Friday, May 15, 2009

Summer - or More - Siesta

Well as most of you consistent readers know, we've intentionally put ourselves in a season of rest since September. And it really has been restful. The most restful time has been this Spring, sitting around eating ice cream and watching tv while the Internets told me about the rest of you running around organizing teams, buying plane tickets, raising support and all the rest of the tasks needed to get your mission teams together. Because I'm so weird, I miss part of that. Seriously though, one big thing I learned during this Spring had to do with the capacity to have fun. That's a pretty big deal. Maybe more on that idea later. Maybe more later too on the thought that I've sat around for too long instead of getting out to change the world. Maybe.

I've watched a lot of movies and read some great books. And went to Catalyst. I've also been involved in some really fun small projects this year and those have been great. They've given me a chance to still act on my passions and strengths while still allowing this season of rest to bloom. It's been fun. The projects have included:

Vision Trekk
a weekend with Salisbury Cru
NYC Mission Weekend
facilitating the MBTI for a high school small group
speaking at UMBC Cru
informal Kenya team leader coaching

Oh.... and I almost forgot. The elder internship. It's going well overall and interesting from the perspective of communication, making decisions as a team and strategy. And... it's weighty.... More on that later.

To commemorate the start of summer, I'm taking the rest thing even further - I'm taking a break from the blog. I don't know much about details, how long, etc. I do know that the focus of this blog has been mobilizing students for mission and since I don't have too much of those kinds of projects in the pipeline at this point [except one very small one that doesn't have momentum yet], postings are going to stop, for the most part. It's totally okay to unsubscribe from my blog - don't sweat it.

When things pick back up - and I'm pretty certain they will - posting will resume. In the meantime, we are going to have a normal family summer. No foreign travel, no passports and no plans to almost-leave-children on subway platforms.

See you in a little while. And if you've got some student mission projects you need some coaching or guiding for in the fall, get in touch. Would be glad to help.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Burn

::: Run For The World
To raise awareness and finances of spiritual and physical needs around the world through a global fun run.
[If your idea of run=fun]
via @therealshortyc

::: A Flying Car
Invented by Steve Saint, son of missionary to Ecuador, Nate Saint.
via @simintl

::: Working your dream
There's no job opening for your dream.
- @benarment
[Speaking of Ben, he's in transition out of Catalyst.]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

KD to KE

The team leader I've been working with, KellanD, and his team depart for Kenya at the end of the month. It's been a ton of fun working with him, he's got a fabulous team, created an experience based on partnership with long term workers on the ground and facilitated lots of leadership with his team.

Here is a quick behind the scenes outline of some of our meetings and conversations. A lot of it will look very incomplete - it is, mostly taken from either rough notes or twitter updates. However, it's been a great experience for me since he's a top notch leader.

I'm really looking forward to hearing how it goes once they return.

:: May 2
face to face lunch
day to day schedule
debriefing/evening times
final travel details
support local leaders - find those people that come to you as sponges and invest in them - they are informal leaders and will take to next level among that community

:: Apr 19
kenya team ldr chat #7-focused on team interact with local hosts, travel logistics. support at 90%. they depart in 5 weeks.

:: March 22
kenya team leader chat #6. 9 weeks until they depart - seems like a lot but it will fly by.

:: Feb 10
Buying plane tickets tomorrow.
Status on:
+ funding - who has how much
+ passports - who has them and everyone should have put the paper work in
+ team preps
+ what's going on with the hosts that everyone should know about - foresight in praying for them and the people you will serve, starting now
+ gauge the 'oh man we are really doing this' level of where everyone is
at - buying tickets is commitment

:: Jan 10
template for travel packet details

:: Dec 28
status on support out
team decided

:: Nov 30
support raising - template letters, rough schedule
outline principles of partnership
leadership of team

:: Aug 30
initial dream and brainstorm

[Related: their on-the-ground hosts; A18 Coffee House]

Monday, May 11, 2009

So About Catalyst

Here are some thoughts that I have from Catalyst West. Mostly, it's ways of thinking for me, not necessarily things to implement..... yet....

#1. Conqueror versus Explorer
The lab session on the Origins Day with Rick Y impacted me greatly. Specifically, it was his explanation of two different ways of strategic thinking - the entrepreneur versus the manager. I was impacted mostly with the thoughts of how we view resources, how we engage those resources and what our communities and teams become when we act in this way. [lab notes]

So the point is that I need to force myself to think this way and influence others to think this way when possible. This includes having adaptability as people show up in our organizations, having the mindset of a headhunter and the constant paradigm of creating the future instead of predicting it. It means when we meet someone who has something to offer, we engage them by making room for them to offer their talents. [Granted, this all has to fit somewhat with our DNA and our mission and values.]

I'm starting to think this way, even before this session. Two quick examples:
1. After spending a little time with a new friend GKlass, I thought to myself, "Wow, it would be fun to engage him at a deeper level." So I invited him to join me at Catalyst. [PS - He and MPM were the perfect people to take - tell you more about that later.]
2. We have a lot of college aged friends that we served with in SPACE that are now disengaged. So D and I have been exploring the idea of a little project for 2010. Of course, the project will be a lot of fun for us but it's just as important to us to provide these dear friends an opportunity. More on that later.

Find an environment that thinks the opposite - fixed resources where people have to fit to serve, low interest on the gifting of others, a static imagination of where the team is going - and we will find low engagement of people. Instead, our mission turns into a show and people attend rather than participate.

Some of this disparity in thinking is generational. But it doesn't have to be.

#2. First/Second/Third Space
+ Third space - when someone else invites you into their first space.
+ Everyone in your third space knows everything that you do in your first space.
When was the last time I was invited into someone's first space?

#3. There is no Scriptural basis for family as the nuclear family.
+ Extended family yes, nuclear family no.
What does this do to my family's idea of family?

#4. Successful elder teams see themselves as elders of the city or region, not just a church.
[From a personal off-the-grid conversation I had]

[Related: full Origins Catalyst notes]

Friday, May 08, 2009

UMBC Cru Speaking Notes

Had an awesome time last night with Cru at UMBC. Kind of surreal for me since I went to grad school there and the gathering was in the Engineering building where I spent practically all my time as a student/nerd.

It was a great time though - great group of students. Watch what comes out of them. Notes are below if you are interested - obscure to probably everyone else but me. But enjoy.

[I think the audio will be up here eventually.]

The fam
Engineer, global catalyst

Isaiah 49

The one big idea

+ The big idea ===="You were created for them." ====

Your life is not meant for yourself. It's meant for others.

Scriptures speak of God's people as sent.
Make disciples.
Redeem humanity.
Purpose, intention, drive, reason for existence.
The Gospel comes to us on the way to someone else. Alex McManus
Think about this in your story. You know it to be true.
When you act only in your own self interests, you are left longing.
When your small group exists just for themselves - it crumbles.

Every story within Scriptures speaks to this.
Abraham - bless you to bless others.
Jonah - travel to Ninevah so that my wrath is not poured on them.
The apostle Paul - a life for others

How has God created me?
unique in this room, this campus, 6.7B people, 10B people in all of human history
you were created for an epic journey - to do only what you can do
What about my uniqueness, talents, dreams, passions.
What does that look like in community - my small group, my campus ministry, my community of faith

The place where God calls you to is
the place where your deep gladness and the
world’s deep hunger meet. Buechner

: We must know what the world looks like in order to change it.
The global realities of the world.
Living in the most amazing times in human history right now.
Huge potential - global migration, technology, connectedness
chinese man in Yaounde, watch the swine flu trend around the world, the blue sweater
Huge need - AIDS crisis, global poverty, global sex trade, the unreached, etc.

SLIDES == urban migration, aids, etc.

Understand yourself. SF
Engage someone vastly different than you
Open your eyes to living in your own culture - see your own culture as a missiologist
- redemptive analogy

:: looking for the homeless guy with the girls
risk, adventure, pioneer
you are going to look stupid
be rejected

Photo: me and Carlos - student campus director [and Rod in the middle]

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thursday Burn

::: Mentoring Dave Gibbons style
whenever someone asks Dave to mentor them, he tells the potential young padawan that they must come live with him.
via Heather Zempel

::: Do, then learn
"leadership development focuses on doing, then learning."
- @jeffhenderson as quoted by @tonymorgan

Check out Granger Community Church's mission org's website, EnterMission. "We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed by a local church to facilitate the holistic transformation of communities by cultivating grassroots movements, equipping churches for local and global impact, and forging transformational partnerships." Nice. via Rob Wegner

Monday, May 04, 2009

For Another Time

Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time. - Rabbinical saying
I think our kids [yours and mine] were also born FOR another time.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Resourcing for Disaster Relief

I've run into a small group of people that love to be mobilized for disaster relief. This is a tricky subject because certainly, when disaster strikes, resources are needed. Sometimes, it's just plain manual labor. Mostly though, my take is that it has to be very specialized people.

In either case, if something like this appeals to you and you are local to the DC area, National Community Church is hosting part of some formal training to become a Hope Force Reservist – eligible for rapid deployment (within 24-48 hours) into a disaster event.

For more info, click here.

Related. [Also since one of the related posts referenced NOLA, we have sent student teams to NOLA, but did not immediately after the disaster.]