Invest in Leaders

I often voice concern about those coming up as leaders in the church. My main concern is that they are not there yet. I want those wanting to be church leaders to be ready now. But instead they are still learning.

The leaders being built up are not leaders yet. It’s a hard concept to remember for me sometimes. It’s something I have to remember that even at one time I was a leader that was being created.

We have a lot of leaders who are still learning what it’s like to be a leader. Leaders all over are getting kicked, beaten and smacked around in the church as they fail as leaders. My suggestion is rather to build up and mentor them now and help them through their mistakes.

We see them in leadership and expect them to be perfect. But we can not hold them to that. Most Church leaders if going to college graduate around 24-27 years old. These leaders have interned at healthy positions. Have been built up in an artificially built position and are expected when they become leaders to be perfect.

It’s easy for us to sit and judge and burn these people and chase them off. But I’m consistently reminded how we learning to be church leaders are still learning about God. We are full of sin and struggles. And at a Christian College we are learning how to hid our sin better or we are learning to give our sin to God.

I see many leaders suffering from lack of confidence. I see many leaders who are struggling with their sins. I see many leaders lacking the drive to do anything. But I also have confidence in them. I know they will survive. This weekend I got to see alumni who were in the same boat as these leaders currently. They struggle and they had issues. But through God and others working in their life they were able to grow closer to God and be where God is asking them to be.

I know that those who survived from 15 years ago when I originally attended school were invested in by others mentoring and putting time into showing them what leadership was. They failed, fell, and were picked up by people who invested.

The key is to invest in to building them up. There’s no set time. There’s no set gameplan. There’s just them learning through the experienced and been there. The investors don’t do this to be given glory but to help the next generations of leaders of churches.

We need to invest in these leaders. They will fail. They will see themselves as worthless. That’s not the case we are all valuable. Our value is no in money but rather in God’s kingdom. When they fail it’s our job to come along side them and help them to grow in leadership.

I Am A Hat Person

making faces

When I was a little boy I loved to wear my dad’s hats. Didn’t matter the size difference. Didn’t matter what I was doing. The sight above is really what it was like to see me most of my childhood. With my dad’s hat on my head making a face. I found comfort in wearing his hats as I had part of my dad with me always.

I sorta developed an addiction to hats as I grew older and at one point I had more than 50 hats. Hats for bands I’d seen. Hats for products I liked. Hats for hundreds of products that gave them to me free. I got tired of wearing hats with stuff on them. Which then become extremely difficult to find head attire that had nothing on it. Until

IVY HAT

Recently I did some research in to comfy hats and found the “Ivy” hat. I like the way it looks first off. Mostly I love that it’s really easy to get these without a brand all over this style of hat.

Why is all this important? We’ll it’s not really important at all. Hats are just hats to many. Companies found out how lucrative it can be to give them away. Why because it’s free advertising. Hats to me is a comfort thing. I consistently adjust my hat when wearing it when I don’t know what to do with my hands or as a nervous stress reliever. I often am wearing hats to keep the sun out of my eyes as bright lights often blind me. I also really enjoy how a hat feels on my head.

It’s important to understand when wearing a hat that if it’s a branded hat, you better believe in the brand. I know it sounds silly but think about it. Hats are really close to our heads. This is the perfect billboard for everyone who looks at us. No wonder so many companies just give them away. Anyone from Top Name brands to kids name brands put their logo and name all over it knowing that was money well spent. And we need to be conscious of what we support. If we are supporting anything at all.

I try to find hats that have no logo on them. I try not to promote a brand over another. It’s a personal choice I believe is best for me.

The Bowl

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So for anyone who has visited where I live might be perplexed about a bowl that is located near the front door. It’s my saving grace. My wife originally suggested the idea off of a show she watches Big Bang Theory. In the show they put their keys in the bowl next to the door.

I thought on it for a while and my wife and I decided that we would try it. Originally it was just for my keys but over time it started to gather things I always misplaced including wallet, glasses, and phone.

Since using the bowl I’ve never had to ask have you seen my wallet. Hey, Caitlin, have you see my keys? There have been days I don’t use the bowl and get out of that habit but really it’s very simple to do.

When thinking about this it’s pretty easy to see that I have been saved so many times by this bowl. I recommend attempting this. It took me about 30 days to get used to this idea and I am so happy we did. I don’t run all over looking for what I had.

We could apply this to our spiritual lives. The bowl representing our spiritual lives. As long as we are inside the bowl we know God and know where he is. But once we are not in the bowl we are scrambling all over looking for God. But I’m attempting to not make this spiritual so I’m not.

But it’s really nice to not look for keys for 15 minutes after I’m suppose to leave attempting to remember where I put things.

Do you have a gathering location for your stuff? Do you put your keys, wallet, etc all in the same spot?

I’d love to hear what you do with your keys, wallet, and etc.

Comfort levels

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Sometimes I feel more comfortable putting the above pictured network together than I do in certain situations.

I feel super awkward when I’m communicating with people who give me the “you lost me look.”

I often ask questions in youth group and get the blank stare and consistently feel like did I just ramble telling the story for 20 minutes and no one paid attention?

Consistently I’m in a position talking with someone about technology and realize I’m talking way over their heads.

I am a person who’s 35 years old consistently being told by people that people my age are getting out of youth ministry and not into it.

I’m continually put into positions that press my comfort levels and force me to rely on what God has or is teaching me.

I do find comfort in the bible.  Story after story you see people being pulled from comfort into lives of continually pressing their comfort zone.

We really need to accept at some point we will be pressed beyond our comfort levels and will have to continually have to do more that we are comfortable with.

Currently I’ve felt God press upon me to do more than I am currently doing.  Pushing me to start things I tell him I’m not ready for.  I am continually asking God then prove it.

We will see how this goes but my comfort zone is definitely being pressed beyond comfort.

My Intro Song

One day while sitting in my office planning out our Wednesday night youth group I heard a sound. It wasn’t a sound that you normally hear in church offices but even more so not in these church offices.

See we are used to hearing sounds from the senior pastor’s offices. Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Michael W Smith and more worship songs were heard coming from the office of the senior pastor. The sounds being heard were not these normal sounds instead much more out of his realm. Plus he had emailed me saying he was sick at home.

I then progressed to our church secretary. She is a typical small church secretary who is the reason stuff got done during the week. You could hear hymns and k-love radio from her office. Or the sound of the copier. Yet this noise I hear is not any of these, rather A noise from my past…

Surely it can’t be, this sound is of church bells. Not just any church bells like you could hear while sitting in a town. The church bells were from a song. No not a Metallica song as most jump to. This song played on my CD player for years. I knew the build up. I know the howl. I know the panting rhythmic breathing to build up to the intro. This was a song that that continues to create joy today when it comes on, but I was sure at this time I was going insane. I have not played any music yet and I was sure I was only one in the building.

I sought out this sound to find out that the associate pastor we hired was here this morning had cranked his music. The funny thing was is I had yet to meet him. I was out of town and sick the weeks introduced to the congregation. This was the first time I was meeting him. He looks up from his desk and we introduce ourselves. I tell him this is a great song. I didn’t know anyone else on this earth knew this song. This helped the associate pastor and myself create a healthy and great friendship.

The song was “dropping rattlesnakes I the playground “by Bride. And it’s truly an amazing song. And to this day I hear that song I think and pray for that minister. It was truly a great song. It really introduced that pastor to me and me to him. It was used as an intro song.

Have you thought about what song you would use as an introduction song for you. Not talking about an entrance song as the use in fake wrestling. But a song you would use for someone to look at you and say this song is you, this song is what I am about, this song explains my personality, attitude, and thought process.

My song? I have many I would like it to be, like all five iron frenzy songs, all supertones songs, maybe a couple Bleach songs. But I feel one of the best songs that I would use to introduce me would be Knock Knock by Ghoti Hook. It’s super epic silliness in a world of punk music.

What about you? Do you have a song that explains you to people who know that song?

I’d love to hear about it. Share it on facebook Twitter in the comments below.

To the Behind the Scenes People

It’s easy to look past people. It’s easy to have people say they will do something and then take advantage of their volunteering and efforts. It’s easy to over look what people are doing and not give gratitude.

I’ve work many labor days in retail, gas stations and other establishments. I’ve had no respect from customers who treat you as trash or the plague. I’m extremely happy to have opportunities to work. To have opportunities to serve. I’ve been very blessed with being able to learn valuable lessons in volunteering.

This labor day I’m reminded what goes on behind the scene for worship practices. For office meetings. for concerts. For many other events that happen and require volunteers to use their gifts.

I think of the people who do video, sound, lights, and slides in the Chapel here at college. How they are not thanked publicly but continually do the task that God has skilled them to do. And they do it not because of praise because they wish to serve in this manner. The only time most people are reminded they exist is because something didn’t work.

For all you who work behind the scenes. Who get no praise who’s credit maybe stolen by an egotistical maniac. Please know one thing. YOU ARE APPRECIATED. What you do does matter. And I’m a so thankful you do it so others can do what they are gifted at.

Thank

I Feel Like a Misfit

Growing up and moving a lot when I was in Jr High and High School caused me lots of emotional trauma. Today they would call this bullying. I would have people push me into lockers, punch me as I walked down the halls. I had teammates take my close into the girls locker room, snow, or middle of basketball court leaving me naked. The “joking” comments making fun of my hair, clothes, and music choices. Those “joking” comments may have been just that, but for me, the person they are telling it to who takes it as hate. It causes problems.

See I had this happen to me daily for 6 years. It really altered how I read people. It really changes how I take what people say to me. You can say, “Hey you haven’t done this yet.” I’ll not only take it negatively but I’ll take it like you are attacking me. This is something I continually pray to God for help with.

I also am constantly fighting the feeling that I don’t belong places. That I don’t fit in. It’s even more noticeable here at a place where I am 14 plus years older than most students. I constantly am telling myself I may not fit in, but I belong here.

I could say lots of blah blah blah. But it comes down to this. It’s more than me. It’s more than anything I could do. It’s about submitting fully without even a thread to hang on to. And not just submitting but submitting to God.

I struggle, I have my things I want to keep a hold of. One of those is not trusting people who I see treating me like above. It makes me uncomfortable makes me feel unwelcome when I come across any of these behaviors. I instantly become a turtle emotionally wanting to hide in my shell. But as a church leader this will not get you anywhere but out of a job.

It’s up to me to be a better person. But how had I be a better person. I have to let it go. I have to let my past be gone. That’s not easy for me. I’m a story teller who’s got to let go of stories. But not forget them. See we can no forget and learn from them but still let them go. And I have to let that part of my life go.

If this makes no sense please forgive my cold medicine induced ranting.

A New Begining

For quite sometime after starting this blog I dreamt up building a network of people who were interested in telling stories.

I had originally meet miss Emmyjo a few years ago at camp and build a relationship that I would call brotherly with her. Over the past 3 years I’ve enjoyed spending time with Emmy getting to know Emmy and talking life with Emmy. She’s not your average 20 year old.

WA couple months ago I reached out to Miss Emmyjo and inquired if she would be willing to join the Auggment blog on the side. Fully meaning she’d have her own blog. We customized themes, talked blog post ideas (briefly), and I set her loose.

I look forward to her bringing her passion and contagious attitude to the Auggnations. Enjoy her first blog below. Feel free to share her blog, comment back, and continue to support her.

EmmyJo’s blog

The Auggnation isn’t about me but about the community who I love and am thankful for their support.

I’m tired of the Posers, Fakers and Wannabe’s

So people really are people everywhere you go, even at Christian College. I get reminded of this often. I am even a jerk more often than I want to admit. I’m not always nice happy going Auggie.

In fact yesterday afternoon I was ready to just duct tape some people to walls or something. I really wasn’t enjoying anything at all. It all came down to attitudes that I see popping up. It’s an attitude that even I’ve regretfully expressed since being on campus myself.

This attitude is selfishness. Some examples I’ve seen have been; ‘my time is valuable and I’m not gonna make time for something I don’t believe in’,’I’m here to be a preacher and a church leader but it’s ok if I let explicatives fly cause I can clean it up later’, or ‘I’m more important than rules provided to everyone on campus so I’m not going to follow them at all.’ There are plenty more that I’m probably not noticing as much and maybe I’m doing a ton of them.

I’m not calling anyone out but this is a horrible attitude to have. Lets not forget this is being seen on a Christian College campus. We are to be leaders. Leaders are to be examples. Leaders are to lead without using words. If they need to they use words as last resort. Leaders are molded from talents God gave them. Leaders submit to authority and obey God and what he says in his word.

We all fail, I get that. And I’m not calling out sins and pointing fingers as I have my own struggles to deal with too. My goal here is to move beyond our failures and begin to find ways for God to mold us here on campus. I’ve been extremely convicted over this last year and feel even stronger about it this year.

Negativity is easy to get caught up in. I’ve caught myself a few times having conversations that went negative quickly. It sometimes was steered that way by me and sometimes not. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity we don’t try to adjust our thoughts to God.

We are dropping language we would not use in a pulpit on a regular basis then we need to work on that, because not every church will accept that kind of failure. If we are not following the rules that are express to us by our leaders now we should probably work on that as most church will not keep you around if you don’t. If we don’t surrender our time to God now then when we are being church leaders we are not going to use our time for His kingdom but ours.

Let’s work together. Let’s set a standard that says wow this campus is different. Let’s set a standard of authenticity that has outsiders saying what’s going on where they are? Those guys coming out of there are great.

It’s easy to say that but if we can’t get behind this idea then leave. I’m not trying to be a jerk. I’m being honest. If you can not get behind the idea that while here you are to be molded into a leader for God, then leave. You don’t belong here. Honestly if we can’t submit to God here now, How can we submit to God later?

We need to submit to God now, right now. Not tomorrow, not in an hour, not in 20 minutes. We submit to God, asking God for his guidance and put all our selfish ambitions in the trash. It’s not about us. Coming to Nebraska Christian isn’t about me. It’s not about you, you, you, and definitely not me or you.

Because I’m tired of hanging with posers. I’m tired of hanging with fakers. I’ve exhausted all I will exhaust on wannabe Church Leaders. I’m seeking those who submitting to God, His calling, His plan for us. Not those that are attempting to change God’s plan to better fit them.

Five Iron Frenzy’s lead singer coined a phrase, “I hope you hate it.” I really do hope you hate this post. This post hurts me personally, emotionally, and my struggles. But I don’t write to point fingers at anyone but rather ask for us to get over ourselves and get God.

Do you think I’m crazy, right on, or way off? Let me know Comment, email, facebook, twitter, snail mail, knock at my door. I’m pretty open to get a hold of.

Share if you would like.