Author: Kenny Conley

How to Read More

The last couple of years, I’ve certainly upped my reading game. I’ve worked hard to make reading a priority. I read 20 books in 2015 and literally finished my 26th book on December 31st of 2016. Each year, I push myself to read more and each year, I’m my list of books read continues to grow. First of all, let me answer the obvious question. Why make reading a priority? Knowledge. Leaders are readers. A commonality of some of the greatest contributors in this world is that they were voracious readers. Knowledge matters. There’s a lot of ways to learn and...

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My 2016 Reading Goal

Two years ago, I decided to become far more intentional about reading. I began setting goals that really motivated me and I’ve read far more books than in years past. In 2015, I set a goal to read 18 books and ended up reading 20. For 2016, I set a goal to read 30 (maybe a little too ambitious of a jump), but I did end up reading 26. I’m going to use the excuse that I had a baby, started a new job and relocated. Regardless, it was a fantastic year in books and I can’t wait for...

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Sayonara Twenty Sixteen

It’s interesting how many people are declaring 2016 the worst year in history. There seems to be an overwhelming number of people that are anxious for this dreadful year to be over. By midnight tonight, they’ll get their wish. In July, Slate.com ran an interesting article asking if 2016 really has been the worst. The article then goes on to list many other awful years: 72,000 BC 1348 1492 1836 1837 1877 1876 1943 1968 1919 2003 2016 Just to name a few. Reading the events of these terrible years… 2016 was tame. Interestingly though, most readers ranked 2016 the...

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52 Days Until Christmas

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to host Jingle Jam for our for a Family Experience the week before Christmas. I wrote about it here. Just a few weeks ago, we decided to double down on our Christmas experiences here at MISSION Church. Our vision at MISSION is to be an irresistible church for our next door neighbor and the next generation. In years past, we wouldn’t program for elementary aged kids because pulling off a program for elementary on Christmas Eve is challenging. However, not offering something for elementary kids really doesn’t align with our vision. All the...

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Checklists: Timing is Everything

When it comes to checklists, timing is everything. Knowing when to use the checklist matters almost as much as using it at all. Every checklist needs a pause point (or multiple pause points), a specific time when the checklist is supposed to be run. Sometimes the checklist needs specific instructions on when the checklist is supposed to be run and at other times, pause points are obvious. In the book “The Checklist Manifesto,” the author, an accomplished surgeon, was tasked by the World Health Organization to develop a system to save lives in field surgery centers in developing countries....

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What Makes a Good Checklist

We’ve written a lot about checklists. We’ve explored why checklists are important, how they work and what their implementation in ministry can actually look like. However, it’s important to look into the anatomy of a checklist. A great deal of research has gone into checklists and every checklist are by no means equals. There are good checklists and there are bad checklists. Let’s take a look at the differences between good and bad checklists. The following items make checklists bad: They are vague They are too hard to use They are too long They are impractical Checklists that try...

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Don’t Skip the Checklist

If you’re going to use a checklist, commit to the checklist. Choosing not to use it can undo all the efforts you’ve worked so hard to establish. Not using the established checklist can sometimes be the result of having the best of intentions. However, deviating from an established process, regardless your intentions, could be putting your work or even your organization at risk. This exact situation happened a few years ago in regard to her visit at a emergency medical center. A failure to follow a checklist put her life in jeopardy.  My wife, Sara has several food allergies....

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One Checklist Could Change Everything

If you’re a parent, you’re thankful for Virginia Apgar, a woman you never met. Virginia Apgar was a doctor from the 1950’s who very name has saved the lives of thousands (maybe millions) of infants over the past 6 or 7 decades. When we think of legacy and making the kind of impact that long outlives us, there are few greater examples than Dr. Apgar. And what is this legacy that she provided that has so impacted humanity? I’m so glad you asked. Dr. Apgar created a simple checklist when no one thought one was needed. This simple, five...

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Preparation First – Delegation Second

I remember something really embarrassing. I got an email from a parent who offered to come in and help in the office during the week. Her kids were in school and she wanted to serve by giving some of her time during the week. I was elated. There was far too much work for me to do on my own and the extra help would be greatly appreciated! However, as time went on, I started to panic. I didn’t know what to give her to do. As I looked through my lists of tasks, there weren’t very many things...

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Checklists > Job Descriptions

If you’re really serious about recruiting volunteers, you have probably created job descriptions for available volunteer positions. Specificity always trumps generalities. We can recruit people to work in the children’s ministry, but people tend to use their own imagination of what that might look like and opt out of what they sense to be a coming disaster. We’ll always be more successful when we recruit to a specific role. People want to feel good about making a difference, but what the really want to know is what it is they will be doing… specifically. This is where job descriptions...

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