Friday, February 27, 2009

A Defining Moment

Mark Wilson, my blogging friend over at Revitalize Your Church, posted this article which echoes my previous post:

Tue Feb 24 2009 08:36:39 ET

Media baron Rupert Murdoch issued an urgent internal communication late Monday, warning his staff: "We are in the midst of a phase of history in which nations will be redefined and their futures fundamentally altered."

"Many people will be under extreme pressure and many companies mortally wounded," Murdoch declared.

"Our competitors will be sorely tempted to take the easy beat, to reduce quality in the search for immediate dividends."

He continued: "Let me be very clear about our company: where others might step back from their commitment to their viewers, their users, readers and customers – we will renew ours.

"The direction of the business now and over the next few years will define the character of our company for decades."

How will your church be impacted by the current economic crisis?

What steps will your church take to renew its commitment and redefine itself?

A Sense of Urgency...

The West Michigan District Board of Administration met yesterday and part of our meeting was invested in working through Kotter's new book, A Sense of Urgency. No organization on the planet should have a great sense of urgency than the church, yet our denominational statistics reveal that 959 Wesleyan churches (56%) failed to grow by even one person in average attendance last year and 449 churches (26%) failed to report even one profession of faith. We're praying that God grips us with a renewed sense of urgency!

Here are the take-aways from the book:

URGENCY: a focused determination to win, and win as soon as possible!

“We are much too complacent and we don’t even know it.” (p.1)

“With complacency, no matter what people say, if you look at what they do it is clear that they are mostly content with the status quo.” (p.5)

“True urgency focuses on critical issues …. True urgency is driven by a deep determination to win, not anxiety about losing. With an attitude of true urgency, you try to accomplish something important every day… “ (p.6)

“People, who are determined to move and win, now, simply do not waste time or add stress by engaging in irrelevant or business-as-usual activities.” (p.9)

Create action that is exceptionally alert, externally oriented, relentlessly aimed at winning, making some progress each and every day, and constantly purging low value-added activities – all by always focusing on the heart and not just the mind. (pp.60-61)

The tactics:

1. Bring the Outside In

• Reconnect internal reality with external opportunities and hazards
• Bring in emotionally compelling data, people, video, sights and sounds

2. Behave with Urgency Every Day

• Never act content, anxious, or angry
• Demonstrate your own sense of urgency always in meetings, one-on-one interactions, memos, and e-mail and do so as visibly as possible to as many people as possible

3. Find Opportunity in Crises

• Always be alert to see if crises can be a friend, not just a dreadful enemy, in order to destroy complacency.
• Proceed with caution, and never be na├»ve, since crises can be deadly.

4. Deal with the NoNos

• Remove or neutralize all the relentless urgency-killers, people who are not skeptics but are determined to keep a group complacent or, if needed, to create destructive urgency

*** How high is the sense of urgency among the relevant people around you?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

U.S. Navy Seal Creed

The Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 9:26-27) would have made a great SEAL for the Gospel!


The creed

"In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation's call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America's finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me – my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail."

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1st Cor. 9:26-27 (NIV)

"...I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again..." 2nd Corinthians 11:23 (NIV)

"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus..." 2 Timothy 2:3