Month: August 2016

The Most Overlooked (and Most Necessary) Skill In Your Organization

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The ability to cast vision, lead and organize is a gift from God. Check out what that means.

I once wrote “administration is a holy gift from God” in an email and someone asked me to explain.  Here’s what I wrote in response:

  • Administration” is defined as “the process or activity of running a business or organization.”  It can also be defined as “The management of public affairs; government.”  With that being said, here are a few Scriptural precedences for administration. The Greek found in Scripture is kubernesis, which refers to “steering a ship” “ruling” or “governing.”
  • It’s a good and useful thing, so it must be from God.  Just as James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect thing comes from above.”
  • It’s a theme on God’s heart throughout Scripture. God gives good gifts of all kinds.  Any form of leadership and management requires some kind of administration.  You can see examples of this starting in Genesis and going all the way through the New Testament.  Examples include Joseph’s wisdom in managing the food crisis in Genesis 46, Mosesleading and organizing millions of people to leave Egypt, Nehemiah organizing a rebuilding of the wall, Paul’s organization of churches all over Europe and Asia, the 12 organizing the people in Acts 6, and Jesus gathering the 12 and organizing them to basically dominate the world with the gospel after he went back to heaven.
  • It’s directly in the Bible.  Paul labels it as a gift in 1 Corinthians 12:28, and actually, in this list, it comes before speaking in tongues.  Some Bibles translate it “administration” and others call it “government” which fits with our original definition quite nicely!
  • Here are some more resources to check out: Paul Manwaring at Bethel has written and spoken a ton on Administration.  He’s actually offering a class on it that Steven and I are taking.  We’ve got PDFs of his book (that he gives through the class) if you’re interested in learning about it more specifically.  Here’s a 7 Minute preview (it’s a video, watch it :-). One quote, “Administration without the supernatural will kill a move of God.  Supernatural without administration is unable to pass it on to the next generation.”
  • Here’s an overview of spiritual gifts in general. My point in this link is that while this is a list from Scripture, I don’t think spiritual gifts are just limited to these.  It’s a full circle to my first bullet point, every good and perfect thing comes from God.  There’s a podcast from Kris Valloton I can find if you’d like more info.

Essentially, the gift of administration is an important part of the church, or any organization, for that matter.  If you have that gift, you’re a blessing from God to your place of work and to your church.  Don’t let anyone look down on that. We need you.  Some of us (including me) who lack this gift, need you desperately.  Don’t give up on us because we’re disorganized. We need you.


One Breakthrough You Can Have Today

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Our brains are much more powerful than we even know. Perhaps, Lucy wasn’t that far off. A blended thought I had recently came as a result of reading Boundaries for Leaders. In it, Henry Cloud outlines how chemicals in our brains interact based on how much hope we have.

Many of us struggle when something negative comes. We begin believing it’s personal (our fault), pervasive (we do it all the time), permanent (there’s nothing we can do about it). The truth is, many of these are untrue. But we end up hurting ourselves. Our brains actually release a fight or flight chemical that causes our brains to shut down. We get less creative and produce less results. Being aware of these negative thoughts, and taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) can help immensely.

Conversely, when we live in hope and optimism, our brains release chemicals that actually increase “executive functions” including creativity, goal selection, planning and organization, initiation and persistence, flexibility, execution and goal attainment, and self-regulation. As a believer, you are invited to be the most hopeful person on the planet (1 Corinthians 15).  I welcome you to allow Christ’s hope to come into you. It’s not wishful thinking.  It’s true hope rooted in the resurrection and reassured that God is going to do something, and He’s going to do it through you.

It’s science.

The Power of Positive Thinking is a short book (available in free online audio) that continues some of these thoughts while giving some really specific ways of walking this out in everyday life.

No Pain, No Gain

As a fun joke, some friends of mine were challenged to a kickball match a while back.  The theme song of the challenge video was Fort Minor’s “Remember the Name (parental advisory).” Here are the lyrics from the chorus:

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

They got me thinking: what things in our lives are worth adopting this attitude towards? Unfortunately, I have a pretty low pain tolerance.  In general, I avoid situations that are uncomfortable for my body, mind or spirit.  But I think there might be something to this. The writer of these song lyrics says painful moments outweigh pleasurable moments 10 fold.  That doesn’t seem like the kind of life I would enjoy living.  But what we see here is an example of someone who sees beyond the current situation. Jesus lived the same way:

“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”(Hebrews 12:2).

He set aside everything that felt good and easy so that He could live out the fullness of what The Father had called Him to.  Understand, this wasn’t in order to get God’s approval.  Rather, this was living from a place of God’s approval.  We must be very careful not to twist this into a gospel of works.  But James got it right, show your faith by your works (James 2:14-26).

Perhaps, Paul had it right:

“To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:29).

May you work hard in this life with God’s strength so that many, many people can Remember The Name of Jesus.

Make it Connect

3 Ways To Enrich

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I’ve spent a lot of time interviewing new interns and coffee shop workers recently.  In the tons of phone conversations, email exchanges, and face-to-face interviews, there are a few themes developing.  I promise you’ve heard this before.  It’s just a good review.

  1. Attitude: The number one most important thing I need as an employer or team leader is for you to come to play with a  great attitude.  Days are tough.  They’re tough for all of us.  But when they tough days come, we can choose to get bitter or choose to get better.  I’ll go with the latter.  Moreover, instead of spending all your time being the one who worries about whether not the other person is accepting you, just be the one who reaches out with a  stellar attitude. You be the one who goes the extra mile.  I’ll be more than grateful to train you, empower, and pay lots of bonuses! But it’s tough to train, empower and bonus you into having a stellar attitude.  I need you to come to play with it!
  2. Communication: Please talk to me.  Please talk to customers.  Please talk to others.  If you can’t talk, I don’t know if we can work together.  The toughest thing for me is when you won’t tell me what’s wrong. I don’t mind listening to problems, because I’d rather try to fix them (see #1).  I also know that a lot of hassle can be saved when we just agree to communicate with each other.  In fact, I’m willing to argue that 1) you can’t communicate enough, and 2) communication is excellent for the bottom line.  Just the other day, we had a bunch of orders made wrong in the shop because we weren’t willing to communicate with each other and double-confirm orders.
  3. Proactive Thinking: If I want a robot, I’ll buy one.  I’m not paying you to be a robot.  I’m paying you (whether it’s financial pay or other rewards) to be you, the one who thinks beyond the step just in front of her.  I’m paying you, and training you, and empowering you to be the one who goes above and beyond.  Perhaps, Seth Godin says it best when he says there is a great get-rich-quick scheme:Enrich your world by creating value for others.Enrich your health by walking twenty minutes a day.

    Enrich your community by contributing to someone, without keeping score.

    Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.

    Enrich your standing by trusting someone else.

    Enrich your organization by doing more than you’re asked.

    Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.

    Enrich your productivity by rejecting false shortcuts.

    Enrich your peace of mind by being trusted.

    The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.

To those of you who do this consistently, I thank you!

Your Teammates are Making (or Breaking) You

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The other day I was thinking about all of the new people we have joining us at The Aroma. This year we have three new interns and a bunch of Taiwanese people who are joining us in our ministry! But there are a few people who, I feel like, have been around FOREVER.

The new people, the fresh fish, bring an aspect of vivacity. They have different past experiences than I do. They have different cultural backgrounds, and different aspirations. In a word, they are “fresh.”

The people who have been around forever, the tenured tigers, are the ones who know how to get things done. They have more language, more cultural understanding, and more connection to the overall vision of what God is doing here. They sacrifice day in and day out, some of them for years to see the realization of what is happening at Aroma. They are, in a word, “tenured.”

And God uses both of them in POWERFUL ways at the Aroma.

What do you need on your team? More fresh fobs or more tenured tigers?