Wednesday, May 18, 2011


On a playground, the way you swing higher and higher is to pump your legs in the same rhythm that the swing would swing if you pulled it back and let it go - the resonant frequency. The way you push down a small but formidable tree (I as did last week) is to push at the natural frequency that the tree naturally oscillates at (in that case about once per second back and forth, back and forth). Tiny.. small.. bigger.. bigger.. bigger.. BIGGER.. BIGGER.. down!

People jumping to music in bleachers or wind gusts hitting bridges are two other places where jumping or gusting just in the right regular tempo makes the movement grow bigger and bigger until it breaks.

A leader I worked with always talked about starting things at the right time of year - the time of year that makes sense to people. The more I think about it, that was a commitment to hitting the organization at it resonate frequency.

To move anything... a company, an organization, a family, an employee... push at the resonate frequency. As it naturally oscillates, push things at just the right time to make the oscillation bigger. Unveil exciting things at the annual conference. If your kids are especially receptive at bedtime, speak things that mold their character at bedtime -- not when they're cranky right after school. Your church operates on the school calendar... start new things at the semester breaks.

Move things at the regular frequency with which they want to be moved - the timing they "resonate" with. Any other timing than that has the feeling of being jerky and dampens the effect you are trying to achieve.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


If you are feeling down, just start smiling. I'm not talking about tricking yourself psychologically. I'm talking about how the physical action of your smiling face sends signals to your brain changing your mood. Try it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why can 'no' not sometimes be 'yes'?

I'm not a big James Dobson fan, but one thing he said years ago has really stuck with me.

As parents, sometimes we just get in the habit of saying 'no' to our kids.

Can I play with your iPhone? No
Can I have some ice cream (30 minutes before dinner)? No
Can we stop by the gas station and get a Coke? No

Many times 'no' is the right answer, but does it always have to be?

Sometime soon, when you would normally say 'no' to your kids, try saying 'yes'. It'll be fun to see their reaction.

Is there really a good reason why 'no' cannot sometimes be 'yes'?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Book of Remembrance

Warning: This is a little touch-y/feel-y but sometimes leadership requires that.

Pastor Harry Li inspired me a while back to have what he calls a "Book of Remembrance". It's just a journal where you can write down funny, cute, or special things that happen in your family.

A few keys:
-- If you're the one starting the book, only you can write in it. If the kids or your spouse ask to write in it, say "Get your own book!"
-- Keep the book in a certain place with a pen attached so it's very easy to write things down. If it's always getting misplaced or there's no pen around, it'll be too hard and you won't write in it.
-- Pull it out every once in a while and read some posts to the family... great laughs and special moments.

If something feels funky...

One of my favorite leaders, Bill Hybels, says "If something feels funky, engage!" He speaks of that mostly in regard to work team dynamics going south, but I find it's useful in any area of life.

If the fridge is making a weird noise or the car has a weird smell, waiting won't make it go away. And, every day you wait, you worry.

Whether it's a relationship problem, a technical problem, a mechanical problem, a work team problem... just engage sooner instead of later and you'll keep it from getting worse.

Sometimes you'll find, when you do bite the bullet and engage the problem, that it's not quite as bad as you thought.

If something feels funky, ENGAGE!

Thrash Early

In Linchpin, Seth Godin talks about thrashing early. Often we do things on our own in an organization and then the closer we get to the finish line of a project, the more and higher up people get involved in approving the end product. That is thrashing late... only getting the collective wisdom of the team near the end when it's too late to make it better. Thrashing early is hashing things out on the front end, and then as the project goes along there's less and less input needed from others.

That's thrashing early as a team, but what about thrashing early internally with your own relationship to the project? It's easy to put off the hard trashing til later. You glance and see a couple of things that need to change in that print piece being designed, but you think you'll let it go. And then you find yourself (on the day the piece was going to print thousands) having to hold things up because that one sentence doesn't make sense. You knew it wasn't right a week ago, but you didn't thrash early and say something.

Or, what about when you half-way review some creative work and think it's good enough, but then right before time to ship you see something that could have made it 10 times better.

Thrash early! Engage your brain and heart fully early on so there's time to act on what you think and feel before you get too close to the shipping date.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gospel Goodness

First a note for the MoKids team at Mosaic Church... then a post for today.

In special appreciation for all of your hard work through the year leading children closer to Jesus, on May 16 at Community Meal following the 2nd worship service, we'll honor all MoKids volunteers! We'll have a special seating area for all MoKids volunteers and their families. Of course, there will be some surprises as well. Please mark your calendar and plan to stay for the lunch that day as the church thanks you for your excellent service to our children.

Do you ever fall into the trap of thinking the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just that we'll have our sins forgiven and go to heaven someday? I mean... those are great things but I think Jesus (who came to give us abundant life) has much more in mind. The next few days I'll be talking here about the awesome things we get when we embrace the Gospel.

For today... just one

The Gospel is not a judge knocking the gavel and proclaiming "sins forgiven... you are free to go".
The Gospel is a father saying "I forgive you... come to me".
Do you hear the amazing difference in those?

More Gospel Goodness tomorrow.... stay tuned...

Monday, April 26, 2010

A different kind of Sunday

At our church, we have three practices that we focus on. Worship, walk, and work. For quite a while, I've been focused on "work" -- doing things to help our church run in a more healthy way. I've even done that to a degree that it's often been keeping me out of attending worship as I strive to get that one more idea implemented or that one more person engaged.

Yesterday, I think I got back in balance and added a whole new component as well.

I arrived early to do some "work", preparing a few things to help the children's and enfolding ministries run smoothly.

Then, I attended "worship" and participated in great worship and heard an incredible message.

During second service, I did something different. I (along with two friends) decided to "walk" our neighborhood. Our goal was to meet people, to learn more about our neighborhood, and to minister to people we came across. Too often, I think of "walk" as "fellowship with Christian friends". But "walk" is much more than pita chips, spinach dip and cupcakes. That's a party. Parties are good and parties should continue to happen. But, for me, I'm seeing "walk" as much more than walking in fellowship together. I'm seeing our value of "walk" as "walking out the kingdom of God in our neighborhood". When we do that, Christian fellowship will definitely be a byproduct.

Worship... work... walk...

Gotta run... will flesh out more soon...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Update on the Arnn's

Wow! What a year. It is completely FLYING by quicker than any other year I can remember.

I want to give an update (especially for our awesome supporters) of all that's been going on at Mosaic the last few months!

As you know, since January I've been leading our children's ministry called MoKids.

Here are some MoKids highlights:
1) This Spring I encouraged my leaders to be "apprenticing" someone on their teams -- teaching them to do the job that they do. One leader in particular did that very well, and we're seeing the fruit! That leader has now moved up to help in a different role in MoKids, and the spot she left vacant has been filled with one of her "apprentices"! That's how it's supposed to work!

2) This summer, MoKids partnered with Child Evangelism Fellowship to hold kids' clubs out in the community bringing children the gospel and the love of Christ. We had 102 children attend clubs at two near-by apartment complexes. A number of children sought counsel about salvation and 4 children prayer to receive Christ as their Savior!

We had, for some time, had our eye on these two apartment complexes for ministry, but it took actually stepping out there for the vision to crystallize. It was a watershed week for MoKids as we officially expanded our strategy beyond "Partnering with Parents" and "Sunday Morning Ministries" to now include a third prong, "MoKids Community Ministries" -- children's ministry beyond the walls of the building. We plan to continue a weekly club in one of the apartment complexes and a quarterly party in the other. It is a beautiful thing to be out in the community.

3) The last few weeks have been extremely busy ones as we prepared for the new school year in MoKids. Some of systems and plans we've begun or improved in the last few weeks are: 1) A better plan for promoting kids to the next class/grade 2) Better use of our facilities 3) New curriculum in the elementary area that spans both worship hours - different but complementary content around one theme all morning!

Beyond MoKids, I'm also what we call a "ministry developer". I've focused on two main projects in that realm at Mosaic:

1) This summer we had a "Find Your FITT" fair -- FITT stands for faithfully investing time and talent. For the first time, we have consistent job descriptions for all volunteer roles and a system for getting people connected to serving.

2) I'm working with one of our pastors, Steven Weathers, to develop a midweek discipleship program for both children and adults. We are recognizing the need to take our people deeper in discipleship than they can go on Sunday mornings or in LifeGroups. We launched this ministry on Sept 2. Going well! The elementary kids are learning Phil 2:1-11 one verse per week. It's so powerful for chilren (and adults!) to memorize scripture and take God's word with us through the week.

Here are a few updates about the Arnn family:

-- We bought a house in July! We are fairly settled, but there are still lots of unpacked boxes! We're getting there though.

-- Alex is in a public charter school this year. It's going very well. Emmaleigh and Susannah are on the waiting list and are attending a Christian school until they get into the charter school as Debbie begins a new job.

-- I had the privilege of baptizing Emmaleigh and Alex on Easter at Mosaic this year.

Prayer requests:
-- Debbie's mom has not been feeling well. Please pray that it is nothing serious.

-- Please pray for community to further develop among the staff at Mosaic. We are all so busy doing our own thing that we don't take time to team together and find synergy.

-- Please pray for our new Wednesday night initiative - Mosaic Midweek Discipleship. We could still use more leaders in the elementary area to disciple the kids in prayer, scripture memory and worship.

-- Pray that our girls get into that charter school right away!

I think that's it for now! Thank you to all of our financial and prayer supporters! We could not be creating a church for all people across racial and economic lines without you!

These are tough times in our world. I encourage you to press on! Don't grow weary doing what God has called you to do. Depend on Him daily.