How do you respond to compliments?

How do you respond to compliments?Applause

I think it is harder to respond appropriately to compliments than to criticism.

My whole career has been spent designing performances (planning worship services) standing on a stage (church platform) singing (worship leading) and leading creative arts groups (ministry teams). Criticisms and compliments are a regular occurrence. Its the compliments that are the hardest to respond to.

Loved the choir song today.

Wow…the music was beautiful today.

You did a great job leading today.

As an musician it feels great to get compliments but in the church setting how do you respond? I have struggled with this all my career. In a human way I need the good words from people but as a Christ-follower I want to make sure people understand that I want to direct the recognition to God.

In a recent look at the passages below I found some guidelines about responding to compliments.

Peter then invited them in and gave them lodging.The next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him. The following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter helped him up and said, “Stand up! I myself am also a man.” Acts 10:23-26

He had been very angry with the Tyrians and Sidonians. Together they presented themselves before him. They won over Blastus, who was in charge of the king’s bedroom, and through him they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food from the king’s country. So on an appointed day, dressed in royal robes and seated on the throne, Herod delivered a public address to them. The assembled people began to shout, “It’s the voice of a god and not of a man!”  At once an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God, and he became infected with worms and died. Acts 12:20-23

Then he said to me, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.” Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you and your brothers who have the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:9-10

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” Revelation 22:6-9

Conclusion…

  • Accept with sincerity all recognition.
  • Always remember our strength, talents, skill are not of our own doing but come from God
  • Redirect the recognition to God who deserves it more than we do.

How have you found is the best way to respond to compliments?

 

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.

 

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