Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Go Giver Weekend

Saturday August 23/24 will go down as a great weekend on the farm. About 50 people gathered to discuss a little book called “The Go Giver” that teaches five stratospheric laws to change the world. This event was really about looking at these laws through the context of scripture, and we spent the entire day reviewing how they can make a difference in life and business.
Jim Burnette led a worship team throughout the weekend that brought us into the right mindset for learning. We sang a mix of old and new praise songs and hymns and entered the day in the midst of God’s perfection – a cool gentle breeze which made it very comfortable in the tent.

The day was scattered with personal testimonies from a number of people – Jeff Penland from CNS in St Joseph, Brian Smith, Ken Shetler, Jeff Hundt and Steve Britt from Harlan, Mitch Miller from Dynamic Computer in Topeka, Hal Stevenson from Atlantic, and Pat Dolan from Dallas. These guys shared their heart and lives with us and dealt with the reality that life sometimes deals us some difficulties we need to endure, but there is an answer to all life’s issues. (see the agenda at to see how the day played out.

As we dug into the meat of the event Brad Schow from Compudyne led off. He discussed the law of value which says: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”. That is not the normal wisdom of the world. Brad walked through the reality that life is about giving without any concern to what we will get in return. We do this not because we are great people, but because we have been truly blessed and are called to give. God takes care of the details.

Mike Martin from Walnut continued with law #2 – the law of Compensation. “Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them”. Basic customer service 101 right? Not exactly. We need to serve and over serve and continue to serve people. We need to do it joyfully and find ways to do it more. As we do, we will be blessed, maybe not right then and there, but at some point. We need to lead and serve like Jesus. It is about building a servant’s heart. It is all about relationship.

Peter Sorensen from Pioneer spoke on the third law – the law of influence. That law says: “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first”. Whoa – that is not the conventional wisdom. Here we go with that other people first mentality again. But it is the reality of how life works. When we put aside our own interests and focus on others, good things happen. If we truly want to influence, and that is what leadership really is all about, then we have to learn to put others first. We have to focus on their interests.

Phil Kenealy spoke on law four – the law of authenticity. “The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself”. In our world today, authenticity is sort of a lost art. People don’t want to let anyone know what is really happening. They don’t want the world to see their warts and shortcomings, they just want to have it all seem just fine. But we all know that is not the case. God not only created us but He has a perfect plan for us. He knows what can happen in our lives. He wrote the playbook. It is up to us to understand who really is in control and live that way.

I finished the fifth law by talking about the law of receptivity. “The key of effective giving is to stay open to receiving”. We need to learn to receive. One of the key things in my life is prayer, and I pray this prayer daily: “And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou would’st bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested”. (1 Chron 4:10) Receiving is the key to giving actually happening. Too often we don’t want to let anyone help us – we resist their efforts to give. It stymies the cycle and prevents those who want to give from being blessed. We have to get this right. We have to receive what others want to give so the cycle can occur.

Sunday we concluded with some teaching from Rick Bahl from Chicago on living your faith through work, Dave Boettger from Harlan on supporting leaders, and Jim Burnette on building a life plan. The event wrapped with people heading back to put to work the things they had learned. That will be the measure of success. Vision without execution is hallucination.

Stuart Crawford has captured and written about the weekend in his blog:

He also posted some videos on YouTube.
Day One -
Day Two Part One -
Day Two Part Two -
Day Two Part Three -

Life is all about giving and you can learn some important principles in the Go-Giver book. Check it out and put it in action - it will change your life!

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