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Chances are you have someone in your Small Group or in your ministry that find themselves unemployed.  A couple of years ago I had a lot of friends who were in transition, which means they were going through job loss, downsizing or market transition.  In an effort to help respond to their needs I researched opportunities to help them gain employment.  Well, that time has come in many more lives in middle Tennessee.

One help they have stated is their Small Groups.  They gain encouragement and feel they are part of a ‘community’ as people care for each other in their group. These groups have gathered around them and encourage them with prayer, support, networking and food if needed.  That is what families do.  That is what friends do.  That is Community.

In addition to the support a Small Group can give in times of crisis, LifePoint Church continuously seeks ways to be relevant and helpful to all aspects of people’s lives.  One example of this is by searching out more opportunities to assist those in transition.  Here are a few resources, networks and ideas to help you gain employment:

Career Connections Group = This is a group led by Randy Allen at the Career Advancement Center.  They have a different speaker each Monday morning at 9:00.  www.ncacworkforce.org (615) 898-8081

Society of Human Resource Professionals = SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) there is a Middle Tennessee chapter www.MTSHRM.org There is a HR-specific transition group that meets every other Monday morning in Brentwood at Right Management.

Cable Network = This is a women’s networking organization.  There are chapters in Nashville and Murfreesboro.  http://www.nashvillecable.org http://www.rutherfordcable.org

Career builder = http://www.careerbuilder.com is a job board that some companies use. Another well-known one is http://www.monster.com

-Linkedin = http://www.linkedin.com is the professional version of Facebook – a business person’s networking site where you can create a profile, connect with other professionals you know, and by extension, to other professionals they can introduce you to from their networks.  You can also collect and write recommendations, ask and answer questions, gain access to groups of other professionals that share something in common (other trainers, people who used to work at a certain company, etc.)

Linkup and Indeed = http://www.linkup.com is a job board that compiles job listings from company websites.  Compared to http://www.indeed.com, which compiles job listings from job boards such as CareerBuilder and Monster.  It’s a faster way to access numerous job listings.

Chambers of Commerce=your local Chamber of Commerce can provide employment information as well as community information to help in networking.

Business cards= have your own business cards with you at all times so you can give them to anyone anywhere. Never overlook a brief encounter with someone at the mall, give them a card.

Elevator pitch= another often overlooked opportunity.  Practice your brief pitch often and be ready to share. Share a business card.

One resume not multiple with a high level view, but tweak the cover letters for each mailing.

Angel Food ministry= Angel Food Ministry provides food for friends and neighbors who were struggling financially. Today the Angel Food program now is helping provide food relief to more than 500,000 families each month.

Reply or Comment= watch for articles or news coverage on companies who you have or wish to send resumes.  Comment or reply to these articles complimenting them on the story.  This could be the first step to communications with that company.

Keep records = track where and to whom you have sent resumes, had conversations, returned calls, etc. This could be valuable in the future.

Keep emotions out of interview =Do not let your emotions about your former employer come out in the interview.  God has a bigger plan for you.  And no one wants to hire a complainer.

Identify your skill gap = what are they looking for?  What skill needs can you discover from the posting?  What is your gap? Be prepared to offer solutions to fill your gap or fill the gap before the interview if possible.

Hope these words help you or your friends as they search for employment. “Remember God is not surprised by this event, even though you did not see it coming.”

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I am a talker, an otter, a conference speaker, a coach, a father, a husband, a man.  With all of that comes the need/desire to talk, to advise, to suggest, to instruct, to speak, to challenge.  But inside of each of these categories is the need to listen.  In Matthew 4:19 Jesus clearly defines a disciple:

Follow me...totally submit to his leadership, not just ‘get saved’ but letting him continually lead us.

I will make you…his intention from the very beginning was to change us, no matter how “good” we were to begin with, he knows he will be changing us.

Fishers of Men…taking on his mission as our own.

In our disciple group we discussed this verse very personally.  Each of us had to tell what has changed in our life since becoming a Christ-follower.  That was rather easy.  But then we had to answer “What needs to change?”  This is where it got personal, because we can share in a bragging way what God had already changed showing his leadership, Lordship, and success in changing our old nature.  But to share what needed to still change confessed that we had not totally allowed Jesus to be the Lord of every aspect of our life.

For me, the glaring area that God was showing me was to listen.  In all my personality and roles I was designed to speak.  Yet he, who made me and gave me these traits and personality, was showing his desire to be Lord over those traits even more.  To listen meant that I had to begin to watch for him at work in a different way.  Somewhat like Moses and the burning bush, God would begin to show me if I would just listen.

The following Sunday I really focused on listening, especially between services where I normally do a lot of talking.  Three individuals with three very different stories showed me what can happen when I listen. A divorce, a need for encouragement, and a serious addiction all surfaced because I took the extra time to listen.

What is Jesus pointing at in your life when he says “I will make you…?”

Poor first impressions can cost your organization a lot.  In this case it might have cost this organization several thousand dollars a year.

Recently I  participated in a College Fair with my son Graham.  Over 50 colleges were represented, but we had narrowed our list down to the top five schools with whom we wanted to talk.  As we made our way from table to table we were greeted with enthusiasm as admissions counselors promoted their school.  I watched as student after student walked by with building excitement of their future.

Four of the five schools were ready for prospective students.  They had information, brochures and eagerly answered our questions or pointed us to the detailed information on their website.  But one of the schools taught me much about the importance of guest services and first impressions.

While (based on the number of representatives for their school) they were the best represented school at the fair, they were the worst first impressions of any school we talked to.  Representatives were playing or working on their iPads.  Others were talking to each other as student upon student walked by trying to get information.

This was a great opportunity to impact people’s future, but what a disappointment for my family as we experienced a poor first impression.  One representative, without standing up or putting down her iPad, pointed us to the next table.  The next person said “We are out of brochures, you can just go on-line.”  The third person we talked to from this university told us he knew nothing about our potential major.  Finally we found a fourth representative whom we talked to and he was able to answer our questions.   We had to talk to four representatives, the first three did not even introduced us to the next representative.  By the time we had found our answers we had decided this would not be the school of our choice.  (They are a large school so they won’t miss us.)

But the lessons for you and I are:

1. Do your Guest Services have the answer to the questions people are asking?

2. Do your volunteers put down their iPad or phones and watch for inquiring guests?

3. Do you notice your volunteers talking more to each other than to the guests?

4. Do your volunteers introduce the guest to others?  Especially when trying to find out more information?

Take a lesson from our universities, first impressions are important!

Sometimes we get too caught up in what we ‘have’ to do rather than what we ‘want’ to do.  This way of life causes us to miss some of the natural, daily opportunities to enjoy life and receive happiness.

Recently a popular talk show shared some interesting research on how to be a happy person.  I am giving you the short list of a couple of thoughts and a couple of activities for you that will make you more happy:

1. Do you think of yourself as a happy person?  Interesting that how we think can influence how happy we are. Where do you go to ‘laugh out loud’?

2. Do you think happiness is genetic, born with it? You can control you attitude if you determine each morning that you will be a positive and happy person.

3. Do you make time each day for at least 10 minutes of silence? If you too busy to do this, your TOO BUSY!  Stop now.  Close your eyes and breath deeply. Enjoy the silence!

4. Do you know your neighbors? Yes, knowing the people around you can impact your happiness.  We sled, cookout, play in the front yard, and walk our neighborhood in order to meet and get to know our neighbors. How can you change your patterns this weekend to get to know your neighbors…for your happiness?

I like hanging around with and working with happy people.  They project a hope about life that makes me want to have and share that same hope.

Your attitude not only affects you but everyone around you, whether they know you or not.  Start today to be happy.

 

If there is one statement that makes me mad, belittles me, totally goes against a mentoring or apprentice lifestyle, it is “I got it covered.”  I hear this statement too often in a meeting, hallway conversation, or in a home.

In sports, consider how important it is to play as a team.  Peyton Manning has been an incredible quarter back in the last several years.  However, in 2010 we began to see how he is not as dominate without a strong offensive line.  When Peyton walks on the field he knows, in all of his greatness, he is nothing without blockers in front of him. For him to say “I got it covered guys, you just stay on the bench this series” would be stupid, but we basically say it all the time when we don’t take others along with us.

At home, when working the car, what help have you given if you don’t have someone watch you and learn from you.  When your teenager turns 16 and begins to drive, who is keeping a check on the oil? Tires? Wipers? If you have told them for 16 years, “I got it covered” you have told them they are not worthy to learn or you don’t care what happens to them when you are not around. Invite them come along with you when working on the car.

At Small Group, when you never ask someone else to help in leading your group you have told them they are not good enough to lead like you do. You have said “our group is perfect and we don’t need to worry about sending out someone to lead others. I will always be your leader.” Invite someone to come along with you as you learn to lead the group.

At work, when you don’t train others to do what you do you have said “I’m busy doing what I do, you don’t need to know what I know.”  Or in the extreme situation to say “I got it covered” could mean that it is none of your business.  What if God calls you to another position, location, opportunity? Invite someone to come along with you work and learn your job better.

Each of us have a responsibility and work to be done. Each of us also have a responsibility to develop those around us, the next generation and our family.  When tackling a project why not say: “Yea I am going to work on this, why don’t you come along with me?” Inviting others to participate as apprentices will help them know what to do when you are not there.  It also develops them to go out on their own one day and lead others.

Words are powerful!  Are your words developing others or isolating you from taking others along on the journey?

The championship game came down to the biggest rivalry in the state.  The last time they faced each other it was in the semi-finals and we made two errors for four runs in the first and never had a chance.  This time was going to be different.  We knew what we had to do, hit the ball and throw strikes!

We kept the lead until the sixth inning, 8-3. Gresham had pitched every inning, but when he gave up three hits in the sixth for 2 runs, it was time for a trip to the mound by Coach Pete.  Coach Pete asked Gresham “What are you thinking?” Gresham’s reply would have caused even Bobby Cox to turn around and head back to the dugout.  His response “All I need is one more out!” And with that focus, that confidence, that determination, and that energy, Coach Pete headed back to the dugout.

How many times have you got near the end of a task and could almost see the ending of what God had called you to do and not finished because challenges or tough times arose?  You spent weeks, months, maybe even years trying to ‘discover God’s will’ only to discover it and not stay on task to the end.

Discovering God’s will sometimes may seem difficult.  Ultimately, His will is for us to bring glory to Him and make Him famous. Prayer, Bible reading, conversations with other Christ-followers and even circumstances line up for what you need to do next…the next step on your spiritual journey…but we don’t take the step.  Things don’t go as planned. Tough times arise and we finish short. We give up and head to the dugout to let someone else finish our job, our call, our responsibility.

Over the last five months I have been writing Connecting in Communities, a book on small group ministry.  Through this journey my son was attacked, my wife’s company was threatened and I had two of the biggest challenges in my 24 years of ministry. Several mornings I woke up and thought “I can’t get this done. I am not going to finish this because it is hurting my family too much.”  But as I stayed in the trenches and plotted along day-by-day, because all I needed was one more day to write and in the end  I was able to meet the deadline for the manuscript.

Finishing what God has called you to do will be met with some hard hits and you may give up a few runs along the way. People may ask you if you think you can finish which causes you to question yourself.  God’s will is not about the easy way.  It is not about the smooth road.  Check out Acts 7:54  What is it that God told you to do? Your next step is…take that step, finish the task!

Oh yea, Gresham struck out the next batter, pitching complete game, finishing the task and Bugs win the Memorial Day Weekend Tournament.

Once again I get to see a new year come into being. Once again I started a workout routine.  I pledged to eat better, exercise more often, pray for people more, have a daily quiet time every day, listen more, share more of the God stories that are happening around me; to spend less and save more; be a better father, husband, servant, neighbor, coach, citizen, colleague, friend and accountability partner.

Good thing this is a new year because that is too much to accomplish in a new week or even a month.

Really, these are part of a normal day in the life of a Christ-follower.  As I review these pledges I have to realize these are expectations that I would love to live out and see lived out in people around me.  So of them require community time.  Most of them require personal time and/or focus.  All of them are a challenge to be on a constant learning and improving journey.

Improving in many aspects of life is tough.  I have a plan for each of them.  I have an accountability partner for each of them, a person who will check up on me each week or so to see how I am doing.

Where will 2010 take you?  Do you have goals, pledges, challenges?  Do you have someone to walk with you, call/text/DM or even, if necessary, Facebook you on these plans?  Look at what you have been given this year.  Jot down some goals and put on your refrigerator or mirror.  Ask someone to check on you in these areas often.

May 2010 be the best year of your life!

Some of my friends are unemployed, or better known now as ‘in transition’.  Many of them are in Small Groups and have shared about the encouragement they receive. Part of ‘Community’ of Small Groups is caring for each other.   These groups have gathered around them and encourage them with prayer, support, networking and food if needed.  That is what families do.  That is what friends do.  That is Community.

In addition to the support a Small Group can give in times of crisis, LifePoint Church continuously seeks ways to be relevant and helpful to all aspects of people’s lives.  One example of this is by searching out more opportunities to assist those in transition. I recently attended the local Transition Group where Elisa Walden was the guest speaker.  I was surprised and encouraged by the many who spoke of their strong faith and how they ended this time with prayer.  I discovered many resources, networks and ideas to help you gain employment.  Here are a few:

Career Connections Group = This is a group led by Randy Allen at the Career Advancement Center.  They have a different speaker each Monday morning at 9:00.  www.ncacworkforce.org (615) 898-8081

Society of Human Resource Professionals = SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) there is a Middle Tennessee chapter www.MTSHRM.org There is a HR-specific transition group that meets every other Monday morning in Brentwood at Right Management.

Cable Network = This is a women’s networking organization.  There are chapters in Nashville and Murfreesboro.  www.nashvillecable.org www.rutherfordcable.org

Career builder = www.careerbuilder.com is a job board that some companies use. Another well-known one is www.monster.com

-Linkedin = www.linkedin.com is the professional version of Facebook – a business person’s networking site where you can create a profile, connect with other professionals you know, and by extension, to other professionals they can introduce you to from their networks.  You can also collect and write recommendations, ask and answer questions, gain access to groups of other professionals that share something in common (other trainers, people who used to work at a certain company, etc.)

Linkup and Indeed = www.linkup.com is a job board that compiles job listings from company websites.  Compared to www.indeed.com, which compiles job listings from job boards such as CareerBuilder and Monster.  It’s a faster way to access numerous job listings.

Chambers of Commerce=your local Chamber of Commerce can provide employment information as well as community information to help in networking.

Business cards= have your own business cards with you at all times so you can give them to anyone anywhere. Never overlook a brief encounter with someone at the mall, give them a card.

Elevator pitch= another often overlooked opportunity.  Practice your brief pitch often and be ready to share. Share a business card.

One resume not multiple with a high level view, but tweak the cover letters for each mailing.

Angel Food ministry= Angel Food Ministry provides food for friends and neighbors who were struggling financially. Today the Angel Food program now is helping provide food relief to more than 500,000 families each month.

Reply or Comment= watch for articles or news coverage on companies who you have or wish to send resumes.  Comment or reply to these articles complimenting them on the story.  This could be the first step to communications with that company.

Keep records = track where and to whom you have sent resumes, had conversations, returned calls, etc. This could be valuable in the future.

Keep emotions out of interview =Do not let your emotions about your former employer come out in the interview.  God has a bigger plan for you.  And no one wants to hire a complainer.

Identify your skill gap = what are they looking for?  What skill needs can you discover from the posting?  What is your gap? Be prepared to offer solutions to fill your gap or fill the gap before the interview if possible.

Hope these words help you or your friends as they search for employment. “Remember God is not surprised by this event even though you did not see it coming.”

What can you learn on the front porch, with a glass of tea and a few minutes or hours?  The older I get the more I miss the instruction from our elders about life, people, decisions, and love. This past weekend I spent two days on the farm on which I grew up.  We did all the things four guys (three generations of Mosley’s) do, hunted, shot guns, road four-wheelers, planted turnips, worked on the four-wheelers, had great meals prepared by Granny and as well as full-course breakfasts each morning.

Many times over the couple of days I road past my Grandfather’s house where he and I used to sit on the porch and talk.  He would tell stories about stuff like:  “Raw-head and Bloody Bones” (a fictional character that kept us grand-kids close to home); “a dog can whip a skunk, but it ain’t worth it;” ‘always fix extra food in case someone comes by;” “be considerate of others” and “take care of you family.”

He passed away many years ago, but I will always be reminded (and carry with me forever) of the many lessons learned on the porch after supper.

About 21 years ago I married a girl from the country whose father reminds me of my Grandfather.  He spends time on his porch after supper sitting and talking with my kids.  I hear some of the same stories, life lessons, concern for life, concern for others and love for the kids that my Grandpa shared.  I smile as I hear him share because many of these lessons I learned from my Grandpa, others I heard but did not listen, but learned “the hard way.”

Opportunities to sit on the porch and be educated, by men who were not formally educated, are getting fewer.  We rush around from activity to activity and don’t take time to listen, learn and live out the valuable lessons of life from our elders.

I long for the front porch times in life. Are you following the education God allowed you to gain from an ‘uneducated’ man? Are you making time for the front porch, iced tea and elders?

“In the Know” is the title for LifePoint’s Wednesday night series for parents, grandparents, guardians and Christ-followers to help the next generation.  More simply, how to raise our kids to be Christ-followers, good citizens, and leaders in the community and their schools.

Last night we started with the basics of “How to pass on the Faith.” 1. Building the relationship is the key to having an impact on anyone, especially our kids.  2. Building trust for the futures is highly dependent on how we react to situations now.  3. Passing on the Faith depends on the previous two and how we use teachable moments now.   4. And LifePoint helps via Small Groups that are built around or build relationships.

The 90 Second Rule by Jim Fannin brought the most comments.  And frankly is probably the easiest to put into practice to make the difference in our families, our relationships, and our future.  Check it out http://www.90secondrule.com/

Can you start The 90 Second Rule in your life today?  To quote a comment from the session, “It could be revolutionizing.”

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I am on staff at LifePoint Church as the Executive Director of GroupLife. While I get to serve with a great team and help lead a great church, the opinions and views shared here are not necessarily the views of LifePoint Church or other staff. You have been warned...
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