I Have An Idea

I have a lot of ideas actually.  But I need to finish the ideas that are right in front of me (a talk on Work for a Men’s Conference, Two Sermons For May, My Thesis) that have deadlines.  But after all these ideas processed and shipped out, I have another idea that I’d like to investigate.

I recently read Poke the Box by Seth Godin.  The book is great. The distribution model is better.  Godin started The Domino Project in cooperation with Amazon.  They publish books quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.

I would love to write books.  I have several ideas in my head, and on various documents both digital and print.  I’d love to write fiction, and nonfiction.  I don’t know if I would make a ton of money on these books, but I do know that I need to get these ideas out there.

What would it take to start a publishing company these days?

I’d love to create a place for Creative Christians to distribute their ideas, via e-books, on-demand hardcopies, Music, Video, all of that.  But I don’t want to create a Christian Publishing company.  I want to help people get their work, their art, their ideas to the world.  I want to help an Author who has the next inspiring Young Adult Fiction book to get their work to an audience.

There has to be a way to make this happen.

Who wants to help?

Shipping Is Important

In my line of work it’s very easy to have projects that just kind of float in my brain.  I might tweak a project every once and awhile and feel like I’m making progress.  But I know a simple truth and I think you know this too.  If the project doesn’t have a due date, I (and so will you) will put it off as long as possible.

Seth Godin’s Linchpin talks a lot about the value of shipping.  Set a due date or a ship date, work on the project, and send it out on the ship date.  It might not be perfect, it might need to come back for revision, you might have to update the project later.  All of that doesn’t matter.  What matters is getting in the habit of shipping.

No one knows about your ideas.  No one cares about your ideas.  No one knows or cares until you ship.  Make something happen.  Don’t wait for other people to fill up your life with their projects and deadlines.  Carve out some time for your projects and ideas.  And ship them.  This could be self initiated projects for work, or it could be a hobby that you want to share with others (music, writing, photography, etc.).  Whatever it is Ship It!

I just shipped a project to some volunteers in our community.  I need them to be involved and I told them that I would have their parts to them this week.  No one told me that I had to get volunteers.  No one told me that I had to write this project. No one told me that I had to get people on board early.  But I know myself and if I didn’t give myself due dates for this stuff then I would not produce quality.

So what is your project?  What is the thing you are putting off?  What will it take for you to put a ship date on it? And then what do you have to do to ship?

Great Presenters

Great post from Seth Godin on what makes a great presenter.

Bottom line if you don’t love your audience, you’ll never be great.  When it comes to preaching, if you don’t love the people you are speaking with then they won’t care.

Perry Noble, Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Rick Warren . . . all of these guys are great preachers, and you know that in their heart there is a great amount of love for the people who are receiving their message.  They preach because they love.

Too many sermons are preached because it’s sunday, or because they think the preacher thinks they are really smart.  But if you don’t love your audience you will be found out.

“As the talk (pitch/presentation/interview) begins, don’t focus your energy or concern on yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about them. The presenter who loves his audience the most, wins.”

Thanks Seth.

Hope

Seth Godin has another great post today on hope. Read it.

Today with the inauguration we witnessed millions of people who were willing to by hope, from a politician no less.  I believe Barak Obama has what it takes to lead our country out of the many messes that we are in right now.  I believe John McCain could have done it as well (just being honest).  But both of these guys are still just dudes.  There is nothing about them that is more or less special than any of us.  We are all sinful and broken and left to ourselves we are completely hopeless.

The sad thing is that the church, should be able to market hope better than Barak Obama’s campaign did.  We have the message of Jesus Christ, which is the hope for all of us, to be saved from our own sins and our own destruction.  We have hope to spare.  The Gospel is hope and we are known for doing a very poor job of communicating that hope.

The perception of the church to the world is that we are a rigid bunch of people who follow rules.  The Gospel of Hope is not adequately presented in that perception.  So what can we do to change the perceptions?  It has to be more that words, it has to be more than good sermons.  We have to show our hope.  We have to live out our hope every day.  We have to talk about the hope that we have.  We have to connect our hope to our everyday lives.

I’m praying that President Obama will be a great president, but I can’t put my hope in him.  Because he will let me down. Jesus will never let us down.  My prayer is that we would look beyond President Obama and look to Jesus, and that we would put our hope in him.

Psalm 25 is a great reminder of where our hope should be directed.

Church is Boring

What?!?!

As one who as been trained to be a religious professional I probably shouldn’t creates posts about how the organization by which I am employed is boring.  That’s a pretty big no-no.  So what am I talking about?

I read this post by Seth Godin. And it got me thinking . . .

here are some highlights:

If people aren’t discussing . . .  your movement there’s a reason.

The reason is that you’re boring.

You don’t get unboring for free. Remarkable costs time and money and effort, but most of all, remarkable costs a willingness to be wrong.

Remarkable is a choice.

Church is boring because people are not talking about it.  People are not talking about what’s happening there, people are not talking about the lives that are being changed, the good that the community is bringing to the neighborhood, the strength of the community, the times of worship.

The last thing a church wants to be is boring, because boring is forgotten on the way home.  There are several qualifiers though.  Anti-boring does not mean flashy; you don’t have to have the best show in town.  Anti-boring does not mean controversial; you don’t need to do a 3 month series on sex in the Bible.  Anti-Boring does not mean pure entertainment; the band doesn’t have to be the best, your preacher doesn’t have to be the funniest, most compelling or best looking pastor in the world.

When it comes to the church, all of those things are neat.  And some churches may be able to grow because of controversy, or production, or just plain good looks.  But a church that’s remarkable gets remarkable for what happens the other 6 days of the week.

Our church is striving to be remarkable.  We want people to talk about what happens on sunday, we want them to remark on what happens in their community group.  We want Creekside to be a community that people just can’t shut up about, because ultimately, when we talk about what’s happening at Creekside, we are talking about what Jesus is up to, and that’s pretty stinkin’ remarkable.

Do they know what we are referencing?

Read this article from Seth Godin.  Seth’s basic premise is that, as a communicator, you are not going be able to assume that everyone has seen everything.  Yesterday when I spoke, I used a Seinfeld clip, and as we were watching it, I realized that not everyone has seen Seinfeld.  With all of the choices that are available to people today, it’s very easy for someone to miss a cultural reference.  I used a scene that didn’t really require any back story though, so it was ok.

But this article got me thinking along another route.  Not everyone has read the Bible.  When we teach the Bible we can’t assume that we are in a “christian” nation.  The church, the Bible, our faith have all become just one more cultural option in our society.  So as we communicate the Bible’s teachings we need to be very clear about what we are talking about, who the main players are.  We can’t assume that People know that Timothy and Paul were great friends.  We can’t assume that people understand that Jesus came after Moses.  We need to work to be very clear and know that there is a possibility that over half our crowd have no idea what we are talking about.

As someone who likes to teach the Bible that’s exciting news to me.  Because if over half the crowd on a Sunday morning has no idea what Philemon is about, then I get to teach them.  And I get to see their faces light up with a small piece of Scripture makes sense to them.  And I love that.

Tribes in the Mail

 

Tribes by Seth Godin

Tribes by Seth Godin

I pre-order Tribes by Seth Godin.  I’ve read enough from Godin to know that I his books are gold, and a pre-order is not a risk in anyway.  I got a pre-release copy yesterday, and I’m also going to get the copy that I actually ordered towards the end of October.  I wonder who I shall give the second one too?

Let me give you some Required Godin Reading

Purple Cow

Free Prize Inside

All Marketers Are Liars

The Dip

Meatball Sundae

And hey, here’s a great video from the TED Talks

and here’s one from Google about All Marketers Are Liars