Saturday, August 30, 2008

"The Intervention- Kem Meyer Goes Dark"

If you haven't heard already- my wife Kem turns 40 tomorrow so we launched a birthday "weekend" experience that kicked off Friday, Aug 29th- "the party continues" details are here on Kem's blog which was.... oh yeah... HIJACKED!

The first thing we did when she wasn't looking was grab her phone out of her purse, threw her purse in our car (which was already packed) and left town without it! There's something you should know... Kem is "nomophobic"- addicted to Twitter, her phone, keeping up with peeps, A.D.D., and "navigating" through this has been a real intervention... :)

Here are new things and favorite comments from the weekend so far:
  • "Hey, you took my fun..uh... I mean phone!" .... nice Freudian...
  • I asked, "Do you trust me?".... She responded... "Quite a bit"... (What's that supposed to mean, quite a bit? :)
  • She reiterated.... "You know I specifically asked that I not be surprised..."- Ruh-roe... that might be a problem.... :) (We've since been counseling while on the adventure of how surprises are fun for other people too, the kids... I'm trying to spin this the best I can... any ideas?

  • "I can handle being without my phone but I just need to understand WHY"... hmm...well let's see... I can't tell you your blog has been hijacked and the whole world knows what the plan is.... but... uh... how about back to... "Do you trust me?"... (I've been trying to pull on her emotional cords...)

  • Another line I've tried with minimal success..."By taking you out of your normal environment, you get to learn things about yourself that you may not otherwise know.."

I'm sure we'll have more to come.... special thanks to Mandy and Melisa (@melisajohnson in Twitter) for keeping the world up-to-date on the weekend activities and blog heist! Let the fun continue!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Session 9: Bill Hybels- "Relentless"

re·lent·less Session 9: Bill Hybels- "Relentless"
that does not relent; unyieldingly severe, strict, or harsh; unrelenting:

  • God searches the whole world looking for hearts fully committed to Him.. there He sends His strength and power...
  • Mother Theresa decided to "refuse Him nothing"... What does it look like in my life to give God cart blanche' authority in my life?
  • Takes steps to move time and resources out of day to day worldly pursuits and more into His work...
  • Embrace callings from God without delay- Lives are lived with regret with "If only I had listened", "If only I had acted"... reflections in life...
  • Every leader can tell stories about how their dream almost died... It should come as no surprise when this happens to you (obstacles beyond your control, overwhelming circumstances)
  • How do I know when I hit obstacles if I missed what God called me to do or when God is working on His own time line? Be very careful when in this era....
  • Mother Theresa was amazingly relentless... just to be allowed to "start" her calling...
  • Outlast the problems, the obstacles, the people in the way- Who knows what God may do if you hang onto the calling- We must endure... Sometimes the calling may only come once in a lifetime...
  • Be relentless about becoming a Godly leader... be relentless to be someone worth following.
  • Mother Theresa: "I will seek to love Him as He has never been loved"- said in one of her "dry" times in her life...
  • Much of life can be lived without feeling the "presence" of God. Mother Theresa felt this... Hybels is honest about the same feelings..
  • Very powerful video.... "Here am I, send me..."-
  • "What life are you waiting for to finally step up and step into God's call for your life?"-BH


  • Am I living in a way that will allow me to hear God's call for me and His purpose in my life?
  • There are some phenominal "causes" I've seen in this summit... yet I don't feel any nudging to jump into them- When do you know a trigger has been pulled in your life? When do you know when it's YOUR calling?
  • I think one of the hardest challenges of a vision/call/idea is having the persistance to go on while many people close to you are telling you all the reasons why it doesn't make sense...
  • Why does God's presence seem absent so much of the time?
  • God.... "Here am I.... send me...."
  • So... is it us? Do we sit back waiting for God to just do stuff, say stuff, and take care of stuff....or... are we really His plan?

Session 8: Brad Anderson- "An Uncompromising Focus on People"

Brad Anderson, Vice-Chairman/CEO Best Buy

"An Uncompromising Focus on People"
  • He worked in one of the stores for 2 days last year- he's willing to get on the front lines
  • At one point, they told employees what to do and told stores how to operate- they hoped they were actually doing it-
  • Feedback, 11-12 questions, twice a year from employees- they're able to measure engagement level- typically this produces a direct correlation to store sales and profitability...
  • How do you increase engagement? Leaders are needed to raise the engagement levels of their team/employees for the store to increase profitability/sales-
  • People are looking for affirmation of themselves- True leaders get a true, higher level of achievement by seeing others grow/succeed than out of their own personal success....
  • Human capital- Are we building people or destroying people? It's one or the other-
  • Geek Squad- They took the stereotype over-the-top... they knew, "Yeah, we're nerdy..but you need us..." They brought in their own culture into Best Buy...
  • Much of what he does is simply working on the relationships within the company and with clients- he gets complex puzzles- (human beings) scheduled every day- So much of what he does it building into the people around him, handling their needs, pains, frustrations...
  • He sees problems/issues in the eyes of his leaders usually well before it starts hitting the bottom line.... He tries to spend his time with the people with the biggest need/impact.
  • 85% of his time is leading down, 15% up (to the board).... self admitted problem...
  • Many times there aren't "villians" in the problems at's simply driven by the realities in the work at hand...
  • To motivate: How are they "coding" what they're doing- helping them find the motivation with the reminder of the "why" behind what they're doing....
  • Financial incentives work to an extent but they are "thin", they're not complete...
  • ROWE- Result Oriented Work Environment.... You get the work done, you can have the flexibility you want.... currently, they're seeing better results from those who have more freedom-
  • He feels he can share faith when given "permission" with employees/colleagues-


  • How often do we work so hard to be cool when we'd progress much better being the unique geek we really are?
  • How difficult it seems to balance how to share faith in the position of leadership like Brad's and trying to measure and listen to the Holy Spirit-

Session 7: Risk Taking, Barrier Breaking, Bold Leadership: Catherine Rohr

Session 7: Risk Taking, Barrier Breaking, Bold Leadership

Catherine Rohr
Prison Entrepreneurship Program

  • Was earning 200K a year at age 25... got an invite to see prisoners, saw potential in them, began teaching business to them, creating business plans, and helping them in their next steps...
  • Simple prayer...."Bring it on God"...
  • Emptied 401K to fund the ministry, moved to Texas, car got broken into, and started with nothing. She had the "opportunity" to be cleared out...
  • "I've benefited from 'ignorance is bliss'"- CR
  • "God has better plans for me than I do- I just need to chill out and give up control"- CR
  • 1 of 15 in US go to prison...
  • Society contributes to it by labeling them as "Ex-con"- Christians are Grace-junkies...yet today it seems like we don't want to have anything to do with them
  • They recruit prisoners, break down barriers, and put them through a business boot camp..
  • They've achieved a single-digit return rate compared to over 50% nationally...
  • 70% of graduates are doners to the program after they're out...
  • Don't put all your eggs in one relational basket, get exposure, visibility to the mission
  • "We're not trying to take a dope dealer, give them business skills, so that they can become a better dope dealer"-CR
  • Handling Criticism: Don't let my emotions get in the way of my business... yet, be honest if it's valid feedback... Invite feedback- seek it out...
  • Self-leadership- She lets someone actually manage her life closely- Sacrifice privacy for accountability.
  • PEP is working hard not to get too spread out (like to open up to new markets, the homeless, women, etc)... Staying focused... Waiting to find leaders prior to expanding...
  • Deep level of ownership, they hire from within... they get what it means to be willing to die for something..
  • They do a great job of speaking vision into these prisoners lives, they strongly respect and ask a lot of these men... they challenge them and raise their bar....
  • Catherine has got "IT".


  • Several testimonies from this minsitry just remind me again.... how can one deny the incredible life change Christ brings?
  • Jesus.... "Bring it on."

Session 6: Defending the Faith: Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson : Defending the Faith

Prison Fellowship Ministries

Author: The Faith (currently reading)

  • "I wish we took our faith as serious as the Marines take their job"- CC
  • #1 test of leadership: Serve your people - #2- Give them the greater vision #3- "Follow me"
  • Your job is not to pander to your people, it's to lead them-
  • 57% of evangelicals say that Christ is not the only way to heaven- it's a misunderstanding of "tolerance"
  • Two truth claims cannot be both true. They can both be false, but not true.
  • People are in prison because the lack of moral training during the moral formative years.
  • In the US, are we in "Babylonian" captivity?
  • What is Christianity? It is a world-view to see all of life through... it's not just a religion, a belief in Christ, or fellowship.... Every area of life is under the lordship of Jesus Christ
  • 14 core truths of our Faith... here are some of them....
  • #1- God Is- There is a God- we're not alone or an accident
  • #2- We have His Word - Inerrant Word of God
  • #3- The Fall- we live in a fallen world with free will
  • #4- The Incarnation- Birth of Christ defeated a real enemy Satan- He came to die for us. A conversion is Christ in me, not me picking/choosing
  • #5- A Triune God- One God, Father/Son/Holy Spirit
  • #6- We're Reconciled to One Another- unity of the Body- community- "I don't go to church, I belong to church"
  • #7- We need to live holy- Our works should reflect our Faith
  • #8- There will be Judgement- (We live by revealed Truth)
  • How can you "impose" a belief- we "propose"... we're not about theocracy, we're about freedom... It's an invitation that rests of sound premises that are tested and true...


  • Clearly our culture, even within the church, the idea that there is one "truth" is in question. There is disagreement about "One Way" to God- One must land on this issue- yes or no? At the end of the day, do we have confidence that the Bible is Truth? That Christ is the Way? Or, are there several paths?
  • I think many people fear the confrontation of trying to explain the tough questions- "So all Muslim's are going to hell?"..."So I can be a good person but still go to hell?" "Homosexuality is sin?"... For most's easier to "punt" these questions, avoid them, not try to understand the greater questions... many then resort to what feels good... "There are many paths to heaven, there is no hell, you can believe what feels good, good people go to good places when they die..."
  • I believe the most critical decision we all have is to "get God"... research, read, press-in, test, ask questions to the right people, don't give flippant answers based in nothing... I believe Truth will be found... Test "Seek and you will find"....

Session 5: Craig Groeschel: How Leaders Can Get IT and Keep IT

How Leaders Can Get IT and Keep IT

Craig Groeschel: Life Church TV

When you walk into certain churches, some seem to just have a different feeling... they have "IT".... life... growth... something special...anticipation...expectation... God was present... power, motion

  • Same elements at each location they have (13), however, the output was very different... How could there be different results with so many of the same factors/systems/processes?

  • What is IT? Answer: "Don't know"

  • God makes IT happen... it's from Him, by Him, and for His glory.... we can't make IT, or manufacture IT....
  • It's rare for one person to bring IT.... yet one wrong person can kill IT
  • IT attracts critics.... "You could say IT happens"... if you have IT, it doesn't mean you're going to keep IT, if you don't have IT now, you could get IT later
  • Acts 2:42-47.... People were saved "daily"... do we want IT?

  • 4 Qualities present when IT is present:

  • 1- Laser focused- Better ministry is better, not more ministry- What can we be the very best at? In order to reach people that no one is reaching, you'll have to do things no one is doing.... Less is more...

  • 2- They see opportunities rather than obstacles- You have everything you need to do what God has called you to do- We waste too much time whining about what we don't have... Do what you can with what you have.

  • 3- They are willing to fail. Those without IT tend to play it safe... Failure is a NECESSITY! Peter experienced Jesus in a new way in his failure... Need to shake off failure... shake off what people are saying about you... blogging about you...
  • 4- Led by people who have IT. You need to have IT for your ministry to get IT. Ministry can kill IT... when we focus on building our ministry rather than His Kingdom- we can start losing IT. Leaders that have IT seem to draw people because they want to be part of IT.

  • "I became a full-time pastor and a part-time follwer of Christ"- CG

  • If you've lost IT- getting back to center/core is part of the process to get back-


  • If I truly believe what I believe... am I giving my life to it? Am I giving my life to what I can do best

  • What am I doing that I need to stop doing?
  • What is God trying to show me through my greatest limitation?

  • What has God called me to do that I'm afraid to do?
  • If I don't have IT, what do I need to do get IT?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Session 4b New Cultural Realities: Efrem Smith

Session 4B: Efrem Smith: New Cultural Realities

  • It seems like the more diverse we get... the more divided we get in race, religion, and culture...
  • 1:19 childred in US born as a "mixed" race- Red and Yellow, Black and White will no longer be a relevant song..... :)
  • To lead in this multi-cultural world, we need to be beloved... one that is able allow God to love others through us...
  • Until Jesus comes with ultimate Justice...for's just-us...
  • If you can't love across race or class- You're going to have a hard time leading in this new era..
  • "I think I heard God say"- (God to Efrem) what do you think about this? A multi-culural church...this is what the Church should look like...
  • If the church is to be where the "pain" is... we would see more churches planted in urban, poor areas where there is a high level of brokenness- Down and Out..
  • When High Pressure of what God wants to do in the world hits the Low Pressure of what "we" want to do- storms erupt...
  • Create environments where multi-cultures can collide, interact, and create community...
  • Efrem brought it.


  • The church should lead the multi-cultural revolution of change and the battle of racism...

Session 4: Leading in New Cultural Realities- John Burke

Session 4a: Leading in New Cultural Realities- John Burke from Gateway Community Church Book: No Perfect People Allowed

He's from Austin, TX... thus the cowboy hat.

  • Making and maintaining good soil is everything in planting... what is healthy, rich soil for people? I Cor 3: 6-9 God causes the growth... we're responsible for the soil/environment...
  • Church can be many sexually active, drunk Athiests are going to your church?
  • Do we allow for question and struggle in our church, relationships, and conversations?
  • What do we need to be doing to help our leaders engage with messy people? (Some of us are pretty messy as well)
  • Messy leadership: Helping and leading messy, broken people...
  • Are we leading people to first see others through the eyes of grace and acceptance?
  • Too many times the Church makes it difficult for the emerging cultures to experience Grace? What barriers do we need to remove?
  • "I just couldn't go to a church that hated a group of people (homosexuals)"- Emerging Seeker
  • "What do you think about Muhammed?"- Cultural barrier to Grace for a Muslim
  • Our job is not to fix, grow, or change people- only to work on the soil/environments we create...


  • Creative methodology in church can be part of the good soil needed for people to experience growth in Christ...
  • We need to know our faith to be able to answer the "Barriers to Grace" that many people in our emerging culture are asking...
  • I have a few friends that are struggling with faith, grew up in the faith... good soil... it makes we wonder what causes this? Do some people need to experience bad soil to appreciate good soil?

Session 3b: Stand Up and Lead: Wendy Kopp

Session 3b: Wendy Kopp

Teach for America

  • Where you're born really does have an impact on your educational level

  • 13 mil kids live below the poverty line, by 4th grade- they're already 3 grades behind those in better communities- over half won't graduate high school, when they do, it's at an 8th grade level

  • 5-10% of college seniors aspiring to be teachers are agreeing to teach in a low-income school for two years through her organization, 25,000 students.... She shamelessly gives the "big ask" at college campuses to give them the "opportunity" to help lower income kids

  • Passion for what we do will draw others to the cause.... am I passionate about what I do and what I lead- is it contagious? Wendy is clearly drawing people with her passion...

  • Had to create a "movement" on campuses, not just a thing to sign-up for....

  • Lack of management can be the pitfall to your vision or calling- Crazy ideas ultimately will need some structure and organization to reach its potential.

  • She chose leaders over teachers to teach in the low-income schools...

  • When times get tough- look back at the core of your mission and get back to the basics

  • When there is a Big Dog problem that's "solvable"- it's our moral imperative to work to make that happen- in this case, our public education.... we can do this...


  • Wendy's sense of the front lines- her knowledge she has of her cause- exudes confidence and makes me want to go campaign for funds with what she does... Am I doing the hard work to truly understand the problems at hand, the sense of mission, and acquiring the information needed to be a trustworthy leader and someone worth following?

  • There are a lot of "spinsters" out there that are are talk, all look, but many people can see right through it...

  • Connecting the dots from some of the other items discussed at the conference...again... am I involved in a cause that's BIG, from the heart of God, and am I exercising my gifts and talents in it?

Session 3: Finding Your True North- Bill George

Session 3: Finding Your True North- Bill George
  • The Spirituality of Authentic Leaders

  • Only 10-20% trust our political and business leaders, 48% of pastors/clergy
  • Our talents and what we're capable of is our greatest fear- we tend to shrink back
  • We have a pattern of choosing leaders that have charisma and style, not integrity- it's no wonder we're disappointed in our leaders...
  • Leadership is not money, fame, power- it's responsibility (Peter Drucker)
  • We have knowledge workers- people smarter than the leaders of the company- give them the opportunity to lead-
  • Help people find meaning and significance in their work- Be creative about how to remind our team of this- (Customer testimonials, how are we adding value?, making people feel value? etc... what does that look like in your organization?)
  • Align people around mission/values of the organization- the hardest to do in a organization.
  • Empower- Leaders empower people, helping others step up to their role and mission
  • Serve- Leaders serve.
  • Collaboration: 21st century leaders will be able to bring together organizations to solve some of the world's toughest problems...
  • Our life stories can shape us to be empowered to carry the mission/purpose in our lives- don't let it get wasted...
  • The goals we have can be misguided and actually change us into a person we don't want to be and off-mission of who God intends us to be-
  • "Follow your Compass not your Clock"- We can try to push our time lines and can become frustrated-
  • Self awareness: Get feedback from people close to you, sometimes will be hard but valuable...
  • Get in the front lines- do something, get your hands on the task/organization at hand...
  • Values: to have them- he's flying through this talk...
  • Follow our motivated capabilities (stengths)-
  • Build a good team around me- starts with one person you can be totally open/honest with- people we can do life with and be intimate
  • Lead an integrated life- You'll never be balanced but you can be the same person in all environments you're in- don't put on a mask- be authentic-
  • When you're 90- will you be able to answer the question, "What did I do to make a difference in this world?"
  • Most leaders that fail did not fail their people, they failed themselves, lost their "way" and priorities... trying to be different than who they really are...


  • It's easy to get knocked off course by the world's standards of success- keep the course and be consistant with

Session 2: Just Courage:Charging the Darkness Gary Haugen

The Leadership Summit: Session 2: Gary Haugen

International Justice Mission

  • At the end of the day, we want our leadership to matter
  • Leadership that matters to God are in the issues that matter to God- so what is God truly passionate about?
  • One of the hardest things for people to believe is that God is good- there's so much pain in the world, in their lives.... Is God good?
  • God's plan is "us"- there is no other plan...
  • Injustice- Ecc 4: "Behold I saw the tears of the oppressed..." This is sin to God- We have a call to stand up to oppressors....
  • 60-85% of people in developing world are in prision/jail without a charge or trial...
  • 2 million in forced prostitution in the world (UNICEF) today... how is God good?
  • Leadership doesn't matter as much in things that are cheerful, safe, and easy... it's critical in things that are scary, dangerous, and hard
  • When the task seems hopeless, Lead by re-centering the basis of our Hope.
  • The magnitude of the need can be overwhelming... Jesus asks..."what DO you have?" (Feeding the 5000)... "Will you give it to Me?" He didn't ask what was needed, he asked they "had"...
  • How do we lead when the task seems scary? Jesus did not come to make us safe, He can to make us brave. If I'm playing football and no one is hitting me... I may need to check to make sure I'm in the game...
  • Don't go on the trip of life but miss the adventure... Take the diapers off... Follow God beyond what I can control... that's where we can experience God... Take our strengths God has given us farther than we feel comfortable to climb....
  • Choose not to be safe. Starts with prayer... If we're doing something that doesn't require prayer every 30 minutes.... maybe I need to do something different...
  • Choose deep spiritual health... You don't see people doing hard, scary, uncomfortable things without a deep spiritual health... My spiritual discipline should be driven out of a serious desperation of need rather than a casual "I've done a good devotion" to check it off my list.... Lead people to places that are unsafe to go without God....eliminates the pretenders.... We need to believe we can't do the task without prayer....
  • Choose to pursue excellence... The church and Christians have moved too far into climate controlled neighborhoods (Christian adjusted mediocrity) and began to ignore deep study, practice, stategy, and great execuation.... We need to be effective and skillful... it matters.
  • Choose to seize the joy... The first thing to disappear when we begin to slide is laughter... We need to be able to laugh at our ineptness- How can God depend on all of us, broken people, to be His plan? That's funny. Joy is the antidote to despair...
  • God, please rescue us from all things petty.


  • People are always asking where God is? Where are the miracles? Why doesn't He speak? Are WE truly the plan? Is that why He seems silent but is speaking every moment?
  • I think we lose focus that we're carrying about God's plan and can drift to think it's "us", our actions, our ideas, our plan... we can drift to think we're our own God... Misguided, God-less beliefs abound in our culture that exists in the "I'm a Good Person" theology..
  • If we think life is about's hard to be brave because we hang too tightly to our lives... when we believe it's about eternity, we can risk, we can step out of the boat, we can go into the dark places...
  • I do too many things trying to "accomplish" something on my own or to be the one to "fix" the people around me... I need to hand it off to God, pray more, and find a bigger mountain to climb.

Bill Hybels: The High Drama of Decision Making

Session One: The High Drama of Decision Making

Summit Promise: Leadership taught from a Christian perspective- we're not trying to force is on anyone, but for you to consider.

Best Use of Leadership Practices: To advance the message of Christ and His purposes.

  • Am I involved in life and death decision making- impact leadership? Am I challenging the people I lead to engage in a life-changing challenge?
  • Leaders make the tough calls- not just offer opinions
  • What process do I/we have for making key decisions?
  • Traditionally, Christian leaders ask four questions when making decisions- Does the Bible say anything about this? What would smart advisors advise me to do? P/G/E What have I learned about the pain, gain, and experiences of past decisions? Am I being prompted by the Holy Spirit- something I need to pay attention to?
  • Have a network of smart advisors for key decisions to weigh-in-
  • Journal my leadership track, decisions
  • "The pain and scars I brought to our organization from bad decisions I made in the past give me pause for future decisions..."- BH
  • Leaders take responsibility for bad decisions, pass credit to others for good decisions.
  • Create/document bite-size nuggets/axioms to test in my culture, when it's effective, roll-it out as part of the "mantra" in the organization- Example: "Are we smoking what we're selling?" Abe Lincoln: "The best way to deal with someone who has wronged me is to turn them into a friend", Colin Powell "Create a clash of ideas and you'll make better informed decisions" Hybels: "Vision Leaks"
  • Get the right leaders around the table when critical decisions need to be made- Be prayerful.
  • Get the facts in making decisions. Facts are your friends.
  • When something feels "funky", engage- unattended problems may be there...
  • Leaders need to call "fouls" in a meeting or on themselves when things are not communicated properly or respectfully. Acknowledge mistakes, give people the opportunity to rephrase their question or point.
  • I Timothy 6... Life that is truly life... purpose, significance, a full-tank... Won't be true until I'm fully engaged in God's work and purpose in my life-

Mistakes I see in decisions made in my life or around me:

  • Making hasty decisions- Some people mistake leadership as being willing to make a quick call, they feel strong and decisive- They don't take a reasonable amount of time to get the "rest of the information".
  • Delegating decisions to the wrong people- It's a fine line to allow someone to fail vs. simply handing off a decision that should have been made by me- We should not be surprised when the results of these decisions are a train-wreck.
  • Decisions made in silos- Key decisions are made without any means to communicate it to the rest of the organization, or without "buy-in" to the core team... Key decisions should include a process to roll-out to the core team and the entire organization as needed.