31 January 2007

Thoughts on Leadership

Maxwell's recent Leadership Wired had some excellent points...

Pride - A Leader's Greatest Problem

Pull a 10-dollar bill from your pocket, and you will see the face of Alexander Hamilton on the front. By merit of his accomplishments, Hamilton should be one of our greatest national heroes. Consider his contributions to America:

• Revolutionary War hero
• George Washington’s chief of staff by age 22
• America’s first Secretary of the Treasury
• Co-author of The Federalist Papers
• Creator of the Coast Guard
• Designer of the nation’s banking and finance system
• Architect of a system of tax collection to bring revenue to the U.S. Government
• Builder of the infrastructure for an industrial economy

Yet, despite displaying the greatest blend of legal, political, and financial knowledge of the founding fathers, Hamilton does not rank among the foremost heroes of our country’s history. Why? Pride. Hamilton’s self-importance and inability to take an insult alienated those around him and sabotaged his career. His ego literally killed him. Far too vain to patch up differences with fellow politician, Aaron Burr, Hamilton was shot and killed by Burr in a duel at the age of 49.

The problem of pride

  • Pride stops us from building a team
  • Pride renders us unteachable
  • Pride closes our mind to feedback
  • Pride prevents us from admitting mistakes
  • Pride keeps us from making changes
  • Pride encourages poor character choices
  • Pride hinder us from reaching our potential
  • Pride destroys relationships
  • Pride distorts your perspective on reality
  • Read the rest of what Maxwell said here. Wow, a lot to chew on...
    RelativityM.C. Escher, a great artist. His work is so intriguing. Some thoughts on M.C. Escher work...
    • I could stare at this for way too long
    • Staring at this too long can make you dizzy
    • Things aren't always as they appear
    • It would be really cool to live in a M.C. Escher world

    30 January 2007

    Adult no more

    This would be a fun experiment to try... I wonder how many people could do it? I love the thought of it. I am not sure that adults could go through with it. It is from a very cool site, Katalyst blog.

    Here is an excerpt...
    I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again. I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor, bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones. I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kink word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

    This sounds very refreshing. A lemonade stand and a game of tag...

    Together - Team Hoyt

    Such a great video. This is unbelievable. Such a great example of working together.

    Geek Graffiti
    and the dance begins...

    29 January 2007

    Choo Choo
    I dont know who this was more fun for... me building the tracks or playing with the train.

    26 January 2007


    ...is an area that continues to resurface in my life. Who can be trusted? This is such a tough issue. Trust makes me think of the Indiana Jones movie (side note: a new movie is coming out!)where he takes the step out into the unknown. After that trusting step he turns around and sees the safe ground he walked on.

    I am thankful for people in my life that I know I can trust. I am being taught a difficult lesson... I am still in the process of learning it. I am not even quite sure how to put it into words, but... people do what suits them best. Trust is difficult to explain; it is something that has to be lived out. You can tell people they can trust you, but you have to prove that you can be trusted. I am thankful for Christ's perfect example of what it means to trust in the midst of challenging times.

    The more I think about trust I realize that faithfulness and trust go together. It is so comforting that God's trust and faithfulness is perfect. God's faithfulness and trustworthiness is not dependent on human choices. I am thankful for His perfect example...

    Still in the process of learning...

    22 January 2007


    I am in a pastor's meeting this morning with guys from the South Western Chicago area. We are discussing influential people in our lives. I am awe struck at how many people are saying that a youth pastor was one of the most influential people in their life. I am also somewhat saddened by this. One guy mentioned how difficult it was for him growing up because their church "went through 4 youth pastors in 3 years".

    Why does this happen? How is it that churches "go through" youth pastors so quickly? How is it ok for a church to do this? Why is it that longevity in youth ministry seems to be such a difficult concept? It seems that the difference is being made, but something is missing.
    Superbowl boundAnother great game. We were on our way home from Winter Retreat, trying to keep track of the game. Once we arrived home it was fun to see everyone hurry off to catch the end of the game. Thanks to DVR, I was able to catch the highlights. It was a great way to top off an amazing weekend.

    19 January 2007

    Winter retreat today!

    This is such an exciting time. Every year I look forward to seeing the students encounter God in a fresh way. I love what God does in the lives of the students at retreat.

    Things I am looking forward to:
    • tubing hill. i hope it is open.
    • smores.
    • camp fires.
    • snowball fights.
    • playing in the snow.
    • laughing together.
    • praying together.
    • seeing God touch lives.
    Pray for us as we are away. I am confident that God is going to do great things!

    16 January 2007

    Cool perspective.

    15 January 2007


    Something I ran across in some leadership stuff I was reading...
    “You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”
    ~ Edwin Louis Cole

    14 January 2007

    What a Game!

    Bears win in overtime! Bears over Seattle 27-24. Wow, what a game! Next week New Orleans Saints come to take on the Bears in Chicago. As an added bonus the new season of 24 begins tonight.

    12 January 2007


    In this weekend's youth service we are continuing our series about what it means to have a revolution of the heart, soul, mind, strength (Mark 12:30). This week we are focusing on the revolution of the mind. One of the verses that will be looked at is...
    2 Corinthians 10:4, The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
    This concept of taking EVERY thought captive is really interesting and exciting. I am really big on the power of choice. We chose who we are and what we think about. Reacting or "I had no choice" seem to be easy excuses to dismiss our responsibility. Our mind is so full of untapped potential. It makes me wonder how much more God could use us if we were to make our mind obedient to Him.

    Other thought captivating verses... Hebrews 4:12-13, Philippians 4:4-8, Romans 12:1-3

    11 January 2007


    Wednesday night I had to get out for a bit before small groups, so I went to work out. As I was running, I realized that there can be no distractions. As you are running you can't look to the left or to the right, you have to keep your eyes focused straight ahead. Lately that have been A LOT of distractions. I am determined to keep my eyes on Jesus and focus straight ahead, not looking to the left or right at the distractions.

    So, I thought I would share a couple verses that have meant a lot to me lately...

    Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

    Proverbs 4:22-24 (MSG) Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.

    09 January 2007

    Just a quick "hello" to all my new visitors. Thanks to google analytics I have been able to see a 200% increase in visitor traffic. I would love to hear from some of you, so if you have a moment shoot me an email.

    01 January 2007

    Week of Prayer

    Our church just began its annual week of prayer that kicks off our new year. This is always a great time to set the year off in the right direction. As I was leaving this evening my 5 year-old daughter wanted to come so badly. My wife and I made a deal that she could pray in her room and if she could pray in her room she could come with me. She did it. She prayed in her room on her own. She is such a wonderful little girl.

    It was a great time of prayer tonight. Psalms 35 and 1 Corinthians 9 really spoke to me tonight.
    Happy New Year!

    Another all-nighter finished. I know that it is uncommon, but for some odd reason I still think all night events are fun. There shouldn't be more than one in a year, but it is still fun. At our all night events there is NO sleeping. It is not a sleep over. The event is called an all-nighter for a reason.

    Some of the highlights from this year:
    • Service that kicked the night off
    • Dodgeball (always a highlight)
    • Obi's dance during Joey's drum solo
    • Capture the flag that seemed it would never end.
    • Eating pizza at 3AM
    • Looking down at my watch at 5:45AM and wondering how many people are actually sleeping, which I should probably be doing
    • Relationships grown
    • Recognizing I shouldn't be staying up all night...
    • Feeling it right now that I shouldn't have stayed up all night.
    • Our leaders that stuck it out all night
    • Wondering why I think this is fun
    • Running the halls during capture the flag even when I am not playing
    All night events are not something you want to do often, but occasionally, with the right people, in the right setting, with the right planning... it just might turn out fun.

    Happy New Year!