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First, the bad news.

As announced last week, my friend Ben Arment is leaving Catalyst to pursue something God has been working in him for several years. I give him a load of credit for his courage and for his commitment to do what’s best for his family.story_screenshot

The good news is that a first-of-its-kind event, Story, is the product of his brain and will be held in Chicago on Wednesday, October 28. Don Miller, Nancy Beach, Mike Foster, Chris Seay, and several others will be speaking, and I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed. The idea is to gather pastors, teachers, writers, artists, and all those who tell the story of the Gospel.

Visit the Story website to learn more and to register (and to explore a very cool site). You can also register to win a trip to C.S. Lewis’ home in Oxford, England. Yes, please.

My good friend Ben wrote yesterday about something that’s been on my mind lately – the lead pastor does not necessarily need to be the lead communicator. The lead pastor’s role is to shepherd a congregation, to provide vision for the church, lead the staff, and generally guide the church toward enlarging the kingdom. I’m kind of surprised that there are people who still think the lead pastor has to be the one behind the pulpit (literally or figuratively) each week.

Allowing more gifted communicators to be out front on Sunday mornings demonstrates not only the lead pastor’s empowerment of the other pastors’ gifts, but his comfort in knowing where he’s best used. Your church will be better off for it.

The next time you start to ask a question, stop and ask yourself two questions before you ask someone else one:

  1. Do I already know the answer?
  2. Can I easily find out the answer on my own?

In attempting to answer #1, think about whether someone has already told you the answer and you’ve simply forgotten. Or, perhaps you know the answer, but you’re trying to appear intelligent or thoughtful by asking again.

This is of critical importance when the person to whom you’re taking the question is your boss or some other authority figure. That person doesn’t have time to tell you the same thing multiple times. Respect your boss’ time by not pestering him or her with unnecessary inquiries and striving to figure things out on your own.

So the next time you think, “Well, I’ll just ask her about it. It will be easier and quicker for me because I know she has the answer,” pause. It may be easier for you, but 1) you’re wasting her time, and 2) you won’t learn anything. Just use your brain and think about it before running your trap.

I joke about it with my friends Caryn and Mandy, but it’s true – many of my most important life lessons have been the result of marching band. I spent eight years in junior high and high school as part of the band, my latter years in the flag corps, and for as much as I hated it at times, I wouldn’t trade it for anything now.

Because of band, I know that 15 minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.

Because of band, I am able to walk and do other things simultaneously. It’s difficult to twirl a flag and walk a specific path in-step with 249 other people and not drop something or hit someone. Although, admittedly, I still cannot walk and drink from a cup at the same time.

Because of band, I learned to lead a team of 34 other girls as peers and as their captain. And let me tell you, if you can lead 34 high school girls, you can lead anyone.

Because of band, I formed friendships that extend beyond Carrollton High School. There’s a kinship with fellow band members that ties us together, transcendent of space and time. It’s the understood dorky quality coupled with the knowledge that you can probably play the Theme from 2001 in your sleep.