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Archive for February, 2010

It’s a lot easier to meet expectations when you know what the expectations are– both spoken and unspoken.

It seems obvious, but how often have you been in a place where a leader expected you do, say, or be something that you were completely unaware of? You then are taken back, feeling unjustly condemned.

Or have you been in a place where you have been constantly corrected or criticized, usually dressed as constructive criticism? Though helpful the first dozen times, the next dozen you start doubting yourself. In my experience it’s usually because a leader expected a job or task to be done a certain way that was never communicated.

Or on the flip side, have you been disappointed when you delegate something and it was taken in a direction that you didn’t intend? Just like everything else, it isn’t a problem until it’s a problem. You may not have known you didn’t “it that way”, until you saw it done another way!

Let’s remember to clarify expectations: in our jobs and relationships, with bosses and spouses, during work and play.

•“What are you hoping for?”

•“What are you expecting this to look like?”

•“What results are you anticipating?”

•“How much time and money are you expecting to go into this?”

•“What do you not want to happen?”

•“Are you wanting this to be done a specific way, or do I have creative licensing? How much or how little?”

I was never good at guessing games. And when dealing with important people like my boss, my employees, my friendships, and wife, I will take the time to clarify expectations before I disappoint someone (or they disappoint me).

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What Madi dreams about. Another CSM FRIDAY NIGHTS Digital Short. Enjoy!

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I have a morning routine:

Step 1: Hit snooze button twice.
Step 2: Shower.
Step 3: Get dressed and ready.
Step 4: Eat breakfast and read.
Step 5: Make a pot of coffee.

The truth is, I don’t drink coffee. Or, I don’t drink real coffee. But I make a point to throw out the day-old coffee, put in the new filter, and brew a fresh pot; not because I like coffee, but because my wife does. She’s not a morning person. So I do what I can to make her unpleasant morning a little bit more bearable. I’ve been trying this every day for the past couple weeks.

It’s a subtle reminder, a way for me to show “I love you”.

How do you show “I love you”?

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I don’t (usually) miss appointments, I don’t miss deadlines (instead work right up to them), but I still feel like my days are a cluttered mess. I wish my days were more productive.

Stuff that hijacks my day:

  1. Coordinating Information. For instance: I’m leading a team to the Philippines in June and there is a lot of coordinating that I do via email, text, phone, and letters between the travel agent, missions organization, and my 18-person team that eats up a lot of my day.
  2. “Urgent” Deadlines. The emergency thing that you need to do that seems to jump ahead of the line. Be here, clean there, move that, research this…

Stuff that’s helped my sanity:

  1. Airset.com. In college I had the ability to memorize my schedule without writing anything down. I never (accidentally) missed class, work, meetings, ministry, or dates. However, my life has turned even more chaotic than college, so my online calendar has really helped keep my bearings.
  2. iPhone. I have my to do lists, email, phone, text, and ESPN Sport Scores all in the same place.

People that would make my life smoother:

  1. Administrative Assistant. I would love someone to help me with the little emails, phone calls, and scheduling that hijacks my day. It would help me focus on… people and not just “stuff”.
  2. My Wife. I know of some churches that hire on both spouses as a ministry team… how cool would that be?

Any tips on working a more productive day?

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I’m compiling an ongoing list of churches that I’d like to visit for a summer-long, nationwide road trip that I’ve dubbed “50 Churches in 50 Days”. I’m looking for:

•Churches who are thriving in their mission.
•Churches who are innovative in their approach.
•Churches who are lead by leaders.

Of my 50 targeted churches, I have 6.

  1. Saddleback Church, Lake Forest CA. They’re doing it, and doing it well.
  2. Mars Hill Bible Church, Grand Rapids MI. Rob Bell might be my favorite communicator.
  3. Mars Hill, Seattle WA. How does a theologically conservative church thrive in a post-Christian Seattle culture? Great question.
  4. LifeChurch.tv, Oklahoma City OK. The founders of lifechurch.tv and youversion.com are writing the book on the church’s potential in the digital age.
  5. Courageous Church, Atlanta GA. I really enjoy following Shaun King’s blog on his adventures of planing Courageous Church.
  6. Mosaic, Pasadena CA. Erwin McManus is a winner.

    Know of any churches that might not be on my radar? Feel free to recommend one in the comments!

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    Blogger Scott Aughtmon writes a great blog, and this caught my attention:

    I started youth ministry when I was around 19 years old and was involved in it for about 14 years. I stopped youth pastoring at the end of 2002.

    And you know what?

    The students that were in my group are now the adults (ages 20-30’s!) who make up the churches they are a part of today! (Those who are still following God.)

    The reason I bring it up, is because Scott Aughtmon was my youth pastor (meaning, he was talking about me!). You can read his blog, Lasting Student Ministry here.

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