Sixteen years ago, my wife and I did an intensive weekend of premarital counseling a month before we got married. It was the best investment we’ve ever made into our marriage. Over the past 7-10 years, I’ve provided premarital counseling for nearly 100 couples and one of the leading motivators has been because of what premarital counseling meant to me as a soon-to-be-married man. For years, I’ve encouraged couples to invest in their marriage regularly. I’d tell them to attend a marriage retreat together. Read a book together. See a counselor for occasional check-ups.
However, there is a stigma about seeing a counselor, isn’t there? Premarital counseling is fine, right? You’re about to get married, so its expected. However, when you find out someone is seeing a counselor, the first thing that comes to your mind is, “what’s going on with them?” or “I hope they’re okay.” I think we’re reluctant to see a counselor because it feels like failure. A voice in our head might say, “you couldn’t do this on your own, so you need someone else to help fix you.”
I’d admit it. I’ve felt this way too. I’m an independent, problem-solving, get-it-done kind of guy. Seeing a counselor is a last resort kind of option. That was until Sara and I started seeing a counselor nine months ago.… Read the rest
Last week I wrote about my new habit of eating frogs for breakfast every morning (most mornings at least). Even though I have changed my morning routine (I wake up at 4:30 AM most mornings now) and get to a place where I can get my day started by 5:00 AM, I can still struggle to get the ball rolling.
Procrastination is a powerful thing and if I give it any space at all, it will devour my entire morning. Recently I’ve started a new practice that has made my morning routine even more effective. I’ve heard this practice for many years from a variety of sources and coaches, but it never connected. Then I read this post from Shawn Blanc called “the note.”… Read the rest
This week I’m going to explore some productivity tips and tricks. Productivity is a topic I’m very passionate about probably because I recognize how much much there is that I want to do and how many things there are to distract me from doing what I really want to do. Left to myself, I’ll fail miserably or end up working much harder than I need to.
About fifteen years ago, I was introduced to an idea that would later have huge implications for me. It’s actually a simple chart/matrix the helps you understand how to best spend your time. Although I’ve know this idea for years, it’s only been in recent years that I’ve been more intentional by planning my day according to this chart.
The chart/matrix is the “Time Management Matrix” popularized by Stephen Covey in his book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective people. Here’s the chart:… Read the rest
This last week I had fun writing about becoming a better communicator and why we need to grow in this area. I thought I’d wrap up with some closing thoughts about communication. Over the past 5-7 years, I’ve been given more and more opportunities to communicate on a variety of stages. Some of the experiences have been spectacular and others have been… let’s just say I wish I could have done things differently.
From my experiences, here are the things I’ve found to be most true of my very best talks. I know that when I do these things, my talk is far more likely to be great.… Read the rest
Just this last week, I’ve been busy with the tedious project of converting old VHS video to digital video for archiving purposes. It was fun watching videos of me speaking as a 22 year old Children’s Pastor or briefly speaking at my High School graduation. Thankfully, I’ve come a long way. I’m a little embarrassed by how “green” I was. I fumbled over my words and lacked the skills that would come with years and years of experience.
Watching these videos reinforced something I believe with all my heart. The level of your leadership will be determined by your ability to communicate. Yes, there are other skills that are critical to effective leadership, but communication really is the cornerstone. Here are five reason why you must prioritize your communication skills:… Read the rest
I’ve been writing about upping the level in which we communicate to kids. I’ve targeted three essentials which include the following:
Humor is vital to the message. The very same words spoken without humor can land on deaf ears. Credibility answers the question, Why should I listen to you?” Without credibility, your message won’t connect as effectively as you’d desire.
Let’s talk about the third essential, packaging.… Read the rest
This week we’re talking about three essentials when communicating with kids. Specifically we’re talking about:
Last time I wrote about how critical humor is to any audience, especially to kids. It’s one of the best ways to build rapport and keep their attention throughout the talk. Today we’re going to dive into credibility. … Read the rest
When leading in Children’s Ministry, you’ll find yourself in front of a crowd of kids quite often. When I was cutting my teeth in ministry, I taught Children’s Church just about every week. 15 or so years later, I find myself teaching more on a monthly basis, but it’s critical that I crush it when I communicate because my primary reason for communicating now is to train future communicators. This week I’m going to unpack three essentials when communicating to kids.
Let’s dive into humor.… Read the rest
One of my goals this year has been to improve as a communicator. I’ll write later about some of the efforts I’ve taken on to improve in this area of my life. However, I’ve been devouring content and resources in efforts to improve. I came across a great article recently that resonated with me and I’d like to add my perspective to these ideas.
I know that some reading this are thinking, “why do I need to develop as a communicator?” It’s more essential than you might realize. Maybe I’ll write about the reasons why you need to excel as a communicator in the coming weeks. Regardless, here are five ways to improve as a communicator and my thoughts from the article from bestkeptself.com.
Volunteer to Lead
Due to the nature of your role, you lead all the time. You lead a ministry or a division of a ministry. Take a step out there and offer to lead in ways that you haven’t before. This last year I was put in positions to lead in ways that I hadn’t before. On a few occasions, I was asked to lead the our “All Staff” meetings as well as the staff life group I am a part of. There was even a staff led initiative the leadership team developed and I was asked to lead the staff through the initiative. Although I didn’t directly volunteer for these opportunities, I’ve made the resolved to say “yes” to opportunities like these when offered.
Approach a Stranger
Although I’m quite the extrovert, I do feel a little uncomfortable striking up a conversation with strangers. I encounter this when I perform weddings. Often times, the only people I know at the wedding are the couple being married which means I have 2-3 hours of hanging out with dozens of people I’ve never met.… Read the rest
I saw Jurassic World on Friday night. It brought back all the memories of seeing Jurassic Park on the big screen 20+ years ago. I’ll admit, I did jump out of my seat a few times. This video however takes the cake. Have fun with it and turn it into a 5 minute countdown before your program starts this weekend. Enjoy.