Category Archives: Church

Our Company Culture

Company culture is one of the traits I look at in businesses, especially the place I’ve worked in and church organizations I’ve been involved with. As I continue to develop my growth each and every day, I’ve observed how company culture is different in many places. I see it as how it shapes the place and how people interact with each other. It’s the vibe you feel as soon as you walk into their space and the culture truly affects those involved around it. If someone were to ask you to define your company’s culture in two words, what would it be? Commitment and quality, engagement and energetic, honest and reasonable, these are a few examples. But what is it really?

I’ve read several great book by authors that talk on the issue of company culture and after reflecting on them all, I’ve applied and listed three keys that make a company’s culture. Note that you may or may not agree with it, so your opinions are appreciated, but the following are:

  • Values
  • Vision
  • Investment

This is one of the biggest keys I’ve seen pop up when someone determines how the culture is shaped. Picture in your head that someone comes up to you and asks, “What is it that your company values?” Maybe it’s already happened, so what was your response? Sometimes we even have to pause and think because we’re not sure what the company really values the most. Do they value their customers? Work quality? Team-members? Their vision? And I know perhaps in church, those attending would come with the response that they value God, but excluding Him, what else do they value that makes their culture in the organization so great?

I believe we should value each other. I remember one of the first jobs I had, the values in putting customers first was great, but there was little to no value in the members bonding together. It was laid back but no one was putting as much time getting to know each other. The only way you’d get them talking was if you walked by coincidentally or if I needed them for help with a task. During lunch it felt awkward, everyone grabbing their meals in the kitchen and going their separate ways. The only ones staying there would be the ones having no where else to go and casually watch television. Having a decent conversation would be two people, and these two obviously are the only two connected well. And now I’m asking myself why didn’t they valued each other more as a team? The result was the leader. Sure we had a manager, but what I saw in the manager, I saw in the leader as well. Both weren’t fully engaged with the team. The leader is what determines this value.

There were problems. It was disorganized and the blame game would occur often. The manager would come late and didn’t know what was going on. The leader was unheard of. The only time you got to have a talk with him was at the time of being hired or doing overtime and seeing him leave. Other than that, he’d come in around the afternoon, waive at you and head upstairs to his office. That was it! So did that same quality transition unto team?

I felt bad with what was going on with this new team-member we had. We didn’t know his name because he didn’t get the proper introduction at the time because of our hectic work schedule. We only found out who he was by another member stumbling upon knowing his name. The guy was quiet, but he seemed hard working and getting by. There was a day that a tragic event occurred involving his wife. We all were called into the manager’s office. He gave out the situation and what could be done to help, but the faces on everyone seemed clueless on who he was. They called for a small charitable donation, and looking back now, I’m not sure if he received a good amount. Wherever this guy is now, I hope him and his family are blessed and doing well.

Why are values needed in being part of a great company culture? How does the leader affect it? As I mentioned, the leader was hardly to be found. Very friendly but had no involvement with the team and felt as if we were all partially abandoned. We were all very skilled at what we did, but weak bonding as a team. We needed to be improved.

I will break this down into two posts for you readers. Company culture on vision and investment you can expect for Friday. Until then some questions for you to think about are in simple words describe your company’s culture? What do they value the most and value the least? What are ways you think it can improve?

Eye to Eye Avoidance: Conflict at Church

Many people come and go for those that have attended church for so long. We meet great people and the not so great. Something that came to mind was that over time I’ve seen drama explode inside the church and people making their decision to part ways. People part ways for the reasoning of a disagreement they had with someone, gossiping, or perhaps loss interest and failed to solve the problem.

If we ever accidentally see them again at a restaurant, church attendees house or anywhere outside the church facilities, there are three things I’ve seen occur. They come over to warmly greet you being accepting, they acknowledge you and move on not to start a conversation or they’d simply ignore you not see eye to eye. So what I ask is for those that ignore them, are they still upset over the argument they had? Could they not move on from the past? Is it simply the fact that they feel ashamed when they look at them or are they holding a grudge?

Going to a marriage accompanying my parents, I got the chance to greet old friends and people I grew up with when I was young. These people to me are great, they learned so much, grew and went their ways to improve the lives of others. They are the ones who left the organization for their own reasoning but are always loving with open arms happy to greet you warmly. And then on the other side there are those that left because of rough arguments and gossip. Their expressions on some of their faces was priceless, that surprised look and quickly looking down pretending they haven’t noticed us. I wouldn’t know what’s going through their mind, but maybe it’s an embarrassment feel because they look as if they’re hiding. This is the part where either one of us has to step up and lead. Going up to them, they have this cold facial expression, they’re not too pleased of the greet. Their body language is not showing interest rather moving away. So I spoke with them how they’ve been and their responses were very short. My thoughts are what’s going on? Are they still upset over the argument?

I don’t have a clear remembrance of the speaker’s entire quote, but i captured one important statement. It is stating that “Hate is a waste of time.” When we keep hating someone, we are putting valuable time thinking about that one person and instead we should use that time benefiting from something else. We are not all perfect and we may have disagreements about a certain part, but we have to learn to move on. I’ve seen people where they have disagreement about a certain topic although they may have the same agreements about other issues. After battling it out on one certain issue they no longer see each other eye to eye nor speak to each other. They perhaps are waiting on one another to see who will step up and take the lead.

What are the process you do to solve this issue? Is there a certain time given before you start speaking with this person again after having a conflict? Did it go good or bad? How has it benefited you learning from this experience? Hope we can all come to realize that when this occurs, you have to take the lead.

Ways To Grow: Having a Better Relationship With God

Growing up in church I never really understood how people knew so much of God. How they knew verses and people from the Bible. How their connection with God was big and how they always seem to go for more, displaying such a positive feeling, and fulfillment in their lives. Of course the new comers were easy to spot, they would always stand still, stare around the crowd, and perhaps that being because they have little knowledge on the word of God. I would be in that same position also. so how do they grow unto God mentally and spiritually? In what ways did they do to improve their growth even more?

Of course after we accept God into our lives, we feel better, but overtime it may become the usual almost going back to our old habits. Sometimes we care not to attend church ever so often because we feel demotivated to go, tends to feel like a job that we are forced to go. I understand there are things we have to get done as well, but I’ve also acknowledge that there are people who will ask them in a meaningful way why didn’t they attend church that day. It almost makes them feel like they should be ashamed and yet as stated above, it starts to feel as if we are forced to go. Instead if we are more informed about God and have greater connection with Him, worrying if we are going to church or not won’t become an issue because we always tend to want more.

Not until my late-teens/young adult life I began to have a more focused approach on the word of God. I began to ask questions and study what it meant to really have God in my life. I’ve still yet to learn, but I’m far ahead now from where I started. Not that I’m trying to be a “Jesus-freak” but I desire to have a more knowledgeable approach to God. Being used by God and having a better relationship with Him.

I’m sure there are many ways to improve ourselves in God, but I took down three qualities that have improved my relationship with Him and hopefully can improve yours’ as well.

  • Purposely learning
  • Be with people who know
  • Improve areas needed

First most, when we want to have a better connection/relationship with God we have to understand that we need to be informed about his teachings. Not that we should know the basics, but rather we have to have the need to always learn more about Him. We can’t just accept God into our lives and expect Him to use us in ways without having capable knowledge about Him. I’ve been one of those people that have always knew the Adam & Eve stories and Noah’s Ark growing up, but I never understood how these members in our church were touched or how they had great visions to share with us. I found out as we further read into the word of God, we start to have a better understanding of how God uses people, and as you continue to understand these events you become aware that when you want to have a deeper relationship with God, it vastly improves. It’s not an overnight result, more of a day after day event.

Being with people who are fulfilled with the word of God brings you closer than with those who have no knowledge about Him do. Why do they bring you closer to Him? Because they share insights with you and help you become a better person. Kind of like with that saying that states if you want to become something you’re interested in, be with those that are in the same field. Same applies to here as well. Not that I’m saying abandon your friends right now and find new people, rather cherish and spend much time possible with those that know the gospel. I have great friends I grew up, the amount of time we spent together is endless, but I have learned that when I speak to them about God, they are not informed. I want to improve my relationship with God, so what I do is find people that know His word. It might sound like a meaningful approach, but it’s a way I see it in order to improve our connection. And of course I know we can all find a balance between the two.

The third quality I’d like to share is that as we are learning more and having a better relationship with God, we should value what we’ve learned and look for areas that are needed for improvement. What I mean by this is I’m asking myself “What are my weaknesses that are needed to be improved for having a better relationship with Him?” I know I have weaknesses that are still needed to be improved. What I do is try calling them out and plan on ways to improve them. There are some people that may not be very good at casting a prayer or translating a message from the Bible. And then there are those of the complete opposite where they can say a prayer, up to 30 minutes or so, it’s to be acknowledge and valued. It’s such a great quality they’ve gained, it should be used for even bigger growth.

The three qualities I’ve described are what I use to improve my relationship with God. Over time it’s really helped me and hope it can help you as well. It’s played such a role in my life that, as I continue to understand the gospel clearly, it’s become such value to me. I understand there are other ways that help people improve as well when i spoke with other people in the same situation, and what are those features? What helps you bring you to that level where you have a better relationship with Him?

Worship with Joy: Should We Keep Up

Playing music since childhood I remember the first time I grabbed a pair of drum sticks and worked hard putting effort to become a drum musician. Looking through all these tapes and cassettes, I would play along-side them and be so very passionate about it. Not only was my mind set to play well but at the same time use it to worship. And I’ve acknowledged that God and music go hand and hand. How powerful it becomes and influential to people it gets. When we put our passion when we play music, it becomes more than just music. It becomes into a sensation people feel, stress is relieved, depression is no more, and we keep our focus onto God. Even with a single instrument when half the worship team may have missed that day of service, it can be tough, but I’ve seen how powerful that one instrument can get. However, some churches I’ve witnessed the way they worship is strict-ed. Why is that?

Visiting a pastor in Ohio, he invited me to his church on a Sunday. Coming early in, I’ve got the chance to meet their congregation and musicians. When church started I felt surprised. Their way of worshiping is through old hymns and not new contemporary music that attract youth and people all together. I asked why wouldn’t he have their worship team play new contemporary music, since there’s so many great songs out there. He answered it’s the way they play and best to worship God. They’re used to it and they rather not change the lifestyle their used to. But, of course we all eventually come to a change, not only for the youth, but also for new people that want to experience a different way to worship God.

I asked several musicians as well and they responded the same. Even though they were playing these hymns, it’d be much better if they put much effort into it. When they were worshipping, most looked like they were bored, not interested, lets see what time we get out of here, and with that way of attitude it not only affects them but the crowd as well. They won’t have a feel for the music and it’s all going to seem very boring. I know not every church enjoys screaming and shouting moving all over, but we have to recognize that when we play music, it’s a great deal in how we get our congregation motivated and starving for more. It’s what nourishes the mind if you can put it that way.

After witnessing their methods of worshipping music, I’m not against their ways, but I just wonder why won’t they change the way they play? Spectating many young people there, it’d be much better playing music that these young people are attracted to. Are they well informed about the music? Any knowledge in where they can start?

After I came back home from my trip to Ohio, I emailed their pastor some songs that would be pretty simple to learn yet have great tune to it. I wanted to get him up to date with the music.

So have you ever been part of a worship team that is strict in their music or have you been in that congregation? Knowing that perhaps you’d know a great deal of music to worship to, do you think not changing the way we worship would affect the youth ministry? Any experiences being part of it?

Quote

Path to Victory

“What is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory- victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road my be; for without victory, there is no survival.” -Winston Churchill

I love this quote from Mr. Churchill. When we have that mentality to win, there should be no alternatives for it. No matter the circumstances we must keep focus on one thing and it’s our path to victory.

Sticking Together: Ways to Bond

In business or in an organization we must all have great connection with one another, without it, a leader or employer creates a setting in which it becomes dark, not trustworthy and team members not communicating effectively with one another. We have to get on a more personal level with them. I would like to share with you seven keys that can help build this long lasting relationship between you and your team. I will explain the first four today, and the last keys for Thursday.

  • Knowing yourself: Take a minute to sit back and reflect on yourself. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What’s needed to be improved? Something I would recommend is to talk with your team one on one, and let them give you feedback on what they think they see in you is needed to be improved upon. Most employers/leaders I’ve seen have refused this. They won’t mention nor perhaps will they ever. Because of the title they hold, it signifies they know what they’re doing and every aspect of themselves is perfect. I disagree, if we get to know ourselves on a more better standard we can easily connect with other members. Thus creating a bond to an extent.
  • Communicate with Openness: I believe we have to be open and sincere at the way we speak with others. If there’s a project going on and you feel a disagreement of some sort, it’s best to say it because in the end the results could’ve turned out better, and due to not being open about it, you’ve decided to stick back. We also have to be sincere and not so shallow.
  • Share your Vision: Your team has to have the same understanding of what your vision is. Where are they going with this? Are they getting anywhere? When we stick to vision, goals are achieved quicker and our team becomes stronger connecting with one another.
  • Get on their Level: When you communicate with them, communicate in terms that they can understand clearly. For example, lets say the way we communicate on a one through ten scale is an eight. Their number would be a five, so we’d have to lower ourselves that same number so they can have a clear thorough understanding of what is trying to be said. If we communicate with them on terms that we’re still at an eight, they become lost and tasks become relatively complicated. I believe also that we have to get on a level that is more deeper to them. Interests they do is an excellent example. If you tell them if they’ve seen the new gear exclusively for hunting that just been released, some if not most wouldn’t know squat. They would just ride along the train and pretend they know what you’re talking about, waiting when you’re about to leave so they can carry on. Instead how about a football game. Talk about how bad the game was yesterday allows them to fully engage you on their terms and at the same time it creates a great bond.

Take a look back and apply it to yourself. Do you have a great bond with your team-members? Do you see someone else that may need improvement to bond with their team? The team may be bonded together, but may not so much with you. How can you tell? Hope these first four keys help if you are struggling to bond with people in your setting or are seeing someone else in this situation.

Opening Up: Churches Welcoming All

Over past years of visiting churches, I’ve witness different type of cultures many have. One thing most have in common is that we all have open arms to people who want to accept God into their lives. However, many can be judgmental towards these newcomers and not take notice that they may be offending him or her. We all have to show them that they chose the right thing to have God into their lives, and they are welcomed to participate in church activities as they keep attending. We have to keep growing them so they can be educated and at the same time improve themselves within. When we grow our members, we become a strong bond under God that the you can see how great and enthusiastic the culture is.

Waking up early on a Sunday morning, the radio being turned on, a preacher is preaching. He’s discussing what is proper and what is not. Arguing the fact that you should repent if you’re not doing the right thing. That things like not having desire to attend church is an act of the devil and you are a ridiculous sinner. I come to thought of why are we so judgmental towards one another? We all attend church, shouldn’t they be proud we already go to church? Judging that when we get to church and not praise Him a certain way is not acceptable, I don’t agree. When we come to church and worship, people have different ways how they worship Him. We don’t come to church to be judged, if we want to be judged go outside of church. We come inside to take all the weight off our backs, be influenced and motivated, making sure that we believe the rest of the week will be a blessed and prosperous week. They want to be around people who will care for them and guide them in life.

What I’ve seen is that when a newcomer is attending, most members don’t greet them right away. They have the leader mention them, and that’s where everyone will stand up to do so. I think they should’ve been greeted and welcomed the first time he stepped foot in the church. It’s a odd feeling coming into a church, everyone staring at you as you make your way to getting seated. It’s a matter of comforting them as they enter the building we are all part of God’s children. Guidance should be the first step. What do they know about God so far? Are they informed with the teachings of the bible? We must find what weak strengths they have and improve them so they can keep fulfilling themselves with God at the same time they can improve those around them as well. It’s a big discussion about how we approach newcomers. I believe most of them are sensitive, and like a new born baby, they will capture anything from the start. How can we improve our new members without offending them or making it seem as if we are being hard on them? How quick should they join in on our activities? We have to remember that these newcomers are coming with the mentality of the outside world, teaching them more about the word of God will improve the way they think.

To Lift Someone

It seems as though when you want someone to achieve and be better, it gets harder and harder every step. They see that you are doing your part and the dedication you’re putting into their hands so they can improve dramatically. All of a sudden, you see they want to give up. All the time and effort wasted, gone. What do you do to turn them back and motivate them? Normally I would get upset, but the position I see myself in, I want them to succeed. It’s what they’ve been complaining to me forever about. It bothers me that people are actually dedicated to teach them to improve in areas’ they’ve always desired to, but soon after, they call it quits. Why?

Teaching at a local church, a fellow gentlemen called me to see if I could teach him the bass guitar so he could be up on stage and play with the band. I always told him “yes of course whenever you have the time let me know when you want to start learning.”So as time went on I noticed it did seem like he was really passionate to learn. That he was willing to give up time to dedicate his focus to learn this instrument. I was excited in fact because I hardly ever taught any instruments to people, it’s something I never felt comfortable with nor did I have any idea where to start. We scheduled an appointment where to meet and what time. Throughout the last two months I started him off with great knowledge on the basics. He learned the simple chords of A,B,C,D,E,F, and G. It was tough, he’s used to another version they taught him which is completely useless because the band reads chords accordingly to what is setted up. One thing about him is that it seems he gets impatient and off balanced when the band plays. He usually will wonder off into his own little world and just play an off balanced rhythm. One of the fellow band mates gets irritated so I have to confront him about, and that’s why I’m there, so he can be great and improve from where I leave him off.

This recent month seems he’s been putting his effort along well, but his lack of patience keeps jolting him off and it just doesn’t work well. Sometimes I have to get a little more aggressive in response because he sticks to the usual when he gets lost. I see that it’s perhaps a last resort type of thing when you get of note and improvise to get yourself back on track, but with this man he keeps repeating that same rhythm over and over. I want this guy to achieve, I want to get him to where he wants to get but it’s difficult explaining to him that his ways of doing what he’s doing is irrelevant. His body language shows me that he’s nervous, he doesn’t know what else to do. I help him every step of the way but I don’t know what else I could do so he could understand more effectively. I’m doing what I can on my part putting pieces together so it makes it a lot easier for him.

Today he calls in saying he won’t be able to make it. I respond what’s the reasoning behind this. He explains to me that he feels he can’t make it, that he will fail and learning the instrument is too much on his hands. But after all this time we have gone through and he’s already learned so much from where he started he decides to give up? I acted accordingly and told him that that’s too bad, I wanted to see him succeed and play on stage up with the band. There was a moment of silence in the conversation. All he could come up with is that he knows. I can’t take that, this man has to be motivated. I complimented his playing abilities so far saying “your playing is great so far keep it up, lets keep learning you can do this.” He lacks that no one hasn’t complimented him, people are saying he is no good. He will fall and never get back up to succeed in his ability to learn.

As a leadership role in my mind, I want to push this guy to the limit. I want to make sure he gets passed that limit as soon as he gets there. I can’t have this guy give up. Giving up means you’re giving up on your dream, on me, on anyone who thought he could go for it. He has to experience achievement and what it feels like. I don’t know how long it’s been since he experienced accomplishment. I’m sure it’s a goal he would love to get, but with that mentality who will? So what would you do? After all this time, hard-work, motivation to get him up and practice and motivate him to learn some new methods of playing the instrument. What ways could be done to get him back up? Do I have to influence him again? I understand communication is key. Without effective and clear communication, we all fall and get no where. Is this part of struggles leaders deal with? He’s not bothering nor demotivating the band, but I actually want this man to achieve what he’s been desiring a long time for. It bothers me, but there has to be ways I can get him up and running again. What’s causing him of course would be one of the key questions. Perhaps someone close to him keeps telling him he’s failing or wife telling him he’s wasting his time learning the instrument. Either way I will continue and see what could be done.

As a response to this, what can be done? Has anyone had struggles where you pour your hard work onto someone and soon after they call it quits or use their special training skills they’ve gained from you only to use it somewhere else? What ways can motivation get back into his life?