3 things having no cell phone has taught me

cell Phone off

I have been a mac evangelist since 1997 the way Steve Jobs thinks blows me away. Here’s the thing. I use my iPhone for everything it has to be the single greatest innovative thing Apple has ever done. I am rarely without my iPhone. I left for Australia a couple of weeks ago and if you know anything about international roaming fee you know that it forces you to look for wifi hotspots with the same frivolity I search for the coffee first thing in the morning. I arrived back home in the states my phone starts doing weird stuff, dropping calls, showing no services then out of nowhere it heats to ear scalding temperatures and starts dropping it’s charge even when plugged in. Once the phone had fully discharged it’s battery it was not turning on and was not responding to being plugged into a computer or to the wall. So I am without a phone for the next few days.

It’s actually been a good thing.

Here are the 3 things I have learned by not having a cell phone.

Just back from Kidshaper


Just got back from Kidshaper in Melbourne Australia. What a great time. Was so challenged in so many ways. It was a massive flight and the longest I have been away from my wife and kids but totally worth it. There are few things like getting out of your comfort zone or 15 time zones to give you fresh insight and perspective on the things you are doing well and the things you are not doing so well.

So enjoyed meeting so many people and making so many new friends. If you are in Australia you need to be there next year. You will not be the same!

3 steps to avoid ministry auto pilot


I love the Heath brothers I have read all three of their books. I like their books because they start with a hypothesis then do research and mix in person stories and application. Recently I read a book they wrote called Decisive. In the book Decisive they tackle the idea of how we make decisions in life and work. I found the book very insightful and helpful.

One of the quotes that stood out to me is when they were referring to what they call “Mental tripwire”  They said this “We spend 90% of our time driving straight but it’s the turns that determine where we end up.” The basic idea of a mental trip wire is to wake you up from the numbness that routine provides. We do something so much and so often we switch to auto pilot and rather than turning when we need to we fly off the cliff of irrelevance.

Here are three mental trip wires you need to set in life and ministry.

  1. Make appointments trip wires for yourself with alarms on you calendar – Set an appointment with your self to exercise, think, pray, spend time with your wife and kids. If you don’t set aside time on purpose you will give it all away by accident. -
  2. Set feedback trip wires – Email out feedback surveys to those who attend, ask for feedback from those who attend your services, employ secret shoppers.
  3. Set evaluation trip wires – My friend Jim Wideman does this and I think is great either put on your calendar a question or use boomerang to send yourself an email in the future asking yourself questions you forget to ask. Is my passion for The Lord where it should be? Am I dating my wife? Am I leading with clarity or expecting with ambiguity.

Why preparing to speak should make you nervous


Most people say that they  are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of death. Which is understandable on one level and crazy on another. I guess when you are dead you can’t read posts on facebook of people comment on how bad you did.  I like most people was at one point in my life very afraid to speak in front of other people, but if God has called you to be a pastor and lead others it’s a fear you don’t have the luxury of retaining.

Here is the reality that even though I have preached many messages and spoken at conferences I still need to be nervous at the right time, because when and what makes you nervous tells a lot about you. I still get nervous after years of experience but what makes me most nervous presently is very different from what used to make me nervous.