Monday, November 09, 2009
its been over a week and i'm still chewing on a conversation i had with mathew deblanc. in the context of formalizing ministry responsibility he said, "throw out the manual or you marry it." i was intrigued.
honestly, i've spent hours and days banging out the perfect manual; full of procedures, flow charts, org charts and wanna be attorney speak. i cringed as i wrote but i was sure the end result would be worth it. not sure that it was. sure, i felt good about finishing a challenging task but that logic could applied to moving a mound of manure too. i also felt good about the fact that i could stick a manual in someones hand, basically abdicate my responsibility and if anything went wrong (although, according the manual, it shouldn't), i could fix the problem and ask if the culprit followed the proceeder in the manual. Wait, are we still talking about manure?
ok, so maybe i need to cut back on the legal jargon in my instructions, trainings and emails (or probably anything i write) but can i just cut back and not throw it all away? i guess cutting is a start but the result i want to achieve from throwing out all the wasted words is RELATIONSHIP. it is much easier to write than train, to press send than to have a conversation over coffee. some think that cell phones are impersonal but even a brief conversation is better than an email or way better than a text message.
There is wisdom in throwing out the manual but i'm curious about what other manuals are being written.
* The one for the interns - if i don't have time for all direct reports, i need to reconsider my priorities.
* The one for the staff - i shouldn't assume that paycheck = teamwork.
* The one for my wife - just because i communicated my love for you yesterday doesn't mean i shouldn't reconfirm it today.
* The one for my kids - provision, sacrifice, good intentions and personal exhaustion all pale in comparison to reading a book to a wide eye impressionable ball of potential.
so trade people for paper any day, anytime and all the time. exchange time for typing and relationship for regurgitation.
Friday, November 06, 2009
I recently attended a pre screening of the movie, To Save A Life. I have to admit; 5 days later I’m still rewinding and replaying.
The movie was relevant. It was professionally shot, produced and packaged. It leveraged the best talent and made a movie that teenagers would relate to. At times I didn’t know if I was watching TSAL or Adam Herz.
This was not a “Christian” movie. The word “Christian” makes a great noun, “I am a 'Christian'”. But the word also makes a horrible adjective (ie “Christian” movie). This movie played to Christian themes and came from a solid moral base but didn’t have a Disneyesque happy ending, not all the female actors wore turtle necks during the pool scene and not all the language was taken from the Baptist Quarterly.
It was an effective launch point for deep discussion. Any savvy teen would be able to bring a friend to and use this movie as a basis for natural, intentional, gospel presentation. The way the issues were dealt with in real time and not neatly packaged actually left for post movie, Starbucks dialogue.
The door was opened on several controversial issues (almost too many at the risk of plot deluge) and light was cast on heavy challenges teens face on a daily basis. The movie guided the challenges in a way for constructive conversation and positive situation handling where most teen movies just leave the heavy issue hanging out there or even have the movie deal with it in a way we would not.
In the end the movie was entertaining but the real value is that is a powerful tool. When priming would be viewers it would be wise NOT to compare this movie with a 75 million dollar thriller. Even tough TSAL can hold its own, at the end of the day, we want our teens trained and walking away with a tool that that can be used to help their friends more than a laugh and half a bag of popcorn.