Unanimous Church Leadership

Pastor Andy Stanley and author Jim Collins debate church leadership with some interesting comments on the spirituality of leadership. But what’s even more interesting is their agreement on the perils of unamimous church leadership:

Both men agreed on the dangers of unanimity. While it’s often posited as evidence of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, Stanley warned his own elders against requiring 100 percent agreement on big decisions. “It sounds so spiritual, but… I knew it would’ve been the worst possible thing we could do.”

Collins concurs: “I’ve never found an important decision made by a great organization that was made at a point of unanimity. Significant decisions carry risks and inevitably some will oppose it. In these settings, the greatest legislative leader must be artful in handling uncomfortable decisions, and this requires rigor.”

Interesting comments in the light of my own church’s struggles in the aftermath of the Episcopal Church’s 2003 General Convention where a gay bishop was elected. My church has a unanimous leadership model which has effectively taken us nowhere on this issue.

Club Libby Lu: Connect the Dots

You want a sign of the apocalypse? How about Club Libby Lu? The Washington Post does a story on it that should send every parent screaming. Little girls dress up like Britney Spears–complete with tube tops, low-rise pants and lots and lots of glitter–while mom and dad foot the bill. I’ve seen the glittered girls at the Mall of America, but it’s even freakier to read the details.

You can connect your own dots to Victoria’s Secret.

Telling People How to Use Flickr

So Flickr–the photo-sharing web 2.0 darling that was snatched up by Yahoo! and made its mark as a site driven by a 2.5 million member community–is telling its members how to use its service:

Flickr is a website for you to use to share your photos. If the images you’re uploading either (i) aren’t photos, or (ii) are images you’ve ‘borrowed’, stock photos, celebrity photos, stuff that appears to be copyrighted by someone else, screenshots, porn or nudity/partial nudity, it’s safe to assume that we will probably have marked you as NIPSA (Not In Public Site Areas). (from their FAQ)

So if you upload images that aren’t photos, like screenshots, art, diagrams or examples of design you’re hoping to get feedback on, your account could be marked NIPSA, and then your photos won’t show up in public areas of the site, meaning you’ll be invisible in Flickr Groups (unless the user is signed in), Flickr badges and RSS feeds. That becomes a big deal when you’re trying to promote said group and people can only see 15 photos instead of 60.

If you’re a company powered by the people, and people have found a neat way to use your system that doesn’t detract from other uses, what’s the problem? Why discourage it? I’m not the only one who has asked this question. And so far Flickr seems to continually come back with the answer that Flickr is a photo-sharing site. So bugger off. Granted they’re not banning not-photo uses of Flickr, but they’re not making it easy to use Flickr for non-photo images.

2006 Mazda5

2006 Mazda5 Strato Blue SportWe bought a new car yesterday. It’s the 2006 Mazda5 I’ve been talking about for months, a six passenger mini-minivan of sorts. Last night we traded in our Jetta–even got to watch the dealer driving it away from us (sniff, sniff)–and came home with the 5. Of course it was dark out, so I couldn’t take any pictures. But that’s OK, because then I could justify a donut run this morning.

I’m sure I’ll be going on and on in later entries about how cool my new car is, so I’ll cut it short for now–except for this: Later today Abby and Lexi are going out with another friend and her young baby, and they’ll both be able to ride in one car. What a concept.

iPod Car Stereo Hook Ups?

OK, so I’ll be picking up a new car in less than two hours, one that does not have a cassette tape player (while I like that my 2002 Jetta still had a tape player, how 1984 is that?). Which means my cassette adapter is useless and I can’t play my iPod in the car without some new gadget.

So who has advice on the best way to do it? FM transmitters? Seems like they have questionable quality and are pricey for what you get. iPod car stereo adapters? Even pricier (I could buy a new iPod for that!?) and the installation could be a nightmare.

I’d love to hear how you do it. And no, my fancy new car doesn’t have a stereo input, as much as I wish it did. One of these days car manufacturers will learn (some already have), just not soon enough for me.

Sponsor my Dogs for Bark in the Park

Speak welcomes the neglecterino Mazie home for the first time.My wife is a dog freak. I knew she liked dogs when I married her, but I think I underestimated the dog person quotient. I’m the person whose number one rule when looking for a dog was that it can’t eat me, which is a sliding scale. I don’t think Speak could ever eat me, but given the right chance I bet Mazie could polish me off. Trust me, I’ve seen her eat.

So my wife likes dogs. She trains dogs part time and after much cajoling and convincing of this former cat person, we now own two dogs. One of which was an unwanted rescue, dropped off at the doorstep of a shelter in a rubbermaid container with her mom and four siblings. Mazie is our little neglecterino and we took her in and gave her a good home.

I tell you all this because Abby is taking Speak and Mazie on the 2006 Bark in the Park dog walk to raise money for the Humane Society. She did it last year when Mazie was just a puppy and she’s doing it again this year. The money goes to help care for abandonded animals like Mazie, to clean them up and find them a good home.

I know they’re just animals, and in light of great human catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami this seems like a minor cause, but I think it’s still important. How we care for animals says something about our character.

So if you have a few extra bucks I hope you’ll consider supporting Speak, Mazie and my wife Abby in the 2006 Bark in the Park.

Joining the Netflix Crowd

About a month ago we caved in and signed up for Netflix, the home delivery DVD rental company. For less than $20 a month we can have three DVDs at a time with unlimited rentals. We’re finally able to watch all the movies we never get around to renting. So far we’ve seen The Gospel, Rent, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity, Batman Begins, Robin Hood, Batteries Not Included, Ice Princess, The Island, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Four, Robots and tonight we’ll sit down to watch National Treasure.

We would have racked up some more but friends let us borrow season one of Veronica Mars, so we’re half way through that. Upcoming rentals include plenty more popcorn movies a few obscure titles and some TV shows on DVD, like Thundercats and a few shows you can only get if you have real cable.

So far I love it. We’re not restricted to the video store’s selection, so we can get all kinds of obscure stuff. They’ve also got every TV show on DVD, which is a great way to check out new shows without having to put down loads of cash for the DVD set or commit to watching at a set time. It worked great to have something new to watch on the plane for my recent business trip. And as long as we go through three or four movies per month it’s still cheaper than the video store. I imagine the only downside is that it encourages even more TV watching. But we watch enough already, so I don’t think it’s making us watch that much more. We already had an addiction.

A Man Day

Today was about being a man. My wife called today a grown up day, but for me it was a man day. We started off by going out and buying a new car. Well, we didn’t actually sign the papers yet, but we probably will on Monday. So I bought a car.

Then I came home and took apart my clogged drain. Our drain has always been pretty temperamental and a few shots of Drano usually does the trick. But lately it’s been slower than normal and you’ll still find standing water in the sink half an hour after washing your hands. So I took out the drain trap and stopper thing and cleaned everything out. Nothing was completely clogged, but there was a lot of gunk in there. Now it’s free flowing. Yeah.

Both very manly things to do. I think tonight I might watch some movie about action and blowing stuff up. Yeah.