Feb 292012
 

Join in and watch the free livestream video for the Verge Conference 2012 today (Wed) and tomorrow (Thurs) at  http://live.mediasocial.tv/verge - amazing lineup of speakers speaking about being missional in the city and around the world as disciples of Christ. Join with over 500+ simulcast (livestream) locations in over 40+ countries around the world! [update: scroll below to find the afternoon UNCONFERENCES!]

See the liveblog with Verge Conference 2012 notes from Justin Taylor [bookmark it!]

Download the Verge 2012 Conference Booklet free (for a tweet)

Order Digital Access Pass for on-demand videos of all Verge 2012 talks @ $49

Official hashtag on twitter is #verge12

Facebook Album of Verge 2012 photos from Day 1 and Day 2

Continue the missional conversation at Verge Network + Like the Facebook Page facebook.com/VergeNetwork

Feb 242012
 

Found this old report of my StrengthFinders Top 5 Themes, one of the much more helpful personal assessment (aka personality test) for me. It’s the 1.0 version and I don’t think a 2.0 version is going to make much difference for my particular profile. What are yours?

Many years of research conducted by The Gallup Organization suggest that the most effective people are those who understand their strengths and behaviors.

These people are best able to develop strategies to meet and exceed the demands of their daily lives, their careers, and their families.

A review of the knowledge and skills you have acquired can provide a basic sense of your abilities, but an awareness and understanding of your natural talents will provide true insight into the core reasons behind your consistent successes.

Your Signature Themes report presents your five most dominant themes of talent, in the rank order revealed by your responses to StrengthsFinder. Of the 34 themes measured, these are your “top five.” Your Signature Themes are very important in maximizing the talents that lead to your successes. By focusing on your Signature Themes, separately and in combination, you can identify your talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy personal and career success through consistent, near-perfect performance.

Your Signature Themes: DJ CHUANG

Ideation

You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.

Input

You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information—words, facts, books, and quotations—or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

Strategic

The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path—your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.

Adaptability

You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans. You probably do. But this theme of Adaptability does enable you to respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if they pull you away from your plans. Unlike some, you don’t resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.

Woo

Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet—lots of them.

Feb 142012
 

Last week was Jeremy Lin’s breakthru on the basketball court. This week is Charles Lee‘s breakthru on the bookstore charts as his new book launches today, Good Idea. Now What? How to Move Ideas to Execution! Keep an eye on this guy, he’s going places. I’m not predicting a New York Times best-seller just yet, but with endorsements from the likes of Seth GodinSoledad O’Brien, and Scott Harrison, anything could happen. 

On this lovelee Valintine’s Day, I ideated 10 ways that Charles Lee is like Jeremy Lin:

  1. They have pun-able last names, they realee do
  2. They’ve extended their platform and visibility through social media like Twitter and Facebook: @charlestlee facebook.com/GoodIdeaBook @jlin7 facebook.com/jeremylin7 [what are you waiting for?]
  3. There’s talk about their legacy already – Charles opens his book with a preface titled “Born into a Legacy of Idea Makers”
  4. They’re team-players and collaborators
  5. They make everybody else look good (even great!) – Jeremy for his teammates every time, Charles for creating a platform for unknown idea-makers thru The Idea Camp and The Ideation Conference
  6. They’re unapologetically Asian American Christians
  7. They both know what it feels like to be overlooked, misunderestimated, and being an underdog
  8. They’re pastors – Charles is a has-been and Jeremy is a wanna-be :)
  9. They’re humble and not self-promoting
  10. They’re my Linspiration!

I’ll say one thing about the book. When I first heard about it and chatted with Charles by phone, the aha for me was his genius to avoid using the E-word (entrepreneurship) and empowering not only leeders but everyone to make their ideas and dreams come true! (I know I need the help as an ideator purist.)

And, Charles Lee throws the best parties, hundreds have connected at boutique events like the i2i Social Entrepreneurs Gathering at cool venues like the Toyota automobile museum. This Thursday is a book release party at the hipster Project 7 office space in Costa Mesa. This is the place to be! No cover charge! Live music! Free food! And Charles will be there in person!

Feb 122012
 

The face of American Christianity is not only black (African-American) and white (Anglo), even though that’s what we tend to see through both Christian and mainstream media. With the sudden popularity of professional basketball player Jeremy Lin, who is unapologetically Christian and Asian American, we now have a face for Asian American Christianity in mainstream culture. (Yes, I’ve caught Linsanity like the millions of others.)

Astutely noted in this New York Times article by Michael Luo, many are wondering (perhaps not out loud), “An Asian-American Christian? What’s that?” –

Many in this country have probably never even heard of this subcategory on the religious spectrum. But if you are a relatively recent graduate of the Ivy League or another top-tier college, you will probably recognize the species. … Like Lin, many Asian-American Christians have deep personal faith, but they are also, notably, almost never culture warriors. That is simply not what is emphasized in their churches and college Christian fellowships, including the one that played such a formative role in Lin’s life at Harvard.

There are few faces to represent Asian American Christians. Yes, there are a few popular Christian pastors & ministry leaders who are Asian Americans: Francis Chan, Ravi Zacharias, Sam Chand, Bruce Fong, Dave Gibbons, Ken Fong, Paul Tokunaga, Peter Cha, Jeanette Yep, Soong-Chan Rah, Eugene Cho, Charles Lee; and yet not all of them would be necessarily fit in the subcategory of Asian American Christianity.

The sad reality for many people is that perception is reality, so for those people, if they don’t see it, it don’t exist. Now that we see someone like Jeremy Lin doing what he’s doing, whole new worlds are opening up for so many, both Asians and non-Asians. Most of us need role models and mentors, and @jlin7 has an anointed crossover appeal.

For this subcategory of English-speaking Asian Americans who’ve had faith experiences in the estimated 7,000 Asian American churches and/or the 100s of college campus ministries, there’s something distinctly unique about how Jeremy Lin resonates for them. I’ll mention 3 things:

  1. a Christian doesn’t have to be a pastor or missionary to be on fire for Jesus;
  2. an Asian American doesn’t have to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer;
  3. it takes more than merely hard work and perseverance; it’s also the embracing of one’s God-given talents & gifts, and a grateful faith in the sovereignty of God that He can orchestrate circumstances to put someone at the right time and right place

Hear it straight from Jeremy Lin – watch video of his testimony from June 2011 (duration 21:17)

It’s past my bed time so I’ll stop here for now. Many other great conversations happening at NextGenerAsianChurch.com, of which I’m a part, and, of course, all over the interwebs.

[update 2/21] also see CNN’s Jeremy Lin emerges as emblem of burgeoning Asian-American Christianity (By Steve Almasy)

Feb 012012
 

There’s something about a movement that attracts attention, people and/or media and/or whatever. Some more than others. There’s the Tea Party movement.. Occupy movement.. Arab Spring movement.. movements can be social, political, even religious.

Some people have a degree of uneasiness with calling something that’s orchestrated by an organization as a movement, insinuating that a movement is more pure or more real if it is entirely organic and no one person or no one organization can be pin-pointed as the starting point of the phenomena occurring. Yes, there’s something more interesting about the organic thing, the random and uncontrolled.

I think language is elastic and whether a cause or movement is organized or organic, the intention is that of doing something to rally people and resources to make a difference in the world.

My drawing to the right was to help me sort out movements and how organized institutions and organic individuals fit into a cause. (Albeit oversimplifying something far more complicated.)

The 1st circle (top left) illustrates an organization’s effort to champion a cause, and the organization wants to promote the cause through advocacy and rally resources to its own efforts by recruiting people to serve the organization.

The 2nd circle (top right) illustrates the organic efforts scattered around one unifying cause. No formal organizational entity exists with the branding savvy to advertise and promote the cause, and yet movement is happening by word-of-mouth and word-of-mouse through the collective efforts of individuals and small groups of people.

The 3rd circle shows the mix of the organized and the organic contributing to a bigger movement to championing a cause. An organization could be one of several orgs in the cause/movement. And people who are allergic to the institutional machinery can participate in the cause through their own organic ways. While organizations do their thing to recruit people and mobilize resources for its efforts, a big-sized movement is going to take more than organizational strategies or organic randomness.

One organization can’t tackle a cause or create a movement alone. If it could, the cause isn’t big enough.

Here’s 2 other ways for an organization to go more after the cause rather than its own sustainability (or guarding its own brand or grasping for its own survival): [1] the organization can collaborate and partner with other organizations for some projects when it makes sense. Notice how movies and video games (and NASCAR) shows multiple brands in the opening credits. Don’t go it alone when you don’t have to. And you don’t have to. [2] the organization can equip and resource the organic individuals. Think of the impact that could happen if it’s more about the cause than just being about the organization.

What would you add?