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The Law of Diffusion of Innovation July 27, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Personal Growth, Thought-provoking.
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A year ago, in a post, Inspiring Others to Action, I called attention to a TED talk by Simon Sinek on How Great Leaders Inspire Action. I go back to it now and then.

Today I want to point out a part of his talk that he referred to as “the law of diffusion of innovation.” You would have caught it if you listened all the way through. It begins eleven minutes into his presentation and he refers to groups of people on the adaptability scale.

Those of us at Cru15 this summer, were challenged in a number of ways. We probably should wonder how adaptable we are to the vision presented.

Do listen to his talk, especially to the critical part from 11:00-13:00 minutes.

Now lest you think I am one of the ones who “get it”, by personality, I rank myself in the early, and maybe even, late majority classification. But God has me in a place where I must be an early adapter.

Where do you see yourself on Sinek’s curve? And how does that bode for applying what you heard at Cru15?

(Simon Sinek is author of “Start With Why” and “Leaders Eat Last“.)

I am taking a two week break from these tips. I will start again on August 16. If in the meantime, you have new team members that you think would benefit from these, let me know and I can add them for another year of Good Monday Morning…

Tips in “A Better World” Series:

Hero Spot July 20, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Launching, Leadership, Partnering.
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For those of us attending our Cru15 national staff conference, we have had a lot to think about this past week.

We’ve talked about…
…being people who share the Good News,
…moving toward ethnic diversity,
…building partnerships and being good partners, and
…taking the Good News everywhere.
We’ve been challenged in big ways.

Maybe, like me, you’ve followed the #Cru15 tweets as well as the activity feed on the Cru15 app. It’s been great seeing what God is doing in many of our lives.

One session was particularly meaningful for me in terms of my day-to-day work. Joshua Ryan Butler, a pastor at Imago Dei Community in Portland, shared some great perspectives for partnering with others in furthering the Kingdom.

Here are just a few of my notes of his session and some musings related to launching and building new movements.

  • We like to see ourselves in the hero spot, even in missions.
  • But to make a lasting difference for those we minister to, we need to help the locals on the ground become the owners.
  • I think this is just as true in our efforts to launch ministries on new campuses and in new communities.

Butler offered three paradigm shifts.

1. The locals make better rangers.

  • We like to see ourselves as the Lone Ranger and they can be Tonto. It makes great newsletter material, but does it help?
  • We should serve, keeping in mind the locals’ pride and dignity.
  • There is a role we play, but we must put those indigenous in the lead role.
  • When we leave they’re still there.
  • From the beginning give them local ownership.

Principle: Give ownership to students, volunteers, and faculty from the start.

2. See them as agents, not recipients.

  • We tend to look for leaders who look just like us.
  • God often takes the last kids picked to make them leaders.
  • His story of the woman with HIV had the least qualifications to be leader.
  • Are we willing to have God pick those least likely to lead and invest leadership in them?
  • Their faith just might surprise us.
  • I know the Lord is in control of everything, so will I trust Him to use even the “least of these.”
  • The most tragic aspect of life can become the very thing that will bring Him the most glory.

Principle: God calls many who do not have natural advantages into leadership.
Case in point: Me.

3. They have better ideas than I do.

  • I think this one is the hardest for us staff to swallow, but we would do well to believe it.
  • Imago Dei has a saying that pastors can’t start ministries.
  • If we truly believe that God cares more about the eternal condition of every student on that campus or community than we do, then he has the seeds of His work already there.
  • Do we believe that God has given them the vision for their community?
  • Students are insiders. Tap into that.
  • Our goal should not be to contain, but to unleash and shepherd.
  • When we create space for them to lead, we give them dignity.
  • Imago Dei uses a screening process to vet leaders who start ministries.
  • He told about taking sports equipment to a mission site and asked the teachers to put it away until two weeks after they left. In that way, the teachers were the heroes.
  • We want to be heroes.
  • Listen first, then resource.

Philippians 2 contains a Eucharistic hymn.
Jesus did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped.

  • He bent down to serve us by lifting us up to God.
  • What He did in humility on our behalf, He will be exalted for it.
  • Those who humble themselves will be exalted.
  • Jesus said that it’s better that He go away, so that the Holy Spirit can work in us and we become one.

Principle: The test of my leadership is not what I do, but what others do because of what I do.

Butler left us with two questions.

  • Where do I have influence?
  • How do I give my spot away?

They are helpful in thinking about launching in new places and communities.

A Better World Series:

Culture Trumps Vision July 13, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership.
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Most of you who read this will be attending our Cru15 national staff conference this week. We will hear a lot about the culture of our organization.

Dave Sander, one of our most creative and best organizational thinkers, recently forwarded to the Every Student Sent team an article, Culture Trumps Vision, by Dr. Samuel R. Chand. It was posted on the Leadership Network site. I found it fascinating and have copied it below.

Darryl Smith, Executive Director of Cru’s High School Ministry, has talked about the culture of the high school ministry for a long time. He and his executive team wrote the “High School Spiritual and Organizational Culture”, a clear statement on the kind of culture they are developing. It is a great example of leading from culture rather than strategy or vision.

Culture Trumps Vision
By Dr. Samuel R. Chand.

Culture—not vision or strategy—is the most powerful factor in any organization. It determines the receptivity of staff and volunteers to new ideas, unleashes or dampens creativity, builds or erodes enthusiasm, and creates a sense of pride or deep discouragement about working or being involved there. Ultimately, the culture of an organization—particularly in churches and nonprofit organizations, but also in any organization—shapes individual morale, teamwork, effectiveness, and outcomes. In an article in the magazine Executive Leadership, Dick Clark explains how he took the pharmaceutical firm Merck to a higher level: “The fact is, culture eats strategy for lunch. You can have a good strategy in place, but if you don’t have the culture and the enabling systems, the [negative] culture of the organization will defeat the strategy.”[1]

In the past decade or so, dozens of books and countless articles have been written about the importance of corporate culture, but relatively few churches and nonprofit organizations have taken the arduous (but necessary) steps to assess, correct, and change their culture. First, we need to understand what we mean by the term organizational culture. It is the personality of the church or nonprofit. Like all personalities, it’s not simple to define and describe.  Organization development consultant, speaker, writer, and filmmaker Ellen Wallach observes, “Organizational culture is like pornography; it is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.”

Organizational culture includes tangibles and intangibles. The things we can see are the way people dress and behave, the look of the corporate offices, and the messages of posters on the walls. The intangibles may be harder to grasp, but they give a better read on the organization’s true personality. The organization’s values (stated and unstated), beliefs, and assumptions; what and how success is celebrated; how problems are addressed; the manifestations of trust and respect at all levels of the organization—these are the intangible elements of culture. Every group in society—family, town, state, nation, company, church, civic group, team, and any other gathering of people—has a culture, sometimes clearly identified but often camouflaged.

Many leaders confuse culture with vision and strategy, but they are very different. Vision and strategy usually focus on products, services, and outcomes, but culture is about the people—the most valuable asset in the organization. The way people are treated, the way they treat their peers, and their response to their leaders is the air people breathe. If that air is clean and healthy, people thrive and the organization succeeds, but to the extent that it is stagnant, discouraging, or genuinely toxic, energy subsides, creativity lags, conflicts multiply, and production declines. I’m not suggesting that churches and nonprofits drop their goals and spend their time holding hands and saying sweet things to each other. That would be a different kind of toxic environment! A strong, vibrant culture stimulates people to be and do their very best and reach the highest goals. Spiritual leaders point the way forward, but they invite meaningful participation from every person at all levels of the organization. Together, they work hard toward their common purpose, and they celebrate each other’s accomplishments every step along the way. Trust is the glue that holds the organization together and gives it the strength it needs to excel.

The inputs into the “cultural system” include the stories that surround the staff’s experiences; shared goals and responsibilities; respect and care for people; balance between bold leadership and listening; and clear, regular communication. The outcomes include the reputation of the leader, the reputation of the organization, the attractiveness of the church or nonprofit to prospective new staff members, a measure of pride in being a part of the organization, and a positive impact on the entire community.

To see a few snapshots of a church’s culture, we might ask these questions:

  • Who are the heroes? What makes them heroes? Who determines who the heroes are?
  • When someone inquires, “Tell me about your church or nonprofit,” what stories are told?
  • How much does the average staff member feel he or she has input into the direction and strategy of the church or nonprofit?
  • Who has the ear of the top leaders? How did these people win a hearing with the leaders?
  • Who is rewarded, and for what accomplishments?
  • What is the level of loyalty up and down the organizational chart? What factors build loyalty?
  • What is the level of creativity and enthusiasm throughout the organization?

The shape of an organization’s culture begins at the top level. The leader’s integrity, competence, and care for staff members create the environment where people excel . . . or not. In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni observes that trust is the most powerful trait in shaping a positive culture, and trust thrives on honesty. He writes, “When there is an absence of trust, it stems from a leader’s unwillingness to be vulnerable with the group,” and “leaders who are not genuinely open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses make it impossible to build a foundation of trust.”[2]

We can identify key principles to help us understand the importance of organizational culture:

  • Culture is the most powerful factor in any organization.
  • Culture is usually unnoticed, unspoken, and unexamined.
  • Culture determines how people respond to vision and leadership.
  • Culture most often surfaces and is addressed in negative experiences.
  • Culture is hard to change, but change results in multiplied benefits.

A positive culture will act as an accelerant for your vision. With a new appreciation for your culture, you’ll empower your staff members to do their very best—and love doing it. You will create the context for vision to grow. When your people feel valued, their enthusiasm will electrify your church! There’s no magic formula—quite the contrary. Changing your organization’s culture will be one of the most challenging processes you’ve ever implemented, but I guarantee you, you’ll be glad you did.

[1] Dick Clark quoted in “Corporate Culture Is the Game,” Executive Leadership, Nov. 2008, 3.
[2] Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team(San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002), 188-189.

This article is adapted from Chapter 1 of Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code by Samuel R. Chand.
Sam Chand is a former Pastor, college President, Chancellor and now serves as President Emeritus of Beulah Heights University.
In this season of his life, Dr. Sam Chand does one thing–Leadership. His singular vision for his life is to Help Others Succeed.
Learn more at samchand.com.

And, again, if you are trying to develop your own team’s or organization’s culture, I commend to you what the High School Ministry is working from, the “High School Spiritual and Organizational Culture”.

Tips in “A Better World” Series:

3 more easy conversation starters July 5, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Evangelism.
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Last week, I mentioned conversation starters that you can begin with one and two words.

They are two of the five simple ways that my wife, Chris, helps graduates of our movements now in the marketplace engage others in spiritual conversations, “Sometime.” and “I wonder.”

The summer tends to be a more relaxed time for engaging others spiritually. Whether sitting by the pool or watching a ballgame, here are three more simple conversation starters.

Raising a faith flag.

A Faith flag is a simple, non-threatening way to introduce faith into a conversation. It’s a brief statement and is told in the natural course of the conversation. The point is simply to identify you as a person of faith.

Suppose someone mentions that she is discouraged. You might say something like “I was discouraged recently and I recalled some Bible verses. That was such an encouragement to me.” Or maybe you share a specific answer to prayer.

What you are doing is looking to see how they respond to the topic of faith. Just as a flag on a ship identifies its nationality, faith flags are all about identity. Do they shoot at the flag or do they salute it?

Telling a spiritual story.

If a faith flag is a brief statement, a spiritual story is about some way God has worked in your life. It’s still short, maybe only 30 seconds or a minute in length. It is a way to show a truth lived out in your life.

Stories speak to emotions first, often bypassing the listeners’ prejudices. Because people remember stories, the hearer will take what you’ve said away with them and think about it at a time and pace of their choosing. And in our Post-Modern world, where truth is personal and experiential, people base decisions as much on emotions as facts.

The spiritual story might be the circumstances about God answering prayer, or about some way that you have seen God work to remake your outlook on life or toward others. But it’s your story. You may not share how to know Christ, but you do show that He is at work and makes a meaningful difference in your life.

Your story.

Your story is your testimony. Helping others write their personal testimony to share them in an outreach has long been an important skill in our ministry.

But often that three-minute testimony can come across somewhat canned in conversation. You don’t want to give a speech when you are talking to a friend. You are telling how you came to Christ in a natural, conversational way.

Spiritual stories and your story are both about your life. But your story is specifically about how you came to faith.

These five simple ways to engage others spiritually are not original with us. Two books Chris suggests are.

A Better World Series:

1 and 2 word conversation starters. June 29, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Evangelism.
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For some of us the summertime can be a bit more relaxed than our usual campus year pace. Nevertheless, as we watch events in our nation and world unfold, it becomes ever more clear that people need Jesus.

But how do I get into spiritual conversations or turn one in a spiritual direction? And not just for us, we want to help those we minister to learn how to share their faith in their own spheres of influence. We call this natural mode evangelism.

My wife, Chris, coaches several who graduated from our ministry and are now in the marketplace. She frequently talks about simple things that they can do to naturally engage in spiritual conversations with those they work with.


Something as simple as asking a “Sometime” question helps you find out their level of interest and takes the pressure off in the moment.

Questions like

  • Sometime could I share with you the difference Jesus Christ has made in my life?”
  • “I would enjoy hearing more about your spiritual journey sometime.”

make having spiritual conversations more natural.

“I wonder”

This comes from God Space by Doug Pollock. It recognizes the power of good questions and gives you a place to start a conversation.

“I wonder” is a way to find out what others are interested in and can invite them to search for answers. Some “I wonder” statements include.

  • I wonder if, in your quiet moments, you ever stop to think about how you and I got here.”
  • I wonder what role religion has played in shaping in your life.”
  • I wonder how my answer to that question made you feel.”

“I wonder.” opens up dialogue. It communicates respect and can lead others to self-discovery. You could be helping them wrestle with contradictions within their own belief systems.

Jesus often led with questions. In fact, at times he answered a question with His own question. When you ask good wondering questions you demonstrate that you are listening thoughtfully. Such questions come from a desire to better understand the person.

Open-ended questions are best. They promote further dialogue and have the potential to cause others to reflect, possibly leading to their own questioning.

There are three more simple ideas for engaging spiritually with others that Chris uses in her coaching. Next time I’ll tell about raising a faith flag, telling a spiritual story, and sharing your own story, a conversational take on the three-minute testimony.

A Better World Series:

Becoming confident with new skills June 22, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Personal Growth, Thought-provoking.
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Suppose someone contacts you from a campus 45 minutes away. They have a small group committed and they want to become Cru.

You could meet with them, but why not consider coaching the leaders over Skype or Google Hangout. Ben Rivera coaches a community college here in town. He visits the campus once a semester, but his regular coaching takes place over hangout with his leaders every two or three weeks.

A few years ago, I sent out a tip on Diskypleship. I remember someone telling me that they tried that, but it didn’t work.

I recently came across an interesting article called, Forecasting Confidence Levels With the Bipolar Learning Graph. It’s an auspicious title about building confidence in a new skill. This may seem heady, but do read on. I think you will appreciate the insight. Here is the graph picturing it.

Tim Ferriss, in his Meta Learning section of The 4 Hour Chef, explains:

“This graph charts out the ups downs of each new thing that someone learns, allowing a person to anticipate how they are going to feel as they learn a new thing. Tim Ferriss uses it in his book to illustrate learning a new language, but the principles can be applied to practically anything.
Whenever someone first begins learning a new subject or skill, there will be a period of accelerated learning that brings a very satisfied feeling of learning in a very short amount of time. This part of the learning is related to the concept discussed in my previous post about the 80/20 rule, in which 80% of the material can be learned in 20% of the time, which explains why so much is learned so quickly in the beginning, making the learner feel very confident.

“Shortly after learning the basics of a new language, skill, or subject, comes a point where a person begins to realize how difficult a new skill actually is, and has run out of the “beginner” material that is simple concepts and memorization. Additionally, at this point, the person realizes that they are no longer learning as quickly as they were before, dropping their confidence and morale a little bit. Regarding languages, this is the point where the person begins creating their own sentences and thoughts in the new language instead of using simple canned responses.

“At some point later, the person’s learning confidence hits rock bottom, and the brain begins neurally adapting whatever it is they are learning, pulling it deeper than simple surface level memorization, working to allow the brain to do less thinking to accomplish the same tasks. It may be muscle memory or habit formation.

“The graph then plateaus out to a place where the person is still using effort to learn, but it feels like they are not learning as quickly as they did in the beginning.

“Then eventually, the person reaches the inflection point, which is casually referred to as the “click”, and the learning becomes easy and accelerates the person to fluency, or proficiency.

“Using this bipolar learning graph, it is easy to predict various levels of confidence as a person learns a new subject, making it easier to prepare for what’s ahead and not get stuck or give up at a low point.”

So Diskypleship may not have worked the first time out, but stick with it and see what comes of it. Who knows, you just might multiply your efforts.

A Better World Series:

Prayer, Care, Share June 15, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Evangelism, Leadership.
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I’ve mentioned before that I am a part of a Curation project, looking at resources essential for a student or volunteer launching and building a movement on their campus.

I want to highlight two today that have come up in our survey of resources.

One is about Prayer, Care, Share. One of our team said that this is a simple way to rally everyone in a movement to personal outreach through simple actions.

I first became aware of Prayer, Care, Share maybe a dozen years ago, when hundreds of campuses made a concerted effort to pray for two weeks, show acts of kindness in expressing care for the next two weeks, and then training in evangelism for the final two weeks leading up to a one day of faith.

Interestingly, as I write this, I am returning from two days of meetings with a group planning a gathering of up to 1 million on the National Mall in Washington DC next summer. Many organizations are rallying around the concept of Reset. We will most likely be hearing more about this effort to call Christians to reset our relationship with the Lord, our personal relationships, our communities, and our nation.

Anyway, during one meeting, someone mentioned Prayer, Care, Share. I thought it was interesting that others also see the value of incorporating prayer and care into their outreach.

One other tool that’s come up in our survey of resources is called Evangelistic Movements: An Outcome Based Analysis.

One of our team found this particularly valuable in analyzing how we are doing in different aspects of evangelism within each movement we lead. We did, however, sense a need for direction on taking the next appropriate steps.

I don’t know if either of these tools will make it on the list of essentials for student and volunteer leaders leading their movements. But I thought they could be helpful for us as we think about our overall evangelism strategy and assessing evangelism effectiveness on our campuses.

A Better World Series:

Behavior June 8, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Personal Growth, Thought-provoking.
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“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1 NIV

The Christian life is first about what God has done for us. When we receive His gifts, our lives change. Then our behavior changes. It’s important to get that order correct. We “be”, then we “do.”

Biblically, we are justified, and then we are sanctified. We read about bearing fruit, walking in the Spirit, created for good works, etc. Those happen as our identity is lived out.

There is a lot that could be said about the spiritual aspects of forming godly habits—memorizing Scripture, meditation, the disciplines, putting off the old and putting on the new, setting up accountability, etc., etc.

But even social scientists recognize the value of and effort that goes into behavior change. I was sitting in a session recently where the presenters talked about adding certain skills to what people are already doing.

They referred to B. J. Fogg’s Behavior Model. He is a behavior scientist, who founded the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University, focusing on using technology to change behaviors in positive ways.

Fogg’s model says that for a change in behavior to occur, motivation, ability and a trigger converge at same time. If the desired behavior does not occur, then one of those is missing.

His model looks like this.
Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 9.13.31 PM

The more difficult the ability sought, the higher the motivation necessary. Fogg suggests breaking them down into simple actions. There is a whole lot more to say about this. But you can read more at Fogg’s Behavior Model and the Behavior Grid.

What are some behaviors or activities that you have been trying to foster in your staff or students? I can think of some higher order ministry activities that can take work in developing. Here are a few:

  • launching a new movement,
  • ministering cross culturally,
  • coaching from a distance,
  • building relationships with those who are personally challenging, and
  • preparing students graduating into the marketplace.

I would be interested in how you provide motivation and triggers for action.

Others tips in the “Thinking about a better world” series.

Recognizing arbitrary advantages. June 1, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Leadership, Thought-provoking.
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I just finished reading Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s been out for several years. So, yeah, I am behind!

Outliers is a fascinating look at both the intrinsic qualities, as well as the environmental opportunities that set high-achievers apart from the rest. While it is a story about the best and brightest, it’s really more about the world we live in offering a “patchwork” of breaks, opportunities, and “arbitrary advantages”, and how some better avail themselves of those advantages.

While Gladwell asks if our world could be different from the one we’ve settled for if we understood those arbitrary advantages, I wonder if there are things we have front-loaded into our ministry that mitigate against our being able to accomplish the vision God has given us.

The first story Gladwell mentions is the Major Junior A hockey league in Canada. “By the time players reach their midteens, the very best of the very best hockey players are channeled into an elite league known as the Major Junior A.” p.16. We might think that it was skill alone that got them there. Gladwell would say, “Not so fast.”

At about eight or nine years of age, when players are getting into the sport, there is a key age cutoff of January 1. Those whose birthdays are closest to that cutoff have a several month growth advantage over those born later in the year. At that age, those 6-12 months of growth make a huge difference.

What Gladwell noticed was that the majority of the best high school players had birthdays in January and February. What’s more, in other sports and in other countries, elite players had birthdays during the first quarter after the cutoff.

“A boy who turns ten on January 2, then, could be playing alongside someone who doesn’t turn ten until the end of the year—and at that age, in preadolescence, a twelve-month gap in age represents an enormous difference in physical maturity…coaches start to select players for the traveling “rep” squad—the all-star teams—at the age of nine or ten, and of course they are more likely to view as talented the bigger and more coordinated players, who have had the benefit of critical extra months of maturity…He gets better coaching, and his teammates are better, and he plays fifty or seventy-five games a season instead of twenty games a season like those left behind in the “house” league, and he practices twice as much…In the beginning, his advantage isn’t so much that he is inherently better but only that he is a little older. But by the age of thirteen or fourteen, with the benefit of better coaching and all that extra practice under his belt, he really is better…” p.24,25.

Hockey is just a sport after all, but Gladwell observes that the same age advantage shows up in things of more consequence, like education. “The small initial advantage that the child born in the early part of the year…persists. It locks children into patterns of achievement and underachievement, encouragement and discouragement, that stretch on and on for years…” p.28.

For the sake of time, and your continued attention!, I won’t go into his findings from Trends in International Math and Science Study. But they mirror those outlined above. The researchers concluded, “So, early on, if we look at young kids, in kindergarten and first grade, the teachers are confusing maturity with ability. And they put the older kids in the advanced stream, where they learn better skills; and the next year, because they are in the higher groups, they do even better; and the next year, the same thing happens, and they do even better again.” p.29.

(Full disclosure. The cutoff for school for me was February 1, and I was born February 18. I grew up thinking I was just a bit smarter than others in my class. I experienced advantages throughout. When our boys were starting school the cutoff was August 1. We kept each of them out of school for one more year to give them an age advantage on their peers.)

But I mention all of this to ask this question. Are there arbitrary criteria that we have front-loaded into our ministry, that unintentionally determine the trajectory of those who get involved? It might be an interesting exercise for our teams to consider.

I can think of three areas in which this might be the case.

  1. Our language, processes, and environment are friendlier to those in the majority culture and, unfortunately, present challenges for those who are ethnic minority.
  2. Our ministry is effective for the traditional student and for the traditional way we train and develop leaders. But those who are entrepreneurial and enterprising, the pioneer going after new places, and those who look to minister to the marginalized, can feel marginalized themselves.
  3. For 23 years, I have done distance coaching. We absolutely need more high school and college distance coaches. There are far more leaders out there who want our expertise and encouragement than our ministry is currently servicing. But there is something about our ministry that says it is more satisfying to sit down with a person over a cup of coffee at Starbucks than coaching a leader impacting their campus over Skype, and doing that again in multiple places? Our ministry values both “growing where we are” and “going where we aren’t”. Can we add to the personal satisfaction of impacting a life, the strategic-ness of multiplied touches over a distance?

It is beyond the scope of this piece to consider root causes or possible solutions. I raise these issues to cause us to consider how we might effect change in order to make the greatest possible impact for Jesus Christ. Let me know what you think.

My Summer Series.

What have we lost? May 25, 2015

Posted by Gilbert Kingsley in Communication, Leadership, Trusting God.
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There is an interesting story in 2 Chronicles about finding the Book of the Law in the temple. Young King Josiah did right in the sight of the Lord. He sought after God, made it a point to remove the idolatrous places in Judah and Jerusalem, and instructed that the temple be repaired.

It was during those repairs that the high priest “found the Book of the Law that had been given through Moses.” 2 Chronicles 34:14 NIV. When they read the book to King Josiah, they were fearful about what they read.

Does it seem curious to you that the most significant book identifying an entire people could be lost? But not only was the book lost, they had forgotten its contents.

I happen to be a part of a “curation” project, sifting through materials that our ministry has used over the last 10, 20 or even 30 years. Now it is nothing like discovering the lost book of the law, and we do live in an information age unparalleled in history, but it does seem like some of the information I’ve come across was incredibly helpful at the time and we have since forgotten about it.

One such resource was Clarifying Questions that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Some of those questions may not be helpful today. But there were some that I remember asking a long time ago that I had forgotten about.

Over the summer, I will focus on two things in these tips. 1. Bring back to our attention resources that we might have forgotten about, and 2. Challenge some of our traditional thinking about ministry.

Could it be that some of what we do in ministry borders more on “the traditions of men” rather than the “book of the law”? I welcome your thoughts on either topic.


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