Ask Questions No One Else is Asking

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I tend to work better on a team. One of the reasons why is because I value being able to discuss a situation–it helps me process better.

Have you ever been in a planning meeting with a group of people about a project, asked a question, and watched as the expressions in the room turn to “why would you ask that?”

Over the past few years, I have found myself in that situation more than I can imagine, but for a good reason: I want to be able to say we thought about that scenario/outcome/solution/possibility.

Asking the question the group assumes has an agreed upon answer, on occasion, will provide some necessary insight and clarity.

For ministry, have we considered the impact this decision will mean for _____?

For business, what happens after we reach our goal of _____?

For entreprenuers, what happens after _____?

I can think of a few times where I have been glad to be the one to ask the silly question, because sometimes the silly question is the very question no one else is willing to ask.

Why are we doing this?

Do we still need this?

What do we hope to achieve or accomplish?

Are we ready for the possible fall out of this particular decision?

Learn to ask questions no one else is asking, and you will start to see your leadership influence shift. If people can count on you to bring value to the table, then they will count on you.

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Mid-Summer Check In

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Wow. Just wow.

January 30 was when I started blogging regularly on this site. I started out because I had a simple idea I felt like I needed to share. (You can read more about that here.)

Today, we are nearing the end of June, which means I have been blogging consistently (for the most part) for five months.

If you’ve stuck with me so far, thank you so much. I have been advised not to watch my views and visitors, but I do it anyway. So, every time you click, I’m grateful.

Here are a few thoughts as the journey continues.

  1. If you’re new here, thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to click around the site and read some of the posts. My early posts are relatively longer, whereas the posts from April start getting a little shorter. My goal is to post twice a week with content that is simple, yet applicable. Feel free to check out my series titled “Lessons from the Farm” by clicking here.
  2. If you’re a regular, would you be willing to do me a favor? It’s hard to describe what a social media “share” does in terms of reach. Would you take just a few minutes to find one of the posts you like the most and “share” it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform you frequent? I would love to see the impact of this blog grow, and you can play a major role in helping.
  3. I will continue posting “fresh” content twice a week. However, with almost 50 posts published to date, I am going to start “recycling” one post each week. Part of this is for new people (see line 1), and part is because I think an idea may be solid and worth repeating.
  4. Let me know you’re reading! You can do this by a comment on the site, a like on Facebook, or a high five in real life. Few things fuel me more than genuine affirmation. (That may turn in to a post later this week.
  5. Finally, subscribe however possible:

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You can also subscribe to receive new posts by email by clicking here.

Once again, thank you for your time, for your encouragement so far, and for the days and weeks ahead. I think we are onto something great as we continue to help expand your leadership influence!

 

Get More Out of Camp, Pt 2

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On Tuesday, I introduced a concept I’ve stumbled into the past few years at camp: find the gaps in the schedule. Click here for the full article.

Today, I’m going to spend some time explaining how I’ve used our schedule to help grow leaders.

As I mentioned in part 1, our schedule at camp is pretty laid back, and offers quite a few blocks of free time. So, last year, I split our leadership team into two groups and would meet with each group once a day.

While meeting with the group, we had a few repeating questions we knew we would talk about each day, one of which being “how did you pour into someone younger or older than you?”

I am actually pretty big on building relationships across grade levels. We have a smaller group, so it is important for our older kids to understand their influence on younger kids.

But at the same time, last year I had some younger kids on leadership team and I wanted them to learn their responsibility in developing relationship with older kids. Sound strange? It is, but I tried it.

So, imagine my delight when I saw a soon to be senior walking back from water activities with a soon to be 8th grader.

Those “gap” meetings were simple, short, and something I plan to repeat this year. They were a way for me to help teach a new mindset to a group of students.

So, if you’re a Youth Pastor, let me challenge you this summer to make the most of your schedule at camp. Do not try to force anything, but if the opportunity arises, make the most of the schedule gaps you have at camp.

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Get More Out of Camp, Pt 1

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Today I’m going to let you in on a little secret that I’ve learned about developing student leaders. But first, a little context.

As I mentioned last week, this week I am taking a group of teenagers to camp. I love camp. I love the opportunities we have to grow relationships, to learn, to grow closer to Christ, and to get away from distractions.

One thing I’ve learned over the past few years while at camp is there are opportunities to make the most of the schedule.

Let me clarify.

Our schedule is actually pretty laid back. I’m grateful that the people who set the schedule do not have the mentality of “wear them out”, but instead seek to provide a change of pace.

So, for the past few years, I have looked at the schedule and found little gaps that provided an opportunity for me to meet with my student leaders and help them grow. In doing this, I get to take advantage of the camp atmosphere, while at the same time teaching some core principles and ideas to student leaders.

On Thursday, I will explain in a little more detail exactly what I’ve done in those times.

But for today, especially if you’re a youth minister getting ready to go to camp, let me challenge you to make the most of the schedule. Find the gaps and look for ways to further relationships and connections in those times.

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A New Adventure

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Next week a project on which I have been working and dreaming up for the past two years launches–Horizon Leadership Camp.

On Wednesday, I will load vehicles with a group of students going to youth camp with Horizon Camps. While we are there, I have the opportunity to pour into a small group of student leaders with the sole purpose of helping them develop as leaders.

Many of the things I’ve written over the past 4+ months will play a role in what I share, but more than anything I have to say, I am excited about the opportunity to interact and help develop student leaders from a context different than my own students.

Would you like to find out more about Horizon Camp and the Horizon Leadership Camp experience? Click here.

While this is happening, I also have the opportunity to pour into my own students and student leaders as we enter a new chapter in our ministry, and I couldn’t be more excited.

So, what’s the leadership principle or thought in this?

Hard work pays off?

Leaders develop leaders?

Hang in there?

I can force a principle, but the reality of this post is I am excited. Developing leaders and watching students, especially, adventure out of their comfort zones gives me high expectations.

I am so grateful for someone who saw something in me, pursued it, and has helped me grow through it.

So here’s to a new adventure, to HLC 2.0.

 

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