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The Best Books I Read in 2013

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It’s that time of year again, time to share my top lists of the year. Monday, I shared the top sermon downloads from Revolution Church. Tuesday I shared the books that almost made my “best of the year” list. And yesterday I shared the albums that almost made my “best of the year” list.

To see my list of favorite books from past year, simply click on the numbers: 200920102011 and 2012.

To make this list, it does not have to be published in 2013, I only needed to read it in 2013. As always, this list was hard to narrow down, but here are the top 13 books of 2013. Buckle up book worms:

13. How to Deliver a TED Talk | Jeremy Donavan

If you speak for a living or are a pastor, this is a must read book. Donavan takes the best and worst of TED Talks and breaks them down into do’s and don’ts for speakers. You can read my review here.

12. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail | Larry Osborne

I love Larry Osborne’s stuff. It is so simple and straightforward. In this book, he looks at why some churches and organizations works and others don’t. His chapter on mission statements is worth the price of this book. You can read my review here.

11. Eat Move Sleep: Why Small Choices Make a Big Difference | Tom Rath

Health books are everywhere. Good health books are hard to find. This is one of the great ones. Two things stood out in this book: One, every choice we make matters. They all impact every part of our life. Two, Tom Rath looks at how to eat, move and sleep so that those choices make the most positive impact in our lives. You can read my review here.

10. Sex & Money: Pleasures that Leave You Empty and Grace that Satisfies | Paul David Tripp

There are some authors you should read everything they write. Tim Keller is one of them and Paul David Tripp is another one. No matter the book, you should read their stuff. Tripp takes the two biggest temptations and sins in our culture and shows how they leave us empty. Definitely a convicting book. You can read my review here.

9. Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge | Henry Cloud

The primary message of this book for leaders is you get what you create and what you allow. You can read my review here.

8. Chasing Francis | Ian Cron 

I read this book one Saturday night, one of those hard, dark Saturday nights many pastors have. I could not put this book down as it resonated with me on so many deep levels. So, when you have that dark night, this is a book to read. Here’s my review of it.

7. The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the work of Christ in Your Life & Ministry | Jared Wilson

This book is very similar to Paul David Tripp’s book Dangerous CallingA challenge to pastors to apply the gospel they preach to their own lives and hearts. A great book for doing the deep dive for a pastor and confronting their idols. It also helps that Wilson is hilarious in this book. You can read my review here.

6. Discipleshift: Five Steps that Help Your Church to Make Disciples who Make Disciples | Jim Putnam, Bobby Harrington, & Robert Coleman

The effects of this book will be felt at Revolution for years to come. As we’ve moved more and more towards a missional community model, this book has helped us hone our system of making disciples. This graph has been huge for us. You can read my review here.

5. Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus | Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson 

If you are a parent or will be a parent, this is the one parenting book you have to read. It shows you how to parent to your child’s heart, which is the only way to change a child and see them become who God created them to become. You can read my review here.

4. Leadership as an Identity: The Four Traits of Those Who Wield Lasting Influence | Crawford Loritts

What set this book apart was that it had very little “here’s what a leader does” advice. This book is all about what influences and shapes a leader. Ultimately, what shapes a leader will eventually come out in their actions. You can read my review here.

3. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World | Paul Miller

This is the book on prayer.  So good. I love the idea of prayer cards and have since created them on Evernote to use. You can read my review here.

2. In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness, and Heart of Christianity | Jim Belcher

This book almost made the jump to #1, it was close. This book is part parenting book, part history, part travel, and faith. It shows the roots of Christianity and how to bring those into your family. One thing Katie and I want is for our kids to know the history of Christianity and that it is not a faith that just appeared in the last 100 years. You can read my review here.

1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action | Simon Sinek

I love leadership books, so it makes sense that one of them is #1. A leadership book was #1 last year too. This book was insanely good. If you are a leader, this is the one book you have to read in 2014. So good. You can read my review here.

Tomorrow you’ll get my last list of the week: the top 13 albums of the year.

15 Quotes from Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret

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Every Saturday morning, I review a book that I read recently. If you missed any, you can read past reviews here. This week’s book is Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail (kindle version) by Larry Osborne.

This book was fantastic. Instead of a full blown review, here are 15 quotes that jumped out to me:

  1. What is the dirty little secret of innovation? It’s simply this: most innovations fail.
  2. The success of people is not found in their ability to avoid failure. It’s found in their ability to minimize the impact of failure.
  3. Innovation is birthed out of answering these two questions: What frustrates me most? What’s broken most?
  4. Organizational innovation is often ignited by our deepest personal frustrations.
  5. The kind of mission statement that keeps an organization focused and accelerates innovation doesn’t just happen.
  6. A mission statement needs to be ruthlessly honest. It should reflect your organization’s passionate pursuit, not merely your wishful thinking, your marketing slogans, or a spirit of political correctness.
  7. Many leaders confuse mission with marketing.
  8. A mission statement should be aimed at insiders. Its purpose is to tell those on the inside of the organization where the bull’s-eye lies.
  9. The purpose of a mission statement is to tell everyone on the inside what we’re aiming at. It’s supposed to let them know what’s most important.
  10. To impact the daily decisions of an organization, a mission statement must be easily remembered and repeated ad nauseam – and then repeated again.
  11. When your mission statement is an honest reflection of your passion, is widely known, and is broadly accepted, it will not only help you get where you want to go; it will accelerate innovation.
  12. God’s will has three components: a what, a when, and a how. Each is equally important. Two out of three won’t cut it. Miss out on any of the three and you’ll end up in the weeds.
  13. It’s not always the best idea that succeeds. It’s the combination of a great idea, proper timing, and excellent execution that brings success.
  14. You can’t lead if you can’t live with low-level frustration.
  15. The important question is not, “Does this fail to help us fulfill our mission?” The important question is, “Does this keep us from fulfilling our mission?”

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. 7 habits of highly successful leaders under 30.
  2. Eddie Becker on 8 things I wish Jesus never said.
  3. An update on the new album from The Civil Wars. Can’t wait for this album to come out.
  4. L.A. Weekly on The top 20 punk albums of all time. Not surprised by #1.
  5. Selfie deception.
  6. Geoff Surratt on 5 ways to fight distractions. And squirrels. Some really helpful things in this list.
  7. 3 things that will kill your church plant in the first year. These will also kill or stall an established church.
  8. Larry Osborne on 3 mission essentials for churches.
  9. Things indie rock fans hate. This is a funny list and I’ve thought many of these things.
  10. 2 things you must do with your sermon.

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

  • Yesterday was a weird day for me.
  • Last week, I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in California learning about preaching from Larry Osborne and Chris Brown.
  • Unreal. Still processing all that I learned.
  • The problem is that it totally threw off my routine for sermon prep.
  • I am a creature of habit, I like my routine.
  • Still, God was working yesterday, in spite of my feeling all over the place.
  • I loved hearing the conversations after the service about what people are giving up for Lent.
  • I talked to a guy (not a Christian) who is giving up porn and using that time to read his Bible to explore Jesus.
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen here.
  • Had a great meeting yesterday about a summer missions trip we are taking to the Czech Republic.
  • Love the passion Chris Gillett has in leading this trip and the response from our church so far.
  • We also had a baptism yesterday.
  • Love that we continue to need to schedule baptisms.
  • Started a really fascinating book last night called The Power of Habit
  • The implications for leaders and pastors are huge.
  • Understanding why people do what they do can really change how you preach and help people apply Scripture.
  • I have 2 really important meetings with publishers this week about my books, so I’d appreciate your prayers.
  • I really believe these books will help a lot of people find freedom from things and find the life Jesus intends for them.
  • Made plans this week to take a short trip in the coming weeks up to Pinetop with Katie and the kids.
  • We’ve never been there, so I’m excited about it.
  • I mentioned last week that I’ve been gluten free for the last 30 days.
  • While it is challenging when you go out to eat, the lack of pain in my stomach has been awesome.
  • I don’t know about any other football fans, but yesterday was a sad day without football.
  • Kind of didn’t’ know what to do with my afternoon.

[Image Credit]

Preaching Workshop with Larry Osborne & Chris Brown [Day 2]

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I’m in California with 20 other guys, getting some intense training on preaching from Larry Osborne and Chris Brown at North Coast Church. Here are my notes from Day 2:

  • When you preach, talk about where and why the text came alive to you personally. 
  • If you give people one “A-ha” every 2-3 weeks, Christians will think you’re deep.

Know Who You are as a Preacher

  • When David went to fight Goliath, he tried to fit into armor and use weapons that he didn’t know or was used to using. 
  • A pastor needs to understand who he isn’t so he can know who he is.
  • The only successful pastor you’ll ever be is the pastor you have inside of you.
  • Look in the rearview mirror of your voice and who you are.
    • What messages or series did you knock it out of the park? What series did you love or were most passionate about? What kind of genres do you like to preach from?
  • God does not want to get rid of you. He wants to get rid of your sin nature, and change who you are, but wants to use who you are for Him.
  • Dress who you are, talk how you are. Don’t be someone else.
  • The further away you can get from who you aren’t, the more God is able to use you because you become who God created you to be.
  • When you preach, you should be able to say, “This was the best I could do under the circumstances.”
  • The most spiritual way to preach is the one that you do that is most closely to who God created you to be.

Organization

  • Write down transition sentences so that you don’t lose people. 
  • Don’t make your most important point your last point in case you run out of time.
  • At North Coast, they call their points “boulders.” Using the idea of boulders you would use to cross a river. The boulders are “jumping off points” in a sermon.
  • What people need for sermon based small groups are sound bites to come back to and jog their memory.

How to Grow a Church

  • Plant the church you would want to go to. That’s the only church you are gifted to lead and understand without checking the manual. 
  • Preach the sermon you want to hear.
    • Leadership is the art of the possible, not the ideal. Take the hill that can be taken.
  • Never confuse your calling with your potential.
    • Potential is a harsh mistress. Your calling is not tied to your potential.
    • Be all you can be is a great slogan, but a horrible way to live your life.

A Better You in Preaching

  • Brainstorming
    • Every Tuesday whoever is preaching runs sermon prep. Any staff member is able to be there. The required people are the people who write the small group questions and the communicator.
    • This is a time for people to throw out ideas and what jumps out to them about the passage.
    • Think through how this passage would be seen from a man, woman, or extrovert, introvert, businessman, reader, plumber, non-reader, new Christian, mature Christian, unchurched guy.
    • Take what works and leave what doesn’t.
    • The brainstorm takes what a communicator has and makes it better.
  • Notesheet
    • In the brainstorming, the notesheet begins to take shape.
    • The notesheet is the points, what people will fill in, take home ideas.
  • Homework
    • This is what people will do based on the message.
    • Sound bites help people with the homework or in sermon based groups. Don’t ask “What did you think of the message?”
    • If people listen, take notes and discuss it with someone else, they will know it more.
    • This makes your message more memorable.
    • Every message needs a soundbite to remember it.
  • Branding
    • This group talks through series, theme, title, and staging.
  • Having a brainstorming time, this is a great way to develop new communicators and show them how to develop a message and create the homework.
  • This is “research.”

Subliminal Messages when we Preach

  • If you put verses up on the screen, you will guarantee that people will stop bringing a Bible to church. 
    • Your brand new believer comes to church and does what everyone does. If no one brings a Bible, the new believer will not bring his.
    • They will also not learn how to read their Bible on their own.
    • If you want people to treat their Bible as a life textbook, you want them to mark their Bible up.
  • Special outreach undercut your outreach.
    • Most evangelism historically has not come because someone was trained on the 4 spiritual laws, people are saved because people say, “Come and see.”
    • If you have a special outreach event, you are telling them there are only certain times to bring friends to church.
    • Special events train your people incorrectly and scare off your guests.
    • The evangelism temperature is high in your congregation, the pastor is doing something to tell them “this is not the place to bring them.” No one has to be told to recommend a great restaurant or movie.
  • Preach to who you want to reach, not who is there.
    • Preach to believers in a way that seekers can understand.
    • Talk as if people are interested.
    • If you talk as if the room is filled with people who don’t know what you’re talking about, your people will start bringing them. Say things like, “I know a lot of you are new at this stuff.”
    • Whenever you use in house lingo, you communicate this is an in-house group.
    • Seekers are seeking, there’s nothing you have to hold back from them.
  • If you preach to men, you get everyone. If you preach to women, you get the women and kids until the kids grow up.

Why Larry Osborne stopped teaching the Bible

  • He discovered the he was faithfully teaching the Bible but he wasn’t discipling people.
  • If preaching is to proclaim the gospel and be obedient to what Jesus taught us (the great commission), something needed to change.
  • He moved towards instruction in Christian living with the Bible as his only authority.
  • Passages that we see as theology (Philippians 2 for example) is really instruction in Christian living.

Creativity

  • Creativity doesn’t happen on the spot, only when a problem needs to be solved. 
  • If you want to be more creative in a message, create a problem. Messages answer questions, not solve problems.
    • Ask, “What does that look like? What do you see?” That creates a problem.
    • Ask, “How do I show people __________ (heaven or something else from Scripture)?”

Other Random Thoughts on Preaching

  • Preaching in a church is about a daily meal, not a feast or banquet.
    • If you present a banquet, it must be memorable long term.
    • The average meal is not memorable, it is healthy.
    • Real life change for your congregation is similar to life change in your life.
  • Team preaching
    • When you take a break from preaching, it helps you lead better because you see things you don’t see when thinking about preaching.
    • The other speaker needs to be 80% as good as you that you pass a week off.
    • It will kill the pride and ego of the leader.
    • Anyone who speaks, has to lead something. Don’t just hire a teacher.
  • As the church grows, the leader gets sucked to the middle. You only see what is great and is terrible.

Yesterday, the narrative peice was a great reminder. Today, the big takeaway for me was the brainstorming part and the subliminal messages.

Preaching Workshop with Larry Osborne & Chris Brown [Day 1]

book

I’m in California with 20 other guys, getting some intense training on preaching from Larry Osborne and Chris Brown at North Coast Church. Here are my notes from Day 1:

  •  Because of biblical illiteracy, seekers love deeper bible teaching because they love the idea of digging into something. 
  • Many preachers evaluate sermons based on the wrong things. We base it on did we wow the church or keep their attention. We need to ask if they know it and do it.
  • The things that count and matter, keep saying them. Remind them.
  • When you repeat something that you’ve said before, tell your church that you say this a lot.

Why we preach

  • Too often churches and communicators split up the great commission and make it 2 parts.
  • We’re proclaiming Christ, the path of grace and the path of obedience.
  • We want to be faithful to Scripture, adaptive to the culture (all things to all people), and live out the truth of what we preach.

Two great temptations for preachers

  • Take too much credit or blame for how people respond.
  • To seek to be known as a great preacher, rather, than seeking to make known a great God.

Mars Hill Question

  • Can we be too adapting to the culture in our preaching?
  • You never want to confuse entertainment with teaching or familiarity with knowledge.

Be You

  • When it comes to planning, what a sermon looks like, be you. Have freedom to be you. 
  • You don’t need to be better than someone else, you need to be you.

Storytelling & Storytellers

  • “I have met many a men who tell stories, I have met very few storytellers.” -Mark Twain
  • To know if you are a natural storyteller is if a group yields to you to tell a story.
  • When you think about how to communicate something, do you think of a story or facts?

Putting a sermon together as a narrative (This was the best part of the day)

  • Text: John 5
  • Characters: Jesus and the man
  • Crowd: sick, angels, curious
  • Concerned: the people connected to the people in the story (family and friends, people who hear about what happen), what is the town like? Where is it? What is Jerusalem like? What is laying by the pool waiting to be healed like? What do people feel like who know the man by the pool? What do they feel when they see his disappointment and frustration if he isn’t healed?
  • Areas covered in a story: immediate area, local area, surrounding area (what do we know about the immediate area: the pool of bethseda, the local area is the sheep gate (what’s important about that).
  • Climates of a text: spiritually, politically, economically.
  • Every passage has a story and has a “so what?”
  • If you don’t help people understand the story and what to do with it, they won’t listen to it.

Two common mistakes that make for interesting sermons but bad theology

  • Confusing descriptive with prescriptive. 
  • Preaching the gospels without asking how the epistles and the early church interpreted them.

Links to Get Your Week Going

  1. Russell Moore on Good news for bad preachers. This is so true, my first several years of preaching were pretty bad. Katie endured a lot of bad sermons with a smile. Just keep preaching.
  2. What it takes to have a sticky church. Great insights for leaders as they head into the fall ministry season.
  3. When your child is moving up in Planet Rev.
  4. David French on What Christians can learn from Mormons on church growth. This is really interesting.

Sifted: Pursuing Growth Through Trials, Challenges and Disappointments

I reviewed Wayne Cordeiro’s book back in February when I read it. But since it comes out today, I thought I’d repost my review and encourage you to pick the book up.

I was able to get a copy of Wayne Cordeiro’s new book Sifted: Pursuing Growth through Trials, Challenges and Disappointments (kindle version) that comes out in April.

This book for me came at a good time. It proved to be a good time of recalibrating for me in my thinking.

One of the most helpful parts of the book was how in each chapter there were questions for you to interact with. It is easy as a leader to skip over these and get to the content, find out what the author says. But if you skip them, you will miss much of the power of the book.

What I appreciated about this book was how real it was. As a church planter and leader; trials, challenges and disappointment are part of the territory. It takes maturity and time to see how God uses them and grows you through them. I can honestly say looking back over the last decade of working in churches, that God has used and redeemed many of the trials that I’ve experienced.

But why does this matter? Why is sifting important?

According to Cordeiro,

Sifting produces a clarity about who we are and what we do, giving definition to the work of ministry that produces long-term results and fruitfulness. The real question, then, is not whether we will face failure. It is how well we will face it. How we respond to the challenges and trials in our lives and ministries makes all the difference in the world…A sifted person is someone who is able, by God’s grace, to reflect on his experience and emerge from a time of trial with a better grasp of what matters most. He’s a person who has been tested, proven capable and mature.

Not only that, but “A sifted life is an influential life. Your greatest influence takes place after you have been sifted and have survived.” That is important to keep in mind in the midst of sifting in your life. If right now, God is working in you, sifting your heart, remember that it matters why he is doing it and how you come out on the other side.

Here are a few things that jumped to me in the book:

  • Scripture tells us that the challenges we face in life happen for a reason, and the process of sifting refines us, revealing our weaknesses, exposing our self-dependence and inviting us to greater faith in God and greater dependence on his promises.
  • When God begins a season of sifting in your life, the first thing that will be tested is the ballast of your life, which is your heart. It’s the weight beneath the waterline. You can’t see it, but any refining of your heart will affect everything else you do. The heart is not about skill, gifting, or even calling. It’s deeper still. It’s the epicenter, the core of everything. It’s where you respond to God.
  • When something challenging is happening to us, we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out who is causing it. The choice we face is simple: will we trust God and look to him throughout the difficulty we face, regardless of the cause, or not?
  • Faith can be defined as living in advance what you will understand only in reverse.
  • God must first accomplish something in you before he can accomplish something through you.
  • The two greatest days in your life are the day you were born and the day you discovered what you were born for.
  • The normative Christian experience, even when we’re in the center of God’s will, is that we seldom receive a clear view out the front windshield. Usually we see much more clearly out the rearview mirror.
  • An open door does not necessarily mean smooth sailing.
  • This is one of the keys to long-term ministerial success: know how God has gifted you, know where God has called you to be, and then function faithfully in that role.
  • God will not hold us accountable for how much we have done. He will hold us accountable for how much of what he has asked us to do that we have done.
  • There is a sense in which I can truthfully say that the church does not exist to help people, to solve their problems and alleviate their disappointments. Not ultimately, at least. The primary reason the church exists is to worship God and to point people to Christ, the ultimate solution to their problems.
  • Seldom are your critics actually disappointed with you. They are usually disappointed with themselves, their lives, or God. You are simply a convenient target.
  • One of the most important keys to long-term ministry success – that you’re only as powerful as your dependence on God’s strength.
  • We are only as busy as we choose to be.
  • God will one day hold us each accountable for all the things he created for us to enjoy but we refused to do so.
  • Today it is far too easy to substitute busywork for the real work of ministry.
  • It is our unguarded strengths that become our greatest weaknesses.
  • The most important thing about you is what God says about you.

If you are a leader, you should buy this book. Definitely worth the time. This book will definitely make the list of “Best Books of 2012.”

Here’s what the publisher had to say about the book:

In this book, pastor and seasoned church leader Wayne Cordeiro speaks the truth in love, offering wisdom and insight to prepare leaders as they face the difficulties and hardships of planting and leading churches, while providing encouragement and inspiration for the journey. An experienced practitioner, Wayne shares the things he wishes he’d known when he was starting a new church. With additional stories from Francis Chan and Larry Osborne, each chapter includes a thought-provoking challenge question to develop a heart that is surrendered to God, focused on “being and becoming” versus “doing and accomplishing.” Wayne writes about a healthy integration and balance of personal care and leadership amidst the difficulties of church leadership. Instead of a “how to” book on models and methods, this is a combination of a self-assessment book that challenges leaders’ scorecards of success, encourages leaders to realize that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, and provides wisdom for the long haul to position younger leaders for a life of ministry and finish strong.

Sifted

I was able to get a copy of Wayne Cordeiro’s new book Sifted: Pursuing Growth through Trials, Challenges and Disappointments (kindle version) that comes out in April.

This book for me came at a good time. It proved to be a good time of recalibrating for me in my thinking.

One of the most helpful parts of the book was how in each chapter there were questions for you to interact with. It is easy as a leader to skip over these and get to the content, find out what the author says. But if you skip them, you will miss much of the power of the book.

What I appreciated about this book was how real it was. As a church planter and leader; trials, challenges and disappointment are part of the territory. It takes maturity and time to see how God uses them and grows you through them. I can honestly say looking back over the last decade of working in churches, that God has used and redeemed many of the trials that I’ve experienced.

But why does this matter? Why is sifting important?

According to Cordeiro,

Sifting produces a clarity about who we are and what we do, giving definition to the work of ministry that produces long-term results and fruitfulness. The real question, then, is not whether we will face failure. It is how well we will face it. How we respond to the challenges and trials in our lives and ministries makes all the difference in the world…A sifted person is someone who is able, by God’s grace, to reflect on his experience and emerge from a time of trial with a better grasp of what matters most. He’s a person who has been tested, proven capable and mature.

Not only that, but “A sifted life is an influential life. Your greatest influence takes place after you have been sifted and have survived.” That is important to keep in mind in the midst of sifting in your life. If right now, God is working in you, sifting your heart, remember that it matters why he is doing it and how you come out on the other side.

Here are a few things that jumped to me in the book:

  • Scripture tells us that the challenges we face in life happen for a reason, and the process of sifting refines us, revealing our weaknesses, exposing our self-dependence and inviting us to greater faith in God and greater dependence on his promises.
  • When God begins a season of sifting in your life, the first thing that will be tested is the ballast of your life, which is your heart. It’s the weight beneath the waterline. You can’t see it, but any refining of your heart will affect everything else you do. The heart is not about skill, gifting, or even calling. It’s deeper still. It’s the epicenter, the core of everything. It’s where you respond to God.
  • When something challenging is happening to us, we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out who is causing it. The choice we face is simple: will we trust God and look to him throughout the difficulty we face, regardless of the cause, or not?
  • Faith can be defined as living in advance what you will understand only in reverse.
  • God must first accomplish something in you before he can accomplish something through you.
  • The two greatest days in your life are the day you were born and the day you discovered what you were born for.
  • The normative Christian experience, even when we’re in the center of God’s will, is that we seldom receive a clear view out the front windshield. Usually we see much more clearly out the rearview mirror.
  • An open door does not necessarily mean smooth sailing.
  • This is one of the keys to long-term ministerial success: know how God has gifted you, know where God has called you to be, and then function faithfully in that role.
  • God will not hold us accountable for how much we have done. He will hold us accountable for how much of what he has asked us to do that we have done.
  • There is a sense in which I can truthfully say that the church does not exist to help people, to solve their problems and alleviate their disappointments. Not ultimately, at least. The primary reason the church exists is to worship God and to point people to Christ, the ultimate solution to their problems.
  • Seldom are your critics actually disappointed with you. They are usually disappointed with themselves, their lives, or God. You are simply a convenient target.
  • One of the most important keys to long-term ministry success – that you’re only as powerful as your dependence on God’s strength.
  • We are only as busy as we choose to be.
  • God will one day hold us each accountable for all the things he created for us to enjoy but we refused to do so.
  • Today it is far too easy to substitute busywork for the real work of ministry.
  • It is our unguarded strengths that become our greatest weaknesses.
  • The most important thing about you is what God says about you.

If you are a leader, you should buy this book. Definitely worth the time. This book will definitely make the list of “Best Books of 2012.”

Here’s what the publisher had to say about the book:

In this book, pastor and seasoned church leader Wayne Cordeiro speaks the truth in love, offering wisdom and insight to prepare leaders as they face the difficulties and hardships of planting and leading churches, while providing encouragement and inspiration for the journey. An experienced practitioner, Wayne shares the things he wishes he’d known when he was starting a new church. With additional stories from Francis Chan and Larry Osborne, each chapter includes a thought-provoking challenge question to develop a heart that is surrendered to God, focused on “being and becoming” versus “doing and accomplishing.” Wayne writes about a healthy integration and balance of personal care and leadership amidst the difficulties of church leadership. Instead of a “how to” book on models and methods, this is a combination of a self-assessment book that challenges leaders’ scorecards of success, encourages leaders to realize that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, and provides wisdom for the long haul to position younger leaders for a life of ministry and finish strong.