I Have a Dream

Today we celebrate and remember Martin Luther King, Jr. Though we’ve come a long way as a country, I still think we have a ways to go. Days like today make me think of my friend, Scott Williams and his forth-coming book on Church Diversity with a subtitle of “Sunday: The Most Segregated Day of the Week.”

I’ve written about this subject before, but I ask again: When it comes to Sunday and our churches – How diverse are we really? Yesterday, at church, I played keys as I usually do when I’m in town and I looked out and saw a total of two African-American people in both services. Do we live in a “white” town? Far from it!

My business is a member of both the Greene County Chamber of Commerce and the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce. These two counties have two very different economic situations. Both counties have luxury neighborhoods with world-class golf courses located on Lake Oconee in gated communities like Reynolds Plantation, Harbor Club, Del Webb, Cuscowilla and Great Waters. If you remember when Pittsburg Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger, got in trouble for sexual assault, he was in Georgia because he has a home in a neighborhood 5 minutes from my house.

Our community has one of the nicest hotels in the country: The Ritz-Carlton Lake Oconee where Carey Underwood got married and is also where many special guests, including President Bush go to get away. Not even 5 miles from the Ritz, there are people sleeping on the ground that our church has tried to help.

How drastic is the split in my community? Recently, at a Chamber of Commerce meeting, a guest speaker shared the demographic results of our community. The facts are staggering. Inside the gated communities, the average income is $150,000. Outside the gated communities, the average income is $24,000. These two average incomes live within minutes of each other.

The divide is also very evident in our school system. Our community has 2 or 3 private schools which are really nice and one charter school, which you have to live in the right part of town to get into (or else you’re put on a long waiting list). My kids go to public school at Greensboro Elementary (in Greene County) and are a minority. Each of my kids is 1 of 2 or 3 white kids in their classroom. Read that again. My kids are a part of a tiny, minority in their classrooms, yet I see only 2 black people at a church of 400 people.

Please know, I’m not picking on my current home church. I’ve seen this at each church I’ve served or attended in my lifetime. I’ve always had a heart for diversity and I’m always very aware of how many minorities attend my given church. This is something I look for when I do secret shoppers, too. I’ve never had the joy of being a member of a truly diverse church, though I have visited some in my travels and consulting.

The churches that I’ve seen that are diverse had diverse staff and diversity up on the platform during worship. This does not happen by accident and this is my personal “dream”. To see churches intentionally hire for diversity and fill the stage with color.

What are your thoughts? Do you see the need for a book like Scott is writing? Have we reached the dream that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of or are we still short? Is your church closed today in honor of this holiday??? Read Scott’s blog from last night HERE.

A Deeper Look at Social Networking

Last week I spoke on my personal thoughts and learnings of how to use social networking at the M2Live webinar in Atlanta. If you missed it, you can see it HERE. I covered the 2 L’s of my philosophy: Listening through technology and Life-streaming. Watch the video and see if it helps you see new ways to use Twitter and Facebook.

Almost 2 months ago, my friend Scott Williams, wrote a blog post on his 3D philosophy of Twitter. I thought it was worth reposting. Check out what Scott had to say…

Twitter allows us to see people in the following 3 Dimensions:

1. Personal Dimension- The Personal Dimension is the dimension of Twitter where individuals share things about, life, family and is filled with many twitpics, yfrogs and LOL’s.  This is the dimension of Twitter where personality really pops out to the world of Twitter.  This dimension is most important and sets the tone for how the other two dimensions come into focus.

2. Professional Dimension- The Professional Dimension is the dimension that allows you to share expertise, experiences, thoughts, visions, trends, happenings… in your area of professionalism.  This is the dimension where the social media professional shares all things social media, the doctor shares all things medicine, the stay-at-home mom shares all things mommy, the pastor shares all things ministry and so on.  The personal and professional dimension will definitely have some overlap.

The professional dimension is the dimension where business twitter accounts should always remain.  It’s not pragmatic for business twitter accounts to share information from the personal dimension.  I other-words @starbucks  should not be tweeting about mowing the lawn, unless they are mowing the lawn and drinking a cup of Starbucks.  Starbucks should be tweeting about all things Starbucks Coffee and all things Starbucks Coffee Customers.  Unfortunately, some business twitter accounts get this one wrong all the time.

It’s important to understand that your followers may view your professional dimension a little broader than your professional role.  For instance Michael Hyatt is not just viewed as the CEO of Thomas Nelson, but also as a Social Media Expert, Blogger and Leadership Guru.  In this dimension I am viewed as a Pastor, Blogger, Social Media Guy, Leadership Guy etc.  If you want to know how the Twitter World views you, simply take a look at the categories of Twitter Lists that people have placed you in.

3. Thought Dimension- The Thought Dimension is the dimension deals with cognition.  Cognition–being the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, thinking, reasoning, and judgment.  This is the dimension that releases what’s going on inside of your head.  This dimension is filled with random quotes, random thoughts, the sharing of information that you have read or opinions that you may have.

The Thought Dimension will have overlap with both the Personal Dimension and the Professional Dimension.  I gather the most useful information from the Though Dimension.  @RevRunWisdom  has mastered the thought dimension, he is one of the most retweeted individuals on Twitter and 100% of his posts originate from this dimension.  Again, I love to share and receive from this dimension.  My life philosophy is this: dream BIG. think BIGGER.

In order for an individual to have well-rounded and effective Twitter experience, they must be able to see Twitter In 3D.  All three dimensions must be present.  Personally I think a Twitter Profile should outline these three areas in order, for instance here is how my twitter profile reads:Husband, Father, Thought Leader, LifeChurch.tv Campus Pastor, Speaker, Diversity… Al Gore invented the internet and I invented the #FistBump on Twitter!

Now You Can See, Twitter In 3D.

What Do You Think?  Share your thoughts on Twitter In 3D.

Guest Post by Scott Williams: 4 Reasons Leaders FAIL

The following is a guest blog by Scott Williams, campus pastor at LifeChurch.tv Northwest OKC

Leadership is the most commonly used word when it comes down to the success of an organization, product, group or team.  No matter how you slice the success pie, the pieces all boil down to leadership.  There are countless books about how to be a successful leader, 21 laws of leadership, how to go from good to great and the list goes on and on with John Maxwell’s books alone.

There are many reasons that leaders are successful and just as many for why they fail.  I am a firm believer that you can learn as much from your failures and working with poor leadership as you can successful leadership.  I previously wrote about this in a post entitled Stop Complaining and Start Learning.  We know there are many reasons that contribute to a leaders success, What about why they fail?  Below is a list of 4 memorable reasons leaders FAIL in an easy to remember acronym FAIL.

Fake-  A leader who attempts to be someone they’re not instead of simply being themselves has a difficult time succeeding, at some point it just catches up to them.  This also applies to the leader that has a different face, different persona, different tone, different everything… when certain people are around.  In other-words when the big boss comes around they put their fake-face on.  Not to say a leader might not make some adjustments when company comes around; however the super-fake-face comes from insecurity of how they act normally.  Remember: Don’t be fake, be yourself… “Do You! It’s A Statement… Not A Question!” Fake Leaders Fail!

Attitude- One of the primary reasons that a leader fails is because of a poor, negative or a no-can-do attitude.  If a leader thinks he can fly and has a positive can-do attitude; even though they may not be able to fly they will come darn close.  The reason why attitude is important is because that leader’s attitude will rub off on their team members and their followers. Remember: “Attitude reflects leadership, Captain.” ~Julius in Remember The Titans

Integrity- If a leader doesn’t exhibit a high degree of integrity they will fail.  The integrity issues will either catch up to them (what’s done in the dark, will come to light) or those that follow them won’t respect them.  If team members or followers don’t respect the a leader, it puts the leader in the place of pushing a snowball up hill… it’s a difficult task.  These integrity issues run the gamete: profanity, lying, cheating, stealing, affairs, flirting, yelling, substance abuse, pride-filled decisions etc.  I have worked with many high capacity leaders in both the secular world and ministry that have failed because they allowed their integrity to get off track.  Remember:  Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.

Lacking-  Although I believe that everyone has potential for some degree of leadership in them; the bottom line is that some leaders fail because they are either: a.) Not the leader they think they are, or b.) Promoted above their leadership capacity/leadership role has outgrown them, or c.) Not a visionary, or d.) Not a leader at all!   They are lacking what it takes!  Remember: Just because someone has an office, role, title or responsibility doesn’t mean they are a leader. Leadership is an art, a skill, a craft, a gift… and it must be developed!

Share your thoughts or add some additional reasons to the list?

The Most Segregated Day of the Week

This is a blog that’s been a long time coming. I think about racial diversity often and last week I was reminded of how white my church is. I went to visit another local church that is also predominately white, but more diverse than my congregation and it jumped out at me (again).

I’ve said it countless times. I don’t understand why, but Sunday is the most segregated day of the week. I’ve had lengthy discussions with various friends (half of my friends are either African-American, Asian or Indian). I’ve discussed this with various Church leaders and friends/bloggers that have similar interests, passions and desires to see the Church embrace diversity – friends and bloggers such as DJ Chuang and Scott Williams.

Because I grew up in the South, I should be used to an all-white church service. I was brought up in an all-white church, even though I played several sports and had several black friends. When it came to Sunday, we went our separate ways and worshipped with “our own”. Now, 20 years later, I still see that going on.

I know great and gifted white pastors, but they have predominately white congregations. I know great and gifted black pastors (TJ Jakes and Tony Evans come to mind), but they lead predominately black churches. I know great and gifted Asian pastors (Dave Gibbons comes to mind), but they lead a predominately Asian congregation.

Soon I’ll blog about the concept of diversity and share some thoughts, but as for today, I’d just like to hear your thoughts, insights and reasons on why you think most churches experience this sort of segregation when it comes to worship. I think about this EVERY single week at my church. God help us!