The Blog of Gordon Pruitt the Pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Richmond Virginia

Friday, August 17, 2007

A good name for a church or not?

We are vacationing in the Outer Banks this week and we saw this church trailer. We assume the name for the church is taken from Acts 2:2 and is meant to reference the Holy Spirit and the mighty winds that come off the ocean. However, that was not my first thought. What about you?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Leadership Summit 4 John Ortberg

John Ortberg who i consider to be the most consistently great preacher gave the the 3rd talk today. As usual he was awesome. The only bummer was that i had already heard him give this message and I used a lot of it in one of my sermons and even blogged on it. With that being the case still in my opinion the best talk so far.
UPDATE: Here is the page you can find the Ortberg sermon. It is the heroes of the old testament, Esther.

Leadership Summit 3 Colin Powell

Bill Hybles interviewed Colin Powell this morning and it was great. This guy should be running for president, i would then be happy about my choice. It was a presentation/interview where you were more interested in listening and soaking it in than talking notes.
Hybles would ask Powell about what called his Powellisms and then Powell would expand on them:
Promote a clash of ideas,
-even as the leader you did to discuss ideas. You make better decisions this way. He expected people to aurgue with him but then to respect the decision as if it were theirs.

Encourage a Noisy System
-Really wants to hear what you think.
-he wants what you know,

Maintain an Open Door,- said this let to a crazy office but it had many benefits.

Probe the Organization-, If people are doing their jobs they have nothing to worry about.

Reward You Best Performers Get Rid of Non Performers- The good followers are always looking, if nothing is done to correct the bad performer the good performer will follow

Be Prepared To Upset People

Check Your Ego at the Door

Have Fun in your Command

Fit No Stereotypes- expectations and sense of shame, you are of this family do not shame this family.

Optimism is a Force Multiplier-

Things Always Look Better in the Morning-

Avoid War if at All Possible- this was very touching, as he talked about the first fire fights he was in during Vietnam , and the people that died in his arms. War should be avoided not only for our young men and woman but also for the enemies young men an woman.

BE Prepared To BE Lonely- Part of being a leader means you will be lonely.

Assignment- What were some of the Powell principles that I need to work on more.

Leadership Summit 2.5 a better Summit summery

Jeff over at smart pastor is giving much better reviews about the leadership summit than i am. Check him out.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Leadership Summit 2, Marcus Buckingham

The last talk of day one was Marcus Buckingham. He was awesome. I've heard him before and he is a great communicator, great use of humor and great content. Buckingham's schtick is that we should focus more on strengths than on our weaknesses.

When asked the question, "which do you think will help you be most successful. Building on your strengths or fixing your weaknesses?" 41% of people said strengths, and 59% said weaknesses. Buckingham says there are 3 myths we need to blow up and 3 truths we need to replace them with.
Myth 1- As you grow, your personality changes
Truth 1- As you grow , you become more of who you already are.
Makes the point that most of the personality traits you have as a child you have when you grow up. We grow and mature but basic traits stay the same.

Myth 2- you grow the most in your areas where you are weakest,
Truth 2-Truth- you grow the most in your areas where you are strongest,
Gave example of Shaquille O'Neal and how instead of focusing on his bad free throws percteage the Lakers focused on his inside play. As a result he was scoring champ 3 times and won 3 championships and his free throw % improve in the process.

Myth 3-that a great team member puts aside their strengths
Truth 3– a great team member volunteers his strengths to the team most of the time.

There are 3 skills we need to maximize the use of our strengths.
1. Identify what your strengths are,
2. Change things to utilize your strengths
3. Talk about your strengths without bragging and your weaknesses without whining.

How does this affect the church? I believe many people in the church are not serving in their strengths areas. If they were they would be more joyful.

Leadership Summit 1

Today begins one of my favorite weeks of the year, as Willowcreek Community Church starts their annual leadership summit.
The highlights of this year include Bill Hybels, Carly Fiorina, Floyd Flake, Marcus Buckingham, Michael Porter, Colin Powell, John Ortberg, and Jimmy Carter.

Founding pastor Bill Hybles gave the first talk titled "Vision to Die For." His basic point was that nothing matters more to a vision than for people to have ownership of the vision. The scripture reading was from John 10 and he talked about the difference between the hired hands who watch the sheep and the owner of the sheep. Jesus said that hired hands leave when they sense trouble where as the sheep owner will do anything include give his or her life for their sheep. The vision we share about our church needs to be one that people feel like they own. If not they will not feel invested and might never be on board. When people own a vision watch out.
The process Hybles shared for a shared vision was the following:
Don't create vision alone. Do it as a team. Ask people, "what does God want our church to look like in 5 years?" Most people don't have to have their way, they just need their way considered. This was great for me as our church is in the middle of a visioning processes. Most everything in my body wanted myself to come up with the mission and the things our church should focus on in the future. For once i listened to the part of me that was unsettled about that. It needs to be the churches vision and not Gordon Pruitt's. This was a great reminder and also shows me i need to involve more people in this process.

After you get done with the first draft, have subsequent drafts and present it to different groups. Again people feel valued and the result is a better vision.

Vision leaks. Keep casting the vision because people forget. Celebrate the vison when the vision is being lived out. As you do this more and more ownership of the vision happens.

Are you willing to sacrifice deeply to do what God has called you to do? Are you a hired hand or a owner?