Interview with Margaret Feinberg on her new book Fight Back with Joy

You’ve Gotta Learn to Fight Back With Joy

My friend, Margaret Feinberg, author, speaker, and ski buddy, was scheduled to speak at Catalyst last fall, but had to reschedule. She was in the fight of her life with cancer.

In her new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, she shares that at the news of the diagnosis, she chose to fight back with a rather surprising weapon—joy.

Her new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, will take leaders everywhere by surprise. Let’s be honest, we’ve all read shallow books on joy that try to teach the why’s and how’s of joyful living.

But Margaret explores the depths of joy rarely plundered. Listen to these bombshells:

More than whimsy, joy is a weapon we use to fight life’s battles.

“Joy is your heritage, your identity, your destiny.

Practicing defiant joy is the declaration that the darkness does not and will not win.

Sometimes you have to poke holes in the darkness until it bleeds light.

If you can’t tell, Margaret is a gifted writer. Rich with Scriptural insight this book will take you by surprise and challenge you to fight back with joy as lead and serve.

The Secret To Living A Defiant Joy: An interview with Margaret Feinberg

It’s been inspiring to learn how Margaret has been practicing a defiant joy, and I thought you might like to get an insider’s look and read an interview with Margaret.

Your newest book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, was born out of your fight with a life-threatening illness. What was your difficult diagnosis, and what has your journey to health entailed?

 For the last 18 months, I’ve been battling breast cancer. Breast cancer isn’t just one disease represents thousands of different diseases with their varying components and factors. Being diagnosed under the age of 40 is significant. I’ve been through a brutal year of chemotherapy, radiation, and more surgeries than I can count or want to remember.

Why did you write Fight Back With Joy?

I studied joy for a year and was putting the finishing touches on book on joy—just two weeks from turning it into the publisher, when I received the diagnosis. I had been pursuing and activating joy in my life in the relatively good times, now I had to do it in the midst of darkness, depression, and torturous pain. Through the process, I’ve discovered the breadth, depth, and power of joy—that despite hundreds of sermons and many decades in the church—no one had told me of before.

In Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study, you really push the reader to reevaluate their definition of joy. Why do you think this is so important?

Much of the teaching I’ve heard on joy over the years is oversimplified. I remember those days in Sunday school learning that JOY is spelled Jesus, Others, Yourself. While that made perfect sense at 9 years old, I’ve seen how distorted that can become as an adult.

I see friends who love Jesus but spend so much time pouring into their kids, grandkids and others that their joy looks something like this: jOy.

Technically, it still spells joy, but more than anything, these men and women who are so exhausted, so empty, so running on fumes from pouring into others need to pause and take time to focus on themselves. Laying hold of joy right now will require them to reevaluate for a season and discover the joy that comes with JYo.

I also noticed how most of the definitions of joy define it more by what it isn’t than by what it is. I constantly heard that happiness is based on circumstance but joy is not dependent on circumstance.

Biblical expressions of joy turn out to be far different than what I had been taught. I am now convinced the writers of the Bible would say that, the reason we have joy is because we have great circumstances. If you are a child of God, you are drenched in the grace and mercy of God.

No matter what you’re facing: Your circumstances are better than you think. If you’re not experiencing joy, perhaps it’s because your definition of joy is too narrow.

On a scale of 1-10, how hard was it for you to write this book and Bible study?

An eleven! This journey has been the most painful experience of my life. And, to share about it requires some vulnerability. Okay, a lot of vulnerability. And, that’s really, really hard. But I feel like I’m finally ready to share what God has stirred in my heart along the way because although cancer has been the most painful journey—it has also been the most joyful. And no one is more surprised than I am.

 

Thanks Margaret! And she goes one step further by providing additional resources at the end of the book. She helps us, as leaders, know what to say and what not to say when those in our congregations, ministries, and businesses are going through crisis.

So often we want to pastor and lead people well, but just don’t know what to do. If you know someone facing a horrendous situation, Fight Back with Joy is a must-read.

Get this in the hands of your leadership team and Bible studies—it will equip your church to be the church.

Check out the video.

Pick up a copy of Fight Back With Joy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble today.

Are you a follower or a fan?

in leadership,Leadership Rules,Misc. No Comments

Follower vs. Fan. Is there a difference?

1. Followers are committed. Fans can be fickle.

2. Followers trust their leader. Fans trust in their leader only when it benefits them.

3. Followers want a vision. Fans want a show.

4. Followers ask “what have i done for you lately?” Fans ask “what have you done for me lately?”

5. Followers are in for the long term. Fans are in for the short term.

6. Followers have an intrinsic connection; it’s not about wearing a t-shirt. Fans have an extrinsic connection; it’s ALL about wearing a t-shirt.

7. Followers don’t care who gets the credit. Fans draw attention to themselves.

8. Followers want connection and community. Fans want an autograph and a selfie.

9. Followers believe that what they are part of is truly making a difference. Fans believe that what they are part of is simply making a memory.

Are you a follower or a fan?

50 Innovative and Usable phrases for Responding during the Sermon

Whatever your background, most communicators, whether a pastor, preacher, leadership speaker, motivational guru, youth leader, or vision caster, enjoy having people in the audience provide feedback. And not just telling someone after they’re done “good job,” but actual real time feedback. Verbal call and response feedback. Responding in the moment.

Some of you are used to this. Some of you don’t know anything different. And others of you have never experienced it. And probably some of you that are immediately thinking if anyone spoke up during our Sunday services that they would be immediately removed by the “bouncers,” otherwise known as the “ushers” and offering coordinators….!!

So I’m doing a bit more speaking these days, and I can verify that having people in the crowd agreeing with me and cheering me on and making some noise in response is a beautiful thing. It provides energy, inspiration, and definitely creates a connection with the audience/crowd. 

Now in the church I group up in, there were only a few folks who had “permission” to respond to the sermon on a Sunday morning, and they usually went with the traditional  “Amen” or “Hallelujah.” Which still work. Nothing against the traditional phrases. I’m a fan of the traditional phrases. 

Whatever your style, I want to suggest a NEW list of phrases that can be implemented into your church culture. Your leadership conference. Your youth gathering. Your Sunday morning experience.

A little more current, a little more edgy, and a little more innovative than the classics.

So here you go, 50 Innovative Phrases for Responding During the Sermon: 

1. Run that back

2. Hello!

3. Retweet

4. Hashtag it

5. Let em know

6. Jackpot

7. I know you didn’t (said like “I know you diiiiinnntttt”)

8. More of that

9. Go ahead

10. Bring it strong

11. Come on/Come on sir (or ma’am)

12. Bet you won’t

13. Double down

14.There it is

15. Take it

16. Buckets (or Bottoms)

17. Turn it up

18. Boom

19. Yahtzee

20. That’s Butter

21. Bingo

22. Hook. Line. Sinker.

23. So great/So good/That’s great/That’s good

24. Getchya some!

25. Bring it

26. Go ahead

27. Right on

28. That’s good pastor (or “great” inserted for “good”)

29. Hit em with it

30. Money

31. Double tap 

32. Burning/On Fire/Fire Alert/Coming in hot

33. Land that plane

34. Feed me/I’m Hungry

35. Worth a clap

36. Preach

37. Truth

38. Onions

39. Here we go

40. On point

41. Game over

42. You meddlin

43. Swish/Buckets

44. Right swipe that

45. Ride that bus

46. That dog will hunt

47. Put that on a plate and split it

48. Woooooo00

49. Whistle (literally just whistling!)

50. Uh huh or Uh oh 0r ah ha

** and a bonus- “Crickets”

 

How about you? What phrases would you add to the list? 

7 Keys to Celebrate your Rivals and Partner with your Competition

in leadership,Leadership Rules,Misc. No Comments

Winning. Competition. Rivalry.

For all of us who are Type A Leaders, jealousy in the form of competition is always a struggle. You may call it something else (competitive spirit, goal-oriented, fast pace), but at the end of the day, we all struggle with being jealous or envious of others successes, especially when it is in the same industry, or same town, or same circle, or same customer base. In these cases, it feels like competition, and again for us Type A’s, when there is a competition, we ALWAYS want to win.

How do you view those you are “competing” against? Whether competing for attendees, or resources, or prestige, or members, or customers, understanding the proper posture towards your rivals is crucial to being a Collaborative Leader. Most leaders I know never get this right.

And in the faith community- whether a non profit ministry leader, pastor, church leader or, or parachurch organization director, this sense of competition and envy is rampant. Instead of jealousy and envy, collaboration and partnership should be the norm in the Church and faith-based community. We should be celebrating the pastor or leader across town, instead of finding ways to make them look bad or talking bad about them to others but making it look like we are bringing it up so as to “pray” for them.

Competition for customers, resources, time and money will always be a reality, but the question is how YOU deal with this. Jealousy is natural, but how you respond to it will prove your maturity as a leader. And as a follower of Christ, jealousy or envy is definitely not one of the fruits of the Spirit!

So, the best solution I’ve found to combating jealousy/envy and competition is Celebration. When you find yourself tempted to speak ill about a rival or you are secretly wrestling with envy/jealousy over someone else you are competing with, flip that emotion on its head.

1. Celebrate your competition. Your rivals. Whether the leader or the organization overall.

2. Speak positively about them. In public. and in private.

3. Encourage the leader or leaders of that “rival” organization. Send them cards or notes, call them, and even visit.

4. Look for the good in what they are doing and celebrate that.

5. Pray for them, both in public and in private.

6. Lean into them, and seek opportunities to partner together in your community or industry.

7. The question you should be asking is, “how can I help this person win?” Church leaders- we’re all on the same team. We’re fighting the same fight. Let’s act like it.

Young Influencers List, December edition

Here you go, the December edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s episodes here.

1. Jordan Wagner- LA based filmmaker, entrepreneur, speaker, and co-founder and CEO of Generosity.Org.

2. Jesse Draper- former Nickelodeon star, and current creator and host of the “Valley Girl Show,” getting to interview tech titans like Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, Mark Cuban, and Eric Schmidt from Google.

3. Sharon Irving- Chicago native singer, songwriter, spoken word poet, fashion curator and overall melody maker.

4. Jonathan Huang- Northern California sculptor, performance artist, and activist, creating art installations to raise awareness and support in the fight again human trafficking, and helped create My Refuge House in Cebu, Philippines.

5. Erin Bernhardt- Atlanta based former CNN staffer and humanitarian journalist and creative activist currently producing the documentary film Imba Means Sing, regarding the Grammy nominated Africa Children’s Choir.

6. Jessica Medina- top notch athlete who is 2016 Olympic hopeful in USA Wrestling.

7. Brad Cooperstudent pastor at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC, and founder of FUSE Student Ministry, one of the largest youth and student ministries in the US.

17 Organizations I Recommend for a Year-End Donation

in Favorite New Things,Friends and Links,leadership,Misc. No Comments

Okay, I wanted to recommend a few organizations that I think are worth a year end gift/donation. All of these organizations are ones that I’m invested in- both in terms of giving gifts and supporting them, as well as knowing the staff and the people behind these organizations.

So as you think about year-end giving, I would recommend any of these organizations as a great place to invest.

1. Red Eye Inc. my friend Justin Mayo heads up this “under the radar” community of young influencers and creatives in some of the leading global cities (LA, NYC, Sydney, London) that are using their talents to make a difference in a positive way.

2. Compassionsponsor a child. I sponsor several. I’ve seen their work up close in Rwanda and Ecuador and Guatemala. Your money is being stewarded well.

3. Young Lifebeen involved with Young Life since college. No one creates better experiences for teenagers and introduces the Gospel in such a compelling and loving way.

4. Plywood People- great social innovation organization founded by my good friend Jeff Shinabarger. Including gathering social innovators, providing gift cards to those in need, and providing creative solutions to education and social issues. There is very little overhead and you can give a gift or a gift card to help out.

5. Convoy of Hope- focused on solving issues of hunger, and feeding children now all over the world. They’ve brought their trucks to Catalyst the last several years, and are the official Disaster Relief partner of Catalyst. Their disaster relief and community development is amazing. Seen it up close in Haiti where COH feeds almost 100,000 kids a day!

6. International Justice MissionGary Haugen and the team at IJM have been fighting sex trafficking and human slavery for the last 19 years. Rescuing victims as well as bringing justice to areas where no justice exists.

7. HOPE Internationalrun by good friend Peter Greer, HOPE Int provides micro-finance loans all over the world, helping give dignity and lift people out of poverty. A $100 gift goes a long way.

8. charity: waterperhaps my favorite non-profit organization in the world. Scott Harrison and team have revolutionized the concept of providing clean water globally, and are only getting started.

9. One Days WagesEugene Cho makes it easy to see the impact of giving up one day of your salary. And he leads by example.

10. First Response Team of Americagood friend Tad Agoglia and his team provide help and hope at times when communities need just that- following disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

11. Atlanta Mission- an amazing organization focused on ending homelessness in the city of Atlanta. One of the best run homeless missions in the country.

12. A21 Campaign- headed up by Nick and Christine Caine, rescuing those trapped in human trafficking and modern day slavery all around the world, their goal is to end injustice in the 21st century.

13. Word Made Flesh- I love what they do in serving the poorest of the poor around the world.

14. San Francisco City Impact- gotten to know Christian Huang and the team at SF City Impact over the past year. Love what they’re doing in impacting the city of San Francisco in the Tenderloin district through a rescue mission, church, school, education and city reform.

15. Lighthouse Family Retreat- serves families with children dealing with childhood cancer, enabling families to have a week of rest, relaxation, laughter, re-engaging family relationships, and finding hope in God.

16. CURE International- healing kids in 30 countries around the world through the operation of charitable hospitals where kids receive needed surgeries and hear the story of God’s love.

17. Operation Christmas Child- part of Samaritans Purse, an incredible ministry delivering boxes of joy to kids all over the world during Christmas time.

and, don’t forget Your Local Church- make sure you are giving regularly to your local church body. That is the place to start!