Discipleship as Story: A Shared Journey of What It Is to Be Fully Human

I’ve been to India twice now. On both occasions I took in a trip to Agra to visit the Red Fort and the famed Taj Mahal. I was traveling with my family on the second tour and wanted them to experience all I had in my first Eastern adventure. 

You see, my first tour was with a native travel guide who completely immersed herself in the history and legacy of her country. She told stories about the people and events that had inhabited the sites as though she had experienced them herself. She was connected with the story. She told it as if it was her own. I listened with keen interest, hung on every word. I was invited into her world, her history, her life. I not felt I knew her country and her heritage; I believed I knew her. 

Eager for my wife and daughter to experience the same riveting interaction, we embarked on the two-hour ride to Agra from New Deli. My eagerness waned as…

Your Team Wants You to Ask Yourself These 10 Questions about Trust

The more conversations I have with clients, family and friends, the more I’m thinking about trust these days. Seems there’s precious little trust actually being experienced in work places and homes. Let’s start by defining trust.

My online dictionary states that trust as a verb means: to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of something or someone.

Conversely, the same dictionary defines distrust this way: to doubt the honesty or reliability of; regard with suspicion.

My experience confirms that people know quickly whether they are trusted or distrusted; whether their supervisor believes in their strengths or regards them with suspicion. People know when their leader hovers, limits, takes back a responsibility or removes authority.

I Don't Want to Press 3 for Service

It seems that when an organization is faced with staffing challenges, the need to operate more efficiently, or simply to address a potential problem, the tendency is to create as little change or hassle as possible for the organization. So, the change, and often the hassle, is passed on to the end user: the customer, the guest, the human on the other end of this would-be relationship.

What is the current challenge for your church or organization? 

    You could miss this Easter opportunity, but you don't have to...

    A few days ago, a pastor asked me if I had any “Easter tips” to share. My pastor friend, like most churches, has begun or already planned their Easter weekend services. Having a few tips isn’t a bad idea. 

    This Easter we will all expect new guests, many of them returning to church - any church - for the first time in years. There will be people who appear “new,” but who gather with our faith communities twice a year: Easter and Christmas. Most of us will see more people attend our Easter services than on a “normal” weekend. Because of this, it’s not unusual

    It’s in You. And Your Team. Let’s Access It.

    You know it’s good - your leadership, your team, your work, your life - but, there’s a gnawing sense that it could be better. More focused. More replenishing. More you.

    I only have a few spots left

    What Story Will You Tell in Your Next Chapter?

    It’s amazing how many stories revolve around the main character striving to live in the present, while mired in the circumstances of their past. Batman - The Dark Knight Rises; Marty McFly - Back to the Future; Dom Cobb - Inception. The list goes on. 

    It doesn’t just happen in the movies. It happens in our lives, too. Maybe you’ve lived this plot line. Yesterday’s storyline threatens to define tomorrow’s reality. You hear voices, telling you…

    Let's Work Together

    Everyone has a story. And every story matters. In fact, I've been seeking to understand my own story more clearly. 

    For 35 years I’ve invested in people. I’ve led teams in local churches, non-profits and retail environments. I’ve honed my skills in executive leadership, customer / guest services, coaching and life planning. Today, I’m still serving as a pastor with Granger Community Church, but I’ve gotten clarity about how my passion for people gets played out in my next chapter. 

    With the blessing and support of my lead pastor, Mark Beeson, I’ve launched a new effort to leverage my love and care for people - people like

    Stop Your Target Practice

    I love it when people begin to discover that they are loved by God. I especially love it when they move from understanding how much they matter to God, to seeing that other people really matter too. They matter as treasures God created. They matter to that person who's just discovered God's grace. It's beautiful.

    It's disappointing though, when followers of Christ begin to see their friends as walking targets, a bull's eye target to faith-wrestle to their knees, so they can be "saved." People can tell when the friendship is motivated by pure love that is curious, genuinely interested and invested. And, people can tell when the "friendship" is about completing a soul-saving objective. When that happens...

    Global Leadership Summit | Gary Haugen

    Gary A. Haugen is an American attorney who is the Founder, CEO, and former President of International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. International Justice Mission partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. Haugen founded the organization in 1999.

    Gary pointed to the scene of Jesus with his friends at the now-known last supper. Everything he'd taught, everything they'd experienced as the Kingdom - all of it could be undone because of..

    Global Leadership Summit | Immaculée Ilibagiza

    Immaculée Ilibagiza is a Rwandan American author and motivational speaker. She is also a Roman Catholic and Tutsi. Her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, is an autobiographical work detailing how she survived during the Rwandan Genocide. She was featured on one of Wayne Dyer's PBS programs, and also on a December 3, 2006 segment of 60 Minutes.

    Immaculée shared her harrowing story of escaping genocide, while losing her family... and I marveled at her journey of resilience. I considered my own fear and anger...

    Global Leadership Summit | Sam Adeyemi

    Sam Adeyemi is a dynamic Teacher, Coach and host of the motivational program – SUCCESS POWER – which airs on radio and television stations around Africa and in Europe. He is passionate about teaching Success, Leadership and Financial principles through seminars and the media. He is in high demand as a speaker internationally. His teachings have motivated, encouraged and spurred on loads of people to start or advance their careers and businesses.

    He has authored several books including the best selling – Parable of Dollars. Others include “Ideas Rule the World”, “Start with what you have”, “Sex Straight Talk” and “Second Revolution”.
    He also pastors the Daystar Christian Centre in Nigeria with a vision to raise role models in the society. And he is President of the Daystar Leadership Academy through which he helps professionals and entrepreneurs to cultivate excellent leadership skills.

    Drawing on the disillusioned start of his church 22 years ago, Pastor Sam reminded us that...

    Global Leadership Summit | Marcus Buckingham

    Marcus Buckingham is a British author, motivational speaker and business consultant. Basing most of his writing on extensive survey data from interviews with workers in countries around the world, he promotes the idea that people will get the best results by making the most of their strengths rather than by putting too much emphasis on weaknesses or perceived deficiencies.

    WE learn nothing about excellence from failures. Only by studying excellence...

    Global Leadership Summit | Juliet Funt

    Juliet Funt, CEO of Whitespace at Work, is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies, a tough yet loving guide to thousands of WhiteSpace friends, and a warrior in the battle against reactive busyness.

    We are getting less and less comfortable with the PAUSE in our lives. It has become a memory for many of us. The PAUSE is slowing down enough to experience new ideas, fresh thoughts and break-through...

    Global Leadership Summit | Laszlo Bock

    Laszlo Bock is an American businessman who was formerly the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Inc. Prior to joining Google, Bock served in executive roles at General Electric, as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and in various roles at startups, nonprofits, and in acting.

    Bock observed that at the 14-15 different jobs he held, what was consistent was that each organization had a gap between stated values and actual, functional...

    Global Leadership Summit | Andy Stanley

    Communicator, author, and pastor, ANDY STANLEY founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 50 churches around the globe, collectively serving nearly 90,000 people weekly. A survey of U.S. pastors in Outreach Magazine identified Andy Stanley as one of the top 10 most influential living pastors in America.

    After 20 years at North Point and reflecting on phenomenal growth that has slowed down, Andy asked this question of his leaders:

    If we had it to do all over again, what ...

    Global Leadership Summit | Bryan Stevenson

    BRYAN STEVENSON is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

    I'm not a lawyer. I've never been an activist to fight injustice. I've lived a "safe" life. This talk was for me.

    1. We must get proximate to the people we are trying...

    Global Leadership Summit | Fredrik Härén

    Fredrik Härén is an author and speaker on Business Creativity. He has delivered over 1,500 presentations, lectures and workshops in over 45 countries and has inspired hundreds of thousands of business people to become more creative and to look at the world in a new way.

    Most people value creativity; many think they possess creativity; but few experience their organization calling out creativity in them.

    What is an IDEA? One...

    Global Leadership Summit | Marcus Lemonis

    Marcus is a Lebanese-born American businessman, investor, television personality, philanthropist and politician. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Camping WorldGood Sam Enterprises and Gander Mountain and the star of The Profit, a CNBC reality show about saving small businesses.

    Without a plea for pity, Marcus vulnerably shared his story of being adopted, struggling with an eating disorder, being molested by a cousin, and making two attempts to end his life. 

    Marcus observed that those things that "happened" to him, don't bring embarrassment when he talks about his story. However, he suggested that he was a bit embarrassed to talk about his attempts to suicide, because it was cowardly.

    I hate that Marcus still fills this way about those dark times...