Mark Affleck is one of the leaders at Saddleback, he’s responsible for leading the PEACE plan. This is a really big deal.

Over the past few months I’ve had an opportunity to sit in some meetings with Mark. I did what I do to everyone and every thing: I watched, wondered, questioned, considered, reflected, examined, tested and then watched some more, wondered some more, questioned some more, considered some more, reflected some more, examined some more, and tested a little more.

Sounds tiring, I know. It’s the way my mind works. Just think about my poor wife, the Mish has to hear me talk about it all…

(while driving today, I asked mish: does that driver look like a float operator, like a float for a parade? she didn’t even bother to ask why I was wondering this…ok, way off topic.)

Anyhow, what I found was a growing respect for Mark. The other day, I asked Mark a few questions, got some great answers (actually, it was mostly questions), and he also sent me some teaching he’d done for his team. Here’s the first part of that teaching:


  • Clear, consistent and unwavering Christian values
  • Suspended judgment of others
  • Self-improvement focus leaving no time to criticize
  • Determination to make a difference
  • You’re at your best when there’s “no time to think” and no one is watching
  • Every word is spoken as if everyone in the world can hear
  • Every action is taken as if everyone in the world can see
  • Deep sense of purpose
  • Tough and tenacious, especially during challenges
  • Every action runs through an “Integrity Filter“


I thought this was a good list . . . then I read it a few more times. I still felt it was a good list, but was challenged in a few areas:

UNWAVERING CHRISTIAN VALUES: check, no problem. I mean, sure, I’ve got lots of problems . . . but this has been a strong commitment of mine since I was in 8th grade. This list is going to be easy, right?

SUSPENDED JUDGEMENT OF OTHERS: Now I’m in trouble, this is what I do all the time. I consider and weigh in order to discover how good or bad or wise or foolish some decision or someONE is . . . Now, perhaps: most of the time I’m evaluating and not judging . . . but I’ll tell you this: it’s a fine line, and I’m sure I’ve crossed it more than I’m aware . . .

SELF-IMPROVEMENT FOCUS LEAVES NO TIME TO CRITICIZE: I’m ok on this one . . . with people I don’t know that well. But the people whom I know really well, I’m very critical. Sometimes I push too far, too hard. In all situations I’m quicker to see the negative than I am to DISCERN the positive.

DETERMINATION TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: check, no problem. I mean, that’s why I’m in ministry. Let’s move on. Hold on a second, there’s been many o times the last 3.5 years that I’ve given up, that is, given in, to discouragement. let the enemy – within and without – beat back the hope and truth that what I do matters and makes a real difference. ‘Course its not going to just happen…

YOU’RE AT YOUR BEST WHEN THERE’S “NO TIME TO THINK” AND WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING: I’m going to get a little more clarity on this one . . . cause I’m a colossal moron when I don’t keep my impulsiveness in check. However, when I’m not frozen by the assumed and presumed spectatorship of others, I know I do a better job on the task at hand.


This post is way to long, I’ll hit the rest of the list another time.

Take a moment to post a response below, which is one of the above points is an area where you’re really great at?