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Yada Yada Yada

The Urban Dictionary defines Yada Yada Yada as: A conversation gloss-over, similar to blah, blah, blah.

I had several people ask about the “New Communication Strategy” that I tried this weekend; in which I made reference to it in yesterday’s post.  The appropriate way for me to describe the strategy is the fact that it was a “Different New Communication Strategy” to our normal stage announcements.  “If we consistently communicate the same thing in the same way, it falls on deaf ears.”   Sam Roberts from the Directional Leadership team calls it Numbness of Frequency

I call it Yada Yada Yada; in other-words when you, me, or someone else is communicating the same thing or maybe even something new but in the same old way, people start to say Yada Yada Yada in their head.  Here are some examples of Yada Yada Yada’s:

  • On the airplane: floatation device, metal end into the Yada Yada Yada
  • Announcement lady at church: pray for the sick and shut-in, prayer service Yada Yada Yada
  • Pastor from stage: welcome everyone, so glad, awesome, amazing, fill-out, drop Yada Yada Yada

Sometimes you can break the chains of Yada Yada Yada just by changing things up.  This past weekend we actually did something that was a little over-the-top and gameshowish.  We did a spoof of the Netflix radio commercials: “If a pie is in the sky, where is the cake? In the Lake. Correct!, If you don’t know what you are looking for, what are you looking for? A LifeGroup. Correct!  If your mom commands you to always be nice and say thank you, who commands you to be Baptized? Jesus. Correct!…  We posed a series of these random goofy questions w/ repetitive answers that drove our key announcements home.

I had more people come up to me after the experience saying they liked it, it was neat, Yada Yada Yada.  we also polled people coming out to see if they remembered the key points and everyone did.  The bottom line is that it was fresh, and I have now bought myself some people-pay-attention-time until I do the next random thing.  It doesn’t have to always be over the top, just keep it random. 

Imagine if the flight attendant did a multiple choice test over the intercom and gave everyone the answers… I bet you would pay attention and understand the points, instead of in your mind going Yada Yada Yada.

  • What are some situations in which you find yourself going Yada Yada Yada?  Church, Boss, Spouse…
  • Share any creative communication that you have done or experienced!  Share any overall thoughts!

Pace Yourself

Greetings, Bert here again (Scott’s still gone and by the looks of his Twitter feed- he’s too busy to update his adoring public. Or maybe he can’t find a signal- either way he’s not trying hard enough).

Today’s post is by Dusty Takle.  You can check out her blog here. Show her your love by posting lots of comments. (You’ll like her, she’s a lot like Cindy Beall– only she makes tea with 2 cups of sugar)

Dusty Takle

Pace Yourself

by Dusty Takle

If you’ve ever been a distance runner, then you understand the importance of pace.  I remember the first time I ran Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race.  I had trained enough to know not to come out of the shoot full throttle.  Otherwise, I may not make it to the end.  And, in the end, I would receive the coveted Peachtree t-shirt.  So, I knew I had to pace myself.

How often do we run the race full throttle?  At work?  At home?  In ministry?  In life?

My oldest just began Kindergarten.  I’m brand spankin’ new to parenting in the school scene.  And, I so want to be a mom who gets it right.  So, I’m finding myself ready to jump in and volunteer for every single, solitary event, need, function, you name it.

When a recent e-mail was sent out to us moms and dads about helping lunch service run more smoothly, I immediately responded.  The sweet PTF (Parent-Teacher Fellowship) President was very kind in reminding me not to overload.  She shared some good advice she received about volunteering.  “Pace  yourself!”  You see, I have two kids and 16 more years of school between the two of them.   I will have plenty of opportunities to give and get involved.

I could really take this advice and apply it to many aspects of my life.  I am better at saying no to things than I used to be.  However, defining boundaries is still a learning process.  I sometimes have unrealistic expectations of what I want to accomplish on a given day.  Especially, when accompanied by a three-year old who tries to set her own agenda.  How quickly she reminds me to pace myself.

By pacing ourselves, we are most likely to keep pace with Christ and His intentions for our life.  But so many times, we sprint.  When we fail to run with endurance, we quickly lose steam.  We become performance-minded instead of heavenly-minded.  And, we risk burn-out or even worse – missing His voice.

Hebrews 12:1 says,

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

How are you running the race?
Do you pace yourself in some things and sprint in others?

Your Church Can Double In One Week!

Do you realize that one of the single most important things that you can do for your church and “The Kingdom” is to invite someone to church. I think that we often times overlook and under-appreciate the strategy of invite-a-friend.

I know this sounds simple, but allow it to marinate… If every person would bring at least one new person to church with them this week, every church would double in size in one week. A certain percent of those individuals would return the next week and more and more people would get the opportunity to hear The Gospel.

One of the reasons the n-dub grew so much in year one (0 to over 3k) is because the people, the staff and I are so fired up to invite someone… and I will keep beating the invite-a-friend drum as long as I’m the Campus Pastor. I have asked the following question several times of our entire campus: “By a show of hands, how many of you ended up at or our campus as a result of someone inviting you?” Everytime I ask this question almost every person in the room raises their hand including myself… Need I say more!

The last time I checked there are plenty of people who don’t know Christ: friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, the lady at Starbucks, the guy at the gym, the man at the gas station, that teacher, that person at the bus stop, the lady at the grocery store, that coach, that homeless man on the corner, those teammates, the mailman, the daughter who ran off…

Stop talking about and be about it!

When was the last time you invited or brought someone to church?

Thoughts on invite-a-friend?

Pardon the formatting, my Blackberry is not being friendly.

Meeting Freak

I have always been a firm believer that having too many meetings is counter productive for any organization.  I had the opportunity to provide leadership consulting for a number of Juvenile Justice Organizations around the country.  A consistent recommendation that I would have for these agencies was to reduce the number of meetings, and get to work.   

Not only would they have a lot of meetings, but they would have a meeting to schedule another meeting….  That is absolutely ludicrous!  Not only are employees sitting through generally boring meetings; they have preparation time, potential travel time and then download time after the meeting.  I have worked for individuals who like to meet for meetings sake and it absolutely drove me crazy.   If you are that boss that requires your employees to participate in a lot of meetings, please stop because you are killing the morale and productivity.  If you work for a Meeting Freak, speak up and challenge them to employ a new strategy.  Here are some strategies to consider as it relates to meetings: 

  • If a meeting is regularly scheduled for 1 hour, change it to 45 minutes
  • If you can handle it with a brief water cooler chat; don’t schedule a meeting
  • Require only the necessary people to attend particular meetings
  • Know your employees and facilitate types of meetings that motivate them
  • Change the setting: Starbucks, Golf Course, Restaurants, Outside, Different…
  • Get rid of the PowerPoint presentations; to much prep time and nobody cares
  • Get everyone involved; encourage everyone’s contribution
  • Speak up; if the meetings are boring or just plain suck, let it be known
  • Don’t get me started on conference calls!

Are you that Meeting Freak or do you know someone who is?  Share your thoughts and experiences! 

I'm going to jail!

ticket.JPGIt was the first Monday morning of the New Year and I was excited to implement all of the goals, resolutions….. that I had outlined for myself, my family, our campus….  As I was on the interstate, I noticed a police officer was behind me with his lights on.  I decided to pull to the side a bit so that he could go around, because I knew that I was not speeding (at lease not this time), I knew that I had not broken any laws….  I motioned him to go around and he made his siren make that funny noise as to say, I’m pulling you over. 

As I proceeded to pull into the parking lot I am thinking to myself, hmmm I wonder why he’s pulling me over.  To make a long story short my tag had been out of date for several months.  Don’t ask me how that oversight happened; maybe it was the address change and I didn’t receive the reminder, who knows.  Nonetheless, I got a $132 ticket and I immediately went and took care of the tag business.  I called the court and the lady told me that I have several options as it relates to this particular ticket.  Those options are: 

  1. Pay the $132 by phone, in person, online or by mail
  2. Go to court and explain the situation and the judge could do one of three things: a.) Make me pay $132 b.) Reduce it to court costs of $88 or c.) Show me mercy and reduce it to $0.
  3. Do nothing and I’m going to jail! 

I am going to leave it up to my blog readers and blogging friends to make the decision for me; if you choose option 2, I’ll keep you posted, if you choose option 3, I won’t be able to keep you posted. 

Which option should I choose?  You Decide 08’ gets rid of Church Members, No Longer a Mega-Church

lc.jpgThis past week was named by Outreach Magazine as “The Most Innovative Church in America” for 2008.  Additionally, this past Sunday gets rid of Church Members and instead is asking the people to partner for the cause of reaching people who are without Christ.  Craig’s message was powerful and really set the stage for a clear and Unstoppable Vision for  I want to share some bullet points from the message that were just awesome.  Here they are:  

  •  No Church Members; instead “partners,” partnering together for “The Cause”

  • We can accomplish more together and do more with less.

  • We are not a Mega-Church, but a Micro-Church with a Mega Vision.

  • If you don’t want to be “All In” here, go find another church!

  • For those of us who committed before God to being partners, Craig prayed that we would be miserable if we didn’t honor our Commitment to God.  Ouch!  “That was bold and I loved it!”

So what do you think about any of these bullet points…..?  Are you or your church willing to do anything short of sin to reach people without Christ?

Get Rid of Church Members (Rewind)

I have been in full-time ministry with for going on two years now. I have recently come to the conclusion that it’s time to get rid of church members. I had this epiphany as my team, a Starbucks manager, and the principal of an impoverished elementary school were meeting to talk about our upcoming endeavors. As we visited, the manager made reference to the role of Starbucks partners.  When I asked for clarification, she stated that partner is the new term used to refer to a Starbucks employee. This just further confirms for me how ingenious Starbucks is. It now refers to every individual who makes our coffee experience amazing as partner. Though this is a subtle shift, I believe it will have lasting results.   

It’s time for us to get rid of our church members and make them our ministry partners.  When we empower the people who walk through our doors to be partners, it increases their sense of commitment and ownership. I consistently meet volunteers who feel the need to be frequently reminded of the importance of their contribution. Allowing the Church to be our ministry partners reinforces the importance of everyone’s contribution to the mission. Personally, I have several memberships – to clubs, gyms, organizations, Netflix – in which I ask the question, “How can you benefit me?” I have only a few partnerships in which I ask the question, “What can we do daily together to achieve our desired mission?” Read the definitions below, and then ask yourself this question: Do we need to get rid of church members and begin to develop ministry partners? 

member – a person, animal, plant group, etc., that is part of a society, party, community, taxon, or other body. 

partner – a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor; associate; a husband or a wife; spouse. 

Ministries around the country are evolving, changing, becoming more relevant; it’s now time get rid of the dated idea of having church members and instead develop ministry partners.   What Do you think, share your thoughts!

Brand Me!

Drive-Thru Lesson 4 (of 4) 

In our ever so fast drive-thru society, in which everyone is jockeying for our attention and our dollar; branding is oh so important. By definition branding is: the sum total of a company’s value, including products, services, people, advertising, positioning and culture.  Webster should simply ad this phrase to its definition:  “a company, business, drive-thru, cultural phenomenon of a coffee shop that epitomizes branding, is Starbucks.”   

Starbucks has revolutionized what we define as good tasting coffee and the overall coffee shop experience.  Did I mention that they have convinced us to pay $5 a cup and feel like it’s worth it?  The only way branding really works is by having a high quality product and the creation of a cultural phenomenon.  BTW- This phenomenon that we call Starbucks is opening 3 stores a day.   

Honestly, if Starbucks wanted to introduce a high end clothing line, people would by it up; this is because we associate that little green Starbucks logo with success and defining the best.  Businesses, churches and organizations can’t expect people to just buy in to their product or brand; you have to define the market one person and one location at a time.  You have to make people want your brand. 

Don’t forget Starbucks Bottom Line:  “We always figured that putting people before product just made good common sense.”  Hmmm sounds like a lesson from the Chick-fil-A playbook.

Have you bought into the Starbucks Brand?  Does Starbucks define excellence in coffee taste and overall coffee shop experience for you?  Share your favorite drink, favorite Starbucks and why!   

Quit Trying to be Like the Jones'

Drive-Thru Lesson 3 (of 4) 

It’s the American way: Sports, Apple Pie, I-Pods, Cell Phones, Trends….. and trying to be like the Jones’.   There is one fast food restaurant franchise that has experienced tremendous success by deciding to Quit Trying to be Like the Jones’.  I am referring to America’s favorite Sub-Sandwich spot SUBWAY.  Just reflect back when the Jones’ of fast food were burger joints popping up on every corner asking  “Where’s the Beef?” telling you that “You can have it your way” and reminding you how many “Millions have been served.”  In 1965 a 17 year old kid named Fred DeLuca got a $1,000 investment to open what would become the antithesis of the burger joints and would change the landscape of fast food for years to come. 

Fast forward to 2007 and the Jones’ is no longer King McWendy, instead it’s Mr. SUBWAY.  Just as we are being reminded that Americans are horribly overweight and unhealthy, SUBWAY introduced us to Jared; who lost 245 ponds eating SUBWAY and exercising.  Now comes the next generation of wannabe Jones’ with sub-shops popping up all over the place.  The same is true for contemporary wannabe Mega Churches.  This SUBWAY season of the Jones’ will last for a long time because of its healthy nature; however the real question is “Who or what will define the next generation of Jones’?” 

Thoughts From Subway:

  • The Product– Fresh Submarine sandwiches
  • The Ad Campaign– Jared who lost 245 lbs. eating SUBWAY
  • The Results– 28,516 restaurants in 85 countries, Voted #1 Franchise

Are we spending so much time at work, church, and with our family trying to be like the Jones’ that we are missing the opportunity to define the next generation of Jones’? 

BTW- The last name we need to be like is not Jones, it’s Christ!

"My Pleasure"

Drive-Thru Lesson 2 (of 4) 

If you are like me when it comes to your dining or drive-thru experience, customer service is paramount.  I can’t stand to go to a dine-in or fast food restaurant and receive poor service from an individual who could care less about me as a customer.  I often times will ask to speak to a manager when I receive exceptional service, because it is simply hard to come by.  If I find a restaurant or business that has exceptional service I will be a loyal customer, it just makes sense for that relationship to be reciprocal.   

There is a fast food restaurant that has been consistently named the best drive-thru in America and that is the restaurant that encourages you to “Eat Mor Chikin” Chick-fil-A.  Not only does this restaurant have the best customer service, they have the best tasting food of any fast food restaurant.  Chick-fil-A’s award winning customer service does not happen without extreme attention to detail. Chick-fil-A values it’s customers and puts its money where its mouth is by spending more than a million dollars a year evaluating service.  Wow, just think if churches and businesses spent time, energy and money evaluating service.  If you ever go into a Chick-fil-A it will appear as though they are over staffed and that’s because they strive to complete drive-thru orders in 90 seconds and 60 seconds at the counter.  At the end of every transaction at Chick-fil-A you will not simply here “thanks” or “see you later” or “come back” but rather “My Pleasure.”   

Recipies for Success from Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy:

  • Embrace Unexpected Opportunities

  • Do What’s Right

  • Lead by Serving

  • Take Sunday’s Off (A day of rest and worship)

Thoughts from Chick-fil-A:

  • The Ad Campaign– Eat mor chickin cows
  • The Results– 2 billion dollars annual sales, 39 years of positive sales growth
  • The Product– Best customer service, Best Chickin sandwich
  • The X Factor– Biblical principles as business practices

How important is customer service to you?  What are some restaurants and business that have exceptional customer service?  What are your thoughts about Chick-fil-A?

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