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markjlenz

Posts by markjlenz

How To Increase Personal Productivity

Church Consultants, pastors, church elders, business leaders, parents, and students. What do they all have in common? They’re all busy. We’re all given 168 hours in a week, but how we use that time determines our effectiveness. And I think it’s safe to suggest that we all want to be more effective, at our jobs,
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Why A Church Consultant Is Like An NTSB Crash Scene Investigator

One of my favorite TV programs is Air Disasters on the Smithsonian Channel. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s simply morbid curiosity. (I’m not sure what that says about me.) But every week catastrophic incidents in aviation history are meticulously re-enacted, providing insight into what went wrong and if the crashes and near-disasters could have
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Managing Change and Maintaining Stability in the New Year

It’s been said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m not sure who said it and I’m not really sure what it means. But it does remind me that some things, in life and in ministry, always seem to be changing. And other things don’t change. They remain unmoved. They
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The Pros and Cons of Mission Statements

Some organizations have Mission Statements. Others have a mission. Some churches have Vision Statements. Other have a vision. I’ve been closely associated with both groups. Guess which one had better clarity and a more engaging and well-defined culture? If you guessed the one with a mission, the one with a vision, you’re right. Don’t misunderstand.
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Responding to the Different Seasons of Growth

An analogy is something that shows how two things are alike, with the goal of making a point about the comparison. The purpose of an analogy is not merely to show, but also to explain. Analogies help us understanding complex ideas. They can also help us understand our growth in the Christian faith. The analogy of a growing
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Blurred Lines And How To Avoid Them

I obsess over clarity. Why? Because I’ve been in several situations, mostly in churches, where a lack of a clear purpose, clear directions and clearly stated goals led to confusion, frustration and wasted time. I heard someone once say, “what’s pretty clear in the pulpit is muddy in the pews.” That’s probably true. I often
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Contextualizing Our Language And Why It Matters

When I was in Bible School, I took an Intro. to Missions class. Granted, this was in 1983 and times have changed. But I believe many, if not most, of the principles I learned still apply. In the class, we talked about contextualizing the gospel (putting the good news of Jesus into the context of
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The Secret Ingredient To Your Success…That You Have No Control Over

Many people hold many jobs over a lifetime. Gone are the days when one graduated from college and moved into a lifelong career with a great company. According to a January 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person changes jobs an average of 12 times during his or her career. The
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Recipe For Getting Better At Anything

It’s been said we only see 60% of ourselves. Turn your head to the side as far as it goes. You still can’t see your back. We all have blind spots. Weaknesses we’re not aware of. Other people see them but are sometimes hesitant to tell us about them. Telling the truth in love is
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Three Key Elements of Effective Story Telling

A while ago, I wrote a blog about Three Preaching Essential to Reach Today’s Culture. In it I wrote about the Word, Story and Humor. Today I want to dive deeper into one key element of communication: story. Stories have always been powerful communication tools. Some people possess a vocal tonality that naturally lends itself
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