All posts by Brian Kruckenberg
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Taking Responsibility for our City..

December 11, 2014 2 Comments 21

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." – Peter Drucker The first time I heard that quote, it stuck. I didn’t need to hear it again because as anyone who leads a team knows, it’s true. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago while attending a leadership retreat, where a lion’s share of the morning discussion had to do with the power of staff culture. We were challenged to write down the cultural values of the teams we lead. All of the leaders in the room understood the importance of doing so, but few of us had gone through the process of actually writing down the words that both define our current culture and describe the culture we aspire to have. This process is beneficial on multiple levels and applies to all areas of life, whether in the home, in business, or in civic leadership. I recalled that nearly four years ago, when we started New City Church, we went through a similar process—almost without knowing it. At that time we looked at the city of Phoenix and asked ourselves two questions: “What are the current cultural values of this city?” and “What do the people of this city aspire to?” What we have seen over and over as we’ve lived and worked in the city during these past four years is that Phoenix has some very distinct cultural characteristics. First, we have seen that Phoenix values entrepreneurialism. Unlike other cities, there are very few “good old boy” networks you have to navigate, which means that if you have an idea, you really can go for it. Relatedly, we identified a culture of creativity. Perhaps because our city is relatively young, people aren’t afraid to try new things here. The story of Phoenix is still being written, after all. Ours is also a city characterized by resourcefulness, with people from...

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." – Peter Drucker The first time I heard that quote, it stuck. I didn’t need to hear it again because as anyone who leads a team knows, it’s true. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago while attending a leadership retreat, where a lion’s share of the morning discussion had to do with the power of staff culture. We were challenged to write down the cultural values of the teams we lead. All of the leaders in the room understood the importance of doing so, but few of us had gone through the process of actually writing down the words that both define our current culture and describe the culture we aspire to have. This process is beneficial on multiple levels and applies to all areas of life, whether in the home, in business, or in civic leadership. I recalled that nearly four years ago, when we started New City Church, we went through a similar process—almost without knowing it. At that time we looked at the city of Phoenix and asked ourselves two questions: “What are the current cultural values of this city?” and “What do the people of this city aspire to?” What we have seen over and...

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." – Peter Drucker The first time I heard that quote, it stuck. I didn’t need to hear it again because as anyone who leads a team knows, it’s true. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago while attending a leadership retreat, where a lion’s share of the morning discussion had to do with the power of staff culture. We were challenged to write down the cultural values of the teams we lead. All of the leaders in the room understood the importance of doing so, but few of us had gone through the process of...

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." – Peter Drucker The first time I heard that quote, it stuck. I didn’t need to hear it again because as anyone who leads a team knows, it’s true. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago while attending a leadership retreat, where a lion’s share...

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." – Peter Drucker The first time I heard that quote, it stuck. I didn’t need to hear it again because as...

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." – Peter Drucker The first time I heard that quote, it stuck. I didn’t need to hear it again because as anyone who leads a team knows, it’s true. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago while attending a leadership retreat, where a lion’s share of the morning discussion had to do with the power of staff culture. We were challenged to write down the cultural values of the teams we lead. All of the leaders in the room understood the importance of doing so, but few of us had gone through the process of...

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Finishing the Story..

September 17, 2014 No Comments 5

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen into sin and that only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are people redeemed from this sin. That, however, is where many stop. Repent of your sin, turn to Jesus, and inherit eternal life when you die. While as a pastor I’d affirm that this is all true, it is not complete. The Bible tells of a time when there was not sin in the world. Through the creation account in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we learn that God created man and woman in His own image and issued what is often referred to as the “cultural mandate”: be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and tame it (Gen. 1:26-28). In other words, “Take what I have given you and make the earth like what you see in the Garden of Eden, a place of peace, order and beauty.” We call this first chapter in the story of God, Creation. However, the story of God does not end with Creation, but is soon followed by the Fall, where man and woman disobey God and thereby bring sin into the world. This second chapter is well known both inside and outside the church. But the story of God does...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen into sin and that only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are people redeemed from this sin. That, however, is where many stop. Repent of your sin, turn to Jesus, and inherit eternal life when you die. While as a pastor I’d affirm that this is all true, it is not complete. The Bible tells of a time when there was not sin in the world. Through the creation account in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we learn that God created man and woman in His own image and issued what is often referred to as the...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen...

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Beyond Color Blindness..

August 27, 2014 1 Comment 12

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the coming weeks. – The Editor “What would you do if a huge black guy was threatening you?” As soon as the question was posed to me, I knew something in me had changed. The way I saw the world had been altered. I knew it because I was able to recognize the fabric from which a question like this arises. Because immediately upon hearing the question, my heart leapt with the thought: “Why does it matter if the man is black?” Yet, to most, that detail matters. A lot. I’m a white guy from Kansas who spent the better part of his childhood as what would qualify as poor. My parents had me and my two brothers while they were young. We lived in a trailer house while my dad and mom were putting my dad through vet school. I can’t help but know that people drove by my home and labeled us as trash—of both the trailer and white variety. The good news for me is that those labels didn’t follow me out of that trailer park and into the middle-class existence that waited for me after my dad graduated from school. I went to high school and never once thought about taking a different...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the coming weeks. – The Editor “What would you do if a huge black guy was threatening you?” As soon as the question was posed to me, I knew something in me had changed. The way I saw the world had been altered. I knew it because I was able to recognize the fabric from which a question like this arises. Because immediately upon hearing the question, my heart leapt with the thought: “Why does it matter if the man is black?” Yet, to most, that detail matters. A lot. I’m a white guy from Kansas who spent the better part of his childhood as what...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the...

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