Recently, there was a frantic knock at our front door. Our new next-door neighbors were throwing a house warming party and their propane grill was not working properly. The neighbor was concerned because her tri-tip was not going to be finished cooking in time and she wanted to borrow our grill. She was frustrated because she had a full tank of propane and the grill was warm but the flames and heat were low. As she described what was happening I said, “Ahhh….I know what your problem is. Your regulator valve is tripped.” I walked next door and within a minute or so, she was back to cooking with full heat. Now before you think I’m some barbequing genius, I only knew this because the same thing has happened to me on several occasions. Read more!
I’ll never forget my dad helping me to learn to ride a bike. He would help me balance myself, but eventually, I would go around and around and flop over. That’s when he used a phrase that I have often heard in my life. He said, “Timmy, your problem is that you are not building up a head of steam. Get a head of steam and your balance will get better.” It sounded like wise advice, but I didn’t have a clue as to what that meant. He explained, “A head of steam is what it takes to get those old steam trains rollin’.” Later I realized that what my dad was talking about was momentum.
Momentum is what gets things moving, and sustained momentum is a powerful force. Whether it’s a snowball rolling down a snow-covered mountain or a train moving down a track, momentum is a self-perpetuating, potent influence. Athletes and sports fans know this and so do effective organizations. Without a “head of steam,” churches and organizations often languish and become stagnant. But with momentum, churches and organizations overcome problems more easily, and have a greater sense of excitement, confidence and hope. Momentum is the accelerator of any organization. Read more!
Years of weather and wear were showing on our facility. We raised money to do exterior repairs, put on a fresh coat of paint and give the entire facility a facelift. But in a few short months, the cracks in the stucco that had been repaired returned. Support beams started cracking and crumbling more significantly than before and much of the work we had completed was for naught. We called in more construction experts and we were given some alarming and difficult news. The issues with our building were not just cosmetic. Our facility woes were the result of an inadequate and failing foundation. We had spent thousands of dollars on much needed exterior repairs, however, the exterior repairs would be worthless if we did not work on the issue that was unseen…a failing foundation. Read more!
The road of church leadership is marked by potholes too numerous to count. Most are small ones. Step in one and it hurts a bit for a while, and then you move on – hopefully wiser for the misstep. Some are far more serious: like a change implemented clumsily creating unnecessary opposition and angst; a loudly promoted initiative that fails due to poor planning; or a poor staff choice resulting in a “divided house” with their “fans” pitted against you and your board.
Then there’s the “Mother of all Potholes.” It’s deep and difficult to get out of. It’s different from all the rest of the potholes because it’s movable! It goes wherever you go. It’s always just a step away. We all step in it from time-to-time, some more often than others. And the consequences of stepping in it are significant, sometimes even debilitating. Read more!
Back in the summer of 2009 I was blown away by one of the most impacting, thought altering, consequential books I’ve read. It was actually written in 2006 – 11 years ago, but, as I have been researching the emerging new generation and their relationship to the Gospel, the Church and Faith I returned to this mind-bending book and highly recommend it to you if you want your brain fried and cooked over the quieter summer months.
Be warned – this will stretch and push you to places you may not have wanted to go!
Let me start. The average age of Fox News viewers is 68 years old. CNN is not that younger – 55 years old. Read more!