Maybe it was my heart racing at 200 beats per minute, maybe it was the sweat flooding my eyesight, or maybe it was the 200 pounds sitting on my shoulders. As I was lying on the floor after the workout, my brain began to churn and I realized that there’s a lot we can learn from this movement. My brain, though barely functioning, quickly hashed out 3 things that Ministry Leaders can learn from Crossfit.

crossfit

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I’m starting a new segment on this blog. I’m going to answer questions that are posed to me via this blog, my email, facebook, or twitter. I’m going to try my best to answer these questions as openly and honestly as possible. Also, I’m going to keep the askers anonymous and I’m going to answer every single question asked. Warning though, these may get personal. Ask away!

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Some people are called to ministry. It could be ministry at a church, ministry overseas, at an orphanage, or it could be a “regular” job that is used for the glory of God. Any of these could be on a part-time, full-time, or volunteer basis. There are some traits that will enable you to follow that call, and other traits that will hinder you every step of the way. These are 6 of the most common reasons people end up failing in ministry, and in life.

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Nonprofits often have a difficult time determining long term goals and learning how to achieve them. Here is a 4 step process that helps.

1. The Mission Statement

This tends to be too broad, too vague, and too long. Chop it up. Keep it short, sweet, and direct. It should inspire and give the long term goal of the organization. This shouldn’t outline how you’re going to accomplish your objective, just that you will. At CALVARY, our mission statement is Bringing People to LIFE Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s a win.

Here’s another good one: To connect people to Jesus Christ and to each other.

Here’s a loser: The mission of the ——— is to educate and empower families affected by —-, while advocating on behalf of those who cannot fight for their own rights. We will educate society that —- is not a lifelong incurable genetic disorder but one that is biomedically definable and treatable. We will raise public and professional awareness of environmental toxins as causative factors in neurological damage that often results in an —– or related diagnosis. We will encourage those in the —— community to never give up in their search to help their loved ones reach their full potential, funding efforts toward this end through appropriate research for finding a cure for the neurological damage from which so many affected by —– suffer.

The above mission statement is real, from a real nonprofit which happens to be doing a good work, but their mission statement is a loser.

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13 American Stereotypes

December 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

There are some awesome American missionaries who are preaching the Gospel and making this world a better place. On the flip side, there are some terrible American missionaries who are working hard to make this world a terrible place (probably not on purpose). We try not to have our “Americanism” influence other cultures, but sometimes we can’t help it!

missionaries-at-work

 

No matter if your missionaries are good or bad, here are 13 stereotypes that will help you understand them!

1.  Personal Control

Americans don’t believe in fate. Everyone should have control over whatever environment they’re in. Bad luck doesn’t exist, only laziness and unwillingness to take responsibility in pursuing a better life.

2. Change

In the American mind, change leads to development, improvement, and progress. Although many cultures value stability, continuity, and tradition, all of these are considered bad in America.

3. Time

Time is of utmost importance to Americans. It’s something to be on, kept, filled, saved, used, spent, wasted, lost, gained, planned, given, even killed. Americans are more concerned with getting things accomplished on time than with developing relationships.

4. Equality

Americans believe all people are created equal. It cuts both ways. Everyone is treated normal, from the privileged to the underprivileged.

5. Individualism

Americans are highly individualistic. They don’t like to be placed in a group. Working for your benefit makes perfect sense. Working for the benefit of a large family, not so much.

6. Self-help Initiative

Americans take credit only for what they accomplish as individuals. In the English language, there are more than 100 composite words with “self” as the prefix. The equivalent of these words cannot be found in most other languages.

7. Competition

Competition brings out the best in any individual and in any system. No matter what.

8. Future Orientation

The future is always bright. It doesn’t matter if the present is pretty good, forget about that, next year is going to be awesome.

9. Action Orientation

“Don’t just stand there, do something!” says the typical American (including me). This no nonsense attitude has created the most productive nation on Earth. It has also created a class of workaholics who are willing to sacrifice health, happiness, and family in the pursuit of busyness.

10. Informality

What does an American call his boss? Probably by his first name. In most countries around the world, only Mr. or Mrs. would be appropriate.

11. Directness

To Americans, anything other than directness is considered dishonest and insincere. Anyone who uses an intermediary to deliver a message would be considered and manipulative, untrustworthy, or weak. If you’re from a country where saving face is important, be assured that Americans are not trying to make you lose face with their directness.

12. Practicality

Americans have a reputation for being realistic, practical, and efficient. Will it make money? What will I gain? Is it logical? Are all American questions. Will it be enjoyable? Will it make people happy? Are questions that much of the world asks.

13. Materialism

Foreigners generally consider Americans much more materialistic than Americans are likely to consider themselves. Cars are kept for a few years, houses a little more, and material objects are easily thrown out and replaced. No big deal, it’s just the reward for all of our hard work, right?

Are these 13 stereotypes correct?

(Adapted from Dr. Robert Kohls from San Francisco State University)

Charity: Water

December 3, 2012 — Leave a comment

In Priscilla Carrion’s words…..

I gave up my birthday on the morning of February 11, 2012, during the ONE Conference. My birthday is in December so you can imagine how long I’ve been waiting for this moment.

http://mycharitywater.org/priscillacarrion

I don’t want a party or presents. I want to give people the chance to drink clean water.

As many of you know, my husband and I are expecting our first child in a few months and I would hate for my baby to drink unclean, unsafe water. I dislike the fact that many children around the world today are drinking contaminated water. I can’t imagine giving any child, especially those who I love and care about, dirty water.

Just so you know, I will not be keeping any of your donations. The best part about all of this, is that 100% of the money I raise will directly fund water projects in Rwanda. When those projects are complete, charity: water will send me photos and GPS coordinates so I can see the impact you helped me make. I honestly can’t think of a better birthday gift.

Please join me by helping me raise $2,800.

I can’t wait to, one day, tell my baby girl the difference you helped me make while I was pregnant with her!

 

I apologize for the lack of communication on my part. I’ve been busy with final projects for my two graduate school classes. I’m taking these classes at the University of Miami (seen below). These two classes have taught me 3 things about great professors that I need to share with you.

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Stanford University management professor Bob Sutton says it’s an illusion that the boss is truly in control, and suggests seven “tricks” for enhancing that perception:

1. Talk more than others, but not the whole time. At least in Western countries, people who talk first and most are seen as leaders—the blabbermouth theory. But if you talk the whole time, people will find you a bully, a bore, or both.

2. Interrupt occasionally—and don’t let others interrupt you too much. You can augment your power by winning “interruption wars” at key junctures in meetings.

3. Cross your arms when you talk. When people make this gesture, they persist longer and generate more solutions while working on difficult tasks. By crossing your arms, you send yourself a message to crank up the grit and confidence—but crossing them too often and intensely can make you look inaccessible and unfriendly.

4. Use positive self-talk. People who make encouraging statements to themselves enjoy higher self-esteem and performance. The most effective such talk focuses on encouraging yourself (“you’ve done this before”) and applying specific strategies (“lean hard, now”).

5. Try a flash of anger occasionally. The strategic use of outbursts, snarling looks, and hand gestures such as pointing and jabbing generates an aura of competence in small doses with proper precautions. But spewing out constant venom undermines your authority and earns you a well-deserved reputation as a jerk.

6. If you aren’t sure whether to sit or to stand, stand. This point is especially crucial for a new boss. Standing up signals that you are in charge and encourages others to accept your authority. Whether you sit or stand, place yourself at the head of the table.

7. Surrender some power or status, but make sure everyone knows that you did so freely. One of the most effective ways to show that you are both powerful and benevolent is to take a status symbol for yourself and give it to others. A CEO I work with had a huge corner office, but when he became aware of a space crunch, he moved to a much smaller space so that four employees could share the big one.

They ruin everything!

October 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

Don’t they make everything bad?

They are the worst!

They decided to do that!

They never know what they’re talking about!

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Kidz Alive Core Values

October 15, 2012 — Leave a comment

This is part 2 of the teaching I did for our Kids Ministry volunteers. Via kidzalive.org.

KIDZ ALIVE CORE VALUES

We have 3 core values here in Kids Ministry. Just 3, this makes it easy to remember. We need everyone here to memorize and constantly repeat them!

JESUS

EXCELLENCE

SERVICE

JES!

Jesus
Christ is at the center of what we do. We’re not babysitters, this is not childcare, this is Children’s Ministry. There’s adult church and there’s kids church, we do kids church. Childcare is a bad word!

Three age groups in which we do this.
Nursery
We want to make sure these kids are loved, played with, and prayed over. We don’t know what their home life is like. Maybe they’re loved, maybe they’re hated, literally. Not when they come to Calvary. When they come here, we need to make sure they’re loved from the moment they pull into the parking lot to the moment they leave the building.

Preschool
These children will learn about characters and stories from the Bible. We want them to learn Biblical truths in a way that they can understand and in a way that’s fun.

Elementary School
We want these kids to learn the Bible and learn to follow Jesus in a way that impacts their lives, for the rest of their lives. This is a very critical time for them and we want to make sure that we value every minute we have with them.

Excellence
This means that we don’t waste our time showing movies to kids. We have 50 hours a year to make an impact. We need to value this time.

We need to clean up after ourselves. We’re a team. If you slack off on the cleaning then it means that another volunteer will have to pick up after you.

We need to arrive on time, leave late.

Your not a volunteer, your a team member.

Keep me accountable, keep your leaders accountable, and allow us keep you accountable.

Service
We need to help each other with service transitions.
We need to proactive when signing in/out. When you see someone who looks lost, go out of your way to help them.

JES! (What does it mean?) Jesus, Excellence, and Service!

Be diligent! Some of you guys are awesome, you’re on the ball!

Some of you guys always serve, come on time, prepared, love and serve your kids. Some of you guys are serious about following the Lord and serving the Lord in Kids ministry.

But others. Some others of you guys are, slackers, to say the least. You don’t show up, you come late, leave early, eat food in class. You’re not prepared. You make excuses.

If you’re not serious about serving the Kids here, or about following the Lord outside of church, you need to step up or step out.

I hope that you step up. I love to see people follow the Lord wholeheartedly here at church and at home.

I encourage you guys to step up. The rewards are eternal. These families are going from hell bound to heaven bound. That’s a heaven bound that starts here on Earth.

That’s why we do this, we get the privilege of bringing Kids to LIFE through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Amen!