Jul 302008

I’d always been a little suspicious of people who seem to have it all together, hiding their flaws, and appearing strong and confident too often.

I have to admit, I probably can’t tell the difference between a confident person and an over-confident person, and there are people who are more self-assured and confident.

I think what I’d like to see is that people admit their mistakes, acknowledge their shortcomings and flaws, at least once in a while. Of course I wouldn’t want everyone walking around like Droopy, Mopey, or Eeyore.

It’s particularly disillusioning when someone well-versed in the Bible, preaches and/or teaches it so persuasively, and yet doesn’t live it out.

I was talking with a person who has worked with 100s and 1000s of Christian leaders. We realized that we have our flaws. Other people have flaws. Christian leaders have flaws. But wouldn’t you think that a Christian leader would be more honest about their flaws? Wouldn’t you think that person would avoid plagiarism? Wouldn’t you think that person would be above reproach? I wondered how that person avoided disillusionment and not lose faith, when some lose faith over seeing too many leaders’ lacking integrity (cf. William Lobdell).

My friend answered, “God seems to use flawed people.”

I took that counsel to heart. I think I can live with that, and I think my faith can endure, by the grace of God. Not much shocks me any more.

Jul 282008

Asian American Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas, will always have a special place in my heart, for I was married there in 1995, during its pre-carpet days.

That was 13 years ago. Things do change over time; just a matter of time.

Now they’re looking for a senior pastor.

Senior Pastor Opening
Asian American Baptist Church
Richardson, TX

The Asian American Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas, a primarily English speaking congregation of 200 people ministering in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is seeking a Senior Pastor.

Qualified candidate should be seminary trained (MDiv or ThM preferred) and possess a minimum 5 years (10 preferred) of pastoral or related experience with the ability to lead and motivate the church to fulfill its vision of reaching Asian Americans to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

Interested candidates should send or email a detailed resume to the church Pastor Search Committee point of contact. Utmost confidentiality will be maintained in the review process of all candidates.

Click for point of contact.

Looking for a ministry opportunity elsewhere? Or, wanting to list one for your church/ Christian ministry organization? I’ve linked to 3 main websites that keep updated ministry openings — over at L2 Foundation’s blog >>

Dave Gibbons’ blog

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Jul 252008

Dave Gibbons is now blogging at www.davegibbons.tv

And Dave has a new book, Monkey and the Fish, to be released in January/February 2009. Pre-order it from amazon.com.

About the book, from the back cover:

Our world is marked by unprecedented degrees of multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, social shifts, international collaboration, and technology-driven changes. The changes are profound, especially when you consider the unchecked decline in the influence, size, and social standing of the church. There is an undercurrent of anxiety in the evangelical world, and a hunger for something new. And we’re sensing the urgency of it.

We need fresh, creative counterintuitive ways of doing ministry and church and leading it in the 21st century. We need to adapt. Fast. Both in our practices and our thinking.

The aim of this book is simple: When we understand the powerful forces at work in the world today, we’ll learn how something called The Third Culture can yield perhaps the most critical missing ingredient in the church today–adaptability–and help the church remain on the best side of history.

A Third Culture Church and a Third Culture Leader looks at our new global village and the church’s role in that village in a revolutionary way. It’s a way to reconnect with the historical roots of what Jesus envisioned the church could be — a people known for a brand of love, unity, goodness, and extravagant spirit that defies all conventions.

This book is part of the successful Leadership Innovation Series.

Jul 232008

I’m not sure how freely I can post information I’ve found about the McCain and Obama appearance at Saddleback Church, so to play it safe, I’ll quote from credentialed sources. I do know a PR firm, A Larry Ross Communications, is helping with media communications, and it is a good thing to prevent miscommunication, though I also know in an open-source Wikipedia world, everyone has a voice to the public and can chime in on lively discussions and speculations in the blogosphere and twittosphere / twitterverse.

New York Times was one of the first to mention the event. Local newspaper, OC Register, will have updates at its Total Buzz blog. There’ll be approximately 6,500 event tickets available for 6 on-campus venues; ticket information online when details are finalized. I’d imagine this event will be televised live on TV networks too, but no promises from me.

[update 7/24] event website launched at saddlebackcivilforum.com where you can watch event live online; ticket info available on 8/1

Here’s the official press release from RickWarrenNews.com about the August 16th event, dubbed Saddleback’s Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion::

PRESUMED PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES MCCAIN AND OBAMA TO MAKE FIRST JOINT CAMPAIGN APPEARANCE ON AUGUST 16 AT SADDLEBACK CHURCH: Pastor Rick Warren to Host Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion and Question Candidates on Faith and the Common Good

LAKE FOREST, Calif., July 21 – Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, respective presumed Republican and Democratic presidential nominees, will end the primary season by making their first joint appearance of the 2008 campaign at Saddleback Church on Saturday, Aug.16 at the Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion. Dr. Rick Warren, founding pastor of the 22,000-member Orange County, Calif. mega church and moderator for the event, made the announcement today upon confirmation by both campaigns.

“We’re honored that the candidates chose The Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion for their first joint appearance, an unprecedented opportunity for America to hear both men back-to-back on the same platform,” Warren said. “This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart – without interruption – in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan ‘gotcha’ questions that typically produce heat instead of light.

“The primaries proved that Americans care deeply about the faith, values, character and leadership convictions of candidates as much as they do about the issues. While I know both men as friends and they recognize I will be frank, but fair, they also know I will be raising questions in these four areas beyond what political reporters typically ask. This includes pressing issues that are bridging divides in our nation, such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights.”

Warren confirmed that, at the candidates’ request, this two-hour event from 5-7 p.m. (PDT) will be held in a non-debate format and open to all media. Both candidates also requested that questions be posed exclusively by Warren, instead of a panel or members of the audience. Each will converse separately with Warren for approximately one-hour, beginning with Sen. Obama as determined by a coin toss. This historic forum will be the only joint campaign event prior to each party’s national convention.

“While debates typically focus primarily on the candidates’ positions and only secondarily on how they’d lead and make decisions, this Saddleback Civil Forum will reverse that ratio,” Warren continued. “Since the oath of the President is a commitment to protect the Constitution, it’s critical to know how each candidate interprets the nature of its principles. Leadership involves far more than promoting programs and making speeches, and since no one can predict what crises will happen over the next four years, it is vital to know the decision capacity and process of each man.”

Warren has known each candidate prior to their run for national office. Both men recorded video messages to attendees at Saddleback’s annual Global Summit on AIDS and The Church last November. Along with other national and international leaders, each has also endorsed Warren’s vision of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan, a 50-year strategy to mobilize millions of local churches around the world to address five global problems: spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy. After four years of testing prototypes of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan in 68 countries, the P.E.A.C.E. Coalition, involving business, church and government partnerships, was launched in April.

In conjunction with the Civil Forum event, Warren will convene an interfaith meeting at the church for approximately 30 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders to discuss cooperation in projects for the common good of all Americans. Members of the P.E.A.C.E. Coalition Leadership Council will also fly in for weekend events.

On Sunday, Aug. 17, Warren will deliver a special sermon entitled, “Making Up Your Mind: Questions to Consider before the Election,” which will be streamed live on the church Web site, www.saddleback.com, and made available for use in small group discussions within churches across the country.

The Saddleback Civil Forum was established to promote civil discourse and the common good of all. The first forum, held during Passover week this year, featured five Jewish World War II Holocaust survivors sharing their stories. The next Saddleback Civil Forum in September will feature former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“In addition to my primary calling to proclaim the Gospel Truth of salvation in Jesus Christ, these Civil Forums further three other life goals: helping individuals accept responsibility, helping the Church regain credibility and encouraging our society to return to civility,” Warren added.

Saddleback Church has invited Faith in Public Life, which hosted a Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Pennsylvania last April, to co-sponsor this special Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion. Approximately 6,500 tickets to the event will be allotted for seating in six different venues throughout the 120-acre Saddleback campus.

Jul 212008

I love going to conferences, not so much for the content, but more for meeting people, those I’ve met and those I’ve yet to meet. What I’m discovering, as a relational-oriented guy, and not a task- or goal-oriented guy, I look for people connections more than trying to find personal applications or takeaways. More responder than initiator — that doesn’t make me a bad person.

One thing I’ve done this season is to wear orange at conferences, lotta orange- on my phone cover, shoes, headphones, mouse, water bottle, t-shirt, Bible… Great color to spot in a crowd, like I’m a human traffic cone. Aside: my orange Crocs stand out, attracting eyes that glance down, but most people refrain from commenting. I’ll smirk back at ‘em. [photo courtesy dankimball]

When I meet new people, I’m starting to hear: “aren’t you the conference guy?” I think to myself, no, I’m not. I’m attending more of them than I used to, but I’ve never been to notable conferences like Willow Creek‘s Leadership Summit, Catalyst, Exponential - the mother of all church planting conferences, Buzz, Granger‘s Innovate, Desiring God, C3, Soularize, Resurgence, Off the Map, National Outreach Convention [w/ free webinars leading up to Nov 08]. Ohhhhh, and, there’s one called the Orange conference! All of these are church/ faith related. Too much worky-ness.

By the way, save the dates January 27-28, 2009, for a BIG conference Innovation3 in Dallas, hosted by Leadership Network.
Innovation 3

For my own fun, I’d go to conference for my vacations– on my short list: TED, SXSW, Gnomedex, International CES, podcamp/ unconference, MacWorld Expo. Family probably wouldn’t enjoy ‘em like I would.

I think conferences are great for motivational inspiration and a shared experience with a leadership team, not so much for content or information. Great for connections too. I wonder when Christian conferences will live-stream their sessions, give it away for free, instead of keeping it as an exclusive for attenders. Some conferences do give their content away for free post-event (eg resurgence, Desiring God). Conferences can be more about connections and conversations than content and control.

I’d like to see more rethinking and more innovation on the conference economic engine / business model. Pagitt, how about reimagining conferences?

Cf. I wonder if conferences [as we know it] have a future as travel costs escalate? Jeff Shinabarger on what makes a good event; Seth Godin on the new standard for meetings and conferences