Thursday, August 8, 2019

Craig Groeschel-Bend The Curve (learning from the recliner)

This is how I felt about the prospect of attending the Global Leadership Summit this year. I've attended each year for quite a few years now and usually scribe my notes on this blog. But, like my grandson Auggie in the elevator (above picture) I'm feeling pretty fragile and wasn't sure I was up for any more conviction in the leadership realm.

So I chose to stay home and save the registration fee to use toward shipping our Operation Christmas Child boxes.  But an email in my inbox offered the opportunity to watch Craig Groeschel's opening talk free online, and you know me--I can't resist free.

Despite my trepidation Craig's talk was actually quite encouraging and our Operation Christmas Child team has been practicing some of these principles for years. are my notes...

Bend The Curve -- Craig Groeschel

(First some oft-repeated GLS sayings)--Everyone wins when the leader gets better. Leadership is influence. How you lead others matters more than you can imagine. Leaders can learn from anyone. You are not here by accident. I know for certain you want to get better.

Each of us does cost/benefit analyses all the time. Does the cost justify the benefit? So many leaders think better always costs more. We assume that investing more brings a better return; yet, over time investing more may bring a diminishing return. More does not always mean better! Here are two basic principles:

**GETMO (Good Enough To Move On) -- Look for the greatest level of return based on time, money and resources invested. (We are constantly doing this on our OCC team!) Perfectionists often care too much. Perfection can be the enemy of progress. The pursuit of excellence will motivate you but the pursuit of perfection will eventually limit you. If we spend more on something (time, money, resources) we are making a trade and something else may suffer.

**BTC (Bend The Curve) -- Look for better quality for equal or lesser cost and invest resources for the most return.

1.  Think INSIDE the box -- the problem with outside-the-box thinking is unlimited possibilities with too many impractical ideas to sift through.
  Constraints drive creativity leading to innovation. Ask yourself "Where do you have tension?" and let your constraints be a motivating force.

**"I believe you have everything you need to do everything you're called to do!"

**"God guides by what He provides. God also guides by what He withholds."

Embrace your limitations. If you had everything you want you might miss what you need.

2.  Burn the ships -- When you don't know if you can endure, eliminate the option to turn back. COMMIT with no option of retreat. Don't give up! (This is what we do every year when we decide to do another large packing party.)

If you're older but you're not dead, you're not done! (okay, then...)

Tell me what you're called to do and why it matters. It you COMMIT to the "what" and are CONSUMED by the "why" you'll figure out the "how". (by God's grace!)

Craig said, "I have the same voices that tell me I'm not good enough. I was turned down for ordination and cried all the way home. Every time before I speak I take one big step forward--stepping out of my doubts and into my calling.  Some of you are one step away from leading your organization where it should go. Don't obsess about things that don't matter. Don't retreat. Solve problems. Meet needs. Offer hope. Change the world."

And, for free, I got one of the best GLS messages ever. Amen!

Friday, August 2, 2019


Okay...this might look like just a jumble of letters--as jumbled as my thoughts lately--but they do spell a word. Can you see it? REVIVAL...

Our church has had a summer of revival. In addition to the regular Sunday sermons there have been four special worship nights dedicated to seeking the work of the Holy Spirit in a new way among us. This is a new venture for our church but one that's certainly been an amazing journey.

Nearly two months. I think this is the longest I've gone without writing a blog in many years and maybe the longest ever since I started this blog back in 2009.

Somehow it all seems so uninteresting--so much of the same stuff.  I mean, who wants to keep hearing about all my leadership woes and seeing pictures of cardboard carton after cardboard carton lined up in the storage container. It just gets old.

It's been old to me, too.  Lately there's been a lot of going through the motions without much joy. And there's also been a bunch of wrestling with ingrained sin issues that just feel so heavy.

So tonight I stood in the dimly lit worship center and felt that weight pressing down on me. There was nothing to do but go to one of the designated prayer team members with my tears and my truthful  feelings of anger and weariness.

I'm so grateful for the prayers of that sweet woman who let me sob on her shoulder while she prayed over me. Then, as she prayed, she anointed my forehead with oil. There's something so soothing about that fragrance that permeates everything.

Kneeling later by my seat I was still bathed in that aroma--a sweet smell that makes me not want to wash my face. It still surrounds me as I write this.

Can you even imagine what it smelled like when the woman anointed Jesus's feet with oil? I'm not an essential oil person but I can sure see (or maybe I should say smell) the attraction.

The aroma is just a symbol of the anointing of the Holy Spirit but I need that reminder--that sweet fragrance that surrounds me reminds me that He surrounds me, too.

Maybe I'm just a wimp because despite all the years I've been trying to lead a team and despite all the CONSTANT training I've been given this leadership stuff is still just so hard.  Tonight, though, the burden got a little lighter and the aroma reminds me that I really am surrounded with "strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow."

It's the aroma of revival.