Ideas Matter (But Action is Better)

I have nearly 500 ideas for blog posts. I have 50  ideas for books. I’ve got 100 pages of notes to tweak, refine, streamline or focus the organization I lead. I have ideas for 10 non-profits and then there is always that business venture…

I am not kidding. I love ideas! I get lost in them. I dwell on them. I write them out and keep lists of them. I always have. It seems I always have ideas. It’s weird.  My ideas keep me up at night. They cover sheets of paper. I have them scattered on post-it-notes. Idealight

It’s kind of ridiculous. Am I really going to write all of this stuff? Am I really going to start all of these organizations? Nope. No chance.

But I still write them down. Still record them and file them away. All because I am convinced an idea is a…possibility.

Ideas matter because they point to possibilities. 

World change starts when we take good ideas and do something about them. Great advancements in civilization have been made in this way. Social movements have started with an idea.  Ideas into action make our lives better. They keep us moving together toward a better tomorrow.

Ideas are great but real change comes through action.

What are your great ideas?

  • A book?
  • A website to help connect volunteers to worthy causes?
  • A seminar to help immigrants?
  • A business venture to bring clean water to remote locations of the world.
  • A solution to a social problem in your community.
  • A non-profit after-school program?
  • An invention that can help us mow the grass faster. (Someone please get on this one!)

Maybe it’s an idea that is more focused and personal

  • An idea that might save your marriage.
  • An ideas that could help your child gain more confidence.
    An idea that can help a friend in need.

Whatever your idea, what do you need to do to make it a reality?

Here is the tension you and I live with: It seems too easy to give up on our great ideas. It’s too easy to say to ourselves – what’s the point anyway? Not all of our ideas are good ideas. (In fact, most aren’t.)

Yet, I believe that each of us has one really good idea in them.  Each of us have an idea that can change things for ourselves, for the people around us – maybe even the world.

Ideas matter. Your ideas matter. You shouldn’t keep them to yourself.

I want to encourage you here. Do me a favor and TELL ONE PERSON about your great idea. We need to hear about your best ideas. If you need a place to tell someone about your idea, give it here. Comment and I will write you back.

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More Than Barbecue

Ah, Kansas City. I love it.

I moved there 8 years ago with a group of people to plant churches. My time in that city church planting with my friends was, well – wonderful. We started three churches in 5 years. We also started a NewThing network there. morethanbbq

Then in a twist I wasn’t expecting, God called me back to Chicago to Direct NewThing. I am grateful for the opportunity to play big in the Kingdom. Helping others start things is a heck of a lot of fun.

And wouldn’t you know that God continues to do His work in KC – even without me there! 🙂

That’s why I am so excited about this new eBook written by my dear friends Troy McMahon and Dan Southerland: More Than Barbecue, How God is Creating a City-Wide Church Planting Movement in Kansas City.  They have written about how God is creating a city-wide church planting movement in Kansas City. It’s a remarkable story and a glimpse of what I suspect God is doing in other cities.

What is true of God in Kansas City can also be true of your city. You should read this book to understand the ways you might work together with others to plant more churches and bring glory to God in your city.

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My Interview with Leadership Network – All About Leadership Residency

The church MUST be investing in the next generation of leaders if we are serious about movements. After all, it’s leadership residents (church planters in training) who are starting new works for the Kingdom.

One of our principles at NewThing is leadership residency. We have been investing in leadership residents since the founding of our movement. Now we are taking it the next level. My friend Warren Bird at Leadership Network recently interviewed me about our residency. Check out the full interview.

Here’s a video excerpt from that interview.

If you’re interested in doing a leadership residency at a NewThing church, please contact me and let’s talk about helping you start something new!

Will you be at Expo? If so, you need to come and check out our BONUS Session at Exponential all about leadership residency with our friends at Stadia.

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5 Traits of Starters

So you want to start something and you don’t know if you can pull it off? Let me encourage you by identifying 5 traits I think all starters have.

I’ve gotten to know a few people who’ve started things over the years. Start

I’ve sat in board rooms with billionaires who made a fortune selling us stuff. (Don’t ask me to tell you who it is because I won’t…but it was a pretty cool meeting.)  I’ve sat across the table from church planters who are passionate about launching a new church. I’ve spent the evening with a young couple realize their dream to help orphans in the world find a better life. There are many,many more examples.

All of these starters have these 5 key traits.

  • They are willing to sacrifice. They are willing to sacrifice their time, talents and treasure to make it happen. They know starting something is going to cost them. Early on in the project they go all in on it. 
  • They are willing to include others. While there are exceptions, the majority of people I know who want to start new things are EAGER to include others. They share their ideas and ask for help. They seek partners and solicit advice from experts.
  • They are willing to take risks. They understand that starting new will be hard and sometimes scary. But they do it anyway.
  • They see a preferred future. That is they are willing to talk about what could be, despite not knowing how they are going to get there. They are willing to move forward despite not knowing where it all might lead. 
  • They want to make the world a better place. Even those who start stuff to make money believe their product/service will help people in some way. They want people’s lives to be better in some tangible or intangible way.

While there are certainly more traits starters bring to the table, they have all shared at least these. 

My own experience confirms these traits. I’ve started lots of stuff: A business within a business, planted churches, heck – even launched this blog. I’ve started stuff that has been succesful and tried starting stuff that has crashed and burned. I think I am serial starter and I know I have all of these traits. I will always be trying to start new things and it’s because in one way or another, I have these traits.

What about you? If you’re dreaming of starting something new, ask yourself: Do I share these traits? If so, which of these are easiest for you to get your head around? Which require you to take a leap of faith? Leave a comment and let us in on it.

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