Church planters should make a firm distinction between change and intentional innovation. Change is looking for something fresh, intentional innovation is all about finding the right fit.

I was gifted the biography of Steve Jobs - it is quite a comprehensive account of his life. The author pulls no punches, so you really do question whether you would last a few rounds with Steve. Known for his outbursts, ready to devour and ridicule what he determined second rate design or engineering, many co-workers simply chose to avoid his company, knowing that it was only a matter of time before you became a target.

Here are a few take-aways from the book:

Excellence is a way of life. Jobs had perspective that simply would not accept second rate or mediocre products. He would rather sit on the floor of his naked living room than own what he declared ugly or improperly designed furniture.

People will always lower the standard to fit known patterns or comfort zones. Let's face it, people seek the easier path, not the difficult one. That is our nature. To discover those techniques, creative approaches, custom-fit concepts that have impact, that requires hard, hard work. Here is where Jobs was a task-master.

Perception. This one is going to cause you to chaff somewhat. Let's face it, Jobs had the audacity to lie, distort the truth, exaggerate. That is a character flaw. No doubt about it. Here is something to consider in light of his tendencies: Reality is in some ways a matter of perspective. That is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this: The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Jobs exemplified this.

Rejection. Steve Jobs was conceived by a couple unable to deal with a pregnancy and put up for adoption - something that would be repeated in his own life. That rejection shaped his life, something that he fought his entire life to subdue. Rejection is a powerful emotion, and has the potential to drive a person towards unhealthy patterns.

Although the book is 650+ pages, it is a book that is well researched and written. The dialogue is street salty, so be aware.

If you desire to be a better, more creative person, you should read front the life of Steve Jobs. No one better epitomizes innovation in our generation better than Jobs. No one has impacted pop culture more than him. If you desire to impact your generation, you will be well served to read this biography.

Discover and declare the glory of God.

Maybe discover is somewhat over the top, for He reveals Himself, rather than us discovering. And at the same time, The prophet of old, Jeremiah, states that there is a trigger for this to occur: when we seek for Him with our whole heart. (jer. 29:13)

It seems that the older I get, the shallower many of my motives and intents have been. To see people come to Christ for their salvation is a thrilling objective, but that is now deepening in my own heart - expanding to see the real objective of having God's glory be made known.

Being busy is my distraction from not reflecting too often, but travel affords me the opportunity to step away from certain aspects and provides freedom for meditation. Reassessing His role in every aspect of my life is needed.

So here are a couple of thoughts to consider:

Develop fascination and wonder of your creator. Don't let your heart become stale or mundane. Break out of meaningless routine and refocus on discoing His fingerprint transcending your existence.

Speak His name and nature. Psalms and the Prophets reveal aspects of His character that widen your perspective.

Step out on faith. Obey. At all times. even when it makes no human sense. Those are the times that He is calling to you and you alone to join Him to a special place where He reveals himself.

Dialogue. There a times that prayer feels like a monologue. My soul almost panics in desperation, wondering if renewal is lost. Don't ever settle for a dry season to be the pattern.

Develop a heart that longs to discover and declare the glory of God.

Have you ever stared into the empty eyes of an audience? Do you receive little feedback stating that you are connecting? Do you notice that there is a common thread that people do not follow the message, or worse yet, do not follow through?

You can be a better speaker, when you consider tools that give leverage in communication.

As a communicator, it is not your job to convey information - books do that much better. Your primary job is to impact people. One of the tools is certainly with content, but that alone will not get the job done. If that were the case, the Bible alone would suffice and God would not use people to convey truth. You bring something moves like nothing else, and God designed it to be that way.

Here is something to consider as you speak to people and your desire is to initiate impact for Christ:

Aim for the heart, not the head.

Anyone married for any length of time knows feelings trump arguments every time. Emotions are so strong, that when controlled properly they have a positive influence.

Consider the emotional appeal of your content, frame it in a way that is relevant to the heart of the listener and you will gain attentiveness.

  • Use illustrations from their lives.
  • Speak of relationships.
  • Tell stories that contain tension.
  • Use humor - that is a win. (Please save your corny old-guy humor for people that you don't care anything about).

Emotions are certainly not the meat that you desire to provide as a meal, they are the ingredients that make the meal enjoyable. Use tension and make the audience feel the need for the content. It will go a long way to make people thirst for something that will satisfy.

According to a recent survey released by Forbes magazine, there are common traits that irritate co-workers. What would be at the top of your list?

  • Bad jokes?
  • Lack of creative ideas?
  • Boring meetings?
  • Always find a copier without paper?

The answer is one that will be the plight of any shepherd. It will cause great frustration for the counselor.

Here is what offices around the world replied:

Regardless of nationality or gender, however, the number one pet peeve of all professionals (selected by 78 percent of the more than 17,000 surveyed globally) is “people not taking ownership for their actions.”

Link to the article

Taking personal responsibility is what will determine personal long term effectiveness. Growth is accelerated by those that can change a skillset or behavior. The prerequisite to personal change is recognition of need.

Taking personal responsibility is what is required if the team is to retain the sense of trust in each member.

Taking personal responsibility is what humility requires. Pride will plead for you to wig out at the crucial opportunity.

Taking personal responsibility is what level 5 leaders (see Jim Collins book: Good to Great, for a description of Level 5 leaders) do for their team - you take the blame, while sharing the accolades.

Recently I had the pleasure of being in Bangkok. It was truly a delightful city, and simply wet my appetite for more.

While being housed on the 21st floor of a river-sided hotel, I took some timelapse footage of the river. Just for fun.