Leadership, Innovation, Stand Up Comedy (Staying Connected)

Dec 07

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Sep 27

For daily posts on loving, for sale serving, no rx and influencing others, join us at www.ericbryant.org.


Tough Conversations Can Be Transformative by Eric Bryant

Jan 30

As a sports fan, medications I could not help but be inspired by the story of Vernon Davis. After a game-winning touchdown last weekend against the Saints, Vernon Davis broke down in tears. Those not aware of the challenges he’s faced at the 49ers over the past few years probably thought his response was disproportionate to the moment. It was a big moment, but you don’t usually see grown men break down quite like that.

Why was he so emotional? In an article called “49ers’ Davis grew up after Singletary’s tough love”, Randy Covitz gives us the context:

“Three years ago, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis was kicked out of a game by his own coach.

Mike Singletary, an intense, no-nonsense Hall of Fame linebacker as a player, was in his first game as the 49ers interim head coach in 2008 when he banished Davis from the sidelines and sent him to the locker room after Davis drew a 15-yard, dead-ball penalty for taunting when he reacted to some trash talking by grabbing the face mask of a Seattle player.

An incensed Singletary, in his postgame comments, said the 49ers could not win with a selfish player like Davis and would be better off playing with 10 men than with Davis, at the time an underachieving first-round draft pick.”

As a Mike Singletary fan since his days playing football at Baylor University, I was impressed with his boldness but wondered if he may been too hard on Davis in that game 3 years ago.

Fortunately, Davis responded in a healthy way to such a strong rebuke.

Covitz continues: “But Davis, who took Singletary’s discipline to heart rather than rebelling against it, has transformed from a locker-room cancer who fought teammates on the practice field to a team captain and major reason the 49ers will play in the NFC championship game on Sunday against the New York Giants

Singletary’s discipline of Davis changed his career and perhaps the course of the 49ers.

‘Coach Singletary definitely touched my life,” Davis said earlier this season. “He taught me to put others before myself.’”

As somoene who has been on the receiving end of hard conversations and as someone who doesn’t like to have them with others, I have come to realize the power and beauty of tough conversations.A great principle can be found in Proverbs 27:5-6 which reads: Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don’t care for him at all. Friends mean well, even when they hurt you. But when an enemy puts his arm around your shoulder—watch out!”

A loving community is both inclusive and a place where people care enough to be honest with each other.

The power of a rebuke comes from how we choose to respond.

As a Cowboys and Seahawks fan, it is hard to imagine admitting this, but for the first time in my life I am pulling for Vernon Davis and the team mentored by Mike Singletary: the 49ers.

“Beat-Attitudes” by Marlon Hall

Sep 01

He is the cultural architect and spiritual leader of The Awakenings Movement, approved a grassroots community of social visionaries and culture shapers in Houston, more about Detroit, and Nairobi.

The Beat-Attitudes: The blessing of being thumped, kicked, and slapped while influencing friends

Before the Mocha Life shut down, our staff meetings, discussion communities, and bible-studies were purposefully done in this cozy Muslim owned business whose mission statement was: “To provide a place for Muslims to socially engage each other”.  Perfect place for evangelism!

I’m a leader in a church designed to reach folks on the fringe. We discover sacred potential in secular places by worshiping and doing life in public all over the inner-city of Houston. In fact, during the week we work out of a Muslim coffee shop where we do our coaching, hold meetings, and host discussion communities and Bible studies.

It sounds cool, but it’s hard. This approach to living out the Great Commission makes us open to public criticism and persecution daily. Our theme verse could easily come from The Beatitudes, where Matthew 5:10 says: “Blessed are those who are beat up, kicked, and thumped for righteousness, because the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” I like to call this verse on of the “Beat-Attitudes” because we are constantly emotionally and mentally beaten.

For instance, one day I was in the coffee shop talking to Thurman “T” Brown—an agnostic filmmaker who had “beaten” me often and who, I assumed, was only using my faith as a reference for future film projects about “misguided” Christians—when an unfamiliar patron began a conversation with us, saying she’d heard I was a “down-to-earth prophet and priest of the coffee shop” and needed to talk. I pretended to be hard of hearing and asked, “Could you say that again?” (Just to be sure T heard her too.) She then stated that what we were doing for Christ in the shop was working. Finally, our hard work in the trenches of grassroots ministry was paying off! Like an inner-city Enoch, I had finally ascended to heavenly places. In that moment I was practically standing to the right of Moses, who was to the right of Christ, who is seated at the right of God the Father. I was the man, next to the man, next to The Man. With a soft, sweet voice she said, “I need your help.” I wanted to respond like an astute urban Pope with a, “Yes, my child”, but I kept my cool. “Yeah, what’s up?” Then out of no where, in a volume more elevated, she asked, “How does it feel to propagate a white man’s copy-cat religion that promotes drinking blood every first Sunday?” At first, I was speechless. Then I realized this was my weekly tax for public life ministry. After a few doctrinal references, curse words and passionate arm-flailing gestures (not as many on my part) I soon realized there was nothing casual about this conversation, and I felt like a failure.

To this woman, I was just the man, next to the man, next to the other culturally irrelevant, simple-minded pastors she’d experienced all her life. To her, I—as well as my message—lacked authenticity. Even though I was hurt, those Beat-Attitudes kicked in. I stopped to process her challenge differently. Like a shopper who thumps a cantaloupe and then listens to test its integrity; she was thumping me to hear God’s freedom resound in my heart. This wonderful woman was seeking to authenticate Christ’s presence in the world from her seat in that coffee shop and God had chosen me to help her do it. I was the melon in the garden of God’s grace that she was thumping, to test His integrity. What an honor it should have been to be the resonant vibration of God’s power in the face of persecution.

As she shared her closing statements, I was awakened to the fact that by living out the Beat-Attitudes, I get to see real love, freedom and truth flow through me. And then, just as I was about to stand and declare that I was honored to be a member of a mystic tribe that lives in a promised land of freedom which flows with emotional milk and mental honey, guess who stood up for me? T.

Thurman T Brown stood and boldly stated, “Calm down, sis. This dude is the real deal.” He went on to say that what he’d seen in our weekly discussion community and our very presence in the community represented something true, something real.

I suddenly saw that this dude who’d made a habit of thumping me himself in that same coffee shop, just authenticated Christ in that precious moment. To this day T and I still talk about life, love and film over a cup of coffee like we always have, but lately, for me, our conversations seem to be about so much more. We must learn that influencing friends is sometimes authenticated with rejection and being challenged.

Review by DJ Chuang

Aug 23

DJ Chuang is a web strategist, symptoms currently working with Worship Leader Magazine (as Network Developer) and with Leadership Network (as Leadership Community Director for Multi-Site Churches)

“Eric Bryant‘s book gets a reboot as Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World, capsule the book formerly known as Peppermint-Filled Pinatas.  The book now has its own website notlikeme.org, visit web sermon series, small group materials, blog tour

This book is an accessible and easy read. It’s filled with real-life stories of how to step out of one’s comfort zone to build real relationships with real people of all kinds: someone of a different ethnicity, a different economic class/ different pay grade, different political persuasion, different lifestyle, different religion. And interspersed with Biblical stories and guest authors chiming in too.

I know for me, if I only looked for people just like me to befriend, I’d be all alone. I’ve rarely ever found anyone who is like me. And that’s ok. It’s really a good thing to get to know people who are different. The Bible has something to say about people being made different anyways: having different gifts, different roles, different parts.

For those of us who find it challenging to step out of our comfort zone, it’s good to have a friendly voice come along, like this book, to show us how to get past our discomforts and to live out of faith and not out of fear. I know I can use the help. Thanks Eric.”

Not Like Me Party Winners!

Jul 21

Thanks for joining us for the online release party of my new book Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World!

We will be posting the interviews we had with our guests soon. Listen to previous teleseminars here.

Our guests included: Alan & Debra Hirsch, this web Kevin Harney, approved Josh Fox, decease Shawn Anderson, Rudy Carrasco, Dave and Jon Ferguson, and Erwin McManus

The resources (valued at over $1000) given away included:

1 All Access Pass to the Origins Event on July 24, 2010 in downtown L.A. (valued at $129) for Joshua from CA!

Untamed by Alan and Debra Hirsch The 10 winners include: Karen from OH, Sherry from CA, Garrett from AL, Sabrina from Ontario, Justin from TN, Janet from CA, Smitty from KY, Isaiah from KY, Karen from IL, and Matt from IL

Protest and Invest by Rudy Carrasco
The 5 winners of the book and iPad version include: Steve from NV, Daniel from FL, Josh from NV, Jerry from TX, and Kelly from CA.

Living Dangerously by Shawn Anderson
The 10 winners include: Justin from NC, Daniel from USA, Dawn from CA, Josh from IL, Kurt from CA, Caleb from WA, Bryon from MI, Brett from MI, Jeff from CA, and Gary from CA.

Josh Fox’s new cd Radiant
The 5 winners include: Molly from MN, Angie from CA, Brad from WA, Rowel from CA, and Gary from NC.

Exponential by Dave and Jon Ferguson
The 10 winners include:Damon from IN, Jenni from TX, Lori from TX, John from WV, Rowdy from OK, Mark from Australia, Brad from VA, Creighton from KS, Martin from KY, and Colby from AZ.

Organic Outreach for Ordinary People by Kevin Harney
The 10 winners include: Wally from MI, Troy from CA, Joshua from CA, Chip from MA, Travis from FL, Lon from Canada, Peter from the U.K., Judy from WA, Mario from Canada, and Renee from CA.

Stand Against the Wind by Erwin McManus
The 10 winners include: Kristine from TX, Kyle from MO, David from IL, Cline from MD, Clay from WA, Rudy from TX, Betty from MI, Kendall from NC, Chuck from VA, and Adam from VT.

“Not Like Me” sermon series Eric Bryant shared at Mosaic (formerly called Peppermint-Filled Pinatas)
The 4 winners include: Stephanie from TX, Tim from CA, Mike from TX, and Dave from AR.

Be one of the first to order the new book here!