Thursday, May 17, 2012

Values before vision.

Values, more than vision shape a culture. 

Having a lack of vision is bad, really bad.  Without vision people are stuck, literally immobilized and eventually perish. 

Having skill and competency is so important.  Without a skillset matching your role you and those around you will be frustrated and ineffective. 

Having the wrong values is deadly to a culture. 

Every leader is a “cultural architect”, one who actually shapes external environments by their internal reality.

Cultural architects without vision are stuck.  Cultural architects without the right skill set are ineffective.  Cultural architects without an aligned value system are destructive.

It is one thing to be ineffective and a totally another thing to be destructive to the environment that is being built. Misaligned values bring toxic emotions and cancerous growth to a culture. 

Values, more than vision or skills is what shapes a culture. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

an equation for innovation.

image from
Talking with a close friend recently the thought occurred to me...there actually is an equation to innovation.  

My friend had just come back from a scientific research conference. 

This gathering was made up of some of the brightest scientists from all over the globe who want to cross pollinate their findings with each other.  I can't even spell his area of expertise, he's that smart!

On the surface you may say, "That's great, so what."  But when you step back to think about what they are actually trying to accomplish it will cause Kingdom minded people to sit up and take notice.

Besides money, hours of hard work, laboratories, bright minds, etc.  Innovation requires two things: generosity and humility.

Innovation requires generosity because I have to be willing to share with you my findings, research, experiences, anointing, knowledge, etc.  Generosity serves as a catalyst, building block, and key ingredient to creativity.

Humility must also enter the equation because I have to honor you and what you carry otherwise I will not value what you are offering me.  WOW. Creativity flourishes in an environment of honor.

generosity + humility= innovative creativity

If we could grab ahold of these truths it would help churches, businesses, and families go further, faster. 

In nature, we see that cross-pollination brings fruit.  

Apparently God wanted to get the message across to us that cross-pollination feeds fruitful innovation.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nineveh vs Nazareth.

Have you ever wondered what the major difference between Nineveh and Nazareth was?  

Nineveh experienced one of the greatest city-wide revivals in history. (Jonah 3:3-10)  

Nineveh was filled with savage, Gentile warriors and hard core heathens.  

Nazareth, however, was primarily filled with well behaved religious Jews. 
Yet, they never did get to experience a major move of God. 

Was it a lack of good preaching??? 
I'm pretty confident that wasn't the problem.  

Jesus was sent to preach to His home town of Nazareth and Jonah was sent to preach to Nineveh.  I don't think anyone would argue that Nazareth got the better prophet and preacher and yet they ended up with a worse result.  

"Maybe God is not just looking for great preachers and prophets to preach but a people who will listen!" -Glen Bert-eau

I couldn't agree more.  

I am beginning to see how listening is the primary skill needed in the Kingdom of God.  

Matthew, the converted tax collector who followed closely the life and ministry of Jesus gives us more parables in one chapter (Matthew 13) on the Kingdom of God than any other in the Bible.  

In this chapter Jesus exhorts us to "listen" more than anything else. Well over a dozen times in one chapter.

Becoming a better listener is the one focus God has given me for 2012.  

We will never rise above the level of our listening.

"So pay attention to how you hear." -the Son of God (Luke 8:18)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

stairway to heaven?

I grew up listening to all kinds of rock music.  

My older brother Michael loved it...and when you share a room with your older brother who is stronger than you, you listen to what he likes:)

"Stairway to heaven" by the British Rock Band Led Zeppelin is considered my many as one of the best rock n roll songs of all time. 

  • Released in 1971 (10 years before I was born).
  • The most requested song to be played on the radio in the 1970s.
  • By the year 2000 the song had been broadcast over the US radio waves over 3 million times.
  • The song's sheet music is #1 in sales, selling over 15,000 copies annually.
  • Today, when I googled a youtube recording of the song there were 48,656,953 views....41 years after it's release! 

Clearly this song struck a chord in the hearts of many people. Isn't it interesting though, that most songs like this are filled with more questions than answers?

People are so desperately looking for a spiritual experience as they get lost in the music, but often find themselves more depressed than when they first hit "play."

Even the band's lead vocalist Robert Plant once said, "I'd break out in hives if I had to sing ("Stairway to Heaven") in every show. I wrote those lyrics and found that song to be of some importance and consequence in 1971, but 17 years later, I don't know. It's just not for me." 

My intention with this post is not to slam this song or any other form of art.  The ability to create and appreciate art is an amazing gift given to us by God Himself. 

My thought here is on the simple fact that art, beauty, music, and anything that catches your heart but does not lead you to the source of all beauty, creation, and wonderment (Jesus), will in the end leave you depressed, jaded, cynical and self absorbed. 

Take a look at a few words penned by a guy named John about 2,000 years before Led Zeppelin was inspired to write their classic piece...

Jesus is quoted here talking to a new friend named Nathaniel about His true identity. 
“I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth." John 1:51

There is only one true stairway to heaven.  
I'm just so glad Jesus came down here to show all of us the way!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

embracing my echo.

Today it is easy to become focused on finding and maximizing your "platform."  

Platform, is the level of influence a person gains through their integrity, reputation, career, relationships, products, social media, twitter followers, etc.  

Going hand in hand with the desire to establish your platform is the call to "find your voice."  Your voice is the message you have that can add to the global "conversation."  

Maximizing your platform, finding your voice, and adding to the conversation are all buzz phrases in our culture.  Each of these have their place and should be utilized by Kingdom influencers.  After all, John the Baptist's life and ministry was summed up as being was known for being "a voice." 

Yet, the interesting thing we see in the life of Jesus is His whole life was focused not on building His platform, finding His Voice, or adding to the conversation.  

Jesus leveraged His whole life around His Father's voice. 

 Jesus lived His life to embrace His echo.
“My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me." John 7:16 NLT 

I'm not suggesting losing your creativity or just parroting someone else's passions, but if it worked for Jesus it is definitely worth investigating.  

Embrace your echo..say what the Father is saying and you will definitely have a voice worth adding to the global conversation.

*echo image created by echo hub a division of RT Creative Group.  See echo for more info.