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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What is a Content Ecosystem?

Last week I had the great pleasure of sharing at the InterVarsity Press staff retreat. They asked me to come and share about the concept of a content ecosystem and I was glad to take the time to invest in their team.

This idea is critical to understanding how content thrives in today's world. My main point was that content, just like energy in a natural ecosystem, is generated, transferred and recycled all the time. The challenge is how to understand this content cycle and harness it to empower ideas.

If we think of the ground as the cause, the plants as the content and the living organisms as the community, then we see how these ecosystems are set up. By having a rich and deepening cause, it grows dynamic content which then helps the communities thrive as they consume it.

The biggest challenge to this idea is looking at publishing holistically. Instead of seeing our job as manufacturing books, we must see our job as birthing, growing and cultivating ideas that transform readers.

The organic metaphor is so important to helping us see content as alive and dynamic. If we simply see content as dead words on a page we are destined to kill the very ideas we are trying to bring to life.

So do you understand your cause, content and community? Do you treat your ideas as an ecosystem that needs every help to thrive?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pastors as Generous Minds

With this being Pastor Appreciation Month, it seemed fitting to ask the question, "In what unique ways are pastors Generous Minds?"

Well, this sacred calling is definitely a generous one. Think about the time that most pastors spend praying beside bedsides, pouring over sermon notes or teaching in small groups or classes? Each of those opportunities allows them to be generous with what God has put on their hearts.

But one of the greatest spaces where I have seen a pastor's generosity is over a cup of coffee or a lunch table. If you look at the calendars of most pastors, you will see them littered with meet ups like these. They are having coffee with someone who has just started attending the church or they might be having lunch with an elder.

These times of more focused and intentional conversation are where pastors get to be the most generous. They take from the rich soil of their studies and apply it to the unique and individual situations of those that sit in front of them.

Have you ever had lunch with your pastor? If not maybe this is the month to schedule an appointment. I hope that it will be yet another opportunity for your pastor to be a Generous Mind as he ministers alongside you in your local community.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

I'm too busy to share today!

What causes life to be so busy that you don't have time to share what you are thinking with others? Well, it is always a combination of things that swirl around you like a tornado descending on your house.

The pressure at work, the activities of the family, the social obligations of church and community, along with all the interactions you have with friends combine to form a wall of confusion in our minds that shut everything down.

The sheer level of activity cause us to bottle up what we are thinking, put our heads down and try and push through the busyness. How many times have you gone out with your significant other after not having a date for a long time and realizing that you have bottled up your ideas for so many days that you can't get them flowing again!

Busyness does shut down generosity. It makes us the focus of our every move and we end up loosing sight of how we should be investing in others. We must make generosity a discipline that fights against the busyness of the day.

We can start by creating spaces to share with others. They might be the meals with share with family, co-workers or friends. It could be a weekly Bible study we attend. For others it might be a friend you call on the phone each week. Whoever and whenever it is, we must make sharing with others a regular part of our lives or the flow of ideas will dry up and our minds will cease to be a blessing to others.

Monday, October 01, 2012

A Generous Vision

What does it look like when you are generous with vision? Well, of course it means that you are sharing your vision with others freely. But does it mean more than that?

YES!

Being generous with your vision means that you are generous in its creation as well as its dissemination. It is easy to share what you are striving to promote and raise awareness for. It is much harder to share in the process of creating that vision.

But that is what makes all the difference. If you will share in the creation of your vision, then you are not just one more person peddling ideas out there. Instead you have a team of people around you who have participated in developing an idea and have bought in to seeing it become a reality.

But to be generous is always to give up control. When you share something, you loose at least a part of it. You relinquish your full control for the benefit of others. Are you willing to relinquish control of your vision in order to see many more own it and push it forward?