100 Days

There’s a management idea that the first 100 days is the period after joining a new organisation where a new director or CEO can observe the culture as if from outside. After that it’s no longer possible to see it with fresh eyes.

On a different tack, Tom Peters ‘posts a blog’ in his book WOW! called ‘100 Days’ where this is instead about an executive at Apple who dedicated 100 days a year to employee performance reviews. To each of his 25 direct reports he gave 2 full days twice a year on one-to-one development of personal development and direction.

Tom’s comment: believe in people development? Then put your diary where your mouth is …

One Person One Task One Year

Here’s something to think about.

At the end of 2014 I took over a major project for a very large church. By the end of 2015 the project had been radically reshaped, a team of about 20 leaders had been brought together, over 600 people had been consulted, over 200 people had individually contributed to the outcome, resources had been released, finance had been obtained (and a considerable amount spent!), a full professional team had been engaged, the creativity of hitherto hidden people had been brought to the foreground, assets had been analysed, the status quo had been challenged, energy levels have been raised, along with expectation, hope, challenge, purpose, and clarity. It’s hard to move hundreds of people but one way it is possible is with …

One Person. One Task. One Year. With hindsight, I wonder what else could have been achieved in the same year with the same people and the same resources?

Or …

The right person. The right task. The right timescale.

Acts 14 – Paul’s early church planting strategy

Acts 14 gives us Paul’s simple outline for planting emerging churches:

  1. DELIVER the Message of faith to people who have never heard: Paul and Barnabas started their preaching at the local synagogues. Meeting with little interest among people of faith for their message they move on to a fresh audience outside existing places of worship who were delighted to have the opportunity for a new spiritual experience.
  2. DEFINE the new core of disciples: in each new place they visited they established a strong core of disciples, those who had heard their offering and accepted the next step.
  3. DEVELOP the new churches by building up their faith and understanding. In Eugene Peterson’s version of the New Testament, The Message, it says that Paul and Barnabas ‘added muscle and sinew into the lives of the disciples’
  4. DIRECT new faith communities into appropriate structures for security and development. Again in The Message, they ‘hand picked leaders in each church. After praying (and fasting) they presented these new leaders to God’
  5. DEPART. Paul and Barnabas didn’t hang around. Their job was not to act as continual nursemaids, but with faith and confidence in the work of God to grow the church they left these new communities to grow and mature on their own. They went back to Antioch, from where they had set out some months before, and reported on the successes they had experienced. The New Testament commentary on the venture? ‘Launched by God’s grace and now home by God’s grace. A good piece of work’.

We could learn from that approach: this was a clear package of work. It had a beginning and an end and clarity in between What could we achieve with this sort of clarity? (see One Person One Task One Year)

Trust Truth Respect …

I recently sat in two large and contrasting meetings. Both were dealing with complicated issues to do with other people’s lives.

  • In one, the twenty people in the room were entirely focused on how to solve the problem.
  • In the other, the twenty people in the room were distracted by … the other people in the room.
  • And that reminded me that Trust is an essential part of good teamwork … and Trust is built on Truth and Respect.\r\n
TRUST TRUTH RESPECT

Why should everyone be a theologian?

In a speech in 2002 Bishop Laurie Green said this:

“I am arrested by the words of Jürgen Moltmann: He writes,

“We are not theologians because we are religious; we are theologians because in the face of this world we miss God. We are crying out for his righteousness and justice and are not prepared to come to terms with mass death on earth.”

In the face of this world we miss God. But he then goes on to say this:

“But for me theology also springs from God’s love for life – the love for life that we experience in the presence of the life-giving Spirit and that enables us to move beyond our resignation and begin to love life here and now. These are also Christ’s two experiences of God: the kingdom of God and the cross, and because of that they are the foundations of Christian theology as well: God’s delight and God’s pain. It is out of the tension between these two that hope is born for the kingdom in which God is wholly in the world and the world is wholly in God.”

[From ‘Theology in the Project of the Modern World’, in A Passion for God’s Reign, ed Miroslav Volf. Eerdmans 1998]