• communication,  leadership

    Does Your Team Have a Belonging Culture?

    Today I want to talk what it means to have a belonging culture on our intergenerational teams. In this series about intergenerational ministry, I’ve been addressing several characteristics of successful ministry teams. We talked about what it means to be entrusted with people, explored a model for building mentoring into our teams, and dove into some ideas around God’s design for intergenerational ministry. Let’s start with a minute of reflection this time. Consider these questions: Do you feel you belong on your team or on the teams you serve on? Do you believe your teammates belong? When I was growing up in the church, here’s how I thought belonging worked:…

  • communication,  leadership

    What It Means to be Entrusted with Intergenerational Ministry

    In your ministry or organization, I’m sure you want God’s design for perpetually-renewing intergenerational ministry and leadership.  And you want your organizational team to embrace it, too. In my organization, we have a structural design that means every year we have many intergenerational teams working together in ministry and leadership. Our mission is to help the next generation get ready to speak, and to do that effectively with lasting impact, we had to get intentional about how intergenerational mentoring and collaboration works best. You have been entrusted with people. As leaders, we have been entrusted with people. What does it mean to be entrusted? I think about that quite a…

  • communication

    Fight to Flourish

    In her book, The Fight to Flourish, Jennie Lusko talks about this idea: we were designed to flourish.  But it doesn’t just happen. We have to fight for the particularly favorable conditions that nourish human flourishing. And it is a fight.  A mother of five, Jennie tells the story of her 5-year old daughter’s heavenly homegoing just five days before Christmas. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. It’s just about the most horrible thing many of us can imagine in this world. Since my own husband’s homegoing just 5 months ago, I – like Jennie – have become more aware of the fight to flourish. Why does it have to be…

  • communication

    Flounder or Flourish?

    Imagine a life where you are flourishing. What does it look like? Are you simply surviving, or are you thriving? What is happening in your flourishing world? What is nourishing you? While we’re being honest, I haven’t exactly felt like I’m flourishing lately. In the wake of my husband’s homegoing last fall (he’s in heaven with Jesus now), I’ve felt loss, pain, confusion, and fatigue. A fog has clouded my thoughts and feelings. It feels more like floundering than flourishing. And yet…. I’m learning flourishing is something we can find, even when circumstances don’t seem “particularly favorable.” We can see in scripture that God designed us to flourish. And his…

  • communication

    Advent: Joy in the Darkness

    Depression. Anxiety. Crime. Suicide. Darkness. If you’ve watched the news at all during the past 3 years… if you have teenagers…. if your teens have friends…. There’s not a lot of talk about joy. But there’s a whole lot of talk about how hard life is.  So how do we talk about joy at Christmas? I’ve recently asked myself that very question. My husband of 36 years this month is gone. He’s never coming back here. I know he’s out of pain. I know he’s in a better place. But where does that leave me?  Mental health professionals tell us the holidays are the hardest time of year for many…

  • Hope of Christmas
    communication,  faith

    Advent: A Story of Hope

    I thought and prayed a long time before deciding to write an Advent series again this Christmas season. You may know my husband David passed from this world to his eternal home on September 21st – just weeks ago. As I write, the grief is still fresh. It’s surreal. I keep thinking he’s going to call asking what’s for dinner…or if we could go to dinner. (We talked a lot about dinner!) At the same time, I’ve been thinking a lot about hope these past several weeks.  “And now, dear brothers, I want you to know what happens to a Christian when he dies so that when it happens, you…

  • communication,  education

    5 Ways Being Ready to Speak Will Help Your Student This School Year

    For 25 years, my organization, The Institute for Cultural Communicators, has been helping the next generation get ready to speak. With all the needs in the world, why is this our focus? Being ready to speak in any situation is a foundational skill for success in education and in life. It prepares students for every stage, gives them tools for whatever comes their way. Here are five ways communication skills help your student at school and beyond.   1. Your student is bully resilient.  Though they can look very different from the class bullies we grew up with, bullies are still a reality in the lives of many school-aged children.…

  • Woman and Child Looking at Laptop Screen Together

    How to Make the Most of an Online Event, Class, and More!

    As I write this, online meetings are becoming an increasingly common part of our regular routine. Kids participating in online classrooms. Parents working from home. Church services livestreamed. Medical consults, therapy sessions, and business meetings offered via video conferencing platforms. During the past 8 years, my team and I have learned online events and meetings can be just as transformational as in-person experiences – even moreso, if you come in properly prepared. My organization, the Institute for Cultural Communicators, has conducted dozens of live local and global events through our online platforms. Countless families around the world have been touched by these events, participating and interacting to experience genuine, life-giving…