Using Nozbe to Track Budgets

nozbeMy staff and I are great fans of Nozbe, a work flow management application based on the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) system created by David Allan. Implementing this system and application has helped us stay on task, communicate effectively concerning projects and keep us accountable to ourselves and each other.

One significant way we have incorporated this system into our day-to-day operations is by using it to manage our yearly budget. Here’s how:

  • set up a ‘project’ for each budget quarter
  • share the project with all members of the team
  • place quarterly expenditures in the appropriate budget as action items
  • give completion dates to all items
  • assign each budget action item to the staff member who is responsible for the expenditure
  • connect through ‘context’ all staff members that the items affect

Using Nozbe in this way has helped us keep the budget in front of all team members. The review of the Nozbe budget items became a catalyst for conversation and stewardship.

Do you use or has your team adopted the GTD methods?

Do you or your team use Nozbe?


Meeting a Goal with a Team

successful goalI did it…

I ran my first half-marathon. It wasn’t too long ago that I hated running. I have always enjoyed exercise and have completed quite a few long bike rides. But running long distances…never. Shorter distances, maybe…but a half-marathon…never.

But I did it…

The motivation to sign up was nothing special, just became something I wanted to try. During the process I learned a lot about running long distances and my thoughts on setting goals were reinforced.

Training for distance race

  • set a goal
  • set a deadline
  • communicated the goal with others
  • doing the training with a team held me accountable and was fun
  • met new friends along the way
  • when I fell behind in the training the team was there to encourage me
  • the coach encouraged and chastised. Gave us a plan, and was there to hold us back when we got too far ahead
  • celebrated meeting the goal
  • evaluate what could have been done better

I find the same list will work when my work team sets out to accomplish a new task or goal.

  • set a specific goal (that supports our organization’s purpose)
  • set a specific deadline for when the goal has to be accomplished
  • communicate the goal to the whole team even if they are not involved in the process
  • accountability to the goal is accomplished through communication of the goal and deadline
  • along the way you can discover team members skills you didn’t know they had
  • hold the team accountable to the set schedule
  • if a member or process lags behind the schedule, be willing to encourage better progress, or even help with a task
  • as a team celebrate the accomplishment of the task
  • take time to evaluate the process and finished product

I am now training for my next long run and I am doing it with a team because I know the process and I know it is easier with the team.

Do you find meeting goals is easier when you work on them with a team?

Preparing for Worship: Why the Bell?

Bells…a golden bell…around the hem of the robe. And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers and its should shall be heard when he goes into the Holy place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he does not die. Exodus 28: 34, 35 (selected)

So why the bell?

Obviously God did not need to be notified when Aaron or other priests were coming into the tabernacle.

Really it was about the details of the garment…the preparation to enter into the Holy Place.

God gave specific instructions on construction of the priestly garment, even down to the placement of bells around the hem. It is in the detail of the construction that God begins to show the steps in how the priests should prepare themselves for worship.

We are not bound by the same law or instructions as the people of Exodus but we can see from these scriptures how much God wants His people to be intentional about entering a place of worship. God thought it so important that people prepare to enter into the Holy Place that He said: so that he does not die

Weekend worship gatherings are only a few hours away are we thinking about preparing for worship?

Does our preparation for worship begin when we walk through the doors of the worship center? Is that too late?

In the few hours that remain pay attention to your preparation, begin to quiet your heart in preparation for hearing the voice of the Lord.


Three Key Responsibilities of a Leader

Leadership AxiomsI am right in the middle of reading Leadership Axioms by Bill Hybels. Its a collection of short chapters, each of which divulges Hybels convictions that direct his leadership style. I am convinced that before I finish the book I will need a new highlighter…it is filled that many good thoughts on leadership.

The forward to the book is written by Dr. Henry Cloud and in just a few paragraphs he outlines three key responsibilities of a leader:

  • to cause a vision and mission to have tangible results in the real world. Without a real difference mad in real people’s lives, a vision is relegated to a pipe dream.
  • to care for the experience of his or her followers. If your leadership is sound, not only are you hitting the numbers, but you are also lifting the people to more health, more growth, more success.
  • to initiate self-leadership, the commitment to constant improvement as a leader.

These are powerful statements and ones that anyone who wants success for himself as a leader, to lead a successful team and to have longevity in leadership should remember.


Preparing for Worship, It’s Not Too Late

I can’t do it, mainly because my job demands it, but I would hope that even it were not demanded by my job I would still do it. I can’t walk into my place of worship without being prepared. The more I am prepared, the more I am ready to hear God speak and the more released I feel to worship with abandon.

That is also my prayer for the congregation where I serve.

Here are some things I have done this week to be prepare for worship:

  • spent time conversing with God, hearing Him speak through His word and in times of quiet prayer
  • took most of one day without the noise of the Internet or television and asking God to speak in the silence
  • reviewed all the songs and other elements that will be used in worship

Its Saturday afternoon and I am still preparing because I want to enjoy God’s presence in Worship and be ready for Him to manifest His presence.

Its Saturday afternoon and it is not too late to prepare for worship.

For the people of the place where I serve here are some specific things you can do to be ready for tomorrow:

  • spend some time in God’s word. The sermon will be based on Genesis 37-50 and these scriptures will be used in worship: Psalm 86:8 and Romans 5:6-8
  • review the songs below so that you can join in with confidence
  • pray for our pastor to have peace about what God has given him to share and boldness to proclaim the truths
  • pray that you would be open to God’s soft voice during worship
  • pray tonight that things will go smoothly around your home tomorrow morning

How do you prepare for Sunday worship?

Songs for Sunday:

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