End of Year Review, Part Three: Reflect

At lunch yesterday, Jesse asked several of us what were our highlights from this past year. It actually took a while for each of us to list out three or four key highlights, especially ones that weren't work related.  Reflecting. So what about you? What were your highlights from 2008? Take a moment before 2009 gets officially underway and list them out. Try to make a top ten list. And if it is hard for you to come up with anything, then make some adjustments in 2009. 

Reflect. Decide. Do. I think this is someone's tagline, but it is also a great year end statement.

Young Influencers List- December edition

The December edition of the Young Influencers List. And check out the archives of this past year.  1. Tad Agoglia- founder of the First Response Team of America. This is an amazing organization and Tad is one of the winners of the CNN Heroes Award. 

2. Natalya Radford - worship leader at Crossroads Church in Costa Mesa, CA, as part of the Generate Student Ministry.

3. Tripp Crosby- sketch comedian, host and filmmaker. Founder of Green Tricycle Films and the maker of perhaps the funniest video ever at Catalyst featuring Lanny Donoho and Jeff Foxworthy. 

4. Jessica Flannery- co-founder of Kiva, an incredible organization that is a platform for micro-finance throughout the world. 

5. Rick Devos- founder of Spout, an interactive online community that is designed to connect and inspire film lovers.

Back in the Saddle

The blogging vacation is over. Time to re-enter the atmosphere.  Spent 12 hours in the car yesterday driving back from Oklahoma to Atlanta. Lots of time to think, reflect, and catch up on podcasts and CD's. Finally had the chance to listen to the talks from Catalyst in October. 

Andy Stanley's message on Moral Authority from Catalyst is off the charts. Based on Nehemiah and so many parallels to what is happening today in our country and with our economic situation. If you weren't able to hear it live, you need to buy the CD set on our website. It is worth having. For some reason this talk just really stood out to me above the rest.

Another post later today on Year End Review, and the December Young Influencers List.

Also, some major press for Gift Card Giver in the Chicago Sun Times. Gift Card Giver is an organization I am involved with as a board member, so be sure to check it out. And if you have any gift cards with unused dollars left on them, send them to us. We'll put them to good use.

A Ministry you should know about

Spent some time today with Buddy Stone, the founder of Stand in the Gap, a national ministry focused on providing family support for orphans, the fatherless, widows, recently released inmates, the elderly and those in need. Very cool ministry model and simple process for churches to implement. I highly recommend you check out the great work that Buddy and his team are doing.  You can implement their training model and process for free in your church. 

Here is a clip from John Townsend talking about the work of Stand in the Gap. 


End of Year Review, Part Two: Ask the Right Questions

Part two in the year end review series.  Here are some great questions to ask as you wrap up the year. 

1. What are the 2-3 themes that personally defined 2008?

2. What people, books, accomplishments, or special moments created highlights in 2008?

3. Give yourself a grade in the following areas of focus: vocationally, spiritually, family, relationally, emotionally, financially, physically, recreationally

4. What am I working on that is BIG?

5. As I move into 2009, is a majority of my energy being spent on things that drain me or things that energize me? 

6. How am I preparing for 20 years from now? 


Mark Beeson is a Hunter

Yes, he loves to hunt and that is one of just many reasons I really appreciate Mark Beeson.  He is a great pastor, leader, communicator and has built a great community in Granger, IN called Granger Community Church. We held our first ever Catalyst One Day event there back in November. A home run. The Granger staff is incredible. Seriously. I wanted to hire most of them on the spot. But that wouldn't be right. 

The staff at Granger reflect their Senior Pastor and Leader. A great leader.

Back to the hunting.... When you meet someone who loves to hunt like you do, there is an immediate bond. An immediate connection. Such with Mark Beeson. Because we both know what it is like to see the sunrise out in a duck blind or a deer stand and appreciate God's goodness and greatness and His wonderful creation. And he is a hunter. He loves the outdoors. He cherishes times with his family out in the woods and in nature. 

He is a hunter. One of the many reasons I appreciate Mark Beeson.

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Character: In Vogue, Strike a Pose, Heisman Style

Sam Bradford, the quarterback for the University of Oklahoma, won the Heisman Trophy Award Saturday night in New York City. Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow were a close second and third, respectively.  These three quarterbacks are incredibly talented, lead their teams with great emotion and precision, and have the world at their fingertips. They are all three great leaders and amazingly competent at the quarterback position. But also, they are all three incredibly humble, and the first word that typically describes them according to their coaches and those around them is CHARACTER. Seems character is back in style. Never necessarily went out, but it is definitely back in. 

Character wins again.

Leader(less) Leaders

Are you one of these? Unfortunately, this is more common than you would think. They're all around us- mid managers, entrepreneurs, start-up founders, senior executives- up and coming leaders, seasoned leaders, young and old. It doesn't matter where- you'll find Leaders who have no leader to follow. Maybe you've find yourself in an organization where your boss or board or elders or manager is non-existent. Not willing to make decisions and not willing to effectively lead you. What to do? Well, a couple of thoughts. First- LEAD up. Find ways to influence not just your peers and those who work for you, but also influence this person above you. Positionally they are your superior, but that doesn't mean you can't lead them. Second, don't wait on someone else to create vision, direction and strategy for the team or organization. Create your own and move forward. This is paramount. It doesn't lessen your loyalty or commitment to your boss, it only enhances it. Remember, without vision, your people and your team will struggle (perish).

Catalyst Podcast Interview with The Shack author

The latest edition of the Catalyst Podcast features an interview with William Paul Young, best-selling author of The Shack, as well as a next gen profile interview with Kevin Palau, EVP of the Luis Palau Association, profiling the incredible story of the Portland CityFest and amazing collaboration between churches, government, businesses, and the city. 

Listen/Subscribe on itunes or stream from the Catalyst website.

Rejected Best-selling leadership book titles

Some titles that probably never made the cut at the top Publishing Houses..... 1. The 90 Degree Leader: Lead at a Right Angle

2. That's What She Said

3. I Am All That

4. Leadership Lessons from the Lions: Losing 16 Straight is a Breeze

5. You Suck: Reality is a Drag

6. Bad, Worse, Worst: How to Take Down a Company in 100 Days

7. Poop or Get off The Pot: Make a Decision You Moron

8. How Lazy are You?

9. Lose Your Job in One Week Beginner's Guide

Please feel free to add your favorite titles as well......

Year End Review, Part One: Lobby for your Hobby

Over the next three weeks we'll be rolling out some questions and ideas that will hopefully help in taking inventory of the past year- looking back over the past 12 months to analyze, reflect and plan for 2009. 

The first question: How much have your hobbies been part of your normal life routine over the past year? Hobbies and life passions are a huge part of helping us stay in balance as well as staying healthy and emotionally energized. Most of us don't have the luxury of our full-time vocation and our hobbies completely overlapping. If that is you, you are blessed!

For me, my hobbies have not been exercised this past year as much as I would like. The four biggies- golf, snow skiing, hunting, and music/guitar have been unfortunately placed in the corner over the last 12 months. It's time to get them back out and rediscover why I love these four things- they give me energy and margin. They help in creating the rhythm of rest and season. And they allow for time with friends and family. In fact, I am duck hunting with some of the team from Healing Place Church in a couple of weeks down in Baton Rouge. Quack, quack.

Take inventory for yourself. Did you put your hobbies in the corner this past year?

2009 Conference Outlook

Ben and I were part of a gathering yesterday in Dallas of several leaders in the church conference and leadership conference realm. There was a lot of conversation regarding the state of conferences during this period of economic uncertainty. Everyone is expecting for conference attendance to be down in 2009. Seems like the exponential growth of conferences for leaders in the last couple of years could come grinding to a major halt over the next 18 months.  [gallery columns="4"]