Road Rage and the 10 Commandments

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

The Vatican issued a 10 commandments for drivers. You can read the article here. It is a bit surprising since most people are used to the Vatican speaking out on abortion, homosexuality, or capital punishment. I am guessing it is due to all the road rage that is out there on the streets.

They warned that certain type of driving will bring out “primitive” behavior in people such as, “impoliteness, rude gestures, cursing, blasphemy, loss of sense of responsibility or deliberate infringement of the highway code.”

The 8th commandment was pretty interesting. It states, “Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.” Gre-at! Can you imagine a healing session right on I-94?

You can see the complete list here.

Hopefully, this will work – at least for the Catholics :-)

Thoughts on “The 360 Leader”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visuals

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The topic of leadership is my passion. I love devouring books and articles on leadership. The topic can be discussed from Christian authors or even secular authors – it really doesn’t matter because any leadership principles that work in the world are always biblical principles.

John Maxwell is known as the guru on this topic in the Christian circles (always debatable). I guess after teaching and speaking on leadership for the last 35 years has some weight and credibility.

I have always appreciated his short one word definition of leadership – “influence.” So many people are so caught up on the position of leadership that they fail to see that the true measure of leadership is simply to see if we have “influence.”

In our church, I have been constantly talking about how we will all be in leadership roles in the future. Whether we will become parents, managers in companies, community project directors, helping out with small groups and etc. – we all have some level of influence with people.

Out of myriad of books on leadership, I think this book is probably the most applicable for anybody in any organization. In fact, I felt as if this book was Maxwell’s compilation of many of his leadership principles and lessons.

The basic premise of this book is learning how to develop your influence from anywhere in an organization. One hard fact is: not everyone will be the CEO (top guy) in an organization. In reality most people will be either on the entry level trying to work their way up or they will be in middle management. But the question is: can you be a leader that has influence with people above you (your boss), around you (peers), and below you (employees)? Hence, the 360 title.

Maxwell starts off by giving 7 myths about leading from the middle of an organization. He was dead on with every single one. I am amazed at the number of people who have bought into some of these myths. The stronger they hold on to these myths, the worst they are in being able to influence people from the middle.

Maxwell also tries to empathize with people who are caught in the middle management role (this is probably one of the hardest roles to play in any organization). He describes 7 challenges that most people from the middle face when it comes to influencing people around them.

In the rest of the book, Maxwell lays out principles so that a person can “lead-up,” “lead-across,” and “lead-down.”

The thing that caught my attention throughout this book is how hard it is to find people who are in the middle of the organization but that they love the vision of the organization and they are willing to do anything to see it become a reality. Whenever we are leading something, it is always easy to give 100% to it. But when we are not the ones calling the shots, it is hard to give everything. But when you find people who are just as passionate and committed to the vision (even though they are not the top-guy), then we need to do everything and anything to retain them and develop them. They will help the organization to reach the next level.

I think this book is a definite “must-read” for leadership teams in any organization. It will really shed new light to some of the struggles that people face as leaders.

If “everything rises and falls with leadership” then it is imperative that we start learning how to be a 360 leader.

A Guest at HMCC of Chicago

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Yesterday, HMCC of Chicago was blessed to have Pastor David Yang from All Nations Mission Church visit our Sunday Celebration. He is leading a growing bi-cultural church in the New Jersey area. Since his son attends our church Pastor Yang brought his whole family to spend some time with Josh before he took off for the India missions trip.

It was encouraging to see the legacy that has continued on until today. Pastor David was my youth pastor when I was younger and now I am pastoring his son. It was cool being able to see three generations come together.

Pastor David gave us some words of exhortation and encouraged us to live for God’s Kingdom.

It is always inspiring to see people who have gone before you and who are still faithful in living for God’s glory

The Funeral Tells It All

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I still remember attending my first funeral. I was about 10 years old. All I remember from the burial service was the wife screaming and crying as the husband’s casket was being lowered. I just remember my heart being saddened. Since then, I have attended more funerals and I am expecting many more to come in the future – I guess it comes with the vocation of a pastor.

One observation I had about funerals is that you always know how well a person lived their life. Whether it is through the eulogy or the number of people that come from miles away, for some reason you just know how a person lived their life.

It really is a time where people are able to reflect on the impact the deceased person made in their lives. It becomes a testimony to a life well lived.

Today, at 2:00PM EST they had a funeral service for Ruth Bell Graham. With all the words and testimonies about her life, you realized that she had a full life and she made the most of it for the glory of God.

One life to live… and one day we will all have to give an account. May we live everyday as if it is our last.

Check out the video that celebrates her life.

The Ordinary Opera Guy

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Since some people know that I like opera, I have been getting a lot of forwards about Paul Potts, the mobile phone salesman from South Wales, who is a contestant in the new British talent search show called, Britain’s Got Talent.

The fascination with Paul Potts is that he is just an “ordinary” guy but who has a lot of talent that was not perfected through “professional training” (vocal lessons or coaching). It was just his love and passion for opera that has led him to get to this point in the talent show.

The show features Simon Cowell from the American Idol as one of the judges.

I think one of the reasons why this video has been viewed by close to 2 million people (and counting) is because it is the classic underdog story. It speaks volumes to this generation. It was pretty inspiring. It just reminded me that there are many people around this world with talents and gifts that just need to be discovered – “a diamond in the ruff.”

Here is the video that took everyone by storm:

Here is his semi-final performance:

Birthday Feasting

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I guess as people celebrate their birthdays, it is often times equated with going out to eat. It is an extra bonus when people end up paying for you. Yesterday I had breakfast with the kids at one of my favorite breakfast places. Then the staff took me out for lunch. Finally for dinner, Christina and I share some time together at a nice restaurant that gives 50% off on a person’s birthday.

In the midst of all the meals, cards (e-cards as well), presents, and birthday wishes, I am thankful that God has sustained me all these years. Even though I am getting older, I am praying that I will always stay young at heart.

I am also thankful for all the awesome people that God has surrounded me with. Their love and commitment to me are both humbling and inspiring.

Ruth Graham Gone Before Us

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Today, on June 14th at 5:05PM, Ruth Graham went to be with the Lord. I was pretty moved by the news article in CNN and their depiction of her. Read it here.

I think her life is summed up well by the words of Billy Graham, “Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team. No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support. I am so grateful to the Lord that He gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we’ve had in the mountains together. We’ve rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day. I will miss her terribly, and look forward even more to the day I can join her in Heaven.”


Her love for Billy Graham was evident when she was asked how she was able endure her husband’s frequent absences… she said, “I’d rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man.”


You can read a brief version of her biography here.

As I ponder upon this moment, I can’t help but to think about Christina. It is my prayer that she will be by my side even in death. I am so thankful for her and her commitment to me. Truly humbled.
A phrase I say quite often is, “the person you marry will either make you or break you.” Hmm… how would have Billy Graham turned out if he didn’t have Ruth?
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Billy Graham Statement on Selection of Burial Site (bold italics mine):

MONTREAT, N.C., June 13, 2007

“Earlier this spring, after much prayer and discussion, Ruth and I made the decision to be buried beside each other at the Billy Graham Library in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

We have held this decision privately and only decided to announce it now that she is close to going home to Heaven.

Ruth is my soul mate and best friend, and I cannot imagine living a single day without her by my side. I am more in love with her today than when we first met over 65 years ago as students at Wheaton College.

Ruth and I appreciate, more than we can express, the prayers and letters of encouragement we have received from people across the country and around the world. Our entire family has been home in recent days and it has meant so much to have them at our side during this time. We love each one of them dearly and thank God for them.”

Popsicle Outreach

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I really love it when a vision is cast and then the people of God take it and run with it. Some of the small groups in our church have been trying to live out the missional church mandate. It is amazing to find out some of the creative ways they are coming up with in order to bless people on campus.

Not too long ago, a small group did a “pizza for prayer.” They were shocked to find out how many people were open to receiving prayer. More than anything, it just helped our members to be more outward focused.

I just find out another small group went into the Diag (the center part of campus) and did a “popsicle for prayer” outreach. Even though not everyone wanted to receive prayer, at least they know there are bunch of people on campus who care and want to express God’s love. This is very encouraging for me as I see people going “beyond the walls” of the church.

One extra blessing in the outreach was that they got an opportunity to meet a lot of incoming freshmen (they are ALREADY HERE for orientation). They were able to get contact information and now we have to start praying for the harvest of souls that will be coming in September.

This might be a year like none other.

Summer Student Gatherings

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

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For our Friday night ACCESS gatherings in AA, we have changed the focus a little bit. First of all, during the summer we are meeting just once a month (compared to every Friday night). We really wanted the small groups to be more missional and find creative ways to experience not only biblical community but also to reach out to the community around them.

This means that the gatherings that we do have on Fridays will be extremely important.

Secondly, we have narrowed the focus to just having college students at these gatherings. In the past, we had working single adults participate but this coming year we want to develop more momentum for the college ministry.

We want to make these gatherings a high-impact time with worship, the Word and prayer.

We are praying for another student missions movement in our generation – we are hoping that these gathering will be the catalyst.

The Night Life Pioneers

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

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We are finishing off a two-year theme called, “Church Beyond the Walls.” For some reason, when the staff and I first talked about the theme (2 years ago) we had no idea how everything was going to turn out. All we knew was that we, as a church, needed to be more missional and more focused on reaching the lost.

We concluded that instead of trying to bring people into the four walls of the church, we needed to bring the church to the lost. This was not an easy concept since many of us were used to the attractional model (bring people to an event). I still believe there is some value to the attractional model (but maybe at certain seasons). But the missional model seemed more in line with the Jesus style.

So now, after two years of going over this theme, I feel like people are slowly catching on.

I want to give a shout out to some of the single adults in our church. One small group has decided to have some of their small group gatherings at Sweetwaters Café called the The Night Life – Ann Arbor… I have a feeling they might brand this out to other sites. :-)

They are going to start this Wednesday (tomorrow).

I am praying that as they bring the church to the community (in a café) that they will be able to bring the hope of the Gospel. From the sounds of it, I think they are going to be able to attract a good handful of people at their first meeting. If you are free on Wednesday nights, go check it out.

This is something I can get excited about and lift them up in prayer.

The Google Influence

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Today, after a long day at the office, I was going to my car which was parked in a parking structure. It was a bit strange to see plain clothed security guards on the premises. This is the first time seeing so many all throughout the parking structure.

So I decided to ask one of them if something was happening. The man answered by saying, “Well, we got a new client and they are making sure that it is safe to park their cars here.” Then I asked, “New client?” “Yeah, Google” the man said.

Hmm… Google. I don’t know if you have heard but Google recently opened up an office here in Ann Arbor. It was pretty big news. You can check out the story here.

With the new 1,000 jobs that Google is bringing into the area, I guess they have some level of influence here.

Can a church create so much value to a community that people would take notice? Can a church ever be a church that the world cannot ignore?

The Gospel According to Cicadas

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

It is just incredible! This is an epic tale of the life of a cicada… Awakening – Transformation – Purpose – Reproduction.

The Unified Sound of Cicadas

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

When I was going to the airport a cicada got stuck in the windshield wipers. We were trying so hard to “release” the poor little fellow by turning on the windshield wipers… but to no avail. The destiny of the little critter was determined. But for every one that dies, there are hundreds more that are being birthed.

Can you imagine that they have a website solely dedicated to these insects? Check out some of the interesting facts about them here on their website. Warning: there are pictures of them “mating” :-)

I couldn’t help chuckling when Pastor Jimmy said that Chicago is under a plague (reference to the story in the book of Exodus). These cicadas are so loud that it is almost deafening, especially when you are near a forest preserve. The interesting part is that when they are alone they are not that loud. But when they are together in unison, it is pretty loud.

These insects have a 13-17 year life cycle. Therefore, every 13-17 years we hear a unified chirp that creates havoc. Hmmm… what would it be like if the churches were unified and declared the name of Christ together? Maybe we would bring more havoc to Satan and his demons.

Processing Through Ideas

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

This morning I had breakfast with Pastor Jimmy, our site pastor for our Chicago site. We spent some time sharing our hearts with one another and bouncing off ideas. It was an encouraging time.

Harvey Firestone, the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company said, “Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You can get both of these. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life. They are any man’s greatest asset – idea.”

I cannot agree with the above quote more. For some reason, when I am in an environment where ideas are being shared and processed, it is a very energizing time for me. Whenever I share some of my crazy ideas and thoughts, it is helpful to have people give feedback along the way. Also, when I hear ideas from other people, I love giving counter perspectives.

I guess this is where the 3 C’s of “idea processing” come in – creativity, collaboration and contribution. John Maxwell said, “[Shared thinking] is faster than solo thinking, is more innovative, and has greater value. Most important, I believe, is the fact that great thinking comes when good thoughts are shared in a collaborative environment where people contribute to them, shape them, and take them to the next level.”

I am thankful for the key people I am surrounded by on a daily basis. We don’t always see eye-to-eye but there is a healthy respect for one another and we value each other’s input. Most of all, I am thankful for their willingness to put up with some of the crazy and foolish ideas that are a work-in-progress.

Alfred North Whitehead said it well – “Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.”

But after some collaboration and contribution from everyone, the ideas become the fuel that will transform the world.

We are on the verge of something good… details will soon follow.