Can God Play?


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The Artist and The Teacher

At Luminous 2013 in Franklin, TN. Speakers were asked to deliver a Spark–a 5-minute speech that captured what they desperately wanted to say to the artists and creatives in attendance. My Spark seen here is delivered in story form. … (Read More)

Three Crosses Church

These people all go to your church. Who will lead them?

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Red Backpack Interview (Audio)

Recently, Bill Todd of interviewed me about Quirky Leadership. You can hear the interview here: Red Backpack Interview with John Voelz on Quirky Leadership

Red Backpack is a resource for spiritual direction. Bill Todd has practiced spiritual direction since … (Read More)


I sat down with Jim at a local greasy spoon. Interesting guy. He spoke in a deep voice and his conversation was paced like an NPR newsman.

He’s well educated and worked in an office building of one sort or … (Read More)

Shame My Family? Not On My Watch.


Recently, our staff, elders, and all our spouses gathered in an upper room of a brewery production facility for our annual vision and pulse-taking gathering.

One of the exercises we did required us to write down an extensive list we … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Picture This

Tools needed: A variety of pens, crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils. Large notebooks–one for each person on the team. Consider buying the book The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide by Brandy Agerbeck and/or Blah Blah Blah by Dan Roam. You don’t … (Read More)

I’m Not a Leader . . . Or, Am I?

Read the Ministry Matters article here.… (Read More)

The Prayer

I’m a big fan of prayer. All the time. At work. At home. At play.

Prayer is conversation. When we are in relationship with someone, conversation is a normal practice. Or it should be. If we stop conversing, we put … (Read More)

The Restaurant Owner

My good friend owns and operates multiple local breweries, wineries, and restaurants.  Because he knows I’m directly involved with steering design elements in the church I pastor, and because he knows I am deeply committed to investing in our city, … (Read More)

Quirky Idea: iCreate

Westwinds had a dream to partner with local schools in our area in order to give children a platform for creativity and to invent ways to build confidence in children as they learn what it means to be human, interact … (Read More)

The Harlem Shake?

Sure. It was silly. And no one cares about this web phenomenon anymore.

But this spontaneous moment at Westwinds Church is the kind of thing that makes memories and creates public-space community. In this instance, I’m defining community as “the … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Pockets and Purses

Tools needed: Whatever is in your team members’ pockets and/or purses that they consider trash or unwanted items. A hanging canvas. Paints of choice (oil or acrylic) and whatever art supplies an artist may want for this project.

We did … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Mall Exchange

Tools needed: $20.00 per team member

Put every team member’s name in a hat. Have everyone draw a name. Each team member is then given $20.00 to buy the person they drew a gift in the local mall that best … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: The Ugly Knick-Knack

Tools needed: A cheesy, unattractive, eyesore of a knick knack/statue/small piece of furniture/etc.

Give one of your team the ugly knick-knack. Tell them they have to display this item in plain sight until they memorize your plumblines. Once the plumblines … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Office Pet

Tools needed: Well . . .

Buy an office pet. A pet that reflects your own quirkiness. Invite the team to help name him.

This year we bought a hedgehog for the office. They aren’t legal in every state but … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Graffiti Room

Tools needed: A space you can mess up by writing on the walls.

One of the simplest things we have done to express who we really are as a team, a people, and a franchise of the kingdom is to … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Do I Really Act Like That?

Tools needed: Thick skin and a sense of humor

Invite your team to impersonate you. They can talk like you, walk like you, repeat your catch phrases, tell the jokes they hear you repeat, etc.

Objective: If you’re tough enough, … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Post-It Parade

Tools needed: Multiple colors of Post-it pads.

Invite your team to walk around your church building (offices, auditorium, bathrooms, kid’s space . . . everywhere) and place a post-it note anywhere that area surfaces a quirk in them.

Objective: Learn … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: 24 Squared

Tools needed: 24 hours, your team, and a fun destination.

Take your team to a city you love to visit. Overnight. Make it a road trip. Over a 24-hour period, everyone makes individual lists of 24 ideas you might be … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Playdoh Your Strengths

Tools needed: Multiple cans of Playdoh or clay. A place to get messy.

Cover tables with paper or get your team around a surface that can get dirty. Ask everyone to create a sculpture that is a metaphor for what … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: Movie Magic

Tools needed: Multiple movie tickets.

Buy a movie ticket for everyone on your team (at least four people needed). However, break up your team so there are no more than 3 or 4 people for any one movie (Our staff … (Read More)

Quirky Exercise: The Blind LEGO the Blind

Tools needed: Multiple LEGO projects (less than 50 pieces in a box).

Break into teams (4 people is a good team). Appoint one person as the leader on each team. Each leader is handed the instructions and picture for the … (Read More)