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Posted by on Nov 21, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

How Do You Connect Good Deeds and Good News?

How Do You Connect Good Deeds and Good News?

This week I had the opportunity to facilitate one of the gatherings for our New Evangelism Paradigms Leadership Community.  Nine churches are journeying together for two years in a collaborative effort to develop new pathways to engage those far from God who will not be reached through a Sunday morning service.  This week’s gathering focused on how to make the connection between “good deeds” and the spreading of the Good News.  And despite popular sentiment to the contrary, conducting good deeds does not create an automatic link to God. You’ve probably heard a quote attributed to Francis of Assisi (despite the lack of any compelling evidence linking Francis to this particular quote): “Preach the Gospel at all times.  Use words when necessary.”  The idea expressed in the quote rests on the assumption that, when the people of God serve others through love and good deeds, those witnessing will directly link their benevolence to God. However, as my colleague and Externally Focused Church author, Eric Swanson, pointed out, left to themselves, people will...

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Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

Is Your Church Succession Ready?

Is Your Church Succession Ready?

One of the biggest issues facing a majority of churches in North America is pastoral succession.  The reality is that every pastor is an interim pastor.  Some will be replaced in the future, others will remain until the doors are closed, and some will be relieved of duty when Christ returns.  One of the critical questions becomes, “How prepared are you for your inevitable transition?” A recent survey co-sponsored by Leadership Network asked large churches (weekly attendance of 1,000 and higher): “How would you rate efforts at planning for the senior pastor’s eventual succession from this church, relative to where you feel that planning should be at this point?” A surprising 44% rate their succession preparation as either “poor” or “fair”—the bottom two choices out of five total options. Only 8% picked the top choice of “outstanding.” This mini-report, brought to you by Vanderbloemen Search Group, explores the current state of succession planning in large churches, as well as offers next steps you can take to improve your own succession...

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Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

7 Deadly Assumptions #3: Confirmation Bias – Leadership Network Blog

7 Deadly Assumptions #3: Confirmation Bias – Leadership Network Blog

“We don’t believe the world we see; we see the world we believe.” In the blockbuster movie, The Matrix, there is a pivotal scene where the Judas figure, Cypher, betrays his cohort of rebels in favor of a more comfortable ‘reality’.  If you haven’t seen the film, “the Matrix” is a virtual reality created by an advanced artificial intelligence.  Machines that are a part of this system have usurped human dominion, plugging everyone into their giant network to keep them alive but in the dark.  The virtual world is managed by “agents” who, because they are manifestations of the AI within the network, possess super-human abilities that make them virtually unstoppable ‘peace keepers’.  In return for life in this artificial world, the energy of the billions of people plugged into the system provide the necessary power to keep everything running.  A nice little symbiotic relationship. Sorta. Anyway, in this scene, Agent Smith, chief of all the agents, talks to the rebel, Cypher, over a nice steak dinner.  Cypher admits that...

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Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

7 Deadly Assumptions #2: Framing – Leadership Network Blog

7 Deadly Assumptions #2: Framing – Leadership Network Blog

At some point in time you’ve probably played a version of a game called “The Back-to-Back Game” (not a very clever title, I’ll admit).  It begins by participants pairing up and standing in front of their partner.  Pairs are given 60 seconds to observe their partner’s appearance, trying to develop a mental picture of each and every detail.  Then the pairs are instructed to stand back-to-back and change 5 things about their appearance without their partner’s knowledge.  After another minute, the pairs face one another again and try to pick out each of the changes that were made.  There is chuckling and general merriment from participants, with the exception of those who rue such silly games. That’s the first round.  Pairs are asked once again to turn around and change five additional things about their appearance, without correcting the first five.  Groans and giggles ensue as participants struggle to come up with five more changes.  After time is up, they face their partners one more time to identify the...

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Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

7 Deadly Assumptions – Leadership Network Blog

7 Deadly Assumptions – Leadership Network Blog

This is another series I’ve been working on for the Leadership Network blog.  I’ve enjoyed rehashing some thoughts on leadership and strategic thinking.  Would love your comments on these.  Enjoy! The Ladder of Inference Have you ever been cut off in traffic? If you’re anything like me, just reading that first sentence can set your emotions to a slow boil. When you get cut off, lose your parking spot, or fall victim to some other blatant traffic injustice, a sequence of steps begin to unfold in your mind, like the slow unwrapping of an unwelcomed gift, that move you from observable fact to belief-based response in an instance. And if your emotions aren’t held tightly in check, you can ‘lose your religion’ in less time than it take to slam on the brakes. Why do many of us react this way? What is it that moves some of us from experience to emotion, while others seem unmoved by similar circumstances? Recently I came across an article that described a...

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Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

Discovery Skill #5: Networking – Leadership Network Blog

Discovery Skill #5: Networking – Leadership Network Blog

One of the principles we follow at Leadership Network is that innovation doesn’t happen alone. For the past 31 years, we have held the belief that if you get the right people in the room, great things happen. We have spent a great deal of energy, effort, and resources to build a network of leaders and a variety of experiences centered around Kingdom innovation.  ‘Networking’ is in our DNA. It’s how we help leaders like you move from ideas to implementation to impact. But how does networking for innovation ‘work?’  According to the authors of The Innnovator’s DNA: “Devoting time and energy to finding and testing ideas through a network of diverse individuals gives innovators a radically different perspective. Unlike most executives—who network to access resources, to sell themselves or their companies, or to boost their careers—innovative entrepreneurs go out of their way to meet people with different kinds of ideas and perspectives to extend their own knowledge domains. To this end, they make a conscious effort to visit...

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