Monday, January 30, 2012

A short survey on fundraising

If you can't see anything right now, click here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How I Read It: The Steward Leader by Scott Rodin

A few thoughts after finishing The Steward Leader by Scott Rodin

Quotable: "Some leaders worry themselves into nameless graves, while here and there some forget themselves into immortality." - Ralph Waldo Emereson, p23
"As if developing a community of men and women more deeply in love with Jesus would prove a bad investment of time for a ministry whose mission is to serve in Jesus' name." p105
"When you can stand in a peaceful relationship to time, neither serving it as a taskmaster nor wasting it as a sluggard, but enjoying it and investing yourself in it freely, you can free your people to accomplish incredible things for the kingdom." p155

What I Liked: The concept of being a "steward leader."  Throughout the book Rodin contrasts steward-leadership with owner-leadership.  It's a great mental picture to keep in mind.  We don't own anything anyway, so in our leading, why do we pretend that we do?  We should steward ourselves, our relationships, our organizations and our resources.  You can pretend that you own them, but that will only lead to frustration.  Steward what God has given you.

What I Didn't Like:  This book was too complicated and wordy for me.  As I said, the overall concept was great, but often times I felt Rodin lengthened and over complicated what he was communicating.  I doubt I'll read this book again.  I'll want to remember some of the principles and concepts in it, but it was a bit too thick for my liking.

2011 Personal Impact Ranking: (because this book was technically on my 2011 reading list.)
  1. Church Planting Movements by David Garrison
  2. One thing You Can't Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill*
  3. The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani
  4. Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dodson*
  5. Churchill by Paul Johnson
  6. Humility by CJ Mahaney*
  7. How to Design Cool Stuff by John McWade
  8. Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck*
  9. The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
  10. Samson and the Pirate Monks by Nate Larkin*
  11. The Devil's Delusion by David Berlinski
  12. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  13. Crazy Love by Francis Chan*
  14. The Steward Leader by Scott Rodin*
  15. It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men by S. Truett Cathy*
  16. The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott*
*I own these books, let me know if you want to borrow them. I'd love to share.

All due respect to Josh Elliott for my categories in this (and maybe future?) book reviews.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Using the word 'Need' carefully

What do you actually need in life?

It is amazing to me the things we classify as a needs or must-haves when in reality they are just niceties.

A story to illustrate:

In the spring of 2001, I finished up a year of school in Jackson Hole Wyoming and was heading home to Illinois.  On the way home I 'swung by' the Kansas City area to check out the college I was planning on attending in the fall.  (Note: You don't 'swing by' Kansas City on a Wyoming to Illinois route. It's out of the way. Way out of the way.)

From memory I think I drove eight hours across Wyoming the first day.  On the second day I drove around nine hours to Kansas City.  And the following day was six hours home.  If my math is correct, that's a total of 23 hours on the road.

Here's the kicker.  No cell phone.  None.  If my car had broken down in the middle of Wyoming I'd probably still be there.

If we replayed that story today, a cell phone would be a must or a need.  But it wasn't just 11 short years ago.  This isn't a rant against cell-phones.  They're nice to have, I use mine quite frequently.  But do I need a cell phone?  Really?

What about you?  What do you really need?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reality Check #2

If the church you go to closed its doors...*
  • What would you do?
  • How would you follow Jesus?
  • What would you do to continue to fellowship with other believers?
  • Which do you like more: Jesus and his body of believers OR your church organization with it's building and services?

* The church isn't a building and can't close its doors.  Just saying.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Inspire Me: Martin Luther King Jr.

In case you didn't know it, today is MLK Jr Day.

So in honor of Martin Luther King Jr, here's a great quote from his "I have a dream" speech:
We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

BOOR January 2011: Confession's of the world's worst evangelist

The best thing I read online last January was from Steve Addison: Confession's of the world's worst evangelist.

Here are some highlight quotes:
  • I’m still the world’s worst evangelist, but that no longer stops me stepping out in faith to see what God is going to do. 
  • The gospel of our good deeds is a shadow. The gospel of our church cannot save. The gospel of our political agendas is a distraction. The gospel of our silence is unloving. The only hope for this lost world is the death and resurrection of Jesus—Christ in us, the hope of glory. 
  • You would be amazed at how many atheists are touched by your prayer for them. You’d be surprised how many come back the next week and tell me how the God they don’t believe in has answered our prayers.
I think this post resonated with me because I often feel that I am a poor evangelist.  I'm not sure where you consider yourself, but a quick reading of this post would probably be good for you.  Here's the link again.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What to do if you're in a wedding...

What to do it if you're in a wedding... but not the bride or groom.

I've been in plenty of weddings in my short life, but recently I had the chance to deliver the message in a wedding ceremony.  It was really a lot of fun and great privilege to a be a part of the start of a friend's marriage.

I had this thought though: What should your primary goal be if you're in a wedding?

I think you should be like Jesus.  What did he do at the one wedding we have record of him visiting?  You can read the full story here.  What I find most fascinating about Jesus changing the water to wine is that he makes the wedding awesome, but doesn't take any credit or glory for himself.  Other than the servants and his disciples, no one knows he did anything.

So if you're in a wedding...

Be like Jesus.  Make it awesome.  Do an amazing job at whatever role you've been asked to play.  But don't let anyone know you're making it awesome.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reality Check #1

For my friends working for a ministry or church:
  • If you lost your job today, would you still make disciples?
  • Would your main strategy for doing so change?  Or would it look the same as your current strategy?
  • If your main plan for making disciples of Jesus Christ cannot be replicated outside of your current ministry occupation, how Jesus-like is it?
  • What needs to change?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pheaney's Third Annual NFL Playoff Contest (with PRIZES!)

Here's your chance to win a fabulous prize from me.  And all it takes is a little football knowledge and/or luck.  Read on for the details:

Prize Pack
Part 1: I buy you a book off of my 2012 reading list. (Find it Here)
Part 2: After you read the chosen book, I'll take you out to lunch/coffee to discuss. 

Contest Details
Your challenge is to correctly pick the Superbowl Winner from the current playoff field of 12 teams.

But since that's pretty easy I'm also including the following tie breakers:
~ Picking of the Superbowl Loser
~ Predicting the total points scored in the Superbowl.

So what are you waiting for?  Here's where you enter your picks!

Fine print: 
Any remaining ties will be decided by a coin flip.
If the winner is a female, my wife will take you out while I watch my kids.
Contest closes before the first playoff game begins (which is 3:30 Saturday)