Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Burn

::: What Straight-A Students Get Wrong
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::: Ping an Good Doctor, Chinese AI based minute clinics
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::: 15 Ways the World Got Better in 2018
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Better Practices - Cultural Navigation

This is a series of posts that outline our better practices - tactical things that you could do right now that The Ember Cast has found highly profitable for growing global leaders. Feel free to use these ideas with attribution, meaning just say, "I got this from The Ember Cast."

Through the years of helping cross cultural teams, one of our most powerful tools has been the cultural navigation exercise. Originally executed by KNorman in Vienna in the summer of 2008, we've tried to expand his idea of an urban navigation exercise to help teams peel back layer of culture, ultimately asking the question, "If we were to plant the Gospel here, how is this relevant?" We've adjusted it slightly so that teams think about observations in the culture, not just getting from point A to point B. The Upstream Collective also had a huge influence with this tool, specifically in their book Tradecraft. We use some tangible objects to help people do some observing around these ideas too - things such as people, architecture, food, etc. In some cases, we've had to redirect people when they focus on planting a church versus planting the Gospel.

Culture exists in every human experience. From where you live to where you work, how you interact with your family, co-workers, friends from school, power dynamics, lines of communication, worldviews, the route you commute. We will have made a mistake if we have not taught young people how to navigate culture.

Long after we've completed this exercise, lots of people tell us that they look at culture with completely different lenses, they see more of it, can unpack layers of it easier and are more sensitive to it. Anyone can learn to navigate culture and culturally savvy leaders will always be in high demand.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Burn

::: Stadia to provide all church planting resources free of charge
Because of the Pinetops report. So sweet.
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::: 8 Forecasts for the Future - Scott Belsky
Author of The Messy Middle and Making Ideas Happen.
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::: Preparing Your Kids For Jobs That Don't Exist Yet
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::: The key pathology of our time, which seduces us all, is the reduction of our imagination so that we are too numbed, satiated, and co-opted to do serious imaginative work. - Walter Brueggemann via Dave Blanchard

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Happy 18th!

Dear Em,

Well this is one of the big ones - happy 18th birthday!

What a year! You've done some travel - 70K air miles, 6 countries, 3 continents - jealous.You've worked hard to be almost done with high school. You've held a few part time jobs. Gotten into to some great colleges offering great scholarships. Made an incredible decision for next year. Clarified a possible area of study.

Mommy and I have loved watching you flourish this year and are so proud of you and are grateful for all these things that have helped shape your life this year. The travel has made your more empathetic to others, finishing senior year has made you more diligent and applying to college has made you more responsible. You are growing deeper in character.

The world is in constant need for people of character. The ones that listen, that finish a job, that can be trusted, that will be a friend. Character travels far longer than knowledge.

Can you take Oreo with you next year?

Happy birthday, thanks for letting me fulfill my dream of riding a camel in the desert into the sunset even though it only lasted 10 minutes.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Mastery Requires Patience

Mastery requires patience. The San Antonio Spurs, one of the most successful teams in NBA history, have a quote from social reformer Jacob Riis hanging in their locker room: "When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecuttter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split into two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it - but all that had gone before."
Atomic Habits, James Clear

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Ways to be Involved with The Ember Cast in 2019

Here are some different ways to be involved with The Ember Cast this year:
1 - Be in the know. Subscribe to this blog via email [on the right sidebar] or add it to your RSS reader [I use feedly] or like The Ember Cast on Facebook. The aim of this blog was always to document our work with global student leaders so I try to write about that 2 or 3 times a week. There's also posts about related topics such as leadership development, global cultures and students. Most Fridays, I post Friday Burn, which has been a 12-year-running weekly series highlighting innovative and creative news in the nonprofit/development/global poverty/faith space, with the aim of catalyzing our imagination for a world in need.

2 - If you are in the Baltimore/DC area on any 2nd Sunday of the month, join us for the Ember monthly dinner where we invite the most creative and innovative people we know in the global missions space to come and discuss calling, strategy and erupting the next generation of leaders. Always great conversation and an opportunity to connect with super people doing great work. Ping me for an invite.

3 - If you are involved with any kind of ministry or nonprofit and interested in a partnership [partnership... not sponsorship], get in touch. We have some ideas about organizational partnerships.

4 - We'd love to be involved with you and your efforts in global leadership around our competencies. We love working with student groups, short term mission teams, and leadership teams.

5 - Attend one of our planned culture learning service experiences this Spring. Availability is limited but we'd love to serve with you while introducing you to some of our work.

We are honored that you would give us your attention and trust. Happy 2019!

Photo: Refugee center Christmas party, Baltimore, Dec 2018.