What are you reading?

What are you reading?” I get asked this question from time to time, from friends, colleagues, or church members. It is usually asked by someone who is an active reader themselves. I have often read the statement: “Leaders are readers, and readers are leaders.” Whether that is necessarily true or not, I am a strong believer in the importance of reading, of being a lifelong learner, of always seeking to grow as a Christian, family member, and servant of God.

I have a personal goal of completing two books a month (aside from my daily Bible reading). Some books are obviously longer than others, and I try to select a range of topics and genres, so as to be well-rounded and balanced. I want to stretch my thinking and understanding, but also minister to my spirit.

So for those of you who have expressed interest in what I have been reading, here is a list of the books I completed in 2014. Even though we are well into 2015, I will wait to share this year’s list until later on. In 2014 I completed the following 26 books:

Spark – Igniting a Culture of Multiplication by Todd Wilson

The Heavens by Kevin Hartnett

Small Church, Big Impact by Kevin Cox

Getting Things Done by David Allen

A Retrospect by J. Hudson Taylor

Does God Care What We Wear? by Cary Schmidt

The Blessings and Pitfalls of Social Media by Paul Chappell

Out of Commission by Paul Chappell

The Great Commission by Shelby Mayo

The Road Ahead by Paul Chappell

The Millenials by Thom and Jess Rainer

Prepare For Rain by Michael Catt

Scaling A City by Drew Jonke

The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne

Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

The 4 Ways Growing Churches Communicate by Tim Peters

Preaching to the Unconvinced by Vince Antonucci

Pastor to Pastor by Erwin Lutzer

Calico Joe by John Grisham

Playing For Pizza by John Grisham

A More Sure Word by R.B. Ouellette

The Effective Church by Geoff Surratt

Keeping Score by Dave Ferguson

The 7 Deadly Sins of Style by Antonio Centeno

Now, my question for you is: What are you reading? I would love for you to share in the comments below.

Unleashing People

 

There are few things that inspire and energize a leader more than to see those you lead begin to catch a vision and run with passion.  I don’t mean simply doing what they are asked to do; but seeing needs, having a burden and moving to do something about it.  My role as a pastor and leader is to cast vision and equip people to do and be what God wants them to be.  But if that is going to happen, I need to be prepared to unleash people to serve God and serve others.

I do not have all the ideas.  I cannot initiate or lead every endeavor.  I cannot attend every event, meeting or activity.  I cannot personally approve every decision before action is taken.  That would stifle the growth of God’s work.  That would de-motivate people who are ready and willing to move forward.  That would keep significant needs from being met.  That would hinder the growth and development of those I lead.

Yes, I need to cast the vision that God has for us as a church.  I need to point the direction.  I need to set the parameters.  I need to equip people to effectively do what they are called and asked to do.  But then I need to unleash them!  I need to give them responsibility and authority.  I need to delegate.  I need to allow them the freedom to serve, and at times, even to fail (and learn).  I need to give people ownership of the ministries where they serve.   The beautiful result is that Christians get to see the Lord working in them and through them, strengthening their faith, and leading them toward spiritual maturity.

What benefits to unleashing people have you seen and experienced?