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

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Its not the Drowning but the Fear of it.

I’ve always loved the Biblical account of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. It is an incredible miracle, and unbelievable opportunity and a massive step of faith for Peter. Not only that but we have gleaned such great leadership teaching and phrases from it. Like…

“If you want to walk on the water, you have to get out of the boat.”

or

“Faith is all about focus, when Peter took his eyes off of his source and onto his circumstances he began to sink.”

or

“Its safer standing on the water in a storm in faith, than it is being in the boat in fear”

All of these statements have such truth in them. They teach us that faith is not about feelings its about focus. Another lesson is that true faith adventure in life is about taking a calculated risk. One of the most significant lessons we can take from this, is the will of God is the safest place to be, period.

My thought today about this account is simple, and a truth that I have embraced as I have matured (nice way of saying, getting older).

The real fight, the real battle with the devil, is not the big things. Its not the massive storms, its not the life challenging, attacks. Those are diversions from what is really going on.

The waves didn’t make Peter sink. The wind didn’t make Peter sink. The water didn’t make Peter sink. The fact the Peter wasn’t supposed to be able to walk on the water didn’t make him sink.

The culprit in this account, the enemy that caused the fall. The activity that brought his dissension was simple. It was his own mind, and the fear erupting in it.

In our lives especially when it seems like everything around us is about to sink us, don’t become preoccupied focusing on those things, realize in that moment, the enemy is coming after your mind. He will say things like, this is impossible. Why would Jesus call you out here? Have you noticed the confusion all around you? What business do you have thinking you can do something like this?

The enemy is sly. He is tricky. If something is big and in your face from him, realize, that is not his ultimate goal. The ultimate goal, is the simple little thoughts that always seem to come in the form of a question. Not merely a question but a doubt phrased like a question. I can hear it now when the snake tempted Eve, “Did God say?…” satan knew full well that Jesus was the Son of God, yet, in tempting Jesus he said, “if you are the son of God” questioning his identity.

When your kid is sick or there is a lingering problem, that you can’t seem to get resolved, does the thought not cross your mind, “where is God?” Why isn’t he doing something?” I submit to you, that is where the battle is. Not in the circumstance, not in the boisterous problem. Not the wind or the waves, not in the drowning, but in the fear of it.

Meet the devil on his turf, don’t let him fool you. Don’t let it become about the the circumstance. Surprise him by meeting him at the point of his deceit and challenge those doubt filled thoughts that he is using on your mind, and subject them to the will of God. RESIST him and he will flee. The exciting part is, the moment you do, circumstances change.

One last example. Ive heard people say, I don’t want to do to much for God, I don’t want the devil to attack me. What you don’t realize is, he already has. His attack was sneaky, but powerful. He has intimidated you with the thought that something bad will happen if you do something good. So he wins. There you sit, doing nothing, because your afraid. HE WON! Don’t let him win, take his lies and deceit head on and demolish them with the truth!

When you realize what his game is, then you can beat him at it.

Just a thought.

The Big Event…

It seems, as Christians, and especially church staff’s and Pastors, that we spend our lives, our time, our thoughts, on the next big event. The next conference coming, the next outreach, the next growth opportunity, the next global trip, or just the next big day at church. I have come to a realization, somewhat slow I guess, since I’ve been in ministry full time over 20 years, that living life waiting for the next big event, or strategy, or opportunity is no way to live. It seems to create a vicious cycle in our lives that in a lot of ways is unhealthy.

It forces us to compete with ourselves, one upping ourselves each time we do something. It creates a dissatisfaction with life, a discontentment. It makes us feel as if the day to day is mundane, boring, and insignificant. As I get older, I am realizing that the day to day, carries the most weight, and the most power for successful living. Its what we do in the day to day that breathes life into the rest.

Why do we do this? Many times its because we don’t have an ongoing vision or direction for our lives really, so we replace it with events, hoping that when tied all together they create something purposeful. Truth be told the only way the big event has purpose is if its merely a piece of the pie. If it is merely a stepping stone to the purpose and vision God has given you.

Another reason we do it, is because it gives us a sense of security, a sense that we’re doing something, we’re not just setting on our hands. Some of us need to sit and be still for a minute and really think about why we’re doing some of the things we are. How much money is spent on doing something “big” because thats what we think is attractive to people, or is the symbol of whether or not we are succeeding. How much time spent preparing for things that have little or no value in the long run.

Now, some of you who know me, will say, “you’re always going from one thing to the next” and that may seem true, and it also may seem that I don’t like events by what I am writing. That is not at all what I am saying. The point I am making is this, what is the purpose of all that you’re doing? What difference is it making in the lives of others? Is it contributing to the over all purpose that God has for you, and your organization?

The big event is not the next big opportunity you have. The big event, is not the next thing you pull off, or your next service, or conference or outreach. The big event is your whole life! Your day to day, minute by minute existence. The whole thing in total is truly the big event! If we try to replace the meaningful with the meaningless because of a feeling of adrenaline or excitement, then we miss the point of life, purpose, and success all together.

So welcome to the big event, the main event! Live it well.

David