The Heart and Attitude for a Great Event

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1.  Know the why behind the what.

a lot of the time we focus on what we need to do and how we need to do it, not realizing the real motivation for those who are working with us is the why.  
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?  
WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE IN THIS? WHAT IS THE VISION FOR THIS?  
WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES THAT WE WANT?

How do we clarify and reiterate the why?  Analogies, & explanations.  

This is not a waste of time but rather the best use of our time.  

Most people will retain what and how to do something more readily if they know the WHY.

2.  Clarify and Communicate

If we are not clear with our vision, people will create their own for our event.

. -Andy Stanley

Can it be clarified in simple terms? How many steps are there?  
Are there any hidden meanings?  
Are their any assumptions?

Communication is mutual understanding. Talking and listening are conversation.  You have communicated when both parties understand the same thing.

3.  Same Page meetings

Have meetings with each dept involved seperately and together on a regular consistant basis, leading up to the event.

Have a time line that includes everything.  Start from the date of the event and walk backwards, include a dead day.

Use the tools at your disposal.  email, facebook groups, text groups etc.

Keep everyone in the loop.  

Nothing is lost by keeping everyone in the loop but everything can be lost of a significant person is out of the loop.

4.  Create the Wow Factor

Wow is the unexpected positives.  
people leave saying wow, I never expected that to happen at this event.

Over and above excellence always translates to Care.  

5.  Finishing well is more important than starting well.

Most organizations do ok with the pre planning and pulling off of events, where they fail is finishing strong.  

Once the high point of the event is over, the air goes out and we all go our seperate ways, and there is a lot left to do.  

Especially in church things where follow up, and finishing up can be the most important.

Your team can lose morale at this point, and not perform well the next time as a result.

Start as a team, run as a team, finish as a team.

6.  Keep notes and debrief

Keep notes on everything you do start to finish. You can refer back to it and not have to repeat every time, and you can know what you need to change.  Its amazing what you can forget in this process.

Take the time after an event to talk over what was good, what was great, what was not so good and what was bad.

Evaluate, think solutions, keep record of it for the next time.

7.  Excellence is an attitude.

Using what you have to the best of your ability.

Excellence never says thats good enough.

Excellence always says, what more can we do, how can we make it better?

8.  Create a basic system that is general to all events, that can be specified for each event.

No reason to reinvent the wheel with every event. Good systems can be the difference between success and failure

30th birthday

Was like. 

Last night, what I would guess was around 20,000 people gathered to celebrate 30 years of Watoto church ministry. 

To try to describe this would sound at best like sheer exaggeration, and at worst inarticulate, however I will try to let you in in one of the greatest experiences of my life. 

A night filled with beautiful, passionate voices, and skilled traditional, as well as modern dance weaving a story throughout the night of the burden, vision, and fulfillment of a dream given to Gary and Marylin Skinner who, when receiving it must have been overwhelmed by it, while not being able to see in full what has actually become of it.   A dream that has fought cultural, spiritual, and economic battles to exist, and might I say has come through in victory on the other side. A dream that is consistantly and continually giving a hand up spiritually, economically and culturally to an amazing city of Kampala and Nation of Uganda. 

Everything about the beginnings of this, it’s place in history, the nationality of its leaders, the dream itself screams “this wil never work!”  Yet 30 years later to call it a success would be to underestimate it on every level. 

The stories as told through music, media, readings, narration and the fact that the story tellers are not acting out the life if another, rather were telling their very own story. The sincerity and authenticity of that left me in tears most of the night. 

Stories of the most graphic unspeakable horrors that can be perpetrated on one human being to another. They didn’t stop there but went on to finish the stories with the hope and forgiveness that only Jesus Christ can bring in any circumstance. 

I want to give specific examples but it would be impossible because one would lead to another and another and another. Stories of devastation followed by hope and forgiveness. I guess you should have been there. 

All this was capped off with Israel Houghton leading one of the best worship sets I’ve ever heard and what must have been 20,000 people singing, dancing, rejoicing in our great God and Savior Jesus Christ in a unity I have rarely felt anywhere, ever and the energy level was off the charts. To tell the truth the rapture of the church would having been fitting at the end of that night. Just another level. It was all culminated in a song befitting these victorious Ugandans and their understanding of the testimony God has given them. “I am not forgotten”

I am not forgotten 
God knows my name 
He knows my name

And I will praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Light in the darkness
The father to the fatherless 
Strength in my weakness
He knows my Name

At the very end the combined Watoto children’s choir and the Watoto church choir which must have been 250-300 people strong. Sang a song about rising from the ashes, and as they sang hundreds of floating lanterns rose from the back of the stage and filled the night sky, leaving us with a visual affirmation of a people who have and are rising from the darkness carrying a great light. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

We left their last night lifted, strengthened, refreshed, convicted, and empowered. 

Let me just say this, without being presumptuous, for the sake of the spiritual hunger in your church, for an opportunity to make a difference in the world, for perspective and hope, do yourself a favor and get connected to Gary and Marylin Skinner and Watoto church. So many ways to get involved, so much benefit to your church in eternal, purposeful ways. 

I love the church, and Watoto church like all of us is not perfect, but are what I believe Is one of the best examples of what God intends for the church to be. 

The idea that #wecandosomething is the way they live every single day. 

http://www.watoto.com
http://www.watotochurch.com

The Irony of Insecurity

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When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to work on a construction crew. I helped roof houses for the most part but at times helped in framing a house, probably more clean up than anything.

I learned a very important fact however in this process. It was apparent that in order for the house to be built properly, the foundation had to be laid properly. Trying to frame a house on a foundation that had flaws or was not level was an impossability. Literally, when it is time to start framing if the foundation is not right, it has to be done again before anything is built on it.

The irony of insecurity is that its like building on a faulty foundation. Meaning, when you’re insecure its like a builder who is more concerned by the appearance of the house than the reality of the house. So let the chips fall where they may, as long as it looks good, its fine.

The problem is that when pressure, storms, someone living in the house comes, there are things far more important than appearnces. like safety, stability, strength, endurence. These things become incredibly important at this point, but if the foundation is faulty than the future of the home is in question. At some point it will come crumbling down, if the foundation isn’t fixed.

Insecurity in large part is an undue emphasis on appearnces. When we are insecure we function in pretend mode. Herein lies the irony. Insecurity causes us to pretend to be secure. We build on a faulty foundation. Our priorities are out of whack. Peoples opinions take first place in our lives, what it “looks” like becomes far more concerning to us than what it “is” like.

So we go about making the house look good. We put the right brick on it, we paint it pretty colors, we deck it out with the most current, trendy decor. Problem is, it is not what it appears to be. Once the family moves in and life gets started, cracks start showing up, things start breaking down.

Insecurity is a life built to look secure, but in reality is emotionally falling apart.

We look happy, but are truly sad. We look like, “the life of the party,” friends all around, but lack the security to have solid, lasting, vulnerable, loving relationships.

We look like we have it all together but have constant concern that someone is going to see the cracks.

We Look like we love mentoring that young upstart employee fresh out of college while fearing everyday they are going to take our spot, even to the point of subtly sabotaging them.

We look like our life is full, but it is a big gaping whole of emotional emptiness.

The reason I write about insecurity is because I think its terribly sad that people with such potential to be solid, secure, and confident, are raging fear mongers on the inside, and are getting in their own way, and keeping themselves from significance, and success.

So, put the breaks on. Get off this pretend ride. Tear this fake facade down, get rid of this faulty frame work, all the way down to the foundation, and start fresh.

How?

1. Realize your foundation should be laid based on the specs from the designer.

>God built you to know who you are, and to be someone unique and
special
>It’s in a relationship with Him that brings security, and confidence.
when you know the designer, you know the plan, and you don’t have to
pretend.

2. Listen to the builder.

>Its amazing how many people will hire a builder and then not listen
them.
>Out builder is Jesus Christ the son of God. When we know Him, and
listen to him, he puts us right with our designer and helps us apply
the plan in away that produces security and confidence, not in our
own ability but the ability of the builder to make a great product out
of the framework of our lives.

3. Stick with the plan.

>The plan is the Bible the word of God. Knowing the plan causes us
to be saturated with confidence, and security. Know that the plan is
flawless, and will ultimately give us the outcome that is best. A grand
palace of a life, not built on pretense or appearances but on a strong,
good foundation. Let the storms come, let life happen, the house will
be strong!

Worthless Treasure

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I love people. More than that, one of my favorite things to do as a leader is discover and develop the potential in a persons life. 

I truly care about the people I lead. I do my best (not always perfect at it) but I do try to invest in, care about and develop them to live a more fulfilled life. 

I’ve had the privilege for 25 years to occupy my life with this endeavor. At times I’ve had success and others times I’ve failed. 

Having had this many years working with people I have learned a few things. One thing I have seen over and over again is people, including myself, at times have failed to reach their potential because of insecurity. Insecurity buries potential beneath the rubble of fear. 

It is my contention that potential is like buried treasure inside each of us. It’s great to know you have wealth and treasure hidden away somewhere but it has very little value when it’s buried. To see the value in treasure you spend it or invest it or even save it for a later purpose but to simply bury it away and then claim to be wealthy is a farce. I submit to you the proof of the pudding is in the eating. 

Potential, our buried treasure, needs to be dug up and used, but we hide it away for fear it won’t be accepted. We bury it because we are afraid we will look foolish, or that someone will think that we are acting like we are better than them. 

The fear of the lack of people’s approval, the fear of rejection, the fear of losing everything, so we gain nothing by doing nothing. 

Layers and layers of insecurity burying the treasure, God given I might add, that gives our life value and meaning. 

So yes we have treasure, but it has no worth because it’s hidden. It’s worthless treasure. I can’t think of anything more sad. 

I encourage you get a shovel, take a risk and start throwing the dirt of insecurity off of your dream, dig it up, and start investing in life. I believe worth and value will flood your life and you will be confident to produce your potential, once you use your potential by clearing away the thief of insecurity.

The Isolation of Insecurity

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Proverbs 18:1 He who isolates himself, rages against all wise judgement and seeks his own desire.

When I think of this text or even just the idea of isolation, the culprit that comes to mind is insecurity.

It seems to me that insecurity’s ultimate end is isolation. If I fear rejection, if I am threatened by others, if I am guided by the approval or disapproval of people the ultimate end for me is isolation. It may not be total isolation, or even physical isolation, at minimum it will be emotional and relational isolation.

Not getting out of relationships what you could. Not doing as well as you could on a career path. Possibly finding independence but interdependence seems to avoid you all together.

If we truly look at insecurity, it involves us in pettiness, and pretense. Insecurity refuses to hear what wise voices say, it rages against the judgement of those trying to help.

It is such a contradiction. Needing peoples approval but being so insecure or afraid of rejection, we want people to approve but will not acknowledge that we need them. Thereby isolating ourselves from true, vulnerable friendships.

Insecurity seeks self, is focused on self, is centered around self, and cares only for self.

An unhealthy obsession with self will result in a self implosion, which is the ultimate result of insecurity.

How do we avoid the isolation of insecurity?

1. See people as partners, not competitors.
>Realize interacting with others even competitors can build you and
make you stronger if you take the right perspective. Don’t be
threatened, be inspired.

2. Learn to learn from others.
>Don’t be so busy trying to impress with what you know, that you miss
opportunity to learn something you don’t know.

3. Make it about purpose not about self.
>practice making things about the goal and not about the person.
EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Know it, believe it, achieve it.

The sad thing about insecurity is that a lot of people who are highly insecure also have a high level of potential, and are incredibly talented. It grieves me to see potential greatness defeated before it really gets started over foolishness like jealousy, fear of failure, negativity, disrespect and approval addiction. Ultimately ending up alone, disconnected, realizing that what they feared has come upon them.

Be the you God intended when He created you with all your specific gifts, talents, personality and potential. Focus on that and you will find confidence not in your own abilities but in the purpose and power of God.

The instability of Insecurity

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Insecurity creates an instability that is much like walking on sand. I was recently walking along the beach, what serenity the ocean always provides, and I love it.

We walked right beyond where the waves were coming in, because it was a bit cool. So we were walking on sand that had been patted down significantly from others walking on it.

It was hard, no give in it. It was like a solid surface. It was interesting though when we decided to venture out a little and get our feet wet.

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There was an immediate change in the surface we were walking on. The hard surface became immediately pliable and lacked stability. As a matter of fact if we weren’t careful the water could almost pull the footing right out from under us.

I have found insecurity to be much the same way. Insecurity is all about appearances. How do things look? How do they feel? On the outside things can appear great and much of the time our security is based, not on internal confidence but rather on, what other people think about us.

This is why when someone falls from greatness we are all shocked. “I can’t believe that would happen to them,” we say, because most of what we saw looked stable, but if we could see through all the pretense we would see the ground under them is not stable, but shifty. Add the right amount of pressure and it all comes tumbling down.

Jesus tells a story in the Gospels about a man who builds his house on the sand and one who builds on stone. Storms come to both their lives but the one with the real foundation, the stone foundation stood while the one on sand was completely destroyed.

Our foundation is the application of truth as opposed to the mere appearance of truth.

Insecurity is fear based on deceit. Lies that say “you will be rejected” or “you can’t trust anyone,” or “everyone is against you.” These lies force us to pretend, but in the end the truth comes out. Because the right amount of pressure will knock your pretend life born out of insecurity to the ground.

Stability and security are born out of confidence in the truth. Insecurity is about pretending. It’s not what something looks like that makes it stable it’s authenticity that is the foundation that can not be moved.

So…

1. Be real

Admit where things really are and make a plan to improve.

2. Be true

Drop the need for people approval and live to please God and His purpose for you

3. Be secure

Place your confidence In a loving father God who is generous and powerful

QUESTIONS:

1. How has insecurity created instability in your life or the life of someone close to you?

2. What are you doing about it?

3. How can I pray for you?

Only Believe 4 (message notes)

Mark 5:35-36 msg

While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

Big Thought:  Its amazing how practical faith really is.  Its practical for one simple reason.  Jesus is personal.  Its a powerful thought and reality that the Createor of all things, The only one true God so incredbily big in all of who He is, but somehow He is mindful of us.  He cares about us, loves us, is interested in us and is personally involved in our lives.  He set up the way for us to have a relationship with him.  So we no longer depend on a ritualistic religious way of serving God, but now we are chosen, adopted, and accepted into the family of God, and He wants to be personally involved in our every day lives.

Gods attitude towards us: We are not a burden on Him.  He is not put out with us.  He is not tired of us or resentful towards us.  He loves us, and wants the best for us.  He cares so much that he loves us just as we are, and He loves us to much to leave us like we are.

QUESTION:  What is going on in your life right now thats to big for God?  

THOUGHT:  Don’t make the mistake that because God is Spirit that all his solutions and answers for our lives are alone spiritual.  Yes Heaven is real, actually more real than our very existance.  However, to think that the things that are spiritual do not bridge to the practical, physical aspects of our lives is a terrible misconception.  When we set our faith in the invisible, the unseen, God of all things, then the results of that faith manifest in the physical.

God has the ability to change things.  
>He has the power to take us out of situations, 
>He has the ability to help us walk through circumstances, 
>He has the ability the change the circumstances, 
there is no doubt that our belief in God and his ability to effect change in our lives, does more than make us feel good spiritually or give us peace.  
It absolutely impacts the circumstances of our lives.

Deliverence through – 3 Hebrew boys

Deliverence from – Peter from Jail

>All things are possible with God, including all the practical issues our our lives.

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus

Isaiah 53:3-5 (Amp)

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

THOUGHT:  If we Apply the instruction that Jesus gave Jairus, to ONLY BELIEVE, then we set ourselves up for this all powerful, all knowing, all present, God, to act on our behalf.

Its called appropriation.  Our faith appropriates Gods power.  His power manifests in our life, when we set our faith on him.  

HOW? 

the answer to Gods spirit intervening in our physical is to Know Him more, understand Him more and Believe who He is and what He can do, and He will Deliver you out of your problems, or walk you through your problems, or Protect you from your problems, but whatever way He chooses to do it, His Super will touch your natural, and things will change.

The best way to have God personally involved in your life, is to have an ongoing, intimate close relationship with Him.  Know him and his salvation, and grow and develop in relationship with him. The greater the revelation you receive of Christ the stronger the faith and perserverence to believe,  and the greater the manifestation and appropriation will be at work in your life.

Dwell in Christ:  All the promises of God are yes and amen IN CHRIST.  HE IS THE SECRET PLACE.  Our journey towards God being active practically in our lives, starts with having a relationship with Jesus.  Do you know him?

II Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 

Psalms 91:1-6 NKJV

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 

QUESTION:  where are you living?