Archive - May, 2011

Why Church Conferences?

There are many opinions about Church Conferences and whether or not they add value to individuals, teams or organizations.  In other words: Why Church Conferences? My answer to that question is simply this: they are absolutely valuable to individuals, teams and organizations. They are great to challenge thinking, inspire, educate and team camaraderie.  I have taken my entire team to several church conferences and it was always productive.  Disclaimer: I’m not a big fan of after a church conference, coming back home and scrapping everything that you currently do, in order to implement what the latest church conference guru shared.

In recent days my role has shifted from not only being a conference attender, but rather being a speaker.  I love speaking to leaders and I still enjoy attending the portion of the conference that I’m not speaking, in order to be inspired, educated and challenge my thinking.

This month I had the opportunity to speak at the Dynamic Church Conference in Dallas.  I spoke about leveraging Social Media and Church Diversity.  The Dynamic Conference is administered by the people at FellowShip Technologies. This conference is a great blend of ministry leadership and application, in addition to some nuts, bolts and application of F1 Church Management Software.

This years Dynamic Church Conference was held at Prestonwood Church in Dallas. Prestonwood is the most ridiculuous (in a good way) venue I have ever seen. Over a million square foot, located on 140 acres.  A few things that impressed me about The Dynamic Church Conference was:

  • Attention To Detail– Program books, lanyards, speaker/topics, signage, t-shirts, meals, rooms… were all very well done.
  • Interactive Elements- As I was teaching a break out session the chef busted in my room and yelled for Scott (not me but a session attender).  He then went on to say that everyone in this session won some candy because “Scott” had tweeted about the session.  They quickly served everyone chocolate on a platter and left. (Nice Touch)
  • Varied Programming- The conference had a good mix of programming for support staff and senior leadership.  Met a couple of Senior Pastor’s whom were there with administrative assistants and support staff.  All attending sessions geared towards their particular role.

This conference will actually be the road this summer going to 10 different cities, and it’s called the Dynamic Church Roadshow, details and registration are located here.

You can check out the main talks from the Dallas conference here and pics. here.

Share your thoughts and experiences about church conferences and what you look forward to most.  What are some of your favorite church conferences?  Better yet, answer this question: Why Church Conferences?

Coolest, Classiest Sports Fans Ever! Thunder Up

Oklahoma City has to have some of the classiest and best sports fans there is. This was the support and rection to the fans after the #OKC Thunder were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks.

These fans are outside of the fence of the private airline terminal, on a very late evening after the game. Definitely worth 10 minutes of your day, especially watching the player reactions.

#FistBump to my man @Exodus195 for shooting the video. Over 32k views.

Share your thoughts on the video and how awesome the #OKC Fans are. What other professional sports franchise have over the top fans?

Oprah Finds Jesus?

My wife and I arrived late last night from our trip to Colorado Springs. We had just finished watching the Oklahoma City Thunder get eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference Finals. When we got home my sister-in-law who had been house sitting and taking care of our sons was watching the Oprah Show.

I decided to tune in and asked her to record it from the beginning. I know there are tons of thoughts about Oprah, good, bad and ugly. I have always appreciated the empire that she has assembled and her commitment to fight and bring awareness to issues that are dear to her heart. I have always heard and maybe even watched a youtube video or so about her lack of belief in Jesus as the only way and that she embraces the “many paths” philosophy.

I don’t know enough to emphatically comment on her beliefs; however I was really impressed with her final show. It was just Oprah on the stage without any guests. Oprah addressed her fans, payed repsect where respect was due and in my opinion had a great message about the importance of belief and validation.

Oprah reflected on the 25 year history of the show and her experience interviewing over 30,000 guests. She stated that those 30,000 people all had something in common. The one thing they had in common was the need for validation.

3 Questions Everyone Needs Answered:

  • 1. Do you see me?
  • 2. Do you hear me?
  • 3. Does what I say mean anything to you?

3 Ways To Validate Others: (Family, Friends, Spouse, Children, Employees, Boss…)

  • 1. I see you
  • 2. I hear you
  • 3. What you say matters to me

I thought the overall tone of the show was great and Oprah had a great spirit. Oprah seemed to take extra time and pay special attention to giving honor to God. She talked about listening to the inner voice or inner spirit and she mentioned that she attributes the success of the Oprah show to, “Her team and Jesus.” Yes she said “Jesus” and she made reference to the Alpha and Omega, the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresence of God.

I don’t know enough about Oprah’s beliefs; however I do know that on her last show with probably the highest ratings ever she made a special point to have this internal and external dialogue about God. It appeared as though there was something there, something just seemed different. Oprah Finds Jesus? I’m not sure, that’s between Oprah and Jesus.

There are many of us who have been lost with a history of jacked up thoughts and lives until we found Jesus.  Personally, I don’t like it when people talk about Oprah as though she can’t change and can’t find Jesus. That’s unfortunately a terrible form of arrogance.

Oprah signs off her show finale with, “To God Be The Glory!”

Share your thoughts on Oprah’s thoughts about validation and her three questions. Below is a low quality youtube video recording of some of Oprah’s comments about God, Jesus and Life.


Pistol Packin’ Pastors

I was talking with a buddy of mine not long ago who was considering going through the process of obtaining his concealed handgun carry license.  I had informed him that I’ve had my concealed carry license for quite some time… that was the beginning of a pontificatory (I think I just made up a word) conversation about pastors and Christians packin’ and owning guns.

There are a wide range of opinions about whether or not pastors should own guns and definitely on whether or not pastors should carry handguns.  When the concealed carry law came into existence there were several states in which pastors of rural and urban churches lobbied lawmakers to change the law to add clergy to the list of those who could carry guns.  Some pastors were fearful of armed robbers stealing the offering… Wha? that’s an entirely different blog-post within itself.  I know the State of Kentucky was successful in making Pistol Packin’ Pastors a reality.

I personally had my concealed carry license prior to being a pastor (back in my Warden days); however I am totally okay with pastors owning and packin’ pistols.  I don’t make a big deal of it, I pray that I will never have to use it and it simply remains in a safe place.  The right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the Constitution does not exclude pastors.

Again, it’s perfectly fine for a pastor to be a Pistol Packin’ Pastor and to own a gun, not only for the purposes of hunting; but for personal and family protection as well.  I know many pastor’s that agree with me and others that totally disagree; it’s simply a matter of personal choice.  I don’t carry my handgun on me concealed anymore; however I’m fully armed at home.  Not in some crazy weird way, I simply just own a handgun that stays in a safe place and I’ve taken my wife to shooting lessons in the past.

Some of you are probably reading this and saying what about Love & Faith and More Love & More Faith.  I love my family and that’s why I own a gun; in case I need to use it to protect my house, my family and my stuff.   “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.” Luke 11:21

Should pastors own or pack guns?  Overall thoughts on Pistol Packin’ Pastors & Christians?

Ray Lewis Talks Pride, NFL Lockout, Evil, Football & Community

Nice interview with Ray Lewis putting the NFL Lockout into perspective. Real Talk from one of the more real players in the NFL.  It’s just 3 minutes… Enjoy!

5 Ways To Be Recognized as A Social Media Influencer

Can You Recognize A Social Media Influencer, When You See Them? Well the obvious answer is yes, absolutely you can.  Think of some of your favorite Social Media Influencers, why you choose to follow them and how they influence you personally.  Although many of the effective principles are paralleled, leading and influencing in the world of social media can sometimes be more difficult than leading/influencing in a traditional leadership/work settings.

The social media influencer has to lead purely through relational, cause and content equity.  There is no positional equity, hierarchical leadership or formal boss.  The social media influencer has to answer this daily question for their followers: “Why should I listen to, or follow you?”  In other words, what are you providing that makes people want to follow you; especially when there are thousands of others who are only a click away.

Social Media Influence is not simply about the numbers but rather about value. @Oprah has nearly 6 million followers on Twitter, however she wasn’t a social media influencer until recent months.  She didn’t start actively tweeting until @MCHammer showed her the value and potential of Twitter when he appeared on her show.  He showed her how to extend and leverage her influence to the world of social media.  MC Hammer is a big-time social media influencer and even owns several companies that deal with aspects of social media. @Oprah definitely had potential, but so does every single person in the world of Social Media. Remember This — Potential unrealized is just potential. MC Hammer helped Oprah to reach her potential.

On the other hand @revrunwisdom is probably one of the most influential individuals on Twitter.  If he’s not the most influential, he’s definitely at the top of any list.  He is the most re-tweeted Twitter user of all-time. Why is Rev Run so influential?  It’s quite simple, he provides daily value to every single person in his twitter stream.  He has found his unique voice, which happens to be sharing consistent daily morsels of wisdom.  This is an extension of what he did for years prior to joining Twitter at the end of his TV Show Run’s House.  He would close out his show with a quote typed onto his blackberry and end with a “God Is Love… ~Rev Run.”

Actress @Alyssa_Milano is a social media influencer, not because she is an actress but rather because she adds tons of value by sharing relevant content, promoting causes, sharing her life and being herself.  Pastor @shaunking is a social media influencer, he started an organization that leverages social media for social good for those in need around the globe.  The list of influencers goes on and on…

5 Ways To Be Recognized as A Social Media Influencer:

  • 1.) Can You See What I’m Saying? Find your voice.  Your online voice should be a natural overflow of your IRL (In Real Life) voice.  They should not be mutually exclusive, but rather one in the same.
  • 2.) When You Look At Me Who Do You See? Don’t try to be a copycat or phony.  Authenticity is crucial, so Keep it Real!  “Do You! It’s A Statement… Not A Question.”
  • 3.) Can I See You? Be accessible, helpful, respond to tweets, write a guest post for someone, remember that your online influence is based upon those who choose to follow or connect with you.  Key word… choose, social media is all about choices. @RevRunWisdom is a rare breed when it comes to interaction and following, he doesn’t follow anyone.  Accessibility is important, but not paramount See #2. (Be yourself.)
  • 4.) Can You See My Muscles? Be willing to flex your Social Media muscle by tackling the tough issues, helping worthy causes and adding overall value to the online community.
  • 5.) Can You See Me? People can’t follow you if you don’t give them anything to follow.  Just like the newspaper, you need to deliver regular content.  You don’t have to be hyperactive, just active.  Write something, tweet something, share something!  @oprah‘s nearly 6 million followers had probably forgotten that she even existed before she started actively tweeting.  I mean forgot about her only from a Social Media perspective.  Her worldwide and new television influence will continue to be exponentially multiplied with her engagement of her social media community.

Ellen DeGeneres or @theellenshow does a great job at all of the above.

Who influences you in the world of Social Media and why?  Share your thoughts or other ways to be recognized as a social media influencer.

Caption Please! (Kevin Durant dunk on Brendan Haywood)

Photo from twitpic from @NBA_Photos.

Monster Dunk of Kevin Durant dunking on Brendan Haywood.  Please share your caption below.  Let’s Go Thunder!

What Used To Work, Is No Longer Working!

I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately, and with traveling comes a lot of learning and people watching.  One thing that I have noticed is that every time I’m in the airport there is a little booth where people are trying to get you to sign up for some credit card associated with frequent flier miles of some sort.  We’ve all seen them, as people walk by they start yelling, “Hey sir or ma’am get your card, earn some miles, get a free flight…”

The problem with their “talking & yelling” approach is that no one is listening, people continue to walk by and avoid the booth like the plague.  Dave Ramsey is probably delighted to see everyone walk swiftly past the airline credit card people.

I personally think they need to STOP Talking, Nobody Is Listening.  They need to try a new approach.   What used to work, is no longer working.

That’s the story of life, leadership, relationships etc.  Sometimes we need to STOP Talking, Nobody is listening.  Try a new approach: “What Used To Work, Is No Longer Working!”

I went back and forth on whether to title this post STOP Talking, Nobody Is Listening because that seemed to make sense.  I decided to take my own advice and titled it,“What Used To Work, Is No Longer Working!”

Chicago Pastor Gives MLK Like Speech At Rahm Emanuel’s Inauguration

Pastor Charles Jenkins of Fellowship Church in Chicago gives an amazing and inspirational speech asking God for wisdom and guidance for the City Of Chicago. This speech was delivered at the Mayoral Inauguration for Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel.

This speech was well crafted, well delivered and well needed for the City Of Chicago. The even better thing about the speech is the fact that it was delivered by a great man of God, gifted leader and visionary with a true passion for the City Of Chicago.  Charles is a great friend of mine and Chicago is blessed to have this young visionary leader in Windy City.

The speech is the 1st 5:13 of the video segment.

Share your thoughts on the speech.

Leadership Tools For Success

Over the years I have been on the providing and receiving end of Leadership Tools For Success. The way I view Leadership Tools For Success is this:  We all have tools for success, often times we either have to learn how to use them or we have to dig deep down in our inner toolbox in order to find them.

Leadership is about allowing those you lead to utilize the existing tools at the top of their toolbox, while encouraging them to dig around to the bottom and find tools that they may have never realized they had. Again, as leaders we must provide opportunities for our team members to utilize the existing tools, while encouraging them to dig deep in the toolbox and find new tools.

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” ~Harvey Firestone

Is leadership development the highest calling of leadership?  Share your thoughts and experiences on leadership development and the Leadership Tools For Success.

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