If it's a mystery...

"If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your inner nature -- that is where the problem is." - Oswald Chambers


DRIVE Conference Last Session :: Points on Leadership (Part 1) by Andy Stanley

The last session was not the one Andy Stanley originally intended to speak about. As everyone began to open their notebook Andy spoke up and said he was going to speak about some things that were on his mind. Needless to say, the next 45 minutes were amazing.

Quote 1 :
"To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing" (Craig Groschel)
• We may be growing BUT there are a ton of unchurched people right nearby...that should bug us.
Take Away:
• Become pre-occupied with these people you haven't reached VERSUS those you're trying to keep.

Quote 2:

"Next generation products almost never comes from the previous generation." (Al Reis, "Focus")
• This generation has a responsibility to the next because what's coming is NOT coming from most of us.
• Fight it OR Fund it...risk finding out
• Leverage your influence for the next generation, get behind ideas that most likely will fail but keep things moving forward.
• You can be too cautious then be irrelevent.
Take Away:
• Be a student, not a critic.

Quote 3:
"What do I believe is impossible to do in my field but, if could be done, would fundamentally change my business." (Future Edge)
• Andy asked could you separate POINT SPEAKING and POINT LEADERSHIP -- Video Church was the revolution. It let leaders lead and gifted speakers speak.
• He's wrestling with this now ---- the billions dollars of underused real estate resources of churches across the country.

Nolan is almost 4!

Originally uploaded by ryanhartsock.

It's hard to believe but Nolan is turning 4 in two weeks...time has flown. He's such an amazing kid and so full of life. He's definitely a lover not a fighter...and I love that about him. Happy birthday Nols!


DRIVE Conference Main Session 2 :: Becoming a Great Staff by Andy Stanley

Key Points:
>> A Great staff is made up of "great" leaders
a. The goal...a staff culture characterized by mutual submission.
b. The question that should permeate...what can I do to help?

>> Best Practices for creating a "great" staff
a. Do for one when you can't do for all
b. Create and maintain a sustainable pace
c. Celebrate and reward greatness...what gets rewarded is repeated

>> Signs that things aren't so "great"
a. Competition between departments
b. Double Standards
c. Loyalty Lectures

" The ultimate dysfunction of a team is the tendency of members to care about other than the collective goals of the group...team status and individual status are the prime candidates." (Patrick Lenconi "5 Dysfunctions of a Team")

Gatlinburg Get-Away

Gatlinburg, May 2008
Originally uploaded by ryanhartsock.

My family and I escaped down to Gatlinburg, TN (i.e. Hillbilly Vegas) for a few days with volunteer leaders and their families from Four Corners. It was a great time to relax and connect with people. I lost $20 in poker, got kicked off a Go-Cart track for my reckless driving and ate amazing food (thanks Greg and Amy for introducing us all to Aretha Frankenstein's Pancakes and to Randy and Yolanda for amazing Mexican cuisine!).

Time away helps give me perpective that an otherwise crowded life blurs...a deliberate place to take a breath and go back into "normal" life with renewed energy. We have some amazing people at Four Corners and their stories never cease to amaze me too. I continue to pray for God to use us time and time again in countless people's lives. Check out some more photos from the trip on my Flickr page by clicking the photo above.


DRIVE Conference Main Session 1 :: The Multiple Choice Team

NOTE :: I'll be posting some notes over the next few days from our time at the DRIVE conference at North Point Church. If you haven't put it on your calendar for next year...don't miss it!

Main Session 1 :: The Multiple Choice Team
In this session Andy Stanley talked directly to the essential nature of a team that trusts each other and actively works to quell suspicion.

Key Points:
>> Often there are unexplainable gaps between what we expect people to do and what they actually do. We choose what we place in those gaps...suspicion or trust.

>> 2 things make it difficult for us to trust -- Who I am, What I see

>> Commitments teams need to make:
  1. When there is a gap between what I expect and what I experience, I will fill it with trust
  2. When observe someone filling a gap with suspicion, I will come to your defense.
  3. If what I experience begins to erode my trust, I will come directly to you.

"Teams us trust as currency. If it is in short supply, then the team is poor. If trust abounds, the members of the team have purchase power with each other to access each other's gifts, talents, energy, creativity, and love. The development of trust then becomes a significant leadership strategy. Trust creates the load limits on the relationship bridges among team members." (Reggie McNeal)


Do PSA's work?

You see them all the time on TV telling you to read more with your kids, don't drink and drive, watch for drug use in your family, and so many more messages. But just because they keep airing doesn't mean they work by default.

I highlighted the Montana Meth Project PSA campaign last year based on its raw honesty and sheer dark power. But the results are in and they are staggering.

Since the campaign was started teen meth use is down 45% and adult meth use has fallen by 72%. Other states with meth problems have begun running the ads, including Arizona and Illinois.

Wow...that's tangible results! Check out some more shocking PSA's and see if they worked. (WARNING :: some of these are shockingly realistic and gruesome)

And the prices keep going up...

Most of us are feeling the squeeze...$3.75/gallon gas, groceries skyrocketing, less pay increases, more payment increases. Economics are catching up with many of us. The debt we have managed is now beginning to manage us.

Awhile back Four Corners had a financial series, which challenged my family and many more to look seriously at our finances. Look at our debt, our budgets (or lack there of), our generousity (or lack there of too) towards God and our fellow man. Jill and I were hit between the eyes with our climbing credit card debt and lack of a crystal clear plan for how to actually, not theoretically, pull out of the hole.

Another great friend of mine, Paul Armstrong, and his family were impacted by the series. And they sprung into action. Their story is amazing and I love that they are going all out to get their finances in line with what God wants for them. Read their story HERE.


DRIVE Conference

We got back home this morning at 1am from the DRIVE '08 conference at North Point Community Church in Atlanta. My mind is literally overflowing with leadership insights to the point I don't know where to start...

I'll write more details soon (lots of details) but I can say that it was an amazing experience. I have never been down to North Point or seen Andy Stanley speak and both were worth the trip several times over. Thanks North Point for some candid straight talk to church leaders throughout the world about what God is calling us to as leaders.

Search Flickr more effectively

I love Flickr...a great spot to store all of your photos and a great place to network. But searching Flickr can be frustrating especially weeding through various permissions if you want to find an image for a design piece. Never fear COMPFIGHT is here to simplify the search.


Etsy...an online street fair

My wife and I have made it one of our goals to collect unique artwork for our house and offices. She has given me two prints for my birthday the last few years as well as painting one herself for my office, which all now hang proudly. That being said, I'm always on the prowl for new outlets for art and I found a great new place. Etsy is a huge online street fair of art, craft and what not. It has local options as well as people from around the world. Check it out...(Thanks Kelly Shields for the heads up)


Jack Bauer is heading to Africa

The Writer's Strike put "24" on a year long hiatus. So what shall we do between now and next January? Plenty..."The Rookie" is a CTU short film series set in Mexico and a "24" movie is set to air in the Fall. Finally the show is breaking free of its Los Angeles chains and going international...Africa. Get your "24" fix right now...

Professors and Liberalism

A new study looks at the fact that most college professors are staunch liberals and the massive void of conservative academic voices. Here are 2 interesting points the study revealed:
  • The study found that in a variety of ways, conservative students were less interested than liberals in subject matter that often leads to doctoral degrees, and less interested in doing the kinds of things that professors spend their time doing.
  • Conservative students put a higher priority than liberal ones on raising a family. That does not always fit well with a career in academe, where people often delay childbearing until after they earn tenure.
Personally I find it staggering the void of varying voices in the academic world so many us have or will entrust our kids too. But this study talks more about the behavioral trends that lead to this sort of dissparity of opinions and world views on campuses. But maybe it's inevitable...as Churchill said, "Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains." (Thanks Galliblog for the links)