February 18, 2009

A New Word is Born Every 98 Min.

I don't usually read airline magazines, but I saw this factoid on the airline mag. of the person sitting next to me. A new word is birthed every 98 minutes! Fifteen new words every day- can you imagine that?  I also read recently that there are 5 times more words in the English language since Shakespeare's time.  As I reflected on this, I thought of several new words I heard in just one week:

1) Growteau: a cross between growth and plateau when speaking of church growth.  A pastor at the Church Solutions conference stated that their children's ministry grew from 600 to 900 – growth.  But during the same time the frequency of attendance has dropped by almost 1 sunday per month – plateau.

2) Bromance: although this has been alive in pop culture, I heard a worship pastor refer to his feelings for his senior pastor with this term- carrying the tone of deep mutual respect.  Remember that "brother" was a widely used biblical metaphor! 

3) 100Xer: A term coined by the Leadership Network and Half Time teams last week as we discussed the missional core of the organization. A 100Xer is a leader with the capacity for a hundredfold yield in kingdom fruitfulness based on Jesus teaching in the gospels. 

4) Makeunder: (Verses the makeover.) Just read this with regard to the benefits of wearing less make-up: "The makeunder applies to those who require longer than an hour to put on their face; women who blow out sockets styling their hair; the ladies whose clothes are so loud they should come with earplugs." "Confidence, maturity and security also tend to go hand-in-hand with a pared down look that favors simplicity over excess."  Review Journal

What are some new words that you have either created or heard?

February 10, 2009

9 things to define 2009

This is a great little video on trends that was posted on Adverblog, that I picked up from Kem Meyers blog. See her blog for the content of the video typed out.

February 9, 2009

Verve: A Church Unique Snapshot

On Friday I had the chance to connect with Vince Antonucci, who has just landed in Vegas to plant a church called Verve. Vince is the author of the book, “I Became a Christian and all I got was a Lousy T-shirt,” which was written out of his innovative church work in Virginia Beach- Forefront.
As a fan of the message of Church Unique, I really enjoyed hearing first hand the vision of Verve. In light of my last post on language matters, here are a few of the terms that Vince has coined as he anchors his new work in Vegas:
  • Stripping Church and Seeking Life (check out his website for further explanation of this tagline)
  • In describing the kind of people they want to be:
    • God stalkers
    • Grace wholesalers
    • Guerilla Lovers

Since I heard these words on Friday, I can’t get them out of mind. That’s making vision stick!

February 5, 2009

Leadership and the Art of Word Choice

Imagine boiling down your life and leadership into a
compelling collection of 76 principles.

Then imagine having to select which one would be first.

That’s exactly what Bill Hybels did in his 2008 book release titled, Axiom. The axiom he decided articulate first is no mistake: Language Matters.

Hybels shares…

  • “The truth is, leaders rise and fall by the language they use. Sometimes whole visions live or die on the basis of the words the leader chooses for articulating the vision.”
  • “The very best leaders I know wrestle with words until they are able to communicate their big ideas in a way that captures the imagination, catalyzes action and lifts spirits.”
  • “Choose the right words and you’ll set up everyone you lead for a level of effectiveness you never thought could be achieved.

I am amazed at how Hybel’s highly disciplined and carefully artistic word choice has influenced tens of thousands of leaders in the global church; words like “seeker service” and “holy discontent.” Years ago his church that would define an era, was born from the mission to “turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ.”

Last week, I attended a 25th anniversary celebration for Leadership Network founded by Bob Buford. As leader after leader recounted the stories of impact from Buford’s legacy, a rhythmic drum beat of shared language echoed throughout room: “from success to significance.” The power of the words was palpable. What started as the subtitle of the book Halftime, marked a movement.

Yesterday, I ran into a new church planter in my hometown Starbucks. He thanked me again for writing Church Unique and was enthusiastic to share the results of their arduous process of walking the Vision Pathway found in the book. I was stunned by the clarity and eloquence of his mission to “make true disciples by being true disciples.” The name of his church is “One Life Church” and their living language vision is spearheaded by the rallying cry,
“Now, we really live.”I left that day greatly encouraged that another “everyday” pastor was pressing into and wrestling through the art of word choice. Another pastor was becoming a skillful visionary.

My favorite way of capturing the thrust that language matters is found in the phrase: “Words create worlds.”

So if the words we use as leaders do indeed create worlds for our followers, what, may I ask, are you saying?

February 4, 2009

Risk-worthy Vision

I spoke last week at Leadership Network's, Innovation3 Conference. In the process of thinking more about the concept of risk, I enjoyed these quotes:

  • "If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough."  – Mario Andretti
  • "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."   – Helen Keller
  • "The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety."  – Goethe 
  • "It is not because things are difficult that we dare not venture, its because we dare not venture that things are difficult."  – Seneca
  • "He who risks and fails can be forgiven. He who never risks and never fails is a failure in his whole being." – Paul Tillich
  • "People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year."  – Peter Drucker
  • “Risk taking is the process by which you decide whether you take the chance of losing something you value to gain something that you desire.”  – Herbert Kindler

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