Well, this week is just going to be a little different altogether.
On Tuesday, I posted about my oldest daughter turning 11.
Today, I would like to share a few posts whose concepts and ideas have crossed my mind this week, so get ready for a few links.
But before the links, I know the majority of you have been faithful readers, joining my journey somewhere along the way, and for that I am so grateful. But, can I ask a favor? Would you mind taking a moment today and sharing one of the posts I’ve written that has been beneficial to you? Share on your social platform of choice, or even just emailing a link to someone you think might be encouraged by something I’ve written. Thank you for walking this journey with me.
Now, on to a few links.
Don’t Let Someone’s Character Surprise You – I constantly have to remind myself of this principle, that people will consistently behave within their character. Check it out.
The Horizon of Possibility – This is one of my favorites. A leader looks at what’s ahead and sees what the future could become.
Be Careful Who Speaks Into Your Life – The people around us who have influence over us make a significant difference. Guard whose advice you are taking to heart.
Lessons from the Farm part 1 and part 2 – I enjoy my Lessons from the Farm series the most (and the traffic for those posts show that other people do too!). These two posts deal with the difference between someone who is an owner and someone who is a hired hand.
Once again, thank you for spending time caring about your own leadership journey. I hope you’ll click over to one or two of these, even if you think you know what they say, and be refreshed by one or two of the thoughts.
One of my first posts on the blog was a link to a video, but I haven’t done one since. So, today, let’s laugh. Click here for a video clip of Comedian Tim Hawkins talking about the benefit of knowing your wife.
The clip is 2 minutes long, and the second part may have happened to me more than once.
The past couple months have been a unique experience for me, for far too many reasons to list. As a result, however, the dialogues and evaluations taking place in my mind recently provide more questions than answers.
One thing occupying my mind recently is simply the state of the local church, specifically the state of the local and church attendance. Then, it hit me: Carey Nieuwhof has been covering this for a while.
In fact, Nieuwhof has a post on his blog titled: Church Attendance is Dying. Here’s What’s Next.
His post is long, but it is definitely a thought provoking read. Pleas take the time today to click over and read it, but before you go here’s a clip:
Life now slips seamlessly between the digital and the analog. After all, you’re reading this on your phone or on your laptop (digital) and in the next five minutes you’ll make some real-world interaction, ordering coffee, talking to a colleague or family member in real life.
Digital slips into analog, analog then slips back into digital. We all live there.
So will the future church.
Today I thought we would shift gears a little bit and link to an article from Tim Elmore. Yesterday I got in an online discussion about reading physical books vs. ebooks. I tend to carry a Kindle and a physical book at all times in my backpack, although I like reading from my kindle a little more.
Then, today, imagine my surprise when the Growing Leaders blog delivered to my inbox dealing with the same topic, but framed in student comprehension. I thought it was worth passing on, so click here to read it.
Not convinced? Here’s a clip.
Researchers found that digital reading was faster but less effective as a tool for helping students process and learn information. What’s interesting is that although their retention was worse when reading online, the students surveyed believed that reading online improved their retention.
I really like the application they suggest at the end of the article, which I plan to implement almost immediately.
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I have recently experienced a renewed interest in reading. Now, I am not reading through an inordinate number of books, but I am trying to stretch my mind by reading.
But today I thought I would share one of the books that has had the largest and most enduring impact on my ministry. I remember reading this around 2008, and the concepts are still shaping the way I preach today. So, here it is: Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley.
This is a book on preaching. Sounds riveting, right? Actually, it turns into a pretty quick read. The book itself is divided into two parts. The first part is a story that seeks to introduce the concept of the second part, which is the nuts and bolts of the approach.
You can search for in depth reviews of the book, but for the purpose of this post, I am going to share two things that have shaped my ministry as a result of reading it.
First, I don’t have to teach every idea in a passage in one message. Andy tells a story in the book about he and his wife visiting a church and on the way home saying “That was a good series in one sermon.” Sometimes, as communicators, we can overwhelm our audience with too much information. It is okay to take our time and unpack concepts over weeks.
The second lasting impact from this book is to develop a simple, portable, and memorable statement. The statement should be emphasized throughout the message, should be relevant, and should be simple. A few statements I have developed over the years are: God loves you and desires a relationship with you; Worship is the way you live your life; Words reveal intent. Actions reveal heart; and You can’t see the end from the middle.
Bottom line: this book is worth your time, especially if you teach/preach/communicate on a regular basis. I keep extra copies in my office anytime I find it on sale. If you haven’t read it before, click below and buy it today!