Tuesday, July 7, 2009

finished 3 books last week... + what's coming

Last week I finished reading 3 books. I'm a "readaholic" as I've mentioned before. I'm never reading just one book at a time. In fact, if you look to the right of this page you can see where I constantly update what books I am currently reading and then the ones I have recently finished reading.

So, last week I finished a book I have been reading for a long time. I read a whole book in 1 day. And I finished a book I started a couple weeks ago. So, a little bit of everything. One day I hope to post full reviews & takeaways from these books, but for now here is a line about each.

I have been working on Good to Great for a month or 2. Mainly in my car on my way to and from work. Jim Collins, the best-selling author, was kind enough to read it to me from my iPod. It is an AMAZING book. I took about 13 pages of notes on it! So relevant for us at Ridge Church! If you work in any kind of business or organization and have a leadership role, you have no doubt heard of it. Now I'm telling you to pick it up and read it!

At 1 of my side jobs I can listen to my iPod the whole time. I was thankful to download Francis Chan's book Crazy Love for FREE - HERE! I popped it on my iPod (actually on Crystal's iPod because mine has been full for a year or so) and listened to the WHOLE book in 1 day. (I also took 3 & a half pages of notes on it.) Pretty awesome. Francis is one of the rawest guys I follow. He has some awesome stuff to say in this book (& you can buy by clicking the pic of it to the right if you prefer the print version).

And last but not least I finished the latest from Rob Bell - Jesus Wants to Save Christians. I listened to the sermon series by the same title a while back, but then my friend Brian let me borrow it to read. So I couldn't write in it which is my normal practice, which meant I could only read it when my laptop was handy so I could type up my notes! Awesome awesome book. I hear this guy is going to start writing more and I'm all for that because I could read him every day. Stoked he's coming back to Catalyst again this year too!

And now for what's coming the next several posts here on renown...
I'm going to be posting my thoughts & commentary from a book that's in my top 5 of all time (as you can see to the right). I read it roughly 3 years ago. It's by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, & Lane Jones -> part of the original leadership team at North Point (our planting/sending/father/partner/whateveryouwannacallthem church). It completely jacked me up the 1st time I read it. It caused me to HAVE to leave my former job at another church. I had to be a part of a ministry that implemented the practices in this book. Once I knew this stuff I couldn't operate any other way!
I jokingly call this book our "Bible" at Ridge Church. These practices in the book truly are our guardrails for ministry. They are the practices we follow no matter what!

So, it's not JUST a book. There's a podcast conversation between the 3 authors you can download for free on iTunes & it's a constant conversation with us. So, my commentary will be just that - commentary, not just notes straight from a book.

The book is called 7 Practices of Effective Ministry. I'm taking some Ridge Church leaders through it right now & probably will always be taking leaders through it... over & over. It's an awesome book that YOU should read, but in case you don't have time, I'll be posting my thoughts & commentary & applications.

There are 7 practices, so I'll try to talk about 1 practice in each post. Just to let you in on what's coming, here are the 7 practices:
1) Clarify the Win, 2) Think Steps, Not Programs, 3) Narrow the Focus, 4) Teach Less for More, 5) Listen to Outsiders, 6) Replace Yourself, 7) Work On It

Ahh... I'm all worked up now just typing them! here are a couple other thoughts from Andy to get you thinking...
"These practices have FORCED US to let go of some comfortable yet ineffective approaches to ministry."
And before somebody starts jumping up and down about how the church shouldn't follow a system or model or something about the Holy Spirit... he also writes in the introduction - "these strategies are not nearly as important to your success as being in sync with what God desires to do in your church."

I would love to get some feedback and have some conversations around these next 7 posts about our 7 practices!

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