Friday, December 23, 2011

Church Mob Mentality

How the church of today resembles the mob:

1.  Has a founding family, with a "godfather" type as pastor.  It is assumed the son will take his place.  Access to the "godfather" is limited.

2.  The larger families, lord over smaller, sometimes giving the appearance of helping, this too, however, can be an attempt to cement control, and further prove the power of the larger family.

3.  If your an outsider, your out, no special treament or knowledge is presented.  Once your in your in,  you become priveledged to know the future of the church, you are made to feel that your approval is valued.  You may even be granted rare access to the "godfather" himself.  If you last long enough, you may eventually be considered a "pillar" of the family. 

4.  As an insider you see all the works and learn the players (know the hit men, and see the hits, often the "family" tries to pull you into the hit, so that the element of control is enhanced).

5.  As a mere footsoldier for the family, direction comes from the "godfather" through others, and you are expected to only carry out what you were tasked with.

6.  Independent thought, or attempts to improve the process/organization/family will be met with some sort of minor punishment (broken knee caps, or amputated pinky finger); in an attempt to discourage any action outside of what is mandated by the "godfather".  These attempts will be seen as a personal offense toward the "godfather" or a threat to the other high ranking family members. This is typically spiritualized as "taking some time off to prevent ministry burn-out".

7.  Continued independent thought (even to the betterment of the "family"), will be considered offensive.

8.  At this point a hit will be put out on you.  From here it will only be a matter of time before you find yourself in a cement coffin, or face down in a drained pool.  Do not attempt to explain your actions, or wonder why you had no chance to discuss the issues.  You have stepped on an ego of a higher ranking family member, than yourself, you will be prevented from being heard.  You will wonder what your offense might have been, the family will justify it as "creating a coup to overthrow the godfather" or "lack of unity with the family".

Thursday, September 01, 2011


At the 2011 WCA Global Leadership Summit I was privileged to hear Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Mama Maggie Gobran, speak on silence and demonstrate humility.  Mama Maggie, often referred to as "the Mother Teresa of Cairo", is founder of Stephen's Children Ministry which serves children in the neighborhoods of the garbage collectors and urban poor in the Zabbaleen slums of Cairo.

Here are some notable quotes from her on silence and humility:

"True elegance comes from the inside."

“Silence is the secret, in it we discover the taste of eternity”

  • Silence your body to listen to your words 
  • Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts 
  • Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beat
  • Silence your heart beat to listen to your spirit 
  • Silence your spirit to listen to His spirit

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Critical Questions

From the Global Leadership Summit:

5 Critical Challenge Questions for Leaders (Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church)

1. What is your current challenge level at work?

All people fall into one of the three categories above. The under challenged do not have enough interesting work to keep them engaged. They are not provided with enough work to do. The under challenged usually leave organizations for a more challenging position. The appropriately challenged usually have just the right amount of work and task to accomplish. However, they are not being stretched and are only maintaining, not creating. The dangerously over-challenged are working themselves to death, often at a high cost to themselves and those around them.

Most employees fall into the upper under challenged/lower appropriately challenged area (see yellow box). People's best work is accomplished when they are working/functioning in the lower third of the dangerously over-challenged level (see red box).

As leaders - are those who work under you being challenged enough? What can you do to bring them up (or down) to the appropriate challenge level?

As employees - what are you doing for yourself? It is your responsibility to get yourself to the appropriate challenge level. If under challenged, create something new, start an initiative, launch a new venture, etc. If over-challenged, get help.

2. What is your plan for dealing with challenging people?

The Line Exercise

As a leader, how long do you tolerate bad attitudes?

As a leader, how long do you tolerate poor performance?

As a leader, how do you tolerate a good/loyal/hardworking employee when the organization outgrows the employees capacity?

Your organization should have a plan, and the plan should be followed, in order to effectively deal with these challenging people.

3. Are you naming, facing, and resolving problems in the organization?

When issues and problems arise, are you identifying them as such, or are you calling them something else besides problems? Call the issue/problem what it is, do not try to run or hide from it, face the problem and resolve it.

4. When was the last time you re-examined the core of your organizations purpose?

Do you remember why you do the work you do? Do you know what your organization exists for?

List five things that your organization is about (without using terms associated with your industry). Working through this exercise, will help bring you back to the core purpose of your organization.

5. When was the last time your leadership bell was rung?

What was the last book you read, or conference that you attended, or interaction with other leaders that you had that made you see something new, or gain a new view of your leadership? If your leadership is lagging, perhaps it is time to seek out a "bell ringing" opportunity.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Global Leadership Summit 2011

This past week I had the opportunity to take part in the Willow Creek Association's Global Leadership Summit.  Each year the GLS brings together an amazing faculty of spiritual, business, and political leaders to share what they have learned about leadership with others.  This years Summit featured:
  • Bill Hybels, Founding/Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
  • Len Schlessinger, President, Babson College; Action Trumps Everything
  • Hon. Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
  • Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter Mcneil, Speaker, Thought leader
  • Seth Godin, Author, Marketing Blogger, Poke the Box
  • Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor, Elevation Church
  • Mama Maggie Gobran, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Founder of Stephen's Children Ministry
  • Michelle Rhee, Fmr. Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, Founder of
  • Dr. Henry Cloud, Psychologist, Author, Necessary Endings
  • John Dickson, Director at the Centre for Public Christianity, Humilitas
  • Patrick Lencioni, The Table Group, Getting Naked
  • Erwin McManus, Activist, Filmmaker, Founder of Mosaic, Chasing Daylight
This was an amazing experience, and an awesome opportunity to hear from these leading experts on thought and leadership!

One of my passions is to equip other people to be great; I love to pass on valuable information that more than just me can benefit from, to that end, the next few blog posts will feature some of my Evernote notes from this event. 

If you attended, what are some things that you took away from this event?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me; Ian Cron

I am never gravitate toward the memoir style book. However, Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson publishers, in his blog, stated that Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: a Memoir...of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron  was the best book he has read all year.  Based on this recommendation I had to read this book.

I was not disappointed.  Ian Cron is a gifted writer, the words on the page flowed seamlessly in an almost poetic manner.  Ian chronicle his life, or the way he perceived it to be, starting with his dad's funeral and then going back to the time of his childhood.  He bares his heart when talking about his alcoholic father, that seemed to be barely present in his life, even when he was home.  He shares his experiences, feelings, and thoughts from what it was like to be raised Catholic.  He delves into his years long battle, and seemingly constant struggle with alcoholism. He ends the book sharing his joys of being a father, and a person that has experienced true freedom in Christ!

You can read his blog at

Monday, August 08, 2011

Hillsong United

I have never really liked, or approved of, "worship" artist concerts.  I never liked going to see a Third Day, Chris Tomlin, etc. type of show.  The reason (read the post, Worship Entertainment) is that it seems that on Saturday I'm at the concert partying, hanging out watching someone perform, having a great time; Sunday, I go to church and am expected to sing the same songs but with much revere.  Hillsong United changed all that!

This Saturday my wife and I, along with several of our friends, attended the Hillsong United concert in Miami.  Before they even come out to play, they inform you that we are not here to be entertained, but that we are here to worship God and experience Him afresh.  That is exactly what happened! Thousands of people worshiping the living Creator! Worship is supposed to be exciting, supposed to be fun.  In Heaven we are going to be joining countless numbers of others as we worship our Lord.

The interesting thing about Hillsong is that the people I saw performing at this show, probably will not be the same people next year.  The band was never introduced.  Hillsong understands, and wants the worshipper to understand, that it is not about them.  It is about Him!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Mission Belle Glade 2011

I just spent an amazing week in Belle Glade, FL!  I was there with over 400 students and 150 adults serving this community.  The students put on a sports camp, vacation Bible school, and did several service projects includind, painting, landscaping, and feeding people.

Read all about it at

Read the day to day impact of one life at Nicole's Life Surprises.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Knock 'em Dead, by Martin Yate

Knock 'em Dead claims to be the "ultimate job search guide". And it is just that.  This book is meant to be utilized as a reference, rather than read from cover to cover.  It contains all the most current information, concerning job search, resume banks, and online tools.

In it's efforts to be a complete job search resource it effectively covers all aspects of the job search, from resumes to negotiating the job offer.

Divided into the following 5 parts:

  • The Well-Stocked Briefcase
    • covers the successful job search, resume writing, and networking
  • Get The Word Out
    • initial contact, dressing for success, understanding body language, and successful interviewing
  • Great Answers to Tough Questions
    • what the employer is looking for in questions asked, how to answer these correctly
  • Finishing Touches
    • interiew follow-up, overcoming rejection to gain employment, negotiating the job offer
  • Where the Jobs Are
    • thirty fastest growing occupations, future job prospects
This book is perfect, not only for the new employee, but for those consider a career change or advancement.  

Two of the most valuable sections are the sections on resume preparation and answering the interview questions.  Knock 'em Dead covers all the questions that are typically asked in any kind of job interview, and provides the correct answer that tells the employer what he wants to hear.

The resume preparation section provides great insight for those seeking career advancement, by walking the reader through the following steps:
  1. decide on a specific target job.
  2. collect job postings
  3. look at your job from the other side of the desk
  4. identify what you bring to the table for each requirement
  5. critical thinking
  6. identify behavioral profile for success
  7. identify behavioral profile for failure
By closely following the outlined steps, one will be well on there way to job success!

For more information visit

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Worship Entertainment

Admittedly, I am a church critic.  I know its wrong, and I am working on it.  My area of biggest criticism is worship.  I love to worship God. But, I'm not really sure of how I'm getting there.

It seems that many contemporary churches are beginning to blur the lines between worship and entertainment. For our purposes, we will define worship as the act of leading people into there individual experience with God. Let us define entertainment as a performance to be enjoyed and participated in by an audience.  

We see that worship is God based.  Entertainment is human based.

I remember a time when churches didn't have a worship "team", but a song leader.  The song leader was someone in the church (who desired to serve the church), who picked out the songs to be sung, and actually lead the congregation in singing.   Sometimes, the song leader was good, more often than not, just capable.  But, it didn't really matter.  Nobody was at church expecting a performance from the song leader, nobody expected to be entertained. We went to church and sang the songs that we were lead in, for no other reason than praise and worship.  That's the worship that I remember.

The picture we have now is much different.  We have a team of people, the team is chosen based on their musical talents.  We go to church expecting some great music, when our expectations are not met, we are disappointed.  The worship leader/team (in conjunction with the lights, effects, and monitor ear pieces) behave on stage (formerly known as a platform), not as if they were leading a congregation into the presence of God, but as if we are all there to watch them sing.  

The greatest worship experiences I have faced have been those times without the stage/platform, no special equipment, just a dude with a guitar.  

I don't get up for church on a Sunday morning, to be sang to, or watch a stage show.  I don't go to church to see people that couldn't make it big as a musician, so they take their weekly 15 minutes of fame on the church stage/platform.  I get up for church on Sunday morning, to come face to face with God, a culmination daily spending time in His presence.

I am not opposed to either form of worship. I'm just a church critic, wondering where the line between entertainment and worship is at.  

It would serve every parishoner well, to remember that worship is about God.  Worship starts in the Heavens, and spreads to us, worship is our opportunity to join with the heavens and earth in praise and adoration to our Creator.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dead Spirituality

"I know your works; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead." -Revelation 3:1 (HCSB)

Today we have more access to the greatest preachers, Bible scholars, study guides, worship music, and ministry tools than ever before, yet many churches are a reflection of the church in Sardis (Revelation 3).  


Before our nation can experience spiritual revival and renewal, our communities must be revived, before or communities can be revived, our churches must be revived, and our churches will only be revived when individuals experience revival. 

The first steps toward spiritual revival are to realize what is leading, or has lead, to our spiritual death.

Why are we dead?

I think of Samson, he had made a vow of separation to God.  Yet, he repeatedly breaks the conditions of that vow.  Samson, mighty and strong, loses it all with his head in the lap of Delilah.  The main factor in spiritual death is, like Samson, failure to maintain separation from the world; failing to be in the world, but not, of it.  We start slipping to become, of the world, but not, in Christ.

We lack spiritual revival due to selfish PRIDE.

We must remember that the one mission of the church (and us, as Christians) is the salvation of souls. It is not about us.  It is not about what we look like, our social status, economic status, or position we serve in.

Many who are involved in the work of the church let themselves become more enamored with their performance and position, than with sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

GREED for gain is a strong factor in the dragging down of our spiritual lives.

It is easy to get caught up in this striving for monetary gain, and the wealth of the world.  Every where we look we are blasted with messages of materialism.  It serves us well to remember that all we have has been given by God.  We are merely stewards.  The Old Testament instituted a 10% tithe.  However, if you read through the New Testament there is no mention of a standard tithing amount.  The New Testament believers, "gave to anyone as he had need"; this giving mentality exceeds, by far, the 10% "standard".

An ever-increasing hindrance to spiritual revival is the growing IGNORANCE of God's Word.

Too many congregations are full of people who merely do their "church" duty on Sundays.  They have been in church their whole lives, yet know nothing of the Word of God.  To experience revival it is imperative that we spend time daily in His Word.  We spend time reading, studying, and praying the Bible.  God's Word is the sword by which we can defeat those spiritual enemies that hinder spiritual renewal, and it is only by wielding this sword regularly that we are strengthened enough to defeat these enemies.

The final hindrance we will discuss is the absence of PRAYER.

Everything rises and falls on our prayer life.  Weak prayer life = weak Christian.  Strong prayer life = revived Christian.  Prayer is our connection to the Source.  Prayer is what affords us the opportunity to connect with the Restorer, the Renewer, the Reviver, Jesus Christ.  Without this constant connection we lose all spiritual power, and become dead.

In generations past, trolley cars were a main source of transportation through metropolitan areas.  These trolley cars were connected to a power cable.  Occasionally, one of these cars would "jump the line", and all would go black and dead.  So it is, with our prayer life.

If we desire to see revival in our land, we must first be individually, in our own hearts, be revived.

"Connect with God's Holy Spirit by prayer, and the power-house of Heaven will send down the power.  God help the church, pulpit and pew to rise from the dead, and be endued with the power." -Len Gaston Broughton

Monday, April 11, 2011

Doing Virtuous Business, by Thomas Roosevelt Malloch

Thomas Roosevelt Malloch, CEO of the Roosevelt Group and head of the Spiritual Capital Initiative at Yale University, presents an excellent argument for conduction virtues based business in his book, Doing Virtuous Business.

He opens with a discussion on spiritual capital.  Showing what exactly spiritual capital is and why it matters.  Then he sets out to define 'virtue', through Aristotle, the Greeks, and Christendom.

Available at
The remaining chapters of the book delve into the practical aspects of doing virtuous business.  The virtues of leadership, courage, patience, perseverance, discipline, justice, forgiveness, compassion, humility, and gratitude and how the shape the soul of a corporation are covered in depth.  The book hinges on Aristotle's "cardinal virtues" of temperance, courage, justice, practical wisdom, and the fact that without these no other virtues can be reliably acquired or exercised.

Malloch does not solely focus on Christianity as the only way to virtue, but other faith groups as well.  He conservatively utilizes today's big companies as practical examples (both good, and bad).  An appendix is provided, which outlines companies that are successful because the refuse to do anything other than virtuous business.

This should be required reading for anyone desiring to start, build, or maintain a successful company based on being virtuous.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Jungle Warfare: A Basic Field Manual for Christians in Sales", By Christopher Cunningham

I received this book a while ago, and inadvertently neglected to post my review, so here it is.

Not a huge fan of devotional books, but I was looking for tools that would speak to professionals in the business world. Jungle Warfare does a great job of applying jungle warfare tactics to spiritual warfare principles. This book seems as though it would have great relevance to sales professionals (myself, not being in sales).

This book avoids getting into any great depth or detail, but uniquely addresses all the basics. I would recommend this book, by Christopher Cunningham, be read in conjunction with other Bible study resources.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Test post

Blog test from the coach...

Sent from my iPad