4 Lessons in Fatherhood From Doing Dirty Dishes

I was washing dishes early this morning while my precious kids were getting ready for home school and went to get some soap for my scrub pad.

There were not many dishes to do, however, the dispenser was running a little low on soap. So like many times before, I grabbed it with all my strength in one hand, and all the frenetic pressing power I could muster in the other hand and I frantically pressed the top of the dispenser hoping to affect the outcome of getting just enough soap for my sponge to finish the dishes.

C’mon now, admit it, you’ve been there too.

You know what I am talking about, when you think to yourself, “If I just press the daylights out of the top of this thing I can get what I need.” So press, press, press, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze…

Sometimes you get a little soap and sometimes you only get suds.

IMG_8833Today, all I got were suds.

Now as a father of 10 kids and us having to do dishes 3X’s per day I have to be BRUTALLY honest; The store bought refill was just below me, in the storage part of my sink, directly below my dirty dishes. But did I go for it? No. That’d take too much time. That would cause extra work and it’d also cause the possibility of a spill, even more work.

Press, press, press, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! C’mon! I know I can get a little more goo outta this dispenser!

Ugh! Just bubbles…

There I stood in my kitchen with the balance of the galaxy, space and time and all human knowledge right there in my hands; Keep pressing and squeezing till I was going to go crazy or to humbly submit that I really needed a refill of soap.

Hmmmmmm. What to do?

To the delight of many whom are reading this blog, I humbly submitted to refilling the soap dispenser from the ample soap supply from just below me. Now don’t laugh, but when I did, I thought I heard the sound of laughter. As a son, as a husband, as a father and as a leader I contend I heard God laughing at me – as only He could – to make a couple of points.

4 Lessons in Fatherhood I learned from doing dirty dishes:

  1. ADMIT THE OBVIOUS – As a Father I sometimes approach a situation KNOWING EXACTLY the outcome before lifting a finger (no joke intended). Yet, in my earthly power I try to affect the outcome otherwise. By my power, not resting in God’s truth or grace, I poo-poo the obvious and like pressing the daylights out of the soap dispenser, hoping for another outcome, I ignore the obvious. There are many obvious truths that stare me in the face all day long. As Father, when you’re facing any situation (which you know the obvious outcome too) admit it in advance. Save yourself, your family and your marriage the time and frustration.
  2. REACH DOWN DEEP AND GAIN AN OVERWHELMING SUPPLY – Remember, my added supply of dish detergent was right below me and I did not want to reach down for it. Psalm 42:7 (NIV) says, “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Meaning, the deepness of God calls you to a deeper place in Him. As a Father, if you’re doing shallow things (like me trying to get dishes done on the skimp) in an example like this, symbolically you can’t Hear God calling you to go deeper in Him. My submitting to the knowledge of dish detergent just within my reach, yet, balking at the chance to get for fear it would cause more work or to slow me down – was a spiritual indicator. I did not want to let the simple deep knowledge of God impact me. Go deep with God your father through simple truths and gain your overwhelming supply.
  3. GET THE RIGHT REFILL – I could have reached for something else on the counter (if I had it) and tried to make that work to get my dishes clean. I’ve done that before and it was not the right stuff. Yet in my stubbornness I kept plugging away. The Right refill was just below me and at my feet. When I grabbed it, though I spilled some, it was overwhelming how simple the decision to SUBMIT to God’s knowledge and use the right stuff to clean from the get-go. As a Father what are you refilling with? Baseball, Football, Golf, your job? What’s in you, that is the wrong refill that should your bride, your kids go to press you as a dispenser will come pouring out? If you’re not taking time with your Abba Father on-on-one, what comes spilling out might not get the job done.
  4. ENJOY THE SPILLS – As I went to refill the little dispenser, like I thought, there was a little spillage. I was dreading it in advance, but as it overflowed and I put the cap back on I snapped a picture of the soap running down and over my hand and onto the counter TO REMEMBER the supply, the overflow and the spillage of God’s love for me. His love spreads for me, cleanses me and is fragrant (way more than blue dish soap). What about you? As a Father are you allowing the spills to happen in your home? Or does everything have to be picture perfect? Take it from me, God can clean up your messes, let the spills happen.

IMG_8834Today’s morning dishes were the most meaningful dishes I’ve done in a long time. Providing lessons in Fatherhood for a good long time.

My prayer is that as a father you not spiritually do what I physically did with the soap dispenser. Submit to the simple knowledge of God being your supply, rely on Him daily as your refill – and make sure – that when you are pressed for supply people get God’s soap and not your flimsy suds.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NASB)

Think about it…


A Fathers Embrace

The Power of a Fathers Embrace – Start Now

I want to tell you a story. A deeply personal story.

I grew up in a home in West St. Louis County. Ballwin as a matter of fact. There I spent several formative years on good ole Churchill Lane with other kids my age, the perfect public school environment and a set of parents who deeply loved me.

From the age of six and a half till I was just about thirteen years old I lived in a little three bedroom home that was a developmental sanctuary. One of the most development elements I can remember as a young boy was the nightly routine my father brought into my room when it was time to go to bed.

As I was going to bed and the lights were going down my father sat on the side of my bed and asked me how my day went. Good or bad I’d tell him. Then he would tell me he loved me and I’d respond in one-accord the affirmative, “I love you too Dad”. From there he’d pretend to get up, waiting for me to squeal and assertively tell him not to tickle me. After I thought I’d pulled it off in telling him not to tickle me, he’d turn to me ever so coy and would begin tickling the daylights outta me.

Howls and screams would abound. I was wiggling and he was tickling. A joyous ruckus for the ages. The images lovingly etched in my heart.

Then I matured. Got a deeper voice. Grew taller and gained muscle.

I can remember being on a basketball team as I was becoming a man. Somewhere between 12-13 years of age, sinking a winning shot at the end of the game and remember running clear across the court to jump into the arms of my dad. I must have cleared 10-12 chairs in my leap and looked like a flying squid to him. For all I can remember is my Father standing there like a chiseled statue. He did not move, he did not say anything and he sure did not say, “I love you”.

It was painful climbing down off of him. Something changed. The same dad I remember tickling me till I turned blue was not engaging me on any level. I was shocked.

A separation began between me and my Father. For the next thirty-three years I did everything I could to hear those three little words again from my dad.

I starred in school plays, joined several performing choirs, was an athlete in every year of high school, delivered signing telegrams, became a star sales person and won awards at every sales position I had and even went into full-time ministry thinking my performance at one time would ‘nudge’ my dad to say “I love you”. But none of it impacted him like I wanted and I could net get him to respond like I wanted.

Then in November of 2012 I hosted a banquet for a ministry I lead. The speaker was John Fuller from Focus on the Family and he gave a masterful presentation on the Prodigal Son. As only John could do, he turned the subject into the Forgiving Father. For twenty-five minutes he kept us spell bound listening to him as he transparently spoke about being a father of rules, a father of discipline. How he as a dad had blown it at times and how, now, well on into his years as a dad he realized so much more about grace. Using the backdrop of the Forgiving Father ~and not~ focusing on the prodigal son John sweetly demonstrated the Father’s love for us.

My dad was in the audience hearing this, some thirty feet away from John. As soon as John was done speaking it was my turn. I reminded the guests of all the wonderful things happening with our work, the reason they were there and how they could support our calling. When I was done I quietly made my way to my table.

My dad sprang from his chair, came directly over to me and knocked me off my feet. He:

  • …told me I did a great job.
  • …told me he was proud of me.
  • …said, “I love you”.
  • …gave me a great bear hug.

All I can tell you is this: That single embrace and personal encounter taught me more than any sermon, any Christian broadcast or real world example of love by my bride and children ten-fold. For a longing in my heart to hear my Father say, “I love you” – a yearning to feel my dads embrace and – a hunger to know he appreciated me as father-to-son were fulfilled.

It’s the same for every child born today. I’m not special, I’m not unique. I’m not in this thing all alone.

More than 2.5 million men ages 15-24 are going to become fathers this year – and the lions share – have or never will experience the power of a fathers embrace like I have. They will never know the restorative healing power of a fathers touch, and as such, not know how to embrace their children.

As a Father, you can help break that cycle.

Here are 3 ideas you can try, right now, and break the curse of an untouched child:

  1. Start early and often – They’re easy to hold when they are little. Kiss them, hug them and embrace them appropriately ALL the years they grow in your house. (Yes, I still hug and kiss my 17 year old son, who lets me, in front of his family and peers)
  2. Say what was not said to you – A good number of you reading this were not told, “I Love you” often or maybe at all. Deep down, you know you want it said to you. Well if you want it said to you, think of how much more your precious kids want it from you. Break the barrier, if you’ve got God’s love, give it away (WITH YOUR MOUTH) often and without fear.
  3. Turn around and make it right – Those times you want to walk away mad knowing in your heart you should be doing something else with your child to make it right – well dummy – that’s the Holy Spirit bonking your noggin. Take His cue. Turn around and make it right. Your transparent repentance before your child will build them up, help dirve down the temptation for them to lie to you and keep them from seeking some one else’s approval at any cost.

It took my dad 33 years to return to a place he and I were comfortable with. As a result, my dad, well into his 70’s and I talk on the phone more than 2X’s per week and get together when we can having a blast talking and loving one another. A great healing and acceleration of our relationship has occurred.

Can you imagine if something had happened where my father would have been taken from me – before – he could do this?

Now imagine that in your life.

Now imagine that in 2.5 million guys ages 15-24 becoming father’s this year.

As a man, start embracing your children and defeat the enemy of God – TODAY.

fatherhood quiz

Friday Afternoon Fatherhood Quiz

It’s Friday afternoon.

Sure, you could be filing that report your boss wants, however, you’re here on the web with us. Why not take our Friday Afternoon Fatherhood Quiz and see if you’ve got what it takes.

The winner will be heralded on the AFGL FB page Friday night and Saturday morning. Surely 13.5 minutes of fame.

REMEMBER: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Enjoy this day.



Dear Dads – Say “YES” To The Mess

If you’re a Dad, say “YES” to the MESS.

WARNING – this is not the normal post of a ministry leader, husband, father or friend. Better yet, it might not be considered the normal posting of a “guys” guy. For some, this post may become incredibly uncomfortable to read. Dare I say, some of you may sense I’m in touch with my feminine side a little more than usual. Don’t go there. As a man I openly challenge you to read this.

Let me begin…

My home is NOW a glorious mess.

Yet it wasn’t that way for all twenty-six years of my parenting.

I’m the father of six girls and four boys. As well, I have two wonderful grandchildren. With all of our activity my home puts Grand Central Station to shame. Shoes flying, dishes piling and Legos scattered, my home is in constant motion.

I’ll tell you that on our best days, I mean our very best days, my home is 50% clean. Even our best ‘mother -in-law cleaning’ or the ‘relatives will be here in an hour cleaning’, all of it, with the most earnest of scrubby-dutch cleaning we could ever muster realistically get’s us only halfway there. Come to think of it, please, don’t go in my storage room downstairs, alright?

You’d think with eight of my children still at home (all fully graduated and functioning bipeds) having a designated set of after meal jobs neatly posted on the refrigerator with a mother and father who lead them 2-3 times a day to get the house clean, it would be impeccably clean. Right? Trust me, it’s not, not even close.

Why just this week had our pastor and his bride over for dinner (with eight of their own children) and sitting in our living room he said, “I can’t tell you how comfortable I am sitting here and seeing that marker drawing on the wall. It let’s me know we’re ok cause we have that too.” I kindly acknowledged him, yet did not have the heart to tell him it’d been there for two years…

You see, I grew up in a home with a mother, father and one brother of solid German and Polish heritage and “messy” was never an issue. For us, cleanliness was like breathing. As I reflect back on my youth I can see it was rather easy to keep things clean with the way our lives were lived. So for me, I was conditioned to a clean environment, a way to live comfortably. It was the norm.

That all changed when I became a father for the first time and ever since. My bride Heidi (who I am so thankful for) in the first years of our marriage helped lead us in keeping a clean home. For the first seven years of being a parent with only two precious girls as children, for us, a clean home was eazee-peezee. Then we gave God control of our family size and came the third child, the fourth and so on. Not to mention we also started homeschooling. At some point, I can’t tell you when, cleanliness (I mean tidy) went out the door.

Yet, I was still in the world of being clean. So when stuff piled up, only to get done when somebody had to do it, I started to get frustrated and angry.

That all changed this last December…

For a little over a year Heidi and I attended a small group at our church. With five other couples, once a week we broke bread, did bible study and shared some of the most transparent and vulnerable details of how we were struggling and growing in our faith with God.

One couple, Maurice and Lauren, were people we’d know for years, yet got to experience this intimate journey with in that same time. They have two precious children. Their son WeeMo (Maurice Jr.) however was suffering from brain cancer for a second time. Little WeeMo was the most tender, loving, and evangelical little soul. He knew his Lord and knew him very well.

Unfortunately, last December WeeMo lost his battle with cancer and passed away.

As part of their small group and growing in friendship Heidi and I then prepared to go to the funeral which was on a Saturday. The night before was what we call “Friday Night – Family Fun Night” a time when we kick back at home with movies, garbage food and staying up way too late with our peeps.

After a night of letting loose, over-eating and letting my hair down to play with my kiddos I got up as early as I could the next morning. I showered up and headed to the other side of the house to iron my shirt and suit pants. On my way over there were toys all over the floor, I saw unfinished food scattered on paper plates on the table and kitchen counter. I felt the house was trashed and strategically I had to clear a spot just to iron my clothes. Then something in me started to take hold which wasn’t pure. I started to become angry by all of what I saw. In my head and openly with my mouth I became harsh and sarcastic to my bride and children.

We then went to the funeral and I can clearly remember for the first 40 minutes, I was still peeved about leaving a messy home. A messy home that I’d have to return to to clean. Heidi and I sat down in one of the mid to back rows. Fatefully I remember having a clear shot seeing Maurice and Lauren in the front row. As the service took place I was overwhelmed watching the two of them look directly into the casket with their son WeeMo. It was then that an overpowering thought consumed me; “I bet there is one of Weemo’s favorite dishes in the dishwasher right now. His mom Lauren is never going to get to wash it just for him again. Why I bet there is even some of Weemo’s clothes in a hamper, the washer or even the dryer too. Neither of them will ever get to wash those just for him again.”

Then like a ton of bricks it really-really hit me. “I’ll go one wager more. I’d be willing bet there are some of Weemo’s toys and belongings scattered around their home that they’re going to have to pick up after this is all done. Maybe there’s even a mess he’s made that they have still yet to take care of.”

In the illustrious words of Dom Delouise I heard an audible, “Oooooooof” in my very soul.

As only God could get my attention, through Maurice and Lauren’s grief God pointed me back to the mess at my own home. He let me know in clear and vivid terms, that if there is a mess – somebody made the mess – as His son I should ultimately be thankful for ALL the messes in my life.

Crushed by this revelation I looked back at all my anger over the years for the times I’d been a jerk wanting a clean home when I thought it was messy. In my mind I recounted the times I’d lost my cool when I wanted it clean. The list of times I’d blown it was numerous. I recounted ways I’d lost it, blown it or made others feel totally useless when it wasn’t going my way and when people (including me) weren’t getting er’ done to have a tidier home to live.

Sitting there silently, I openly wept for my friends who were never going to have another chance to deal with WeeMo’s dishes, laundry or an occasional mess. I then wept over my own sin for wanting things clean and tidy more than the value I had shown as a husband and father to impact my family’s hearts through joy. I cried thinking how much I seriously valued my anger. I was shown how much Icherished my anger and fed it like an invisible pet on a chain.

With the sweet release that only God could deliver through WeeMo’s funeral I then leaned over to Heidi as she sat next to me and whispered in her ear, “I no longer mind the messes in our home.” I can remember her quick puzzled look she shot back at me. So to ease her mind I followed up with, “Because honey, if there is a mess that means somebody made the mess and I love the mess-makers in my life. I don’t know what I’d do without them.” She kissed me and squeezed my hand.

Today I openly embrace the messes in my life and am grateful for them.

So Dear Dads, say “YES” to the MESS.





Community Effect – A Father Rises Up

In 2005 the Pregnancy Care Center of Springfield Missouri made a bold move to depart from the norm. That is, after serving women in unexpected pregnancy for so many years, the staff, volunteers and board of directors came to the conclusion that men ned to be served as well.

As a team they realized that by serving women only, while their work was noble, it was incomplete. Serving women only, they were actually increasing the number of single moms released back into the world – and that families – took priority.

Following the leadership of Cindi Boston, executive director, a team of men came together, prayed, strategized and went about the work of reaching men, the other half of the pregnancy equation. Cindi’s leadership was paramount to the teams success as she simply called the men forward and let them build the infrastructure and planning, to succeed or fail.

And succeed they have. Now almost nine years later the organization purposefully reaches men in unexpected pregnancy and offers them fatherhood courses, resources and the tools to be great Dads. The letter below is from Garrett, the young man pictured in this blog who went on to become a mentor at the PCC of Springfield.

“I’m a 22 year old father of a 4, going on 5 year old girl and an almost 3 year old boy. I was only 17 when Emma was born in March of 2010, finishing up my senior year of high school. Honestly, the odds were against me and Ahna. We were just 2 high-schoolers getting ready to have a baby. We had no “adult” jobs, a place of our own, and absolutely no experience dealing with babies!

We were terrified when we first found out, and many tears were shed. I even thought of checking out, to let her deal with this all by herself while I went and did my thing.

Then I met Max a mentor at the PCC of Springfield and everything changed. My fears were eliminated as I had a guy to answer my questions. Trust me, I had tough questions. Max let me know I could handle this. You know, he was even available to take my calls in the middle of the night.

I’m not going to lie to you or sugar coat this; our pregnancy and how we handled it was difficult at times. Yet, with a little help, we always got through the hard times and bettered ourselves from them.

Being a biological father is easy and anybody can do it. Yet, being a good Dad is something you have to really work at, and it’s very rewarding. I have to also admit, I’m not a perfect Dad by any means; I still make mistakes and learn from them. Hearing my daughter tell me “You’re the best dad ever!” melts my heart and puts a smile on my face. Seriously, I wouldn’t trade being a Dad for anything.

You and I are needed as a Dads. We have a purpose for raising our children and being their role model to them. Even if you don’t know anything about fatherhood, or babies for that matter, you can do it. Just believe in yourself and understand that there will be mistakes and probably some poor choices along the way, but learn from them and improve yourself. There is no greater love than a Fathers love for his children.”

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts…” Acts 2:42-47


Try This – I’m Proud of You

I can remember it like it was yesterday. The day in which I told my parents the girl I’d been with for the past few months was pregnant.

Undoubtedly disappointed, my folks were heartbroken. Yet, the one thing I can plainly remember in spite of my misstep was that neither of them got so cross with me they would have ever needed to seek my forgiveness for their anger.

This was huge.

It’s as if they’d already forgiven me before I told them a single thing. That in spite of my misstep they were saying internally, “I’m proud of you” for confessing my mistake.

Already trembling in fear of disappointing them, my parents loving response was paramount to my success in handling the situation and making wise choices. As a parent, should your son ever tell you, “She’s pregnant”, prepare yourself to NOT get angry. Don’t go there. An angry response will crush a young mans spirit more than anything.

Here are three of the most unique ways you can hope for the best and prepare for the unexpected:

  1. Accidents Happen, So Practice – My second oldest daughter wrecked a car I was very fond of. Calling me just moments after the accident happened shakably she said, “Daddy I wrecked the car!” My response was automatic, “Are you ok? Where are you at? What’s happening? I am on my way.” I grabbed my keys and immediately felt my pulse. It did not even rise. I went to see her and all I could think about all on the ride there was my girlee. We met at the accident site and she came over crying, ashamed and embarrassed. I’d practiced this moment in my mind hundreds of times and as a result, was calmly prepared. Hugging her I let her know she was more important than a car, and truthfully, I know I took care of getting the car towed, but can’t remember it. Accidents happen, so practice your response several times over to any/all unexpected news a child could bring. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. Mentally Count to 10 – As for me, anger is an easy response. Like breathing, anger unfortunately comes natural for me. As best as I try it is usually a default response when I’m in a position of fear or unknowing. Like preparing yourself to have response for multiple situations, I’ve learned that in addition to having a prepared response literally counting to 10 helps limit my emotions. Yes, that’s right, find a way to count to 10. You’ll be amazed what introducing a dramatic pause will cause in the both of you.
  3. Find a Comfortable Place to Speak – As parents we’ve all be there as former children. The grilling table, the office of inquisition or the kitchen table of shame. When we did something wrong and our parents need to address our transgressions. What about your son? Where’s his most comfortable place to hang out in your home? Most likely – it’s his room. What takes a close second? What part of the home is a place he feels most comfortable in? Go there. Even if it’s uncomfortable for you, make the effort to bridge the communication gap. A comfortable place to talk might even be outside the home.  Pay attention to the non-verbal cues your son is sending by finding places of interest where he’ll open up.


These three small steps are all designed to lead you one step above your natural human response. To help you be prepared for bad news. Preparing your heart and mind for unexpected news will go a great way in reducing anger and frustration. These moves will help clear a path to communicate and focus on the most important thing – that you’re proud of your son for so much more.

Remember Mr. Rogers and his show, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood”? From the book, “I’m Proud of You” by Tim Madigan,

“At Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA Mister Rogers studied systematic theology with Dr. William S. Orr. “From then on I took everything he offered; it could have been underwater basket weaving.

“He was a great influence on many of our lives. Not just because he was brilliant,” he says. “He was the kind of person who would go out on a winter’s day for lunch and come back without his overcoat.

“I studied Greek with him and then I studied New Testament with him. Every Sunday, my wife and I used to go to the nursing home to visit him. One Sunday we had just sung ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God’ and I was full of this one verse. I said, ‘Dr. Orr, we just sang this hymn and I’ve got to ask you about part of it.

“‘You know where it says-The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him. For, lo, his doom is sure …. one little word will fell him? Dr. Orr, what is that one thing that would wipe out evil?’

“He said, ‘Evil simply disintegrates in the presence of forgiveness. When you look with accusing eyes at your neighbor, that is what evil would want, because the more the accuser’-which, of course, is the word Satan in Hebrew-‘can spread the accusing spirit, the greater evil spreads.’ Dr. Orr said, ‘On the other hand, if you can look with the eyes of the Advocate on your neighbor, those are the eyes of Jesus.’

“I’ve never forgotten that.”

Neither will your son when he has parents prepared to come along side of him when it counts. Especially ones that let him know they are proud of him – regardless his mistakes.





The 5 C’s of Effective Public Speaking

Today there is a great demand to hire the right employee for the right job at the right time. In so doing a number of employers go to great lengths to identify the best potential candidates through a filter of the 4 C’s.

The 4 C’s are:

  • Character
  • Competence
  • Chemistry
  • Culture


Like four points of a diamond each of the 4 C’s, when drilled down and understood, present a picture of each potential hiring candidate. A tool to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Similarly, when looking for a candidate to provide public speaking to raise awareness, raise funds, or propel organizations forward the 4 C’s (plus the additional 5th C) are sought after when selecting a speaker for your event or conference.

CHARACTER – So many times a persons resumé looks incredible.  As if instantly you’re compelled to say, “This speaker would be amazing!” To your group the person looks like a super star, and so you book them. Unfortunately you discover that they act like a super star. They’re demanding and many times believe they’re above task of getting to know the heart of your cause. As a result of their incredible talents they are detached. Been there, done that? It’s is a serious character issue that will cause many a problem.

COMPETENCE – For speakers to “Have Knowledge” of your organization, it’s ups and downs, along with your goals is standard. Yet amongst the 5C’s, competence is the least important. Bringing on a speaker less qualified to your specific cause or organization comes lower down the list than the ability to fit your culture, demonstrate great chemistry, and show solid character (along with the 5th C). Sometimes the most exceptionally competent speaker is a lone wolf. Which if left to itself, causes distance.

CHEMISTRY – Often this trait is confused with Culture. Most of us spend a significant portion of our lives working. Regardless how well communication goes when selecting a speaker (whether internally with your group or externally with the person or organization you select) there bound to be disagreements. Yet when good chemistry develops among your team members, speaker or the organization, these disagreements are handled maturely. Give the speaker some time to interact with others on your team. See how they handle themselves with issues you disagree on but could possibly work through. See if there is a chemistry bond with all.

CULTURE – Most cause based ministries and organizations know their culture. They know the tone they set through their vision and mission.  There are plenty of questions you can ask a potential speaker that will show insight into their perspectives. Good questions can help you understand if there will be a fit with your culture for the speaker and your organization. Keep in mind within organizations there are additional sub-cultures as well. From the board, staff and volunteers – all have a perspective. Be aware of this. Talk with leaders in each area and make sure you’re on the same page.

<<DRUMROLL>> – The 5th C is…

CARING – Past the 4 C’s the fifth and final element a potential speaker must possess is the ability to care. As a true combination of all four previous elements caring demonstrates empathy. Caring is a quality that you, your board, your staff, volunteers and partners will be able to sniff a mile away. Discover what a speaker does in their work life and personal life. Do they demonstrate that they care? If so, this quality will be felt by all and prove to be the connecting glue to inspirational speaking and leading.

So there you have it, the 5 C’s of effective speaking; the additional benchmark to use when selecting an effective speaker.



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