Saturday, June 30, 2007

smart goals

I've often heard that a person should set "SMART" goals, but I've never committed to memory the words that go with the acronym. I just stumbled across it at the website for Dale Carnegie Training:

– Specific: Create goals that get a direct result.

– Measurable: Establish criteria to measure your progress.

– Attainable: Identify goals that can be achieved.

– Realistic. Make sure your goal is something you are willing to do.

– Tangible: If your goal is intangible, tying it with something tangible will give you a better chance of achieving it.
I've noticed that have the T stand for "timely." Here's an explaination of that.

Friday, June 29, 2007

good basic people skills

I remember the first time I saw someone reading the book How to Win Friends and Influence Peoplepeople. I felt embarrassed for her thinking that it was so sad that she didn't have any friends and had to read a book about it. After seeing it referenced in a number of places, I decided to read the Dale Carnegie class, first published in 1936, for myself. I was on a seminary trip when I was first reading this book. Another seminiarian asked me what I was reading. I remember feeling embarrassed, thinking that he was probably thinking the same thing about me that I was thinking about the girl I saw reading it.

Millions of people have used this book to help enhance their people skills over the last 70 years, and its skill incredibly practical. I am often amazed at how many of us human beings have terrible people skills. I also know this: People with good people skills treat you in such a way that you feel better about yourself; people with bad people skills treat you in such a way that you feel bad for them. People are worth being treated the best possible way. We owe it to other members of the human race to develop good people skills. Its one way to show them Christ's love.

I've been reviewing a bunch of old books lately and decided I'd post this Table of Contents which gives the outline for the people skills described in the book. It gives a teaser and then answers it within the chapter. I've listed the teaser with the answer to make it easier to understand. Sometimes the teaser and the answer are the same. Here it is:


How to Win Friends and Influence People
1. Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
2. Six Ways to Make People Like You
3. How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
4. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

1 "If You Want to Gather Honey, Don't Kick Over the Beehive": Don't criticize, condemn or complain.

2 The Big Secret of Dealing with People: Give honest and sincere appreciation.

3 "He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World with Him. He Who Cannot Walks a Lonely Way": Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

1 Do This and You'll Be Welcome Anywhere: Become genuinely interested in other people.

2 A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression: Smile.

3 If You Don't Do This, You Are Headed for Trouble: Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

4 An Easy Way to Become a Good Conversationalist: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

5 How to Interest People: Talk in terms of the other person's interests.

6 How to Make People Like You Instantly: Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.

How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
You Can't Win an Argument: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

2 A Sure Way of Making Enemies -- and How to Avoid It: Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say, "You're wrong.”

3 If You're Wrong, Admit It: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

4 A Drop of Honey: Begin in a friendly way.

5 The Secret of Socrates: Get the other person saying "yes, yes" immediately.

6 The Safety Valve in Handling Complaints: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

7 How to Get Cooperation: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

8 A Formula That Will Work Wonders for You: Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.

9 What Everybody Wants: Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires.

10 An Appeal That Everybody Likes: Appeal to the nobler motives.

11 The Movies Do It. TV Does It. Why Don't You Do It?: Dramatize your ideas.

12 When Nothing Else Works, Try This: Throw down a challenge.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

A leader's job often includes changing your people's attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish this:
1 If You Must Find Fault, This Is the Way to Begin: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

2 How to Criticize -- and Not Be Hated for It: Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.

3 Talk About Your Own Mistakes First: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

4 No One Likes to Take Orders: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

5 Let the Other Person Save Face: Let the other person save face.

6 How to Spur People On to Success: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be "hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise."

7 Give a Dog a Good Name: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

8 Make the Fault Seem Easy to Correct: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

9 Making People Glad to Do What You Want: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

are you a lifter or a leaner?

Check out this old poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the good and the bad, for 'tis well understood
That the good are half-bad and the bad are half-good.
No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
Are you a person who lifts the loads of others with your attitude, words, and actions? Or are you the type who makes people loads feel heavier than they were before you entered the room? What would your family/co-workers say?

lost and gained

"For everything you have missed,
you have gained something else;
and for everything you gain,
you lose something."
- Emerson

the sacrifice of leadership

"When you become a leader, you lose the right to think about yourself."
- Gerald Brooks

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

at the top

Whether or not a position at the top is a worthy goal, I thought this a striking quote:
"Unless you are willing to drench
yourself in your work
beyond the capacity of the average
man, you are just not cut out for
positions at the top."
- J.C.Penney

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

what does a leader look like?

I'm currently reading through John Maxwell's short 101 series of books. In Equipping 101 he gives 10 qualities to look for when selecting leaders to equip. Here's the list:

1) Character
2) Influence
3) Positive Attitude
4) Excellent People Skills
5) Evident Gifts
6) Proven Track Record
7) Confidence
8) Self-Discipline
9) Effective Communication Skills
10) Discontent with the Status Quo

good quote

"There has never yet been a person in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Maxwell's Laws of Leadership

When I first came to Pontiac FUMC as the associate pastor, I read a lot of really helpful John Maxwell stuff on leadership. I've been reviewing some of it in preparation for what lies ahead. One of my favorites is the first one of his that I ever read - The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Its almost a decade old now, but still good fresh stuff. Here they are:

1) THE LAW OF THE LID - Leadership Ability Determines a Person's Level of Effectiveness

2) THE LAW OF INFLUENCE - The True Measure of Leadership is Influence - Nothing More, Nothing Less

3) THE LAW OF PROCESS - Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day

4) THE LAW OF NAVIGATION - Anyone Can Steer the Ship, But It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course

5) THE LAW OF E.F.HUTTON - When the Real Leader Speaks, People Listen

6) THE LAW OF SOLID GROUND - Trust is the Foundation of Leadership

7) THE LAW OF RESPECT - People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves

8) THE LAW OF INTUITION - Leaders Evaluate Everything with a Leadership Bias

9) THE LAW OF MAGNETISM - Who You Are Is Who You Attract

10) THE LAW OF CONNECTION - Leaders Touch a Heart Before They Ask for a Hand

11) THE LAW OF THE INNER CIRCLE - A Leader's Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him

12) THE LAW OF EMPOWERMENT - Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others

13) THE LAW OF REPRODUCTION - It Takes a Leader to Raise Up a Leader

14) THE LAW OF BUY-IN - People Buy Into the Leader, Then the Vision

15) THE LAW OF VICTORY - Leaders Find a Way for the Team to Win

16) THE LAW OF THE BIG MO - Momentum Is a Leader's Best Friend

17) THE LAW OF PRIORITIES - Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment

18) THE LAW OF SACRIFICE - A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up

19) THE LAW OF TIMING - When to Lead Is As Important As What to Do and Where to Go

20) THE LAW OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH - To Add Growth, Lead Followers - To Multiply, Lead Leaders

21) THE LAW OF LEGACY - A Leader's Lasting Value Is Measured by Succession

Friday, June 15, 2007


This is an important season in my life. I officially start at my new church on July 15th. For the past five years I've been serving as an associate pastor at a medium size church (appr.300 in attendance, spread over 3 worship services)in a town that has been pretty much the same size (11,000) for a number of years. In a month, I'll begin serving as the solo pastor of a church with one service of approximately 50-55 people in a town of around 6800 that is booming with growth.

I've been praying and trying to grasp what ministry will be like in this new paradigm. I'm trying to get read up and prayed up for the new opportunities, but its definitely new territory, geographically and leadership wise. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Good News

One of the highlights of Annual Conference this year was attending the Good News dinner. Good News says of itself:
The Good News Movement is a voice for repentance, an agent for reform, and a catalyst for renewal within the United Methodist Church. By God’s grace, we will proclaim and demonstrate the power and effectiveness of historic Christianity as emphasized in Wesleyan doctrine and practice.
My friend Steve and I, both being conservative evangelicals, decided to take a closer look at the Good News movement by attending their dinner this year on Thursday evening of Annual Conference. The guest speaker for the evening was the current president of the movement James V. Heidinger II. After giving a challenging and encouraging speech to the couple hundred of us or so that were there, Heidinger stuck around and talked with my friend Steve and me for a good half hour. He's a great man, and I truly appreciated him taking the time to build up a couple of young evangelicals.

Monday, June 11, 2007

the last week of my life and the next phase

I haven't blogged in about a week. My life has gotten a little crazy. On Sunday, June 3, I got a call from my District Superintendent saying that the Bishop had reappointed me. He asked if my wife and I could meet him and my new D.S. in Springfield (Illinois) at the Conference office on Monday at 2:00pm. From there I learned that the church I have been appointed to is Mascoutah Bethel UMC (pictured above). Tuesday night at 6:30pm my new D.S. introduced me and my wife to the Staff Parish Relations Committee at Mascoutah Bethel.

I was then at Annual Conference from Wednesday to Saturday. Sunday morning, we announced to our current church that I'll be leaving. Sunday evening I was informed that our start date would be July 15 instead of July 1, and we also met the new Associate Pastor who will be coming to Pontiac in a few weeks. He seems like a wonderful guy with a great family. I'm very happy for our church.

So now I'm getting estimates from movers and figuring out the details of the move as I spend my last few weeks at the church and in the town that has been our home for the last five years. When my wife and I moved here, we hadn't even been married two years. We were a family of two. Five years later, we're leaving as a family of four with one on the way. A lot has changed. Its been a good five years here.

We're feeling three very strong emotions simultaneously: the sadness of leaving Pontiac, the excitement about what God has planned for us in Mascoutah, and the stress of trying to work out the details of the move.

My current life situation will probably have very unpredictable effects on my blogging habit.

Monday, June 04, 2007

indestructible careers

I came across this article naming "12 indestructible careers". I noticed "religious leader" is on there. I really wonder whether we'll need garbage men (and women) and barbers in heaven though. We definitely won't need morticians any longer, Praise God.

Roger Powell, Jr. Ministries

I just came across this website for Roger Powell, Jr. Ministries. I remember Powell playing in the NCAA Final Four in 2005. After one of the Elite Eight games where the Fighting Illini had come back in a near heroic fashion, Powell was jumping up and down pointing first at the sky yelling, "It's Jesus baby!" and then at his shoes which referenced Isaiah 41:10. I remember the camera quickly moving off of him as he worshiped Jesus that day.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Christianity Today just sent out an article about young evangelical writer Donald Miller. A couple of summers ago I read his book Blue Like Jazz and absolutely loved it. The article shares this quote from Blue Like Jazz, which expresses something that I've noticed before too:
My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don't really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don't believe in God and they can prove he doesn't exist, and some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove he does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it's about who is smarter, and honestly I don't care.