Discipleship in Action?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 
Hmm… well, maybe you should check out the video first and then I can comment.
 
 

 
 
As you can tell, here is a guy trying to teach the world how to use chopsticks. Now, it really doesn’t matter to me that this person is from the lighter hue (a.k.a. Caucasian), but I guess what is important is that he is trying to apply a principle in life.

There are probably a lot people that do not know how to use chopsticks outside of the Asian world (even though there are more people who are trying to be cultured and trying to learn); therefore as he is traveling around Vietnam, he probably realized that it might be important for people to learn (especially his friend who is filming).

So they decide to make a video to teach people (the internet world) how to use chopsticks.

Here are some observations:

1) Step-by-step. It is always helpful to teach someone how to do something by going through it with them step-by-step. This applies not only to learning how to use chopsticks but a lot of things in life. This is why the life-on-life principle that we teach at HMCC is very important. When you have someone walking with you and teaching you step-by-step about ministry or a Christ-centered life then, it makes things easier.

2) How we learn is how we are going to teach others. Now for all the professional chopstick users out there, you would have probably noticed the form was not quite exact. Officially, the first chopstick was supposed to rest in between the middle finger and the ring finger. Instead, he had it rest in between the pinky finger and the ring finger (check out the video again if you need to). The person in the video was probably taught by someone else and there is a good likelihood that this was the formed he learned or he could have just adjusted (adapted) the form so that it suited his style or comfort more. Either way, the form was not precise. But does it need to be? As long as it works for him and others, I guess it is ok, right? Regardless, the important point is that we can never take a person to a place where we have never gone before. Whatever we have learned and experienced is what we will be able to teach to others. This includes all the good and the bad; therefore it is a good challenge for us to keep on growing and reaching higher levels.

3) What we do is what people learn. Along with the second point, it is important to know that the people we are trying to train will always learn things from us, as they observe our lives. Often times the old adage is correct: “People learn more from what we do, than what we say.” Therefore, the question we should always be asking ourselves is, “Am I becoming the kind of person, we want this person to become?” If not, we need to change and also point them to the Perfect Example.

 
 
Lastly, I just thought it was interesting that there were six other people sitting around the table and five of them were Vietnamese. Why didn’t the film dude ask one of the Vietnamese people to teach how to correctly use the chopsticks? If you look carefully, the lady on the right of the guy who was teaching in the video was using the chopsticks correctly.

Staying True to Your Roots

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 
I don’t know how many of you are Honest Tea fans, but I had some for the first time when I was down in Texas; and it tasted really good. They jumped out into the market with their branding of using organic ingredients and some funky combinations of flavors. This kind of explains their higher prices.

Now I will confess that I have never really cared that much if something that I ate was organic or not (I know, I know), just as long as it was good. But in Honest Tea’s mission and CSR statements, we notice that it is more than just making tea. Some of their goals are noble. But the questions are: What happens when the company grows? Can they still be true to the vision and mission?

About a year ago, the Coca-Cola company bought about 40% stake in the Honest Tea’s company. There were concerns by some people that a big company like Coca-Cola might ruin its image or quality. Since then, sales have increased and celebrities like Oprah and the President have requested more of the tea.

As I was thinking about this, I realized that some of the issues are very similar to when churches begin to grow. In the infancy stages of a church it is so easy to stay true to the vision and mission. The biblical community has the feel of a family and everyone has a say in everything (“mom and pop shop” kind of feel). But as the church begins to grow there are factors that can challenge the mission and vision. With growth comes the need for great organization and certain structures to be put in place.

But is growth and “staying true to your roots” (a.k.a. values) mutually exclusive?

Can an organization or a church stay true to their roots even though there is growth? I believe it can, but it requires constant communication of the vision and mission, constant check-ups for assessment, and constant discipleship for reinforcement of values.

There have been times when organizations and churches are hijacked by a handful of people; therefore it is imperative that the leadership of that group remain diligent and make sure that the core DNA of the group is not compromised.

You can read up on the Honest Tea article here.

From Lifestage to Lifestage

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 
I was refreshed this week as I met up with some of our church members. One conversation in particular stuck out for me. As I was meeting with the member, we talked about going through various lifestages; and he shared some of his perspective on “how” he decided to go through the transition for this coming year.

As I was listening, I was blessed to hear some of the steps he was going to implement in his transition. It was impressive because in all my years doing ministry on a college campus, I have not heard too many people with this kind of perspective.

There are so many college students who graduate and enter into the “working world” and then struggle in their spiritual lives. The natural thing to do for many of them is to blame someone; therefore, they usually end up blaming the church or a leader or a discipler for their spiritual downfall.

In some ways, the church leadership should be humble and take some responsibility by asking, “Did we prepare our members adequately to engage the culture and continue in their spiritual journey of absolute surrender to Christ?” Maybe this question is more out of my perfectionistic tendencies, but regardless, this is something that we have to address.

In fact, I have told students that the best litmus test is the vacations within the year (Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break). During these breaks, we will get a glimpse of who we really are and how things might look like once we graduate. It is pretty sobering for the students but the truth must be told (and bluntly).

Without all the structures and meetings, the students are then left with their personal relationship with Christ. If this is something that they do not develop while they are in college, then when they become single adults, with all its temptations, distractions, and difficulties, then it is pretty certain that they will struggle (and even play the blame game).

So what did the member say?

He mentioned three things:

1) Mentorship. He actively sought out and is still seeking out people who are a little bit further in the journey. Since he has a specific calling, he is connecting with people who are in that particular field. I have always taught that the person that you pick is important. Why? The person you ask to mentor you will guide you on the road that they have traveled; therefore if you do not like where they are right now, do not ask them to mentor you.

2) Don’t be passive. This coming year was going to be the hardest for him due to all his studies and busyness in his calling. Even his mentors have mentioned that it was the toughest year in terms of their calling. Therefore, if people are not proactive in growing spiritually then they will go on a downward spiral. Nothing totally enlightening but the truth slaps you in the face. How many of us have grown spiritual by being passive? Some people think it is their “right” for God to cause them to grow spiritually without doing anything. I think they have to re-read Philippians 2:12.

3) Be prepared and have the proper perspective. When we know that something is coming our way, we are able to better prepare ourselves. So often people get blindsided because they were not prepared and no one told them about the things that were to come. There are so many people who have gone before us (on the same journey) therefore it is critical that we learn from others and then take the proper steps to be faithful. Things will not be easy. In fact, as we get older, life only gets harder. This is why in each lifestage we have to make sure that we learn the principles well, so that when we get ready to go to the next stage, we will be ready by God’s grace.

Lessons from Pandora

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

pandora-logo
Photo by nowpublic.com
 
 
I love Pandora. For those of you who have not tried it yet, you should. It is free music on the internet. I always have it on as I am working on my laptop. In fact, I have about 50 different stations that I have created over the years. The music ranges from opera, classical, hip-hop to Hillsong and everything in between except for heavy metal.

Recently, there was a lesson that I learned from Pandora that reminded me of an important biblical principle (well, several principles).

First of all, Pandora works according to the decisions you make. You are able to make up your own stations (i.e. The Opera Station) and then pick songs that you like by clicking on thumbs up or thumbs down. But the thing to remember is that in the beginning as you start, Pandora will play random songs that they think fit into your station. They go off the songs that you have given a “thumb up” to and then try to give similar types of songs. It tries to match the particular “sound” that you like and then suggests others songs within that same musical style. Therefore, if you are listening to classical music (giving a “thumbs up”), then they will probably not play anything from Ne-Yo.

The interesting part about this whole process is that if you play that station long enough and give enough thumbs up and down, then you will be able to create a station that will consistently play the type of music that you want.

What are some of the principles?

1) Consistently choosing correct choices will create contentment. It is amazing how we forget that our “decisions determine our destiny.” As we learn how to make wise choices, we begin to grow and understand more of God’s heart. When we continue to make those good and right choices in obedience to God, then we begin to experience joy and contentment in our lives. The people who are constantly struggling to live life with purpose and contentment are people who are not making consistent choices that are based on conviction. As I try to consistently choose the right songs in the right genre of music, I can choose a station and except to hear the type of songs that I want to hear, which gives me ultimate enjoyment and contentment as I work on my computer.

2) Faithfully forging forward will foster fruits. There will be times when there are back-to-back songs that do not fit into the station that I am trying to create. At times, it is pretty frustrating when Pandora can’t figure out what I want (I sometimes wonder what 50 Cent has to do with Kenny G). But as I continue to give thumbs up to the right songs, it is amazing how after awhile it will continue to play all the right songs. In fact, I have done this for so many of my stations that now, when I choose a station I don’t have to worry about songs being played that are not in “style” of the station. But this took hours of faithfully clicking thumbs up and down. In the same way, when we continue to do God’s will, we will often find ourselves seeing the fruits of our obedience.

Should We Be Controversial?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

protest
Photo by NYTimes
 
 
Bill Ellis writing for ASSIST News Service wrote an article that asks the question, “Should the Church and its Ministers be Controversial?” Now, I know that there are pastors and church leaders who are controversial for controversy sake. They experience great joy from inciting controversy and “ticking” people off. Then there are others who just hate interpersonal conflict; and since they want to be in constant harmony with everyone, they try really hard not to talk about controversial topics.

But the more I think about this, the more I am concluding that if we stand up for something (or anything) then there will inevitably be some controversy, no?

Ellis said, “No matter what you say or write, there is no controversy until someone does not agree with you. To that person, what you are saying or doing becomes controversial. You can often get some idea of whether you are right or wrong simply by who agrees and disagrees with you. When a person, by what he believes, speaks or writes, leads others to debate, argument, disputation and disagreement we quickly label him as being controversial. Do you know of any person who is not controversial to some degree?”

Can we ever find people who will agree with you 100%?

No! In that sense, we are all controversial.

I am reminded that anyone who did anything to make history were all controversial. Just think about it.

Ellis closes out his article by saying,

“When I was a college freshman I took a class in Bible history. Unless you know something about your ancestry and what has preceded you, you may never know where you are going. In those two semesters I realized that many people who have done anything worthwhile have been embroiled in controversy.

The Bible is full of revered and sainted characters who were as controversial as anybody is in the world today. Their names were Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Isaiah, Elijah, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, David, Solomon, Amos, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Stephen, James, Paul and the most controversial of all of them was Jesus. These men still stir up controversy, disagreement and debate wherever their message is presented.

When the church and its preachers declare God’s eternal truth all in the world who do not believe in truth will cry out, ‘You are too controversial.’ But that does not alter truth one iota. We are not the judge of truth. Truth will judge us.”

This gives me a lot of comfort the next time someone tells me that I am being too controversial.

You can read the article here.

The Need for Evaluation?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various

evaluation-survey
Photo by Carmody Consulting
 
 
John Ortberg wrote an article for Leadership Journal that was pretty insightful. He addressed the topic of “evaluation.” It is clear that there are many people who do not evaluate themselves and their ministry. Ortberg writes,

“Some people refuse to ask any questions about effectiveness at all, on the grounds that facing up to ineffectiveness would just be too painful. They run on the ‘if I can help one fainting sparrow back to the nest, it will all have been worth it’ standard, a standard by which it is very hard to fail.

If I’m not good at something, it’s best to find it out clearly and early, grieve my inadequacy, and move on to more fertile possibilities. How many congregations – and pastors – and pastor’s spouses – live in misery year after year because someone won’t face the truth about where their gifts do and do not lie. How many of us don’t grow because we are afraid of honest feedback. Truth is always our friend.”

I think one of the worst things that can happen in ministry is when we don’t have people who love us enough to tell us the truth. There are people who are in the ministry, serving in various roles that might not be the best fit for them. But how will we know without evaluation? I think this is another reason why we need to have spiritual mentors in our lives who will be able to speak the honest truth with us, even at the expense of hearing some painful things that might hurt us. The mentors also need to have the guts to tell us things that we might not want to hear.

But Ortberg suggests the possibly of over evaluation. He believes we sometimes evaluate things to death because we are under the “tyranny of outcomes.” We always want to know that we are successful and that we are doing well. When you look at some of the examples in the Bible and “evaluated” them, we would probably label them as failures.

Hmm… how do you draw a balance?

Evaluation is definitely needed but doing it in such a way that our focus is not always on the “results” might be the tightrope that we will always have to walk on. Evaluating with our focus on Jesus would be a good article to write in the future.

You can read up on the article here.

Is Boo-ing Allowed?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

fans-booing
Photo by Kentucky Sport Radio
 
 
Recently, one of my church members forwarded an article to me that drew my attention. The article is titled, “Why Not Boo?” It was written by Terry Teachout, a drama critic for the Wall Street Journal. He was writing how at the famous Metropolitan Opera House in New York City there was booing after the premiere of Mary Zimmerman’s production of Bellini’s “La Sonnambula.”

Now, I love opera; therefore this Zimmerman’s interpretation of Bellini’s piece was probably pretty bad for people to boo at the end of the show.

WSJ’s writer Teachout challenges the reader with the question, “Is it always a bad thing to be booed?” In fact, he mentions that it might not be a bad thing. He writes,

“Most of the theatrical performances I see in New York receive standing ovations. Time was when audiences reserved that special gesture for a performance of equally special merit, but in recent years it has become a near-reflexive response to anything short of a crash-and-burn disaster. The most popular explanation for this phenomenon is the increasingly high cost of theater tickets, the assumption being that playgoers stand up to help persuade themselves that the show they just saw was worth what they paid to see it. Whatever the reason, though, standing ovations are now the rule, not the exception. It goes without saying that the frequency of standing ovations devalues their significance.”

Hmm…

We are brought up in a “politically correct” culture that we have to be “very careful” how we say things because it might “offend” someone or “hurt” someone. What happened to truth telling? I know that in my life whenever the truth is spoken to me, it does not always make me feel, “lovey-dovey.” In fact, sometimes it hurts; and in my pride, I don’t want to hear it.

But this is what is often times needed in order for us to have a proper perspective of ourselves and most importantly about God. The problem is that not too many of us are thick-skinned enough to handle the truth (why am I seeing the scene from “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson). Teachout says in his article, “I hasten to acknowledge, however, that booing can hurt. Few artists are thick-skinned enough not to be stung to the quick by public rejection.”

Maybe we shy away from telling people the truth because we are more concerned about our rejection from them rather than God. Also, we shy away from hearing the truth because we don’t want to face the reality of who we really are… and who God is and what He requires of us.

You can read the WSJ’s article here.

Bringing the Old with the New

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

 

 
 
Now this is how nun-chucks are supposed to be used. Believe it or not, I used to practice using nun-chucks on a regular basis when I was in high school. I don’t what it was but I got into this phase of martial arts. Confession: yes, I had the ninja stars and everything.

It is now hard to see the nun-chucks around. They have become more of the old school martial arts equipment. Therefore, when I saw this video, I couldn’t help but to get a bit nostalgic.

Then it got me thinking how I get the same feelings when we sing an old praise song from back in the day or when something from the 80’s come back in style. It is one of those feelings that tap into our lives – our backgrounds and our experiences. For some reason, the things of old help us to remember.

Maybe this is the reason why the Apostle John wrote to the church of Ephesus, “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Rev 2:4-6).

Some Observations about Twitter

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

twitter-whale
Photo by Twitter
 
 
I don’t know how many of you are fans of Twitter, but it is taking the social network by storm. I have a feeling that it might supersede Facebook one day – kind of like what Facebook did to Xanga… if you are still using Xanga, I really don’t know what to say.

Now that I have offended some people (Xanga users), there are some observations that I made regarding Twitter just recently:

1) Is it me or is Facebook trying to look more like Twitter? It is often said that imitation is the highest form of compliment. People do not copy unless there is some value in the product.

2) Christina and I have a theory (I repeat, it is just a theory) – guys are more likely to use Twitter, while women prefer Facebook. I think it is partly because Twitter limits you to only 140 characters. Whatever you have to communicate has to be short and sweet. Guys usually just state the facts, while women get into all the details (yes, I know… this is a generalization). Christina was at one of the kids’ school function and she had a conversation with another women in the room. They were talking about how their husbands were frustrated at the number of hours that their wives spend on Facebook. Hence the difference – guys are like, “just give me the bottom line (a la Twitter)” while the gals are like, “let me give you all the details of my life via video, pictures, updates, growing gifts, etc. (a la Facebook).”

3) If you have ever seen the above picture, it is just another reminder of the Twitter phenomenon. Sometimes it is frustrating to see this picture especially when you are trying to do a quick post or trying to look up something. This is a fresh reminder that in all that we do, we always have to be ready for growth. How many churches and organizations fail in productivity and effectiveness because they do not plan for growth?

4) We have to be ahead of the curve. There are innovators and early adopters who start up movements. But then there are people who are the late adopters or people who just refuse to jump on the train. These people are almost always behind the curve. Believe it not, what seems like a new Twitter phenomenon, it is slowly going to be replaced with something else – some would say the innovators and early adopters are on to something else. There are many people who are the late adopters (to an idea or movement) but once they adopt the idea, it is already on its way out; therefore it is out-dated when they join. This is how so much of the Church has been run. I pray that there will be more innovators in the Church, as well as early adopters who will lead the way, even in the secular world. This will be a catalyst for transformation.

Lessons from St. Patrick’s Day

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various, Viewpoint

st-patrick
History.com Photo
 
 
It is amazing how many people were out and about today because it was St. Patrick’s Day. One of the staff pastors told me that he even saw a long line outside a bar in downtown Ann Arbor at 6:15AM as he was driving to morning prayer.

Then when we went out to campus for lunch there were a lot of people dressed up in green and gathering at – yup, you guess it – a bar. They were outside drinking, laughing and talking.

Therefore, I suggested an experiment. I proposed that we ask some people who are feeling very “St. Paddy-ish” if they knew the reason for the so-called holiday or if they knew who St. Patrick was.

It was interesting because people did not know who St. Patrick was and why they were celebrating in his name.

Then I was thinking how so many celebrations have turned out this way. Just think about Ash Wednesday with Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas, and the list goes on.

What happened?

Several things come to my mind:

1) Always know the original intent.
2) When we fail to pass on the reasons behind why we do what we do, then the meaning will be lost.
3) It is easy to take something and deconstruct it to make it fit into our culture or our selfish desires.
4) Don’t just do something because everyone is doing it – seriously think about it first!

 
 
All these things can be applied within the context of the church.

* How many times have we lost God’s original purpose for something?
* How many times have we done something without knowing why we do what we do?
* How many times have we twisted God’s purpose to fit into our purpose?
* How many times have we thoughtfully and prayerfully did something instead of just following the crowd?

Well, I think it might be helpful (and even be shocking) if all the St. Paddy revelers read up on who Saint Patrick was and what he did that brought him so much fame.

Here is a biography of St. Patrick.

Trip Out Chicago 3.15.09

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

It has just been about 24 hours since I landed in O’Hare airport yesterday, but already it has been an awesome time catching up with people and also ministering God’s Word. Yesterday, I met up with the leaders at HMCC-Chicago and re-casted the vision, as well as gave the leaders an update of the church plant in Jakarta.

Since time is always short in Chicago, I have to be strategic in trying to meet up with all the staff members, as well as some of the leaders in the church. I still have a few more people to meet up with within the next 20 hours, but I am enjoying every minute of it. This has been one of the joys of the apostolic ministry. In Acts 18:23 we notice what Paul did – “After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.”

The Sunday Celebration on the campus of Northwestern University went well. Even though many of them were in the midst of finals (quarter academic system), they received the message well as we closed out the “Image” series with Part 3: Success.

Now I am at a student lounge on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus and getting ready to preach at the Downtown site.

Leadership Lesson: Glamour, Gain and Glory – 3 Servant Killers

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

carrying-the-cross32
Photo from “The Passion of Christ”
 
 
Ever since 1996, I have been trying to teach the members in our church the importance of servanthood. This entails serving God with humility and constantly checking our motives for doing what we do.

A lot of times when we examine our hearts, we have to confess that our motives are tainted. The interesting thing about this is that we do not discover this until something happens that brings it out. I have seen how busyness, bitterness, and barrenness (spiritually) do an incredible job of surfacing the ugliness of our hearts.

It is in these moments when we come to the conclusion that our true motive for service has been driven by personal gain, glory and glamour, we need to repent and refocus. Who in the world would sign up for being a “servant of God” if we knew it was going to be this hard? Either we have to be really sadistic or we have a good grasp of the Gospel message.

It is always the people who grasp the latter that will work through some of the issues that surface when it comes to serving God. The Gospel calls us to die to ourselves so that Christ can live in us (Gal 2:20). But how often is it God who is dead in our lives and we constantly squirm to preserve ourselves and to be exalted.

This is why I am wondering if God sends trials and difficulties our way in order to refine us and help us to see the poison that we consistently swallow – pride and pretension are a deadly combination.

Margaret Manning who worked with Ravi Zacharias and his ministry, wrote an article called, “Inglorious Service” which really captured a lot of my thoughts on this issue of learning how to serve God is humility and brokenness.

She writes,

Many times over the years, I have heard it taught in church sermons, Sunday school classes, or bible studies that Christians are called to a life of service. In theory, I understand this calling and I certainly spend a good deal of my time writing about service, and holding up the example of Jesus as the preeminent Servant of all.

Yet most of us, if we are honest, are averse to service of any kind that asks more of us than we are willing to give. We measure out our service, as we would our sugar and cream for coffee. Moreover, we become resentful and bitter when we are asked time and again to serve in ways that do not make us feel very important. We feel our personal self-worth is assaulted when we are asked to take a background role or put aside our own plans and goals. We feel oppressed and mistreated when we do not receive the desired commendation or appreciation for what we have sacrificed or given up.

I’m not sure where or when I began to associate glory or glamour with service, but somehow and somewhere I began to believe that service actually was a pathway to glory – personal glory and advancement in this life. I believed that my service to ‘earthly masters’ would, in the end, come to advantage for me. But real service is never glamorous. Nor is there a guaranteed ‘pay off.’ There is no glamour in Jesus’ exhortation to service… Indeed, Jesus tells his followers that ‘whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall save it’ (Mark 8:35).

The call to lose one’s life is the call to service, and not to glory, or gain, or greatness. We serve not for reward, fame, or privilege, but because we love the one who so perfectly served us. Following in the pattern of Jesus, as his disciples, means that our lives will be offered up in sacrifice for others – without any guarantee or promise of reward or glamour for doing so in this life. The call to follow Jesus and to serve him as Master and Lord is the call to lose my life for his sake and for the sake of the gospel.

And yet, in losing one’s life there is the promise of finding it anew. In freely choosing to offer oneself in service to God, just as Jesus offered himself in service, we have the opportunity to find our true lives in Christ. It is the opportunity to gain the reward of knowing Jesus and finding in him that which is life indeed. James Loder suggests that service offers us the opportunity for true self-understanding. He writes, ‘Christian self-understanding drives toward the goal of giving love sacrificially with integrity after the pattern of Christ. This means the willing breaking of one’s wholeness potential for the sake of another, a free choice that has nothing to do with oppression because it is an act of integrity and everything to do with Christ’s free choice to go to the cross as an act of love.’ The laying down of our lives provides the opportunity for others to walk over us, across us, and through us to the One who first laid down his life for us.

It is particularly fitting during the Season of Lent, a season that is directed towards sacrifice and service, to wrestle with our understanding of this call on our lives. Who do we really serve? Do we serve in order to receive tangible reward or commendation? Or do we live with the tension, as Christ surely did, that service will often lead to greater and greater loss, perhaps in the areas we most desire gain? The call to serve is a high calling and a hard calling, but it is the call for every Christ-follower. It is a call that asks for our very lives offered on behalf of others, and in losing our lives we will find them saved. The call of service is indeed one that promises salvation – not in the way of reward or glory – but in the unexpected discovery of wholeness and new life in Christ along the way.

 
 
With every new season of selecting new leaders in our church, we always have to address these issues. We have to constantly challenge the leaders (old and new) to re-evaluate their calling. It is really an invitation to die to self and be alive in Christ. As we always do a cost-benefit analysis, may the scales tip to the side of laying down our lives to the One that has laid down everything for us. There is just no comparison.

Twitter + Etiquette = Twitterquette

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

twitter-logo
 
 
As you know, Twitter is taking over the internet. In fact, I find myself on Twitter more than Facebook and other social networks. My blog is second to Twitter when it comes to communicating things.

For some time now, I have not “followed” everyone that has decided to follow me. My thought was – “Are you crazy? How in the world are you supposed to follow every single person that follows you?” By the way, I still don’t understand how people who have thousands of followers, follow thousands of people.

But anyways, I was reading up on an old Fast Company article and they gave the “10 Twitter Etiquette Rules.” Number 9 states, “If people follow you, it’s polite to ‘follow’ them back.” Therefore, I am going to go against some people’s counsel of – “don’t follow everybody that follows you or you will get sucked up in the black hole of Twitterland.”

Now, I know that I might not know the people who are following me, but as long as they look legit, then I will follow them back. Also, I will try my best to reply to people, but I cannot promise you anything. My wife already thinks that I am an addict! I need TA (Twitter Anonymous).

Leadership Lesson: Why is Change So Hard?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

got-change-t-shirt1
Photo by Zazzle
 
 
Albert Einstein coined the adage “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The reality is that people love the status quo. It is usually correlated with our love for comfort. This is why sometimes, as people get older, it is harder to change (or believe in change) because change has too much risks involved.

When we think about change, it creates feelings within a person that are not greatly desired. Change causes people to feel uncertainty, insecurity, and uncomfortability. This goes antithesis to what we love – certainty, comfort, and safety.

Usually change comes when it is forced upon us. It can be a crisis or a situation where we have no choice but to change. But change can also come when people are able to envision a better life or a better way. To communicate the potential and the possibility of a better future takes great leadership. It is not an easy task.

But change is possible.

Here are some things to consider (the 5 D’s):

1) Detect the need. It is imperative that there is a recognition of the required change. Unless people are able to see the importance of the change, they will go into default mode, which is always status quo.

2) Describe the future. The leader must be able to clearly communicate what the future could and would look like if the change occurs. So often leaders try to explain the need for change with the gloom and doom approach but this does not motive people (maybe for a brief period but not for the length required to bring change). It should always be in the positive tone and attitude.

3) Design actionable steps. Too often change does not happen because a lot of the ideas are stuck in theory rather than in the execution of the strategy or goals. The more practical and step-by-step they are, the easier it will be to move towards the desired change.

4) Dialogue. It is important to keep the communication lines open with the members or people in your organization. Whether it is answering questions or even discussing some new ideas that have not been discovered yet, it is always helpful to be in communication.

5) Determination towards the future. Change always requires a strong resolve. Results sometimes take time; therefore it is crucial that we do not lose the focus or the goal for change. It is so easy to give up, but something that helps to stay on course is to re-picture the future that was originally placed in your heart.