I’m kinda working on an ebook. I have been for the past 18 months. When I say working on it, I mean mostly in my head. I’ve written an outline and several posts on this blog from over the years will be turned into chapters. The inspiration comes from the hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes that have come across my desk over the years. I feel like I’m usually hiring someone every year and I’m often frustrated by the quality of most of the resumes sent my way. I’m frustrated because of my time wasted by unqualified applicants but also frustrated for many of the applicants. Most of the time, the answer is “no” for all the hopeful candidates. However, I feel that with some coaching and adjustments to the resume, they’d likely get a “maybe.”
A part of this ebook (seriously, I’m going to write it) will focus on broader ideas like, where do you want to be 10 years from now? It’s one thing to look for a job, but its an entirely different thing to plan out a career and it seems like most people are a little short-sighted.… Read the rest
I’m about two weeks out from my annual trek to the Orange Conference and I’ve been busy getting ready. I usually have responsibilities at Orange (this year I’m leading/hosting the NextGen Leaders track), but even before my friends at Orange gave me work to do, it’s been a long time since I simply “attended” a conference. Whether you’re getting ready to come to Orange or any of the other amazing conferences out there, I think there’s something important you should know about the conference experience.
This idea should frame your thinking about the entire conference experience: Who is more important than what. Let me explain.… Read the rest
I had so much fun with Monday’s resume post, I decided that I would do another one. In that post I wrote about tips to make your resume 10,000 times better. Most of them are small things. Tweaks and adjustments. However, there’s a bigger issue that I didn’t really address.
What if you don’t have awesome content for your resume… meaning, your experience is less than exciting. Maybe you’ve been a volunteer at a church and you just don’t have enough experience to put much down on a resume. Perhaps you’re at a church that’s been in significant decline. Spinning that situation might be tough. This is a problem, but it’s not a problem that can’t be overcome.
Here’s how you write a winning resume:… Read the rest
Every month I have people send me resumes. It’s smart actually. On average, I have a position come available every year. I have a position coming available in a few months that I haven’t started promoting yet. I often know people who are hiring as well. I admire those who take a risk and send their resume like that – it shows initiative.
Unfortunately though, most resumes I receive are junk.
This weekend someone sent me a resume and I was prompted to write back immediately. I actually wrote a long response because I truly wanted to help. However, my first paragraph contained the sentence, “Your resume is awful.”
But these are the same situations I see play out when someone makes a fool out of themselves on American Idol auditions. Who wasn’t a good enough friend to them to say, “You should NEVER sing in public!” I’d like to be that kind of friend.
I’ve responded to resume emails like this a few times, but no one every responds. Maybe my technique is off. Seriously, I’m not a jerk. If someone feels a calling to full time ministry, I want you to make it. However, if your resume is junk, you’re not going to get the opportunity you were hoping for.
All that being said, I’d like to share 3 resume tips that will help anyone’s resume become 10,000 times better.… Read the rest
This is bigger than just a volunteer thing, but since this is a Children’s Ministry blog, I figured I’d position this idea from that perspective.
You’ll never truly see life through the eyes of someone different from you. You may get a glimpse every now and again, but you’ll never get it. I have many friends who are introverts and I try my best to wrap my mind around why they do what they do and I’ve found that the best I can do is appreciate their difference and that’s a good step.
A few weeks ago I had my good friend Jonathan Cliff speak at our Winter Camp and I had to figure out his accommodations. We had two buildings where I was putting leaders who weren’t leading groups of kids. One building was a giant house with four huge rooms that slept 8 people each. The other building was a cool barn like building with private suites. Because my family was coming, I was booked in the barn. Since Jonathan was on his own, I put him in the big house in a room with seven other guys. I figured that if I my family wasn’t coming, I would have been in the big house. I had it all figured out.
We got to camp and I was getting Jonathan settled, he very politely asked if there were any other rooming options. I told him that we had quite a few options, but most of what we had left were in a really cool building, but pretty far removed from the rest of camp. I hadn’t even considered it because my only thought was, “who would want to be so removed from all the action.” At the mere mention of the word “remote,” Jonathan said – “I’ll take it!” When camp was over, Jonathan sent me some highly valuable feedback.… Read the rest
My wife is so smart.
A few weeks I wrote a post about how young people are currently using social media linking to an article written by a 19 year-old about how he and his friends use social media. The point of my email was to communicate how quickly people are shifting from one social media platform to another and if we hope to influence young leaders, we need to connect communicate where they are. They’re not using facebook and only some of them are on twitter. It’s an interesting topic to consider.
A few hours after my post published, my wife Sara called me and told me that I missed the point of the article.
This is what I love about my wife. She makes me better and she doesn’t just tell me what I want to hear. She encouraged me to read the article again because there was a different message there entirely. She was right, I missed it and there’s some really good stuff there.
So, I encourage you to read this article if you haven’t already. Your 4th and 5th grade students will be here in just a few years. The SIGNIFICANT number of teenagers who serve in our ministries are here right now. How they are using social media tells us a lot about who they are, how they think and what they struggle with.… Read the rest
A bigger measure of your success will not be measured by what you did, but what you empowered others to do. Yes, you should tweet that. More importantly you should act like it is true – because it is.
When hiring new staff, I’m rarely looking for a superstar. I’m looking for the person who gets little credit for the massive work they’ve accomplished through leading teams of volunteers. Superstars are expensive and although they bring a lot to the table, a team builder will deliver far more than a superstar ever will.
I’ve learned the hard way that probably 80% of what I do can probably be done by someone else. We rarely let go of the 80% for a number of reasons.
- Control issues
Just to name a few.
Learning to delegate is one of the best resources in a ministry leaders tool chest. I’m calling myself out tomorrow concerning the things that I’ve been holding on to for far too long. Even after having success with delegation, we can revert back to picking up things that someone else should be doing. Here’s something I’ve learned over the years in regard to delegation.… Read the rest
Several months ago I wrote about leading meetings and even provided a template of the meeting agenda I used. I’ve been surprised by how many people have asked me what our “3×3’s” are. I’ve responded to several people via email, but I finally realized that I should probably just write about it.
Several years ago, some of Gateway’s key staff attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit and Bill Hybles talked about a concept he had developed for moving projects along called a 6×6. He describes flying home from abroad feeling some stress around the things he had to complete. He had six weeks left until the end of the year and he wrote out six things that really needed to be completed. After writing these things down, he felt calm knowing that if he did these things, everything would be great. This developed a system for him and his staff that helped their organization move forward. Here’s the video of Bill Hybles explaining the 6×6.
We took the concept and edited it. … Read the rest
So, last night my Elementary Large Group Director sent me an email. She asked if we could get some new songs for elementary. I won’t tell you which songs have been “over played” but she did say that if she has to listen to some of these songs any more, she might get sick. She suggested some songs that our elementary kids were introduced to a few weeks ago at our Winter Camp, “Oceans” and “Alive.” A quick google search results page made me very happy. … Read the rest
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Ministry is overwhelming and can affect every area of a person in a unhealthy way: physically, spiritually, emotionally and relationally. I’ve seen too many people implode. I’ve been in unhealthy places more times than I’d like to admit. However, sometimes staying healthy is about watching the gauges and keeping an eye on the critical areas of your life. Last year was an incredibly difficult year for me and even in the hardship, I was able to stay in a fairly healthy place. It wasn’t an easy season, but I look back over that season and I don’t have any regrets. So, here’s some ideas around keeping healthy so you can lead for the long haul.
Disclaimer: I don’t want to misrepresent myself. I’m by no means an expert at any of these things. Sometimes I’m doing great at a handful of these things and not so great at other things. Regardless, I’ve found these things to be true:… Read the rest