Sit with your Yoda!

3 Nov


Ever sat with Yoda? Think about it… you want to be a Jedi and you get to have coffee with the most renowned and powerful Jedi Masters in galactic history! He was known for his wisdom, mastery of the Force, and was pretty good with a lightsaber!

Last week I had the chance to sit with my new coach. This man was a CDO (Chief Development Officer) for a leading non-profit for nearly 18 years. We spent the day together and I asked him these two questions:

  • How should I think as CDO?
  • What can I do, that only I as the CDO, can do?

As we sat looking out over the changings color of leaves on a brisk Colorado afternoon, here was his answer that I hope will translate into what you are working on in your life.

  • Be the “relationship builder” in chief. I loved this, and as I look down at my notes he also said, “ignite meaningful relationships.” Love this – it’s challenging for sure.
  • Create a culture that embraces philanthropic partnership. I think that one of the take-a-ways here was to allow many within your organization to participate with your goals.
  • Be a strategist and a planner. Implement what you plan! Later that afternoon he gave me some good thoughts on making a strategic plan.
  • Strive to be a “thought leader.” Be educated in your discipline. I asked him about others in this field, and who does this well. The two examples he gave me were followed by this: “They pay attention to what is happening in this space.”
  • Flag Bearer! (Walk the talk.) Challenge the team to give, work on having as many as possible to have skin in the game.
  • You ARE a “Sight Raiser!” God-sized goals … ambitious … always one step ahead asking, “what is next?” People want to be around you – you are exciting to be around.
  • Talent Magnet. You want people in the organization to want to come and work in your arena. Great place to work, environment, and a thriving vibration that exudes.
  • Servant Leader. Always try and invert that organization chart or pyramid.
  • Mentor your successor. Be thinking about what happens if you left your post today.
  • List Management. Be tactic. In the world of development, use the “Moves Management” as a practice. Have a system to the relational approach.

As we walked away from the table we sat at for nearly 6 hours … let’s just say that the lightsaber felt a little heavy, and the years of flight my mentor has experienced were evident. I have a lot to learn … and excited to do just that!

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” (Yoda to Luke Skywalker)

Moving Clarifies: It’s About People!

22 Oct

Moments before the Scofield’s headed out to Colorado… and on the other side of this camera was a great crew of people we love!

Everyone should move. The act of moving offers up a sense of clarity, it jostles ones world, and it also provides a sense of adventure. Marni, the boys, and I packed the truck and headed to Colorado just over a week ago. We are down to a few boxes left to unpack, and last night was our first home cooked meal! (Marni’s rice pasta with a secret sausage sauce!)

Once your feet are firmly planted on Colorado soil, you look back and ask yourself – what is left from the decade in San Diego? What remains? What will you take with you? (It was a bit of shock and sadness yesterday to see all our beach items – why did I bring the boogie board?)

Paul in the New Testament has a similar reflection. It comes in a little excerpt at the end of his life when he writes to Timothy and has this to say:

“9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” 2 Timothy 4:9-13

You know what I like in this text? I love the 7 names – Demas, Crescens, Titus, Luke, Mark, Tychicus, and Carpus. In the end, as Paul reflects, it was about the people. The people are what make the story!

Yesterday I took Charlie to school. The day before we went to Hudson’s first game. I came away from both of these very typical and normal occurrences with a sense of emptiness. The people! Marni and I don’t know any of the people. In San Diego we sat with a crew at Hudson’s games… and talked life while watching the game. If we took Charlie to school you knew the people walking, the amazing traffic volunteers, and kids shouting, “Mr. Scofield! Hey!”

Moving offers a great sense of clarity. Do I really need to move this or not? As you unpack, you focus on beds first, and then the kitchen so you can eat. Clarity. The clarity for me though is the people. Marni and I invested in people, and if we go back to San Diego for a visit we won’t be at Seaworld, the beach, or even Torrey Pines. We will be with our list of seven! What really matters? I love the simplicity of loving God and loving people. Seems clear doesn’t it?

Moving jostles your world for sure! Movers separate lamp shades from lamps – why? It is like a big puzzle on the other end. The jostling of ones world is good – it offers you the chance to reground yourself. It’s like a freshman year in college all over – who do you want to be? The truth is, you don’t have to move to have a “jostling” … a project around your home can do it, a crisis will definitely do it, and a new job can also do it. We are such creatures of habit, and in that habit, we tend to trust the world around us… here’s to jostling!

Moving is a sense of adventure for sure! I talked with a friend from Montana on the phone yesterday. What an encouragement he was in the short call we had. He just kept saying, “This is so good. What an adventure you are on!” He continued saying that it is in the adventure you can see the fingerprints of God with even greater clarity. We are on day 8 since flying out of San Diego, so I cannot say I see the plan yet, we are still in the marine layer (sigh). We have seen God go before us on this move though – that is for sure.

I know this much – please keep doing traffic with a sense of energy and personality Kristin … I will try and make our Christmas lunch Tyler … Lisa, you still will get the calls on what to do in certain situations … I will miss golfing with Matt, John, Mike, and Dave … take care of the Broken Yolk TATY crew … and I could go on and on. But now I have to work hard right here…. Investing in people. The crossing guard at Broadmoor Elementary is a great elder gentleman named John, and yesterday I got to break down boxes with Curtis, and the man of the hour who has swung by twice is Brian. I sense the Lord has already given me a sense of excitement to go deep with a few… give me a decade, and let’s see how it all unfolds!

Do You Need TEAM?

8 Jul

Recently I was reading an email from years past … do you ever do that?  I decided that 23,000 emails in my saved inbox was too many.  I deleted a huge amount — did that feel good.  One of the emails I read was from a past boss.  He was talking about the “softer side of leadership.”  One of the softer sides he was referring too was the usage and acceptance of TEAM.

Cards (57)

Charlie and his TEAM cheering on Gabe after the winning hit en route to a Championship season! Go D’Backs!

I love this photo — there are many reasons.  One reason I love it is the batter last in our rotation, the batter that was the youngest on our team, and the person with the least amount of experience stepped up to the plate and WON THE GAME! 

Looking back I can honestly say many ways in which I did NOT utilize a team.  It’s easy to do.  Ever seen a Superman cape?  Here are some simple ways to skip right over team —

  • Don’t ask their opinion
  • Don’t CC them on important emails
  • Make decisions that are really in their court
  • Believe more in you than in them
  • Take the credit when something goes well — all by yourself

Do you need TEAM?  What would the people around your leadership say to that?  Do they know what the vision is?  Did they get to speak into it?  Do they feel believed in?

I will never forget that night.  Little Gabe stepped up to the plate and there was nothing but belief on that field, with his teammates noses peaking through the fence — “You got this Gabe!”  They believed, they cheered, they promoted, and they made sure when he hit that ball and we scored the winning run that they were all over him!

What do you need to do with your TEAM (mates) that are up to bat?  Are you cheering?  Are you believing? 

Go team!


Does it reach kids? What’s your mission?

23 Oct


The WyldLife Club I volunteer with . . . great kids, great times!


This was an article I wrote this week for Young Life’s national communication.

“Does It Reach Kids?”

As a young area director, I had a very crowded office. It was in an old house where we were given the basement corner. We packed the area office into this basement, and as I look back, it’s one of my all-time favorite offices. We had the normal Young Life office “swag.” We had tubs with left-over clothespins, shaving cream, surgical gloves and colored flagging tape. We had golf sponsor signs from past tournaments in hopes that they would decide to sponsor again! And, we had a golden glove cabin clean-up award and lots of camp photos! All in all, it was a great place to swing by and hang out.

I was recently at a lunch with an area director who was a part-time student staff back in the “basement corner” days. He reminded me of one key item I had forgotten. There was a large poster that hung on the wall with this quote: “Does it reach kids?”

That question kept us focused on our mission as a leadership team. Here are a few conclusions we came to as we kept that quote front and center:

In Young Life, everything we do gives kids a chance to meet and follow Jesus! Kids can respond to the Savior anytime and anywhere, not just at summer camp. Be aware and be prepared!
As you create your schedule, use the litmus test, “Does it help us reach kids?” If it doesn’t, then delete it.

In one discussion, a team leader realized that if he did 20 percent less kid work and instead focused on recruiting leaders, he would reach many more kids!

“So, naturally, we proclaim Christ! We warn everyone we meet, and we teach everyone we can, all that we know about him, so that, if possible, we may bring every man up to his full maturity in Christ. This is what I am working at all the time, with all the strength that God gives me” (Colossians 1:28-29, J. B. Phillips Version). These words from Paul remind me of a couple of things:


  • “Naturally proclaim Christ” — Is this not what we do in Young Life? We have a way and a style in our very DNA of communicating Jesus. Be natural, be who God created you to be and proclaim the person of Christ.
  • “All we know about Him” — What is a great Young Life message? Telling kids about Jesus! Make sure He has the maximum “time of possession” in the talk. In other words, are we talking more about ourselves, or more about Jesus? Are we talking more about the woman at the well or the leper who was healed, or are we talking more about the Savior who met them?
  • “Working at … with all the strength” — It seems to me that the evil one loves to get us off target, even slightly. Keep working at reaching lost kids for Jesus! Keep asking yourself, “Does it reach kids?”

As we hit the fall stride, clubs have been going for a couple of months, fall camps are in gear, and we begin to get busy with the fast-approaching holidays. It’s time to think KISS! (Keep It Super Simple). Look at what is transpiring in your ministry. Ask yourself, “Does it reach kids?” Thank you for doing what you are doing in this great mission! You ARE making a difference!


16 Oct


I remember when Richard came to me after stopping by a weekend Young Life camp and seeing us struggle with our sound equipment – “Eric, go by the audio store and make a list of everything you need to make a weekend camp awesome.  Music at the games, music in club, a microphone for the speaker, a way to play two songs at once . . . make a list.”  So, I did just that.  I gave the list to Richard and said, remember, you told me to make a complete “dream” list – so there it is.  Richard didn’t even flinch.  He said, “Thanks for the information.”

Two weeks later a delivery came to our office.  It was everything that was on that list.  It was like Christmas!  Richard “sold the farm!”

“Selling the farm” can happen in a lot of ways.  I take this from the new testament when the bible says this:  “It was at this time that Barnabas sold his farm and put the proceeds at the apostles’ disposal.”  (Acts 4:36-37)

It was “at this time” that God tapped Richard on the shoulder and inspired him to “sell his farm.”  This is how it works . . . whenever you see amazing things going on, it usually means there are a lot of people “selling their farms.

These past few months Marni and I have been humbled by the people that have sold the farms around our lives.  The doorbell rings with meals, gift cards, flowers, people offering to run errands, rides for the boys, and the person just coming to sit and be with her.  The people that sell the farm do not always have the resources to do it.  The key to selling the farm is the heart.  Some of the people that have been the most “sold out” are the ones that have the deepest experiences of loss, or, have been the recipients of others selling the farm for them.

God uses people to accomplish his work.  The mystery of the Gospel is that “Christ is IN you!  Yes, IN YOU!”  And with that, comes hope for others!  (Colossians 1:27) 

God used Barnabas and a plot of land.  God used Richard to make weekend camps even more awesome.  God has used countless people in the Scofields’ lives since June.  God wants to use YOU!

How might God use YOU?  How could you “sell the farm?”  Here are a few ways I have thought of – but let them ruminate and see what you come up with as well!

  • Sell the Farm VISION.  Did you ever think that you might help others with your vision and perspective?  I remember being a young Area Director and wondering how to pull off a golf tournament.  It was Steve’s VISION alongside of me that put me over the edge.  It was as if his courage dripped over into my heart.
  • Sell the Farm CARE.  Every year we would put on a Christmas gathering.  As an Area Director I showed up with my Christmas tie and a devotional.  Everything else came from others.  It was one of the best nights of the year – and it was put on by other’s CARE.  The food, the decorations, the music, the thoughtfulness.  Leaders always walked away from that night knowing they were cared for.
  • Sell the Farm CASH.  I remember one summer’s evening when a committee guy came by our summer event at the park.  He happened to catch a sound byte of a leader saying they had a kid who could go to camp, but they were short the funds.  He pulled out his money clip and peeled off 3 one-hundred dollar bills.  “Will this help?” Yes, it helped!  The best part of that story was when that girl, 7 years later, married, expecting, and in love with her husband she met at that camp called and said, “Who was that guy? I want to connect and thank him.”  Wish I could have been on that phone call!
  • Sell the Farm STRATEGY.  There was a day when we had an 8500 square foot home that we wanted to have as a leader house and epicenter for ministry.  There was a group that met, planned, raised funds, and oversaw this project.  They were in construction and development, and they knew what they were doing.  I remember one day looking around at the 13 leaders living in the house, the dunk ball court in the back, the newly renovated kitchen and bathrooms, and the game room in the basement.  This all happened because of these people “selling the farm.”

What about you?  Where have others “sold the farm” to help you in your life?  Where have you been nudged to “sell the farm” for others? 

I am certainly grateful. 

Have a great day!



5 Aug

Just 300 teen moms and babies having the “week of their lives” while we all attempted to be IF YOU SAY SO leaders

Here’s a couple questions for you to ponder…

  • When did you first recognize that is was Jesus on the shore of your life?
  • What would be the things in your life that attempt to “crowd Jesus out?”

I love Luke 5:1-11.  There is nothing about this day in the life of Jesus that I don’t like.

1-3 One day the people were crowding closely round Jesus to hear God’s message, as he stood on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Jesus noticed two boats drawn up on the beach, for the fishermen had left them there while they were cleaning their nets. He went aboard one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to push out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and continued his teaching of the crowds from the boat.When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Push out now into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”Simon replied, “Master! We’ve worked all night and never caught a thing, but if you say so, I’ll let the nets down.”6-8 And when they had done this, they caught an enormous shoal of fish—so big that the nets began to tear. So they signalled to their friends in the other boats to come and help them. They came and filled both the boats to sinking point. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell on his knees before Jesus and said, “Keep away from me, Lord, for I’m only a sinful man!”9-10 For he and his companions (including Zebedee’s sons, James and John, Simon’s partners) were staggered at the haul of fish that they had made. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid, Simon. From now on your catch will be men.”11 So they brought the boats ashore, left everything and followed him.

I don’t know what your middle school P.E. moment is or after school dance moment is regarding NOT getting picked – but know that Jesus does pick YOU.  He “gets into your boat.”  I love that.

Here is the part of the account that I especially love.  There have been little moments of obedience all along the way – (1) let him get into the boat, (2) push out a little, (3) push out into deep water, and then, the moment – (4) let your nets down for a catch.

This is where the line is crossed.  Now Jesus is messing with a turf that is not His – he is “allowing his mower onto some other persons property.”  This is someone telling you how to load your dishwasher, how you like your sock drawer organized, or worse yet, how to drive.  It is simply not right!

Peter comes back with some great arguments:

  1.  We have worked all night.
  2. We have not caught a thing.

In those great arguments we hear so much about how hard they worked, how much they know, how much their expertise should be factored in.  We hear that they have knowledge of when to fish, where to fish, and how to fish.  Basically what I hear is:  “Back off!”

But wait … the moment has arrive.  “But – IF YOU SAY SO.”  There they are, the magic words.  IF YOU SAY SO has a lot of obedience packed into it.  This is where the impact comes from.

We just got done with our summer assignment.  The Young Life staff, the Summer Staff, and the Work Crew were amazing!  The Lost Canyon Property Staff were also amazing . . . and together we served up the “best week” to thousands of campers.  This happened because people had the – “If you say so,” attitude.

Have you ever worked with an “If you say so,” person.  They are amazing.  They just get the job done.  Peter was an “if you say so” kind-of-a-guy.  What did it get him?  It got him a few boat-loads full of fish, more fish that he had EVER seen caught.  It also changed his life.  How do we know?  He left the fish to follow after the person who caught the fish!

The three ways to be an IF YOU SAY SO person:

  1. Attitude.  There is nothing that separates a person more from another person than just attitude.  We all know the kind of person – “Absolutely!  No Problem!”  How we respond to people with out attitude speaks volumes as to whether we are an IF YOU SAY SO person.
  2. Available.  Peter allowed his boat to be used.  This entire account could have been real short – but Peter was available.  We have to be ready to serve.  We have to be the first to throw our hands up in the air!  Pick me!
  3. Obedient.  There are times that what we are asked to do will not make sense.  We will have a great comeback – “Worked all night,” or “Haven’t caught a thing.”  Nevertheless, we toss the nets in.

These three attributes = IMPACT.  I watched it over and over again this summer.  People who had great attitudes, people who were available, and people who were obedient.  Boats were overflowing!

Back to the start –

In what ways can you see Jesus standing on your shore of your life?

What is trying to crowd him out from helping you be an IF YOU SAY SO leader?

Hope you have a great week!  Happy Monday!


Grandkids in Christ — who will yours be?

29 Jun

Ian and Jack — having it out in a soccer match!

20+ years ago I was leading a kids at South Salem High School.  It seemed that all we could focus on back then was what was right in front of us  . . . there were hundreds of kids that I knew.  Two particular high school guys I had breakfast with every Tuesday for a semester.  One was a senior and one was a sophomore.  We talked life, school, and Jesus.  At that point in their journey — they seemed older than all the middle school students, and they even seemed mature.  I think back now and wonder how did I not think of them as young, young kids.  One was 15 and one was 17 — so young!

We talked about decisions that they would make, and even said, these are big decisions that will impact the rest of your life.  Over those years both of them started relationships with Jesus and truly — their lives did change.  How they lived their lives in high school, where they went after high school, what they decided to do, and who they married.

The picture above is two of their boys — they played in a soccer match today.  Who cares who won — what matters happened long before they met, long before they showed up on the field today, and long before they even took their first breath.  The life these two boys live as  10 year olds is markedly different because of decisions that their dads made in high school.

Some of you are teachers, some of you are coaches, some of you are parents.  You are pouring into students and giving them all you have.  There are days it is hard to remember that you are teaching, coaching, and pouring into a future businessman, wife, coach, husband, mother, father, teacher, doctor, or farmer.  You cannot predict the future, but you can be sure that time will travel, and it will travel fast.

This picture was texted to me today and I smiled.  I thought to myself, wow, am I glad I said yes to Tuesday breakfasts!  They wouldn’t know how to express gratitude nor understand why, but Jack and Ian I am sure one day will also be grateful.

Keep making decisions on what counts!  Don’t grow weary of pouring yourself out in service.  Keep on keepin’ on!  I guess in some ways these are my grandkids in Christ — who will yours be?



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