The Paramount Callings

There are paramount callings and unique callings. Do you know what they are? Does your life reflect what matters most?

The Gratitude Marker

One of ten people returned to say thank you (Luke 17:11-19). Why would…or wouldn’t you? Here are slides from my sermon today at Outlook Christian Church.

Two Ideas to Help Your Meetings

Meetings are important. They are opportunities to boost success. Yet oftentimes they are dreaded and can feel like a waste of time. So make a change and make them count. Before sharing two ways to transform meetings, answer these questions about yours: What grade would you give your meetings and why? What is your team…

Succeed In Change

“This is ridiculous,” Mark exclaimed as he stormed away from his boss. “Things change around here all the time!” Sharla took note and knew Mark would not succeed unless she helped him. Even then, it would be up to Mark to change himself or not. Life is full of change. Work is full of change….

Organizational DNA

You have a one-of-a-kind DNA. And so does the organization you work with. Do you know it? Embrace it? Leverage it? Keep it healthy? How about your team?

Chemistry and Character Over Competency

View this post on Instagram Garret is a 20-something executive pastor in the Seattle area. He has come to value chemistry and character far above competency. A post shared by Slingshot Group (@slingshotgroup) on Jun 4, 2019 at 7:46am PDT

Sermon: The Best Calling Ever

// Recorded June 2, 2019 // Passage: Colossians 4:17-18 (ESV) “And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.” What do you need to fulfill? What have you received? What will people remember about you? Are you a blessing or…

New Stats Beg New Approaches

Has God changed . . . His attributes, call, or the gospel? Never! Then why is the following happening in Protestant churches in the U.S. and what does it mean for us as pastors? (Source: LifeWay Research, April 2019.) 6 in 10 are plateaued or declining in attendance. Almost half (46 percent) say their giving decreased or stayed the same from…

Supervisor of Stoke

Meet Tyler . . . a.k.a. “Supervisor of Stoke!” Do you and your team make people feel important . . . even to the point of removing peoples’ skis for them?

Can You Solve This?

I can’t remember exactly when I first saw this, but I was in middle school. The puzzle stumped me for the longest time because I put invisible restraints on the solution; I was unable to “think outside the box.” Can you? Does your team?  

Every Challenge Has Layers

My daughter’s birthday was on Saturday. Her mom made an incredible two-layer cake decorated with a wild animal scene – yummmm! Snow doesn’t taste nearly as good, especially this heap. Yet we can learn from both. Enjoy.

Stoke In Jackson Hole

Between the AC/DC and Beastie Boys thumping out of the speakers, and the “Don’t go!” echo from the tram’s crowd, Jackson Hole, WY has STOKE! That is, extraordinary contagious positive passion. And you!? How about your workplace!? How about the places you frequent!? Sure, there’s something about over 4K feet of elevation drop with cliff…

Facilitate Next Level Leader Reviews

Meetings can be arduous. And leader reviews can be vexatious. On the contrary, they can be something longed for and catalytic for obtaining next level success. Help people love their work Foster a contagious culture Obtain collective insights Expand reach Keep amazing people Harvard Business Review revealed this about why people remain at their jobs:…

Estée Lauder and Netflix Leadership

Each year the Harvard Business Review ranks the top 100 best -performing CEO’s in the world (Article). The rankings are calculated by combining a financial ranking of companies in the S&P 1200 (weighted at 80%) and two ESG (environmental, social and governance) rankings (weighted at 10% each). 20 of the CEOs lead companies based outside their…

Capitalize the Dips

My father-in-law was an avid OHV Jeep driver. The terrain he drove held steep climbs and declines, smooth forests and bumpy boulder fields. He constantly adjusted the machine to conquer obstacles. Similarly, we too need to make ongoing adjustments in our leadership. Plateaus and dips in performance are excellent signals of when to make tweaks and…

7 Powerful Life Questions for 2019

1. How will you live for what matters most? 2. How will you help people around you thrive? 3. What changes in your life do you need to make to flourish in heart, soul, mind, and strength? 4. Who do you need to ask for coaching/mentoring? 5. What three life goals you will attain or…

A Happy Holiday Season to All

Advent Credo It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss— This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life; It is not true that we must accept inhumanity…

I Almost Died Today

I still can’t fully explain nor remember what it’s like to be bundled 100 feet down a street – bizarre. I can recollect (and live) recovery – onerous. The event will always be a marker in my families life – one that is guiding and celebrated. Any day could be our last – make it count…

New U.S. Soccer Coach Talks Solidifying Culture

Newly appointed U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach, Gregg Berhalter, spoke about leading in a situation where he does not see his people (players) every day – like leading multi-site churches. And how important culture is. Here is how Gregg plans on doing it: Consistent messaging – “players need reinforcement on what we want to…

5 Musts Leading Into 2019

A new calendar year provides an opportunistic and important time to lead splendiferously. The following are three powerful questions to ask yourself, followed by five ways to lead well into 2019. What would make 2019 a successful year? How will 2019 results be different than years prior? What personal rhythms will help you be the…

7 Steps to Public Speaking

I had the opportunity to preach at Mountainside Community Church in Reno, NV this past Sunday. Preaching is the art of publicly communicating the heart and truth of God. Afterward, I was asked how I prepare. This is my process to prepare for a sermon, and can be adapted for any public speaking: Listening prayer:…

Maximize the Holidays

The holidays bring exceptional opportunity for churches and organizations. 29% more people attend church during the Christmas Season. (LifeWay Research and Covchurch, 2015) 34% of charitable giving is done during the last three months of the year. (Source: USA Today, 2014) Four out of 10 Americans (U.S.A) say that they would attend a church at…

Callings Personify Mission

It is rare that I speak with a leader who can clearly define the difference between vision and mission. It is rare that the same leader can then define where the uniqueness’ of their vision and mission are. This is a problem. Not knowing these will thwart success. How many times have you visited a…

Self-Awareness Can Help Leaders More Than an MBA Can

Earlier this year, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) published the article, “Self-Awareness Can Help Leaders More Than an MBA Can.” It features a short case story of an executive who turned a company around financially, yet morale waned significantly. He was “crushed.” “How could they (employees) say these things about me? Don’t they understand how far…

Millennials Rule

The workforce has changed. Millennials make up the largest group of workers ever in the United States (32% as of 2015; over 66 million). Millennials are people who were born between 1980 and 1995. They are also the second largest workforce to ever exist; second to Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). Generation X…

Expert Design Tip

Dave Milam, Design Strategist, with Visioneering Studios shares design tips. (Recorded: 9/6/18 at Smart Money, Seattle, WA.)

3 From 3 XP’s

The following video was recorded at the Smart Money Workshop in Seattle, WA on September 6, 2018.

Show Me The Money!

Despite “Jerry” and “Rod’s” memorable scene in Jerry McGuire, there is more to compensation than cash. Before listing additional components of compensation, here are a few benefits of getting compensation correct: Attract next level people Retain people Create a more positive work environment Model gratefulness and generosity Some employers choose to not compensate people correctly….

Don’t Do A Capital Campaign!

Whatever you do, don’t dive into a capital campaign! Begin with the wound, not a band-aid. (Ouch. It hurts when you rip one off, doesn’t it?) There is a better way . . . the way of the Master. Live it. Talk about it. Be it. The Gospel. Be a follower and leader who resembles…

Think Virtual to Personal

The days are over when a street sign with a balloon tied to it will attract people. Also are the days over when people first experience your organization in-person. Their first visit is most commonly virtual. Trends reveal that this will only continue to increase. Nearly nine-in-ten Americans today are online, up from about half…

Connecting People to Your Organization

People connect to organizations for many more reasons than simply a product and location. Granted, these are large factors, but not the end-all. It is therefore important to consider what else contributes to connecting people long-term, build a system to accomplish this, and take action. Systems are intentional pathways and processes for connecting people. Here are…

R&D Ministry

Eric Franklin, Executive and Campus Pastor with CrossPoint Church.

Burned Out? Running Hard?

Is your rest distractional and mind-numbing? Does your rest truly fill you up? Do you have rhythms of rest?

Talking About Money Is Not Rocket Science

My dad made a career of figuring out how to intercept and destroy ballistic nuclear missiles. Some of his stories and the math such a feat demands were and are far beyond my understanding. The great news is, talking about money is not rocket science. Money is taken in and money is given out. Even…

Creating a Culture of Generosity

“There is a difference between tithing and generosity.” “It feels good to just be loved-on sometimes (by the church).” How will you create a culture of generosity in your context?

Surrender In All Things

Be Ready. Keep the fight. Victory. Sermon excerpt from June 2018. Watch the full sermon at https://vimeo.com/273776551.  

How to Avoid the Summer GIVING Slump

Three takeaways from MortarStone “Avoid #summergiving slump” webinar are: 1) build a summer communication plan that reaches people whether they attend or not 2) use analytics to pursue people 3) talk NOW about setting up recurring giving Most importantly, are you leading people? Are you setting the model and bar? Are you teaching them at…

A Worship Band for you This Summer!

My dear friends from Chile will be in North America this summer sharing incredible music, helping worship teams, and bringing hope! They do this in both English and Spanish! But don’t take my word for it, take Mac Powell’s of Third Day, who contributed to one of their songs! Do you have a date available…

Spend the Money

Is a $7 part ruining your ride!? 202,324 miles and this part gave-way in my Chevy 1500. It stopped my truck. What is stopping yours? And I mean much more than a truck. I mean life, family, marriage, health, impact. Spend the money. What will it take? Progress equals investment. Seek counsel. Research. Make the…

4 Habits of People Who Are Always Learning New Skills [HBR]

The Article from the Harvard Business Review, by Mike Kehoe (JANUARY 31, 2018), is quite insightful and worthy of consideration whether you are a boss, student, or employee. Move upwards. Move forward. [BEGIN ARTICLE] Working in online learning, I’ve found that every year around this time there’s a burst of sign-ups from workers seeking new skills. Perhaps…

What Is Your Motivation Wall?

    Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation. Typically it’s about money – work harder, longer, and smarter. Or to stay alive – eat healthy, exercise, and take the minimal risk. “Most folks would benefit from these activities but post-TBI they are particularly vital because they engage functions and skills that have been injured,”…

Nothing But a Dirty Shovel

We all have gifts and talents. Some . . . even degrees, fame, and stature. They amount to nothing unless we take action and heed the inner-man. Unless favor shines our way. Unless we live in purity of love. All the still . . . how are you stewarding and leveraging yours? Are your feet…

Are You A Pilot Or Artist

Champion golfer and commentator, Nick Faldo, made an analogy during the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open to golfers playing styles as being either pilots or artists. It was an interesting insight into not only golf but leadership and life as well. Pilots depend on numbers, rules, and gauges. Artists depend on feel, sight, and imagination. Staying with…

Lapsed Donors Are Talking To You

People that have stopped supporting your organization financially are sending you a message. The quicker you listen to the message the better off those people and your organization will be.   Do you know who these people are? Do you have a way to understand what message they’re trying to tell you? Are you ok…

Part of Leadership is Following

I came across this practical video reading the blog of Ed Stetzer, researcher, speaker, and catalyst. I think the video get’s it right… part of leading is following well. I know I have some things to work on and reconsider in this regard: in the workplace, at home, with friends, lifestyle, culture, and society. What do…

Grit Is The New MBA

If you haven’t yet read the January edition of Fortune Magazine, I highly recommend it for employers and employees. The following are several highlights [Source: Ellen McGirt]: 1. Think of grit less as an antidote to a hard-knock life and more as an ongoing quest to master life complexity—an experience all of us share. When recognition of that complexity shapes hiring, it…

David Wise Road to Gold

David Wise is, and has been, the best halfpipe skier in the world . . . ever! A second gold medal at this year’s Olympics solidifies his legend. He is the Shaun White of halfpipe skiing, the Lindsay Vonn, the Bode Miller . . . you get the point. David’s second road to gold was anything but easy –…

One Wheel Is Not Enough

    A half-screwed light bulb shines no light. A bolt with no nut holds nothing long. A bike locked by one wheel is not safe. This person’s (photo) joy was smashed despite that everything that was needed for another bike ride was present. Here are five essential steps to ensure joy.  Take nothing for…

Leaning Into Others

Insights from a friend and Executive Pastor, John Klippenstein, at Sparks Christian Fellowship in NV.

Strategic Budgeting Matters

It is a common practice to treat finances only to survive. By survive, I mean to focus and address the short-term and urgent only. We often live or manage in this manner due to impulse, emotion, a lack of patience, and blind faith. the average household that’s carrying credit card debt has a balance of $15,654. 1 29%…

Raped and Locked-up

Nate lives in your city.  His elbows are weeping puss from dragging himself around.  His legs are crippled from abuse and neglect.  His psyche is battered and confused.  His body is weak from malnutrition. Nate has been raped repeatedly and has been locked up in a closet.  This is where social services found him.  He…

Principle Over Production

The family will never come back to your church. It wasn’t that the coffee or child check-in was poor. It wasn’t because you took an offering or that you spoke clear gospel truth. It wasn’t because you did not have a hip reclaimed pallet wood wall in every room. It was because they were treated…

Motorcycle Crash Anniversary

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu Exactly 365 days ago, to this very minute, I was hurling through the air and tumbling on pavement. I do not remember…

The Art of Continuous Improvement

Every person and organization I know have the drive to improve. That drive may be personal character or a bank balance. The pursuits and approaches are many. How do you continuously improve? I am always on the outlook for resources and thinking on the topic of continuous improvement. The word continuous is important because a day…

Just Say Yes to Help

Nancy Matossian, Slingshot Group Associate shares why saying “yes” is important.

Practico Mi Español & Body Language

Mi español es muy terrible.  So terrible that I sometimes practice on my dog, Mango.  Similar to people, she understands me very little.  It’s my physical clues that help her at all, such as patting my leg for her to come. I am practicing Spanish to be able to communicate with others in this country (USA) and…

Women in Leadership

I asked these two great leaders about women in leadership and any challenges they’ve faced. Here are a few of their thoughts . . .

Touch the Clouds with Crazy Horse

They shot arrows together as young boys through rolling wagon wheels, then at grasshoppers as they lifted above the prairie grass.  They grew together as men, warriors, and leaders.  Touch the Clouds saved Crazy Horse’s life a time or two and was with his friend when he died. Who are you growing in skill with?…

#WorkJoy on the Tarmac

At Slingshot Group we care about joy at work and do all we can to help make it a reality. And we love hearing how others feel about it too!

“D” to Passion

How Getting a “D” Helped Me Pursue United Local Missions By Milan Homola, Executive Director & Co-Founder Compassion Connect I really enjoy the study of history.  The root of that enjoyment can be traced back to a motivational moment.  I was in 7th grade and I was getting a “D”  in Mr. Dierson’s history class.  Mr….

Buffet or Amuse-bouche Discipleship

By Jay Stearley Where I live (Reno-Lake Tahoe), buffets are very popular.  They are perfect for tourists and locals alike, consuming whatever they desire.  One even boasts of having eight live action stations, where you can order pho, charcuterie, or a salad just as you like, right before your eyes. Often times church discipleship strategies are…

A New Book for You and My Daughter

By Jay Stearley Becoming a father changes many things. And I wish to be a good one. Part of this means to pass down stories and the good news of Jesus to my daughter. I knew much of this would happen throughout life with her, but what if I die before she ages? Therefore, several…

The Great CO:mission

By Dennis McGuire Senior Pastor, Arcata First Baptist Church What is the Great CO-Mission? In simple terms, it is when the Christian and the Church co-partner with God to accomplish the mission of making disciples of all the nations. These nations are made up of various people groups that reflect the mosaic of God’s heart…

What Change Takes

By Jay Stearley Months before the Twin Towers fell on 9/9/11 in an act of hatred and evil, I stood on top of one of them. The view and experience were grand! Now new buildings and a memorial fill that landscape, yet lives are still gone and people hurt every day because of that horrific event….

War and Peace

My wife Danielle and I have a rule about not talking about work in our bedroom.  But she broke the rule the other night . . . and when I was just about asleep . . . not really, I was streaming the latest surf competition! “Jay,” she exclaimed.  “‘Crucial conversations aren’t new! They’re right here in War…

CCPC Managment

By Jim Milstead Retired John Deere Executive and Humble Leader There are three things I try to do to help others move forward. My slant here will be more towards the development of people and that requires a fall back to my experience in the secular world. I found over time that there are these three…

Kaepernick, Mayweather, and McGregor

I sat heavy-hearted on a flight into Las Vegas, NV this morning. First, because my most treasured mountain range in the world is coming to life in the orange morning sun, and I am unable to climb them right now (my buddies exit the last N. leg of the SHR this week!). Second, because there…

Crazy Horse to Worm Succession

By Jay Stearley Most every organization will face the challenge of leadership succession at some point in its history. How succession is managed, and the people transitioning, will result in either disaster or success. And much is always at stake. Every situation and culture are unique, and there are multiple ways to go about succession….

The Four C’s of Connection

The Four C’s of Connection in Church Planting and Every Collaborative Effort By Nathan “Chivo” Hawkins, Stadia West Regional Executive, @ChivoHawkins Collaboration is a buzz word.  Cooperation is all the rage, especially among millennials, it can be fun, it is necessary to get certain things done, especially in the Church Planting world. Rarely is this exciting and…

Dominate the Day

I have not purchased an iPhone 7 but I do use Siri a tad. My 5s is still rocking. Anyhow, do you ever feel like this ad? 20+ appointments in a day, going here to there . . . and on and on? Four things mentors have shared with me along the way to help…

Wet Underwear and Leadership

They were saturated down to their underwear. The temperature was below freezing. It was midnight near 11,000 feet elevation on the upper headwall of Fitz Roy, and they were “venturing (up) into this waterfall,” said Tommy Caldwell. “The rope was frozen solid, all my cams (safety gear) wouldn’t work anymore (frozen by water), and I…

Introducing Upwards Forward

It was mid-December and the first sunny day in weeks. I had been excitedly waiting for a complimentary day to ride my motorcycle to work. The mountains glowed with fresh white snow. The streets were finally dry. The 16 degree Fahrenheit air felt invigorating as it moved past my body. It was absolutely beautiful! And…

The Ultimate Guide

Many people guide our lives. My parents showed me how to love.  Teachers showed me how to think.  Mentors showed me how to put it all together for life. People I have never known have taught me much as well.  Take Sun Tzu for instance, the author of the 5th-century Chinese military treatise, The Art of War. …

Motorcycle Crash Survived

*&$^!)#_$*$#!*# is about what the crunch sounded like – terrifying! A 4-door sedan slammed into the back of my motorcycle on Dec. 19, 2016; I was doing about 20 mph, the Dodge, approx. 60 mph. My first thought was “Something’s not right!” (deep, eh!).  Followed immediately by “Fall well – don’t fight it.” 70 plus feet…

Mystical Life

Google’s second listed definition of ‘mystical’ is “inspiring a sense of spiritual mystery, awe, and fascination.” It is a fitting entry definition to what it’s like living a Spirit-filled life with Jesus.  He captivates your heart, reveal’s truth, and moves you in amazing ways. I came across this song this weekend as I wrote and prayed…

I Got Deet

For the past three year’s I have been chipping away at the Sierra High Route (SHR) with three of my friends.  It is a 195-mile trek through the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountain range from Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park and north.   100 miles are off-trail, demanding route finding, boulder scrambles,…

Classroom to Worldrooms

Much is currently being written, discussed, and experienced as it relates to the speed of culture change. Along with many of these cultural changes, are changes in the way people interact, learn, and exist. I do not think that the traditional classroom alone will teach us how to be innovative, or even keep up, let…

Canoeing The Mountains

In May of 1804, Lewis and Clark set off on what would be an epic adventure for the ages.  Their commission was to find a water route from the mighty Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean.  Little did they know, they would have to ditch their boats, become mountain men, and learn to lead the party…

Growing Life On Purpose

I exited this small bamboo complex that was home to some 15 people.  Beside me was Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Church who had just made friends with three teenagers and shared the good news of Jesus with them.  I was holding his portion of chilipapas we had helped prepare a moment ago. “Where’s Chris! Where’s…

How Do You Play Yourself

Instruments make noise. Played well, they inspire. Played poorly, they can enervate. Two recent inspiring instrument performances were the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets at the NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Championship game this past Monday night, and “Alive” during Easter gatherings at Grace Church. Powerful! “Alive” proclaimed stirring truths for followers of Jesus such as: “In the midst…

My Rock and Roll Years

“Everything in the house is shaking!” my fiancé said. “Not sure it’s loud enough,” she said tongue-in-cheek. Our bass player had just bought a new Ampeg bass amp.  And that five string bass guitar – sweet and deep.  We were rehearsing for a line-up of shows including Brew Brothers in the El Dorado (Reno, NV)….

Celebrated Yet Neglected

The following comes from the Harvard Business Review blog titled, “Learning Is the Most Celebrated Neglected Activity in the Workplace.” “Take your job’s design. Does it leave space for you to process your experiences and draw a few conclusions or imagine alternatives? Do you have access to people who see the world from another perspective—or…

God’s Twitter Account

I love to read to the book of Proverbs in the Bible. It is like God’s Twitter feed on wisdom – 140 character or fewer verses of direct and powerful messages for everyday-living. Countless times this book has saved me in different situations and given peace to decisions. It is common practice for many to…

7 Observations About Change

I try to love change.  Doing so opens the world to new experiences and opportunities. It is not always easy.  And there is certainly a progression of emotions, thought and action one has to go through.   The following is from an Active Network publication by Eric Soon titled “Return On Ministry”.  I find these seven…