Listen, Evaluate, and Then Decide

Lately I’ve caught myself in conversations telling others to listenevaluate, and decide a lot. It may be coming across as advice to others because I have been trying to engage in feedback lately with those three words in mind.

Here is what I mean in short form:

Listen

Stop talking and just listen. If you are married you know what I mean here. It’s very hard to do this part, but it is the best thing you can do. So when someone approaches you with feedback you did not solicit go ahead and listen. Don’t justify your decisions. If you solicited the feedback once again don’t start defending your choices. Just listen.

Evaluate

You have now taken the time to actually listen to someone’s opinion. Other’s opinions are very important to improving your art/decisions/product. The thing to remember though is every opinion is just that… an opinion. So once you have taken the time to listen you must take the time to evaluate. You will base the evaluation on many factors that only you can decide on. The key here is to take the time and evaluate what you have heard from others.

Decide

Now that you have listened and evaluated you must decide. And this must be based around vision and values. If you begin making decisions based on wavering vision and values you will continue to make reactionary changes based solely on peoples opinions and not vision. This is extremely hard for church production environments. Lights, video and audio volume can be and should be decided based on vision/values and not just complaints/compliments. It’s difficult in the moments you must make a decision, but no matter what decision you make some peoples opinions will be opposite. And once again with vision you can make your way through those circumstances.

So this week as you create new art, scripts, music, policies, curriculum be sure to listen to others, evaluate what you have heard, and then decide based on your vision and values.

The Story I Never Told | Miss You Chris

Last week I did something I have not done since my older brother Chris past away in a hospital in Bristol, TN. And that thing was talk about it with anyone in detail. Up to last week the only person I have talked to about the week was my wife Kirsten and that was limited in detail. I just don’t verbalize things out loud like, but instead keep it to myself and find personal time to reflect. But that all changed this past week as I finally opened up for the first time and it so happened to in front of a camera as well.

We finished a teaching series where we had been discussing moments when we have an encounter and how it forms and shapes us. (Encounter, Formation, Expression) We were discussing the idea of a possible story to set up our pastor to wrap up the final week. At that moment I felt like this could be the time I finally share my story and my encounter with God during that tragic week in 2009. So I threw out the idea to the team and just how my story could play into the three areas. I then took myself out of the equation/room and let them pressure test my story and decide for themeselves. The team decided they liked the idea and then took it to the next level and pitched the idea up the chain. The project was green-lit and after two interviews and a three day trip to VA the guys put together a very emotional piece.

I have watched it twice and probaly will not watch it again because it’s so personal. But I hope you take a few moments to watch it and can recall an unforgettable encounter yourself.  Then take a moment to look back on how it has formed you into who you are today.