Episode 080: 10 Hopes and Prayers Pt. 1

In this episode we sit down to talk about an article written by Andrew on 10 hopes and prayers for the next 10 years. (The original article can be found here.)

I would love to see the church become more spiritual… there is a vacancy of mystery in the church… we reduce everything to five easy steps, and it doesn’t satisfy the deepest thirst of the human soul…

The church needs to not be ashamed of the one thing it can offer that no one else can…

We need to recapture wonder… I think that we’re not surprised enough in church… the Holy Spirit is right here, and right now, which means that anything can happen…

The late Robert Jenson said that the basic difference between a living God and dead god is that a living God can still surprise us, and that’s what we see in the New Testament…

Our services are not unplanned but they are unscripted… we know that there are elements that will always be there, but it is the unscripted element that brings it to life…

Structure can and should have wonder in it… our way of holding the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer ought to be full of wonder…

In order to do this, we are going to have to slow down… I want the church in North America to swear off the haste that has become characteristic of its life…

God takes time, and we can too… sometimes when I am sermon prepping, the most effective thing I can do is just to leave it alone… go for a half hour walk, take some deep breaths, take in the landscape, and remember the Story…

When we are moving too fast, we don’t listen well, and when we don’t listen well, we don’t engage deeply in relationship, and we miss too much…

We are living in a time that is incredibly angry… the volume is so high and so many people are just talking past one another… it is a symptom of the haste that is in our hearts…

The frightful despotism of “I have to win” where life is a zero sum game is so destructive to our commonwealth, and I think that the church can lead the way on (changing) this…

Episode 079: Four Rules for Teams

In this episode we discuss four rules for how teams should function in their meetings.

Rule number one is you have to tell the truth… if it’s a bad idea, we want to hear about it… I need people in meetings who will tell the truth…

I would rather hear that something is a bad idea on Tuesday rather than on Sunday after my sermon… if you are thinking it in a meeting, don’t walk out carrying it with you…

If we can’t tell the truth in meetings, over time it will weaken the organization…

Rule number two is that you need to share the best ideas… I want creativity in the meetings… if people aren’t sitting in the meetings exploring and pushing the envelope, they don’t need to be in the meeting…

I want there to be a tension in the room that we challenge the status quo… I do not want people sitting there holding onto all their best ideas…

There needs to be robust debate in meetings for them to really work… I want my team members thinking outside their boxes, looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes… the best meetings are when there is really good debate… the best idea always wins…

Rule number three is that you can’t be in the meeting if you are afraid of being decisive… we have to make a decision…

I like to be around people who don’t get bogged down by data… at some point we need to make a decision…

A good leader with good instincts recognizes that if there is division in the room, we can’t move forward… we need to come to unity…

Rule number four is that if we make the decision, the people in the room all need to own it in public… but this is impossible if people haven’t been given an opportunity to weigh in…

The cardinal sin of team is to walk out of the meeting and say, “Well, you know I had a different perspective on this”… you can’t go out of the meetings nodding yes with your head but no with your heart…