Archives For Staff Development

ProductiveLast week two great conferences took place:  Exponential and Orange.  After I attend challenging and empowering conferences like these, I can’ t wait to get home and implement what I’ve learned.  Conferences are creativity catalysts that help me “work on” ministry and not just “work in” ministry.

But I have to be careful once at home to not allow great conference content to become “productivity porn”.   Vivek Haldar says productivity porn is when we confuse activity for progress. Continue Reading…

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There were several great speakers at Orange Conference this year.

If you did not catch Reggie Joiner’s fantastic opening, here are my tweeted quotes.

My favorite speaker this year is someone I had never heard of prior to OC13 named Craig Jutila.  I first caught Craig doing an interview about the new book he co-authored with his wife entitled From Hectic to Healthy.  I was very impressed with Craig’s authenticity.  During this interview, he shared his struggle as a ministry workaholic, and his turning point when he discovered his wife’s diary which contained the entry, “I hate my husband.”   He confessed, “I almost lost my marriage.” I always appreciate those who minister from their pain and not from their projected perfection.

[pullquote]I always appreciate those who minister from their pain and not from their projected perfection.[/pullquote]

Craig continued to share how through counseling he was confronted with the question “Can doing more good bring about more bad?” For example, can giving too much result in not being able to provide for our own family?  I was floored by this question and happy to hear that this “?” is as the heart of From Hectic to Healthy.

virus riots & velcroCraig did an outstanding workshop at OC13 on Volunteer Leadership entitled Viruses, Riots and Velcro.  Afterwards Twitter lit up with quotes about astronauts and velcro!  To get an audio copy of Craig’s workshop and his notes go here and join Craig’s mailing list.

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Teams are great unless they are dysfunctional.  Les McKeown does a great job is this piece for Inc. sharing three types of dysfunctional teams: the Bickering Undertakers, the Grind-it-out Tacticians, and the Blue-sky Optimists.

Are you working for a team that puts the “fun” in dysfunctional?

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bull horn groupThe Sunday services are over.   As the point communicator Sunday’s are “game days” for pastors, but every pastor knows that after Sunday preaching comes Monday leading.  If you are a pastor/leader who does better on “game day” than on Monday, check out the article attached to this tweet from Les McKeown.les mckeown tweet

The Main Points and a Short Quote

1. Develop a morning routine

“If you arrive at your desk unprepared and unthinking, rote tactical granularity will sandbag you until the next emergency jolts you awake.”

2. Heighten the first 90 seconds of every interaction.

“Taking a minute and a half to look slowly around the room, while reminding everyone of the meeting’s purpose and goal can be powerfully centering, and can release creativity and innovative thinking in an instant.”

3. Balance hard and soft landscape in your schedule

“Once your calendar has more than 60 percent of its time blocked out for hard landscape activities, your ability to lead strategically begins to erode.”

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tipping sacred cowsTeamwork, Innovation, Preparation and Fairness are some of the current workplace strategies for improving productivity in the office.  Although these are effective strategies, they require more than an “add water and stir” approach and in some cases they are down-right counter productive.

Continue Reading…

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Do givers always turn out to be winners?

Who tends to do more giving and helping, men or women?

Is the current generation more selfish than other generations?

Why are people either Givers, Takers or Matchers?

I recently heard Dr. Adam Grant answer these questions on the Diane Rehm show. His new book is Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.

Here is a five minute clip of Grant describing his research:


Give and Take CoverWant to know more?  You can listen to the Diane Rehm show here.  Pay attention to how many times Adam Grant gives credit to other people’s research.  HEADS UP: If you’ve never heard Diane Rehm, I should let you know that is her real voice.  Although she has a voice for silent film, she asks great questions and gets interesting people to the interview table.

Here are a few interview highlights:

Continue Reading…

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Adorable Boy in SuitI’ve spent the past few years as an “over-the-hill” student pastor.  I’m old enough that I have kids of my own in the youth group, and I did not start parenting young.

One of the challenges of staffing when it comes to a student pastor hire is the “age versus experience” quandary.  A young student pastor, whose not far removed in age from the youth, identifies better with the students but the parents are nervous over his lack of experience.  A pushing-40 student pastor, with a few youth-age kids of his own, helps parents feel more secure but the students feel disconnected from his “ancient” age.   So, what’s the right age for a student pastor hire? Continue Reading…

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