Faith, Love & Health

Archive for the category “Books”

Free AudioBooks

Since I started Church Planting my life has been on the go and 85% traditional book reading has been put to the side for this season.  The great part of technology is that we can listen to books as our life is on the go.  Well I wanted to share a great audiobook that I downloaded for free…Tribal Leadership.  Click on the link and enjoy! (Registration is required – but it is worth it!)

If you know of any other free running/biking, business (Free business audio/video downloads ) or ministry audiobooks please let me know.

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What’s On Your List?

I have been coming across more books that seem to be great reads:  Mark Batterson has listed two books he can’t wait to read:  It – by: Craig Groeschel / 200 Pomegranates – by: Shawn Wood.  Another book I am interested in reading, which is on diversity in the church is Peppermint-Filled Piñatas – by: Eric Michael Bryant  and the last book I ran across is Killing Cockroaches – by Tony Morgan.  What books are you finding and on your list of next reads? 

Goose Chases Cheese In Restaurant?

This week I have come across many great books that are being released or have been out for a little while.  I wanted to share some of them with my blogging audience.  If you have come across or have read any books of interested let me know.  I am always looking for good reads. 

I just seen this on The Morning Show.  Anthony Bourdain just came out with his book The Waiter Rant!  If you ever wanted to find out how waiters handled difficult customers, you may be interested in this newly released book.  I’m sure you will hear more about this book in the near future. 

Mark Batterson is soon to release his new book Wild Goose Chase. (Available August 19, 2008)  I have requested a copy of this book from his publisher to write a review.  I am still waiting to see if I will have an opportunity to share what seems to be a promising read for those rediscovering the adventure of pursuing God. 

I just ran across the book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer johnson last night while at work.  I think what got my attention, was that the cover of the book had a Ken Blanchard graphic design feel to it.  I have enjoyed Blanchard’s books through the years and this looks like a great read too.  It is a Ken Blanchard forward so it should be a good read.  The goal of this book is to help leaders lead change within an organization.  This will be on my next book list to purchase.

Since I ran across these books within a matter of two days, I thought it would be a great snapshot of the books that I’m seeing in my life.   I would be interested to hear what you are reading or other books that may of gotten your attention as you heard about them.  Most everyone has something they are reading, so what are learning?

Discipleship In Motion

constructing the church

 

I was reading Emerging Worship the other day and one of the paradigms that Dan Kimball was presenting is how the church is being built.  The traditional church is being built by focusing on weekend services as its foundation.  On top of the foundation is the staff and ministry team to support the weekend service, then additional ministries, values- philosophy-cultural theology, and finally the mission.  Dan goes on to say this is why we have so many consumers within our church today.  Believers are focused more on the Sunday service than the mission of who the church is and who the church should be. 

 

To change the mentality of the church and begin being the church that we see in Acts we must shift our focus to the mission that Christ has called the church to fulfill.  That is “go into all the world and make disciples of all men.” (Matthew 28:19)  The foundation of the church needs to be the mission and not the Sunday service.  If you have read any of my leadership concepts you will know we lead this way by putting a high focus on what is valuable and in this case it is the mission.  That means 80% of our week’s focus will be directed to reach the mission and not the Sunday service.  The emerging paradigm’s foundation is the mission – making disciples, and built on this the mission is the cultural philosophy – theology – values, Leadership support team, building community, and last is the weekend gatherings.  Many read this and agree, but the process in how we make disciples is what I want to focus on. 

 

The disciple making process is a high value, but I don’t believe it is a person in a classroom setting or even in a small group setting.  It could be, but my idea of the Biblical discipleship training is doing ministry together. (Discipleship in Motion) It is a community of believers coming together and individually presenting the gospel, being active in the community by having a voice in our community.  It is believers learning who they are – their gifting as being part of the body of Christ and operating according to God’s design – the way God has designed each of us.  We see in the gospels that Jesus and even John’s disciples did ministry as they were instructed by Biblical concepts of Jesus’ teachings.   It was discipleship in motion, not in an institutionalized structure.  Yes, we all need good teaching, but disciples act out his /her beliefs through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  They don’t consume church services – looking for ministries that suit them and meet all of their family needs.  Instead, they live out their faith as is directed by Christ. “To GO and MAKE disciples” – this is a motion (act) not a lecture!   

 

This leads us to begin thinking how are we as leaders using our time in our ministries?  Are we focusing most of our time on Sunday services or making disciples?  I’m not saying don’t have a great Sunday worship gathering, but we will never be the church until we begin acting like the church. 

i – Life

me

I heard a quote the other day that resonated with me.  It said, “We need to focus more time developing ourselves than we do our ministry.”  Now this doesn’t mean that we neglect our ministries, but it does mean we need to have more heart to hearts with ourselves and begin learning who we are, what we stand for, what energizes us, what are we trying to accomplishing with our time, and how can we be more effective in our lives or ministry.    Sometimes we are so busy doing life and fulfilling our callings that we neglect the main component that makes everything happen in our life – ourselves! 

I would suggest that you begin setting aside time to ask yourself pointed questions about who you are? One great resource that I’ve been going through is Leadership Challenge it is a great tool to walk you through those steps.  One of the exercises that the book has walked me through is writing a tribute to myself.  If someone was giving a tribute to you, what would you like to hear that person say about you?  What would he or she say about you?  The book gives questions like:  What do you believe, what makes you hurt, what excites you to the point of joy, what are passionate about, what keeps you awake at night, what grabs your attention, and much more!  I know these are simple questions, buts they point to the core of who you are as a person and helps us see if your life calling lines up with how God has made us!  I know most people reading this blog probably already have it all together so I won’t bore you with details.

The bottom line for all of us is stopping our world long enough to stay fresh, relevant and strong to continue the call that God has for us.  For me, at lest during this season of my life, it is articulating who I am and to begin taking steps to become what God is molding me into.  I hope you can become everything that God has purposed you to be! 

Finding Your Voice

which way

If you have read many books or have listened to many podcast you will find that every writer or communicator has a unique voice.  They all don’t sound the same.  The reason why some have strong followings is because the author or artist has a voice that communicates valued information and he or she doesn’t sound like the majority of the other authors.  I read a phrase in the book Leadership Challenge that helps individuals understand how we find our voice and found that there is a process we go through when we are trying to find our leadership style and communication style. 

I remember in my early years of ministry I followed different leaders that I respected and I began mimicking their words and stylistically tried to duplicate how they did ministry. The first step in learning who we are and find your voice is looking at your surroundings and trying to reproduce what you see externallyI remember quoting John Maxwell, Ron Luce, Jeanne Mayo and many more as I was trying to find my voice.  As I grew as a leader I began finding distance between my way of thinking and how they did ministry. 

Though I began finding a distance between their leadership and who I was becoming I inwardly began comparing who I was with how the leaders I respected did ministry.  This part of ministry is the growing up stage for many of us.  We are finally learning our personality and we have come to terms with ourselves.  This doesn’t mean that we quit reading and growing as leaders, but we are beginning to carry our own opinion and we are beginning to learn that we have a voice.  My words and thoughts carry just as much value, especially if I keep growing as a leader and communicator, as those I have followed.   

The last part in finding our voice is being a voice.  Being yourself, communicating your thoughts and helping people understand how you do ministry and life.  Hopefully at this stage of our lives we have words that others value and we can help reproduce ourselves in the lives of those we lead.  This leads to some questions:  What kind of voice do people around you hear?  Is your voice everything that God intended it to be?  What can you do to have a stronger voice in your world of influence?    

Leadership Challenge

I’m reading the book Leadership Challenge.  One of the many things that I have come across while reading this book is that impotence of our core values.  A quote I read said, “We are much more in control of our own lives when we’re clearer about our personal values.  When values are clear we don’t have to rely upon direction from someone in authority.”  When we are clear about our values we are:

– Highly motivated

– Confident

– Make Clearer decisions

– Loyal or higher commitment level to relationships or organizations

– Personal and organizational growth

– People tend to follow people who have strong values

Here is a great process to help you determine your values:  http://www.chazown.com

The important key is to be able to understand and articulate what values you hold to.  Many of us get frustrated with individuals who make poor decisions.  Most of the time our frustration or anger is the alarm that goes off inside of us exposing to us our core value.  I have seen in my own life my frustration with other people have almost always been they have violated some of my core values. 

For instance, when I am part of a meeting that talks about information that keeps going around again, again with the same information with no clear cut results I begin feeling like this is a waste of my time because we are accomplishing nothing!  One of my values is using my time wisely and getting results – excellence!  When I begin feeling my time isn’t being used wisely it becomes frustrating to me.  There seems to be no purpose to the meeting and my mind begins to wander to other things that I need to accomplish throughout my day.  

After identifying your values it is important to filter your values through a question like this:  Are my values strong principles that will enhance my life and those around me?  I have seen great leaders that have impacted many people’s lives and their organizations, but due to poor values, they have brought hurt and pain to their life and to those that are in their organization.  If I have a value in my life that isn’t valuable I need to begin taking steps to redirect my poor value to become the best value.  

Read more on Core Values at: http://blog.mytruelife.org/?cat=7

Today’s Challenge:  Write down each time your get frustrated or angered for one week and identify your core value in each of the situations that accure. 

Little Black Book of Connections

Little Black Book

I’ve started reading a new book by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Most of us probably have never heard if this guy, but he wrote this book all about connecting with people.  This Little Black Book of Connections walks you through steps to network with individuals.  I have really never thought about the value of networking with people.  Yes we network all the time, but it really has been something I just have done…I mean, there really hasn’t been a huge value in it for me….until now.  

It really goes back to your ministry or organization can never grow any further than your leadership cup.  The larger the the leadership base the more growth the organization can hold.  The value in connecting with individuals is that you begin increasing your potential to be exposed to more resources, support and knowledge of other individuals expertise.  

One of the many questions Jeff begins asking is, who do you know?  He has you begin identifying in groups (friends, business friends, acquaintances, family members, etc.) who do you already know and then the next step is to begin adding value to their life in some way.  One practical way is through e-zines or blogging.   Sharing information with people with the purpose to give them tool to empower them to be successful.  I know one of my core values that I live out everyday is to be a blessing to everyone that I come into contact with.  Being intentional is the key to fulfilling that value.  So my next step is increasing my range by connecting with more people with the purpose to help them be successful.  I think there is a spiritual principle here…what we sow we will harvest.  It will come back to us.  So if your not a networker….maybe it is time to get started! 

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