Saturday, September 28, 2013

Getting fired…

Have you ever been fired from a job?  I have.  It doesn't feel good.  But, have you ever fired yourself from a job?  It's not easy at first, but in the end, it feels great!

Do you have too many jobs?  Do you wear too many hats?  Sometimes, you have to fire yourself from a job in order to focus on the most important, and in order to engage others in those other jobs.  We often actually rob others of a blessing and opportunity by hoarding tasks and responsibility.

Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to prune, trying to evaluate where I should remain focused, and what I should let go and let others do.  Everything seems to have value, but not everything will be the most strategically important in the long run. 
I want to be a change-agent.  The most successful way for me to influence change, is to focus my God-given energies in the areas that will have the greatest long term impact.  Where can I have the greatest impact?
People, Projects, Planning…  These 3 “P” words seem to sum up my pruned list of priorities. 
  • People – I must develop the people around me.  Specifically, I believe my call is to develop them spiritually and vocationally.  If I develop people, they will impact other people, and so on and so on… (can you think of anyone in Scripture that employed this model?)
  • Projects – I must keep the ball rolling.  We have so much to do.  We have HUGE dreams/plans.  We will never get there if we get comfortable.  Ensuring productivity for myself and my team must be high on my list.
  • Planning – One of my first leadership classes in my education defined a leader as “one who knows where they are going and how to get there.”  Thanks Professor Peter Hook.  I must always be planning by setting the vision and goals, helping to establish a plan, and making sure we are intentionally working the plan.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

No Lack of Excitement Here…

So I thought this would be a slower month for us here.  It is a slower month team-wise, with just one team already come and gone, and the next one not arriving until October 12th.  This is always the perfect time to get caught up with all the administrative work and work on getting ahead with responsibilities, planning, training and team-building with our staff.  And we’ve been able to do this!  Just yesterday Rob was talking about how we, as a leadership team, want to be proactive vs. reactive.
Well, a few weeks ago Rob and I were discussing how we needed to have quite a few branches in the trees around our yard trimmed.  We should have been more proactive, because today we are handling the after effects of a huge part of the tree over our covered outside area crashing down in the middle of the night and completely destroying the roof.  No lack of excitement here…

There was no wind or rain last night.  Looks like there was termite damage in the trunk that we had no knowledge of and the large branch got too heavy and just snapped.  I’m very thankful it happened in the night and not during the day when any of us could have been outside under that roof.  Some of the 2 X 4’s holding up the roof snapped and threw large shards of wood across the yard.
Seems to me a good analogy of what can happen if we don’t undergo regular pruning in our own lives. Is there huge area that needs pruning and was put off? Maybe, like the tree in our yard, I don’t even realize it needed pruning!  Here’s the warning: it may just come crashing down any moment.  Better start being more proactive in my life, looking for areas that need pruning.  The aftermath of not doing so could cause a lot of damage and make a big mess.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We will not fear. We will charge ahead. It’s Go Time.

I couldn’t be more excited.  The picture below is our team of 5 Partnership Facilitators (Perguens, Pierre Rony, Frantz, Manno and Parick), plus 2, their direct supervisor (Benjamin – Field Administrator), and his right hand man (Benson – Project Supervisor).   Although we are all learning, the 5 facilitators have been in boot camp style training (they still are, but they can’t stay).  We are calling this team our “1:12 Partnership Facilitators” (some other day I will explain the 1:12 bit). It’s going to take many more servants behind the scenes, but these are at the core.  

Staff Badge Pics - Copy2

We believe in our Haitian staff and we are committed to empowering them and releasing them to change the world. Now, it is time for the next step.  It’s “Go Time”!

We’ve been preparing.  We’ve been dreaming.  We’ve been calculating.  We’ve been praying.  We can’t wait any longer.  What do I mean by “Go Time”?  The 5 Partnership Facilitators will be visiting every one of our Haitian C3 Partnership churches and communities throughout all of Southern Haiti over the next 3 weeks for face to face, on site, exploratory meetings with Pastor’s, Deacon’s and School leaders.  After these visits, there will be much evaluation, assessment and planning for each unique partnership.  It’s going to be a ton of work.  But, it’s worth it. 

Why are we doing this? 

We will establish Dynamic Partnership Profiles – It’s dynamic, because these profiles will always be changing (not static) as progress and development happens.  This profile will include Pastor’s info, Deacon’s names, how many are in the ladies group, how many in the youth group, how many in…  well, you get the idea, all the data.  Each C3 Partnership Profile will also have a Timeline where each event, US Team Visit, RMI Accountability Visit, projects finished, pictures taken, etc., will be recorded.  Each of our US Churches will be able to visit their profile at any time to get the latest info, story, link, report, etc.

We will assess each Partnership’s Position within our Starfish Strategy – We must establish a baseline so we can celebrate the past, plan for the future and measure our effectiveness.  How can we plan for tomorrow if we don’t understand yesterday (What has already been accomplished) and today (the current state of being)?  We will be evaluating each partnership within the framework of our 5 Points of Impact: Evangelism, Discipleship, Social Compassion, Education, and Community Development.

We will Create a Pathway – When our teams come, we talk A LOT about being present.  I can’t tell you how important it is to simply be present with one another. It changes lives.  We will NOT forget this.   But, would Jesus want us to only be present with one who is desperately thirsty?  No, he would want us to give the thirsty a drink (of course you won’t know if they are thirsty if you aren’t present).  So, we want to collaboratively create a pathway, a map, or a plan, for each of our C3 Partnerships for what we want to DO together, shoulder to shoulder (RMI, Haitian Church, US Church).  Once a plan is established, the Haitian Church and the US Church can prayerfully plan and proceed accordingly.  We will start mapping out a pathway between RMI and the Haitian Church, and then we will finalize the pathway by working directly with each of our US C3 Partnering churches.

Paul challenged Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6-7… “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

This is BIG.  We will not fear.  We will charge ahead.  It’s Go Time.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I am Nothing Without Others

I get a lot of credit for the things that other people do simply because I'm the leader. But to be honest without the people that surround me I am nothing.

I'm grateful for the people that have gone before me to set the foundation, to set the table, to prepare the way, to invest in my personal development. Without my bosses (past and present), without my coworkers, my team, my wife, without our supporters who faithfully support us financially and with lots of prayer, without my extended family, I am nothing and I will accomplish nothing.

Most importantly without Jesus I am nothing. It is only because of what he is doing in me and through me that I'm able to lead and do what I do.

I just got done reading toda's entry in You Versions study, "The Leadership Style of Jesus".  Great reminder.

Here is a direct quote from the study...

"But Jesus was not driven, as so many leaders are today, by the need to receive credit, applause and attention. He was driven by love for the Father. Jesus acknowledged those who went before Him, including Abraham (see John 8:53) and Moses (see John 5:45-46). If we want to follow the leadership style of Jesus Christ, we must acknowledge others in the same Christ-like way He did."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Beginnings

I love new beginnings.  They are a chance to start over, begin again, hit the reset button.  Since returning from vacation August 22nd, we’ve had a busy time of new beginnings! 

August 22nd was Tessa’s birthday and we celebrated her turning 7 years old. It was the beginning of another year of her life.

Tessa's 7th Birthday Party August 2013

August 23rd, new RMI missionaries, Greg and Star Harvie, arrived on the field (all the way from Nebraska).  For them especially, this a very significant new beginning: one they will mark every year they are here.  The past week has been full with helping them get settled into their new host-country and home, showing them the ropes and field orientation: all with the goal of helping  set them up for them for success in their ministry with RMI and in Haiti.  September 9th, they start language training.  This whole year will be filled with firsts for them!


August 26th was the start of a new school year for Drew and Tessa (3rd and 2nd grades, respectively.)  I love this time of year.  It’s a time for our family to hit the reset button and begin again with the daily routine and responsibilities that were more relaxed during the summer.  It’s new and exciting every year.  Cite Lumiere Christian School started the year off with a family chapel service.  Rob was asked to speak and he challenged the kids (and adults) with Romans 12-:1-2: to not be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds.  It was a great service to kick of the beginning of a new school year.

Drew and Tessa's 1st Day of School Aug 2013

After a great vacation, it’s been a time for Rob to get back into work and ministry with a renewed spirit.  With school starting, it’s a time for me to get back into routine at home and with my RMI responsibilities. Summer is fun but it’s also a challenging time for me to keep up with my work when the kids don’t have school.  The school year gives me a renewed sense of purpose.

This life we have in Christ is a new beginning: forgiven, redeemed, “reset”.  I am so thankful for the redeeming work of Christ on the cross and for new beginnings at different times of the year to remind us of the greater work He is doing in our lives! 

Pray for Greg and Star Harvie, Drew and his teacher, Mrs. Ferris, Tessa and her teacher, Mrs. Leger, RMI as we enter into a busy fall team schedule and our family as we adjust to new routines and a new school year.  How can we pray for you?