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Posted on Apr 29, 2015 in Blog, Creativity, David Lindner Music, Featured

New Day New Hope

New Day New Hope

You may not know this about me, but one of my favorite things to do is write and record music. While I definitely know God has me right where He wants me in ministry, there is also a great desire He has given me in music. And I’m happy to tell you there’s a new addition!

I’ve added a new song to my collection of royalty free stock audio that is available for purchase on Audio Jungle. It’s called “New Day New Hope.”

This song is another, upbeat/positive song. It’s not “in your face” positive, but more subtle. It’s kind of like waking up in the morning, getting that cup of coffee and getting started on the right foot. My wife she could hear it being used in a cereal commercial. So, that’s kind of the vibe. I’d love it if you could pop on over and take a listen! It’s free to listen!

By the way, the pack includes several files. The full length file and three loops. You can seamlessly loop each section (A, B & C). Which means you can create a custom length version of the song to use for your video!

I invite you to listen to it (as well as my other songs) by clicking here!

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Posted on Oct 23, 2014 in Blog, Church, Creativity, Culture, Encouragement, Fathering, Leadership, Pain and Suffering, repost

No More Cookie Cutter Pastors, No More Cookie Cutter Churches. (Why you’re not a failure even though it feels like it.)

No More Cookie Cutter Pastors, No More Cookie Cutter Churches. (Why you’re not a failure even though it feels like it.)

(Intro: This is a post I wrote in Sept of 2012, when I was fairly upset about some stuff, so I wrote this article and never published it. I just reread it and wanted to share it with you.)

Sometimes when it feels like we’ve failed at something, I think the basis of what we’re feeling is based on someone else’s imposed definition of who they think you should be – and you’re not living up to it.

You know what I’m talking about. People see a pastor at another church while they’re visiting on a weekend, and they instantly start comparing you (their pastor) to them. They notice all the little things they do that you don’t do. They notice their style and their voice. They notice all the things that make them who they are, and compare them to you.

What they don’t realize is that, they are experiencing them in a vacuum. For one, it’s not a fair, side by side comparison. It’s not like they’re in a Best Buy, looking at the TV’s where they can see the same movie on a hundred TV’s. Can you imagine that store? A hundred different worship leaders singing the same song or a hundred different pastors preaching the same sermon so you can pick the one you like best?

When they take the TV home, they begin to notice the flaws.

You’ve been there. You buy the TV, get home and realize it doesn’t have enough connections, or doesn’t look as big as you thought it did, or it looks bigger. You buy a used car, and on the way home you hear a noise you didn’t hear. You go to a new church, and then the pastor says something you don’t think is funny, he’s kind of a nerd, the worship leader is a little pitchy or sings a song you don’t like every weekend. Then they start to remember all the things they liked about their old pastor, forget all the things they didn’t like and long for the days when they were at their previous church.

I know I’ve been there before. I’ve had, in my life and ministry on a regular basis, people who judge me and how I do ministry against how they think I should be doing ministry. They have an image of what they think I should be in their head, and when I don’t live up to it, I am failing.

I’ve had people judge me against a flawed perception of themselves. They believe they are great at my job (even though they may have no training or experience) and that I should be doing my job as good as they think they could do my job.

Maybe they can do my job better, but the bottom line is, we shouldn’t judge anyone based on what we think they should be. But, you know how you work at a job for 40+ hours a week? You do this thing for 40+ hours a week that I don’t claim to know all about. There are things about your job that I don’t understand. Things that can’t be understood unless you’re in it all the time. The reverse is also true, but it’s not real PC to say. But I will. Unless you are a Pastor and you make your living pastoring a church and work in the church 7 days a week, you just don’t have an understanding of what it really means to lead a church.

The other bottom line, you shouldn’t let people judge you based on who they think you should be.

I know you can’t control them, but you can control how much you let them in your head. Don’t let their judgement of you drive you to try to be someone you’re not.

You are awesome just how God created you. The other guy they are comparing you to is awesome how God created him. When you try to be like him, you are being an imitation of a creation, not being the creation God created. When you’re trying to be someone else, that’s idolatry. We are made in God’s image, and our only pursuit can be the image the designer put in us since before we were born.

One thing I’m not saying is that we shouldn’t try to improve ourselves. But only if that improvement is based on principle and truth, not comparison. If the improvement is to keep up with someone else, or because we are under pressure from people around us to be something we’re not, we shouldn’t do it.

As we shape who we are and the people we lead, we need to build into them the ability to think and appreciate people for who they are. Don’t let your people get caught up in the comparison game. Don’t let them talk negatively about your pastor, don’t let them talk negatively about your subordinates. Teach them to learn to appreciate the good things and find ways they can step in and fill in the perceived gaps.

One final note: with the highly connected world we live in, it’s very easy to see what every other church on the planet is doing. Whether it’s worship styles or songs, programs or ministries, videos, graphics, stage designs or sermons. We need to be careful to be sure that we aren’t comparing what we do to what the rest of the world is doing. God has a plan and design for your church body, just as he as a plan and design for you.

Just as God created you uniquely, he created your church body uniquely. If he wanted us to all be the same and act the same, he would have prescribed it for us. And in the areas we do have such prescriptions, I do think we should strive to live up that prescription. However, just as each of us are unique, he wants your church body to represent him uniquely.

So, no more cookie cutter pastors, no more cookie cutter churches.

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Posted on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog, Creativity, Fathering, Leadership, Worship

Creativity the Missing Piece(s) – Part 4

Creativity the Missing Piece(s) – Part 4

Slowly, but surely, this series is going to get finished! I started the series in 2009! What the heck Lindner! Get it together, it’s 2014!

So, since the chances are astronomical that you’ve never even heard of this series, therefore you’ve never read the first three articles, you might want to go check them out. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

In Part 4 of the series, I want to talk about setting the ground rules for the team & the meetings.

There are probably a hundred rules you could make up for a team like this. Maybe you want everyone to wear skinny jeans and a scarf. So you make a rule that no baggy pants are allowed.

But that’s not really what I’m thinking of. I’m looking more at those rules that keep the team functioning in a healthy manner. These rules are blunt and straightforward by design. It is better to be clear at the beginning with expectations. It’s easier to hold people to something they are aware of. If they don’t know a rule exists, they’ll break it every time.

So, what are they?

Team Rules

1.) Everyone is committed. 

If you’re on the team, you are an owner. You’re self-employed. You are not a road construction employee. We can’t have 5 guys watching one guy work. Everyone is committed. It needs to be made clear to those coming onto the team for the first time, that this is a Getting Stuff Done team. We don’t just talk, we do. For every meeting, we have a series we are executing, a series we are planning and a series we are brainstorming. We model the way by working the hardest. If you commit to this team, you’re committing to diligence.

2.) If you miss the meeting, it’s your responsibility to find out what you missed. 

Because we are committed to the team, we don’t wait until the next meeting to get caught up on what we missed. We get in touch with the leader or someone else who was there to find out what happened. It’s not the leaders’ responsibility to call me, it’s my responsibility to call my leader. I realize that I may have been assigned some tasks based on the strengths my team knows about me, and if I wait to find out what they are until the next meeting I might miss something that needs to be done this week. It’s not someone else’s responsibility, it’s mine.

3.) Everyone Follows Through

We don’t drop the ball. Period. If we drop the ball, it’s not just a loss of a service element. It’s the loss of an experience for hundreds if not thousands of people. It’s not just me who loses out, it’s the whole body. Every minute of the worship service is multiplied by the number of people in attendance. If 100 people come to church, a 60 minute service accounts for 6,000 minutes. If I don’t follow through, my 3 minute responsibility costs the church 300 minutes of potentially life-changing experience.

4.) Not meetings after the meeting

We are committed to being united as a team. If there is a problem between members of the team, we don’t engage in gossip about them outside the meeting, we encourage them and possibly force them to work it out with the other person. We confront ideas in the meeting because we are trying to get the best idea to the church. So, we don’t have meetings after the meeting about how this person just doesn’t get it. Or how that person isn’t very creative. Every person on the team is there for a reason. We confront and keep short accounts, because we are too busy with the big idea to get bogged down with drama.

5.) A God-honoring experience is primary, personal feelings are secondary. 

We don’t allow our personal feelings to be attached to an idea. My feelings aren’t important – Jesus is. We are here to create the most creative experience and expression of our collective bodies adoration of Jesus. We aren’t here to get credit. We aren’t here to prove that we are the most creative, crazy person in the church. We aren’t here to get our immature ego’s an extra stroke on the back. We are here to be a part of a team creating a God-honoring experience. My personal feelings cannot get in the way of that. That’s idolatry.

Meeting Rules

1.) Everyone is on time. 

We start our meetings on time. To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late. We don’t show up 15 minutes after the meeting starts, even if we are musicians. We respect the time of everyone on the team, and we understand that when we are late, we are disrespecting the time of those who cared enough about me to be there on time. That makes me an egotistical hypocrite who expect people to serve me, but I’m not willing to serve them in the same way.

2.) More from the thinkers less from the talkers. 

Just because you can talk a lot doesn’t mean you have the best idea. Often times those who have the most words need to shut their pie hole so someone who thinks can process the ideas on there and come up with a better idea. We don’t need you to prove how smart you are, how creative you are, how in touch with culture you are or anything of the like. We get the hint by your beard. You’re cooler than us. We get it. Now, please be quiet so I can come up with an idea that will make you cry.

3.) Only the team leader gets to cut someone off. 

We aren’t afraid to confront ideas that come to the table. But we also don’t get to be jerks. We are respectful of the people on the team. So we let them finish their idea before we jump in and change the subject. And just because the person takes a breath doesn’t mean they are finished. It is the responsibility of the leader to know the people on the team so they can silence the ones who talk too much and pull in the ones who talk too little.

4.) During brainstorming times, completion is not the goal – initiation of an idea is the goal. 

We aren’t trying to finish an idea during brainstorming. We are trying to find the best idea. My idea might initiate a better idea in your head. And your idea might initiate an even better idea in someone else’s head. So, we don’t stop and try to complete my idea. We don’t try to begin to implement my idea because I want my idea to win. When we are brainstorming, we are flooding the board with ideas in the hope that our idea might implement a coalition of creativity that truly expressed the creativity of the collected body of Christ.

5.) During implementation times of the meeting, financially responsible execution is the goal. It’s time to shut off the new ideas and implement the best idea you have. 

When you’re being creative, it’s hard to stop coming up with new ideas and get to work. This is a problem for creatives around the world. They never get started doing anything because as soon as they start, they have a newer and better idea. Creatives are awful for completing things.

Given the magnitude of the role of this team, (preparing experiences that prepare people), we don’t have the luxury of waiting until the absolute best idea comes along. Instead, we have the responsibility of implementing and executing the best idea we have. It’s not fair to those showing up on Sunday to drop the ball because we thought we had a better idea, and if we just had another week, we could make it happen.

Brainstorming Rules: If you need some good rules for brainstorming, make sure to check out the 10 commandments of brainstorming. 

 

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Posted on Nov 7, 2012 in Branding, Creativity, Graphic Design, Leadership

The Real Reason Barack Obama won in 2012 and 2008

For those of you hoping to find some kind of right-wing conspiracy, this will not be the post for you.

I don’t want to downplay the significance of what happened yesterday or what is going on in our country. There are serious issues that need serious answers. But, I just want to offer my perception on a big reason President Obama was re-elected.

It’s all about branding.

Before you close this tab and go back to your browsing, hear me out.

If I asked you to summarize the Obama campaign in one word, what would you say. And no, I don’t mean your interpretation of the campaign, I mean what they centered their campaign around. What would the word be? Chances are pretty good that we all know the answer. Forward.

Think about the news coverage you saw of the president on the campaign trail. You definitely saw people in the crowd holding up signs with Forward on it.

Now flip the question, what was the one word the Romney campaign used? What was their slogan? What signs were people at the campaign rallies holding up. Yes they have a cool logo, but it doesn’t really say anything. Other than that, you can’t really find the one thing they wanted people to remember and know about them.

And as simple as it sounds, I think that’s the reason Obama won. I know there are issues that people believe in and voted for yesterday. But, we live in a time where we buy the things that have the best, simplest, easiest to remember advertising. And people could easily remember the Obama campaign and what they were trying to communicate.

In fact, we all remember what they ran on in 2008. Hope. Change.

They had a message, and they stuck to it everywhere they went. I can’t think of anything that the McCain campaign ran

on. Yes, I could go look it up, but I shouldn’t need to. For a company that spends Billions of dollars on advertising over a 3-6 month period, we should be able to remember what their slogan was.

The Romney campaign changed their slogan and logo and look almost everywhere they went. They had Victory in Ohio, Believe in America, Real change – day one, Real Recovery, Victory in Florida, Victory in Iowa, We can’t afford four more years, Romney Plan, Putting Jobs first and more.

At the end of the day, for the millions of people who don’t get that involved in politics to try to discover what each candidate is all about, the most memorable campaign will win. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’m telling you, if the Romney Campaign were to have better branding, we’d probably be having a different discussion today.

 

 

 

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Posted on Jul 6, 2012 in Creativity, Leadership

16 quotes from Tribes

16 quotes from Tribes

Okay, I know most of you probably read this book a few years ago, but I’m just now getting to it. If you haven’t read it, here are a few quotes that might wet your appetite to go out and get it. (Tribes by Set Godin)

  1. “When you fall in love with ‘the system,’ you lose the ability to grow.”
  2. “Ordinary thinking and ordinary effort are almost never enough to generate leadership.”
  3. “The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail along the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success.”
  4. “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”
  5. “The organizations of the future are filled with smart, fast, flexible people on a mission”
  6. “Settling is no fun. It’s a malignant habit, a slippery slope that takes you to mediocrity. Managers settle all the time.”
  7. “What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism.”
  8. “The challenge for the leader is to help your tribe sing, whatever form that song takes.”
  9. “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”
  10. “Part of leadership is the ability to stick with the dream for a long time.”
  11. “Leaders understand that change is not only omnipresent, but the key to success.”
  12. “Great leaders embrace deviants by searching for them and catching them doing something right.”
  13. “(Real leaders) not only do not care about credit, you actually want other people to take credit….Credit isn’t the point.  Change is.”
  14. “Leaders create things that didn’t exist before.”
  15. “You can’t mange without knowledge.  You can’t lead without imagination.”
  16. “Leadership comes when your hope and your optimism are matched with a concrete vision of the future and a way to get there.”

Leadership is creative, and not always systematic. This should ring true in our hearts as creatives and leaders of creatives. If we’re doing what we believe in (do you believe in what you’re doing?) then, we have a picture – a dream – in our heads that we’re trying to lead people to. We aren’t afraid of failure, in fact we welcome it, because we feel we’re not trying hard enough or new enough if we’re not failing.

But failing doesn’t make us quit. Criticism doesn’t make us quit. We understand that change must happen if we’re going to move forward. And failure and critique can’t keep us from changing what we must to achieve what we dream.

We’re not doing this for us. We’re doing this for the future. We’re leading because we have a hope and a dream of how the world could be a better place. We want people to experience this world. We want people to know that the system they are maintaining isn’t good enough. It doesn’t have to be the same until they die. There’s so much more to life than the systems we get stuck in. We want to help people push the random button, and get off the repeat button. We want people to turn right who have been turning left. We want people to be upside down for a while. Not because we love change, but because we know that we grow when experience something different.

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Posted on Oct 25, 2011 in Creativity

Got Cliche?

Not too long ago, I was driving and saw a bumper sticker that was “borrowing” from the very popular “Got Milk” ad campaign. It said “Got Hope.” It was a political bumper sticker, and it drove me nuts.

Not because of the political agenda, but for two other reasons. The first being it was an idea that got burned into the ground a few years ago. The times are different, the message should be too. But the bigger reason it drove me nuts was that they were stealing the advertising campaign of a very notable company.

It got me thinking, why is it that when someone comes up with a good, creative idea – it must then be copied thousands of times over until it has lost all meaning? Inevitably, that once creative idea becomes…cliche. Click to read the definition of cliche.

So someone had a really creative idea, and it became popular because it was a really creative idea. Then the rest of us lazy folk, just rip off their idea and apply it to our use however we can. Sometimes for good, often times for marginally related events or content.

What I’m saying isn’t new. It’s been said a hundred times before. But it’s fresh on my mind. I’ve been reading “Culture Shift” by Robert Lewis & Wayne Cordiero, as well as “Addicted to Mediocrity” by Franky Schaeffer which both speak to this issue. Culture shift deals specifically with church programming and not taking a program from another church and cookie cutting at your church. Franky speaks more specifically about art, and not being afraid of it.

I’ll be the first to admit, if I see a good idea from another church, I want to use it right away. If I see a cool commercial or a good movie, I want to use the ideas in whatever way I can. Often times we do use it. Mostly out of necessity. When you have to have good creative ideas every week, it’s much easier if you can use others’ ideas and just implement them.

Here’s the whole point. Borrowing ideas from other churches is good, and I would often recommend it. However, if you want to be really great, then use the creativity that God has given you, and create something specific for your community. Sure, it may not be at the same level as what others are doing, but it will be relevant. And, in my experience, Relevance Trumps Quality. Quality is very important, but if the message connects with people, they can overlook quality. But, if the message doesn’t connect, or is too abstract, no amount of quality can speak the content that is missing.

God has planted each of us where we are because he wants to use us there. Let’s spend more time on the hard work of creating and less time copying.

If we’re the first ones to use and idea, we will never be cliche.

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