Posts Tagged ‘design’

[Reposted from thebackrowleader.com]

When I’m asked by young people about whether they should move into management roles, the first question I ask them is whether they have the ability to live vicariously: to find joy and satisfaction in the success of others. It’s a critical competency for leadership, but I’ve found it useful throughout life. Underneath this issue are fundamental questions of identity, pride and acceptance.

For starters, I work in a Bible translation organization, but I am not a Bible translator. If I didn’t have the ability to take joy in the achievements of others, I’d struggle with my role. As it’s my goal to work in my gifting so that others can work in their gifting, I can therefore celebrate as part of the team whenever a translation is completed. I have a personal goal this year to get to a dedication ceremony for a New Testament completed by a Canadian translator.

As a graphic designer, I had to be okay working with images from great locations I was likely to never see. As I look back at Word Alive magazines I designed, I feel a connection to language surveyors in central Asia, leaders in Singapore and translators in Cameroon even though my personal experience was limited to the images on my Mac.

In leadership development, I had to confront the question of whether  I was okay with advancing someone else’s career beyond my own. Once I had resolved my own issues of pride and competitiveness, I was then able to celebrate the appointment of a 32-year-old female vice president and a 41-year-old board member who benefited from my work.

Now I have the opportunity to take joy in the work of 590 staff working in or sent out from Canada. I will rejoice with the success and mourn with the struggles of IT staff, linguists, literacy workers and finance personnel. As my job description says, the performance of the organization is synonymous with the performance of the president. We’re all connected. We’re a body. And we’re all part of the Bible translation team.

That’s also our hope for you: that through your financial support, your prayers and your encouragement, you feel like you’re part of the work, from your home or your office. You are part of the Bible translation team. May you take a lot of joy in the vicarious role God has given you.

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Southwest Tannese man reading MarkFrom time to time, we’ve updated you on a project we personally support and pray for, the translation for the Southwest Tanna people in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Our friends Ken and Mendy Nehrbass have been working there for almost twelve years. They’re beginning to typeset the entire New Testament today. Here’s a snapshot of some key events in the last eight months, in their words.

Dec 12:

Whole draft of New Testament complete! Chief Jenri and Ken finished drafting Romans 16 last month, which means we’ve completed the drafting of the whole New Testament! Jenri was so thrilled when that last verse in Romans was finished that he roamed around the village for the next hour hooting and hollering, “Whoooo! The Bible is in our language! Woooo!” With only 2 more books to consultant check, it won’t be long before we’re getting ready for typesetting and printing the New Testament (a lengthy and detailed process). It looks like the day that the New Testament will be printed in the SW Tanna language is closer than we ever imagined – it’s just around the corner!

May 18:The Southwest Tanna translation team completing their draft

“Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him– to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.” -Romans 16: 25-27. So fitting for the last verses of the New Testament to be checked! THE TRANSLATION IS FINISHED! now to get the New Testament ready to go to the printers…

Mendy holds the New Testament manuscriptJun 6:

That thick manuscript is the whole New Testament in the SW Tanna language! We’re doing a final proofread today.

Aug 1:

Speaking of the finish line, we’re starting the process of readying the SW Tanna New Testament for printing (typesetting)TODAY. This is a meticulous editing process where we check all the headings, chapter numbers, we make sure the pictures are in the right places with the correct captions and that the page numbers and other formatting things have come out correctly.

In 2006, I had the privilege of designing the cover of the Gospel of Mak, the first scriptures ever published in Southwest Tanna. As I finalized my design, I put together a mock-up from the pdf file Ken sent me. I can’t read the language, but I know layout and pagination. I could tell the page numbers were wrong. Then I noticed that two of the pages were repeated, meaning two pages of  Mark were missing. A quick email to Vanuatu, and Ken was able to correct the problem before printing any of the booklets.

2007 promotion for Bibleless Peoples Prayer ProjectSo, with a sense of knowledge of the complexities of typesetting, we’re praying for Ken and Mendy today. And with a sense of ownership, we’re more than a little excited today.


[You can live vicariously, too, joining a Bible translation project from here. Find out more about the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project.]

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[Reposted from thebackrowleader.com]

How many times have you been forced into a situation where you have to replace the status quo, but no alternative seems an improvement? You’re not going to get your followers to move from “here” if they don’t see the potential for “there.” My suggestion is to reframe the question and come up with a different solution entirely.

I learned this trick as a graphic designer, and I think it applies just as well to leadership. Turn the question around and ask it in a different way. Reframing the question means asking whether your problem could become an opportunity if you looked at it a different way. Let me give you two examples.

I think Apple reframed the issue of smart phones. My previous cell phone was too big. I wanted something smaller, and I tried a number of brands, seeking the smallest phone with the largest screen. Then I got an iPhone, which is the biggest cell phone I’ve ever carried. My biggest complaint? It’s too small. I wish it was just a touch bigger. So what happened? The iPhone reframed the discussion of what a smart phone could be and do. The iPad is Apple’s solution, and I admit I have iPad envy.

My second example comes from my house, where we spent the long weekend adding to our stack of boxes ready for our move to Calgary. Our biggest challenge was convincing our kids to part with some of their toys, even for a few months. We tried “spinning it” as an opportunity to send a gift to themselves in Canada, labeling the box to themselves to open and get fresh toys to play with. Didn’t work. Meanwhile, their play room has been getting smaller and smaller as boxes line the walls. What did we do? We reframed the question. Yesterday, the solution presented itself: build a fort/maze with boxes. All of a sudden, the whines have turned into persistent cries to pack more boxes so we can add more walls to the maze.

Fort built from boxesSo, whatever issue you’re facing right now, is there a way you could present it in a different light, set it in a new context or turn it around so the negatives become positives? Perhaps it will require a bit of creativity, but the solution is likely lurking around the edges.

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Making the news

The news of my new position is getting picked up online.

The first was ChristianWeek.org.

Now City Light News in Calgary has picked up the story. That’s a fun one for me because, while it’s a small, local publication, Becky and I used to place Wycliffe ads there. Here are a couple of the ads we placed back at the turn of the millennium.

Ad campaign

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CrossPointe Church Orlando

Our new church building

For those who like the big picture, here’s the view of our new building from the parking lot. Our attendance on Sunday was double what we were running four weeks ago, so this lot was pretty full!

As promised, here are a few more shots of the children’s rooms. On Saturday, I’ll be hanging a couple of pieces of artwork I’ve created that illustrate the idea of church and home coming together to amplify the gospel message in the life of each child.

God is Bigger

A participatory mural where kids can bring in the biggest pine cone or a photo of a giant peach

The space room

When Kaitlyn walked into her classroom and saw this planet, she exclaimed, "Wow! That's big!" Exactly.

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As I explained in my last post, our goal is for every child to think of the biggest thing they can imagine or comprehend and realize that God is bigger than that. So when Kaitlyn walked into her space classroom and exclaimed, “That is big!” we felt pretty good. She gets it.

Kaitlyn is big

Kaitlyn shows off the mural in the reception area

Our reception area is dominated by an interactive mural that encourages kids to participate. I just mounted a shadow box today (I’ll post photos tomorrow) where children can display the biggest pine cone they’ve ever seen, a photo of a giant peach they saw on a road trip, or their mother’s cell phone bill — our pastor’s recent suggestion.

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The last month or two, Becky and I have been going full speed trying to prepare for our move into our new church building. Our particular focus is the Children’s Ministry, and the building that was handed to us had far too much beige for our children!

The Children's Ministry hallway

We tried to brighten and create a sense of movement in a long hallway

Becky organized two workdays with about 25 volunteers at each, painting hallways and murals, putting together “partial assembly required” swings and toys and organizing supplies. A small design team and I created and painted a number of murals focused on the bigness of God.

Each room is themed around the question, “What is big for this age group?” For infants, flowers can be huge! For walkers, all they see are legs. For toddlers, trees are big. Preschoolers can begin to take in the bigness of a mountain. And Kindergartners think space is the biggest thing they can imagine.

Our first preview service was last Sunday, and it was a big success. We had about 250 more people than a typical week, and almost double the number of children. At times it was absolutely crazy as we worked out kinks and learned a new registration system. This week we’re anticipating a small reduction in attendance because of Labor Day, but the following week will likely set a record for our highest attendance ever. Please pray for Becky and me as we make our plans. It’s exciting, but growth and special events take a lot out of you. Becky has especially been putting in a lot of hours.

Thanks for your partnership with us.

The nursery

What's big for infants? Even the flowers and ladybugs are huge!

Jungle-themed Toddler Room

Cotter takes in the jungle-themed toddler room

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