Clad in blue jeans, loafers, and a casual shirt, Tony Morgan stood before a predominantly young crowd of church leaders, both men and women. It was clearly a high-tech crowd with laptops and phones at the ready. Thumbs were flying as participants took notes, and the host pastor kept up a steady stream of tweets throughout the morning.
As Morgan stood to speak, he opened a simple black notebook - the kind you write in with a pen, not the kind you type on. No powerpoint. No projector. No clicker. No bells, whistles, or gadgets. Not even handouts.
"I encourage you to take notes," he says, as he prepares to speak. Morgan's style and pointers reflected the "simplicity" themes expressed in the titles of his other books, Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers, and Simply Strategic Growth. Killing Cockroaches draws its title from a personal experience Tony shared. As a high-level manager, Tony was once called away from his desk by a hysterical co-worker who demanded that he kill a cockroach for (yes, a woman, I am sad to say) her. While that particular instance in his life has not been repeated, "killing cockroaches" has become a metaphor for what some would call the "tyranny of the urgent" -- those things that keep jumping out of the bushes at us, demanding our immediate response, and eating up time and energy that would be more productively used in pursuing the vision to which God has called us.
Killing Cockroaches offers pointers to churches on how to maintain focus on that which is truly important. You can learn more about Tony Morgan at tonymorganlive.com. You can find his personal notes for the Killing Cockroaches 2010 Tour posted, at least temporarily, at the same link.
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SESSION ONE: STUFF THAT KEEPS YOU FOCUSED ON THE URGENT rather than the long term vision
SESSION TWO: THREE QUESTIONS for keeping ministry focused
"At the end of the day, ministry is about relationship and people."
Notes compiled by conference attendee Dian R. Kidd, Associate Director, UBA
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