Business Best Practices, Uncategorized

Seeds of Opportunity

Don’t let crisis manage you


Even the best have their crisis moments. More often than not, it’s the little things that get you. Crisis happens when you least expect it and it can snowball rapidly if you don’t respond promptly. A fall from grace can topple a church. But even a momentary trip-up can have devastating consequences if you’re unprepared.Crisis management is a process. It starts with identifying the problem and formulating the best strategies for dealing with it proactively and with the least amount of collateral damage to the body. Crisis is an opportunity, an opportunity for any organization to demonstrate transparency. 
Every organization, even the church has a knee jerk.  Taking the time to PROactively assess your crisis is the first step to avoiding the Knee Jerk reaction! How the public attributes the crisis in relationship to the church as a whole can be a huge factor in their perception of the situation. If your church has a history of denial tactics or past indiscretion, their perception is likely going to result in a higher degree of reputation damage. If on the other hand you’ve taken care to maintain an authentic relationship with your people, weathering this current crisis will probably require just a little sweeping and mopping. In either case, here are some practical steps based on proven public relations theory on how to respond in a crisis situation:

(1) Don’t wait for word-of-mouth to spread doing your PR work for you! Reply as soon as possible. Give the people affected the opportunity to hear it first hand. Don’t let the situation control you.

(2) Be transparent and stick to the truth. One way or another, in any crisis, the truth comes out. Better it comes out from the start from you or you risk losing the faith and trust not just in the immediate, but in the future to come. People are skeptical of the church. They look for opportunities to watch you fall. There’s a bigger picture here. Remember it’s not your church that suffers, it’s God’s Kingdom. Don’t give the enemy a foothold.

(3) Social media is your friend. Used with discretion it’s is a great tool for getting the story out quickly. But don’t be a twit when you tweet and never try to save face on Facebook. If you post it, leave it. Deleting what you post is going to do nothing but create the suspicion that you’re trying to hide something.

(4) As the story unfolds and details emerge, keep your public posted.But a word of caution, don’t admit to anything until all your facts are clear. Otherwise, you are going to find yourself tap dancing around the issue as you try to put all the facts in order before they’re ready. A better response is to let your public know that you will keep them posted as the situation becomes clearer. Never give the public the chance to fill in their own blanks.

(5) It’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it. Tone can speak volumes, especially when it’s delivered online. Be honest, but be professional.

Remember, communicating the right way with not only your congregation, but the community as well is the right thing to do. It goes a long way to strengthening future relationships and softening the blow crisis can have on your church. Respond PROactively. Keep Mr. Knee Jerk at bay!

Christian Living, Uncategorized

Because it’s not all about that bass player, the music, or anything else

Christian Living, Insecurity

My Dirty Little Secret

I have generally considered myself to be a strong, confident woman. I am strong-willed, well educated, fairly well-read, and have a penchant for using a well-rounded, large vocabulary. I can speak to large crowds and command an audience, deliver off-the-cuff dissertations my children are fond of calling “momalogues” on nearly any topic, and write with authority in an eloquent voice or a humorous narrative as needed.

Yet what I have believed most of life to be a secure nature was, in reality, nothing more than a security blanket, a cover. In truth, as I have come to closely examine myself through deeper introspection (thank you God), I recognize that I have always felt naked to others around me, open to scrutiny, judged, even earmarked for certain failure. My “security” in response has been covering all things with witty conversation, playful or pointed banter, the fluent use of aforementioned large vocabulary to provide a guise of acceptance, perhaps even a carefully worded fib to flatter a less than stellar past or present.

Here’s the rub, despite all my orchestrated tactics, a single word, a glance, an acknolwedgement of my efforts or unspoken gesture could topple my spirit faster than a tower of cards and leave me drowning in a pity-puddle of my own making. This is the me I’d rather not have you see.

Insecurity is defined simply as 1. uncertainty of anxiety about oneself; a lack of confidence. Simple enough. But let’s look closer. Further we read that it is also the state of being open to danger or threat; a lack of protection.

The world is quick to wrongly conclude that an insecure person is often shy, introverted to a fault, a weakling around other or even afraid in her own skin. Sometimes, this is the case. But more often than not, the face of insecurity looks much like what I’ve described because it’s the deeper, lesser known definition that many of us are akin to. I am here to share that I am a tragically insecure person who on the surface can and does rise to the occassion and rarely fails others, but who on the inside, continues to be a disappointment to herself, always open to the threat or danger that she might or does disappoint everyone else. It is a dirty little secret. And it’s time I came out of the shadows to call it out.

Insecurity has so many faces. This is only one of them. It might surprise you to consider what successful people deal with on the inside. Consider the honor student who seems to have it all but turns up a statistic one tragic night by her own hand. Your heavy-handed boss; is she like that for a reason? I see this far to frequently in women in leadership who overcompensate with a steely exterior. Is this how we define strength? Often we cover our fears and insecurities with micro-managing others or demand absolute perfection. To the other extreme, we’re pleasers. Not yes-men, just ready to lend a hand and be Dudley Do-Rights. The better we look on the outside, the more we’re protected on the inside. You might find we make friends easily, but rarely invest deeply because too often, rejection follows.

We are far too often overly and sadly, outwardly critical. We’re not snobs, we can be; but we work hard to provide diplomatic, pragmatic criticism rather than just complain.

For myself, I pride myself on being mannerly and dignified, politically precise and self-aware (or so I thought), just as my mother taught me. This is my public persona. To know me, you would say, as you have on many occasions, that I truly have it all together and am a testimony to strength.

You don’t know me at all. And I mean this with no disrespect. This is what I want you to see. Because at home, I am altogether a different animal, one I don’t only dislike, but neither of us would recognize as even sane. On the street, to read the fear in my heart responding to a word or an unintended slight, you would be remiss. It’s there, in a slight lowering of my head, a downcast gaze, a little frown or a darkening of my eyes, a change in my demeanor, but you’d likely miss it. At home, the effect is significantly more palpable.

This too, is my dirty little secret. This fearful attitude has reduced me to insane behavior that threatens to take over completely. No, I’m not insane. But this is the tragedy of bondage to an insecure spirit. It takes us to a place we don’t want or need to be. It is a danger to us that divides us from our families because that’s where it’s most effective. The deeply we wallow in self-doubt, alone and secluded because we’ve chased everyone away, the better it can “minister” to our broken state and perpetuate it.

I know who I am in God. I understand my position. And yet, here I am, a slave to insecurity. Slave to a cruel, unrelenting taskmaster that has shaped my responses an shipwrecked my ability to allow the truth, the reality of my security in Christ to be what defines me. Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one has the power to make you feel inferior without your permission. Congratulations, permission granted…all aboard. And so the harsh, sometimes meaningless words and offenses have lodged so deep in my heart throughout my life, festering under the surface that even years later, they work to the surface like fresh wounds that never truly heal.

This is the face of insecurity for me that leaves me so vulnerable and unprotected with open festering sores that sting to the touch. They have made me jaded, have kept me from deep, abiding relationships with people and even God. And as long as this defines me, He cannot.

So Father, I pray for my brothers and sisters in conflict that they may face their insecurities through you and see themselves as You do. I give You permission over mine to break the spirit of insecurity and bind my wounds as only You can. Allow me to walk in freedom, in victory, to shut down the voice of criticism that speaks to me and through me to cover my fear. I give You permission to be my cover. I release the words and slights I have nurtured, things I cannot name, all these things I release in Jesus’ Name and I receive Your blessing over my life. Father I stand in the gap for my brothers and sisters that they also may triumph in the same victory and blessing. Amen.

Jeremiah 33: 6 Behold, I will bring to it health an healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. 

Proverbs 1:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.


The Grass Is Sometimes Greener…When It’s Raw That Is

Every now and then, I find myself where I didn’t intend to be, but recognize as a good thing. For the record, I’m not vegan, I’m not even pseudo vegan. I like meat. I like lots of meat. I have no intention of giving up meat. Been thegrassrootsre, done that, bought the t-shirt. It didn’t fit.

But a place like Grassroots could change that.

If all I had to live on was the raw juice Dan lovingly presses, I’d happily go to healthfood heaven. Take the Rawsome Awesome for example, a delightful blend of carrot, kale, ginger, and stuff I can’t even remember, blended together into an orangey slurry of deliciousness. One sip, and the diet Coke in my car was quickly forgotten.

And then, there are the wraps and the soup. Oh, the soup. For shame Daniel, to make such a vicery of soup man! This little shop of naked fruits and veggies could easily steal your heart away from sugary beverages and the early afternoon soda binge. Unassuming from the entrance, you could easily drive past. But don’t! Located across from Hy-Vee on Oakland Drive this is one little bar you’ll want to hang out at again and again.