Thursday, March 28, 2013

No Experts Please

We don't necessarily need more experts.  

We need people who know enough to start, with a strong desire to do excellent work and to continuing learning more.

In the last couple of months, my boss* has commented on two people who have been a big help to him as he looks to them for advice in his role at Camp of Champions.  What stood out to me is that he specifically mentioned these two individuals were not experts in their specific field, they merely knew enough to get started.  What they had over the experts however, is a strong desire to do excellent work equally matched with a desire to continually learn more.

Why is that type of person better than an expert?  Lots of reasons, but mostly because they are more teachable, approachable and humble.

What does that mean for you?

It means that we don't need you to be an expert.  We need you to know enough to start, and have a strong desire to do excellent work and to continue learning more.

*Thanks Brad!

Monday, March 25, 2013

What Did Jesus Do?

You've probably heard about WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?)

And I've blogged a bit about WWJB? (What Would Jesus Buy?)

In my recent read of What Jesus Started, I was reminded of an even more important question:

WDJD?* (What Did Jesus Do?)

What Did Jesus Do to share the gospel and make disciples?

Becaause that's what we should do.  I met a college-age friend recently and we came up with these three things off the top of our heads:
  1. Spent time with his disciples
  2. He lived out the way of life he wanted them to live
  3. He challenged them to do the same
I know Jesus did more than that, but I think that's a pretty accurate starting list.

If this is what Jesus did to make disciples, what are we doing?  What should we change?

*But please, no bracelets.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

HIRI: What Jesus Started by Steve Addison

A few thoughts and points from What Jesus Started by Steve Addison:

Quotable: "Someone brought the gospel message to you, to whom are you taking the gospel?" p12
"After thirteen years the church had around one hundred people attending, but it was no longer growing. People were not sharing their faith. They just attended Sunday church services." p169 (Note: This was not a 'good' quote, just a convicting one.)

What I Liked: The simple straight forward organization.  Steve uses a simple diagram to show that Jesus, the 12 Apostles, and Paul were essentially doing the same thing to propel the Gospel missionary movement.  He then shows how people are still doing those things today, and with great results.

What I Liked II: The call to connect.  This was a fresh look at all of the outward focused connecting that Jesus and the apostles did.  More than a reminder, it was a challenge to be disciple who is always connecting with people everywhere I go.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing to write about here.

Bonus:  Steve is a great example of why any author (and probably most any person) should blog.  To be honest, I was not overly impressed with Steve's first book (Movements that Change the World).  However, after I finished that book a few years ago I started following his blog.  On that blog I read about his journey from a writer about movements of God, to a worker in them.  His example was both inspiring and challenging.  After following his journey over the last few years I couldn't not read his book.  I had to.  Great job Steve.

2013 Personal Impact Ranking: 
  1. T4T by Steve Smith
  2. What Jesus Started by Steve Addison*
*I own this one and you'd be welcome to borrow it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Marty, Where you going?

March has been keeping me behind the proverbial 8-ball.  So in lieu of new content, I thought I'd post some lyrics.  It's a long song, but I'll bold the parts that stick out to me.  If you are Marty or know someone like him, please see this free advice to 18-25 year old males.

Marty where you going? Whatcha going to?
Whats the point in not conforming if it changes you?
When this world runs out of answers would you even know?
Does the truth have any bearing on which way you go?

He took the bus to Santa Cruz, he hitchkhiked to LA
A preacherman picked him up and drove him half the way
He said theres two kinds of people that I've met:
Those who ask the questions and those who dont ask questions yet
Then he turned asking Marty which one that he thought he was
Marty shrugged and shook his head forgetting what the question was

You'd do almost almost anything someone told you not to do
Just because someone else told you it was cool
Remember long ago when someone said to get a life
Did you ever think they might be right?

Marty was a rebel never had a cause
It may be stupid and cliche but thats because he was
He spent his whole life straying from the norm
He was neither hot or cold just boring and lukewarm
It didnt seem to bother him he didnt seem to mind
His cathartic life just buried somewhere in the timeline

from Marty by Five Iron Frenzy

Thursday, March 14, 2013

PLP: Start with the Bible

I want to start a mini-series based on thoughts from my book, Partner Like Paul.  We'll be looking at a practical and Biblical fundraising strategy in 6 steps.  Step one is...

Start with the Bible
And to start with the Bible, I want to "steal" the thoughts that local youth leaders came up with during my training session last month.  We looked a list of Scripture pertaining to fundraising.  They (at random) chose the verses below and came up with these principles:

Acts 18  Tentmaker: [Paul was a] self provider 6 days with 1 day preaching until support came for 7 days/week preaching.

Acts 20:33-35  Don't covet, focus on giving and blessing those in need rather than focusing on receiving.

Romans 15:22-29  BOLD invite to join in God's plan.

2 Corinthians  Don't be a burden to who you are serving.

Galatians 6:6  Support those who teach and minister to you (or your kids!)

Philippians 1:3-5  Partnership with mutual benefit/blessing.  Partnership founded in prayer.

Titus 3:13-14  Be aware of others' needs and help when you can.  Blessing those in ministry with available resources will bless them and you.  People give as part of good works in order to be fruitful.  God's people should make it their business to care for the needs of those ministering, even at short notice.

Those principles alone would be a solid foundation to raising money Biblically.  And we came up with them in 30 minutes!  If you're involved in fundraising in anyway, you should Start with the Bible.  Partner Like Paul has one chapter centered on fundraising principles from the Bible, plus an appendix with nearly every scripture related to fundraising.  If that would be useful to you, check it out.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quick Quote

Feeling a little behind on the blog mainly due to some family sickness.

Here's a quick quote that I heard from JK Jones at a conference last week:

In friendships marked by Jesus, age does not matter. 

I'm not sure why that quote hit me, but it did.  So I thought I would pass it on...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

RePost: Which comes first?

The chicken or the egg?

I know the answer to that one.  But how about this one:

Which comes first?  Being a disciple or making disciples?

Which one are we supposed to do first?  Where do we put our priorities?  Do we focus first on being a fully devoted follower of Jesus, or do we prioritize making others fully devoted followers of Jesus?

What do you think?

My answer:
I think they go hand in hand.  You can't make disciples of Jesus unless you are one.  But if you are a disciple of Jesus, you're going to be making disciples (or at least you should be according to the Bible.)

Stated one generation down: You can't train someone else to make disciples of Jesus unless they are one themselves.  But if they are a disciple of Jesus, they should be making disciples.

Trouble comes when we emphasize one over the other.  If our only focus is being a disciple, we become in-grown and self-absorbed quickly.  If our only focus is making disciples, we leave others no example to follow when it comes to our personal relationship with God. (Or worse, we make disciples who aren't actually following the Lord, just us.)

Reposted and slightly edited from 2/27/2012.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pondering Tax Returns

I know not everyone gets a tax refund.  But for those of us that do, this is probably worth saying:

It's easy to think about your tax refund as a cash bonus from Uncle Sam that you can spend on whatever you want.  I'm not so sure that's a good and Godly response.

All of our money, wherever it comes from, belongs to God anyway.  And just like with our regular income, we should seek to honor God with 'lump-sum' incomes that come our way as well.  A few questions and points that may be helpful:
  • What percentage of your regular income are you giving away?  I would think about matching that percentage with your refund.
  • Do you have any pressing needs that this extra money can help you take care of?
  • Do you have anything you are (or should be) saving for?  
  • We shouldn't spend all of our tax refund at nice restaurants in April and then complain in June of not having enough money to buy beans and bread.
In general, the less impulse-ridden your money decisions are, the better.  So if you're expecting a tax refund, plan to honor God with it now, before it arrives.