Monday, May 22, 2017

Italy Mtg #4

One of the best and easiest tools to help build your team - the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. This is the chart for Italy 2017.

I have done this with almost every team I have led and, even more importantly, teams have referred to it when thinking about another team member. That is what you want - a tool to help you fast forward relationships so that people become brave, vulnerable, courageous and trustworthy.

Lucky for us, I think we have one ENFJ that isn't on the list.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Burn

::: Why We Send Students
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::: What Would Jesus Disrupt?
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::: Skateboarding, the Biggest Female Sport in Afghanistan
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::: Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art. - Peter F. Drucker

Photo: Ember Advance 17 team.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ember Advance 2017

A long tradition for us and our student missions efforts this past weekend: Ember Advance. I love this it so so much. This year, for the morning, our team assisted one of our clients in their student missions training efforts. This included:
A time where teams prayed for other teams.
3 rounds of workshops with missions practitioners [including world class content about: being a team that your hosts like, the Abrahamic covenant, and embracing faith versus the idol of control].
Team building with their teams.
Debriefing over lunch on how the morning went.

After that, the Ember team, which was most of the Italy team and guest EQuis, did the Myers Briggs, played some of Tess' Christian college games and went downtown to church with National Community Church. We had dinner on Barracks Row and then walked to the Capitol to see it at night.

Our big goals for Ember Advance included serving our clients with a fantastic student missions training experience and spending lots of time hanging and serving together as a team and I'm glad to say both goals were exceeded. We expect a lot from the students that are involved in this experience and each one of them made me proud as they ran team activities with confidence, humility and the end goal of building better teams.

Big thanks, like almost every year, to Amy who jumped in with lots of team building advice. She is a master at this having trained thousands over the past two decades.

In a previous life, this was called Mission Advance. I have a private, big dream to reinvent this whole thing for 2018.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Burn

::: A Pastor, an Imam and a Rabbi Sit Down at a Bar
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::: These Friends Traveled Across America for Free
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::: 10 Demographic Trends Shaping the World
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::: The future has many names. For the weak, it is unattainable. For the fearful, it is unknown. For the bold, it's ideal. - Victor Hugo

Photo: Not doing the hula hoop thing anymore.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Advance

Eleven years ago, we executed a student missions preparation weekend based on a few simple ideas. First, make teams travel some short distance before their actual trip. Second, give them a chance to interact with some missions practitioners. In late June of 2006, Mission Advance was born at Cape Henlopen, DE, USA. I still have the fondest memories of that weekend - sending teams to the boardwalk to serve, the sandcastle building contest, how it rained for 16 hours straight, being one of the last cars allowed to leave the eastern shore. Ah the memories.

The idea of Mission Advance [not retreat] still lives with The Ember Cast. It is one of our core distinctives - this ability and availability to facilitate a preparation weekend with student teams around some of these ideas that are still important when it comes to student missions.

We do it again this coming weekend with one of our clients. Lots of students, team building, and missions practitioners. After this kind of morning, the Ember Italy team takes a little field trip. The best thing about Ember Advance is that you could do the same thing with your teams.

Photo: Ember BOD Joyce, 3rd from the left. June 2006, Bridgeville, DE.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Support Trends - 2013-2017

Support trends for The Ember Cast's overseas teams for the past few years. Maybe this data will help some of you in the midst of raising money for your teams.

Some items to note, so far:
+ Suburban context for all of these teams.
+ Overall budget is around $31K.
+ 129 donations - $12217 - average of $94/donation.
+ 17% are electronic donations.
+ 27% is creative revenue.
+ Two teams [Poland and Italy] and budgets are rolled together for big picture percentage. Poland's costs include on the ground costs for Italy since they will be joining us.
+ Vision determines budget, hopefully not the other way around.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Friday Burn

::: A Look Inside Airbus's Epic Assembly Line
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::: Churches and Generation Z
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::: Why Do Students Get Summers Off?
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::: I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean. - G.K. Chesterton

Photo: Cultural mapping, DT Annapolis, March 2017.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ember and CMP

In 2010, right after the inception of The Ember Cast, we were invited to join a group of college students at Salisbury University to serve with them during a weekend of community impact projects, which included serving at local nonprofits, being a presence in a few low income neighborhoods and missionally imagining what students could do to help their community flourish. Little did we know how long our involvement would last with some of these students. Over these past seven years, we've had the best time serving with and encouraging an incredible group of young people who have activated, initiated and started many things from nothing. They have inspired us more than they realize.

One of the things some of them started is the Community Mentoring Program - a medium whereby college students mentor elementary school kids. This mentoring includes tutoring for school, attending a local church, helping their parents and being a role model. Of course, this type of mentorship is awesome but the best part has been these leaders engaging their kids in service opportunities - kids who are being served reaching out to serve others as well. Ember has been fortunate to facilitate a few of these experiences and last weekend, we got to serve with CMP for a short while on the National Mall in DC.

A leading indicator of emerging global student leaders is their ability to start something from nothing. Find and lead volunteers, develop a budget and raise some money, build a business, start an organization, serve someone less fortunate, paint a compelling vision. These are acts of rebellion against the status quo of the future and why Ember is so attracted to these emerging global student leaders. Oh and by the way, this behavior can be taught and modeled.

Photo; Wendy and Jake, DC, April 2017.