Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Where o where have I been?

Well, I haven't been blogging here in a while and so it would be good to tell you where I have. Click on the link above to go to my Missional Hands blog for Urbana. The conference that happens ever 3 years is happening next week and we are excited to see what God is going to do as people prepare to go on mission with him.

I will be back after the new year at this site. Happy holidays.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Preorder Innovation in Mission Now!

We are only months away from release of the book Innovation in Mission. You can visit Authentic's site to see more: http://www.authenticbooks.com/search/isbn/1932805761#topsellers. We are very excited about the release of this book and I am sure we will see some great dialogue on this blog as it is released.

Also you can go to our http://innovationinmission.blogspot.com to interact about this book.

In the days and months to come, you will find many things on this new blog:
1. Endorsements of the book
2. Schedules of where the authors will be speaking
3. Ideas for how to use this book in your organization, church or classroom.
4. Exciting discussions on how to be innovative in mission. This blog is a resource center and a conversation about innovation as it applies to God's mission.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Reflecting on a long trip

Have you ever taken a long trip that has a lot of small destinations built in? I was just on one of those and it is an interesting experience. While there is a big story of the whole trip, there are dozens of little stories about each small piece. It is a great way to look at the journey of our life and then all the small things that happen within that.

Our life's journey - our personal metanarrative - paints one picture. But we have hundreds of smaller pictures being painted. It is a bit like a montage - a picture made up of hundreds of other pictures.

While we are creating this metanarrative we are living out these different smaller stories. Each one will have a resolution and that resolution will be an element of the bigger picture.

I think this is a hard thing to accept. I want to be in control of the big picture and how it comes out but I am not faithful many times in the small stories - in my lack of follow-through on the small stories I loose out on the impact of the greater story.

What small story are you living today?

Generous Minds Interact

One of the most thrilling things about a being a Generous Mind is to see a visible outcome of generosity. So many times your generous interactions go into the subconcious of the world's thought. They have unique impact on individuals, but they can be hard to trace to a specific end.

Our publisher is working on a project that has a unique end. Click on the link in the title above to see the project called "A New Kind of Conversation." It is a blog about Christianity in the 21st Century and a book will be published as a result of that conversation. So all the people interacting with that will make up a body of work that will have value as a finished piece.

I've mentioned Wikipedia in this blog before. They are another example of this generosity. Generous people share what they know about a subject and that becomes part of a body of knowledge that makes up an encyclopedia.

How has your recent generosity of ideas manifest itself?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Inventories Everywhere

A word that seemed to be an old industrial age term is back for a new reason. When many of us think about inventories, we think about counting widgets, tracking clothes at the Walmart or a can of pineapple at Safeway.

Today, we have found the use for the inventory, but we are simply tracking other things. Sure we still inventory physical items around the world (now we do it be tagging them with radio devices to be tracked via satellite), but I want to talk about our idea inventories.

Today we are struggling to get our hands around our intellectual property and also our human resources. So we bring a tried and true idea back to the table. We are now tracking ideas, content and human ability in ways we could have never imagined. Our main helpers of course are the powerful search engines like Yahoo and Google that scower the world for information and catalogue it or put it into inventory. A few blogs ago, I talked about Wikipedia - that is simply an inventory of human knowledge updated by an advocate.

What inventories are you involved with and how have they changed how you work?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Reflections on a year of Blogging

I took a minute to look back over our archives and realized that we have been blogging on the concept of being a Generous Mind for over a year! That is a big deal. So lets do a little reminiscing about what has come out of this year:
1. We feel like we have a better understanding of the Generous Mind Concept.
2. We are excited to hear from you and to see what others are thinking. We have gotten some great feedback.
3. We are getting a chance to spotlight Generous Minds. I hope that we can do a lot more of that in the future.

What are our hopes for the year to come?
1. We hope that we will be able to connect with and help many more Generous Minds share their ideas.
2. We hope that we will have at least 2 more Generous Mind Conversations this coming year. Our first one on the Avian Flu was a tremendous resource.
3. We hope that we can better articulate the benefits of being generous with our ideas.

Please come along for the ride and help us in these endeavors.

Here's to a good year and to the one about to begin.

Update on Innovation in Missions Book

Just wanted to give our readers and update on our upcoming book - Innovations in Missions. It will be coming out in February and Jim Pluddeman (former president of SIM and a professor at Trinity International University) has done the forward. You can read part of the forward at his blog: http://missionaryimpossible.blogspot.com/2006/04/innovation-and-missions.html

Let us know what you think.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Wiki What?

The world of generous minds is coming to life through a new culture of participation. One of the great tools that shows this is Wikipedia - the free online encyclopedia that anyone can update. It allows a user to define things, correct mistakes and build a body of knowledge that is owned by everyone.

It seems kind of crazy. I mean, why wouldn't we want the neatly edited version that comes out from the major publishing houses? The articles are probably better written and more informative. But that is discounting one thing - this type of participation will attract Generous Minds who are expert in their field. It will not attract idoits just blowing off steam, but people who know this stuff and want to share.

If you look at the entries they are well written and comprehensive. Essentially a project like this proves that we can produce quality work out of generosity and not just out of a business model designed to comoditize data. (Sorry that was a mouthful - you know what I mean.)

Check out www.wikipedia.org and see what you think.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Introducing a Generous Mind

We are excited to introduce to all of you a generous mind in our lives - Shelly Volkhardt. She has been on a journey to help share her Mom's wisdom in the area of counceling women. The result of this generosity on her part is a new book called Kitchen Table Counseling. You can see more about the book at: http://www.navpress.com/Store/Product/1576837955.html.

If you have a heart to counsel women and God gives you opportunities to interact in this way, this is the book for you. Please share this book with others as well!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Effectiveness in Generosity

Can you be ineffectively generous? Of course!! You can share something that no one wants. You can share things at the wrong time. You can share things in a irrelevant way.

So when you go to share your ideas, you must think about more than just the sharing. You must think about the "how." HOW you share could be just as important as WHAT you share.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Generous Vibrations

One of the most interesting things about generosity is that it sprouts more of the same. Take an example from our recent Generous Mind Conversation. Our act of sharing this critical information has produced many other generous people anxious to share it with people they know. So generosity breeds generosity as people see that something is validated and immediately think of someone else that should know it or experience it.

What are the implications of these reverberations? That means that if you take the time to be generous you will actually be empowering someone else with the ability to be generous themselves.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Generous Mind Conversation is Live

We are excited to announce that our first Generous Mind Conversation is live.

To read the article go to: http://www.momentum-mag.org/200603/200603-36-article3.pdf

This article is a conversation between 4 ministry professionals (a doctor, a psychologist, a missiologist and a ministry practitioner on the ground in Asia) about what effective ministry might look like in the face of a pandemic.

This article takes a different look at how to prepare for a pandemic and also challenges people to look at the occurence of something like Avian Flu as an opportunity for God's light to shine.

Please read the article and let us know what you think. We want to thank Momentum Magazine for their partnership.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I just makes sense

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
Gertrude Stein

We are so overloaded with information that the basic reality of life is allowed to slip away. It is never wrong to help a neighbor - but if you throw enough facts, figures and arguments at the situation an excuse will arise.

Being a Generous Mind does not mean helping to create this cacaphony of information. Generosity is not measured by quantity in God's eyes. It is measured by quality. That is a hard idea for us to get around. It isn't about how many ideas I share, but about the value of those ideas to the people I shared them with.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Validating Generosity

Every day we validate some things and devalue others. It happens without us even thinking. Today you might have seen two restaurants on the same street and picked one while regecting the other. Maybe you were flipping channels on the TV and you picked one sit-com while regecting another.

We also do this with people and their character. We validate some characteristics and devalue others. Our society puts aggressive leadership up on a pedistal but doesn't acknowledge humility much. There are millions of other examples.

Why do I talk about what we value?

Here is my question? Do your daily actions value generosity or do you devalue it with what you say and do. Do you encourage the generous or do you take the side of the greedy?

Your answer will impact what you support and what you regect. Think about it today!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

How to be generous first thing Monday morning

Its Sunday night and everyone is winding down their weekends. They are looking at the week ahead with many different emotions. You might be excited about new opportunities or dreading that unfortunate event. Whatever the case, it is a new week and you can be generous first thing.

Here are a few ideas:
1. Make your first email of the week a note to share something you thought of over the weekend.
2. Read the headlines and send at least one article to someone who should read it.
3. Go beyond the regular plesantries and really ask someone how their weekend was. Even go as far as sharing something you experienced.
4. Decide on Monday what you will do to share what you know this week. Then put it in your calendar to keep you accountable. Put in a reminder for Friday to make sure you did it.

Just a few ideas as each of you start your week. Remember each day is a new chance to be generous.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Generosity is Determined

I am reading a biography of William Wilberforce - the British politician who pushed the abolition of slavery through Parliament. It is fascinating. He spent years and years working towards this goal. Every time he spoke, it was on this topic or was related in its moral focus. He was dedicated.

Many times you want to be generous with an idea but people don't want it. Usually we think of ideas as hot ticket items that people want to steal, but it is more often than not the reverse. We must be convinced that God wants us to share an idea and persistently look for the right ground on which it will grow. That can take years or maybe it will not even be in our lifetime.

Are we that committed to sharing what we know?

New Blog is Live

Well, our new Urbana.org blog is live. This is going to be an exciting topic because it will be gathering all of the key characteristics of a 21st Century missionary into one place. We will be helping all of the Recruitment people around the world be Generous Minds and share their thoughts.

One of the keys to helping Generous Minds is to provide a forum that they feel is legitimate. That is why it is great to partner with Urbana. They are known for helping missions to connect with the next generation so they are willing to share through Urbana.

Always be looking for legitimate gatekeepers. They hold the keys to unlocking generosity.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

New Urbana Blog

I am starting a new blog for www.urbana.org. It is called Missional Hands and it will be interviewing recruiting personnel from ministries around the world to ask them this key question: "What is the most critical skill necessary to be a missionary in the 21st Century?"

I hope that you can be a part of that blog as well. This is a critical topic and we need to be generous with our ideas about it. I will be sharing thoughts on this blog about it as well.

New Book is an example of Generosity

We are very excited to be publishing a new book that should come out late 2006. The book will be about Innovations in Missions and is being published by Paternoster/Authentic Press (www.paternoster-publishing.com).

The book is being edited by myself and Rev. Jim Reapsome. We have about 10 authors who have each written chapters for the book. The amazing thing is that these 10 innovations in missions fit together so well. They create a look at what we are calling holistic innovation. It is a mixture of academic thinking and real life doing. These innovations won't just be cool things in a laboratory. They are or have been tried with varying degrees of success.

So many times people don't know what it takes to innovate. The hope is that this book will open people's eyes to new ways of doing missions and also educate people on the process of innovation that they can begin to use.

Innovation is discipline and this book is a wealth of generosity about how different people have disciplined themselves to create new solutions.

We will update you all more when we know the availability dates.