I’ve recently read a couple of fascinating blog entries by Greg McKeown, CEO of THIS Inc., a leadership and strategy design agency headquartered in Silicon Valley. I wanted to highlight a couple of his ideas here and direct you to his blog. Although written for the business community, McKeown’s thoughts have obvious implication for those in ministry as well.
First, he makes the point that focus and clarity of purpose bring us success. That success in turn brings us many diffuse opportunities, leading to diffuse efforts, leading to lack of clarity and focus. Interruption of this cycle is essential for continued success. Check out the full entry here.
“…any organization also needs a commitment to values and their constant reaffirmation, as a human body needs vitamins and minerals. There has to be something ‘this organization stands for,’ or else it degenerates into disorganization, confusion, and paralysis.” — Peter Drucker
What does your organization stand for? There’s your vision and mission statements of course, but if you asked a few random people within your organization what you stand for, what might they say? Family values? Bible knowledge? Experiences of the Holy Spirit? What really fires people up and gets them excited? What do they care about? What are they willing to work toward? The answers people give you to these tell you a lot about what your ministry organization really stands for.
Part of a series inspired by Peter Drucker, an important mentor of mine
Meetings can be a life-drain on churches. Too many meetings burn our people out. An even bigger problem than too many meetings are bad meetings. What makes a bad meeting vs. a good meeting? Here are a few rules for holding effective meetings:
- Know the purpose. Why are we having this meeting? Is it for decision, information, or discussion? The purpose must be spelled out before the meeting is called; if it cannot be, there is no need for the meeting. Start with the key outcomes in mind. What are you trying to achieve? What do you want to walk away with? The intended purpose makes a big difference in what you choose to do at the meeting.
Everyone knows about the cultural phenomenon known as the mid-life crisis. It can result in anything from a sports car to an affair to a sudden career change. What is a mid-life crisis? It’s a forced evaluation—usually the result of circumstances beyond one’s control such as aging or an emptying nest—of the direction, meaning, and accomplishments of one’s life. Essentially, we wake up at a certain age and think, “My life is passing me by. And what do I have to show for it?”
Jesus wasn’t just wandering around the Holy Land aimlessly. He was walking with a purpose. We too, as we seek to live incarnationally as he did, need to walk with a purpose. That doesn’t mean we’re in a hurry or that we’re not relational. Quite the contrary, actually. But it means we view ourselves as being sent and know that we are about the work of the Father. As Jesus himself said, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” (John 18:37). What is your understanding of why you came into this world?
As I looked through the gospels to learn more about what incarnational living out to look like, I noticed some glaring omissions. This is not the way we would write the gospels in today’s church.
Jesus didn’t say much or even model much behavior about church/temple attendance or religious duties. There was surprisingly little on drinking, swearing, or sexual morality, and he said nothing at all about abortion or homosexuality. Jesus did talk about giving and serving, but those activities were mainly focused on the poor and those in need rather than giving to and serving the church/temple.