What’s NEXT?

How to live bold in life’s second half

I writing a new book!!

The working title is “What’s NEXT?: How to live bold in life’s second half”

Here’s the premise: There are millions of baby boomers who are asking the question: “What’s next?”. They are either too old, too tired or too bored to keep doing what they’ve been doing, but they don’t feel like a life of leisurely retirement is the answer. Besides, most of them couldn’t afford it if they wanted to.

In this book we will study the life of an aging warrior named Caleb, who is not quite ready to hang up his sword. How do you dust it off and use it when everybody else is hanging it up and putting it away?What can we learn about taking the next mountain?

The story of Caleb shows us that it’s never too late for God to fulfill a promise and you are never too old to take a new mountain!

If you would like more info on the progress of the book, just take a minute and sign up for updates HERE.

What’s Next For ARC?

As a child in Sunday School I remember singing a song that went something like this:

ARC 500th Church PlantJesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white (not sure what happened to brown).
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

4 things I learned about being a leader from a weekend with the Colts Pt. 2

In a previous post I began to share some things I learned from spending a weekend with Clyde Christensen, one of the coaches of the Indianapolis Colts.

I became a fan.

I now like them almost as much as I like the Broncos.


Here’s what I learned from the Colts:

1. It’s my job to contribute to a healthy culture

2. It’s my job to get better everyday

3. It’s my job to make the people around me better

Everybody – lineman, running backs, nutritionists, operations guys, coaches – are responsible for the guy next to him. That’s why they call it a team sport.

I saw it in the lunch room. I saw it on the field. I saw it from the coaches. Coach Clyde is constantly trying to figure out how he can master the craft of teaching and coaching, not so he will sound better, but so the guys will learn quicker and more completely.

When you get a guy overly concerned about his own stats rather than how he can serve the purposes of the team, you have the beginnings of a crack in team unity. Opposing coaches are looking for an edge. “Where are the cracks? Where are the weaknesses we can exploit?”

Ask yourself: What am I doing to make the team better today?

  • If you aren’t thinking team, then everyone else will pay for your selfishness.

4. It’s my job to defend our house

Winning at home was a big deal. The coaches and players put a lot of emphasis on defending the house.

The week I was there, the Denver Broncos came to town. They were riding a six game winning streak and Peyton Manning was coming back to Indianapolis for the first time wearing an opponents jersey. Emotions were high, on the field and in the stands.

The Broncos All Pro linebacker, Von Miller, was also making his season debut after being suspended for the first six games. He is a ferocious pass rusher and overall disruptive force to opposing offenses.

The Colts coaches worked very hard on a gameplan to defend the house. Miller’s number 58 was circled on whiteboards in the offensive war rooms. They listed his tendencies, weaknesses and strengths. They wanted the Colt quarterback to know where #58 was at all times.

Their planning paid off.

Miller got zero sacks.

The Colts won.

They defended the house.

The Bible says we have an enemy that wants to kill, steal and destroy you, your dreams, your business and your family.

Here’s the question: Do you have a gameplan for defending the house?

  • How alert are you to your enemy’s strengths, tendencies and weaknesses?
  • How about your own?
  • Does the team know that you are on time, alert, working hard to make sure that it’s not going to happen on your watch?

I came away from that incredible weekend with a great deal of respect for the Colts organization. I also came away wondering if they treat a game with more respect sometimes than we treat our mission.

I’m committed to doing all I can to contribute to a healthy culture, get better every day, make the people around me better and defend the house.

How about you?

  • Can the team count on you?



What I learned the day the lights went out

Yesterday the lights went out at our Mt. Pleasant Campus. All of them. For a very long time. Three and one half hours, to be exact. Fun times.

Oh, I’ve been in the dark for longer periods of time, but never with so many people.

The electricity went off halfway into the opening set of the first service and returned halfway through the message in the third service.

Four things I learned when the lights went out:

4 things I learned about being a leader from a weekend with the Colts Pt.1

Knowing that I am a huge Denver Broncos fan, my friend Clyde Christensen – Quarterbacks Coach for the Indianapolis Colts, invited me to attend Peyton Manning’s first game back in Indy.

I stayed with Clyde and his family, did the chapel for the Colts players and coaches, and sat in the family section for the game. The only stipulation was that I couldn’t wear orange and cheer too loudly for the opposing team.

Actually, I behaved myself quite well.

And I became a Colts fan along the way.

Surely you can cheer for more than one team, can’t you? Honestly, I always have. My two favorite teams were the Broncos and whoever was playing the Raiders. Now I have three favorites :-)

I didn’t become a Colts fan because of the way they held serve and beat the Broncos on that October Sunday night. Hardly. In my heart of hearts I was pulling for orange, even though I was wearing blue.

My new found allegiance was fueled more by what I saw off the field than on. I was given a peek behind the curtain and I liked what I saw.

I’d like to share some things I learned that weekend. It made me a better leader. I’m hoping it will do the same for you.

#G001: Gadgets, Gizmos & Good Ideas

Gadgets, Gizmos & Good Ideas

In a previous post I described my plan to do periodic posts that would link to things I’m reading and learning. I asked you to help me by voting on a name.

As you can see, there were two clear favorites. I liked them both, so I decided to name the category Insights & Intuitions (submitted by @badpastor) and the posts Gadgets, Gizmos & Good Ideas (submitted by Sylvia Michelle Torres). So, here we go with #G001: Gadgets, Gizmos & Good Ideas for this week:

Five Good Reads

  1. Four ways the church gets leadership wrong  This is a provocative post that I think every church leadership team should read. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s worth the thought stretching. Here is a sample quote from the author’s view that relationship should trump mission:

    No one has ever had a mission as important as Jesus, but even when his disciples messed up Jesus valued the individual over the urgency of the mission. Jesus didn’t even fire Judas.

    Full disclosure: The author is my brother Geoff Surratt

  2. Eight Must-Have Ingredients of a Successful Blog Post This one is for the bloggers among us
  3. Three Secrets Behind the ’80/20 Rule’ of Giving – and Getting More In Return A very interesting take on generosity from a decidedly non-church viewpoint. An example quote:

    Research by Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, bears this out. Drawing from Harvard data on 30,000 American families, Brooks discovered a family giving $100 more to charity earns about $375 more income than a non-giving family that is similar in every other factor. For every dollar they give, they earn nearly $4 more.

  4. Emotional handwashing  This short thought by Seth Godin should be posted in every corporate restroom. Sample quote:

    Emotions are far more contagious than any disease. A smile or a panic will spread through a group of people far faster than any virus ever could.

  5. 20 Time-Management Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 20s I like lists.

An APP & a Gadget

There are lots of great note taking apps, most of which I have used, where you tap your fat little fingers on a keyboard at the bottom of your iPad screen. They are great, most of the time. Sometimes you just want to go old school and scratch out your notes on a paper looking app. My goto tool for that is Penultimate, an Evernote compatible drawing and note taking app.

Until recently I had been using those same fat little fingers to write the notes until I discovered a pen called JotScript that was created to do the job. Unlike other stylus’s, JotScript has a pointy tip that feels like a real pen. It’s a bit pricey, but maybe that’s one of the trade offs for going paperless.

That’s it for now. Hope it’s helpful.

As always, if you have some gadgets, gizmos or good ideas – please tell us about them in the comment section.

Learning to work like a genius

Contrary to what you might think, there really are enough hours in the day to get everything done that you need to do. The answer is not necessarily in working harder or faster, but it's learning to work smarter.

In an earlier post I talked about some tools I use that help me work more efficiently. The right tools always make the job a little easier.

Another secret to working smarter is called automation – figuring out ways to automatically do routine tasks that would otherwise require your focused attention.

A big part of what I do involves communication and I use at least three forms of automation to help me look smarter than I really am.

Three ways I use automation

Ten days to better relationships

What is the one thing you could do that would most improve your relationships and give you a sense of well being today?

What I’m going to suggest is not the only thing, but it is a big thing.

If you begin to practice it, I can guarantee that people will be more attracted to you, treat you better and it will increase your sense of peace.

The problem: While it’s a simple concept, it’s not easy to do.

What is it?