We're in Arkansas for the weekend at my parents' in Little Rock. Fun except I've got just about the worst stuffed up head and nose I've ever had. Blahhhhh!
We're going to the circus tomorrow. Should be great for the kids.
Have a good weekend...
Friday, August 25, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Peg Neuhauser spoke about "Tribal Warfare".
Here are a few highlights for me in regard to resolving conflict:
1) Think a lot BEFORE a meeting aimed at discussing a conflict. Before the meeting, work to be able to state the other person's position or feelings as clearly (or even more clearly) than he or she can.
2) Each time there is a conversation aimed at conflict resolution between two people or between groups of people there are four possible impacts to the relationship. You are either:
- building it
- maintaining it
- repairing it
- damaging it
Those are the only four choices. Ignoring that a conflict exists is in the "damaging it" category.
3) DISCIPLINE yourself to LISTEN
Posted by Allen Arnn at 6:10 PM
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
OK... so my daughter is out walking around several streets of our neighborhood with her friends selling something for their school's fundraising campaign. She's supposed to be home at 5:30pm but at 5:37pm she wasn't home. I'm not worried but just feeling the foreshadowing of things in years to come.
Dinner was ready at 5:30pm so I had to decide whether were we going to wait on her and eat as a family or go ahead with our meal.
Should I "ground" her for missing "curfew"? Should I sit in the living room chair with arms crossed waiting for her to walk in LATE?
So weird... feels like I've fast forwarded to the teen years.
(In case you are worrried... she's home fine... at 6:02!!!)
So she had to eat cold dinner and got no dessert.
Imagine an angry, whiny-voiced daughter...
her - "I don't see why it's such a big deal" pout pout
me (fatherly) - "Keeping track of the time and getting home when expected is a skill you need to learn"
her (more animated and whiny) - "But how can I know what time it is?"
me (semi-sarcastically) - "You look at your watch."
her - "But it's easier for you... your watch is on your wrist... mine is in my pocket where I have to reach in and dig it out!"
Alex tattles giggling: "She had 'whatever' eyes."
Posted by Allen Arnn at 6:06 PM
After a great lunch at Cici's (visiting my friend Donnie who is training for his new marketing job there and eating Cici's yummmmy new buffalo chicken pizza dipped in ranch dressing) we went next door to the India Bazaar. Cool to look through all the Indian spices and foods (as long as I don't have to eat them!!) We bought a candy bar of Turkish Delight, since we remembered it in the Narnia movie. We cut it in five bites and each tried a piece. Interesting... that's all I'll say... interesting.
Anyone have a Hershey bar?
Posted by Allen Arnn at 2:09 PM
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Andy Stanley spoke about what he calls the best leadership decision he ever made. He had always been plaqued by the following fear:
"I'm afraid that if I don't _______, then ______".
If I don't work 70 hours a week, then the church won't make it.
If I don't visit the lady in the hospital their family will leave the church.
Stanley realized, though, that Matthew 16 in the Bible says "and on this rock I will build my church". It is God's responsibility to build the church. What a relief!
He also saw that Ephesians says "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church". Men and women need to work on marriage and family; loving the Church is Christ's specialty.
When Stanley planted North Point Community Church he decided he was going to work no more than 45 hours per week. He felt that God would have him cheat the job... cheat the church... rather than cheat his family. He's stuck to that and led his staff to do the same.
When you limit your work and your staff's work to a certain number of hours per week you do several things:
- you focus on your strengths... there's no time to mess around with your weaknesses
- you prioritze the things you do as a person and learn to say 'no'
- you focus the organization and learn to say 'no' to new opportunities
- you create incredible loyalty from staff and the people you lead (because they are healthy, focused, and protected from overwork)
One final Andy thought...
Never violate the principles of God in order to gain or maintain the blessings of God.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 9:36 PM
Today my family visited Reunion Church which meets in downtown Dallas at the convention center. What a refreshing time! I love meeting people of different cultures and backgrounds. This church is such a diverse group. Their vision is to have lots of races, ethnic groups, colors, social backgrounds, etc worshipping and growing together now... not just to wait for that to happen in heaven.
As the pastor said today, there is no "South Heaven" or "East Side" of Heaven. We'll all be together in a beautiful crowd. Why can't that start here and now?!
The other refreshing part about Reunion was their authenticity. Though some would think the congregation is too large to do it, each week they pass around a microphone for people to share about their life and journey. The pastor said basically "If you came just to hear a message, listen to it on the radio... we are here to care about each other." People shared about their lost friends, their search for direction, their sister desparately needing wisdom in a tragic situation, their friends who started back into drugs and alcohol. I started to think... man, these people have some serious problems. Then I quickly realized... these people may have different problems... but they don't have worse problems than anyone else. It's just that they know they have problems, they are willing to share their problems, and they know God can handle their problems.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 4:50 PM
Friday, August 11, 2006
Session 2 of the Summit was James Meeks. He is the pastor of Salem Baptist Church of Chicago. He talked about church growth.
One of his biggest points for me was when he said, "You've got to preach the annoucements."
We can't expect a great food collection or evangelistic push or service day in the community to happen just through a plain annoucement made at the end of the servvice. We have to PREACH the annoucements. Passionately put the annoucement in terms of a great biblical story and make the sermon application be "MEET US TOMORROW OUT IN THE COMMUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!". Words written in all caps is the best I can do at capturing the intensity of this great African-American preacher, leader and visionary.
Also... before I forget to say this... if you are having any type of difficult times in your life, go buy the song "Call on Jesus" by Nicole C. Mullen and listen intently to it at high volume on a great stereo system. She sang it live at the Summit... amazing.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 9:47 PM
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I'm attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit today, Friday and Saturday.
Thought I would post some of the things I noted...
Bill Hybels talked about the Life Cycle of a Leader
Hybels believes a leader who changes and grows can continue increasing impact until his/her dying day.
In your 20's you can lead with mostly heart and passion.
Soon, though, you need to develop skills.
Next comes raising up leaders to take on significant roles... but don't stop there, or your best leaders will leave!
Elevate a few great leaders to lead at the top with you... give them huge responsibilities... morph your role to accomodate new leaders.
Good leaders aren't power hungry, but they are impact hungry.
Pointers on learning:
1) Read all you can on leadership (always have two leadership books in your briefcase)
2) Go where leadership is taught
3) Be around great leaders and ask questions
4) Keep leading something or you'll lose your edge
Posted by Allen Arnn at 9:29 PM
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I had a lot of fun playing tennis today (for the first time in ages) with the boyfriend of Kris' daughter. He beat me 6-1 in the first set. In the second set we went to 6-6 but opted not for a tie-break. The set ended up 10-8 David. I'll get him next time.
Lots of mixed emotions today. I was listening to a song that we had done at our church a while back -- "Stained Glass Masquerade" by Casting Crowns. I was wishing all of the people who were together then were still together now. But at the same time I was also gaining a peace that we are all on the right path.
I continued today to reflect on who I am. I am seeing big revelations on how to categorize my work and clarify what it is I want to do.
On networking with people... two things I'm learning are these:
1) Work hard to get a meeting with people, but don't be aggressive using the meeting to ask for a job or for job connections. First of all this takes the pressure of the person you are meeting with. Today, I saw another side to this though. I think this approach, one genuinely based in learning and seeking wisdom, instead of moving toward a job "ask" retains our humility and leaves room for God to work and bring about his plans. Humble yourself under God's hand and he will lift you up in due time.
2) Think before you meet with anyone! The meeting will go much better. (not just in networking but anywhere)
Like I said... just random thoughts
Posted by Allen Arnn at 7:50 PM
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I know that title may sound naive or irritating or dizzy with spin. As I make this transition in my career, I don't want to just get a job that I can do. I can do lots of jobs. I want to find the place that is right. The place I'll care about and be passionate to improve. This is not to say I would not be thankful and content wherever God takes me, but I do think God made us with a purpose. If I'm going to spend 40+ hours and a large part of my energy at a place, my desire is to be operating in my purpose -- helping people and organizations create and deliver excellence in places where creativity and technology meet.
That's just me... others may look at the job/purpose thing differently. Do you think we are just spoiled Americans if we seek to earn a living doing what we love to do?
Posted by Allen Arnn at 9:54 AM
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Wow. Interesting day. I'm not sure if I've written it here but yesterday was my last day officially working at my church. When I decided to move on, the end date I was shooting for was Sept 1. The church is honoring that date, but they were gracious to allow me this month to just focus on my job search. (for those not in church work: churches are weird... they let you resign and process for months) :)
So.... today I didn't get up and drive to church... very weird... Instead went to Starbucks... Met a great friend there (comment on his blog so that maybe he'll start posting again) and then spent most of the day working on what's next.
I'm very excited about this process. I'm talking to lots of fascinating people and believing that I am going to find a great place to make an impact.
My days this month are going to look like this:
A good amount of time in the Bible and prayer
A lot of time meeting with people and thinking about my direction
A little time working on getting our house ready to sell since we don't know if we'll stay here or move far away
Posted by Allen Arnn at 5:02 PM