Oct 302009

Let’s take a look at my inbox and see what we find…

Question: I am student, studying ministry. Am at the end of the third year and I would like to start my ministry after I graduate. How would you be of help to me — to find material about church planting ?

My Answer: There has been a growing number of resources about church planting in recent years. A quick Google search has many links that’ll get you started. 3 of my favorites are www.churchplantingnetwork.com + www.church-planting.net + www.rcpc.com .

As you can see, there’s lots of information online. The best place you’ll want to be is the Exponenential Conference, April 19-22, 2010, in Orlando. This is the biggest gathering of church planters and church multiplication organizations that can give you the support, coaching, and launching pad for church planting — more resources than you can count!
2010 National New Church Conference
Todd Rhoades has been counting up the many reasons to be at Exponential — here’s a sample :
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Oct 252009

Earlier this week, I put an anonymous poll out to my peeps, with this simple question: “For those who know me from offline or online, how much of a people person am I?”

I don’t think of myself as the consummate people person, whatever that means. I confess that my personal visceral reaction when I see a person with a big toothy smile is a tinge of suspicion, that they’re hiding something, have an agenda, or out of touch with reality of life that’s a mix of ups and downs.

So I put out the poll to get myself a reality check, because how I see myself is only a part of what’s real via self-awareness. To not be self-deluded, there’s also being open to what others see. And, there’s also what no one sees or knows — what only God knows.

It was strongly suggested for me to read John Maxwell’s Be a People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships. I got the book out, again, to learn more of what I may have missed. Now, back to the issue at hand.

How do you describe what is a “people person” anyways? I think the label would have a wide range of perceptions and definitions, as does the labels introvert and extrovert. Extroverts recharge themselves by being with others, while introverts recharge by being alone.
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Oct 242009

// [ update: my presentation and related links are over at the L2 Foundation blog - click here ] //

ConferenceOn November 30th and December 1st, I’ll be at the NA-CCOWE (North American Chinese Congress on World Evangelization) conference English Track: “The Challenges and Future of English Ministries. This is the first time that the conference will host a parallel track, along side of the Mandarin Chinese language track. (Note that the event itself runs from 11/3 to 12/4.)

I’ll be making a presentation in a workshop about next generation Asian American churches. Knowing the audience is primarily English ministry leaders within an ethnic Chinese church, I hope to explore what can be practically applied from what is working among next generation multi-Asian/multi-ethnic churches, adapted from my presentation shared on several other occasions.
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Oct 192009

One of my main StrengthsFinder themes is INPUT ::

People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

Yes indeedy I love gathering information. I’m a data pack rat. No information overload. I don’t keep it in my brain nor on my hard drive. I prefer to save my finds in an online notebook – for access from almost anywhere there’s internet access, including a friend’s smartphone or public library. Here are free online notebooks I’ve found and some of the features that I noticed:

  • evernote – this one is robust with tons of features, able to store photos, audios, PDFs, text, Word Docs; has bookmarklet, Firefox add-on, desktop app, iPhone app, so many different ways to post and to access info; paid premium version goes for $45 per year for extras [here's my public notebook powered by evernote]
  • logos

  • ubernote – this looks like a robust online notebook web app, so much so that one user moved to ubernote from evernote; yes, it’s got a Firefox add-on toolbar, and a paid premium version in the works
  • diigo – this online notebook can gather notes, make lists, and keep bookmarks, plus has community features to share notes with others in the diigo network, and you can post sticky notes on web pages to add & read comments; Firefox add-on toolbar or bookmarklet; integrates with delicious.com; has an import from Google Notebook function but I couldn’t get it to work
  • springnote – this one is based on an editable wiki idea, and developed in Korea, so it can handle English, Korean, and Japanese; personal and group notebook; this has an iPhone app too
  • Zotero – this one is more tightly integrated with a Firefox add-on extension, and has a stronger academic researcher feature set to manage bibliography citations; not sure where the actual notes get stored
  • springpad – this web app is more than an online notebook, and has all kinds of apps that you can activate to organize your life, like recipes and reviews and lists, more than notes
  • Zoho Notebook – gather tons of content, and even has version control to track changes, which is very useful if several note collectors work collaboratively
  • Google Notebook – this was a good online notebook, but the software has ceased development is running on cruise control, or as I’ve said on several occasions, put on ice.

Which online notebook web app do you use, and why do you love it? While it’d be great to keep everything in one place, that also means all the risk is in one place.

Oct 072009

In trying to figure out how to turn an idea into reality, 1 of the unavoidable questions is one of value.

One way it’s asked is, “Does it add value?” The “it” refers to the idea, be it a product or a service. The assumption is that if the idea has value, then we should find the resources to make it happen. But, who determines the value?

One management guru named Drucker asks 5 essential questions about an organization seeking to fulfill its mission and increase performance. Right in the middle is the question, “What does the customer value?” The inference is that an organization serves a customer base, and if the customer values the organization’s offering, then the customer would pay for it. Value is thus monetary value, or market value, as in what the market of customers is willing to pay.

Yet not every product and service can be financially sustained by market value. There are things that should happen because they’re a kingdom value.

Many activities with Kingdom value will bear fruit and show forth results. It’s easier for donors to see the value of financially supporting these activities, because they can see the results. This is where market value overlaps with kingdom value — donors want to see results.

But, there are also kingdom activities where there are no measurable results, no investment return, no visible fruit. At least not in the short-term time-frame of a quarterly or annual report.
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Oct 062009

Small talk is not my forte’. I can talk about weather or sports for maybe 30 seconds tops. Those are the conventionally safe topics. Work usually comes up early in the conversation, as in “what do you do?” People too quickly associate one’s identity with their work / profession / career.

There are some topics not good for small talk: “… it is not safe to discuss subjects that society deems controversial such as religion or politics.” Yet, politics get lots of air time, even though it’s controversial. Lots of mainstream media and social media time at that.

One British etiquette website describes what’s safe and not safe for small talk conversations:

Which topics are safe for small talk? …

- The weather, eg “It’s a lovely day today, isn’t it?”
- Sport, eg “Have you been watching Wimbledon?”
- Hobbies, eg “What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?”
- Work, eg “What sort of work do you do?”

… Which topics are best avoided for small talk? …

- Money, eg “How much do you earn?”
- Politics, eg “Who did you vote for at the last election?”
- Religion, eg “Do you believe in God?”


What about philosophy and religion? Now these two topics make for much more INTERESTING conversations!