It’s Okay to Hope

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Have you ever set a New Year’s Resolution?

Have you ever chosen not to set a New Year’s Resolution?

Have you ever claimed “My New Year’s Resolution is to not have any New Year’s Resolutions”?

A few years ago, I felt guilty for ever getting excited and setting some goals for the new year. It seemed every conversation covering resolutions took on a significantly negative tone. And I bought into it.

Then, I read a blog where someone said they always looked forward to the new year and the hope that it brings.

So, today, I want to take a stab at doing that for you. You may find yourself having given up hope for 2018 based on 2017 as a whole, or in part. Well, it is not too late to change your approach. It is okay to hope.

What if 2018 becomes the year you do something great? What if 2018 becomes the year you accomplish that goal you’ve never seemed to achieve before? What if you have matured as a person to the point where the mistakes you made in your younger days will no longer provide as much resistance as you remember?

Let yourself, for just a moment, find hope and refreshing in the changing of the calendar, even if we are a few days behind.

Pick one thing you’d like to accomplish this year and write it in a place where it will serve as a reminder for you. Stick with it. Keep it in front of you. Pursue it. Achieve it.

Who knows, maybe 2018 will be the best year yet for both of us. I look forward to taking this journey with you.

Lessons Learned about Blogging, Pt. 3

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*This will be my final post for 2017. I look forward to sharing with you even more in 2018!*

I have learned quite a bit about blogging over the past 11 months. Today, I want to share the most important part of what I do.

My blog would not be what it is without you. Whether you just click over and read, or you have commented or sent me an encouraging word: Thank you!

I am always thrilled when someone likes, shares, comments, or even gets in touch with me about anything I’ve written. Hitting “publish” can be a very scary proposition, so all feedback is appreciated.

But most importantly, thank you for reading. Whenever you joined me on this journey, thank you. I plan to keep it up for another 12 months and see where we are next year, but until then…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lessons Learned about Blogging, pt 1

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Last December, I bought a domain and published my first post. Then, in February, I fully launched this blog. It has been an interesting journey, and I’d like to finish out 2017 by sharing a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Blogging takes time, both mine and yours.

That seems like a pretty obvious statement, but I had not done the math when I started. Posting 2-3 times each week is an interesting endeavor, and one that has helped me grow over the past 11 months.

But more than the time it takes me to write, edit, prep, and publish, is the time you take to read. If you have spent any time reading anything I’ve written, let me say thank you.

I know you have important things going on in your life and your time is being fought for everyday, so I appreciate the time you spend reading my ramblings.

Some days are shorter, like today. So let me close by saying I have had a blast over the past 11 months, and I’m thankful that you have joined me along the way, or stuck with me through the ups and downs. I’m looking forward to the future!

Leading by Letting Go

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I have what I would like to think of as a giving personality. I’m always willing to do something to help someone else. Well, usually.

But sometimes, my willingness to serve and to help may be the thing that prevents me from expanding my leadership influence.

Most areas where I serve, whether at church or somewhere else, my willingness to help may actually be harmful. My desire to equip those around me may actually be undercut by my desire to serve.

What about you? Are you someone who is willing to let go of something?

Think about it like this: I really enjoy running sound on a Sunday morning. Because of a few shifts in our congregation over the past year, I have gladly taken on a much larger role in the sound operation of a service. I have a few people who I have shown how to run sound, established some work-arounds to make it easier for someone else to do the job, but because I enjoy it, I haven’t fully let go.

This would be fine if I weren’t on staff, on stage, or regularly distracted by other responsibilities on a Sunday morning. So, what I’ve managed to do is handcuff anyone who might be willing to take a larger leading role.

So, what if I handed off that responsibility to someone else? What if I was willing to fully equip someone else to fulfill that need?

Are you unknowingly holding on to something in your ministry or at your work that might be holding those around you back? What do you need to let go of in order to let someone else shine?

Losing Teeth & Growing as a Leader

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Have you ever considered that you are not who you are today without who you were yesterday? Is that confusing enough for you?

Think about it like this: in the last few days, my youngest daughter has lost 2 teeth. This is a normal part of the growth process. Every adult has lost at least one tooth along the way. But, if we didn’t have our baby teeth come in first, those adult teeth would be a killer.

If you’re a parent, think about that for a little while. What if your baby never cut teeth? Then what do you blame the nasty diapers on? Oh, and there’s the whole chewing food thing that becomes essential for health.

So, in order to have our adult teeth come in, we have to have baby teeth come in first. This seems like a simple concept, and it is, but do you think about your leadership the same way?

If you’ve been leading for very long at all, I’m sure you can think of a time where you were cutting your baby teeth. It was undoubtedly a big deal at the time. Then, as you’ve grown, that baby tooth has fallen out and been replaced by another tooth, one that has stood the test of time.

One example would be the foolishness and arrogance of a minister in their early 20s. I knew everything at 23-24. Except, I didn’t. As that baby tooth of confidence (which was important at the time, but eventually taken too far) made the initial cut, it made the way for the adult tooth of realizing I don’t know everything and I need to ask more questions, and always be learning.

What’s your most recent tooth loss? How have you grown in the past few weeks as a leader? Are you willing to grow some more? What tooth do you need to pull?

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