Thursday, January 02, 2014

A blog post from a current infuser...

Here's what one of my current Infusers Susan Wanderer posted on her blog. This is what Infuse is all about! (And yes there is still room in both groups for 2014)

Imagine you are called out... called out on your junk... the junk you don't do well at all. Your weakness, your frailty, the places you feel most bare and vulnerable.
You know, the areas you love to talk about and brag on... the highlight of your life. Your great-play reel. (Pardon the sarcasm.)

I was called out on my junk... By the Patriarch in my field of employment.
I've read his books, seen him speak at conferences and respected the inspiring way He leads. It's obvious why this was truly the best-day-of-my-life. I was even wondering why I didn't buy a round of tequila for everyone (except for the fact that I don't drink tequila)... i'll choose a round of Georgetown Cupcakes instead! (which is actually part of the problem in itself)

Here is the story
This year, I participated in a 6 month coaching and mentor experience called Infuse. As a part of Infuse, we attend 2 retreats.

Our first retreat was made up of 26 Kids Ministers from all over the country. Jim Wideman was our incredibly kind & gracious host. For two solid days we were allowed to soak up the wisdom of this Kids-Ministry-Legend and his 40 years of ministry experience. We asked question after question after question to our mentor, who we all deeply admire so much. He never tired of the machine-gun style questioning. Jim always answered in his southern-drawl with honesty, deep sincerity... and a dash of wit & humor. Then the final question came before lunch... One of the men asked "What can we do to be better leaders?"
I grabbed my pen, in anticipation for what I was about to hear... I was sure he was going to explain the greatest leadership secret of ALL TIME. Something that would propel my leadership to heights unknown!
Here is how Jim responded:
You will be a better leader and people will respond to you better if you:
1. follow through
2. drop the weightWait, what?! Follow-Thru & Drop-Weight.
Seriously? This is the answer?
Two solutions... And they both stung...
1. Follow Thru... as in, I Don't.
Really, I am truly awful at this. My personality is bent towards ideation and creativity. I am a dreamer. Much to my delight and dismay, I spend much of the 24 hours I am given each day, dreaming of new ideas: for work, for my family, for any situation I see.... I dream.While it is exciting to be an ideator... it is also frustrating.
I absolutely, 100%, don't see details (if you say that with the voice of the sixth-sense guy, it sounds more daunting: I don't see details). It's maddening.
Thus, I have a horrible, bad habit of: Follow-Thru-Falling-Thru-The-Cracks.
It's one of my least favorite qualities about myself... And it was just pointed out. Joy.
2. Drop the Weight
At first I didn't think I heard Jim correctly... so I asked the guy next to me to repeat it... Which was awkward in itself... Simply because he was....
...the SKINNIEST-MAN-EVER. So I, the largest-woman-in-the-room ask the skinniest-man-ever to repeat what Jim just said. With the amount of non-eye-contact my fellow kids minister was giving me I then realized I had heard correctly.

I think Jim felt the need to rescue the skinny boy answering the fat girl's question so he repeated: DROP THE L-B-S. It was as if I entered a movie... it sounded like he said it in a really low tone and in s-l-o-w-m-o-t-i-o-n. I heard it very well this time.

And my heart sank. To a deep pit. The main thing I have struggled with since childhood had been said. The. Main. Thing.
I met up with a dear Nashville-friend of mine before my flight out the next morning. My eyes were burning with tears as I re-told the follow-thru & weight story of my weekend.
Tackling those two areas is like trying to undo 40 years of habits, bad choices & mind sets. It's not: Good morning! Lets drop some weight today! (Although, I do say that EVER SINGLE DAY to myself).

After the last several months of reflection, prayer, Bible Study & talking with confidants... I realize I have GOT to formulate a plan. I have GOT to live in obedience & freedom.
I have two choices:
1. Change. Put a plan in place. Allow God to be strong in my weakness. Do the hard work. Watch God move in Supernatural ways.
2. Stay the same. And in one year... I could have the grand opportunity to be more unorganized with follow through & even heavier than I am now.
So, 2014 MUST look differently.
I am putting a plan together... Praying I will actually follow-thru...
I'm a BIG talker... It's time to be a responder.

Thank you, Jim Wideman. Even when the truth hurts, you say it. Your heart is genuine. I am grateful for Infuse & for your ministry... for your honesty, passion for people & dedication to the Kingdom. The weekend spent at Infuse was a turning point for me. 2014 is going to be challenging... So Thankful God is strong.

I am so proud of Susan! It is the greatest honor of my life to do infuse. The next group Infuse 8 starts March 2014 the next one Infuse 9 starts September 2014. I'd love to have you be a part of infuse if you are serious about seeing real change in you!
What are you waiting for? Let 2014 be a year of no excuses!


  1. Brother Jim, Thanks for thanks for sharing this. What you could not have know is that these two things are my biggest struggles. You once I nvited me to be a part of this very Infuse group. Had I accepted I would have been sitting in that very room. However, at that time I had to decline. Despite this, I frank God for speaking to me through you, again.

    I assume you will be at the Orange Conference. I look forward to seeing you there.

  2. Hope to see you at CPC I'll be at both speaking for Orange. Thanks so much.
    Let's talk about infuse.

  3. Man, I would love to see you there. But, I'm probably not gonna be there. Couldn't afford CPC and Orange. I do live near by though, so don't too surprised if you see me.