Funny Stuff Video Clip

Danger: Texting While Walking in Front of Fountains at the Mall

This hit close to home for me. While I’m doing much better about texting while driving; texting while walking in malls is still a big problem for me.

Church Leadership

Putting your worst foot forward

Photo by Kevin Trotman via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Which of these introductions garners the most trust to you?

  • Hello, my name is Adam McLane. Thank you for inviting me here today. As an expert in my field, I look forward to sharing with you this morning 7 insights which will revolutionize ________.
  • Hi. I’m Adam. I guess you’ve invited me here this morning because you’ve tried everything and looked around and found the one guy in the world who has tried more ways to _________ than you have. Well, I guess a broken clock is right twice a day. Let’s get started.

Chances are you like the first one a little better. The first introduction would cause you to reach into your bag and fish out a pen and some paper. But the question isn’t who would you like better or who would give you the most stuff to write down, it’s which introduction garners the most trust?

An experts role is to teach 5 things in an outline, collect his check, and move on to the next place. But a teacher creates questions inside which spurs on your own thoughts and solutions to the problems you are facing.

I have a tendency to trust the second introduction a lot more. I might not write down as much stuff… but that second introduction will cause me to lean in. Something about that humility tells me he has something to say.

It tells me that this person isn’t just rolling out their presentation… but they are probably going to take me somewhere I need to go. They are going to help me recognize that while I’ve failed in the past I can keep trying and searching for the answers I need.

And they aren’t going to lie to me and tell me that success is just 5 bullet points away. I already have mountains of notebooks filled with outlines on things that didn’t work. The second person is going to share the truth that the journey to success is paved with many pitfalls and traps along the way.

I can trust that person.

I think this is one subtle way the world has changed.

  • Expert = distrust
  • Humble guru = trust

We laugh at the irrelevance of the person who stands on the street corner proclaiming into a bullhorn that he has all the answers to life. Turn or burn, that’s all you need to do. Stop fornicating and you’ll be fine.

Let’s face it… it’s a stupid way to communicate. But it’s not unlike what we do in our churches. We hide behind our degrees, we point to our bookshelf, we hide from tough questions and real ministry by filling our schedule with meetings, and we gather as a staff to celebrate how awesome we are. But in the quiet moments, sharing coffee with a friend, we are no more faithful or have the answers than the person sitting in the pew behind us.

Trust me, but how?

I think most of us were raised in a time when we were told to always put our best foot forward. So we do that.

But times have changed. We can no go faster and further with people in building trust when we start by putting our worst foot forward.

“My name is ___________. I’m no better than you. I don’t have all the answers.”

Go ahead, repeat it out loud until it feels natural. It just might lead to something unbelievable.

hmm... thoughts

Do Good Ideas

Last night I was riding my bike home and my head was full of ideas. I actually pulled over, whipped out my iPhone, and jotted 3 of them down so I wouldn’t lose them.

That lead me to post on Twitter: “I really wish I had 4-5 people to sit around with regularly and share ideas. I could actually meet almost every day.

That tweet launched a conversation about if such a group was really plausible.

Here’s what I’m thinking. This is completely open for discussion. So leave a comment if you have ideas or feedback.

And yes, I’m pretty serious about this.

Good ideas cohort

  • It’d be a group of people who care about investing in an idea enough to see it through.
  • It’d need to be a group of people somehow vocationally tied to youth ministry, but the ideas shared wouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with youth ministry.
  • There’d be a $500 buy-in per person, so everyone would have a dog in the fight. (We’d hold the money in an escrow account.)
  • Annually, we’d fund one idea with our seed money. Other than that no one would profit from the cohort.
  • Everyone in the group would sign a non-disclosure agreement as well as some sort of an agreement that ideas shared would belong to the person presenting them.
  • Everyone would get the opportunity to share their idea (quickly) each time we met. If nothing less, this cohort would teach you how to pitch an idea for action.
  • We’d commit to a one-year cohort for the purpose of sharing ideas, learning from one another, etc. If the group wanted to keep going beyond that, it’d be up to them. (But they’d have to put up $500 annually)
  • We’d have something like a private Ning group to regularly share concepts, ideas.
  • We’d meet quarterly online via some form of video conference.
  • We’d meet annually for 2 days somewhere. Location would depend on the people in the group.
  • This would be an all-for-one and one-for-all type of thing. No one would have more power in the group than another.
  • Ideally this would be entrepreneurial. The idea of somehow donating the money to a charity doesn’t give me a lot of energy. Instead, I’d like to see the measurement of the idea be “what’s the best idea” as opposed to some other measurement.
  • Seems like 10 people would be about the maximum per cohort. But I can see doing an East Coast and West Coast version.
  • The reality is that $5000 (group of 10) isn’t a lot of money. But it could be the seed money an idea needs to get going. And who knows from there?
  • Ultimately, this would be informal enough to be fun yet formal enough that everyone would agree to take it seriously.

Good ideas friend group

As I thought about this more. I like the idea of the cohort a ton. But I would also love to have a group of Southern California friends to get together with much more often in a way more informal way. To maybe share ideas, bounce around solutions to complex problems facing the church today, and generally just be friends brought together by a common thread of wanting to see change happening and perhaps having one slice of the pie at their disposal to see change happen.

Thoughts? Ideas? Refinements? Just crazy enough to be for you?