Monday, January 28, 2008

Frankfurt wind tunnel

So I'm on my way to Spain for a conference with about 200 stinters from Europe and Asia. On the layover, I'm in the Lufthansa lounge when a large fan or motor kicks on in the celing above us. It sounds like a jet engine turning on. It gets louder and as it does, air in the room starts to move. Within seconds we have a pretty good wibd tunnel is blowing, papers are rustling, the blinds are moving, it is getting pretty windy, and just then they get on the loudspeaker: "please evacuate the lounge." I did, and didn't look back. I have no idea of the outcome. But I am on the south coast of Spain and doing just fine. Crisis averted.
I am going to a meeting in just a few minutes with our Western Europe leaders Javier and David. I'm posting this from my phone, and mostly excited to try it and see if it works.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Commuting to San Antonio

I went to the home of the Alamo for our Summer Project Leaders conference, flew back home to see Matt before he returned to Miami (the one in Ohio) for his last semester of college. Then Kim and I flew back to SA for another few days to meet with regional leaders in our ministry that are committed to planting movements among all the students in the US. Special emphasis here on the ones we aren't reaching very well or often, the ethnic students in the major cities of the US.

Summer mission trips are one of the best environments to lead for the first time. It provides many of the challenges of organization, communication, focus, courage, faith, and care for people that you will experience the rest of your life in leading. We had students with us, and I hope we have more in the future. I'm not sure how many students will go with us on our summer mission trips, probably about 3,000. As life changing as these are, I wish we were seeing about 10,000 a year go.

I also think of the impact these mission teams will have. Students lives will be changed as they encounter a new life in Christ in over 30 countries around the globe.

The second half of the trip was about CCC regional and national leaders working together to reach the unreached students all around the US. We are still learning how to move from isolated leadership styles to ones that are far more connected with other leaders, even within our own organization. Not mention connecting with the resources that God has provided outside of our own organization. It his hard to move from singular leadership toward collaborative leadership. It requires so much time and trust to be built. And it demands a shift in the way I look at my role and my success.

I came away wondering where I have become stagnant in my leadership approach, and what changes do I need to make that will unleash Kingdom resources that God has provided within our organization and also outside of it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I started reading the book, "unChristian - what a new generation really thinks about Christianity." Here are some descriptions of the most current generation of university students:

...relationships are the driving force. Loyalty to friends is one of their highest values. They have a strong need to belong, usually to a tribe of other loyal people who know them well and appreciate them. Still, under their relational connectedness lies fierce individualism.

Though they esteem fair-mindedness and diversity, they are irreverent and blunt. Finding ways to express themselves and their rage is an endless pursuit. Being skeptical of leaders and institutions is part of their generational coding. They do not trust things that seem too perfect, accepting that life comes with its share of messiness and off-the-wall experiences and people.

They engage in a nearly constant search for fresh experiences and new sources of motivation. They disdain self-proclaimed experts and "talking head" presentations. If something doesn't work for them, or if they are not permitted to participate in the process, they quickly move on to something that grabs them. They prefer casual and comfortable to stuffy and stilted. They view life in a non-linear, chaotic way, which means they don't mind contradiction and ambiguity.

What do you think? Is this generally accurate? And if so, how does it make a difference?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008 Non-Resolution

I just love Pillsbury's Grands with Cinnabon icing. In 20 minutes, with a cup of coffee, eating one of these can put you on another planet. Wow. This is why God created grocery stores and processed food.

You may have already guessed from the first line, I've made no New Year Resolutions. No promises to be a better Bible reading-in shape-financially astute-time organized-tough and tender dad/husband/leader Christian servant. No "one more lap for Christ" vows coming from me in 2008. Perhaps one more cinnamon roll for Christ, if there is such a thing.

It's not that I think dedication and commitment are bad. They have their place in long list of good stuff to have. But I want my focus to be more about connecting...with Christ, my friends, colleagues, and those I just meet each day, not accomplishing more or getting "better". To just be aware and listening to what God is saying to me, and see where that takes me. With or without cinammon rolls. Preferably with.

Being a goal setter by nature, I'm sure I'll make some plans for the year. While I love spontaneity, I don't do well with total randomness. I swallowed one big heapin' spoonful of "strategic" sometime in my life and I'll spend the rest of my life digesting it. But I hope (resolve? hmmm, whatever) those goals will be more like compass headings than a tape to break at the end of the year. And "due north" would seem to be connecting with Jesus. Anything else and eventually, I will end up off track and lost.