Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Burn

::: Justin on the BRICS
Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Like always, great, great info.

::: Social contagion and the smart phone

::: The Future of the Global Muslim Population
via Ed Stetzer

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Decoding Culture on Vacation

A short while ago, the concept of engaging another culture was for career missionaries. Today, however, there are subcultures all around us and in order to be an effective leader, you've got to see deeply into those cultures around you. And this can happen even on vacation.

Dea and I just spent a few days in Aruba - yeah, rough I know. We spent most of our time in our resort, but did get a chance to get out a bit on a bus tour and walking downtown for a few hours. We also went into a grocery store too, which is always a must-do when traveling since it can easily highlight differences between the culture you are visiting and the one you come from. Here's some of my observations about decoding Aruban culture, even while on vacation.

+ 80% of Arubans are Catholic. On Good Friday, almost all business were closed. Compare that with religious surveys in the US and business productivity on Good Friday.
+ All Arubans learn four languages in school: Dutch, English, Spanish, and Papiamento.
+ The government owns all the land. Arubans lease the land for their homes in 65 year periods.
+ There is a dispora of Chinese that live in Aruba, we were told practically every grocery store is Chinese owned. Think global business opportunities driving tribalization.
+ 2 unreached people groups out of 8 total, 25% of people groups, or about .4% of the population, according to the Joshua Project.

Effective global leaders of the future understand that the present is full of multiple cultures, contexts and subtribes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


But making a difference demands that we do, in fact, act. We can no longer outsource our security or our foreign policy the way we might once have. The line between our lives and the world is ever more permeable. In our comfortable cars and houses, in our wealthy-looking nations and our secure-feeling businesses, we can't delude ourselves about the facts: we're in history now.
- The Age of the Unthinkable

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Dea and I had a fantastical 5 days in in Aruba. Amazing time, highly recommended. Iguanas, flamingos, lots of beach and pool time, I've never had so many mixed drinks in such a short time [I became a Christian in the 80s...,] I went on a boat and I went snorkeling for the first time [those last two facts are unrelated.] [More pics]

And now, back to real life: work, school, our family in one house and significant mission that makes us human.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Time Like ...

Can I remind you again - it's an amazing time to be alive. Not only that, it's a once in a millennium time to be a Jesus follower.

I mentioned this to the 2011 interns during our time this past weekend. There's this amazing convergence of large, global stuff that stand alone, would be incredible. But it's all coming together and colliding and that is both daunting and very exciting. Stuff like the decline of the cost of information; the connectedness that technology is allowing; the movement of masses of people; the ease of global travel; the passion, entrepreneurship and responsibility
of the emerging generation; the challenge and therefore potential of generational leadership transition. It's all amazing.

I've got an even better front row seat, I think. Watching up close some of the emerging generation and the way they think, what they are dreaming about,
what they are learning about leading - that is an incredibly fun perspective.

So you might still love Medieval times. Or the challenge of the Vikings. Or Elizabethan literature and architecture. But let me try to sway you. Those times might have been fun and intriguing. You might have made a dent in doing something
noble if you lived back then. But we need you now, because, literally, there has never been a moment like now. 2511 will thank you for it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Prepping the Mozi Team

Had a great time on Saturday with JTimmons and a short term mission team he is on this coming summer. [You might remember him as a 2010 intern]. John and 9 others are traveling to Mozambique this May with Iris Ministries.

Our task was to help John's team prepare for this trip, which included talking through the Myers Briggs test, a team building activity inside a racquetball court, and talking through culture shock/re-entry concepts. Like most teams I've worked with, lots of light bulbs went off when people understand and are able to community in common language about their personality and behavior - hands down, the MTBI is one of the most powerful tools to help teams prepare to work as one. Loved seeing John in this context; meeting their team leader Victor, who leads gently and firmly; and seeing a team already tightly knit from living in community together.

Again, one of the best resources - Short Term Missions Workbook. Notes here if you are interested. If you are leading a short term team this summer and haven't started preparing, you better get busy. If you need some help, contact Ember.

Two of our three Fall 2011 interns came along for the ride - excited to tell you more about them sooooooon. They took their MBTI test on the way. And we had to drive to James Madison University to do this... but like Dea said, sometimes the fire gets thrown a little ways away.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Burn

::: How To Get A Real Education at College
By Scott Adams of Dilbert fame.
Best line - "By the time I graduated, I had mastered the strange art of transforming nothing into something."

::: Fearless
The third edition of National Community Church's missions newsletter.

::: 5 top books on poverty
by Rudy

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


In a revolutionary era of surprise and innovation, you need to learn to think and act like a revolutionary.
- The Age of the Unthinkable

Monday, April 11, 2011

Youth Group Conspiracies

One of GRACE's high school small groups snuck their students away this weekend. I don't think that's too uncommon - leaders conspiring to have fun with their students. What was uncommon was their leaders conspiring with the boys parents to fly them to Boston for the weekend. While there, they worshipped with another youth group, participated with a local community in a service project, and did some sightseeing. Of course, there was much much more. [I got these details from Trevin, one of our Ember guides, who is also one of the leaders with this small group.]

Love how these youth workers aren't interested facilitating holding tanks with pizza.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday Burn

::: 11 Gap Year Ideas
I'm liking gap year even more and more for my own kids based on some interesting things I'm reading about college.

::: India - population and growth rate
India's recently completed census shows that while its growth rate is slowing, its population is now bigger than the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined.

::: Minorities among 3 year olds
In the U.S., census data shows that minorities are in the majority among the next generation - today's 3-year-olds. [Some of you reading this now might be leading this demographic in the future.]
Both links above via JWT.

::: Crisis Response, Google Style
Link via Justin Long

::: Marcus Buckingham on 4 Levers of Culture
Ritual, Heroes, Stories and Informal Communication Network.
Via a series of tweets.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Leader Resource - Ben Horowitz's blog

Like rap music, run some kind of organization or team, and want to grow in your leadership skills? Read Ben Horowitz's blog. He's a technology executive and some of the stuff I've read on there has stunned me. Even if you don't like rap music.

He consistently visits topics such as leadership, communication, delegation, innovation, team cultures and organizational life. In fact, along the lines of organizational life, the posts are up there with Andy Stanley. Really that good.

Here's some recent posts I loved:
+ Managers must lay off their own people.
[Sidenote: I witnessed multiple rounds of corporate layoffs and as a manager, decided I was not going to be a part of this. But this post made me re-think that.]
+ Being effective in a company also means working hard, being reliable, and being an excellent member of the team.
+ ... the measure of the quality of a leader: the quantity, quality and diversity of people who want to follow her.
+ Training is, quite simply, one of the highest-leverage activities a manager can perform.

Read it. You will be thinking and you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

Future File : Ember 2011 Intern

I believe that the future is different because of me because I am not afraid to be alive in my faith and take risks. I know that with God leading the way, I have been able to introduce friends and strangers to the love of Jesus Christ. I know that I have left some kind of mark on certain people's hearts who I have met. I think the future could be different because of me because I have dreams of going and serving in other countries and cultures. It would be great to help lead an organization or lead a missions team or youth group at some point. I think that I have the ability to have an impact on the future and have an impact on some people's lives.
Yup. Sometimes, these kind of students emerge. And sometimes, they are erupted.

Friday, April 01, 2011

April Kindling

+ Today is the end of my first week on a new project for corp 1.3. Mentally exhausted. I'm not sure that Angry Birds helped.
+ Two mission team preps upcoming this month which is going to be really fun. Working with 2010 intern JTimmons and his Mozambique team.. Elements will include myers briggs, some crazy team building and watching movies about team collision. Also helping do a one hour workshop at Bay Area church for their summer teams.
+ April is a bit crazed - our family is doing some travel. Dea is flying the cukoos nest for a few days to travel with her mom helping take care of some of our southern cousins. Then there is Spring Break.
+ Got a surprising out of the blue third application for the fall Ember internship. Already excited for the two. Can't wait to show you the impact they will make.
+ Ember's board of directors are interested in a growth strategy. I appreciate the intentional stretch.
+ It is summer support raising time. Tell you more about the people in Ember's tribe and where they are headed to this summer soon.
+ The concept of missionary support is now more than just money. Dea and I are experimenting with this. On a real live missionary.
+ My mom moved into #grannyresort and seems to be adjusting well. Very thankful for that. We are slowly moving towards being slum lords for her house.