Friday, January 21, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
“...there are two types of law: just and unjust...A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out harmony with the moral law...Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.”And with that quote, James Emery White
Still turning this one over in my mind...
And there lies the irony; as a culture, we celebrate a man’s Christian convictions that were used to change our culture in the past, while simultaneously rejecting those values as a part of shaping our culture for the future.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
- Like most leaders, I love the idea of servant leadership & putting others first, as long as no one actually cuts in front of me or starts treating me like I'm a servant.
- Empowerment without a platform is like responsibility without authority. It's frustrating for everyone involved.
- Titles are powerful platforms that cost nothing to give away except a willingness to share some of your own organizational prestige & power with others.
- Weddings, funerals, baptisms, preaching, & up-front leadership at special events provide significant platforming opportunities.
- When tenure is the primary deteminer of who sits where on the leadership bus, a church is headed for trouble.
- If your leadership team chooses to shut them out, please don't complain when they fly down the street & plant a church that sucks away all the kids, young families, and energetic folks who used to join you for Sunday services.
- designer: Thomas Vuarchex & Pierrick Yakovenko
- publisher: Asmodee
- date: 1997
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 444/6.80
- position on my top 100 in 2005: #27
- age: 7+
- # of players: 3-8
- print status: in print
- cost: $13.50 (Game Surplus)
In America, "Land of Litigation", no one in their right mind would make a speed game with a HARD plastic stick that can be batted around the room by over-zealous players. Evidently, Germans aren't nearly as worried about "legal entanglements."Hence, the Arribabaton... thing of beauty & fear. It's the centerpiece of Arriba, a cross between Set (the pattern recognition game, not the ancient Egyptian game) and Spoons. For a game with 80 cards & a stick, there's certainly a lot of injuries. We've had to "time out" the game more than once to bandage players... and I'm not the only person wearing glasses who has stopped the baton with my face. Still, there's nothing quite like snatching the stick cleanly away... or watching 3 people wrestle for control of it. (When we play on the floor, we play that the stick is "in play" no matter what... even if it leaves the circle. Much fun!) I'm no longer unbeatable at this (there's a dude in our Bible study group who has cat-like reflexes who gives me a run for my money) but it doesn't change how much I enjoy playing it with 4-8 players. (It will, btw, work with 9 or 10 if you're willing to get REAL close to each other in a circle on the floor.)
Arriba is better known in the U.S. as Jungle Speed - and for those who love the game, Asmodee has finally published the expansion (more cards, more craziness!) stateside.
Monday, January 10, 2011
- One of the best ways to cut off disharmony & dysfunction at the pass is to clarify board roles & staff roles before someone joins the team - and to make sure that everyone knows that changes in these roles will be unavoidable & necessary as the church grows.
- When a board takes on the role of setting direction & boundaries, it has to release micromanagement & preference management.
- I've found that "You don't listen" often means "You didn't do what I suggested."
- Three key functions of a board: wise counsel, brakes & a crisis team in waiting.
- Specialists who can't become trainers or who aren't willing to become trainers will eventually put a ceiling on the growth of your church or bust your budget.
- Staff members must... transition from focusing primarily on their own ministry area to asking, "What's best for the church as a whole?"
- Fiefdoms & silos might make for strong programming but the price is a sick church.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
- Mmmm... butter.
- Well, duh, they're the pastor.
Larry has a bit more to say than that:
- Pastors who don't lead, can't lead, or aren't allowed to lead seldom see their church break through growth barriers.
- More often it indicates that they see the pastor as an outsider. And no one who cares a lick about their church is going to hand it over to an outsider.
- Until everyone is convinced that the pastor is as committed to the church's long-term health as they are, they'll tend to resist strong leadership, especially when it threatens to take them in a new direction.
- Even if the founding pastor or a new pastor believes that God has called him to have a long-term commitment, that doesn't mean much if nobody believes it. And many won't, for good reason. Their past experiences tell them not to.
- The pastor can't be a Jekyll-&-Hyde leader, someone who abdicates leadership and then jumps in to micromanage. That guarantees confusion, frustration, and often some rather creative forms of passive aggression.
- I always present first drafts, not final proposals. By this, I don't mean that I offer half-baked ideas or suggestions off the top of my head. My first drafts are carefully thought out and persuasively presented. But I don't confuse them with God's final revealed will. That's something the board, staff, and I will determine together.
- I've found that strong & gifted leaders often confuse leadership with infallibility.
- If I hadn't previously submitted to their decisions that I didn't agree with, there's no way they would have listened to me when I played the "God told me" card. It would have been seen as just another creative ploy to get my own way.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
- Race for the Galaxy 229
- Heroscape 29 (23 of those using the D&D sets)
- Memoir '44 25
- Skip-bo 13 *
- Catacombs 12
- Keltis: Der Weg der Steine 11
- Marrakech 10
- Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age 10 *
- Gemblo Woodman 9
- Bounce-It-In 8 *
- Burger Joint 8
- Castle Panic 8
- Small World 8 *
- Diamant 7 * (exact same number of times I played it last year!)
- Smarty Party 7
- Tsuro 7
- Alea Iacta Est 6
- The Downfall of Pompeii 6
- Dungeonquest 6 *
- Fast Food Franchise 6
- The Adventurers 5
- Fightball 5
- Qwirkle 5
- Tobago 5
- StreetSoccer 21
- Yspahan 6
- Gelini Nightlife 17
- Forbidden Island 13
- Hop Hop Hurray 9 *
- Magic Labyrinth 9
- Walter Wick Can You See What I See? 9 *
- Click Clack 8
- Enuk the Eskimo 7
- Feed the Kitty 7
- Fluch der Mumie 7
- Reiner Knizia's Amazing Flea Circus 7
- Duck, Duck, Bruce 6 *
- Mummy's Treasure 6
- Sorry! - Pokémon 6 *
- Animal Upon Animal 5 *
- Gulo Gulo 5
- Zitternix 5
- Zoff im Huhnerhoff 5 *
- Ignore your weaknesses.
- Surveys are a waste of time.
- Seek permission, not buy-in.
- Let squeaky wheels squeak.
- Let dying programs die.
- Plan in pencil.
And now, the pithy quotes:
- Unless a weakness is potentially fatal, it's usually a waste of time & energy to worry too much about it.
- Surveys (esp. anonymous surveys) seldom give us the accurate information we think we're getting.
- Most people will grant the pastor, board, or staff permission to try something new as long as they don't have to make personal changes or express agreement with the idea.
- If an idea or program is really new & innovative, there will never be enough evidence to "prove" that it will work. After all, it's never been done before.
- Permission not only gets things up & running much faster; it also makes it much easier to close up shop when a great idea proves to be a dumb idea.
- Most squeaky wheels keep right on squeaking, for one simple reason: they don't squeak for a lack of oil; they squeak because it's their nature to squeak.
- Church harmony is inversely related to the amount of time spent oiling squeaky wheels.
- Without a commitment & willingness to cease funding & staffing the programs that no longer work, we'll never have enough money & energy to create the future.
- I do find that we constantly have to remind everyone up front that our budget is a planning tool, not a straitjacket, that it's an estimate, not the law of the Medes & the Persians.
- "Every time a sailor does something stupid & drowns, we make a new regulation." A far better response would be to simply have a funeral for a dumb sailor & to wait until three or four sailors die the same way before rewriting the manual.
Monday, January 03, 2011
- Since I tacked a Bible verse onto everything, any changes I made seemed like a change in my theology & values - and they were resisted as such.
- I knew that despite all the "sin words" that both sides had thrown around ("arrogant," "self-willed," "unaccountable," "not a team player," "boundary queen," and "inflexible," to name a few), the real issue was not sin so much as deep hurt & discomfort that came with our changing organizational dynamics.
- [Note from Mark: I can not recommend Larry's explication of team dynamics/growth using the sports team metaphor highly enough... nor can I condense it down to a few pithy quotes. I won't even try.]
- The need to change the game, as well as the rules of the game, tends to sneak up on leaders & leadership teams because growth exponentially increases complexity. We might think we've only added a couple of new programs or staff members, but in reality, we've multiplied organizational complexity...
Sunday, January 02, 2011
- show you some of the nifty stuff in this book full of essays on "lost" stories about Walt Disney & the Disney films and parks...
- give my friend, Jonathan, a bit of a birthday present (thought it is inexcusable that I crossed Stravinsky & Stokowski in my memory)
When Leopold Stokowski was recording the music for Walt Disney's Fantasia with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, the complex recording system set up in the basement of the Academy of Music (also known as the American Academy of Music & is the oldest opera house in the United States still used for its original purpose) was declared a fire hazard & work was ordered stopped. On the advice of friends, Stokowski called Joe Sharfain, then city solicitor for Philadelphia and an ardent music fan. Sharfian quickly withdrew the stop order & recording proceeded. Later, Stokowski expressed his gratitude and asked, "Now, what can I do for you?" Sharfain said jokingly that one of his greatest wishes was to be rich enough to engage Stokowski & the orchestra for a single performance at which he would be the sole audience. (The price at that time would have been at least $100,000.) [Note from Mark: run through an inflation calculator, we're talking $1,441,000+.] Stokowski asked, "When did you have in mind?" Sharfain answered, "Oh, that's a long time away." Stokowski countered, "How about tomorrow at two o'clock?" The incredulous Sharfain appeared at the side door of the Academy of Music the next afternoon, to be escorted by a deputy of the maestro into the hall, empty except for the orchestra & conductor. The maestro turned to make sure Sharfain was there, raised his arms and conducted for four hours - all the music of Fantasia - just for Joe Sharfain.Now, Jonathan, if you can just figure out how to make friends with a well-connected conductor... Happy Birthday!