September 30, 2008

Sticky but not Contrived Part 3

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I mentioned an innovative ministry a few posts ago named Wayfarer. I think their articulated values are pretty sticky- five motives that pulsate with deep meaning for this team. The five values are communicated with fifteen words. A few months after they articulated these, Dave Rhodes, one of their founders, was on a plane talking to a stranger about their ministry. In the brief interchange he shared their values and the the conversation continued to unfold to become one of their biggest ministry partnerships.

• Christ before Christianity

• Rhythm before Regimen

• Wrestle before Settle

• Go before Know

• We before Me

Read the descriptions of these values as well as their mission and aim here.

September 12, 2008

Sticky but not Contrived Part 2

In response to some comments, I have been reflecting further on stickiness.

One thing to keep in mind is how much the idea of “contrived” is a function of the particular micro-culture. I am amazed by how word-choice that strikes a chord in one community, may feel forced in another. For example, a Baptist Church in FL articulates their mission as, “Building relationships that bring people to dynamic life in Christ.” The boomer leaders near Tampa Bay love the idea “dynamic life” in their particular context. A Presbyterian church however, going through the same process, was turned off by the language of “dynamic life” and produced the following statement: “Renewing minds and redeeming lives with the steadfast love of Jesus Christ.” For this group the big idea of “loyal love” that runs through the Old Testament (Hebrew – hesed), is a relevant “ancient-future” articulation that drives their missional community. In addition, two prominent features of their locale make “steadfast” more sticky. First is their proximity to the famous Alamo in San Antonio. Second is their commitment to stay downtown when other churches moved to the suburbs, reflected by their value of “city transformation.” So imagine how one word, “steadfast” (a word that’s not that sexy) captures one of the weightiest concepts of God’s O.T. love as well as a giant piece of Texas state history within view of the church, as well as the most import decision in the church’s history.

September 5, 2008

Sticky but not Contrived

The title of this blog is a statement that is becoming more useful as I coach leaders to articulate their values. The primary error that leaders make in articulating values is that they articulate too many. The second error is that they choose words that don’t jar the mind and heart in a way that “shakes up” meaning for peoples’ lives. The third error is that in an effort not to sound contrived, they end up saying something so inert that values are impotent.

During the vision process at First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, one of the pastors grabbed a denominational book and read a section of the ordination commitment. The covenant included a promise to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. I have never forgotten this four word sequence.

September 1, 2008

The Domino Effect

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The Domino Effect is small group video curriculum adaptable to different settings. I used it as a family devotional tool with great returns, since it is hard to hold the attention of my 14, 12 and 9 year old all at once. I ran into these guys called “Wayfarer” two years ago when they contracted with Auxano to walk the Vision Pathway and have been big fans of them and their work ever since. Their mission is to design collisions that awaken lives to rediscover Christ. The Domino Effect is a big gig they have with Thomas Nelson. Here is the raving endorsement I wrote for this curriculum:

Wayfarer has not put a new item on the video curriculum menu; they have opened a new restaurant! As daring as it is delicious, this new genre of teaching will make you laugh, cry and, most importantly, increase your appetite for the real Jesus. If you’re looking for something safe in your small group, don’t buy The Domino Effect. But if you want to awaken the senses and soul of the people you lead, order your copy today.

August 31, 2008

Missional Crash Course

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Today I decided to find the best video clips that would define and explain the idea of being missional in 15 minutes or less- total. Six clips made the cut including four leaders (Ed Stetzer, Michael Frost, Mark Driscoll and Tim Keller) and a comedic take-off. The videos are listed to the left under the header Missional Crash Course.