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DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

What is Your Why?

Written by: on September 13, 2018

For years, we as pastors have echoed countless sermons on leadership, purpose and understanding one’s calling. However, most messages lead congregants to a euphoric sense of inspiration without any form of personal application. The mood is set, the lights are dim, and the band is enveloped in the last chorus of Beautiful Name. However, in the midst of this spiritual move of God, many don’t know where to move next. This leads us to the question, is one’s calling strictly spiritual?

Dr. Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, challenges us to understand the varied concepts of the entrepreneurial mindset. In her book, InsightOut: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World, she forces us to question our convictions, reevaluate our methods and understand our personal framework. She believes that success is dependent upon on our journey towards entrepreneurship and our effort in preparation. For instance, Seelig states that, “If your objective is to achieve something of merit, you need to begin with a clear vision of your goal.”[1] Therefore, she holds to the idea that one’s vision is the foundation of one’s success. Her book weaves though a myriad of personal stories, academic theories and leadership methodologies. However, the core substance of the text remains consistent. Dr. Seelig challenges her readers to question their perceptions of leadership and purpose by presenting them with a preparatory framework – the Invention Cycle. She believes that:

By understanding the Invention Cycle and honing the necessary attitudes and actions, you can identify more opportunities, challenge more assumptions, generate unique solutions, and bring more ideas to fruition. These powerful tools will help you chart a path towards the life you want to lead.[2]

According to Dr. Seelig, the entrepreneurial mindset is part of a cyclical formation and requires one to utilize all elements in concert. Therefore, she holds to the idea that leadership stems from one’s model of preparation, not simply their presentation. This is why her Invention Cycle [3]  includes, imagination, engagement, creativity, motivation, experimentation, innovation and framework.[4] Dr. Seelig challenges her readers to implement all elements before coming to a finalized solution. This is why she challenges us to understand our purpose through the platform of observation.

Dr. Seelig delves into the idea that, “You need to not only imagine the future you hope to reach, but also to envision the obstacles you need to overcome along the way.”[5] When we first started LOUD Summit, we were determined to set up at least three summits per year and be a global movement by 2020. However, we soon found that a lot of our ideas were formed on older ministry models that didn’t work for our geographical location or audience. LOUD claimed that we were empowering, encouraging and equipping these generations to live out their destiny; however, when we assessed our actions, we realized that we were falling short of our goals.

We revamped the structure of LOUD Summit and changed it from a 3-day event to a one-day summit and added practical workshops that addressed the needs of Millennials and Generation Z. We realized that our vision needed to be swayed by the needs of our audience. Andy Stanley makes the same assertion and reveals that, “Vision empowers you to move purposefully in a predetermined direction.”[6] We took the time to envision our future successes and obstacles in order to move towards our pretermind goal. It wasn’t the easiest decision. It took a lot of work and restructuring. However, it was a necessary choice to attain longevity and influence. This change required us to evaluate culture, count the cost and renew our mindset.

When we stepped into our new goals, we had to remind ourselves of our personal vision. Seelig reveals, “I often meet individuals who are desperately looking deep inside themselves to find something that will drive their passion. They miss the fact that, for most of us, actions lead to our passion, not the other way around.”[7] Our team was faced with countless obstacles and frustrations along the way; however, because we took the time to envision the future of LOUD, we were able to accomplish the tasks required of us in the present. We were forced to look outside of ourselves for direction and inspiration.

After two years of ideation and experimentation, LOUD evolved into a varied form of my first vision.  However, as I look back on old sketches, I realize that the organization would have failed within the first year if we had refused to evolve. It was through experimentation and reframing our vision that we became a ministry that responded to the realistic needs of these generations, instead of a hub of assumption.

William Edward Hickson coined the phrase, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”[8] It’s my belief, that Dr. Seelig would counter this phrase and encourage leaders to try, try again, even if they succeed the first time. Many of us have been taught to not reinvent the wheel; however, sometimes we need forget the wheel and simply board the plane. Dr. Seelig invites us to evaluate our passions, experiences and visions and formulate a cyclical pattern of preperation. She begs us to understand the WHY to our WHAT and be compelled by the WHO. It’s time to remember the passion behind our purpose.

 

[1]Tina Lynn Seelig, Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World (New York, NY: HarperOne, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2015),56.

[2]Ibid., 18.

[3]Ibid., 12.

[4]Ibid., 13.

[5]Ibid., 54.

[6]Andy Stanley, Visioneering (Colorado, Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 1999), 12.

[7]Tina Lynn Seelig, Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World (New York, NY: HarperOne, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2015), 27.

[8]“Quote/counterquote: Origins, Uses and Abuses of Famous Quotations and Phrases,” www.quotecounterquote.com, accessed September 13, 2018, http://www.quotecounterquote.com/2014/04/if-at-first-you-dont-succeed.html.

About the Author

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Colleen Batchelder

I speak at conferences, churches, companies and colleges on intergenerational communication, marketing, branding your vision and living authentically in a ‘filtered’ world. My talks are customized to venue needs and audience interests. My passion is to speak with organizations and bridge the intergenerational gap. I consult with companies, individuals, churches and nonprofit organizations and help them create teams that function from a place of communication that bridges the generational gap. I’m also the Founder and President of LOUD Summit – a young adult organization that presents workshops, seminars and summits that encourage, empower and equip millennials to live out their destiny and walk in their purpose. When I’m not studying for my DMin in Leadership and Global Perspectives at Portland Seminary, you can find me enjoying a nice Chai Latte, exploring NYC or traveling to a new and exotic destination.

11 responses to “What is Your Why?”

  1. mm M Webb says:

    Colleen,
    It was sure nice to meet you at the last zoom conference. That was quite a library behind you! I used to collect paper books, but the more I travel and work in various foreign contexts I have been forced to adapt to electronic mediums.
    While I like Seelig’s popular context and practical leadership themes, I still cling to Proverbs 3:5-6. I wish Seelig linked her work into God’s creativity, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
    See you in HK!
    Stand firm,
    M. Webb

    • Thank you, Mike! It was nice meeting you as well.

      I’ve actually tried to “go digital”; however, my eyes get too tired from the glare. I spend about 60+ hours per week on the computer for LOUD Summit and even more when we have a workshop or summit in the works. Also, I still prefer the smell of fresh books and highlighting my favorite quotes with pen. I’m actually looking to move to NYC by next year and the highest item on my list is bookshelf space. lol

      You believe that Seelig’s view is based on a popular leadership model rather than a “biblical approach”. Where do you find the discrepancies? In what ways have you used her Invention Cycle for ministerial projects? What is your pattern of creating programs?

  2. mm Kyle Chalko says:

    excellent connections colleen. Its fun for me to read more about your LOUD summit and how you have lead throughout your years of being the director of it. Looking forward to learning more about it. 🙂

    I love 1 day conferences!

    • Thank you, Kyle!

      Seelig brought up some excellent points and gave a great blueprint for reaching one’s goals. Her text reminded me a lot of Jill Konrath’s book, “More Sales. Less Time” because they both delved into the idea that mindfulness is intrinsic to progression in leadership.

      After reading this week’s text, I’ve revamped my team meeting agenda and left much more room for reflection, experimentation and creativity. What element popped out to you the most?
      You’ll have to come to the next LOUD Summit! You’d love it. ?

  3. Colleen,

    Thanks for telling us how Seelig’s invention cycle has been applied in your own situation with LOUD. I love it!

    You stated, “It was through experimentation and reframing our vision that we became a ministry that responded to the realistic needs of these generations, instead of a hub of assumption.” So good… When I read “hub of assumption” I choked a bit, and prayed, “Oh Lord, please don’t let me ever get stuck there!!”

    I like how you began by challenging assumptions and not getting stuck into how things are assumed to go, but were able to reframe the ministry for the purposes of the recipients.

    One thought is that we all must always be critiquing and refining our models. The work doesn’t stop when you exit out of the hub of assumption and have a responsive ministry. Rather, we need to keep evolving, frequently, to always be responsive to each new wave.

    See you soon!

    • Thank you, Mark!

      This year has been filled with tons of change; however, it has led to wonderful transformation. It was difficult to throw in the towel on some projects and revamp our plans to match our vision. I felt like I was regressing, instead of moving forward. However, it has been the greatest decision that we ever made, because it paved the way for LOUD to grow quickly on a healthy foundation.

      Too many of us feel stuck when our plans don’t work out, because we haven’t gone back to the beginning of our purpose. When we look at the meaning behind our organizations, we’re willing to revamp our presentation to address the needs of our audience. In turn, this allows our ministries to remain influential, because they’re evolving to the reality of cultural context.

      What has been your greatest frustration with working with organizations? Have you found it difficult working with ministries that don’t take the time to understand their audience? How has their assumption affected their funding?

  4. Great post Colleen! Your LOUD ministry sounds very cool and I have been following your posts on FB about it and have been intrigued and would love to hear more about it maybe in HK. My favorite part of your post was the very end where you said…”She begs us to understand the WHY to our WHAT and be compelled by the WHO. It’s time to remember the passion behind our purpose.” Understanding what our purpose is and who we are wanting to impact is so vital to effective ministry.

    • Thank you, Jake!

      I loved how Seelig talked about how experience created purpose. All of us on the LOUD team are from varied denominational backgrounds, ministry contexts and political persuasions, but we are compelled by Christ because of our heart for skeptics. It’s been incredible to see how our personal experiences have come together and formed a unified front.

      I’d love to connect in Hong Kong and talk about our ministries. It’s been incredible to watch God open some amazing doors. We spent a lot of time in the experimental phase and the creativity phase; however, God is opening doors for implementation that are beyond our wildest dreams.

  5. mm Jay Forseth says:

    Hi Colleen,

    Loved your title, and also this phrase, “Many of us have been taught to not reinvent the wheel; however, sometimes we need forget the wheel and simply board the plane.” Well stated! And I think Seelig would concur that this “outside the box” thinking is spot on to her emphasis.

    We are all enjoying getting to know you more, and we all look forward to Hong Kong with you!

  6. mm Jean Ollis says:

    Colleen,
    I can’t wait to learn more about your LOUD summit ministry. As an entrepreneur yourself, I imagine this book felt relevant. Kudos for reworking the summit to what you believe will meet consumer needs. Looking forward to meeting in person in HK!

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