Yesterday I shared the first of two indicators, the grapevine, that help those of us who lead others to listen better. The other powerful component of leading organizations and groups is momentum. Momentum is the social force that moves people along various response avenues. It draws people toward events, authors, ministries, groups, and products – and it works against people making deviations from its flow. Have it and you’re rolling along. Lose it – and you’re working against it to make things happen. And the grapevine can help you determine if you have it. It’s the X – Factor, that intangible element that explains how singers who need autotune can be popular.
Archive for June 2011
What people say about your group is more socially powerful than any marketing campaign, overruns the best of intentions, and can be difficult to change. Yet few seem to show a desire to listen and learn what is at the root of the grapevine, that uncontrolled (and now open-sourced) flow of information and rumors. Businesses are the exception to this rule. They seem keen to know the strength of the ‘grapevine’ and conduct market research to understand what customers think. Not just know, but understand.
For those of you in the northern parts of the globe, I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start. For those in the southern hemisphere, hang in there. The days are getting longer now and summer is on its way.
We just returned from a week-long vacation to Arizona. Believe it or not, with all of my travels this was the first time for me to see the Grand Canyon in person. It was overwhelming. In spite of all of the pictures and videos you may have seen, they don’t do it justice. It is spectacular to see it in person, almost worshipful at God’s creative abilities. I recommend a trip there, Flagstaff, and then to Sedona as well. If you go to Sedona, get out of town and tour around the amazing red rock formations.
One of the blessings that come with what Kel and I do is that we get to meet many dynamic and accomplished ministry leaders from around the world. And last week we had a house-full for a special time of sharing, learning, and prayer. Tara Swanepoel (front row left) from J-Life Africa is in the US for a sabbatical period. Kel and I (and the kids) stayed at J-Life’s main camp in South Africa for our 2009 sabbatical. If you aren’t familiar with J-Life Africa, you ought to check out this dynamic youth ministry that is moving throughout Africa. Led by John Abrahamse, it has SonLife roots and is connected to the various youth ministries associated with Global Youth Initiative, which has its roots in SonLife.
A special treat for the night was that Beth Baleke (front row, third from the right) of Scripture Union Africa was in town and stopped by to share (thanks to Wendell & Peggy Norwood, back row center, for hosting Beth). If you don’t know Scripture Union, you don’t know arguably THE largest youth ministry organization in the world. By far. And Beth coordinates the children/youth portion of that for all of Africa. Beth is one of the authors of the book GLOBAL YOUTH MINISTRY and, though she and I had worked together on the book via Email, this was the first time for us to meet in person.
I have the first 4 episodes of Late Night on VHS. Very different from today’s Late Show on CBS. As most folks at my college would tell you, I was a huge David Letterman fan and hardly missed an episode. I would say that his show in the 1980s was arguably one of the most creative in television history. Dave helped launch the careers of PeeWee Herman, Jay Leno, and many many others.
So, for some Friday Fun, I present a few classic moments from those days:
This prayer comes from The Book of Worship as printed in A Guide to Prayer, a great daily devotional book that I’ve used for years. It’s an appropriate prayer for those to whom work or ministry has become drudgery, which can often happen. May we work today with cheerfulness and gladness as we serve God with that gifts, talents, and abilities that He has given us.