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.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Is a leak generosity or treachery?

With all the attention surrounding Wikileaks and the sharing of countless classified documents, I asked the natural question that any Generous Mind might consider. "Is leaking all these documents an act of generosity or treachery?"

This is a challenging question. The people at Wikileaks believe that the public needs to know much of what was going on behind the scenes. In their minds they feel generous with what they have done. On the other hand their actions will reveal things that were secret for a reason. Who knows the impact of what they have done? In fact we may not know for a long time.

So one person considers the lead generosity and another person considers it treachery. What is the reality in this situation? Of course, it is not so black and white, is it?

I asked my twitter community this question and @rombokins gave a very helpful answer. See her input in three tweets:
@generousmind, i think nature of info and who benefits (leaker or leaked to) dictates whether leaking info is generosity or treachery.

@generousmind, if one has classified info that a massacre is going to take place & they leak it to potential victims, that's generosity.

@generousmind however in the present case it seems info has been leaked for the sake of gaining notoriety and drawing attention to selves :(

My friend from Kenya makes a very good point in those quotes (btw - her twitter feed is definitely worth following). The key issue she identifies is one of motive. A generous leak is one that is shared after weighing the benefits and drawbacks and then shares something with a desire to benefit and help others. A treacherous leak is one that helps you and your cause but hurts many others. Do you agree? Please share your perspective.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Live Tweeting the Operation World Prayer Celebration Webcast

One of my great joys has been to be a part of launching Operation World this summer in my transition. I worked with GMI (Global Mapping) to market and sell the Operaiton World CD/DVD/Wall Map.

I also helped them set up a Facebook group and a Twitter feed to resource leaders using Operation World.

Well tonight was the Operation World Prayer Celebration Webcast and I did a live twitter feed for Global Mapping @OWTips. Here are the posts (Start from the bottom to get them in order):


@OWTIPS Live Feed

Thanks for following along as we tweeted live from the #operationworld Prayer Celebration -Join the 60 Days of Prayer http://bit.ly/bH6DUR

God is moving in unprecedented ways. Jason Mandryk #operationworld Go to http://bit.ly/bH6DUR to join the 60 Days of Prayer starting Nov 10!

Jason Mandryk and Mike Dworak are talking about where God is moving today - Join the 60 Days of Prayer movement.

Jason Mandryk shares that the #OperationWorld team is planning on developing a prayer atlas for children

There is no book outside of the Bible that has had more impact on my prayer life than #OperationWorld David Platt http://bit.ly/bH6DUR

David Platt, author of Radical, shares about how his church has actively prayed through #Operationworld

Creative ways to pray: Keep Operation World by your television and pray the news. #operationworld

There is no better example that we can set for our children than to be actively praying for people around the world. Jim Daly

We are live tweeting during the #OperationWorld Web Prayer Celebration. Join in! http://bit.ly/bH6DUR

The chains that bind can only be broken by the powerful intercession of God’s people. Joni Earkson Tada #Operationworld

“Today I’ve been praying for Brazil. Maybe you are the answer to my prayers.” Max Lucado’s professor years before he went as a missionary.

If more people in the church would use this resource in a disciplined way, I believe the whole world would change.Peter Grieg#Operationworld

Operation World is part of my spiritual DNA...Help us mobilize the church… George Verwer #Operationworld

Everyone in the Operation World team is a missionary. This is our passion and our calling. Jason Mandryk #Operationworld

We are watching the prayer video from Mozambique - Visit http://bit.ly/bH6DUR to access more prayer videos. #OperationWorld

Prayer does not equip us for the greater work. It is the greater work. Oswald Chambers via Jason Mandryk #operationworld

Missionaries can tell tangibly when people are praying. Jason Mandryk

We are tweeting live from the #OperationWorld Global Prayer Celebration

A minister on Malta mobilized people on the island to pray on the day that #Operationworld prays for Malta.

"You need fuel for prayer!" Lewis Sutton, US Director of WEC on the #Operationworld live webcast http://bit.ly/bH6DUR

DanielHelbling RT @plattdavid: No book (outside Scripture) has had more impact on my prayer life - Operation World webcast 7pm Central - http://ht.ly/36LRt

Retweeted by OWTips .The live #OperationWorld Prayer Celebration is about to start. Go to http://bit.ly/bH6DUR to log on and join in!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Living Out Our Cause

Both Mindy and I are passionate about being generous minds. This is our life calling. As we strive to show examples of generous minds and highlight aspects of being generous with your ideas, we are trying to live it ourselves in incarnational ways.

One of the greatest efforts I have made to be a Generous Mind is my volunteer work with the Lausanne Movement and Cape Town 2010 Congress. I am coordinating the Blogger Network, writing the Lausanne Blog and participating in the Facebook and Twitter updating.

This effort has been my greatest opportunity to showcase what it means to be a generous mind. The Blogger Network, the Lausanne blog, the Facebook Page and the Twitter account all focus on highlighting what people within the network and the movement are saying and thinking. It is not an organizational focus or an issues focus but a people focus.

It has been amazing to watch how God has spoken through countless people who are sharing online, at the events and in their own local ministries. My great pleasure has been to give voice to what God has put on their heart.

Well the Congress is finally here. Please take time to visit the links below during the event that starts this Saturday. More importantly, be a Generous Mind. As you read, watch, listen, discuss . . . turn around and share what God is saying to you!

Follow Capetown:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/capetown2010
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lausanne-Movement/196600290042
Blog: www.lausanne.org/lausanne-blog/

GlobaLink locations:
http://www.lausanne.org/cape-town-2010/globalink.html

Online Participation:
http://www.lausanne.org/cape-town-2010/participate-online.html

RSS of CT2010 news (includes Lausanne blog)
http://feeds2.feedburner.com/lausannesite

Video Podcast
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=397353785
direct link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CT2010VideoPodcast
note: video podcast is not compatible with older ipods.

Audio Podcast
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=397353786
direct link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CT2010AudioPodcast

All congress video will also be added to:
www.lausanne.org/conversation

Email newsletter (for daily news summaries/highlights):
http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=hr96nzn6&p=oi&m=1011244526119

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Special Note from Jon and Mindy

As many of you know we have been in a ministry transition over the past few months. Please take a moment to read about our new role and rejoice with us in God's provision. Read our blog announcement here.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Bearing Witness

"And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning." John 15: 27 - NIV

I like the ESV version of this verse better. It says we must bear witness. That term "bear witness" is so powerful because it doesn't talk about winning arguments, making points or convincing people. Instead it talks about highlighting truth, showing the way, encouraging others in their journey.

I believe that a generous mind is one who bears witness to what God has put on their heart. They don't try and convince or demand people to take their ideas. Instead they put them on display for people to see, touch, feel and interact with.

Are you bearing witness to the truth that God has given you to share?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Don't Get to Choose the Setting

One of the things that is so basic about generosity is that you do not get to pick the time and place where it happens. That statement is probably a shocker to many of you. But think about it . . . if you pick the time or place to be generous with your ideas then who is in control? YOU!

One of the basic realities of generosity is that we loose control. Generosity requires that we forgo our agenda and submit to another person's agenda. That is why being on mission with God always leads to generosity. We are letting go of the control and giving God the opportunity to steer us into situations where we can share the ideas that He has put in our hearts.

This means that when God gives you a cool idea, you need to take three steps:
1. Thank God for giving you something so precious!
2. Prepare your mind to give it away when the Spirit leads.
3. When the opportunity arises, set aside everything else and share obediently.

But you have to prepare yourself intentionally or you will miss these opportunities.

So are you prepared to be generous with what God has given you, even if it is not on your terms?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Remembering what we give to cherish what we recieve

"A generous man forgets what he gives & remembers what he receives." Unknown (to me)

You know how something sounds good at first and then as you process it more you begin to get more and more uncomfortable with it? I think that is what happened with this quote. As I think about generosity, I am more and more convinced that what we recieve is valuable because of the sacrifice of what we have given. Unless we remember the effort it took to give up that which we loved - an idea, funds, time, etc. - how can we put what we recieve in perspective?

What do you think?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Being generous with your virtual space

In the past few weeks two people have asked me to be a guest blogger for them (Here is the first one on Leadership and Publishing). I have been watching this trend grow quickly and am very pleased by it. Why?

When you build a community and a platform through a blog, that is your space that you have invested countless hours in nurturing and cultivating it. Your blog and the people that read it are a valuable resource in an idea economy.

So when you take the time to share your space with another thought leader, you are being a Generous Mind! You are telling this other person that you have enough faith in their ideas and writing abilities to open up your platform and audience to them. This is truly an act of generosity.

If you haven't viewed it that way, I challenge you to consider it. And if you have never invited someone to be a guest blogger in your digital space, then I hope you will seek out the opportunity!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Generous in Translation

I am always looking for new ways to be a Generous Mind and recently I spotted a new one that I just had to share. Many times when we think of translation, we consider it to be "copying" or "reiterating" rather than creating. After all, aren't we just putting someone elses words into a new language?

But in reality, translation is an incredible act of creativity. You have to understand two cultures and two languages and build the concepts and ideas into a compelling presentation that crosses those cultures and languages. It's a big deal and it isn't easy.

So if we establish that it is a creative act that takes time and investment, then it stands to reason that you can be generous with your translation! I think this is an area of creative generosity that we have not really considered in the past. And the more I think about it, the more it seems that translation is an incredibly appropriate example of being a Generous Mind.

Every time a person translates they are using their multilingual skills to bring an idea to a new audience. What a wonderful gift.

Well, today I have an opportunity for you multilinguals out there to be generous. Many of you may have heard of the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town this October. Well, attached to that is an online groundswell of interaction called the Lausanne Global Conversation. It is a powerful platform on which hundreds of people are discussing the issues. They recently made the conversation multilingual and much of the translation efforts are powered by volunteers. If you would like to be a Generous Mind by helping translate key articles from the Global Conversation so that other language groups can benefit from them, click here and read more about the opportunity.

Maybe someone will even translate this blog post! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Generous Lists

I had a wonderful conversation with Rob Kelly, a pastor on the East Coast, recently. I got in touch with him because he ran a website about what it means to be missional and I really wanted to get some clarity and better understanding of how people are using that word today.

When we talked Rob did not disappoint. He is a great example of a generous mind that is willing to share passionately and openly what God has put on his heart with others. The result was that I finished that conversation with a new friendship and a clearer understanding of the missional movement that is building momentum globally.

But one of the main things I realized about Rob during the course of our conversation was that he is a voracious reader. He shot of countless names of key books that had influenced his thinking. So at the end of our conversation I challenged him to create a reading list on what it means to be missional so that I could share it with each of you and this is what he sent.

Following are some of the foundational books on the subject of missiology and the missional church:

Missiology:

  1. The Mission of God - Christopher Wright
  2. Transforming Mission - David Bosch

Missional Church:

  1. The Trellis and the Vine - Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
  2. Breaking the Missional Code - Ed Stetzer
  3. Missional Church - Edited by Darrell Guder
  4. Introducing the Missional Church - Alan Roxburgh and Scott Boren
  5. The Forgotten Ways - Alan Hirsch
  6. Missional Renaissance - Reggie McNeal
  7. Church Unique - Will Mancini

I hope this list will bless you as it has me, but there is a bigger point here that I want to make. To be a generous mind, you need book lists. Whatever you are passionate about probably has come about through the reading of many books. If you are going to share your ideas effectively, that is one of those core resources you need assemble. Sometimes you might share the whole thing. Other times you might select out a key resource to share with a person. But however you use it, I think book lists should be considered a required tool for every generous mind.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Generous Portfolio

There is a difference between generosity and bragging. However, many of us struggle to distinguish that difference because it revolves around motivations. And in the face of this uncertainty many people decide not to share for fear that they will be considered prideful.

Because I am about to share my portfolio as I seek my next career step, let me take a minute to define the difference. Sharing your accomplishments or ideas is generosity when you truly want what is shared to benefit and encourage others. It is pride when your main objective is personal benefit.

So next time you are worried about sharing an idea because you may seem prideful, ask yourself who you are trying to benefit by sharing?

In this case as I present some of my work, my primary desire is to benefit a cause or organization through my work and investment in them. Although there are moments of pride when I focus on myself, I am endeavoring every day to focus on those that I can benefit and encourage through my work and ideas.

PORTFOLIO - Jon Hirst

Web Sites Developed:
Brands Developed:











Marketing Campaigns
Public Relations Efforts
  • 75th Anniversary PR Campaign for HCJB Global
  • PR Campaign for HCJB Global's New President
  • PR Campaign for the Launch of Christian Grandparenting Network's Military Grandcamps Ministry
  • PR Campaign for the With This Ring Christmas and Valentines Day Ring Donation Projects
Social Media Management
Facebook Fan Pages/Groups Launched or Managed:
Twitter Sites Launched or Managed:
Blogs:

More Coming Soon . . .





Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Double Scoop of Generosity

We have a funny idea about generosity. Somehow we believe that generosity is limited. We assume that once a generous action is in play, that nothing can be added to it.

Recently I had a wonderful example of a double measure of generosity. I had taken our littlest one out for Baskin Robins with a coupon she had received from school. While there I noticed that 31 cent scoop day was coming up. We quickly put it on the calendar and made plans to attend this wonderful event!

On the day of this amazing sale, we lined up with the countless other people to enjoy as many of the 31 flavors as possible. Finally we got to the front of the line, picked our flavors and proceeded to the cash register. When Mindy tried to pay, the cashier said that the person in front of us had offered their change to pay for as many people as it would cover!

I couldn't believe it. In a moment of generosity, we received a extra measure of generosity that we did not expect. The funny thing was that I felt awkward about receiving it after already being given so much. I had this idea in my head that I did not deserve another gift.

Don't we all feel like that? As people generously bestow their ideas and thoughts on us, we sometimes want to hold up our hands and yell "TIME OUT"! Their gift seems like it is so much more than we deserve. In fact that is what Jesus did for us through His act of sacrifice and love, wasn't it?

So next time you are blessed with an idea from someone, don't get stuck into thinking that the generosity cup is full. Expect that the God who fills our cup to overflowing will generously invest new ideas into your life just like He invested in our ice cream adventure.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sharing Someone Else's Life Work

Most of the time when we think about being generous, we think about it in the context of what we know. But I want to challenge you to think about how you can be generous with things you appreciate in others. So many times we are impacted by the ideas of others. As those ideas provide insight and wisdom for our lives, we grow and develop our own ideas.

So it is fitting that when key thought leaders come along that we should be generous with what they have invested in us. A friend of mine, Dion Forster, shared a blog post of someone he knows that does this so well. JD Meier developed a comprehensive list of key ideas, quotes, and resources from the author and innovator Seth Godin. When I saw it, I was truly amazed. JD took the time to bring together Seth's content in a way that someone who has never experienced Seth's work can understand his core ideas and take away many valuable lessons. One of the things about it that really amazed me was the investment that JD must have made. This was not a passing tweet of information . . . this was a significant synthesis of Seth Godin's thoughts and work for the benefit of others.

Who do you know that is a key thought leader? Have you ever thought of pulling their key ideas together and sharing them with others?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Generosity 101 - A Guest Post

I would like to introduce you to a blogger with a heart for generosity. You can follow blog posts like the ones below at: http://www.generosity-alive.org/

Generosity 101 by David Short

Immediately the word generosity comes to mind, a financial image is often the first one that appears. What about all the other 101 aspects of generosity that could equally be a great blessing to the many worthy projects around the world Initiatives desiring to see further development but lacking the resources to see this happen. The resources at our disposal, although varying from person to person, are considerable and wide-ranged. Let’s think about some of them for a while.

One major resource is time. Thus willingly giving to time to assist others is a wonderful way of being generous. Taking time to show friendship, encouragement or assistance with a particular project or activity. It is a most valuable resource and is readily available to be used wisely with good planning and discipline.

Our life’s experience is another reservoir from which we can draw to contribute to various events or projects that our friends are developing. Each of us has learned so much through meeting with others and while being part of various organisations as we grow up such as scouts/guides, youth clubs, sailing clubs, sports clubs, air/sea/army cadets etc. Many will have learned first aid as well as other skills. These skills are often hidden away and not fully used. They can be diverse and in some cases need to be kept updated such flying, technical or medical skills. Noticing opportunities to share these skills with others in their projects can be such a valued contribution. Prayerfully keep your eyes open to such ventures where you can be generous with your skills. Some organisations that might be able to assist you are: The Finishers, http://finishers.org/ Second Wind http://www.secondwind.net.au/index.html and Volunteering International. http://www.worldwidevolunteering.org.uk/

Advice is another vast resource that is often untapped or unrecognised as a channel for generosity. It is amazing how much can achieved by receiving the right advice. Such generous action can save thousands of pounds or dollars. Never underestimate the input and value of wise advisors. There’s much good teaching about this in the Creator’s Manual.

Networking
Being able to link people and resources together for greater effectiveness and blessing is another aspect of generous giving. Being alert to and aware of resources in a wide spectrum of activities can be a tremendous resource. I’m continually amazed at the way people can linked and blessed. We live in an unprecedented time of creative projects, an abundance of resources and incredible technical communication channels. The missing link is often those with the resources are not aware of those needing them. The whole vision of Global Hand is based on such situations. http://www.globalhand.org

Sharing
“A problem shared is a problem halved” is a common saying. Thus sharing with others is great way of being generous and contributing to their lives in a meaningful way. The secret is to keep ones eyes and ears open to capture opportunities to share in this way. You’ll find 101 ways of doing this I am sure. The sky is the limit as it were. Sharing a story, sharing a meal, sharing a gift, sharing a thought, sharing an idea, sharing a skill by teaching others, sharing a resource, sharing an experience. The list is a long one for sure…..

Translating
In our multi-cultural world translation and translators are welcome skills that can be used generously and in a variety of situations. This can be in the linguistic or in the cultural field. Many people are taking more interest in languages other than their own. This may be a hobby or may be part of their business development brief. It can lead to a career as an interpreter or translation specialist.

Helping visitors to feel at home or guide them in a purchase or direction can be a wonderful form of generosity. It may be helping a new neighbour from overseas understand your own culture as they seek to settle in to a new way of life. There are many things that need “translating” in what they observe. It can be so different to their lifestyle in their former home country.

Illustrating
If you have a flair for sketching or drawing then you will discover many opportunities to be generous with your gift and share it with others by offering to illustrate their book or poster or programme or website. There are so many avenues and outlets for such a skill. A very good example of being generous with such a skill is a family business in the UK that has been creatively developed around an e-card concept. http://www.jacquielawson.com/default.asp Take a look and see what you think…..

Web Design
A key feature of the contemporary world is the Internet and along with this amazing networking phenomenon is all the creativity and skilful designing that is required to produce quality websites. Thus here is another area in which one could be generous. Giving skilled input into producing impacting websites for charities and emerging businesses in the countries where development is seeking to make significant progress.

Craft ideas
Another creative area is that of craft-work and design. Cultures around the world abound in craft skills, often quite striking and extremely unique. However, there is often need for those with craft-skills to enable modifications and even new designs to be introduced so that the products can have effective export potential and be desirable to the world market. Thus being generous with such craft experience could really enrich others lives. Sometimes it is as simple as making woollen hats or clothes for youngsters. One person is giving generously in this area and has setup an attractive knitted doll business involving some 25 women from a rural area of a country in economic difficulty. http://www.gogo-olive.com/

Fund Generation
There is an ongoing need for creative thought in the area of fund generation. The concept can be simple or more complex but the generous investment of time coupled with willingness to share ideas can make all the difference to those desperately searching for financial resources to fund vital projects.

Mentoring
What a wealth of experience and skill is available and how special when it is shared with others generously to enhance their lives, communities and businesses. There are excellent organisations specifically set up to facilitate the giving of such investment with a generous heart. The long term benefits are amazing and will bring joy to all those involved. http://www.mowgli.org.uk/

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Generous Mind that indexes things?

One of the great things about being a Generous Mind is that the content can be anything that you want to share. It isn't only sports, or only spiritual things that are worth sharing. Whatever you can create / think about / define is worth sharing with others.

I found an excellent example of this that Seth Godin brought to my attention. He has a new book out called Linchpin (definitely worth a read). In it he really advocates being generous with ideas in the new economy. But in that book there was no index.

So, one of his fans who is into research and loves indexes created one for the book and gave it away. You can see it here. What an amazing example of a generous mind! Here is a famous author who's book doesn't have an index and an indexer who just can't help himself.
This is what he says about his generous efforts: "In the terms Seth uses in Linchpin, this is a gift. Partly because I took a skill I had and put the results out there to help people, not to get something. Partly because I see this as a way to express myself. I'm not trying to get work as an indexer. I am trying to highlight the value indexers create."
Two things to highlight here:
1. He is looking at the ideas/knowledge he has as a gift. How often do we fail to do that and how often does that lead us to be stingy with our ideas?
2. He is creating value for what he loves as he shares. So many times we have a "limited good" mentality that convinces us not to share what we have in order to keep our value. But in this new economy, being Generous Minds gives us value!
What do you know that could be a gift to those around you and in turn add value to your ministry and outreach?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A blog post defending the small things God is doing

Today I responded to Sam Rainer, a local pastor, author and blogger for Outreach Magazine, on twitter. I don't often do that but I wanted to speak to his comment with a very specific thought. Now I need to preface my thought with the fact that I can't read Sam's mind and he may have very different ideas of what these words meant. I'm not judging him or his motives. More than anything these words are an opportunity to share an idea that has been growing in my heart.

Here is Sam's tweet and then my response:
SamRainer: Meeting with our long-range planning committee. Since God is controlling our future, we're planning for big things.

Generousmind: @SamRainer: What if God has small things planned instead? God doesn't always use our metrics for success!

Here is my thought: Is it possible that the God who loves us has small things for us to do rather than big things? In our culture we tend to value the big and set the small things aside. But as I have been working with churches on discipleship models I am realizing something pretty amazing - the small things really count!

What do I mean? When you tweak a small thing, big things can result. They may not look like big things to the world but they are big in the lives of those who are being transformed in Christ. For instance. You might modify an event ever so slightly to include prayer in an authentic and incarnational way. It might only be 10 minutes of the event but it might change the whole dynamic of your evening!

I guess that is the main issue. Becoming more like Christ seldom looks big or impressive. Usually it looks unimportant and humble. But in God's economy it is all that matters.

So Sam, I am so glad you are planning ahead and that you are expecting big things from God. I just pray that if God sends small things you will be just as grateful. I'm sure you will!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Sharing of Quotes

Have you noticed that sharing quotes on facebook, twitter, email footers, etc is continually growing in popularity. There is something about a pithy quote that stirs us. Maybe it is that someone else can say what we do not have the courage to speak out for ourselves. Maybe it is that by quoting a person we admire we can connect with them in a unique way. I'm sure there are countless reasons.

But the fact remains that our lives are now awash in quotes.

Now I am not bemoaning this fact. I share many of my own and I collect quotes to use in writing and presentations. The big question in my mind is this:

"How would a Generous Mind share quotes?"
Here are some thoughts that you can think through next time you are about to Retweet that great piece of wisdom:
1. A Generous Mind would add why they like the quote to the posting of it.
2. A Generous Mind would target quotes to people who they felt could benefit from it.
3. A Generous Mind would ask others why they posted the quote that they did.
I hope you can apply one or more of these ideas next time to share a quote that comes across your desk!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a Generous Mind looks like Part 4

Part of understanding Generous Minds in the 21st century is to understand social media. Social media is a rich environment where Generous Minds live, thrive and engage with others about their ideas. But not everyone on facebook is a Generous Mind. The key to finding the Generous Minds in social media is to look for people involved in two kinds of activities:

  1. Sharing ideas: if someone is using the power of social media to share ideas, links, videos, concepts in order to help people grow and understand the world around them, they may just be a Generous Mind.
  2. Connecting ideas: if someone is passing on the ideas of others and connecting ideas to others who they think will benefit, they may just be a Generous Mind.

Now you may be saying, “That makes almost everyone in the Web 2.0 world a Generous Mind.” I would respond a definite NO. There are some qualifiers that are very important to keep in mind. One of them is intentionality. Many people send around the YouTube video of a dog dancing. But that doesn’t have any particular value or intentionality to it. It is simply a shared experience.

Another key to distinguishing between the masses of link-happy friends and followers and a Generous Mind is the interaction that goes with the idea. If someone just sends an idea, link or video to all their friends with no interest in what they thought, then they are not Generous Minds. A Generous Mind is looking to use ideas to impact people and is interested in seeing what they learned, thought or how they applied the idea in their lives.

An Ideal Tool
Of all the social media tools, the one that I have found to be most conducive to a Generous Mind is Twitter. It’s not because it is one of the media’s favorites right now and it is not because it is the most personal or engaging tool. The reason is simple…there is no easier way to share ideas and connect an idea with a particular person than those 140 character messages. If you are a Generous Mind, Twitter puts your efforts on steroids. Within seconds you can share an article, a video, a quote with your growing group of followers. Then if you use a tool like Tweetdeck you can email messages and links you find to people even if they aren’t on Twitter. This allows you to target people who are looking for certain resources or need to build knowledge in specific areas.

The Challenge
So here is my challenge to you. If you are a Generous Mind, how are you using these social tools to exponentially increase the ideas you can share? Which tools are most helpful to you? I would love to hear from you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What does a Generous Mind Look Like - Part III

One of the traits that sticks out about a Generous Mind is their curiosity. They are curious about everything . . . and I mean everything. They will ask you how you made that turkey soup. They might ask you what your favorite movie is. They will most certainly quiz you about your job and your family.

What does a Generous Mind do with all this information? Well, being a Generous Mind makes you fully aware that every piece of information that God brings your way may be able to be combined with other information and used to honor God and bless those around them.

So this means that when you are around a Generous Mind they will say things like, "I met this guy once who was a plumber and he said..." or "My best friend's favorite musician was (fill in the blank) and he gave an interview that might help you with your project."

You might be wondering if a good memory is part of being a Generous Mind. Well, a selective memory is for sure, but more important than a good memory is knowing what to remember and knowing when to bring it out and use it.

Have you ever been with someone who only talks about themselves. You have a whole meal with them and they never ask you a question. That is not a Generous Mind. A Generous Mind would fill the air around your table with questions. They would be focused outside of themselves and on those around them.

So, what did you learn today that you plan on implementing tomorrow? If you share it here, you never know who it might bless!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What does a Generous Mind look like - Part II

The idea of being a generous mind is growing in popularity and interest. We are seeing so many more instances on Google of people talking about the idea and processing how to live it out. So this series on what a generous mind looks like is very important.

Today I want to focus on a key belief that defines a generous mind. That belief is that everyone has something to pass on. It sounds simple and a bit general. However, as we talk with people and probe into their thinking it is very clear that a majority of people out there do not believe that they have something to say that others need to hear.

Of course you have the few who are filled with ideas and compelled to share them. Being generous minds comes naturally to them. Those are the people that we assume the concept is made to represent. But Mindy and I would counter that and challenge everyone reading this to consider the possibility that every living person created by God has something that He has uniquely prepared them to share with others.

That means that the garbage collector who comes to your house has something that you need to learn and know. It means that the young person who hands you your Big Mac and McDonalds has something to teach you.

If that is true then a generous mind is someone who realizes that they have something to share with others and begins to look for ways to share it.

Now the immediate mistake people make is to assume that being a generous mind means being a famous writer or speaker. Actually, the best generous minds are those far from the limelight. They are the people who are asking God to reveal Himself to them and then sharing what they are learning in their sphere of influence. Anyone can do that ... right?

Well, the reason that there are not more generous minds in action out there is because the Evil One tricks us. He tells us that what we have to share is common knowledge, that we don't know it well enough, that we are not good enough communicators. Each of these lies drives us deeper into ourselves and keeps us from sharing what God has birthed in our hearts.

Has that happened to you? Have you been deceived into thinking that you have nothing to share? Have you been robbed of the blessing of being a generous mind?

Monday, February 01, 2010

What Does A Generous Mind Look Like - Part I

Over the next few weeks I want to focus on sharing some core values of a Generous Mind. I hope these values will paint a picture of what a mind truly surrendered to Christ might look like as it focuses outward and allows all that it considers to be a blessing to the world at large.

One of the most important disciplines of a Generous Mind is the commitment to never let an idea slip away. When I say this, you immediately know what I mean. On any given day we let countless ideas float out of our minds never to be retrieved. We don't usually do this because we do not care about the ideas or because we do not want the ideas to impact others. Usually, we have a false security in our memory and tell ourselves that we will remember the idea later.

The problem with our memory today is that it is an over saturated tool. We are inundated with information today and even the brightest minds cannot train their attention on certain ideas when the flood of new information swamps them.

Another problem we have with holding onto ideas is that we do not always know which ones will be important. We have to make a decision at the moment of inspiration about the value and need for that idea in our lives or in the lives of those around us. Many times we judge an idea to be of no value and throw it away when someone in our lives would have been blessed by it. Other times we keep information available to us that ends up serving no purpose or person.

So identifying and remembering ideas must be a discipline in the life of a Generous Mind. It is a discipline that is focused on what might be. That is because we save ideas because of potential, not because of inherent value. We don't know which idea will be a huge blessing and benefit and which ones will get shot down immediately as unproductive or off-base. So we have to mine the fields of our mental activity and save ideas that seem to have value even when we don't know the final outcome.

So how do you do this?
  1. When an idea comes, always write it down without discrimination.
  2. Keep paper or another way of capturing ideas by your bed. The best ideas are lost as sleep overcomes us.
  3. Take those pieces of paper and other tidbits and keep them in a place where you can find them. Some will keep a document on their computer filled with these. Others have a file of ideas. Whatever your process, make sure you know how to find them.
  4. When someone else has an idea, hold them accountable to not let it slip away.
  5. If an idea is coming and you are supposed to go on to another activity. Stop and finish processing before you jump into the new opportunity.
  6. Leave 10-15 minutes between appointments so you can process what you just talked about or learned about at the meeting.
These are simple ideas but they will begin to discipline your thinking and allow you to capture the ideas that will serve as the basis of your generosity. I hope that you will take this challenge and I can't wait to be blessed by the ideas God gives you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Prayer for Haiti

We are all overwhelmed with the needs in Haiti, but where do we start. We believe firmly that we start with prayer. That is what we are doing in our church and in our family and we would ask you to join us in that. Jon has created a 30 Day Prayer Guide for Haiti with Eric Foley as part of their work with .W (doers of the Word - www.dotheword.org). Take a minute to visit Eric's blog and download the prayer guide. And please be sure to share here how you and your family are responding.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Being Generous in Tragedy

When a tragedy strikes today we are immediately surrounded by words and images. We sit in our living rooms and stare at the screen insure of what to do. After all, you are sitting in relative luxury and looking into utter chaos and disaster that is only made possible by technology.

So what do you do? Many of us pick up the phone or go to our computers and make a gift. Usually we do this for a mixture of reasons. We want to feel like we did something. We want to ease our guilt. We want to make a difference. The reasons go on and on.

But as we are watching the images from this latest tragedy in Haiti, I would like to ask you to be generous in a different way. Here are some simple things that take a very different spin on how we as generous minds should response:

  1. If you don't know anything about Haiti, go to the CIA Factbook and get some understanding so that you can pray.
  2. Share what you have learned with a co-worker, someone in your family or someone at church.
  3. Pray with your family for the victims and talk about the tragedy with your kids.
  4. Give in community. Instead of making giving an isolated effort, give with your family, your church or your work. Transfer some of what you have learned to others and challenge them to action as well.
  5. Find out if there are Haitian churches in your city and reach out.
  6. Search the Bible and ask the questions about this kind of suffering and why God allows it.

Our actions are usually so isolated. We assuage our emotions and respond based on our experiences. But a Generous Mind responds by sharing, connecting and bringing something they care about to a larger community.

Will you do that in this tragedy? Will you be a Generous Mind for the people of Haiti?