precise course of action to carry out the goals to achieve their wins. This includes orientations, learning the environment they’ll serve in, the role they’ll play, and being partnered with someone who can coach them early on.

Welcome “Bob”, our new background checked and approved volunteer. We get the go ahead from his criminal background check that nothing is in his closet to be concerned about (and if there is, we just set up another appointment to discuss that to see if we should go further or help them find another one of our great ministries offered within the church) so we set up our first meeting with him. During this meeting, the explanation of why God has our ministry right where He has us is unfolded. It explains clearly the reason someone would be led to come to our ministry and not maybe some of the other great ministries surrounding the area. It shows our uniqueness. Our specific DNA for accomplishing the Great Commission and Great Commandment.

Ministry descriptions and flow chart are shown. Tying in where they will be serving in the larger picture is extremely important. The understanding of what is expected from them and what they can expect from you or the ministry should be clear. Questions asked and answered are important in this first stage. People with limited time to offer for volunteering want to contribute to things larger than themselves. They want to make a difference. Show them how they are, then release them into the care of someone who will nurture that desire.

During this first step of unpacking a great ministry start for any volunteer, help them explore the environment they serve in. This “connection partner” will be extremely important in this phase. This is the foundation of your volunteer force. It is this foundation that others will be recruited, and trained from. Not to mention discipled in.

Now that will be a great stage one start. If you are not there yet then start with this end picture and work your way back. Ask yourself what steps are missing and what would it take to accomplish them. Then go nd do it! Have fun with step one. Watch for further steps to come in the days ahead.

The next post on this topic can be found here: Part 2.

Leadership Handbook Book Review

Maxwell Leadership Hndbk.cover

The book, as its title suggests, The Leadership Handbook. 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs, is broken into 26 “lessons.” These are short chapters that you can breeze through quickly, but try to resist the temptation to do so. What should be the goal is slow down and work methodically through them. Having the knowledge is great, but the application of that knowledge is what shows wisdom (this discipline of slowing down and application is what makes you a better leader). Maxwell suggests that emerging leaders read one chapter each week for 26 weeks, and he suggests experienced leaders to take two weeks per chapter — one week for you and one week to mentor someone else about the lesson.

If there was one big obstacle that kept creeping back in for me on not slowing down with the reading of this book was it had that familiar feel of, “I have read this before” and I was very familiar with the lessons and disciplines that were being taught in this book. Then it came to me, I was very familiar with most of this book already due to reading a earlier book of Maxwell’s titled: Leadership Gold. If you the reader are not familiar with Maxwell’s work, you will find the material in this book helpful. However, if you are familiar with his work, you might be disappointed as I was.

Maxwell remains an author that when he comes out with anything new, I will at least review what it is to be over as I hold out for him to bring some new Leadership truths again some day. He is a great story-teller, user of quotes, and has a writing style that I have enjoyed since I started down my purposeful leadership journey back in the early 90’s.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the review 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.”

Effective Goal Planning, ask these 5 questions.


At the time of this blog post going live, we are getting ready to enter 2015 in just one day. Goal setting is just a natural part of the thinking at this time but it should be an active part of our daily lives throughout the year.

I have 5 questions for each of us to think through as we set new goals that will help us make the goals and not just crowd up calendars with great ideas, journals with lofty thoughts, but a plan that if we work through these 5 questions with will help us to achieve results.

1. What is the specific work or effort required to achieve your goal?

2. What resources or dependencies do you need to help you succeed?

3. What is your action plan to achieve this goal?

4. What time investment is actually required? What should your schedule look like to support achieving this goal? (Can you really be a world champion bull rider if you only practice 5 minutes a day?)

5. What obstacles will you face and how will you respond?

As you can see, if you answer fully these questions, this process is incredibly revealing as to what it takes to achieve your goals.

Less take in and more Application


If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent a fair bit of money on books, ebooks and course materials over the years.

You probably get a little giddy when you pick up a new book or sign up for an online course. You’re sure that you’re going to finally do something great.

The problem is, reading isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to put what you read into action.

And that, for most of us, is the tough part.

Here’s how to put that learned information into practice:

#1: Keep a Reading Journal

When you finish a book, you probably put it straight back on the shelf. You might remember one or two key points, or recommend it to a friend – you might even re-read after a few months. But you don’t necessarily use what you’ve learned.

A reading journal gives you a space to reflect on books, while you’re reading them and after you’ve finished. You can use your journal to:

Jot down ideas that were new to you
Copy out any key sentences – especially any inspiring ones
Describe what you thought or felt about the book
Record any “aha” moments that occurred while reading

I enjoy using my Livescribe wifi pen because it allows me the extra help in remembering things by the physical art of writing and provides the tech side of syncing wirelessly to my Evernote. Evernote is my electronic brain.

#2: Decide on Action Items

Unless you’re engaged in academic study, you’re probably not reading for the sake of absorbing information. You’re reading because you want to do something.

Next time you finish a chapter of your book, or read a great blog post or magazine article, decide on one action that you could take as a result. Write it on your to-do list (I like todoist as my to do list builder) or move it to Evernote.

One small to-do item might not seem like anything worthwhile – but if you have one action per chapter, or one per article, then you’ll soon be making far faster progress than if you’d just read that material.

#3: Take a Real-Life Course

Online courses like those from are great for many reasons: they’re often cheap, you can take part from anywhere with an internet connection, and lessons will normally be recorded so that you don’t even have to show up at a particular time.

The drawback to this is that you may well find yourself signing up for courses, attending one lesson, and then drifting away.

#4: Form a Group

If you’ve got a couple of friends who’re working on a similar goal to you, get together with them and form a mastermind group. Get hold of copies of a good book/e-book/self-study course, and agree to read a certain amount each week.

Every week (or every couple of weeks), get together – face-to-face or on a video conference – and discuss what you’ve read. Make sure that every member states a specific action that they’re going to take during the next week.

When you meet again, start with a check-in so that members can report back on whether they achieved the goals that they set for themselves.

Having the support of like-minded friends – and a sense of accountability to them – will help you meet your goals faster.

3 Things having kids have taught me


Having kids has truly been a joy and one of the best adventures I get to take part in. Saying all that I want to list 3 things that having kids has taught me.

Let’s begin:

1.Thinking time is the most precious resource

I have a new-found appreciation for the times when I have time and can collect my thoughts. I never knew how much I took this for granted until every minute of every waking hour (and a few half asleep ones too) was suddenly invaded. Now if all truth is told my wife is the one who may have suffered more with this because she is a stay at home mom, but boy she did great with it.

We simply cannot do good thinking when we’re being distracted all the time. Try writing a grocery list or type up a word document while a small child asks repeatedly “Can I get a drink yet?” and you might find yourself signing off “in that document with:
…”Until we meet again, Yes you can get a drink, I will get you some juice”

Equally, making space for thinking time in my work helps me to do my best work, handle curve balls and even have fun doing it.

Measure your work by impact, not hours

A parent I was counseling once in task management asked me, “how can I compete in business with other people who have more time?”

The answer is, in the same way that niche brands can take on the big boys. By being distinctive, selective and ruthless. Play on your strengths and leverage what you do well. Be incredibly focused on what has the most impact and creates the most value. Truly find what your Pareto principles lies. Don’t be all things to all people.

If I measure the work I do by the hours I put in, it may not look like much. But if I look at what I actually get done in that time, and crucially, the impact of my actions and not the amount of activity, I recognize my successes much more accurately.

My mind gets calibrated to what works well, and not what keeps me busy, and I measure my productivity by what creates value, and not what fills time.

2. Saying “No” gets easier with practice and a little creativity

Saying no is like exercising a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it gets. When you find yourself saying “no, you can’t have chocolate for breakfast” and “no it’s not time to open the Christmas gifts yet” all before 7am, you get a lot of regular practice at saying no.

You also find creative ways to say no.

If you tell a child not to run, the negative is harder to process, so “Don’t run!” becomes “Run!” Instead, when you say “Walk please!” their focus is pointed towards walking and not running.

Telling someone what they can do or have, can be much more compelling than telling them what they can’t.

In other words, say yes on your own terms:

“Yes, you can have chocolate after your dinner.”

“Yes, I’d love to help. I’ve got half an hour at 2pm. Shall we grab a coffee and talk then?”

“I can give you the quick and dirty version today or the polished product wrapped up by Friday next week. Which would you prefer?”

3. Margin is your best friend

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It gives us flexibility to deal with work that overspills, technical glitches and emergency firefighting.

Margin is like air. You don’t miss it until it’s not there. When there’s less time available, it’s tempting to try to cram as much in as possible. But then it doesn’t take much — a phone call, a spilt drink on the floor or couch, a missing shoe right before you leave the house, — for everything to spiral out of control.

And it’s not just a survival tactic. It also gives us space to explore opportunities we could never have planned for, to be captivated by a perfect sunset or a child’s first step. Margin makes life richer.

There are the 3 lessons having kids have taught me. These 3 are great lessons to help in life as well. Have you had any specific lessons learned from any season of your life?