501C3

FrustratedHave you every looked at some task that was so daunting and been like, I don’t know where to start. You have heard it said that the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Well I have never wanted to eat an elephant and I am not that stoked about filling out our 501C3 document. I started on it a month ago and I am still working on it. The instructions say that it takes 55-60 hours but the instructions themselves take that long to read.

I have seen websites that say they will do it for you and guarantee approval for $995. I am beginning to think that is a deal. I may market my services to church planters if we get approved. If I mess up, oh well, you can always use a good prision ministry.

If you are ever working on this form or any church planting type things startchurch has been a good resourse. The picuture above is when I finished the instructions.

World Trade Center

World Trade CenterI just went to see this movie last night and it was deep. I don’t know what I was expecting but all the emotions that I felt that day (9/11/2001) came back. I remember everything that happened that day, in detail. I remember thinking what is next, will my kids see worse things than this in their lives? I also remember seeing tons of churches and christians rally around this event and help people the best they knew how.

I made the comment on the way out of the theater that, I wish we would have gone to see Pirates of the Caribean 2, but I really am glad that these memories were awakened. We live in the greatest country on the planet and I am proud of our police, fire, EMS, military and the average Joe that do all that can to help their fellow man and serve their country.

There was one line in this movie that I will carry forever. A former Marine finds two police men trapped in the rubble and the police men beg the Marine not two leave them and the Marine says this: “Are you kidding, you are my mission”. I hope that is how I view all those around me who are burried in the rubble of sin and seperation from Christ.

Picking Your Team

JMAX DEVOI love team sports and I love to see teams that really work together. Some of my favorite people in life are coaches. I think of Lombardi, Knoll, Wooden, Dean Smith and on a much more personal level people like Stacey Houser, Bob Paroli, Mike Paroli, Wes Hill (Coaches that mean a lot to me). All of these guys coach athletic teams and are good at it. I also look up to life coaches, people who really want to see you succeed in life. Two of my favorites are Andy Stanley and John Maxwell. Me and Kelli had a cool opportunity a few years ago to go to John Maxwell’s house and have dinner. The primary reason for this dinner was to raise money for Equip (Leadership Training Organization), however, you can’t be around John Maxwell long and not see that he wants to make you better. It is in him, he just can’t stop. After we ate dinner, he carried all to his study and he invested in each of us a principle that I still use today (I will share it later). Each day I read a leadership devotioinal of John’s and I am amazed at how God has gifted him as a leader and how he makes things so transferable. I said all that so that I could share for one of the devotional from last week.

Here it is: Picking Your Team

I want the people close to me to…

  • Know my heart: This takes time for both of us and desire on their part.
  • Be loyal to me: They are an extension of me and my work.
  • Be trustworthy: They must not abuse authority, power, or confidences.
  • Be discerning: They make decisions for me.
  • Have a servant’s heart: They carry a heavy load because of my high demands.
  • Be a good thinker: Our two heads are better than my one.
  • Be able to follow through: They take authority and carry out the vision.
  • Have a great heart for God: My heart for God is my driving force in life.

(Taken from Leadership a devotional by John C. Maxwell)

Bono

BonoJust like the last post on Jim Collins, I can not do justice to the power of this session. Bono bacially called the church out on the carpet and said, there is a world wide crisis going on and this generation can’t say that we didn’t have the resources, or the knowledge to help. His talk was ispirational and authentic.

Probably the thing that will stick with me the most is the following quote. Bono said: “It is crazy to think that a rock star would be held in greater esteme than a teacher or a doctor or someone important but we are. However, celebrity status is currency and I intend to spend it”.

Bono goes on to tell how he has been captivated by the AIDS issue in Africa and how he will spend the rest of his life to help make a difference for those people. Go to ONE.ORG to learn more.

It blows me away to see God’s plan in action. If Bono didn’t take the route he did (rock star) he would have the influence that he does. The stuff He was doing thousands of years ago, He is doing today!

Hope you enjoyed the Summit through my eyes. This is my last post on it.

God Bless!

Jim Collins

CollinsTo me this session was the highlight of the conference. Jim Collins is the author of Good to Great and Built to Last (two powerhouse business books). I don’t know that I can do justice to what he covered but I will say this, If you read one book this month with the purpose of learning how to be better at something, read Jim’s small paperback monograph called Good to Great in the Social

Sector.Good to Great

It was pretty interesting to hear a business guy say that churches and non-profits don’t need to emulate businesses because most businesses are mediocre at best and the mission we have is to important to emulate that. He said the issue isn’t busniess vs. social but good vs. great (this stuff is good and there is no way I can convey this message correctly).

Here is a cool question to ask your self periodically. What would be lost if your church disappeared? If we cease to exist tomorrow, who will miss us? Are we feeding the hungery, helping those in need, growing a movement of people that are passionately in love with Christ? Do you and your organization have the disipline to do something great or will you settle for good?

Here is a few quotes from his session:

“The moment you think you are great, you aren’t”

“Rarely are concensus and right decisions the same”

“When you are in mission driven stuff, your work is to important to have the wrong people on the bus”

“Great producers (people) wake up in the morning and do great things – they can’t help it. To ask them not to do great things woudl be like asking them not to breathe” (that’s strong)

“True leaders get people to do things that they have the freedom not to do”

“Building something great is not a function of your circumstance but a function of your choices” (read that one again)

Anyway, maybe I am weird but this stuff gets me pumped. Good is the enemy of Great!

Ashish Nanda

NandaI will cover three more sessions of the Summit for anyone who is tracking with me on this.The research and origins of the next three speakers come from outside of the church be their message is extermly relevant to the church.

I had never heard of Ashish Nanda before the Summith. He is a Harvard Business School Professor and he is from India. He was very witty and quite humorous. They do a study of Willow Creek (very contriversial on campus) each year and they bring Bill Hybels in and let the students tee off on him (sound fun). But the meat of what he talked about at the Summit is “The Risk of Hiring Stars”. Harvard did a nine year study that showed when a star was plucked from one organization and placed in another, that their proformance went down, that the team proformance went down and the companies stock went down. Professor Nanda went on to say that when plucking these stars, that their platform (system they were in, team around them, circumstances) was not properly taken in to consideration.

Professor Nanda, said that if you hire from outside your organization, it works better to hire that person for a new postion (not an existing one). It doesn’t seem feasable but if you hire form outside, you may want to consider bringing the stars whole team.

To summarize his findings. He said that there are three strategies to building your team.

Strategy 1 – Grow a strong farm team and raise all your leaders up from within and do all you can to hang on to them (Red Sox strategy)

Strategy 2 – Who cares about a farm team, pluck stars from other teams (Yankees strategy)

Strategy 3 – Raise people up from farm team, loose them to other organizations and do it all over (Montreal Expos Strategy)

He said, # 1 out proforms # 2 and # 2 out does # 3

Lastly, Professor Nanda said “There is no shortcut to building a strong team”

Choosing to Cheat

AndyAndy Stanley was the third speaker at the conference and Andy is one of my favorite communicators. When he talks, it just makes sense.

The talk he gave was a familar one to me but was very fresh and very sobbering. Andy talked about his best decision as a leader was to choose to cheat the church and not his family. His point was that God calls us to feed the church and love our wives, not feed our wives and love the church. God’s word says love your wives as Christ loves the church. God’s word also says that I(God) will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. That means that the fate of our churches are in God’s hands not ours. By no means is Andy saying that we should passively sit and do nothing but what he is saying is that you have to fullfil your unique roles (husband, father, wife, mom) and do your best at your other roles and leave the results up to him. I highly recommend the book he wrote called Choosing to Cheat. This is not just a church this is in business, in life. If you are a workaholic or your schedule stays packed, get the book!