Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Two hucksters in one morning? What are the odds?

In my Bible-reading this morning, I read 2 Corinthians 2. The last verse says,

"17 You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us."

Then, about 15 minutes later, I read a post from Seth Godin's blog. Part of it said this:

"Why would someone listen to the prankster or the shyster or the huckster? No, we choose to listen to those we trust. We do business with and donate to those who have earned our attention. We seek out people who tell us stories that resonate, we listen to those stories, and we engage with those people or businesses that delight or reassure or surprise in a positive way."

Both passages caught my attention because of the word "huckster". Who uses that word? But, what a great word it is. It denotes a lack of sincerity and a lack of trust. It reminds me of the snake-oil salesmen of an era past.

I'm reminded, deep in my spirit, how deeply people crave sincerity and how much people want to trust us! I want to be a person and a leader who is sincere and who is worthy of that trust. 

Think about that today, especially if you're leading in the Church. You're not pedaling a product. You're representing Jesus - the most trust-worthy man there is.

No room for hucksters.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Before you start a business (or plant a church)

You know how trends go.  Things get popular, it gets blown out of proportion and we all believe we can do anything.  Usually, getting swept up in trends has no more negative effect than making us look a little silly. 

But what if there were more at stake?  What if mistakenly jumping on this bandwagon could tear your family down or set your back a decade or two, financially?

When did it become so trendy to be an entrepeneur?  It seems like everyone you know is starting their own business.  Or in my world, planting a church.  And everyone is sure they will succeed, even though statistics say the opposite. 

I'm not against entrepeneurs.  I'm defintley not against church-planting.  But, before you bet the farm, have a plan in case it doesn't go exactly how you envision it.  Part of that plan is knowing who you really are.  Part of that plan is basing it in reality.  Part of that plan is gathering wise counsel from a variety of sources BEFORE you begin. 

There's a whole lot more spinning in my head here, but that's enough for now.  Let me know what you think.