Telling the Story: An Example from the @OlatheChamber

I appreciate a well told story.

Telling stories is one of the most effective ways to lead a community or congregation.

The church that I serve, Resurrection West, is a member of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce who recently released a video to promote Olathe.

This model could be effective for a wide variety of settings to share stories of:

  • Generosity
  • Vital congregations
  • Church conference reporting
  • New church starts

Perspective on Capacity from Ray Pitman (3 of 3)

Rockhurst University
Image via Wikipedia

I have had the privilege of spending time with Ray Pitman, a member of Resurrection, over the past several months. Several years ago, I officiated at the funeral for his wife, Betty, and we reconnected this summer when I lead worship at Leawood one Saturday night. I found his perspective on capacity to be particularly helpful as presented to an executive MBA class at the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University.

As drinking glasses exist in different sizes, people have varying capacities in life and work. If you fill a glass to the point of overflowing it won’t do any good to keep putting water in it. When your own glass is overflowing you have to be able to recognize that and make sure that you are surrounded by other people who have some additional capacity.

Four Keys to Business and Entrepreneurship from Ray Pitman (2 of 3)

I have had the privilege of spending time with Ray Pitman, a member of Resurrection, over the past several months. Several years ago, I officiated at the funeral for his wife, Betty, and we reconnected this summer when I lead worship at Leawood one Saturday night. He has shared with me over and over his four keys to business and entrepreneurship. I have found them to be applicable in a wide variety of circumstances:

  1. Opportunity – Be able to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.
  2. Vision – Have the vision to project that opportunity to where it might go; Be able to recognize if this is the opportunity for you
  3. Ability – Have the ability to make it happen
  4. Passion – Have passion for what you are doing.

Pastoral Excellence: Strategic Planning

There are many things that I hope to do well as a pastor. One of those is strategic planning. The Wikipedia contributors define strategic planning in this way – “Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people.”

This process is critical for a local church to have significant success in their purpose. At Resurrection, our purpose is that we are building a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. Each year the church council defines strategic objectives to help us accomplish this purpose. As an associate pastor, I have some role in this process and when I am the lead pastor at a church I want to be great at leading the congregation through this type of planning process.

Strategic planning can undergird the purpose of the church, equipping volunteers, mobilizing for mission and faith sharing. It is a helpful skill for pastors.

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast: May 6, 2011

Chick-Fil-A's signature chicken sandwich
Image via Wikipedia

While enjoying a chicken sandwich at my local Chick-Fil-A on Saturday, I discovered the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast. It looks to be a great leadership event, with excellent speakers and sites across the country. Here is a rundown of the speakers, from the website:

  • Voices of Influence
    • Seth Godin – Entrepreneur, Marketing Expert, & Best-Selling Author of 12 Books Including “Linchpin”
    • John Maxwell – Leadership Expert & Best-Selling Author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
  • Voices of Purpose
    • Mack Brown – Head Coach of the Texas Longhorns, 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year
    • Suzy Welch – Best-selling author, television commentator, and noted business journalist
  • Voices of Hope
  • Voices of Service
  • Voices of Innovation
    • Frans Johansson – Best-selling author of The Medici Effect
    • Sir Ken Robinson – Best-Selling Author & Leader in the Development of Creativity, Innovation & Human Resources

I hope to be able to attend a local event. Have you been to this before? Will you attend this year?

This event is just one of the many reasons that I appreciate Chick-Fil-A.

SXSW Interactive – Reflections

Here is the collection of my posts from my excellent experience at SXSW Interactive:

As Pastor of Resurrection Online, I found great value in being part of this conference and I hope to be able to return next year. The ideas that were generated during my time there are enough to continue development of Resurrection Online for more than a year. Good stuff.

SXSW Interactive Live – Key Speakers

I chose to watch the keynote speakers at SXSW Interactive from one of the simulcast rooms, which was nice because I was able to hear great talks without the craziness of the actual keynote room. You can find video of all of the keynote speakers at I particularly recommend the talk by Seth Priebatsch – on the second page of videos.


My #SXSW Interactive Experience – Day 1

Badge Pick Up

I came to SXSW Interactive 2011 to gain perspectives, discover technology and learn practical steps that will help Resurrection Online fulfill our purpose of building a Christian community where non and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. Over the next few days, I will share some highlights and next steps from the day for Resurrection Online and myself.

My Experience – Day 1

  • I will likely take free stuff –  T-shirt from Gowalla, headband and mmmpanadas from Groupon, and a taste of Man Bites Dog from SquareSpace.
  • The line to pick up badges was where I saw the highest percentage of people engrossed in their mobile device that I had ever experienced.
  • I think I had a sense of what coming to Leadership Institute at Resurrection is like for some people – This is the biggest conference that I have ever attended and it is overwhelming at times.
  • Well run logistics, especially transportation and registration, are necessary for a conference to have a chance at success. Well done SXSW.

    Austin Convention Center
  • Some people are here to party. I am not.

MicroMarketing: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small

  • The next big thing is no more big things. There are a lot of small things.
  • Content consumption and production has become shorter over time – books to magazine or newspaper articles to blogs to 140 character updates.
  • Small content can travel fast and free far across the web.
  • For many marketers micro media and short form content is a mess – you cannot market in mass ways on the internet.
  • Learn from how constituents are actually engaging with content instead of case studies and best practices.

Why Everything is Amazing But Nobody is Happy

Why Everything is Amazing But Nobody is Happy
  • What is an amazing piece of technology to which you  feel entitled, so much so that you complain about it when it doesn’t work exactly like you want it?
  • Bilocationality is trying to be two places at once, often using technology.
  • Social media is information poor as a result of no nonverbal communication.
  • Interacting with the internet is behavior that may become compulsive, however may not be addictive.
  • Explore opportunities to create positive competitive environments.

Metrics for Social Media: The Net Promoter Score

  • I did not make it in to this presentation because the room was full when I arrived late, as a result of the shuttle ride between locations.

Ignite SXSW – 2021 Vision of the Future

  • I took part in the egg drop competition to try to win a Roku. I did not win.
  • Free quesadillas and nachos were supper for me.
  • The first few presentations were unimpressive, so I came back to my hotel.

Next Steps for Resurrection Online

  • Be aware that Resurrection Online is amazing technology to which some people feel entitled.
  • Be aware that Resurrection Online encourages bilocationality – people trying to be two places at once.
  • Provide guidance for people to prepare offline for worship online. Some internal preparation may be helpful before you turn on the screen.
  • Create opportunities for positive competitive environments – best guidance, most faithful next steps, insightful response to scripture or worship, etc.
  • Investigate and

Next Steps for Me

  • Beware of book readings at conferences.
  • Visit the 2 Week SXSW Apple Store to take a look at the new iPad.
  • Pay attention to venues when selecting sessions or workshops – being present at a second choice session is better than missing a first choice session.
  • There is not a need to do everything at SXSW, at work or home.
  • Be present.

Planting Seeds – Part 1

A Striped Lawn
Image via Wikipedia

For the past two years, I have sliced and seeded the yard at our home. Last year we had a tree taken out which led to a large bare spot that needed to be covered. Last year I also had to deal with using Round Up on weeds instead of something that doesn’t kill the grass. This year we have had a hot summer and there were some bare spots that had developed in August and September.

Preparing the ground and spreading the seed is important, however sometimes I wonder if it is really worth it. I overseed the whole lawn and it seems as if there are just small places where it actually makes a difference. This has lead me to reflect on a passage of scripture that I read this week from Mark 4:1-8:

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain (Mark 4:1-8, TNIV).

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

It is understandable that not every seed will bear fruit. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:6, TNIV – “I [Paul] planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.”

Monetary Incentive for Spiritual Growth?

Image representing stickK as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I invite you to take a look at Here is their mission:

stickK empowers you to better your lifestyle. We offer you the opportunity, through ‘Commitment Contracts’, to show to yourself and others the value you put on achieving your goals.

Basically you put money down on reaching goals and if you don’t make them you have to start paying your friends or others with whom you have made a commitment contract. This financially incentivizes all kinds of things.

Would this work for spiritual growth? Say for example, a congregant put out a contract that she or he would be in church every weekend unless sick or out of town. Maybe it is reading the Bible or being present in a small group.

I do not believe that this makes sense in the long term. However, for someone that is starting a habit it may actually be helpful.

What are your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this?

Take thou Authority and Responsibility…

Seth Godin
SetImage via Wikipedia

In the post, Responsibility and authoritySeth Godin (picture to the right) inspired me to suggest a change in the phrasing used at the ordination of every United Methodist Elder. The post is short enough to warrant reposting:

“Many people struggle at work because they want more authority.

It turns out you can get a lot done if you just take more responsibility instead. It’s often offered, rarely taken.

(And you can get even more done if you give away credit, relentlessly).”

This post lead me to the conclusion that it would be helpful to reword the phrase used by a United Methodist bishop when ordaining elders should be “Take thou responsibility and authority…”

You Are Invited: Young Adult Meetup at Leadership Institute 2010

Friendship / Amistad
Image by victor_nuno via Flickr

One of the best parts of Leadership Institute is the opportunity to make and continue friendships near and far, to that end I invite you to a young adult meetup at Leadership Institute next week.

Who: Young adult (35 and under) leader

What: Meetup at Leadership Institute 2010

When: Thursday, October 7 from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Where: The Spring Cafe, in the West Building at Resurrection Leawood

Why: Collegiality, mutual encouragement, and hear stories of God‘s work

I will be there on Thursday morning and hope that you can make it. I am leading a pre-institute session in the afternoon, but I encourage you to continue to hang out through the afternoon and into the evening.

Spread the word to others

Say Hi.

Encourage one another.

Listen for God.