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Perfectly designed for the results you are getting

You’re designed for the results you are getting.

The title of this post has always loomed in the back of my head as I continue to try to grow as a leader. Serving as the XP of my church it is an active part of my weekly duties to look for anything that may hinder our mission.

Here is one common one that I find in many churches. No Implementation Strategy.

Let me explain. Churches are finally beginning to understand the value of reading, conferences, networking and more. Churches set up regular book reviews with their teams. Many have found ways to get their leaders to conferences. Several have taken the next step with designing networks to grow with one another. The main fail I see in this plan as it currently stands, it’s all info consuming and no plan to use the knowledge.

Same if we stand behind the pulpit every week and only share facts and no challenges of how to use what we are sharing? All the info consumption is worthless if we do not create ways to live what we are learning.

This is why, if you look at your life, spiritual or through your leadership, you have designed your life for the results you are getting.

What if you took less different types of info in and implemented more of what you took in?

What if you blocked off time (and I mean to actually add it to your calendar) to invest in living the info?

What if you changed the metrics of what success looks like? Instead of the amount of conferences you go to, or the fullness of your bookshelves, it was the results of what is contained on your bookshelf. What’s preached on Sunday.

How to set goals isn’t as bad as you think

Goal setting

January has already come and gone. The year is again progressing quicker than seems possible. This quickness is the reason it is so important that we set goals for what you want to carry out. What follows will be ways that I follow when I set goals.

Start with the end in mind.
I think it is important to start with your end picture of what you want and where you are going. Once I have the end picture, I start just 5 years out. Then I move my picture to 3 years out, then 1 year out and lastly 3 months out.

Be realistic.
Be ambitious because it is a goal after all but still realistic. If you are a ministry of 30 kids or youth and set your goal to be 300 in a year, that is not realistic. Being realistic helps you during the journey to stay encouraged and fight that discouragement off that happens so easily during life and ministry.

Re-evaluate and revisit.
Just because you set your goals in January, doesn’t mean that 5-6 months down the road you won’t be swamped with life and ministry. Knowing this, I put a date in the calendar 5-6 months down the road to alert me to re-evaluate how am I doing with the goals that I wanted to carry out. I will revisit each goal to see that it is still as important to me as it was once before when I set it as a goal.

With these 3 simple steps, setting goals is not as bad as you thought. Allow me to recommend a book titled: Essentialism by Greg McKeown. I recommend this book as you prepare to set your goals is because too often people set way too many goals and never fully reach any of them but instead have a ton of half started goals.

Setting goals can be as easy as 1,2,3.

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?

Swipe your way to productivity today.

swipes logo

Time to get busy and get down to knocking out your to-do list. So you run around and collect all the sticky notes on your mirror, your desk, your computer screen and all the other misc. areas. Then you turn to the most recent incredible life changing tool – Evernote. You begin to search through Evernote, or as you call it, your brain online to find all of your to-do list in there as well.

Now you are just plain tired and mentally worn out not to mention you have spent 1 1/2 hours just getting prepped to become productive for the day. Have I got a great solution for you that I started using a few weeks back and it has kept me very fluid and able to stay on the go but keeping my to-do list getting done at the right time.

This tool is called…”Swipes“.

Here is how Swipes works with Evernote. Evernote, by its nature, is a workspace for the way we work today, collecting information from multiple devices and from just about anywhere in the world. Swipes, however, is the task management app that not only stores your tasks, but helps you prioritize them and break-down the important things into doable steps. The blend of Swipes with Evernote gives you the possibility to not only collect the things that matter to you, but act on them. This is a combination of pure productivity joy!!

Stop wasting time looking for ways to be productive and get Swipes and get conquering your to-do list.

Finishing Well, Finishing Strong

Finish well finish strong cover

Finishing Well, Finishing Strong was one of the books that I am privilege to read lately over being very purposeful on how we finish in this game we call life.

I am a 46-year-old man at the time that I am writing this and the thoughts of what kind of legacy am I going to leave when I go to be with Jesus are thoughts I have more of now than when I was 25. I started very strong and determined as a young man to be successful and as I got older I wanted to also be significant. Now I know I can do both and that is where this book along with others have helped encourage me to do just that.

I appreciated the attempt that Grassi made to end every chapter with a personal activity and mentor activity. The suggested activities are both helpful and can prove to be practical. I think this book would be a good read for a men’s small group or can be used by a mentor as he spends time and disciples some younger proteges.

The author, Jim Grassi made me think about what I do, and what I want to do to finish strong and well myself. This book was a short and easy read, and held my attention for the most part. The information was presented in a consistent and engaging way, making steps to the personal application easier. Grassi conveys Biblical truth in discussing certain people within the Bible.

Just because you start well and start strong, does not mean that you will finish well and finish strong. You must have a plan.

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.”

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.

The Power of a Half Hour


Todays blog post is over one of the newest books I have finished reading, The Power Of A Half Hour by Tommy Barnett. Below is a snippet from his book.

“Turn your fleeting minutes into defining moments. What can you do in thirty minutes? Have lunch? Watch television? Check Facebook? How about change your life? Why do some people achieve far more than others? We all get the same twenty-four hours in a day, yet a special few seem to have superhuman abilities when it come to accomplishing great things in life. Why not change time from being your worst enemy to your everlasting friend? It all starts with the amazing things you can do in only a half hour.”

After reading a snippet like the one above, and knowing about the author and all that he has done as a pastor and is still doing as a pastor my expectations for this book may have been too high. Because as I started reading it I quickly realized it was not what I was expecting. I did as Tommy suggested at the start of his book, to only reading the book for 30 minutes a day until the book was done. I’m sure this book is proving to be a blessing for some, because I went out there to read how others were rating this book and found they tend to rate this higher than I am going to.

It is my recommendation to do your homework on this book and the actual content of what Pastor Barnett is discussing to see if this is where you are at and your hidden desire for the answers or guidance you want to take from this book. For me, the basic points of breaking your day down into 30 minutes segments is extremely basic and missed the mark for me this time.

The back of the book includes personal action plans referring to each chapter and a small group discussion guide that may prove to be helpful for some. I am sure it is Pastor Tommy’s intent that this book will help you to review how you use your time and how to be more intentional about using time wisely.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of reviewing with my opinion.

Stages to take your children’s ministry to failure

man jumping cliff

The Economist recently summarized management guru Jim Collins’ new book, How the Mighty Fail. In his new book Mr Collins examines 11 of the 60 “great companies” studied in his two earlier books that have since deteriorated to “mediocrity or worse”. Mr Collins says that when he charted the factors that led these firms to greatness, he had never claimed that they were certain to stay great. By comparing each one, where possible, with similar firms that had fared better, Mr Collins identifies five stages in the process of decline.

Stage 1: Hubris born of success. Firms take on a sense of superiority and fail to question their relevance when conditions change.

Stage 2: Undisciplined pursuit of more. Firms overreach – they venture into areas where their original qualities of success do not apply.

Stage 3: Denial of risk and peril. Though signs of failure appear, previous success is enough to carry the firm. Leaders convince themselves that all is well. Problems are blamed on external factors.

Stage 4: Grasping for salvation. Problems can no longer be ignored. Instead of returning to the principles that got them to previous success, leaders take extreme risks and drastically change strategy. Mr Collins points out that many still-great firms have bounced back even after getting to stage four, including IBM, Nucor and Nordstrom.

Stage 5: Capitulation to irrelevance or death. The firm dies or is forgotten.

I believe that children’s leaders and pastors can glean some truth from these stages.

In children’s ministry how many times have we seen:

Stage 1 children’s ministries show up with the refusal to look at new approaches to delivering the gospel? I can’t tell you how many cp.’s move to a new church without ever looking at the culture of the new ministry. They show up with a prepackaged method/approach that they carry out right away due to the success they had with it at their current ministry.

Stage 2 children’s ministries that have a niche of discipleship and because bus ministry becomes popular they move a lot of focus and resources to trying to develop a bus ministry. All the while those resources and people who use to carry out the discipleship are now being moved into an area that they do not see the same return from for their ministry.

Stage 3 ministries begin to see cracks and hear some rumors of things not going as well as they use to. It is still easy to show successes and ignore the signs of trouble. Everyone wants to believe they are ok.

Stage 4 children’s ministries can no longer deny there are problems in the camp. They are ready to switch curriculum, children’s pastors, redesign the volunteer team, put a new facade on the ministry, copy other children’s ministries etc. All of this in hopes of getting back to the original success of ministry for them. Also this (and stage 3) is when Coaches like myself seem to be called in to fix things. If we would only be brought in at stage one.

Stage 5 death and the closing of the doors.

What stage are you at in your children’s ministry?

Have you ever thought of bringing in a coach like me or doing some online training with your teams like I offer, while your ministry is experiencing stage 1 results?

The power of a 5 minute list

Blue pen on the spiral bound note-book paper.

I have always believed in making list, and I enjoy being as productive as I can be. So why has it taken me so long to learn the power in combining these two joys into my slow time, I have no idea.

I know myself really well and know that when it gets to be around 1:30-3:30pm I begin to slow down. This is my time that my daily internal clock begins to become sluggish. So I have now learned to create what we will call here a “5 minute clock”.

When you hit your “1:30-3:30pm” internal clock and you don’t have the energy to start a major task or you find your energy waning, pull out your already crafted five-minute list: A to-do list of easy, low-intensity tasks that you can do in less than five minutes.

Suggestions of what may be on this list could be:

1. An internet search
2. Printing out and sorting documents
3. Light research

Whatever it means for you, the five-minute list can help you be productive even during the times you have difficulty concentrating.

Now go and create your specific 5 minute list and feel free to share what some of the items are here. Enjoy turning your unproductive times into more productive times.

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