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Success or Failure doesn’t just appear, it’s a process.

My Calendar picture

Planning, determination, strategizing, disciplined, and a slew of other words like these may scare some people. Add in the word “Daily” and the fear factor goes up. But it is just that, “daily” you need to make decisions that will chip away obstacles and help you to reach what you are going after.

It is a firm belief of mine that the secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. If you make a few key decisions and then manage them well in your daily agenda, you will succeed. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. You see, success, doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in someone’s life, neither does failure. Each is a process. Every day of your life is preparation for the next. What you are becoming is the result of what you do daily. In other words… You are preparing for something. Look at how you invest your days and you can tell what you are preparing for, knowingly or un-knowingly.

My question for you would be:
1. What are you preparing for?
2. Grooming yourself for success or failure?

I have heard it said several times, “You can pay now, and play later, or you can play now and pay later. But either way, you are going to pay.” The idea was that you can play and take it easy and do what you want today, but if you do, your life will be harder later. However, if you work hard now, on the front end, then you will reap rewards in the future.

Let me Challenge you to think: Does your daily agenda show that you make a habit of paying before you play? If not, it is not too late to change your daily habits or agenda. To start allow me to suggest a couple daily decisions to make sure you do.
1. Spend time in the God’s Word
2. Spend time worshiping and talking to God
3. Spend time with your spouse. Your spouse and God will be the ones to have your back when all else seems to be against you.
4. Make everything an appointment on your calendar. If it doesn’t make it to your calendar, then you don’t do it.

There is a quick start. Now add to it.

A Reality Check for Busy Parents.

Every time one of my kids come to me and there I am sitting on the couch with laptop on lap, or ear buds in the ears listening to a leadership book, maybe Skypeing with some children’s pastors solving the volunteer crisis that has been around since anyone can remember and ask, Dad can we play…. You fill the blank in.

Yes we are all very busy, but I urge you to think before you give a quick answer of – “later” or “Let me finish…”. Listen to this song that every time I hear it reminds me of the importance of stopping what I may have before considered more important and instead give priority to my true priorities, my family.


Now, go and spend time with your family. Don’t waste such a great gift.

Intentional Growth Plan

I just read a post from Greg Baird who over the years I have come to respect, and as you read his bio you will uncover quickly why. In this post of his he ask the same question that John Maxwell had asked him years ago, “He started asking about how I and my ministry were growing. What was I doing to initiate growth in various areas?”

Here are the 3 basic areas that Greg had made a decision to grow in, and I completely agree and had made the same choice myself years ago to make sure I live intentionally in these 3 areas.

Read because leaders are readers. I have been on a fast track with my reading once I truly understood and saw the results from my reading. I enjoy reading numerous blogs through a RSS reader (I personally use Google Reader) plus a couple books a week. I have often been asked how do I read so much? How do I find the time? I have the same 24 hours a day as everyone else but I find that it comes down to priority. As I have said, I decided to make reading a priority for my personal growth. I carve out time early in the morning before others get up. I find the time and schedule the time with myself because with me if it doesn’t go on the calendar it never gets done. So it gets scheduled after my time with God and reading His word. I also have decided that there are really only a few topics that I enjoy reading about, and they are outside of my Bible:

* Leadership ( like John Maxwell, Peter Drucker, Warren Buffett, Jack Welch, John Wooden, Donald Trump and so many more.
* Children’s ministry. Anything that comes from Kidology, Karl Bastian, K Magazine, Children’s ministry magazine, CM Pro, Jim Wideman, Reggie Joiner, and again numerous other authors
* Businesses and Ministries that are growing and setting the standard like Starbucks, Disney, Sheffield Family Life Center
* Marketing and netwroking with books from people like: Seth Godin, Keith Ferrazzi

Attend Conferences. I am like most out there I am sure, I try to map out 2-3 to attend. As I have been a children’s pastor for 18+ years I have probably heard it all and watched it get repacked in several ways, but the networking you can do is irreplaceable.

Lastly there is the Connecting. This again has been mentioned above but due to it’s importance I wanted to keep it as a separate item as well. I have divided my week into everyday I use it for one or two of the roles I play in my life. I have given Tuesday afternoon and Thursday to networking. I make lunch appointments, breakfast appointments, I travel to area churches to connect or reconnect with other children’s pastors, community leaders and all for the purpose of networking.

I do not pretend to believe any of the above is an exhaustive list but only want it to serve as an example of my growth plan. What is yours? What are the elements you have in yours?

Testing, Checking and asking Why?

Please excuse this test, I am only checking on some settings and making evaluations of what I have set up.

Here is a quick thought as I end this test. I find it helpful to occasionally pop in and run some test when I add new features to my blog and also check not only the new things but examine plugins that are already installed here as well to make sure that everything plays nice with one another. By running these test it has helped me to be the one to discover when things where not going as I thought they were and not have to hear it from a reader of the blog.

So how often do we run test, examine things that are not just the new things we are creating or introducing, but how often do we make sure that all of our created systems and processes are still running well with everything else? I heard a story once which I will share the brief version of it here.

There was a mom and daughter cooking the Holiday season ham together. The mom took the pan out and began to place the ham in the pan, but before doing so she chopped off the ends of the ham and threw them away. The daughter asking, “Mom why do you do that?” The mom replies, “I don’t know your grandma always did this”. So they both agree to try to find out the reason and call grandma. As they get grandma on the phone and ask her the question they are amazed and embarrassed as grandma gives the reason. Grandma’s reason…Because the ham was to big for the pan she and her mom used to bake the ham in.

In short, just as I am checking and testing this blog to make sure everything is running well with the old and new stuff, we need to know it is ok to question, test, and check what we do and why we do it. The reason people used paper cut outs with Popsicle sticks glued to them for puppets at one time does not mean that we still need to do the same now. Have you ran your methods through a check as to why you are doing stuff the way you are?

Spend some time today to go and do a systems check.

“Beat Charlie Moore” Type Passion

Saturday morning: one of the days I love and always look forward to because it is fishing day. Yes, I love fishing from the banks or from a boat or even a bridge. I also love learning about fishing, watching it, or just talking about it. “Beat Charlie Moore,” a television show about fishing, is one of my favorite shows to watch. Why is that? And what might this imply for leaders in children’s ministry?

Charlie Moore has found a way to live out what he loves. He is truly passionate about fishing and it shows through his loud and outgoing personality. Charlie is in a field where there are many shows competing for the same audience with other very qualified professionals, and yet he draws in an audience that keeps him on the air while so many others either can’t make it on the air or have to quit due to a lack of viewership. He has found his niche and does it with complete authenticity. Like others in his very large, growing audience, I am drawn in by his sincere love and enjoyment for fishing.

This has all lead to me thinking through my passion and love for being a children’s pastor. How God uses my personality and gifts to reach more families for His Kingdom. I truly love fishing, but I love even more fishing for people who God has been tapping on their hearts and calling them into His Kingdom.

Have you found your niche that allows you to do what you enjoy, do it with all of your personality, and do it in a way that only you can do? People will be drawn when this happens.

Authentic Leadership

A leader brings people together to pursue a shared purpose. Gaining alignment around purpose is one of the greatest challenges that leaders can face. To sustain the motivation of teammates and a successful track record, authentic leaders convey such a sense of passion for their purpose that people share it and feel inspired by the mission.

This is why being authentic is truly a must and will only happen when you have a high level of self-awareness, are clear about your values, and understand your leadership purpose. Without all of these in place as a filter of authenticity, you will flip flop with every new ministry technique or strategy that comes along. If you try to emulate someone else’s leadership without the benefit of the filter, your lack of authenticity will show through. Under pressure and stress, leaders tend to resort back into what really is authentic for them. When this happens, if it is not in sync with who you have been promoting you are, those following will be confused. Confusion causes people to slow down. Think of the last time you were driving somewhere and got lost. Your driving probably slowed down and you began to question every turn you made with “was this the right one or not?”

This kind of slowing down will cripple potential results. So, be authentic, be all that God has made you to be, and be only who God has made you to be.

Making a Living or Building a Cathedral?

Are you just Making a Living or Building a Cathedral?

I had heard again recently this great little story that I think is a good question for all leaders to always ask themselves, how are they doing in creating the latter in their people?

Two workers were hammering away on a piece of granite with a sledgehammer. When asked what they were doing the first worker said, “I’m just trying to make a living cracking this granite.”

When asked the same question, the second worker said, “I want to make a difference. I’m part of a team building a cathedral.”

Purpose inspires performance and commitment. Is your ministry purpose and direction clear enough that it is inspiring “just granite pounders” or “cathedral builders”?

In everything I do from Take TWO Kids Ministry, Kidology Coaching, serving as Kidology’s Executive Operations Coordinator, being a husband or dad, friend etc. it is my prayer and desire to work hard and help set each person up that God leads across my path to be able to succeed at Cathedral building.

God thanks for inspiring me to inspire others.

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