Friday, August 10, 2007

Wooden Excellence

I just back from Kansas City for the second time in two months. Yes...I did have more barbecue, this time having Jack Stack's and Gates' versions. Now that I've had the top rated barbecue places (see my earlier post), I have to say that Arthur Bryant's is the best, with Jack Stack second.

But I didn't just go to eat barbecue. I learned a lot at the School of Congregational Development. Here are two things:

1. One of my workshop leaders, Doug Anderson, shared a story about Coach John Wooden, who won 10 NCAA basketball titles at UCLA in the mid 60's through the mid 70's. One of the things he always reminded his players: "Gentlemen: never substitute activity for achievement." In all of life, we often are busy and do lots of things, but what do we do that is truly noteworthy? Especially when it comes to our faith? We might pray, read the Bible, help out...but is it with passion, is it with excellence?

2. In many places, including and especially church, we often lose effectiveness. Why? A common cause, according to Doug Anderson, is that there is an emphasis on personal preference and a tendency to stay within your own comfort level, instead of focusing on the mission and purpose you have for your life, your church, your career, etc. Move toward a mission focus in all things, and you'll be surprised at how much more your life has focus, direction, and effectiveness.

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