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Showing posts from May, 2012

Community - Discipleship 177

Community is one of my favorite subjects to write about, talk about and experience. I am fascinated by the human desire to connect and belong to something. The interrelated connections we create and define ourselves by are woven together in a wonderfully complex tapestry. Here are three things I'm learning more about regarding community.
1. Community is created. Community cannot be found, it has to be created. We invest the majority of our time trying to develop connections with people...we are often looking for that significant spark in order to validate our desire. The truth is that every connection we have with another being is a product of creation, not merely the dumb luck of having stumbled upon its' existence. Our desire for connection is a part of our default programming as humans. We, like our Creator, are hard-wired to connect relationally with the rest of humanity. People spend the majority of their lives in pursuit of the impossible task of finding a connection inst…

Discouraged - Discipleship 176

Discouragement is par for the course as a leader and a parent. There are times when those under our care (yes, even our own children) will not live up to our expectations or hopes and things may not go according to our original plan.

It's in these moments of discouragement that we are our most fragile. The heightened sense of emotional angst often causes us to do or to say things we may have done or said differently in a more stable moment of thought. It's also critical to have a plan of action in order to navigate these moments of discouragement.

Here are three practical steps that aide me in the battle during seasons or moments of discouragement.

1. Remember where you've been. When a moment doesn't turn out the way I had hoped or expected, it's always great for me to remember where I've come from and the growth that has happened in the past in order to get me to the present. This is especially critical as a leader when you might be campaigning for change. Disc…

How to train your dragon - Discipleship 175

This was one of my most favorite family films in recent memory. My daughter Saydie is relentless on watching it via playback numerous times in a month.

The element that has always stuck out to me from this film is something that I believe is relevant for parents and leaders to ask themselves: what makes training successful?

There are a number of different elements present in any sort of training and/or learning environment. In this post, I want to share three elements that I believe are absolutely critical when it comes to development and formation of people.

1. Share - This is the core of the learning process. When trying to train someone or helping them to learn, you are really inviting them to share in an experience. The success of the initiative will depend on the level to which partnership is created around the learning process...in other words, the ability to share. The learning process involves both the teacher and the pupil. Each plays a role in the process as a whole. If one e…

Key Leadership & Parenting Questions - Discipleship 174

As a parent of three young kids and a pastor to a number of teens and families, I'm learning a lot about the values of listening and asking questions. Here are three critical questions that should be incorporated into every teaching moment or conversation both as a parent and a leader.
1. What do you value? This is the grassroots foundational big bertha type of question. What I've discovered is that there are often times when I'm simply not on the same page with my kids or those in my sphere of ministry care because there is a difference in what we value. Parents who ask me to "fix their kid" are often looking for an immediate change in behaviour, where I may be approaching the situation from a longer-term heart driven and character formation type of initiative. It is absolutely critical that there is clarity when it comes to this question of value. The answer to this question will help you know how to lead, even if that means stepping away from the situation beca…

Creating Culture - Discipleship 173

Change that is long term and sustainable is all about the creation of a culture.
If you look at the music industry, you will find many examples of artists who created cultural shifts that transcend time, nuance and location. If I say the word Beatles what comes to mind? Floppy hair, rock and roll, and simplicity. What about The Rolling Stones? Pushing the envelope, smash-mouth musicianship and longevity.
There are many other examples of cultural innovators such as these. The challenge we all have as emerging leaders (parents, pastors or others) is being a part of the creation of culture for a specific context, setting and time. Here are three things I'm learning about creating culture:
1. Be honest. When you look in the mirror, don't hide from the things you don't want to see and create things that simply aren't there. Be honest about where you are at and where you want to be. Its' only out of moments of authenticity that true, deep-seeded change and creation of cul…

Community - Discipleship 172

I've written about and spoken on this subject matter on a number of different occasions. Today, I want to share a different slant on community. I'm going to be transparent, sharing the fears that I battle in my own personal pursuit of community.

1. I believe the lie of isolation. In some way, shape or form, I believe that lie that suggests I'm better off on my own. Independence is a great thing...but being too independent only leads to loneliness and despair. Codependence, on the other hand, recognizes that need for a communal approach to life. But again, too great an emphasis on codependence results in an unbalanced and unhealthy approach to life. There needs to be a balance between our individual pursuit of independence and our communal pursuit of codependence. No one can truly live in complete isolation from others.
2. I value experience over people. There are times when I simply do not make time for connecting with others because I'm too focused on consuming an exper…