books


Walt Mueller:

I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the May 1 release of Dennis Hollinger’s new book, The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral LifeIn this wonderfully deep yet incredibly accessible and practical treatment of sex and sexuality, Dennis combines Biblical studies, theology, ethics, sociology, and a timely understanding of contemporary culture in what I believe is just what’s needed in today’s world.

Hollinger writes, “we live in a sex-crazed world.” Like the ancient Athenians whose landscape was littered with and covered by phallic monuments to their idolotrous sexual practices, we too are worshipping the Creator’s good creation more than the One who made those good things. That’s certainly true for sex and sexuality. By doing so, we take a wonderfully good thing in terribly bad directions. . . . and it’s killing us.

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10 Characteristics of a Spiritually Plateaued Leader

1. Avoids relationships of personal accountability

2. Rarely applies the truths of God’s Word to himself personally

3. Has replaced his joy, peace, and love with envy and resentment

4. Frequently looks for greener pastures in other places

5. Finds faults in others more often than in self

6. Burned out with busyness that has been substituted for simply intimacy with Christ

7. Compromises on ethical principles once held dear

8. Stays w/in safe areas of expertise rather than new learning endeavors

9. Unable to acknowledge  the wisdom of others

10. Has reduced the Christian life to a routine

(Taken from Neil Cole’s book, Organic Leadership, pg. 22-25: list by Terry Walling)

Here’s a few of the books I look forward to reading in the days ahead.

Leading Naturally Right Where You Are

I’ve been thinking about leadership lately.  In particular, one little phrase in Romans 12 captured my attention.  Paul lists a few of the different gifts given to the body and mentions leadership.  He says in verse 8, “the one who leads, [must lead] with zeal.”  This exhortation seems to imply that as leaders we are prone to not lead with zeal.  We are prone to laziness that keeps us from taking our people to where they need to go.  But Paul makes it clear; if you are a leader, lead with zeal, lead with enthusiasm, lead with devotion, lead with passion.

A few weeks ago I picked up a book called, Tribes, by Seth Godin.  This book helped me see another dimension of leadership that is often lacking among leaders in the church.  Godin says:

… there’s a difference between telling people what to do and inciting a movement.  The movement happens when people talk to one another, when ideas spread within the community, and most of all, when peer support leads people to do what they always knew was the right thing.

Great leaders create movements by empowering the tribe to communicate.  They establish the foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to commanding people to follow them.

This is very insightful.  In addition to leading with zeal, great leaders inspire their communities to own the vision put before them.  They encourage their people to talk together and share the burden they have. 

Are you a leader?  If so, lead with zeal and empower your people to talk with one another.  And when they begin to see what you see and share what you have first shared with them, you know that a “movement” is beginning.

031028530511Pastor Geoff Surratt, a self-confessed “church addict”, recently completed his latest book, Ten Stupid Things That Keep A Church From Growing.  He humbly admits that he himself has committed all ten of the mistakes mentioned in his book.  Here’s the first two:

  • Trying to do it all

“Pastors tend to default to doing everything themselves rather than working through people in the congregation,” Surratt explained to The Christian Post. “They take on a lot of different hats and wind up overworked and underproductive because of that.”

  • Establishing the wrong role for the pastor’s family

He lists five “stupid ways” a pastor or ministry leader can destroy their family while chasing after God’s vision for the ministry.

For more info. on the book, go here.  It will be published by Zondervan in May 2009.

What if you knew you had only a few months to live?  What would you do?  That’s a question most of us have never been confronted with and thus a question that will never move beyond our emotions into real life action.  But for many people, this question is no longer hypothetical–it’s reality.  People like Randy Pausch, who got the news one day that he had pancreatic cancer and had only months to live.

What would you do?  Randy, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, decided to give a lecture.  He called it, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”  But the lecture had nothing to do with dying.  It had to do with living and “overcoming obstacles and enabling the dreams of others, and seizing every moment.”  These lectures became a best-selling book entitled, The Last Lecture.

My mother-in-law gave me this book (thanks Linda!) and I couldn’t put it down.  Indeed, Randy’s message strikes a chord with many people, but his words were written mainly for his wife and three young kids.  I expected it to be a sad book; it was, but it was so much more.  It made me think about the spiritual legacy I want to leave with my children and others.  I don’t know where Randy is at with the Lord (he didn’t discuss his specific beliefs) but I know that all of us must come to grips with how short life really is.  After all we don’t know when our time on earth is up.  Are we ready to meet our Maker?  And are we leaving a legacy by how we’re living our lives this very day?  Makes you rethink your New Year’s Resolutions doesn’t it?

I encourage you to read this book.  If you’re not a reader, you can watch his entire lecture below (1 hr. 16 min.)

Still looking for a Christmas gift for your kids?  Randy Alcorn’s new book for children called, Tell Me About Heaven, might be the perfect one!  Read below:

Ten-year-old Jake struggles to understand his grandma’s death. But as he spends two weeks at his grandfather’s home, he is able to receive answers to his questions about Heaven.

As Jake and Grandpa fish, watch the stars, and take long walks, Grandpa shares what the Bible says about the reality and beauty of Heaven. When Jake learns the truth about Heaven, he begins to better understand and accept his grandmother’s death.

As readers uncover the truths in the dialogue between Grandpa and Jake, they will better appreciate the home that awaits all who place their faith in Christ.

  • Go here to see Randy Alcorn tell a little more about the book. 
  • Go here to read more about how you could win a free copy of the book!

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