For some of us, the price of high quality beans going up is signficant. For others, we couldn’t care less.
And herein lies a fundamental truth for those in leadership.
Do not expect people to be energized by an idea or a project unless it is personal to them. In fact, most folks won’t even get excited unless they were part of the idea generating meeting and some even won’t get excited unless it is THEIR idea.
I believe with all my heart that we must be as inclusive as possible and strive to build consensus at every turn. The real problem comes when there is a need to do something/try something that will not be on the top of anyone’s list. Consensus many times takes you to places of comfort and status quo instead of places of risk and growth. When consensus is not likely to be reached then don’t expect folks to buy-in unless you have taken time to build their confidence by your past actions (and quite frankly successes). It is in these situations we must continually ask for (and receive) feedback and give people a lot of space to wrestle with what is going on.
What would you give your life for? Perhaps a better question is “what would you give your time and energy toward?” I believe that we need to ask ourselves why we are involved in something that we are not willing to give our time or energy toward. To look at the protest pictures coming out of the Middle East right now reminds me what can be done when people’s passion is met with a channel to organize and focus it. It is an understatement to say powerful results can follow. It is a good reminder for me as a leader. Am I spending intentional time fanning the flames of the passionate people and unleashing them to change the world? Am I providing a channel and a process for the passion to be organized?
We started a new worship and Sunday School hour about a month ago. I have to own a lot of fear over this. Will it hurt more than help? Who will come? Is this just an ego trip thing for me?
Our hope was to create more Sunday School attendance as well as open up some space for worship.
While we are far from ready to proclaim “mission accomplished”, early results are encouraging. Both worship and Sunday School attendance is up. In fact, today was a high water mark for Sunday School attendance.
My first observation is that our own folks have upped their committment level to attending both SS and worship.
Secondly, we have noticed many new faces at the 11 service. While this may be a function of people getting back into the New Years groove, I also believe that a message was sent to the neighborhood that something is happening at Andover.
Thirdly, I believe we are poised to reach out during the lent and Easter season like never before. New places for new people raises awareness across the entire congregation to invite people and make them feel at home.
So far so good. Much more to do to reach our community with the love of Christ. For that I am happy to be with a group of people who are determined to make a difference!
A premier African-American scholar is arrested in a bazaar turn of events at his own home (see article above). Reminds me of my favorite quote from Tom Peter’s about communication, “the greatest myth about communication is that is has taken place.” Meaning that just because we think something happened doesn’t mean it actually did.
This is never more true than in race relations within the US. As good as things seem to be getting, there is still much work to be done to right the wrong and level the playing field that has been skewed from centuries of racism. I am not saying that any of these officers were racist and I know there is always two sides to every story. But on the outside, this appears to be a case where one man was not given the benefit of doubt that is duly given to many. While it appears that Dr. Gates exhibited anger toward the officer which is never a good way to address a situation, this is still an awful turn of events. The police department has offered an apology which is most appropriate and also most telling.
Bottom line: There is more to be done. And it begins with each of us examining our own hearts. It continues with each of us intentionally seeking relationships with those who do not look, or act or think like us. Things are getting better, but this is no time to stop.
Brooks from the NY Times gives an interesting account of how dignity in the public arena has changed over the course of our nation.
We have gone from a time in which stoicism (in terms of feelings) was valued to one where we are encouraged to live with our feelings upon our sleeve. I am more toward the sharing your feelings end of the spectrum because I believe it is an authentic approach to life. However, I can see the downside as pointed out in this article. Do we really need to see all these public figures traipse in front of a TV and air all of their failures? Wouldn’t it be better to have them go away and get things figured out and show us their repentance by their actions instead of their emotional grandstands?
Count me as an undecided at this point…but something to think about.
These past two weeks have seen 7 life-altering events involving members or family members of First Church’s downtown and Andover campus. It just reminded me once again how fragile life is and how quickly things can turn. It also reminded me how important having a group of people who you can count on and call upon during these tough times.
I had been struggling with a sermon for most of last week entitled, “Liberty”. It became obvious by Saturday that this was NOT what God had planned. I have not been doing this “preacher” thing long, but long enough to know that if I can’t get comfortable, then it is on to another plan. Not so much plan B, but rather plan A because I had obviously been struggling with plan B to start with!
What transpired was nothing short of a God-moment. God knew who was coming and what WE ALL needed to hear. Funny how things seem to work…
I realized afresh tonight my love for my calling to ministry and more importantly my growing love for the people God called me to serve.