Monday, February 29, 2016

Motivational Gifts

Don was an evangelist. 

He was not in the manner of a Billy Graham or even a Greg Laurie. Don never filled a pulpit, nor spoke to large crowds. Don just loved to talk about Jesus. You could not be in a conversation with him for very long when the subject would turn to his Lord and Savior. There was no forcing the conversation, no hype, just a mention in a normal conversation which always turned to what God had done for him. Don did not drive to his work six miles away. He preferred to ride the bus. He told us, “You never know who you might meet on the bus.” Often people would show up at church on Sunday morning or Sunday evening and tell us, “Don sent me.”

The church began an outreach and evangelism program and who better, we thought, to head it up other than Don. A few months later we realized there was a problem. Our new program was not going anywhere, and worst of all Don had quit talking to strangers about Jesus. We belatedly realized that while Don’s motivational gifts were encouragement and proclamation, he was not a leader, and his failure to lead the evangelism program bothered him so much that he no longer had the passion to share Jesus.

This is what happens in many churches as we try to fill positions of ministry and leadership with whatever warm body will accept the job. Then, because the task does not fall in their area of gifting, they burn out rapidly.

Spiritual gifts are talked about throughout the Bible, one of which is found
in Romans 12:5-8

"so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."

These seven gifts listed above are called the “Motivational Gifts.” God gives to each person one or more of these gifts which motivate that person to be iserve Him in a specific manner. When a person is operating in these gifts he or she feels that they are fulfilling their purpose and mastering their role in life.

After seeing the problems with Don and many others over the years we made a very conscious decision that anyone taking on a role in our church would complete a motivational gifts assessment questionnaire and find out where they fit in. We later extended the questionnaire to all members. In that way, when a position came open, we could go through the membership gift listing to identify the best candidate. This is much better than just grabbing a willing warm body but it still requires confirmation by the Holy Spirit.

Identification of your motivational gifting is not just an intellectual exercise to allow you to learn more about yourself. Obviously with the results of your questionnaire you are able to identify ministry areas which you feel most comfortable.

Our book, "Motivation, Your Guide to Fitting In' is now available, for a limited time at or just click on the book icon below.

Bill Johnson

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, & Authority

 7 Steps to Gaining Authority

(Partially Excerpted from my new book "Disorganize or Bust")

Authority is defined as: “the power or right to give orders or make decisions: the power or right to direct or control someone or something.” The source of authority may be internal (residing within), or external (authority vested by an external agency.)

External Authority

Our next president of the United States will be given great authority. But he will also be under the authority of the constitution and those who elected him or her. While this external authority is great, the success of the presidency will be determined by its internal authority.
A policeman with a badge and uniform has the power and right to direct automobiles and trucks to stop, turn, or proceed. His authority has been vested in him by a governmental agency. His authority is identified by his badge and uniform. An impostor could steal the uniform and badge and go out in the street and direct traffic and the drivers of the vehicles would not know he was an impostor and would probably follow his direction. His authority is in his appearance. The policeman does not have the physical strength to stop a truck coming at him at a high rate of speed, but he is able to stop the truck by the authority vested in him by the government.
In a traditional business organization, there is a hierarchy of authority. The Board of Directors - whose authority is vested in them by the stockholders or owners - has authority over the president, who has authority over vice presidents, etc. There is a hierarchal structure of authority throughout the entire organization.
Similarly a military officer gives orders to troops who are trained to be obedient and to respond quickly to proper commands. The officer’s authority is vested by higher authority and backed by the government. Uniform insignia designates her rank. It shows that the officer has authority and also is under authority. The military is a hierarchal organization where orders come down from the top to the lowest echelons and obedience looks up for direction.
There is one major problem with external authority. It can be taken away quickly without any warning. As a result, external authority must be guarded and protected. When protecting your position, you will inevitably encounter someone who challenges your authority, leading to conflicts. External authority may lead to compliance from underlings, but it does not always warrant respect.

Internal Authority

Internal authority is based upon character. Organizational psychologist and author of “Give and Take,” Adam Grant, states "there were two ways to gain influence (have authority); dominance or prestige." Internal authority is all about “Prestige.” Internal authority may be difficult to explain but it is one of those things that “we know it when we see it.”
Those with internal authority know who they are, why they are where they are, and what must be done. A person develops internal authority by growing in individuality, self-confidence, conviction, integrity, and having a servant attitude.


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every individual in the world is unique. Unfortunately - because we have a desire to fit in - we try to hide our uniqueness and become like others around us. We see this in teenagers who dress alike, talk alike, and act alike. There are some who rebel and dress and act differently, but soon the rebels will come together and share their dress and actions as they fit together.
In the business world, there is a tendency to dress, think, and act alike. In many large corporations, you see individuals who dress alike, have similar facial hair, and walk with a certain gait. Most of them are inadvertently imitating their immediate boss who in turn is copying the chief executive.
Individuality is important. It is the quality that makes one person or thing different from all others. It is not easy to be different, but you cannot develop internal authority if you are trying to be like someone else. Today we have too many people in politics, business, and the church who are not sure of their own identity, so they put on masks and try to become like the ones they care about, or what they think others want them to be. They do all of this in the hope that they will be accepted.
Watching the presidential primaries shows a remarkable example of how individuality is standing out and becoming popular with the voters. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders certainly stand out as individuals in the crowd of politicians.
Individuality requires an understanding of one’s gifts, talents, and purpose. While you can grow in knowledge and ability, the only way you can grow in individuality is by being yourself and not trying to emulate someone else.


Self-confidence is confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities. It is not prideful but it is being totally honest about who you are. You know your weakness and limitations as well as your strengths. Self-confident people have a peace about them. There is an internal strength which allows them to handle criticism and failure without reacting in self-pity and defensiveness. Self-confidence allows one to react appropriately to criticism - to be objective, analyze, and accept appropriate criticism.
Anyone who is active bringing in new ideas will be criticized. It is the nature of the game. Self-confidence allows us to look at the criticism objectively, evaluate it to determine the validity, and take action when necessary.


Individuals with internal authority have a conviction regarding what they are doing. By focusing on their purpose, they will not be sidetracked by unimportant issues which could distract and keep them from reaching their goal. Strong leaders are gifted with the ability to see long range goals and not chase down rabbit holes. Focus is derived from a conviction or purpose which evokes passion and a willingness to make sacrifices to achieve that which they seek. Passion is contagious and draws others to the battle. Others catch your passion and are led toward the same goal. People will follow leaders who have a passion about their purpose.
“I just set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” [John Wesley]
Each of us has a destiny, or purpose, in life. But we often dilute our efforts by chasing after things we are not called to chase. It is better to be good at a few things than mediocre at many things.


Integrity is measured by what you do when no one else is looking. It is the quality of being honest and fair - the state of being complete or whole. Integrity seems to be lacking in many leaders today. We are witnessing the lack of honesty and fairness by politicians, business executives, religious leaders, and individual citizens in today’s world. Integrity seems to have been lost in this egocentric Post-Modern world.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”  [Albert Einstein]
Leaders with integrity will stand out and be followed by others seeking truth. Integrity requires us to speak the truth without exaggeration, follow through when we say we will do something, be careful in money and moral issues, live what we preach, and  be a servant to those we lead - willing to sacrifice our own desires to help others.

Servant Attitude

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”   Mother Teresa
A Servant attitude will always result in internal authority. A servant leader wants to benefit the group and desires to make other people successful and see them grow. It is a way of honoring others. There are too many leaders today that sacrifice the people that they have authority over, to further their own personal agenda.
Ezekiel 34:2 (MSG) "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherd-leaders of Israel. Yes, prophesy! Tell those shepherds, 'God, the Master, says: Doom to you shepherds of Israel, feeding your own mouths! Aren't shepherds supposed to feed sheep?

Increase Your Internal Authority

Internal Authority cannot be taken away. People with internal authority will always rise to the top of an organization. They do not have to be afraid of other people, they can take risks and be innovative, and they end up with external authority given to them. They will be recognized by higher authorities and do not have to rely on the external things to be successful.
Those with authority must be under authority. If they cannot be under authority, they cannot be trusted to be given greater authority. If they can relate well to those over them, they will be able to relate well to those under them.
Internal authority can be increased by following the steps listed below.

1. Know yourself: 

Understand who you are; your abilities, your strengths and weaknesses, and your purpose in life.

2. Eliminate Fear of failure: 

Develop a Godly self-confidence. Baseball player, Sammy Sosa broke the record for strikeouts in a single season.  He hit 62 home runs breaking the record of Babe Ruth, but he struck out more often than he hit a home run.  Most people who have accomplished great things have failed a couple of times.  Good people only condemn others for not trying, not those who try and fail.

3. Eliminate Fear of Rejection: 

Do not be afraid of what others might think. Attempt something great. It is far better to attempt something great and fail than to attempt nothing and succeed. 

4. Accept what you cannot change, be thankful for what you have:

5. Believe in the importance of your purpose:

6. Walk in integrity:

Be honest about your weaknesses and limitations. Be a learner, don’t be afraid to say, I don't know. Change your mind once in a while.   Allow others to change your mind once in a while. Ask for help and advice once in a while. When you are wrong, admit it and repent quickly.

7. Have Faith in the future. Expect success.

Monday, February 15, 2016

10 Steps to a More Holy Life

Holiness has been given a bad rap in these days of hyper-grace and sloppy agape. But walking in intimate relationship with God and living under His protection does have its requirements. Living the holy life does not mean that everything will be rosy and things will turn out the way we want. There is not one hero of the Bible that led a life without trial and tribulation, but there is a way to live in His will, under His covering, and have a close personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe. 

Psalm 15 asks and answers two questions, Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

First I need to dispel the concept that the psalmist is referring to going to heaven when we die. There is a tendency to spiritualize some scriptures which actually apply to how we live our everyday lives. 

At the time the Psalms were written, eternal life and heaven was not universally accepted by the Jewish people. The Hebrew word that is translated as “Tabernacle” refers to the Holy place where God dwelt while the Jews were out in the desert. But the word has a deeper meaning as a tent or a covering. While only the priests could enter the tabernacle, you and I have the opportunity to live our lives under the covering and protection of God. The Psalmist is asking the question, “Who can receive this covering and protection?” 

His next question is worded differently but has a similar meaning, “Who can stay on Your Holy Hill” The Hebrew word “qodesh har” refers to a sacred high place as opposed to a common or profane place. The bible refers to the holiness of God not only to the mystery of his power but also to his character as totally good and entirely without evil. Holy objects, therefore, are those with no moral pollution. They are not merely dedicated, but dedicated to what is good and kept from what is evil.

So what does this mean to you and me in twenty-first century America? Too many Christians have adopted the Antinomian attitude that they can do anything they want and still live under God’s protection and maintain an intimate relationship with the Lord. Many so-called Christian business people, politicians, and even clergy act in ways which are contrary to God’s will and still believe they have a right to God’s blessings.

Psalm 15 provides great insight into what it takes to live under God’s umbrella [tent, tabernacle, etc.] of protection and have that close personal relationship.

1.         Walk blamelessly. Whenever we sin we create a hole in the Lord’s umbrella of protection. Be careful in what you do or say so that there will be no cause for others to condemn your actions. There may be times when you are blamed for things over which you have no control, but be careful, there are consequences to your actions.

2.         Do right things. It is not enough to not sin nor commit wrong acts. You must to right things. Remember, it is more important to do right than to be right. Be just in all your thoughts and actions.

3.         Speak the truth from the heart. It is easy to stretch the truth to impress someone or to cover up something we do not want others to know, but speak truth from the heart. But what if your wife asks, “Does this dress make me look too fat?” Try to avoid falsehood and be creative.

4.         Do not slander. Do not tell false things about others.

5.         Do not do wrong to your neighbor. Instead always do the next right thing. Actually, we are commanded not to do wrong things to others, and especially not our neighbors. Our neighbors may be anyone in our community.

6.         Do not make disparaging remarks about others.

7.         Despise evil, but honor those who fear the Lord.

8.         Keep your promises even when it hurts to do so.

9.         Lend money without exorbitant interest. You may collect modest interest on money you loan to others, but do not take advantage of their situation.

10.       Do not take a bribe against the innocent. There are times when it may be to our personal gain to blame someone else for something in which they are innocent. That would be taking a bribe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Marketing Your E-Book is not Rocket Science

My inbox keeps getting jammed. They all have the latest "must have" plan or program that will make you or me a best-selling author and earn thousands of dollars a day in passive income. There will be testimonies of writer-entrepreneurs who used the system and now live in luxury in a tropical paradise. All I have to do is purchase their system - or let them coach me - and I too can become a millionaire. But most of it is trash.
E-Book marketing is not rocket science
Book marketing is not rocket science. I know, because I have been an aerospace scientist, a successful marketer, and now an author struggling to sell my own books. I am writing this post to myself, but I invite you to listen in.
The marketing of intellectual property - books, music, art, and training courses - has changed drastically in the past five years as Internet opportunities have flourished. The marketing problem is that creative artists tend to shy away from selling based the distorted image sales. Dan Pink explains in his recent book; "To Sell is Human, The Surprising Truth About Moving Others," explains that, in reality, we are all selling all of the time.
As creators of art, we have to get our arms around a concept of marketing that will work best for us. In essence marketing involves providing our output to people who desire or need what we provide. It is analogous to an on-line dating service. We have created something of value and want to find people who value what we created. Marketing is not us trying to get someone to buy something they do not want. It is letting others know that we have something of value that they may want. That's the concept, now how do we market our product?
The answer is not buying a canned program that someone else once used to make their fortune. If it was so good, why are they   selling it so cheap? Because they can make more money selling the "secret Program" than they do using it to sell their product.
You are unique. There is no one exactly like you. So your method of marketing must be tailored to your particular uniqueness. There are three three things you must identify in order to connect with those who will value your work enough to click the "buy" button.
  1. Know who your are and what you can do.
  2. Know who your ideal client would be and what interests them.
  3. Communicate to your ideal client what you can do for them.
  4. Develop a relationship with potential buyers.
That's it. Marketing your book is merely communicating to your potential customer how your book will meet a desire or need in their life.
Know yourself.

This is often the most difficult problem. You have to know gifts, graces, interests, and abilities. This is where many people, including myself, have failed. You cannot be all things to all people. There is a tendency to cast a large net in order to catch a greater number of clients, enter a larger market, or have a better chance of finding customers. All you are doing is diluting your efforts and the value you provide.
Ask yourself:
   What am I passionate about?
What am I good at?
   How do I want to be remembered?
When you define yourself accurately, you will be able to better  define your audience, the people you must reach with your message.
Know your ideal client.
Knowing who you want to serve, enables you to learn their desires and needs. When you know their desires and needs, you can apply your gifts, graces, interests, and abilities to serve them best. Do not try to be all things to all people in an effort to cast a broader net. Use a rifle rather than a shotgun approach. Studies have shown that focusing sharply is the most effective marketing plan. Be prepared to adapt your product to specific needs of your customer, but do make major changes in who you are. You must remain true to yourself in order to be honest.
In this rapidly changing techno-world there are many forms of communications available. This is the area where you have complete freedom of expression. You can choose from any and all of the following.
Your book itself communicates to your potential reader through its:
       and customer reviews.
In addition you can utilize any number of other media to communicate with readers.
   Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Linedin, Pinterest, YouTube, etc
   Website, Blog, Podcasts, etc.
   Your Email List
   Press Release:Newspapers, Television, Radio, etc
   Advertising: Newspapers, Magazines, TV, Social Media, etc.
There are many more opportunities to choose from but you need to choose those that connect with your ideal customer and that work for you.
Building Relationships

Building a relationship with your clients/readers/customers is the key to any marketing plan. There are so many voices out there screaming to be heard, that whatever communications you are using will have a difficult time rising above the noise level. Less than a few percent of those receiving your communications will notice you or act on your offer, unless they have an ongoing relationship with you. Trust takes time to build.
You can build relationships by providing quality products that are useful and helpful to your readers or potential readers. In order to be helpful, you must understand the needs of the people you are trying to serve. Relationships begin with knowing yourself and knowing the people you want to reach and serve.
Your Marketing Plan
Do not go out and buy someone else's canned program. Put together your own marketing plan. Consider each of the following elements in your plan.
1.  Know Yourself
       What do I have to offer to the reader?
       Why am I qualified to write this book?
. Know Your Reader
       What benefit does this book provide to the reader?
       Why does the reader need this book?
       Who is this book written for?
3. Communicate
       What media would my reader be more apt to use?
       What media do I use regularly?
       Select the appropriate media
       Develop your message based upon the book and knowledge of the reader.
4.  Develop Relationships with readers
       Regular emails that are not trying to sell something
       Provide quality content
       Free Book Give-aways
       Free Chapters

    I am interested in your comments or suggestions for book Marketing!