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When we realize we have the responsibility to teach the Word, it changes everything about how we hear the Word. — David Platt

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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

Posts Tagged ‘heart’

Is Your Heart Condition Keeping You From Engaging Your Audience?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

I’m excited today because I’ve been invited by Technologies for Worship Magazine, (TFWM), to write a monthly column for their digital magazine. TFWM is the leading educational technology resource for houses of worship. You can go here to find out more about them. Here is a link to my article.

But enough about me, I’ve been thinking about something for a while now and I believe it’s incredibly important if you are to Create the Awesome with your passions.

Let me begin by asking you this one question.

Is your heart condition keeping you from engaging your audience?

That may not make sense, so let me explain.

Courtesy of Hugo Campus

Courtesy of Hugo Campus

In my career of working with influencers who have huge audiences, I have witnessed many great successes. Last monday, I briefly described how I witnessed Stevie Wonder over and over again, capture and engage his audience, creating awesome experiences. This has obviously led to a very long and successful career. But more often than not, what I’ve witnessed are artists, entertainers, pastors, speakers, and leaders missing the mark on engaging their audience.

It is no longer enough to just simply connect with your audience. Having the most Facebook likes, or retweets on Twitter, or even comments on a blog post should never become the benchmark for your success. If you are going to truly make a difference, you must engage your audience. And before you think or make some kind of agreement with yourself, saying that you do not have an audience, let me be quick to point out that we ALL have an audience, whether we recognize them or not. We all have been given permission by someone to impact them.

[It is no longer enough to just simply connect with your audience, making a difference means you must engage them.] [tweet that if you like]

Because your audiences have extremely short attention spans, 8 seconds roughly, you must make it a point to be intentional with every single move you make, and word you speak. While that may sound intimidating and impossible, it really isn’t if you choose to put in the hard work necessary, dealing with your heart condition.

Have you ever heard the phrase, the heart of a man, or the heart of the issue, or something along those lines?

At the core of every single difficult season or event in life, rests an issue with the heart. How you choose to respond tells the secret, revealing the condition of your heart. There should be little doubt that there is a battle going on all around you, but a battle not just for your minds as the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10, but also for your heart. Your heart is where life emanates from and where your words overflow (Matthew 12:34).

Using some simple google economics, subtracting the references to the once great band, Heart, there are roughly 156 million sites discussing the heart. There are well over 64 million book references to the heart and 281 million articles referring to the heart. Obviously, you can see there is a trend here.

So it stands to reason that if you ignore the condition of your heart, you will continue to not only frustrate your efforts but also frustrate your audience, robbing them from the engagement they so desperately seek.

[If you ignore the condition of your heart, you will frustrate your efforts and your audience.] [tweet that as well]

So what then

Now there are numerous ways I’ve witnessed this play out over the years, but probably the biggest way is through the lack of being present.

I love the contrasting definition that Psychology Today offers for what it means to not be present.

“If we are not present, we are simultaneously living in the past and anticipating the future, working from a script that is a crucible for forging an expectation based on our past.”

As you can see from that definition, it would be virtually impossible to connect with any audience, never mind engage one.

All of us can relate to that definition at one time or another. Some of you consistently live there.

So here are 5 actionable items you can take, to begin the journey back to being present.

  1. Get alone, and close your eyes.
  2. Take several deep breaths.
  3. Concentrate on the what and where. What are you feeling? Where are you feeling it?
  4. Speak those emotions, naming them out loud.
  5. Take more deep breaths.

Like I said, these things merely begin the process. Many times, this journey toward living a life of being present takes some very hard work and involves the assistance of a community and a professional counselor or therapist. Have no fear though, speaking from experience, I can assure you, the peace that lies on the other side is worth every ounce of energy invested.

I decided to write The Awesome Manifesto partly because I’ve seen this play out year after year. You can get it for FREE by subscribing to my newsletter. You can either enter your email address in the box below or sidebar above, following the steps, or just click on the cover of The Awesome Manifesto and that will take you the landing page and tell you more about it as well. I’d love for you to join me in Creating the Awesome!

What stirs in you when you read the definition of what it means to not be present? What scripts are you letting deceive you?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Posted on: May 6, 2013

The Importance of Learning to Ask for What We Need.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Have you ever just sat and asked yourself, “What do I need?”

I was coming home from an event over the weekend, and I began to think about what I needed. Its kind of a strange line of thought, I suppose, because not many of us entertain these kinds of thoughts.  We don’t often just make time and ask that of ourselves.

Well, I do now and let me tell you why.

Several years ago, I went on a retreat and it completely changed my life.  The experience was so awesome, that it has become yet another one of those rare, unique markers that identify who I am.

And one of the most important things I’ve learned and still take away from it, even to this day, is the power of learning to ask for what I need.

The reason why this is so important is because:

The Power is in the Asking, not in the Receiving.

Now let me be clear, asking for what we need and asking for what we want are two totally different things, and to confuse them, well, only leads to confusion.

I practice this, honestly speaking, by having a Needs Journal.

In this journal I just start every page by asking myself what do I need. Sometimes, those entries start to take shape like simple lists, other times, they just end up being tears, or even prayers of some kind. Either way, its a process that I believe ultimately, leads me to a safe place of being present and known.

Which is what I’m all about!

Have you ever experienced someone, in an effort of knowing you, asking you if you needed anything?

Its kind of awkward isn’t it?

I mean, we’re taught and pulled by the ways of southern culture, to be accommodating, and being in need, most certainly is not accommodating, not too mention, the cultural push towards pride and self-sufficiency!

But the beauty I’ve found, is by being willing to acknowledge that first we have needs, and then by naming them, we create safe places, which lead others into authentic experiences of us and the world as a whole.

Which begs the question, do you create safe places?

Are you BRAVE enough to look into the closets of your heart and ask yourself what you need?

I can promise you this, there is freedom, peace, joy and most of all, safety on the other side!

Posted on: March 12, 2013

The #1 way to live an Authentic Life!

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Somehow I ended up in a really great conversation the other night with some friends about what it means to live an authentic life.  You see, it started by me explaining what it means to create authentic experiences.

I know too often, the church can use language that most of us sometimes end up walking away, saying “now what in the world were they talking about?”

image

Well its sort of that way when talking about living an authentic life.

So, for your eyes only, I’m going to give you the #1 way to live an Authentic Life!

Be.  Present.

There you have it!  Its that simple.  Be present.  

Don’t be so quick to move on to the next project or task, that you skip right past your heart or even perhaps with good intention, ignore the hurting or needy around you.

I truly believe that part of living an authentic life starts with my word of the year and thats intentional.

When we make the choice to be intentional, we can’t help but be present in our circumstances, present in our pain, and present in our families.

In what ways are you avoiding being present?

What parts of your heart are you ignoring?

Posted on: February 21, 2013

Do you have the market cornered?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Continuing the theme of blindspots and truth from tuesday’s post, I thought I would write a more confessional type post today.

You see I’ve got the market cornered when it comes to pain, suffering, and hard providences, at least thats how I have lived most of my adult life.  Its only been until last year, that I was told, I was wrong.  

Now if you just take that last sentence and let it stand alone by itself, then its pretty harmless, but let me tell you, it hurt.  It hurt quite a bit actually.  

After having this blinder removed, I started to see things a whole lot clearer about certain areas of my heart.  image

For example, I quickly began to see how my thinking was keeping me in slavery by way of fear and isolation.  I realized many of the lies I had bought into and how those lies were robbing me from the truth of my identity in Christ, and the joy that produces.

I mention these things today because I know I’m not alone, and I know there are those out there that think and feel similarly.  

We weren’t created to live in captivity, and as the Exodus stories reveal, we have a Father, who is passionately pursuing our freedom.  He shows up in the most powerful of ways, and exposes his truth in the most dramatic of scenarios.

In what ways are you living like you have the market cornered?

Posted on: February 14, 2013

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