Brett Favre & Leadership

As I watched Brett Favre on Monday Night Football do his thing one more time this week, three things jumped out at me:
1. At 38 years old, he can still make throws that 99.9% of the world would never be able to make.
2. He still plays with a reckless abandon and joy that infects the rest of his team--and makes other people want to be on his team.
3. He is flat-out tough.

I want to be like Brett Favre.

I don't want to play in the NFL. I don't want to fight some of the demons he has faced, particularly in such a public forum. But I do want to take the gifts and abilities that God has given me and sharpen them and use them for his purposes. For all the weaknesses and liabilities that I have, there are some things that God has gifted me to do. Those are the things I should do.

"The joy of the Lord is my strength." As a Christ-follower, my joy and passion should be so apparent, so flowing that it infects the rest of my family, our church, and those who don't yet know how extravagantly God loves them.

Playing hurt isn't just for football players and athletes. Being injured is one thing: sometimes you need to come out of the game, rehab a little. But, most of the time, I need to shake off the little nicks and bruises and keep fighting. Perseverance always pays off.

One of the things that I love about God is the Pragmatic Factor: His way works. Every time.



Some people just get it. Ed Young, Pastor of Fellowship Church-Dallas/Ft. Worth/Miami, is one of those people. When he spoke and taught this past weekend at LHC, our people got a front-row seat to someone who is truly a ViP--Vision-in-Person.

Ed never sees what isn't. It's always about what could be. His opening statement was, "God is preparing you for what he has already prepared for you." And, from there, he taught on Exodus and the nation of Israel and all that God did for them while they were wandering in the wilderness (NOTE: the next two services varied from the first one, anywhere from a little to a lot).

We were so blessed to have Ed & Lisa and their family and a few friends be with us this weekend. Their faith, marriage, and ministry have played such a huge role in the life of LHC, I felt guilty that it had taken us 10 years to have them come in for a weekend. But, God made up for lost time in a big way.

This coming weekend is FAMILY FRENZY WEEKEND. We distributed all 10,000 candy bar invitation pieces, so don't forget to give those out and bring someone with you this weekend. For more information, visit the LHC website.


Beauty Is Way Underrated

...Not the airbrushed, superficial, only-skin-deep beauty that most of the world settles for. I mean the God-brushed, transcendent, soul-deep beauty that draws us to works of art, mountaintops and seacoasts, and people who are comfortable in their own skin.

This weekend marks a confluence of real, authentic beauty here in Austin:
RENEW: The Austin Women's Conference opens for a night of pouring into the hearts and lives of women the power, the courage, and the grace of God. Tickets are still available here.

Bella is a new film that opens on Friday. Julie and I got to see a screening for Bella (Spanish for beautiful) back in the spring, and it is amazing. It has already won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. Pay attention to the PG-13 rating, but go see this movie. Parents with teens and pre-teens should probably see it first before deciding whether or not to share it with their kids.

Ed Young, Pastor of Fellowship Church--who will be speaking in each of LHC's services this weekend--and I have written a book together that we are advance-releasing this weekend. BEAUTY FULL~Becoming More Than Just Pretty was born out of the growing realization in our ministries that women are constantly under fire in our culture. This book radiates out of the conviction that every woman's beauty is assumed by God. You can pick up an advance copy at the Austin Women's Conference or in one of our worship services this weekend or order them online here.



Lake Hills Church--THANK YOU!! God is in the middle of doing some incredible things through this church and it is the most incredible gift to share the ride with you:

Last weekend, 23 people committed their lives to Christ.
104 people registered for Commitment Class.
Wed. a.m. this week, 19 men left for the Men's Matamoros Mission Trip.

This coming weekend we're celebrating LHC's 10-Year Anniversary. It's going to be an incredible service of celebration and thanksgiving for God's faithfulness, including special musical guest and LHC friend Malford Milligan.

RENEW: Austin Women's Conference
, Fri., Oct. 26
is going to be an amazing night of refreshing and feeding for women. This is one of the signature ministry events in our church's year, so be sure that you make it a priority and bring someone with you to experience it. Tickets are still available here.

Ed Young, Pastor of Fellowship Church will be speaking in all our services Sunday morning, Oct. 28. In my humble opinion, Ed is one of the most gifted, creative communicators and leaders of anything going. Anywhere. Period. You will not want to miss what God's going to give us through Ed that week.

Family Frenzy, Nov. 4, offers everyone in our church a unique opportunity to invite someone to experience what God is doing in and through LHC. Don't forget to pick up your Hershey bar invitation this weekend (last Sunday we sold more than HALF of all the chocolate that we have!).

WOW! That is some momentum...


Passion as Compass

A few years ago, I sat down with the CEO of a publicly traded corporation and asked this question: Is what you do more art or science?

His kneejerk reaction was a big, ear-to-ear grin that told me where his answer was going. He said, "It's not even close--it's much more about art than science. I know the numbers, and we definitely measure the things that matter. But the decisions I make definitely come more from an intuitive feel than statistical or numerical analysis."

Then, he hit me with the Bat Spray so I wouldn't ever be able to share his candid answer with anyone on his board of directors.

His answer has been echoed in the years since in numerous other Q&A's with leaders and pastors from a broad range of experiences and backgrounds, educations, and perspectives. The overwhelming majority provide the same insight, usually while invoking the same veil of anonymity: Go with your gut. Your heart. Your passion. The Holy Spirit.

A God-given passion will not only fuel you when nothing else can, it will many times serve as a compass--moral and strategic--long after the numbers and statistics have folded under the weight of conflicting ideas, interests, agendas, and information.

We who lead in the church (or anywhere from a Christ-centered perspective) have to remember that while the Holy Spirit is infallible, our understanding is not. So, we have to lead from the heart, from our God-given passions, while always bringing every thought captive to Christ and measuring them against the standard of Scripture.

With that critical caveat in mind, our passions can and should lead us directionally, strategically, and relationally. If we're considering a life-altering or paradigm-shifting decision, a strategic course of action, or our personal investment in a relationship and we've considered all the facts and figures and examined the spiritual implications, then lead from the heart. Go with your gut and go hard.


Passion as HR

Passion provides incredible clues to your organization's Human Resources needs.

The things that I'm passionate about, those things for which God has given me a yearning, burning burden are the things that I'm going to pour myself into. But no one has the bandwidth to cover all the bases of a growing, dynamic, complex team, church, business, or government agency. So, your passion--my passion--points us toward the people and the talent and the skills and passions we should be looking for to complement our own.

Human Resources means so much more than compensation and benefits, compliance and buildings. Just like financial resources or time, human resources are a gift from God that carries even greater responsibility and accountability to those of us who lead.

A good friend of mine leads a large human resources department for a public corporation. I've learned by watching him and picking his brain that his greatest task is putting the right people with the right passions in the right position to accomplish the right purposes.

My passions should rarely if ever be duplicated. They should be complemented, supported , and amplified--but never replicated exactly. If you're in a position of leadership or influence, use your passions to direct your leadership and to feed the fire of passion in those you lead.


Passion as Fuel

One of the great gifts of a God-given passion is that passion can fuel you through challenges and obstacles that might make you want to quit, or settle for the status quo, or do just enough to get by. Every job, vocation, occupation, and career requires work that falls outside of our given strengths and aptitudes. Sometimes those tasks even fall into the "Unpleasant" or "Mundane" categories.

But that is exactly where passion propels us through the tedious chores that every calling requires. When it's a passion and not just a task, then you're able to see the mundane or un-fun part of it as a means to an ends and more than just a job.

For me, I'm a big-picture person. Details wear me out. But I've realized through some trial and a lot of error that I have to pay attention to the details of leadership. I have to attend to management issues of staff, finances, facilities, ministries, etc. if I'm going to lead at the level God requires of me. The devil's NOT in the details. God is, and so I should be also.

When LHC was getting off the ground 10 years ago, there were a lot of details that had to be handled if we were even going to survive, much less thrive. It was in those tedious, detail-filled days when my passion for a church that redefines "church" for the city of Austin and beyond was the fuel God used to keep us going.

Question: What are you so relentlessly passionate about to the point that you would do it no matter what? Regardless of a paycheck? Regardless of what other people think about you or it?