Thursday, June 30, 2011

Church Diversity

I recently finished the book Church Diversity by @ScottWilliams.  The subtitle and one of the inspirations of the book is based on a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that says, "Sunday is the most segregated day of the week."  Unfortunately, this has always been my experience.  I was raised in a Christian home in the Bible Belt by Christian parents, my Grandpa was a Christian Minister, and I attended a Christian university.  Throughout that time, I visited dozens of churches and all but one would be considered a "white church".

As both a Christian and an Educator, this is very strange to me.  Throughout my public schooling, sports teams, college, and now at work, the majority of my day is spent with a diverse people made up of different races, political and religious beliefs, and social classes.  Yet on Sunday, the vast majority of the people at church are white and middle class.  As both an Educator and a Christian, it would seem like the Church would have been the group that pioneered desegregation.  Professional sports, public schools, local businesses, and even the government made strides 50 years ago but the Church, the group of people that one would think to be the first to gladly join together with other brothers and sisters in Christ, is still not there.

Church Diversity is challenging.  @ScottWilliams does a great job of not only describing the issue but providing solutions.  In fact, this book is full of wisdom from multiple leaders of churches that are ahead of the game when it comes to Church Diversity.  More importantly, reading this book forced me to truly examine my life, my background, my beliefs, my actions, and my perspectives.  My eyes were opened and I now see the world a little differently.  I believe the same will be true for you.

The best part about this book is that it reaches far beyond "church world".  You could easily substitute the word Church for School, Workplace, Team, Organizational, or Office Diversity.  I would recommend this book to the leaders of any organization. 

Finally, I want to give props to @ScottWilliams for all of the creative marketing surrounding the release of this book.  I mean who promotes a book with blog tours, book trailers, poetry, and t-shirts?  And what kind of weirdo does so much social media marketing that he uses his Twitter handle on the cover of his book?  I guess someone who 'Dreams Big and Thinks Bigger.' 

Pick up Church Diversity from pretty much any store, Amazon, or your local library. 
Check out @ScottWilliams blog and follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Power of Keys

There is something powerful about keys.

I remember the excitement of buying a house or a car or getting a new job. You get excited when your offer is accepted, when the closing date is set, when the loan goes through, when the appraisal comes back, when you get the phone call, and when you sign your name thousands of times. But you never really feel like that car or that house or that job is yours until you have the key.

I recently resigned from one job and changed positions in another.  In doing so, I had to turn in my keys to my offices, all the classrooms, and to get into the building.  Although ready to move on, each time I was always reluctant to turn in my keys.  It's not that I needed those keys anymore, but there is something about keys that makes you feel important. 

The same is true when selling a house or a car.  You may be ready to move out or ready to get a new car but there is just something about physically giving up the key that says, "this house, car, office, classroom, school, ___________ is no longer under my control."

At the same time, there is something freeing about giving up your keys.  Its a great feeling when people call you for something and you can say, "Sorry, I don't have keys to that anymore."

Weird how responsibility, power, freedom, and so much more can come from a single key. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My New Job!

Putnam City Pirates!
I am pleased to announce that I will be an Assistant Principal at Putnam City High School!!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time this past year at Kenneth Cooper Middle School as an Intern Assistant Principal.  And I will always cherish my 4 years of teaching at Western Oaks. (Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior!)

I am excited about this new opportunity to work at Putnam City High.  I look forward to building new relationships with teachers and students.  With a bigger school and more students come bigger challenges and more responsibilities and I gladly accept!  It's going to be a great experience!

(See LeBron, that wasn't so hard.  It doesn't take an hour.  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Importance of Companions

I have been recently reminded of the importance of companions.  Here are 2 examples:

1.  My wife was out of town for a week, learning new things so that she can continue to excel as a leader of college students.  Not only did I miss her cooking and cleaning (I was reminded of how much she does that I don't even see) but I missed her voice, her conversation, and most of all her presence.  Sure we talked on the phone everyday, Facebooked, sent texts, etc... but there is no substitute for the real thing.  I just missed having my wife, my companion with me on a daily basis.

2.  I'm currently doing the exercise program Insanity.  If you have seen the infomercial or done it yourself you know that it really is Insane.  My Insanity partner is @ChadMcKamie and we are doing our best to make our schedules work for 60 Insane days.  Some days we can't make it happen and we have to do the workout alone, which makes it so much harder.  There is something about looking over and watching someone else struggle through the same thing with you that makes it easier, or at least more doable.  We are also able to encourage each other through words or actions as we go through this insane process.

Regardless of the context, I have found that nearly everything is better with a companion.  (This is crazy coming from a loaner, only child.)  The conversations, accountability, memories, stories, encouragement, and fun is at least double with someone to share them with.

Who are your companions?  In what areas of your life could you use one?