Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Perspectives - Lesson 11

I'm teaching Lesson 11 at the Perspectives class next week in Columbia, Merryland and if you've been here a while you know that I think it's one of the best resources for global cross cultural people. If you have never been but want to sit in on a class, you can be one of my guests next week. It's Monday night from 7-9:30 at Bridgeway Community Church. Get in touch if you want to go - I'll have a few other guests too.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Burn

::: What To Do If You're Traveling in a City Struck by a Terror Attack
Stay safe at the hotel until things settle, he says. Aside from offering shelter, and most likely food and an internet connection, hotels offer disoriented travelers an invaluable resource: the front desk. Hotel staff will usually be well equipped to help guests understand the situation on the ground, Hume says.

::: Why Ministry is Harder Than it was a Decade Ago

::: Why I'm Traveling to Easter Island With My Son Today
i’m convinced that parents — especially dads — need to adopt a mindset that quality time only occurs in the midst of quantity time. you can’t really schedule quality time.

::: "When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection." - A.W. Tozer

Photo: Natalie's 2016 support letter.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 Mission Team Preps

It's just about the end of March and if you haven't outlined how you will prepare your summer mission team, it's not too late. But it will be soon. Remember, you aren't building a group of people that travel together, you are building a group of people that trust each other.

Here is what our team preps look like for this coming summer:
1 - A Team Assessment
I've done Myers Briggs for almost every team I have led for the past 13 years. This year, we will probably walk through the StrengthsFinder assessment with our team. No matter which assessment, your team will be better for working out how each individual works with other people.

2 - Our Core Curriculum
We use this list because we believe that just about everyone can gain from learning about global missions concepts at any age, especially middle and high school students.

3 - Field Trips and Guest Speakers
We will use a combination of field trips and guest speakers touching on the topics of culture, context, various expressions of Church, creative revenue and other fun stuff too.

Photo: Tessa's 2016 support letter. As we roll into support raising, our team has a mandate to create beautiful support letters. I'm proud to be showing you some of them in the next few weeks.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Burn

::: My Organization System, Noah Kagan

::: The Second Smart Phone Revolution

::: 15 Observations from a Brit in New York

::: The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience. -Benedict of Nursia

Photo - Ember whiteboarding.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Immersive Learning

So much of how people learn in the workplace today, from 360-degree performance evaluations to mentoring to coaching, has become bureaucratized and impersonal - a far cry from the personal relationship of learning that existed between Verrocchio and a protege such as Leonardo [da Vinci]. In 2003, there were fewer than a half a million structured apprenticeships in the United States: by 2013, cost cutting in organizations had brought that number down to below three hundred thousand. Moreover the best, most competent bosses today generally don't prioritize engaging reports informally in an immersive learning experience. Aiming for more certainty and clarity in their organizations, they promulgate rules and establish bureaucracies that distance them from employees. They also choreograph their days to assure that work gets done, leaving very little unstructured time for instructing or coaching.
- Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein

Monday, March 14, 2016

2016 Italy Mtg #1

First team meeting:
+ Ember Mantras - why we do what we do
+ People - who we are going to work with
+ Maps - where
+ Pictures - what it sort of looks like
+ Support and Funding - all support letters will look beautiful

We typically do around 8-10 prep trip meetings which might seem like a lot. But it's worth it in many ways.

[Related: Prague #1, 14X #1, 13X #1 2012AZ #1, 2012AZ #3.]

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Burn

::: Ingredients for Planning a Great Adventure

::: Why Does America Hate Roundabouts [Except Merryland]

::: 20th Century Architecture in Eritreas Capital

::: "Pack twice the money and half the gear."

Photo: Ember guides, Baltimore, March 2016.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Announcing Ember Italy 2016

In December of 2014, roughly 15 months ago, I received an email from a fellow global missions mobilizer who was starting an initiative in Italy to specifically serve refugees there. We chatted about it here and there and it was one of the items on Ember's dream agenda for 2015. It was a fantastic idea but was never quite the right time. Until now.

Today, I am thrilled to announce the 2016 Ember Italy experience. Our team will travel in late July to assist with this very initiative that my friend SB spoke about 15 months ago. Since that email, the refugee and migration crisis has certainly grown exponentially and I'm excited for this team to be a small part of helping with that. Our primary task will be to serve those who are serving refugees. Other tasks might be to serve other cross cultural workers there, plan and run activities for refugee populations, and ultimately be catalysts for long term workers and their efforts there. Since this effort is fairly new and our team is mostly young, optimistic, idealistic emerging global leaders, we may have the opportunity to do some missional imagination around all of this work as well. As you can imagine, the subject of refugee care includes lots of domains like education, medicine, social work, entrepreneurship, etc. I won't be surprised if our team has some great ideas to help spur on this work.

The current refugee crisis is one of the most compelling and challenging issues for our time and the broader related issue of global urban migration is one of the most significant global phenomenon in all of human history. Like I always say, these are some of the most exciting times in human history because there are things happening right now that have never happened before. I'm excited for our team to serve within this realm and am confident that the lessons we learn this summer will help inform and prepare these global leaders for making a mark on human history.

Thanks in advance for your support for this team.

** Specific travel dates and/or locations are purposely not posted to social media.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Ember Balt 8

In January of 2012, a group of college kids from Salisbury Uni showed up at my house to participate in a discussion about the book Toxic Charity. This gathering was actually planned by one of these kids and she forced me to host it. Not that I wasn't a willing participant - quite the opposite. It was a super discussion and most of what I remember was my suggestion at thinking about idea models [credit to Ben Arment] and how that could be related to charity being non-toxic.

Fast forward about three years and some of these students start a mentoring project where college kids devote at least one evening a week to an elementary or middle school aged child in one of two low income neighborhoods. Most of it gets started by Jake and Wendy going door to door to families they sort of know asking if they might be interested.

This past weekend, four years later, The Ember Cast had the privilege of hosting the Community Mentoring Program for a little service project in Baltimore. The big idea was that providing an experience for these kids who have been served to serve someone else might be a phenomenal time and it was. So impressed with the volunteers with CMP and have loved tracking with them for the past seven years or so.

Special thanks to Erin Preshoot and Serve the City Baltimore for helping connect us with the Believe in Tomorrow house.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Fridays plane

This is Tess, on her flight to southern Europe for a global missions leadership conference. As you can tell, it's been a busy few days of airports with some of our Ember peeps. These are the kinds of people that say, unlike lots of other people, "I just love airports!"

Thanks your support in helping grow these emerging leaders like Tess.

Friday Burn

::: Top 10 Fundraising Fails

::: The World's Most Visited Cities

::: The Visa Restriction Index

::: Hillsong Church, Do Not Colonize San Francisco

::: I would rather die of passion than of boredom. - Vincent van Gogh

Photo: Salisbury Community Mentoring Project, March 2015. We do this again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Wednesdays Plane

We put our older daughter Katie on a plane today - a quick trip for a long weekend to a country on the Arabian Peninsula. She's going to visit a college campus there and we are thrilled about an incredible opportunity for her.

We are proud parents.

It is always difficult to send - your friends, your kids, your spouse, the best leaders in your church. But send we must. The world is waiting.