Category Archives: product

fans and disciples

fishes and loavesJesus feeds about 15,000 people. He uses 5 kaiser rolls and 2 small fish. He ends up with leftovers.

For the people present, it was amazing. They were stuffed. They were thrilled. They decided that he must be The One. They decided to make him king.

They were fans.

Jesus knew how to respond. He sent his disciples to the boat, to the lake, to the other side. And he headed for the hills. He headed for some solitude.

When it was dark and the crowd was asleep and his disciples were in the middle of the lake, he walked out to them. They got to the other side, near home.

In the morning, the crowd realized that Jesus wasn’t there, that they weren’t getting breakfast. They went home, too. And they discovered Jesus.

“When did you get here?” they said.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

And then Jesus started to talk about living bread. In the next few hours, in a couple places, he talked about manna and bread and blood. He talked about what he really came to do.

And the crowd thins out. Some say, “We knew your family. You aren’t so big.” Some say, “You are upsetting what we’ve always been taught.” Some just can’t handle the fact that he’s calling on them to do something, to believe differently, to follow him.

John says,

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Jesus had fans and Jesus had disciples.

  • The fans were there to be entertained and fed.
  • The disciples were there to become like Jesus.
  • The fans were there because they loved when his worldview agreed with theirs.
  • The disciples were there because they loved his worldview.
  • The fans were there because other fans were there.
  • The disciples were there because they had started when no one else was around.
  • The fans were an audience.
  • The disciples were the backstage crew.
  • Fans say, “do that again.”
  • Disciples say, “teach me to do that.”
  • Fans say, “That’s dumb.”
  • Disciples say, “They’ll probably kill us, too, but let’s go with him.”
  • Fans come and go as convenient
  • Disciples live with you.

And of the two?

Disciples change the world; fans just change their rss feeds.

For more on the story, “after it goes great” and “gifts


a handout for presentation planners

You’ve got a presentation on Wednesday. You have two hours for teaching and discussion and brainstorming and planning. You have a simple subject: social media.

put out the fire of fearWhile the room is still empty, you need to think about what you can give the audience.

Some of you are thinking this sounds familiar. It is. I wrote back in October about 8 ways to get invited back. I talked about giving the audience a map, or a kit, or sandwiches or crack.  I was giving us a thinking tool to help us focus on what we want the audience to walk away with.

As I was working today on the project above, I went back to my categories in that post. I decided which metaphor I wanted to give the audience. It helped.

So I decided to turn the October post into a one page PDF you can hang on your bulletin board.

8 ways to get invited back (PDF)

I hope it helps you, too.


3 words for 2010

I’ve done this before, in 2008 and 2009.

Picked three words, that is.

I identify three words that I want to shape what I do for the year. I got the idea from Chris. This year, he explained how to build plans on those words in a very helpful way (Wiring yourself for success).


As they went to Jerusalem every year, the Israelites sang travel songs. One of them, Psalm 123, tells us about a kind of focus:

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress…

This year, I want that kind of intense focus, the kind of focus that allows you to anticipate needs from the tiniest hint.

What I now know about focus, however, is that it isn’t an abstract thing. I’ve spent the last year with it as one of my words, after all. There must be an awareness of where you are going to direct that focus

The image of being tuned in applies both to music (being in tune with, in harmony with) and to a radio frequency. Being attuned means being lined up with, tuning other things out, eliminating other noises. If you have ever listened to a piano tuner work, you know that there needs to be some quiet.

I’m not going to tell you now to whom I’ll be attuned. (I need to get more than one post out of this, right?) But you get the idea, I’m guessing.


jamaica shirt from hopeA couple years ago, Hope went to Jamaica on a missions trip. She brought me two souvenirs: a bag of coffee and a shirt. The bag of coffee is long gone. The shirt is hanging in my closet. It doesn’t fit.

It could be, of course, that “large” means something different in Jamaica than in the US. I’m pretty sure, however, that the size issue is not in the shirt.

I will wear that shirt this year.


I am a process person. I am an inductive thinker. I am constantly in draft mode. However, I have seen several times this year that when I stop and make a list or a video or some other concise, tangible, sharable product, other people can use it.

(The coolest one happened this week. I made a video about how we use time. I described how I made it. A Lutheran pastor in Estonia used the concept for his own video. In Estonian.  Sweet.)

I’ve started thinking about what I want to get done and make available once a week, once a month, once every three months. For person who is a starter, finishing is tough. It’s also helpful.

This post is, of course, mostly for me. It’s to be accountable, to invite others to know what I’m working on. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to trying to help you.

For now, happy new year.