Book: “When Leadership and Discipleship Collide”

bill-hybelsTonight, I completed a powerful, short book by Bill Hybels, called When Leadership and Discipleship Collide. Hybels has served for years as Senior Pastor of the Willow Creek Church in Chicago, Illinois. Our staff is planning to attend the Willow Creek Leadership Summit this August.

In his book, Hybels contends that following Jesus sometimes causes us to go against established leadership principles. For example, leadership principles encourage us to surround ourselves with a team of highly qualified leaders. In contrast, Jesus chose a rag-tag group of inexperienced, unproven men to lead the Christian movement.

Hybels contends that discipleship and leadership principles occasionally collide. When the collision takes place, the Bible should always take precedence over “accepted” leadership principles. Hybels wrote:

In those rare cases when the human laws of leadership and the scriptural demands of discipleship do collide, decide on the side of discipleship every time….When the demands of discipleship articulated in the Bible collide with human laws of leadership, read my lips: Defer to the Bible. Look to the Bible. Trust the Bible. And obey the Bible….every time!

This book is a quick, easy read, but it is choked full of helpful, sage advice for anyone seeking to be a Godly leader. Read it. It won’t take long, but you’ll gain a new perspective on the relationship between discipleship and leadership.

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Book: “Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him”

rick-warrenThrough the years, I have believed Rick Warren to be a man of God and an innovative church growth expert. I attended the Purpose Driven Leadership Conference on the Saddleback Church campus and wrote a doctoral paper on the Purpose-Driven movement. In recent years, Dr. Warren has come under attack from many Christians who I believe are short-sighted and ill-informed.

I am thankful for a recent book by Richard Abanes that is written in defense of Dr. Warren. Abanes’ book, Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him, provides insight into Rick Warren, his books, and his beliefs. I found the book to be well written and fairly presented. Abanes provided access into the private life of the Warrens and the Saddleback church. If you have any interest in this subject, you must read the book. I believe that Abanes sets the record straight about Rick Warren and I’m thankful that he does.

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Book: “When Grief Breaks Your Heart”

grief1Last night I read a book by James W. Moore called When Grief Breaks Your Heart. The book is short, but very helpful. I plan to purchase a supply of the books to give to persons struggling with grief. Moore helps the reader to understand the process of grief and he provides some practical advice in dealing with the lose of a loved one.

To give you an idea of what’s in the book, here are the chapter titles:

  • Healing Where It Hurts
  • When Someone You Love Dies
  • Bouncing Back from a Broken Heart
  • Why Do Good People Suffer?
  • Amazing Grace
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Book: “One Month to Live”

one-month-to-liveI began reading Kerry and Chris Shook’s book, One Month to Live, with really high expectations. I noticed that the book was a New York Times bestseller, so I expected the book to “bring it” and to wow me along the way. Although I enjoyed the book and found it helpful, it did not live up to my lofty expectations. Some of the strengths of the book were the quotes at the beginning of each section along with the solid Biblical truths about living our lives with intentionality and focus on the things of God.

I guess I found the book to be strong on inspiration, but weak on information. More “how to” instructions are needed to help the reader accomplish the subtitle, A No-Regrets Life. I do recommend that you read the book. Please let me know what you think about the book when you finish.

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Book: “The Barbarian Way”

I decided to reread one of my favorite books written by Erwin McManus, The Barbarian Way. In my opinion, the book really targets men. You can sense it from the beginning with the title and the subtitle, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within. See this post for earlier comments about the book.

One of my favorite stories in the book is the story about his son jumping off the roof. Here’s the story:

Early one evening Kim and I were in the front yard (of their two-story home) when all of a sudden, we heard a little voice calling for us from the roof. As soon as Kim saw him her nurturing instinct kicked in, and she started commanding him to get back inside. I have to admit I was kind of proud of him right then, but what he did next totally surprised me.

Looking past his mom, he asked me if he could jump. When Aaron shouted, “Dad, can I jump?” Kim answered on my behalf, “No, you can’t jump. Get back inside.” As if he hadn’t heard anything at all, he asked me again, “Dad, can I jump?” Now I know what I was supposed to do. A dad is never supposed to override the mom (I’m working on it). I’m just telling you what really happened. After all, he did ask me. I answered, “Yeah, go ahead.”

He said, “Really?” I said, “Yeah, sure. Go ahead and jump.” Kim looked at me as if I was out of my mind and asked, “What do you think you’re doing?” In a sort of explanation I asked Aaron, “Aaron, are you going to jump sometime?” He said, “Yeah, I think so.” I said, “Okay, I’d rather have you jump now so if you jump and break your legs, we can take you to the hospital.” It made perfect sense to me.

He responded, “Dad, do you think I’ll make it?” I said, “Oh, yeah, you’ll make it.” If I knew one thing for certain, it was that he would reach the ground. I just wasn’t sure in what condition. He said, “Okay, I’m going to jump.” I had one suggestion before he took off. I said, “Hey, buddy, try to clear the concrete and land on the grass. It’s softer.” He thought that was a good idea, stepped as far back as he could on the roof, and began running to jump. Just before his first step he yelled, “Dad, catch me,” and I said, “I’ll try.” And he jumped.

I almost caught him. It was so close. He just slipped right through my hands. I think I did slow his fall a little bit. In either case, he’s recovered well since then. I’m just kidding. He was fine. (Don’t try this at home.)

These paragraphs gives you a good feel for the book. It is a short, easy read that will likely help you to start dreaming big once again!

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Book: “Confessions of a Pastor”

confession-of-a-pastor1I just completed my second book this year by Craig Groeschel. My motto for the future is “if Craig writes it, I’ll read it.” Obviously, I like his writing. He is transparent, honest, humble, risky, raw, and sometimes downright hillarious!

In his book, Confessions of a Pastor, Craig makes several confessions that many of us could make. Although the book is a must read for any pastor wanting to improve, the book would help any believer trying to grow as a disciple of Christ.

Here are nine confessions from the book:

  1. I can’t stand a lot of Christians.
  2. I have to work hard to stay sexually pure.
  3. Most of the time I feel incredibly lonely.
  4. I hate prayer meetings.
  5. I worry almost all the time.
  6. Sometimes I doubt God.
  7. I feel completely inadequate.
  8. I stink at handling criticism.
  9. I’m afraid of failure.

Sound interesting? The chapters are even better than the titles. Go ahead, buy the book!

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Book: “The Day Christ Died”

I just wrapped up Jim Bishop’s 1957 book, The Day Christ Died. Bishop’s book traces the 24-hour period leading up to the death and burial of Jesus. While reading the book, I decided to preach a series of messages called “24”. See 24:Jesus for more information about the series.

The book was absolutely fascinating. I recommend it to any Christian wanting to know the details of Jesus’ final hours. The book also provides a good overview of the Roman and Jewish world in the Palestine region. I was especially intrigued to learn more about the individual characters involved in the closing 24-hour drama of Jesus’ life. I will warn you that the book is lengthy and takes a great deal of concentration as you read.

This is book 10 of 52 of my quest to read 52 books this year. For more information on this quest please see One Book Per Week = 52 or this series of posts.

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