1. Safer church workplaces. "Regular training in safety and health must be incorporated into regular job practices. These general principles can be readily adapted to a church environment:
- The pastor and property committee must commit to a program of increased safety and develop enthusiasm for the effort through communication with the congregation;
- Church leaders should regularly inspect the church grounds and buildings, identifying hazards and items that need fixing. Is the railing on the balcony loose? How old is the stepladder used by the custodial staff? This is an opportunity to do something about all those low-priority maintenance projects that never seem to get done;
- The staff can be trained to look for potential problems and report them to the property committee as soon as possible"
("Safety First at Church," by Stephen Chawaga, Understanding Labor Laws).
2. Better meeting agendas. "Allow for the team to give input on future agendas. This means that 'today's agenda' has their fingerprints on it. For leadership meetings, set agenda items that are not tactical or maintenance work—defer these to individuals or sub-teams. If the meeting is of a tactical team, then stay on tactics. The agenda should mirror the purpose of the team. As the moderator of the meeting, you have the final say on the agenda. With that honor comes the responsibility of a well-planned meeting. Circulate the agenda 48 hours in advance" ("7 Keys Principles for Leading a Meeting," by David Fletcher, xpastor.org). XPastor's XP-Seminar is February 17 and 18 in Dallas.
3. "Righting" writing errors. "People judge you by your writing, so getting a word wrong can make you look bad. Be sure to avoid these common writing errors in your next email:
- Affect/Effect: Affect is a verb; effect is a noun. It affected him. The effect was startling.
- All Right/Alright: Although alright is gaining ground, the correct choice is still all right.
- A Lot: A lot is two words, not one. Allot means "to parcel out."
- Between You and I: Nope. Between you and me is the correct phrase.
- Complement/Compliment: Things that work well together complement each other. Compliments are a form of praise.
- Farther/Further: Farther is for physical distance; further is for metaphorical distance. How much farther? Our plan can't go any further.
- Lay/Lie: Subjects lie down; objects are laid down. He should lie down. Lay the reports there.
And remember: If you're unsure about a word, just write the sentence another way" ("A Quick Guide to Avoiding Common Writing Errors," by Mignon Fogarty, hbr.org).
4. Notable quote. "It's wonderful to be a multi-faceted leader. Your organization will benefit from your gifts and you will be held in high regard. But often, the line between 'he can do anything' to 'he does everything' is quite narrow. When a leader crosses that line, his or her talents can become impediments to organizational health and to their own success." —Mike Bonem ("Anything or Everything," by Mike Bonem, MikeBonem).
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