Gaining Wealth for His Cause

As we are gearing up to launch generosity groups the following is teaching on the principles we believe in for gaining wealth for the cause of Christ.  This is a two part series on what the bible says about gaining wealth.

Our mission with our Generosity team is to inspire, equip, and empower ‘believers’ to earn more, save more, and give more to building the kingdom of God here on earth.

For most of us we work outside the four walls of the ‘church’ and it’s therefore thought by some we as Gods people might have less of a ‘calling on us’ then those who are called into full time ministry. We believe that nothing could be further from the truth. Instead we believe that God creates us all with special gifts, talents, and abilities to play an important part in God’s overall purpose. That we all make up the body of Christ, and each and everyone of us is very important in doing and becoming who God has created us to become. Our mission and it its importance here on earth should neither be minimized nor overly exaggerated. There are millions of good and faithful Christians who lived before us and many who will live after us, yet we individually only have one life, our lives, to give back to God, therefore we should take it with a healthy level of individual importance. We should be honored that God chose us to play an important part of His grand purpose of establishing heaven on earth. We believe that it is our primary function as ‘believers’ working outside the four walls of the church to have the greatest possible impact for the cause of Christ. It should be our burning desire to support our paid staff pastors with ample finances and services to empower them to accomplish all the visions and aspirations that the Lord puts on their hearts. Together we believe that we can accomplish what man would think is impossible, through the power of Jesus Christ, and the cooperation and unity between our wonderful godly pastors and all of us who work to support them with our prayers, service and financial provision.

In order for us to in fact earn more, save more, and give more to the kingdom of God we believe it is of the utmost importance to first discuss the whole issue of earning more money. Many Christians for good reason are more than leery about the whole subject of ‘earning more money’, so I believe before we get too far down the road we should truly investigate what God has to say about it. For if he is opposed to us spending our time and energy earning and accumulating money, then everything our Generosity team does from organizing and running The School of Generosity, to setting up Generosity Groups that are focused on helping instruct, guide, and encourage people to earn more, save more, and give more is simply taking good hearted people down a road that is not only a waste of time, but more importantly dishonors God. Therefore we believe that it is wise for us to spend an adequate amount of time in the research of scriptures discovering exactly what God has to say on this very important matter.

It is impossible to give if you have nothing to give. One of the most effective strategies the evil one has executed against God’s church historically is to convince Christians that money is evil and that poverty is good or holy. Think about it. How much can get accomplished in anything without an adequate amount of money or capital? The answer of course is very little. How do you feed, cloth, or educate your children? How do you make a payroll if you run a business? How do you send money abroad to starving children in impoverished nations, let alone build a thriving church, which can reach the hurting and lost people of our own cities? The ultimate question that must be forever answered and answered effectively is, “is money evil?” In order to find the REAL TRUTH on this very important question is to search out exactly what God says about money or it’s equivalent in the Bible or His word.

Next week I will go over some scriptures that I believe can be misguided, and other that prove the importance of gaining wealth for the cause of Christ and his Church.  In the meantime, do your own study on what the bible says for you.

To the School of Generosity

Dear School of Generosity graduates,

On behalf of Pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith we wanted to once again thank you for participating in our school. After pouring through the surveys we were encouraged by your overall responses. From your responses most all of you were inspired to earn more, save more, and most importantly give more to God’s work here on earth. You told us that our speakers not only inspired you, but equipped you to do the same, but that you were even more interested in developing the skills to implement the principles the speakers taught. We too, believe the school can only educate you to a certain level and then to go deeper, we must learn how to take our education, and develop effective strategies and plans to accomplish what God has put on our hearts.

Therefore we are in the process of identifying approximately 20 quality leaders who have diverse backgrounds, expertise, and different passions or interests that have a strong desire to lead groups, so as to better equip you on your specific interests and need. These leaders will be equipped to accomplish these goals by attending a six (6) week City Group training session that will be hosted by Neil and Gina at the Kirkland Campus, beginning May 2nd from 6:30 to 8:00pm.  Many have showed great interest in going through these empowerment meetings, if any of you see yourself as future leaders please contact Neil by email and he will set up an individual meeting with you prior to April 15th.

Each group leader will be asked to gather approximately 10 to 20 people interested in the specific subject they will cover. The group will be designed around equipping you, but a lot of time will be dedicated to dialogue, encouragement, fellowship, and praying for one another; in essence doing life together by  building lasting and strong productive relationships. A culture where everyone is for each other and will act as a support group. We believe that much lasting fruit will come out of these groups.

As many of you know we have an exciting retreat planned for our Generosity team August 9 through August 11th at Suncadia. The retreat will be life changing, we promise, and like our school we will put a lot of quality time and thought into making this a wonderful week end in a variety of ways. We have had hundreds of you indicate that you wanted to be counted in and would intend on participating for what we believe will be a life changing weekend however space is limited. Therefore it is imperative that you register as soon as possible to secure space.  To register and for pricing details, click this link:  http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/?eventid=1210309 .

We hope to see you there! Our new groups will be kicked off that weekend, however if you are in a current group that is satisfying your needs, we encourage you to keep on attending. We will keep you updated monthly for more specifics on the retreat.

We have gathered many names who have indicated that they either want to attend a group or lead one. Please email neil@emeraldcityathleticclubs.com  if you are interested in leading a group so he and possibly Gina can meet with you before April 30th.

Be blessed!

Neil and Gina Schober

Generosity Team Leaders

A letter to my previous leaders and employees

Dear club managers, fitness directors and other key people,

My purpose in life is to inspire and empower people to achieve their God given destiny.  For the most part my purpose is accomplished through the running and operating of fitness clubs.  I have dedicated myself to giving the next 10 years of my life to building absolutely, the most excellent fitness company in the world second to none.  In order to accomplish this goal of building an excellent company we must first develop excellent leaders.  It is my hope that these leaders will in time be capable of taking our company to the next level after I retire.  But until then, like I said, I am dedicated to give my all in energy, experience, wisdom and financial backing to this worthy cause.

If it was up to me we would be building five new clubs per year.  We have arranged financing for this type of growth and we have developers that would develop clubs for us at this rapid rate.  What has been holding us back is our slow growth of quality managers.  Our managers for the most part are neither developing themselves or the people under them.  In the last 12-18 months we have increased our compensation packages significantly for everyone on the production side of the company only to see our sales decrease, new business decrease and our dues decrease.  Most recently we have taken the front desk responsibilities away from the sales management teams in order to free up more time for prospecting and the generation of more new sales.

This slide in sales production must stop and will stop and we will together rebuild this company into the most excellent sales and service company in the fitness business.  When I evaluate our management teams in most all of our clubs I see plenty of talented people, but few who have developed their own personal character, few who truly have a good work ethic.  In some cases they would rather just sit around and wait for someone other than themselves to solve their problems.

I believe there are 3 major compounds that make up a quality leader.  First is character, second talent and third a good work ethic – all in that specific order.  I define character as someone who will do the right thing, at the right time, all the time.  Those people who have this type of character have no problem leading and developing those people under their authority.  Because they have lifted themselves above the common follower who lives his life on a whim or in other words does whatever feels good at any given moment.  Remember, doing the right thing, at the right time, all of the time is not limited to inside your club.  Character is something that is mostly developed when no one is watching you.

Character development begins with a decision to become a man/woman of character all of the time.  What first comes to my mind is their commitment to be under authority.  Will they submit 100% to their boss?  Will they do whatever is asked of them within the guidelines of our company, with a good and positive, can do attitude?  Will they compete with themselves to do better than any of their peers?  So if they are asked to learn and to use and teach their people to follow our sales presentation or training dialogue, it is done, or if they are asked to implement the 10/5/3 system to absolute perfection, it is implemented excellently and their attitude is such that they would rather die than not accomplish what has been asked of them.  They are determined to do for their authority the absolute best they can do, hoping someday that those people who are under their authority will respond to them as they respond to their boss.  I believe this is the most important ingredient into the development of character and the development of a quality company.  Until there is speed and urgency to carry out orders from the top to the bottom we all work in vain.  A rebellious spirit is one of the hardest spirits to break, but mark my words once it is broken, you will be amazed with the ease and enthusiasm you will work with.  Everything will become smooth sailing.  Your people will see what a humble servant type leader you are and they in a short period of time will emulate you.  Unless you can develop this essential ingredient of character you will be no good to anyone as a leader, especially to yourself.  If you have a problem in this area and you want to change simply commit yourself to change and then ask your supervisor for forgiveness and begin a new life of submitting to authority.

The next essential element of character that comes to my mind is the paradigm of excellence.  The overall mind set of being excellent in all you do.  Never approach a task half heartedly.  Your entire self image, how you see yourself, is in a perfect and complete form.  It begins with a smile, your dress and personal hygiene is a shining example of who you are on the inside.  Your words that come out of your mouth are uplifting, encouraging and empowering, they bring life to your subordinates and peers.  Your physical body shows self control and discipline.  You therefore practice good nutrition and exercise consistently.  When people see you, they see a picture of radiant health and well being.  Your club is sparkling clean from the entrance to the locker rooms, to the toilets.  Nothing is out of order even the clocks within the club are all synchronized to the exact right time.  Not you or your staff would have considered walking through your locker room without shutting lockers, cleaning up the vanity area and the toilets in order to better serve the customer.  Your car, your home, everything about you is excellent.  If there was a monsoon the night before you are the first to get your car washed.  If your house needs painting, it gets painted.  Everything about you is dress right dress and in perfect order.

A man of character is prudent and temperate.  He always lives within his means.  He does not allow his emotional “wants” to overcome his common sense.  He understands the universal law of giving and receiving.  That the first 10% of his income should go to support his favorite charitable organization.  By doing this he will in a sense perform major surgery on his heart.  He will soon become a “giver” in all he does rather than a “taker”.  Soon he will experience how the universal law of giving and receiving will take care of all his needs in many mysterious ways.

Leading a temperate life means that he will save 10% of what he makes regardless of his situation.  If he is in debt because of past foolish behavior he will take the 10% and begin to pay off his debt.  Once it is paid then he will save the 10% and invest it wisely into conservative investments that will yield an 8% return and his money will grow and double every 6 to 7 years.  Never will he ever spend his money on luxuries that do not produce a handsome return.  Nor will he invest his money on get rich quick schemes.  He always consults experts who have character like himself to manage his money.  A temperate person never spends his futures.  Although he has great vision for his life he always keeps himself and his feet well planted on the ground.  For an example, if he is losing his equipment payment in 90 days and his profits will increase $25,000 per month and he receives 10% of his profits, he does not start spending that money that he expects to get before he actually gets it.

A man of character has a healthy sense and burn for competition.  He loves competition because it brings the best out of him.  He wants to compete with the best.  He would rather win by 1/10th of 1% against his best competitor than win by 30% against a weak opponent.  But as much as he burns to win, never would he cheat or intentionally hurt his competitor.  His basic character trait of honesty and integrity would never be sacrificed for the victory.  For he understands that victories come and go, and no one, no matter how good they are, can win all the time.  But what burns in him more than his competitive nature is his desire to do right and be honest, even to the slightest detail.  A man of character abhors lying and cheating in any degree, especially from himself.

A man of character has moral ascendancy over his men.  His men look up to him because he has overcome the strong bestial pull to destroy himself.  Nothing controls him, not alcohol or drugs or women.  He is able to make the right choice when tempted in any given situation.  When he falls on hard times in his marriage, or at work, instead of going out and getting drunk and entering into an illicit relationship that temporarily takes the pain away, he faces up to the situation and focuses his energies, prayer and meditations, into solving the real issues of his life.  However he learns to solve his problems, he in the end solves his problems and moves on to a higher ground each time he overcomes his obstacles that life brings his way.  In conclusion, he will not medicate himself with drugs, pornography or anything else that only covers up the problems in front of him.  He knows that if he can’t solve his problems how can he expect his people to solve theirs?
As a man grows in character he will discover that no longer does he need to yell and scream to get his people to do that they need to do.  Instead, his quiet, simple directives will carry much weight and his people will jump to action.

As most of us know talent is important.  I think of John Wooden, the great basketball coach, once said when asked how did you win 151 games straight, his response was “with greatly talented players!”  The interviewer followed up and said “No coach, really how did you win all those games?”  and again Coach Wooden said “talented players!”  What John Wooden did not say to this reporter is that he spent his life not only teaching his players to execute his game plan but how to become men of character.  Like Vince Lombardi, the great football coach, his players many years later did not remember the unique plays he taught his players to run in order to win, but rather how to become quality men of character.  The key component to teaching them character was first for the coaches to be men of character themselves.  As important as talent is it will only get you so far.  From my perspective, now 33 years in the business world, I believe that the more talented a man or woman is the better their odds of destroying themselves is.  Out of the top 10 most talented people I have had a chance to mentor 5 of them have destroyed their lives either through drug overdoses or simply suicide.  The sad thing about this is most of these talented people never saw it coming.  Their talent blinds them, their supervisors alibi for them because they are so good and before you know it they are so lost they never make it back.  It is my strong opinion that the more talented a person is the more discipline they need.  If you are afraid to discipline them they are already out of control and soon will be down the road anyway.  The great coach must first be a man of character before he has any chance to lead a powerfully talented person.

The last component to becoming an excellent leader is a good work ethic.  The younger the leader you are the harder and longer you will need to work.  What used to take me 12 hours to do now takes me 1 hour or less to do.  When I started in the fitness business as a janitor I knew nothing about sales, leadership, advertising, finance, banking, accounting, the law and all it’s different regulations, buying and selling businesses, etc…It took countless hours of hard and long work to read, study, interview people who had more knowledge than me.  But I had a vision for my life of living in a beautiful home on the lake, nice cars, beautiful family and wife who loved me, lots of money in the bank and extravagant vacations, just to name a few of my dreams.  A life of mediocrity depressed me.  I didn’t want to be just one of the other 6,000,000,000 people who just barely got by.  So I determined to take my visions, electrify them with faith and get them into my feet.  In my earlier years because I knew so little about nearly everything, I worked to exhaustion.  Sometimes on Sunday I would sleep 16 hours after working back to back to back 16+ hour days.  I now have a handful of friends who are very, very wealthy and they all raised themselves up from humble beginnings and although they have made their money in completely different businesses their story is the same.  That is work harder than everybody else, don’t cheat, be honest, keep your vision alive in your heart and keep your faith strong and soon, unusually 5-10 years your crop of success will begin to come up.  The problem with at least this generation is most think there is some magic formula to success.  Even if there was like the dot.commers of the 90’s – if the success comes too fast – it will be recklessly spent and soon be gone.

In conclusion, my burning desire is to attract the most talented people there is for the fitness business who want to be mentored and developed into men and women of character.  I promise you and God that I will pour my everything into you, so that instead of the process taking 30+ years like it did for me, we can shorten it down to about 10-15 years, cut it in half!  That’s a pretty good deal wouldn’t you say??

Sincerely,

Neil