Ten Rules For Dealing With Others


I am sure most of you have heard of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.  He is one of the more famous authors and motivational speakers of the 20th Century.  He had “10 Rules” that he operated under when dealing with others.  I thought it would be interesting to see how many of these you are practicing on a daily basis in ministry:

1.  Learn to remember people’s names.  People’s names are important to them.  Forgetting a person’s nameis often taken as a sign you are not interested in them.

2.  Relax and be a comfortable person to be with.  Make sure it is not a tense situation being around you.  No one enjoys being around uptight people.

3.  Learn to be an easy-going person.  Take things in stride.  Don’t let little things bother you.

4.  Don’t be egotistical or give the impression you know everything.  Work at learning from those around you.  Learn to respect other people’s opinions.

5.  Be an interesting person.  Be open to new things.  Take on new challenges.

6.  Smooth our your rough spots.  Learn to be gracious, polite, and tactful.

7.  Be a peacemaker.  Forgive.  Honestly try to correct every misunderstanding you are involved in.

8.  Overlook people’s faults.  Work at choosing to like others until you learn to do it naturally.

9.  Boost other people.  Encourage them, support them, congratulate them, and tell them WHY you appreciate them.

10.  Develop spiritual depth so you have something to pass on to others.  Learn to share this strength with people you meet.

So, how are you doing with Dr. Peale’s “Ten Rules”?  How many have you mastered?  Which don’t come naturally for you?

How To Be More Creative

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I like to write about creativity.  It’s a passion of mine because I know so many people who sell themselves short when it comes to creativity.  Many have decided that “creativity is a gift reserved for the few.”  This is simply not true – not if you serve GOD!

Even the most creative minds are finite.  The term finite means “having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.”  But God is infinite.  He is “far above all,” not limited by any boundaries at all.  When we draw only on our own creative resources, it’s like drinking from a thimble instead of the Great Lakes.

God’s power, love, and plans are beyond anything we can imagine.  If we cultivate an attentive heart, we’ll tap into His limitless capacity.  We’ll never come close to the depths of His greatness, but we can take several steps closer!  In his beautiful prayer in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul prayed, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

What’s the biggest dream you can imagine about how God can use you in his kingdom? Seriously, take a moment and think about it.  Got it?  Guess what.  You just undercut God. Your greatest and grandest ideas don’t compare to God’s limitless plans and resources. God is not limited to working with our imagination.  He goes well beyond it—immeasurably beyond.

Far too often, we forget the power of God to inspire us.  We think His power is reserved for healings, conversions, and deliverances, but it also operates in our creative plans and dreams.  God wants to inspire us with so many “God ideas” that we’ll never be able to implement them all.  But first, we have to have open, receptive hearts.

Is your heart open to receive?  More importantly, are you asking?

(for more about Creativity and receiving “God-Ideas”, see Chapter 2 in my book, “I Blew It!”)

Four Words You Should NEVER Say

I hear it all the time from so many Kids Ministry leaders.  It’s the four words that should NEVER come out of your mouth…“I’m just not creative.”

Sometimes it comes in more subtle ways such as, “How do you guys do what you do?”“I could never do that!”  “I wish I could be more creative, but I don’t have it in me.”
“Why are some people creative and others aren’t?”

The truth is everyone has creative potential.  We sell ourselves short thinking that creativity is some mystical ability that few are blessed with.

A large part of the problem is that there is an air of mystery and mysticism around the creative process.  Because people assume and reinforce the idea that some have creative potential and others don’t.  They assume that “creative” people somehow have a super power that others just do not possess.

Think back to when you were a child.  You were able to be kept busy for hours simply by playing with cardboard box.  That box instantly became a house, a fort, a fire station, a cannon – whatever your mind could come up with.  When you were a child, EVERYTHING was a toy.  You were definitely creative!

Somehow, through the years, we lose our fascination with everyday things, begin to lose our confidence, and somehow begin to believe the lie that “creativity is a gift reserved for the few.”  It’s not.  It is, however, a skill that must be developed.  Like any other muscle, your “creative muscle” will atrophy if you don’t put it to work regularly.

This week, take 15 minutes on this creativity exercise.  Walk into a room, find a random object, and see if you can turn it into some sort of spiritual object lesson.  Don’t worry, nobody is watching.  When you have completed this, guess what – you just took a step closer to unleashing the creativity inside of you!

Stop selling yourself short!  You ARE creative!  Now, get out there and create something amazing to change the world for your kids!  You can do it!!!

Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Computer Brains

I have to admit – as a Christian kid growing up in the 80s I was a big Petra fan.  The other day, the song “Computer Brains” from Petra’s “Beat The System” album came on my iPod.  I started thinking about the truth of that song.  It was powerful.

Here’s the truth:  our minds are like a computer.  Remember the old computer acronym, “GIGO” (Garbage In, Garbage Out)?  You have to be very careful when you program a computer.  Even the smallest error will produce flawed results.  In other words, the results produced by the computer will be no better than the quality of the programming.

People are the same way.  What goes in is what comes out.  Psychologists say that we tend to become what we think about most.  Proverbs 23:7 says it this way, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

My question for you is:  What kind of input are you receiving?  The quality of your input determines the quality of your output.

If you want a positive attitude to come out, put positive information in.  Hang around positive people, not complainers.  If you want thoughtful, courteous, helpful words to come out, you better make sure the input you are receiving matches that desired output.

What kind of books/blogs do you read?  What kind of music do you listen to?   What kind of people do you go to lunch with?  What kind of conversations do you have on break?  Do all of these INPUTS help you grow and become a better person/leader?  If not, it’s time for a change!

Remember, your brain is like a computer – only much more complex.  Control your input, and your output will take care of itself.

Kids Ministry Meatloaf

A mother was making meatloaf with her teenage daughter, a ritual they’ve been doing together for years. As part of the tradition, the two chefs cut the end off one side of the meatloaf before putting it in the oven. One day, the teen asks, “Mom, why do we cut the end off the meatloaf before we put it in the oven?”

Taken by surprise, the mom began to think. She had no good reason, other than that’s how her own mother made meatloaf. Together, the two called up Grandma to find the answer. After a brief laugh, the grandmother admitted that she didn’t know the answer either; she’d learned the technique from her mother. Their curiosity sparked, the three went to visit Great-Grandma in the nursing home where she lived. Upon hearing the question, the ninety-eight-ear-old great grandmother roared with laughter. “I have no idea why YOU are cutting the end off the meatloaf! I used to do it because I didn’t have a big enough pan!”

We laugh at this story, but how many of us could take a long hard look at our Kids Ministry and find that we are still doing many things the same way after many years only because we saw someone else do it that way in the past. It would do us all some good to look at our ministry with a microscope and find out how many areas we are “cutting the meat loaf” in.

It’s time to question the status quo. Look at the programs, processes, and systems in your Kids Ministry. Many things may have made sense in the past, but are no longer relevant. Not everything is a “meat loaf”, but many things are. It’s important to ask yourself the question so you know where the “meatloaves” are in your ministry.

What are some areas in your ministry that you have discovered were “meatloaves” in the past?  Please leave a comment below…

Drop The Excuses

We all have our favorite excuses why we haven’t done the things we know we should do.  Taking risks, expanding our horizons, making significant life and habit changes – all of these things are held back by our favorite excuses:

*  I’m comfortable with the way things are, so I don’t really need to change.

*  I’ll probably fail, so why even try?

*  It’ll take too long to change.

*  People will criticize me if I try this.

As I write in my book, I Blew It!, excuses are perpetual blinders.  With them, we can stay stuck for a lifetime.  When we find the courage to open our eyes to the truth, amazing things can happen.  To make real change a reality in our lives, we have to be willing to get rid of every excuse we’ve used in the past.

Excuses aren’t unique to people today.  When God called Moses, he had all kinds of reasons he couldn’t step up and be the leader of God’s people.  God told Moses he was the one who would lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt to the Promised Land.

It’s time to eliminate your excuses and your rationalizations.  Make a declaration: I’m not going to live by my excuses any longer!  After Moses had given God multiple reasons why he couldn’t lead Israel out of slavery, Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it” (Exodus 4:13).  As it turns out, all of his excuses were only smoke screens.  The real issue was that Moses flat out did not want to do what God had called him to do.

Is that you?  Have you been making excuses to cover up the fact that you’re unwilling to do what God has called you to do?  It’s time to be honest.  Be honest and trust God to change your life.

Book Review: “Jumping The Track” by Roger Fields

When I first began seeing Roger tweet about the book he was writing, he was billing it as “The Kidz Blitz Story.”  That is a major understatement!  While this book does chronicle the story of how the Kidmin phenomenon KIDZ BLITZ got started, it is so much more than that!

“Jumping The Track” is Roger’s story.  It’s the story of a man who refused to follow the mold set by others in ministry.  It’s the story of a man’s struggle with his own overwhelmingly shy personality to become a mesmerizing stage host and people-person.  It’s the story of a man who broke through tradition into a dynamic faith experience.  It’s all that and much more!

Roger is a gifted storyteller.  After reading the book, I feel like I was right there with him, Tammie, Terra, Shannon, Mica, and Morgan for the whole journey.  I literally laughed out loud as Roger shared some of his early ministry mistakes.  I was truly challenged as I read about his leaps of faith to start Kidz Blitz.

“Jumping The Track” refers to being willing to abruptly change directions in life at the Lord’s command.  Rather than follow a pre-set strategy and list of long-term goals, Roger suggests that each of us should “hold on loosely” to the trajectory of our lives and be open to the voice of God.  He may call each of us to “Jump The Track.”  If so, will we be so tightly clinging to our long-term goals and human vision that we miss out on His plan?

I encourage each of you to purchase this book.  It will challenge you to think differently about life, ministry, and faith – in a good way!