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Wicked Friends Lead to Evil Ends

I talked last week quite a bit about the people you naturally attract. It’s a chance for you to influence others for the positive—for individuality, risk, passion for God, etc.

But what if you attract the wrong kind of people? The truth is, some of the people I’ve attracted in my life are not necessarily the types of people I want to hang around with. A sportscaster named Charlie Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Those people and those books will either take you closer to the person you want to be or further away from it.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says it like this: Stop being deceived: “Wicked friends lead to evil ends.” (more…)


Your Responsibility to the People You Reach

We talked Wednesday about the people you will naturally reach. These are the folks who are naturally attracted to you. And this is also the opportunity you have for influence.

Be sure, you have the chance to influence other people. Those people you naturally attract, you have just as much chance to influence them as they have to influence you. Unfortunately, too many people choose to be influenced rather than to influence. But we were made to influence, not to be influenced.

So how do you influence those you reach? Where do you want to aim them? (more…)


Everyone Is Someone’s Best Friend

I’m the type of person who wants everyone to like me. I personally believe for me it’s a bit of a competition. Subconsciously, I want to be everybody’s best friend. God forbid someone doesn’t like me. And God forbid someone likes someone else more than me.

I’ve been working to overcome this major flaw in my personality. First of all, I know I can’t be the most amazing person in the world. I know I can’t make everyone happy all the time. Secondly, I know I shouldn’t make everyone happy. But there’s still the pull to be the most liked person in all of history.

But I’ve been realizing it’s impossible to please everyone. Part of that realization comes from this: Nearly everyone in the world is someone’s best friend. All those jerks who cut me off in traffic… All those people who comment on YouTube videos… All those neighbors with incessantly barking dogs… They all have people who love them and think they’re amazing. (more…)


Why I Write Two Books at Once

I’m currently writing two books at once. One’s a church leadership-type book, the other is a “discover yourself” type book. They’re different. And I’m so glad I’m writing them at the same time.

I did this with Created for More and Unwelcome. I didn’t intend for them to release within a month of each other; that just happened. But I found it so liberating to write the two at once. And here’s why. (more…)


Why Church Leadership is Wrong

There’s a popular concept going around the church and it’s this: Everyone is a leader. Along with that, everyone is their own replicator. If everyone’s a leader, everyone is supposed to spend much of their time replicating themselves. Essentially, we should keep promoting ourselves in higher and higher leadership roles as other people take over our previous roles.

Many people aren’t going to like this statement I’m about to make: Not everyone is a leader. And more than that, some people should never grow beyond their current role.

There’s a concept in business called the Peter Principle. The premise of the principle is that if someone in business is doing well, they get promoted. They keep getting promoted until they stop doing a good job. So inevitably what happens, is the people who are stuck in their jobs are the people who got promoted beyond their ability. Eventually, everyone sucks at their job because they got promoted out of their competence. (more…)


Why I’m Glad I’m Spending So Much Time on Facebook

I spend a lot of my time on Facebook throughout the day. I always laugh when I see people proclaiming their disillusionment with Facebook and leaving the platform. They’ve decided there’s too much politics and controversy on the platform, so they leave. And then they’re back in a week or so, equally frustrated, but finally giving in.

Well, I’ve been doing something lately that has made my Facebook consumption so enjoyable. I’ve been systematically hiding people, hiding apps, and changing settings. I imagine the Facebook algorithm they’re using to serve me information is rather complex. But it’s worth it.

I’m hiding anyone who consistently posts discouraging stuff. Anyone who posts inflammatory stuff. And anyone I don’t know or don’t have an investment in their life. (more…)


Real Limitations or Lies?

I love the story from Hans Christian Andersen: The Emperor’s New Clothes. The story goes that man years ago, there lived an emperor who was exceedingly vain. He spent all his wealth on the finest clothing.

Two con artists hatched a plan to swindle the emperor. They were weavers, and they offered to create clothing for the emperor that would be like none other. The two proceeded to weave invisible threads together. They assured the king that only those who were worthy could see the cloth.

Worried that he might be getting swindled, he sent advisors to check on the clothes being made for him. But because those advisors didn’t want to be deemed as unworthy, they confirmed that they could see the threads too. More advisors inspected the work-in-progress, and more confirmations of the clothes’ authenticity reached the emperor’s ears. (more…)

It’s okay to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.

I heard a great quote last week: “It’s okay to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.”

Any time you attempt something new, it’s natural to get scared. It’s normal to feel a bit of fear associated with a risk. But fear is not a bad thing. It keeps you from making foolish decisions. The only time fear becomes bad is when it starts to confuse you and hold you back from making forward progress.

Feel the fear. It’s good. But focus the fear on positivity. Focus the fear on forward progress. And let the butterflies move you toward the goal instead of away from it.


Where Do We Put 1000 People with Food

We were in the planning stages for Echo Conference, when we found out we didn’t have a place for dinner during the first night of the conference. We would have around 1000 people at the conference and we planned to provide a meal for them. Unfortunately, the church where we were hosting the event informed us that we didn’t have a room available that could seat that many people. They needed it that night.

You’ve probably been to a Chipotle, standing in line, realizing there were no available tables when you got your food. Now, picture that frustration and anxiety magnified to a group of 1000. That’s what our team felt when we got this news. And this was the first night of the conference—the first impression to many people who were experiencing this event for the first time. (more…)


Just Do the Work

I’m writing two books right now. One is a co-writing project about guest services in church. It’s with a fairly notable individual and I can’t wait until we get it all together and out into the world.

The second one is a personal book project my literary agent and I decided would be a good project. It’s not really related to church work at all, so it’s a very different book from the first.

To be honest, it’s tough to flip back and forth between the projects. Sometimes I am more excited about what I’m writing in the one book, and sometimes I’m more excited about the other. Still at other times, I hate what I’m writing in both.

There are times when I feel my writing sucks. I’m conveying thoughts, but I don’t feel particularly inspired. There are times I’m merely forcing myself to write 1000-3000 words in a day so I can make my way through the work. (more…)