Archive for April, 2011



For the past several days, I have been part of a state wide Pastors meeting.. But to give you a brief history, A couple of weeks ago, the state leadership sent out an electronic survey that would remain “anonymous”, asking leaders there thoughts on several different area’s. Yesterday, they had 3 breakout sessions lead by key leaders… They included, “The Leaders thoughts about our stance on Alcohol”, Now, I have to say, Because of my other responsibilities, I was unable to be in that room the entire time of the discussion. The one thing I noticed, even though there were opinions on both sides of the fence, is that there was a respect for the opposite opinion… I’m glad I’m part of an organization that even allowed it’s members to discover, strengthen, or even disagree with the stance.. Where ever you stand on this, open dialogue is a good thing!!!!

My point: Don’t anchor yourself to something… If you do, pray that the tide doesn’t rise before you realize you may have anchored yourself to the wrong thing…

What area(s) can we create open, honest dialogue, without repercussions to either party?

p.s. – the stance is to refrain from ANY alcohol.. Total Abstinence… Your thoughts?

Lesson #10…(Toy Box Leadership)

#10 – Weebles – Endurance (Staying down is NOT an Option)

Truth #1: Endurance Recognizes that falling down is Inevitable

  1. Anticipate the Fall
  2. Learn from a Fall
  3. Don’t Duplicate a Fall

Truth #2: Endurance Requires a Center of Balance

  1. Balance with determination
  2. Balance with resilience
  3. Balance with purpose

Balancing External Factors

  1. Support of Colleagues
  2. Support of Mentors
  3. Experience

Truth #3: Endurance results from Proper weight distribution

“He’s got one foot in the grave…”

As we get ready to celebrate Easter, there is a lot of people cooking dinner, hiding eggs, getting pictures with the bunny, and enjoying time with family and friends.. Here’s a little History on the Easter Egg & the Easter Bunny:

Easter Egg – It was during Easter that the consumption of eggs resumed after the strict Lenten fast. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children..

Easter Bunny – The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the spring season.

Now, I’m not saying that these things are bad… as a matter of fact, we (Capital City Church) were supposed to have a 15,000 egg hunt today along with an appearance from the Easter Bunny…

The reason this post is using the cliche’ “He’s got one foot in the grave…” is because, as we celebrate Easter, with the egg hunt and the Easter Bunny, let’s not forget that Christ had BOTH FEET IN THE GRAVE, so you and I could enjoy eternity with Him.. The cool thing is, He didn’t leave his feet there, He came out of the grave…

My Point: Let’s have fun celebrating Easter with the eggs and bunny, BUT  let’s not forget WHY we even have this time to celebrate!!!

MORE HIM, less me

Lesson #9…(Toy Box Leadership)

#9 – Lite-brite – Message (Illuminate to Communicate)

The 1st Element: Let there be Lite!

  1. Your Message won’t be brite if there is no lite
    1. Ambiguous messages blow your bulb
    2. Untimely messages blow your bulb
    3. Irrelevant messages blow your bulb

The 2nd Element: A Filter is worth a Thousand Words!

  1. A Filter makes your message noticeable
  2. A Filter makes your message compelling

The 3rd Element: Peg your Point!

  1. Peg your delivery to be simple
  2. Peg your delivery to be memorable
  3. Peg your delivery to be focused

The Outside Element: Influence your Audience

  1. Who’s Listening to You?
  2. Are they ready for You?

Make Things with Light…

Lesson #8…(Toy Box Leadership)

#8 – Green Army Men – Strategy (Success is in the Setup)

  1. The Checkpoint of Involvement
  2. The Checkpoint of Assessment
    1. Count the troops
    2. Count the types
    3. Count the time
  3. The Checkpoint of Placement
    1. The “Who” of Positioning
    2. The “Where” of Positioning
    3. The “When” of Positioning
  4. The Checkpoint of Development
    1. Practical Rehearsal
    2. Proactive Policy Making
    3. Planned Contingencies
  5. The Checkpoint of Refinement

Lesson #7… (Toy Box Leadership)

#7 – Rocking Horse – Efficiency (All Show and No Go)

4 Types of Inefficient “Rocking Horses”

  1. The Dead Horse
  2. The Hobby Horse
  3. The High Horse
  4. The Wild Horse

Rocking Horse Riders

  1. Rocking Horse Riders Lack Information
  2. Rocking Horse Riders Lack Ambition
  3. Rocking Horse Riders Lack Meaningful Goals
  4. Rocking Horse Riders Lack Direction
  5. Rocking Horse Riders Lack Focus

Give Your Horse Legs

  1. Long term goals yearly
  2. Intermediate goals monthly or quarterly
  3. Weekly Goals
  4. Daily Goals

Guest appearance blog.. (a blog that I follow)

Leaders are called to make decisions. It’s just part of their role. Sometimes the decisions are greeted with enthusiasm (“We’ve decided to provide everyone with free coffee every day!”); sometimes the decision is greeted with disdain (“Our coffee tastes worse than transmission fluid and we’ll be charging you $5 a cup.”).

If all decisions were only as difficult as whether or not to offer employees or attenders free coffee!

Church leaders are especially faced with difficulties when decisions need to be made. Depending upon the leader’s church polity, a decision may have to be made by a committee, or a majority of the congregation in a formal vote. Sometimes, an elder or governing board is called upon to make the call. Seldom does the pastor or leader make a decision in a vacuum.

How then, in a variety of settings, can a leader help people make good and effective decisions? I think a large part of the answer comes in asking the right questions. Here are a few questions that I trust will prove helpful to you, your church, or your organization, the next time an important decision looms:

– Instead of asking, “What did we do last year?” ask, “How will this help us reach our goals and fulfill our vision?” Good decisions are seldom made when we only look to the past. Dream big! D. L. Moody said, “If God be your partner, make your plans large.”

– Instead of asking, “How much will it cost?” ask, “How will the leaders here in 2025 evaluate our response to this issue?” Will they think we were only concerned with numbers and budgets? Or will it be readily apparent that those who went before them never embraced small dreams and safe living?

– Instead of asking, “Are we sure a majority of the people will support this?” ask, “What do we sense God telling us to do?” The majority are not always correct. Sometimes the right answer lies within the vision of one person. While it is important to listen to many voices, a good leader will not allow the loud voice of the majority to equate to a slam-dunk, no-brainer.

– Instead of asking, “Will that be asking too much of our people?” ask, “Will that really challenge the commitment level of our people?” I am convinced that most of the time, people are under-challenged. We all want to be a part of something larger than ourselves, to play a role in doing something far greater than we could ever do alone. Good leaders will help people reach those heights by large challenges.

– Instead of asking, “What happens if people don’t come on-board with this potential decision?” ask, “Which change should introduce first and which should come later?” Most of the time, major decisions bring about change. And although people give lip service to it, most are not big fans of change – especially if it affects them. When possible, introduce change in bite-size chunks. A little over a period of time becomes much more manageable for all involved…and eventually the decision will be implemented.


– Jeff Cranston

Jeff is the lead pastor of LowCountry Community Church with two campuses in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He has recently published Happily Ever After: Studies in the Beatitudes.
Twitter: @jsc61

Leadership lesson #6…(Toy box Leadership)

#6 – Rubik’s Cube – Ethics (Making the Right Turn)


1. Ethical Parallels in the Solution of the Cube

  1. There is an Acceptable Standard of Right
  2. There are NO shortcuts in Ethics
  3. Every Move affects the Whole Cube

2. Ethical Erosion in a Mixed-Up Cube

  1. Mixed-Up Leaders compromise Ethical Standards
  2. Mixed-Up Leaders rationalize Unethical Decisions
  3. Mixed-Up Leaders Compartmentalize Unethical Behavior

Ethical Distinctive’s in a Multicolored Cube

  1. Ethical Leaders Accept Responsibility
  2. Ethical Leaders Desire Accountability
  3. Ethical Leaders Develop Integrity
  4. Ethical Leaders Make the Right Moves


Lesson #5…(Toy Box Leadership)

#5 – Mr. Potato Head – Communication (The right face for the right place)

The Right Face

  1. Your face is a Courier of the Message
  2. Your Face is an Extension of Your Emotions
  3. Your Face is an Interpreter of Intent

The Eight Faces Every Leader Must Pack

  1. Always Pack the Empathetic Face
  2. Always Pack a Confident Face

Three Attitudes that promote a Confident face:

    1. A sense of Identity
    2. A sense of Purpose
    3. A sense of Competence
  1. Always Pack an Intense Face
  2. Always Pack an Attentive Face
  3. Always Pack a Disappointed Face
  4. Always Pack a Happy Face
  5. Always Pack a Sincere Face
  6. Always Pack an Optimistic Face

Lesson #4…(Toy Box Leadership)

#4 – Yo-Yo – Creativity  (it only happens when you let let go)

Purpose Driven Yo-Yo

  1. Make Creativity Attractive
  2. Give Creativity Direction

The Requirements of Creativity

  1. Creativity Requires Releasing
  2. Creativity Requires Revolving
  3. Creativity Requires Returning
  4. Creativity Requires Rewinding

The Killers of Creativity

  1. Excessive Stress without focus
  2. Lack of Proper Sleep
  3. Health Problems
  4. Dark or depressing rooms
  5. Noisy backgrounds
  6. Unexpected interruptions
  7. Allowing constructive criticism to get to you
  8. Allowing other stuff to rob your time
  9. FEAR


Lesson #3… (Toy Box Leadership)

#3 – Play-Doh Mentoring (The Mold Makes the Man)


Play-Doh Principles

  1. Play-Doh people are shaped because they are open
  2. Play-Doh people are shaped because of their Character
    1. Humility
    2. Teachability
    3. Desire
  3. Play-Doh people are shaped by Molds
  4. Play-Doh people are shaped when they are fresh


Play-Doh Problem

  1. You can’t un-mix it
  2. If its not kept fresh, it will harden
  3. If it hardens, it will crack


Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill…

“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill…” How small do you have to be to look at a molehill and make a mountain out of it? What does that really mean? Does it mean that we look at the stuff we’re facing in our lives and make them bigger than they really are? Are there things in your life that you are making a bigger issue than it really is? I know that I can do that, I have faced things in my life and have allowed my immediate circumstances to dictate my emotions and I allow my emotion and MY MIND to make it bigger than it is… Doesn’t it seem that when we lay our heads down at night and the lights are turned off, the world slows down and our MIND won’t shut off?!!!? It seems as if those things that we’re thinking about when we go to bed (especially if it’s a rough situation) gets bigger than it really is…

My point is this, God is bigger than anything we face, Yeah I know, that’s another cliche’… But seriously, the God that created the night, the sun, the sky, the stars, the complex human body is ALSO CRAZY in love with YOU!!! He’s a personal God… He knows what you’re going through and will walk with you through, around, over or under that situation!!! He really is an AMAZING God!!!

MORE HIM, less me

Lesson #2… (Toy Box Leadership)

#2 – Slinky Dog – Vision (Pull – Then be patient)

The Process of Pulling

  1. Pull through Communication
  2. Pull with Courage
  3. Pull by Example
  4. Pull with Determination

Problems with the Pull

  1. Not pulling far enough
  2. Pulling too far
  3. Pulling too soon
  4. Pulling from the wrong end

Pull, and then be Patient…