Wednesday Mind Dump (4/28/21)

April 28, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• Happy Wednesday!

• Meant to get one of these out the last few days, but you know…

• Missed my Gateway family a bunch for the second week in a row, since I was preaching at R/Gilbert.

• Preached the same passage as Seth did from John 11 on Lazarus (watch it here).

• Was interesting to watch Seth’s sermon at Gateway and see some of the similarities and differences.

• I love how two people can study the same passage and end up not saying the exact same things.

• Somebody once told me that preaching is “truth coming through a personality,” and I think that explains some of the distinction.

• They invited me a few months back to preach on that date and then, in the meantime, they scheduled a church picnic.

• When Hank and Mary heard about the picnic, they asked if they could come — and it didn’t disappoint.

• When Hank saw the bounce houses, he declared that he was never coming back to Gateway again.

• (He’s wrong, of course)

• But it was really fun to experience more of who R/Gilbert is (changed a lot since I was on staff there 13 years ago).

• And it will be very sweet to return “home” and preach at Gateway on Sunday.

• Been a fun and fruitful last week or so — especially when it comes to learning and growing as a leader.

• But I’m sick of driving.

• Last week, I was at R/Gilbert for a leadership training with Bobb Biehl, and then the last few days I was at R/Arcadia for a preaching workshop with Larry Osborne.

• We also had a dinner with all the elders from across Redemption on Monday night, which was great.

• These brothers have been carrying a lot of leadership weight this past year, and it was nice to be together.

• Since I’ve been in so much “training” stuff and taking notes, I’ll share some of the key insights from the last week of learning.

• Plus it will help me synthesize and remember.

• Lessons from Bobb Biehl:

• Anytime you can move to a one-word focus, you’re better off. So often things get simplified by asking a question like, “How would you describe what you’re trying to do in one word?” or “What one word best sums up the problem you’re facing right now.”

• Confidence is a byproduct of predictability. When you lose confidence, you’ve also probably lost predictability. If you can regain predictability, you’ll gain confidence.

• The role of an organization is to maximize the strengths of the individuals and make their weaknesses irrelevant. A good organization helps put people in their positions of maximum effectiveness, which negates the weaknesses of any individual leader.

• Sometimes it’s not what you know, but when you know it. It’s great to have a key insight. But if you can have it before others do, you’ll have a real advantage.

• When opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare. You have to be preparing now for opportunities that might come your way later. Otherwise, it’s too late.

• The three enemies of leadership are fog, fatigue, and flirtation. Fog happens when we lack progress or get distracted by too many things. Fatigue, according to Vince Lombardi, “makes cowards of us all.” And flirtation — with negative ideas or sinful habits — can destroy anyone.

• Under pressure or fatigue, you will often default to what was comfortable in the 4th grade. Biehl makes a big deal about how your 4th grade year (9 years old) is one of the key years of your development. Thinking about what you were comfortable with at that age gives interesting insights into what you’re comfortable with now.

• 85% of all leadership boils down to clear direction, the right team, and enough money. Said another way, it’s direction, organization, and cash (DOC).

• Some good stuff there.

• From the preaching workshop with Larry Osborne:

• We often confuse discipleship and leadership. Discipleship is mandatory, but leadership is voluntary. Our goal isn’t to make everyone a leader, but a disciple.

• We must view the Bible as a mirror (to judge ourselves) rather than as binoculars (to judge others). Ouch.

• The two greatest temptations of a preacher are (1) Taking too much credit or blame for how people respond, and (2) Seeking to be known as a great preacher rather than seeking to make known our great God. He’s exactly right.

• The Bible was written for us, but not to us. We must always remember that we’re reading somebody else’s mail and draw out the implications for our lives.

• The best communicators have two things in common: (1) Insight — something beyond facts and clichés, and (2) Authenticity — they are comfortable in their own skin. Yup.

• As a preacher, be a glacier not an avalanche. An avalanche is impressively powerful but doesn’t leave much long-term impact. A glacier is unimpressive in any one moment but can carve out a glorious mountain range in the long-run.

• We mistakenly think that love is like extra credit in the Christian life. But it’s actually the gasoline in the car. I can’t agree with this enough. 

• So, there you go… some of my favorite insights.

• In other fun news, I won the Oscar picking this year for the first time.

• I know that hardly anybody watched the Oscars or the movies they honored, but I did (movies are a fun hobby for me), and it was fun.

• I didn’t know what the celebs would talk about since they didn’t have Trump to bash on, but they still came up with some major social issues to soapbox about.

• Since everyone cares what Hollywood stars think about morality. 🙄

• If you’re only going to see two of the films that were nominated, I’d recommend Promising Young Woman and Sound of Metal.

• Both are intense and R-rated and, of course, I’m not endorsing everything about them.

• But they would both make you think.

• Nomadland, which won Best Picture, was also quite good.

• Well, that’s it for today.

• Hope to see you Sunday!

• All of life is all for Jesus.