Mystery cannot be contained by two dimensions. We seem to escape mystery within the walls of our binary reality. If life was as simple as a switch, we could simply turn off or turn on solutions. In fact, we do that very act every day to choose hot or cold water out of the faucet. We change the channel or swipe to the next stream of content on our smartphones with ease. Choices, no matter how full of first-world sophistication all reduce themselves to a binary question. With thousands of TV shows, hundreds of thousands of songs, and millions of click-bait articles to peruse, the choice is either a yes or a no. The muscle that might have once been used on imagination and wonder is now occupied to manage the firehose torrent of information and entertainment headed in our direction. Our schedule will not allow exploration, however. Reasonable people eventually see that there are more than binary choices in the complex landscape of our planet. We know, for instance, that our universe is in three dimensions and that cultures and climates color our patterns of thought and life experiences. If you happen to see the political postings on Facebook or Twitter this season then you are often led to believe that there are only two choices, regardless of who you may pick. Even the…
Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are now not only personal expressions but company branding machines. With the proliferation of this new media, I have identified five sins that create weak impact—unless you are into rewarding stupidly bad behavior. And, they drive me crazy! The dark side of social media might hurt you more than help. Many companies see added stats to follower lists, but do they know that their supposed social media manager is cheating a system instead of engaging people?
Old stories such as “Hansel and Gretel” and “Little Red Riding Hood” were meant to put fear into children. Lessons such as Aesop’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” were likely to prevent a child from basically ringing the fire alarm for fun. Fear is a motivator. It works. Fear of losing your job can be leveraged to keep you and your coworkers from offering legitimate grievances and used in turn to add hours and workload without additional compensation. From TV news to Facebook posts about the ending of the world, fear sells and gets our attention. Our fight or flight chemistry is amped to the max. It’s a science and it works.
I was introduced to new terminology—trailing spouse. This is the marriage partner that is uprooted from his or her job when their spouse moves for work. They are the individuals whose job or career is secondary to the other’s and willingly break what in some cases may be very rewarding work and relationships.
In ministry leadership at times you must make a clear choice. Will I be influential or will I be popular? When both are possible–which is a rare occasion of fortune–you have a windfall of capital to leverage. However, popularity and the power that comes from it is acquired by the minutia of the direction of the wind, and is as fickle as the latest fad. Influence, on the other hand, is based on time and the reputation that results. To maintain popularity requires a crisis management at every threat. To maintain influence simply means you keep a steady hand.
Greg Johnson of On Being Human has been busy lately. Besides his band, Greg and his bandmates work on movie and TV soundtracks, produce artists (even people like me), and have been known to cover a video game tune or two. Murrieta, California has few as talented and creative when it comes to the professional music field.
Many spend hours preparing their presentation, their set list of music, or the communication video reel each week only to succumb to the terrible, habitual blank canvass panic. This “blank canvass panic” (or BCP) experience raises your blood pressure and catalyzes the acidic wash inside your stomach. This is the empty page, the blank screen, the note-less and rhythmless song. Likely, you will recover. But, deadlines head toward you like a freight train on a mission.
I have put below ten strategies to help us creatives through the BCP. Better than breathing into a paper bag or bingeing on ice cream are some methods to calm the madness of your creative storm, Some anxiety should be celebrated and leveraged, but the tsunami production output is calling your name.
Because the establishment already has an idea of who they want and if you don’t fit their mold, you’re not getting in.
Because the establishment has leverage, a.k.a. money and platform, and that’s what you need.
Because the whole idea of just being yourself deludes you into thinking that they value you being yourself as much as you do.
These are the stark realities for you as a creative looking for a church job. I’m using the word job because that’s what it is: a job. This is not a family business, no matter what they say. You’re too new.
You have a seminary degree, been given the title “pastor” or “minister” or your the youth or worship director. Spiritually, you are responsible for God’s presence being felt in the room if a worship leader or the word being rightly divided if the preacher. This affords appropriate honor, even pay for some. But, this does not mean you know how to put together a spread sheet, coach people to their potential, or even develop strategic plans. Bible school does not even mention what to do when successful in reaching people or how to get there.
I am writing this to my core audience of creative leaders who are faith-based, but any business or non-profit leader can learn from this. If you are tired of being beaten up by all the reasons why you SHOULD do Twitter, then this post is surely for you.