I’m working on the message for Sunday for our “influence” series. The series is about learning to lead/influence like Jesus. I was thoroughly burned out by leadership conferences, books, talks, and conversations in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. I appreciated the growth as a leader, but I am thankful that God led me to focus on becoming a better follower. I like how Paul, in the New Testament, sums up his leadership strategy: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1.  Christian leadership is following Jesus and learning to lead people to follow Jesus.  Any.ways, my hope is that our series will have this tone to it. You can check out one of the talks and see the rest of the series HERE.

As I think about those who have influenced me to follow Jesus and grow as a person, I am filled with gratitude.

What if each of us looked outward and considered how we might be able to encourage and invest in even one other person?



We are walking through the book “ReWork” as a staff team.  It is written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier.

The book promises to assist you in showing a “better, easier way to succeed in business.” It encourages the reader to, “stop talking and start working.” The book is filled with brief chapters that seem to swim against the current of conventional wisdom.

So far I have really enjoyed the brief chapters that inspire, encourage the reader to take action and think differently.  I have always enjoyed business books because I think there is some good leadership insights and truths found in them, but I also recognize that a church is not the same thing as a business.  There have been some transferable principles and ideas that have made me think about our context differently.

Here are a handful of quotes from the book so far:

“Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done.  It just means you work more.”  (pg.25)

“What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.”  (pg.38)

“To keep your momentum and motivation up, get in the habit of accomplishing small victories along the way.”  (pg.115)

“When you spend time worrying about someone else, you can’t spend that time improving yourself.”  (pg.148)

“Use the power of no to get your priorities straight.”  (pg.153)

So far this book has helped me think about what really matters and the importance of taking action.  What have you been learning or reading lately?



I asked, “Vicki, would you say that I am an optimistic person?” She replied with, “Not really.”

My mom routinely preached being positive to me:

“No one likes to hang out with a negative person.”

One of my mentors used to yell out, “Attitude Check” and we responded with “Praise the Lord!”

I even read “Life Is Tremendous” by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones back in the day!

I always thought of myself as an optimist (maybe I was overly optimistic) so I was disappointed at Vicki’s response to me.  But, I knew it was true.

How did pessimism claw into my thoughts and words?

I am optimistic that 2011 will be different.  There will be a rebirth of my attitude.  I claimed “positivity” as my theme for the year.  I need it, but I think the people around me will appreciate it even more.  I desire to be a life bringer, to see solutions, to give others courage, to believe the best in people, and to live more out of faith.

“Attitude Check?!”    🙂