Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Books

What If We Prayed Before We Complained?

A few years ago, I wrote a post on The Balancing Act by Bishop Robert Schnase. Recently, I’ve been thinking about something Bishop Schnase wrote.

Bishop Schanse relayed a conversation he had with a woman, who thought churches should do a better job of caring for pastors. Bishop Schnase writes …

She said that she did not think anyone should ever be allowed to complain about a pastor unless that person was also in constant prayer for the pastor. We should all desire our pastors to succeed, to fulfill their mission, to be strong and whole and healthy, and so we should pray for them, their families, their work, and their ministry. Imagine if every time we felt annoyed, discouraged, or disappointed by a pastor, we prayed for them with even greater eagerness and sincerity. Imagine if we felt as much or more an obligation to pray for a pastor as we feel to criticize or correct a pastor.

This is important because when complaining comes from selfishness, it tears down, but when it comes from a place of prayer, it can build up.

But, it doesn’t apply only to pastors. It applies to everyone and everything in the church–every ministry, every leader, every person.

What if the whole church operated this way toward everyone and everything in the church? What if we prayed before we complained?

“Essentialism”

Ever since I heard about Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, I was interested in reading it. I finally got around to it, and I was not disappointed! There’s so much in the book, it’s impossible to review it all here. But here are some of my favorite thoughts. McKeown describes the…Continue →

“Breaking the Missional Code”

I recently read Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer and David Putman. The book aims to help churches become missionaries in their communities. According to the authors, “breaking the code … means discovering the principles that work in every context, selecting the tools most relevant for your context … and then learning to apply…Continue →

“Finding Our Way”

Earlier this year, United Methodist leaders published Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church, edited by Bishop Rueben P. Job and Neil M. Alexander. Several bishops each contributed a chapter, including … Enforce (Gregory V. Palmer) Emend (Hope Morgan Ward) Disobey (Melvin G. Talbert) Disarm (Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.) Order (J.…Continue →

“Replenish”

Two years ago, I started reading Replenish by Lance Witt. I chose the book because of my experiences with stress (see Hitting the Wall, which includes links to other parts of the story). The Leadership Team at Centre Grove also spent several months reading and discussing the book. There’s a lot of helpful content in…Continue →

Character, Competence, & Chemistry

I’ve been familiar with these terms for a while. These three Cs—Character, Competence, and Chemistry—are critically important for teams, including church ministry teams! I was reminded of this again lately as I’m reading slowly through Leadership Axioms: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels. The book includes brief sections on 76 different concepts, including a chapter…Continue →

“Shaped By God’s Heart”

I recently read Shaped By God’s Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches by Milfred Minatrea. I should have included this book in my doctoral dissertation (how leaders shape missional culture), but I missed it! Minatrea’s definition of a missional church is … a reproducing community of authentic disciples, being equipped as missionaries sent…Continue →

“The Externally Focused Church”

I just read The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson (2004). It’s a good book about the church in action through service. Rusaw and Swanson suggest, “Externally focused churches are internally strong, but they are oriented externally” (17). They are “convinced that good deeds and good news can’t and shouldn’t be separated”…Continue →

Moving From ASAP to ALAT!

One of my favorite books is The Circle Maker. That should come as no surprise. I’ve written seven posts about the book (last one here, with links to the previous ones). In the book, Batterson writes … Maybe one of the reasons we get frustrated in prayer is our ASAP approach. When our prayers aren’t…Continue →

“The CEB Study Bible”

I grew up in a denomination that only read and approved the King James Version of the Bible, and viewed other translations with a great deal of skepticism. But in seminary, I began to read, enjoy, and prefer modern translations (that was also during a time when several translations were developed, including God’s Word, the…Continue →