Posts Tagged ‘relationship’



A Relationship Reward Worth The Risk

Nothing great happens without risk. That’s true about our relationships as well. I’m not sure it’s a byproduct of maturity, personality, the fact I’m from another culture, or a combination of all of it, but I have found myself taking more risks in my relationships lately. The response has been worth the risk. It’s easier and safer to walk alongside my male friends while keeping the relationship on a shallow, trivial level. We men are great at that. We can talk about sports, work, training, and our troubles with women all day long. As a matter of fact, we can spend time with someone for years and never really know them. The American male relational protocol perpetuates this mindset: keep it interesting, keep it light, and keep surface. Introspection, after all, is the stuff of the other gender; the one we do not understand. I believe we all need to…

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How Gracious Are you Really?

I had to be taught to be gracious. That’s a quality that doesn’t come by naturally to me as I suspect to most guys. After all, our male instinct is to win, get “there” first, hold on tight to what’s ours, fight our way to the top and not to take grief from anyone. Early in life I saw my mother model grace as she gave so much of herself, and of her amazing cooking skills, to family and friends. I have my wife, Gwen, to thank for modeling grace in her relationships and how she deals with people. Interestingly, graciousness has as much to do with giving as it does with receiving. Are you a gracious person? Answer the following questions honestly. Do you have to win every argument? Are you able to receive gifts and compliments well? Do you give expecting something in return? Even gratitude? How often…

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Sometimes Your Best Sales Strategy is a Party

If you have ever met me in person, you know that I’m highly relational. I’m truly blessed to work with people I like. I’m at the stage in my career that I don’t have to pursue relationships that are only financially motivated. This year, instead of paying for a booth at the Catalyst Conference (13 thousand Christians leaders meeting for 3 days in Atlanta), I opted to have a small gathering of clients, friends and even some new friends at a restaurant near the arena. Everyone seemed to have had a great time. I loved it. It was a great fit for my personality and the type of work our branding and development team does: focused, personal and relational. By the end of the evening, our friends and clients were talking unsolicited about the value we bring to them to our new friends and potential clients. I realized years ago…

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Making a Difference with Marketing

I chose “Making a Difference” for my blog title years ago because when I started The A Group, my intent was to help churches, ministries and businesses to make a difference in the lives of people in their communities and around the globe. And we have. Over the past 9 years we have helped our clients to become better and more effective at what they do. Last week I was reminded again that we are still making a difference. Pastor Bruce Frank of Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville, NC, spoke to the Groupers (that’s what we call anyone on the The A Group team) on Friday about the impact our Easter marketing had on his church. We often hear of the percentage of increase in attendance during our media campaigns, total growth numbers over last year’s attendance, and conversions. Those are great ways to measure the return on investment for…

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The Father I Never Knew

I miss my dad today. Monday I left him in Florida at my sister’s house while my family and I drove back to Tennessee. He stood at the front porch fighting the inevitable tears. Being close to my father, Senhor Maurilio, as he is known in Brazil, is something very new to me. Growing up I respected my father, but I mostly feared his occasional outbursts of violence. Even though there were not often, these incidents left very powerful and negative impressions on me. I also remember my father always nursing headaches that prevented him from any meaningful exchange with me or my siblings. But God and time have a way to heal wounds and change people. In the last 25 years that I’ve lived in the US my father has changed into a kind, low-maintenance and fun man. Three weeks ago he came from Brazil by himself without knowing…

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