Links for Your Weekend Reading

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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Jill Popp on Having kids when you aren’t ready for them.

God doesn’t give us children when we are old and wise and mature, but when we are young and ignorant and need to grow. In other words, he gives us children in the middle of the sanctification process; and our children, in turn, become a significant means of producing growth in our lives.”

Art Rainer on 4 Reasons Why Churches Need Good Directional Signage.

One of the most common mistakes I noticed as a church consultant was the lack of directional signage in churches. It’s as if churches expected people who had never been in their building to know exactly where to go on their first visit. Obviously this is a problem. Art shares four reason why your church should not only have directional signage, but good directional signage.

Brian Dodd on 7 practices of growing churches.

Joe McCormick on 3 communication tips for leaders.

Choose your words carefully and economically. Effective leaders today are mindful communicators, aware of the needs of their audience as well as the message they are trying to get across, briefly.

Ronnie Floyd on How Should You Respond When You Do Not Meet the Expectations of Others?

As a pastor, people will have unreasonable expectations of how you are to lead the church and fulfill your pastoral duties. Ronnie shares how to respond when it happens.

Rick Warren on How to Stay Relevant

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You Are What You Read

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I’m an avid reader (you can see what I’m reading right now here) and believe it is one of the keys to being a great leader and pastor. I came across this quote in  Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly Mike Myatt:

Did you know that the average American reads only one book a year? Worse than this is the fact that 60 percent of average Americans only get through the first chapter. Contrast this with the fact that CEOs of Fortune 500 companies read an average of four to five books a month. Even more impressive is that some of the most successful leaders throughout history were known to read one book every single day. Bottom line: If you’re a leader and not an avid reader, you’re wrong.

If the statistics in the opening paragraph didn’t convince you of the power of reading, here are a few more telling observations for your consideration—according to our surveys at N2growth, a very large common denominator shared by executives who feel that they are not achieving the level of success they feel capable of, is that many of them are “too busy to keep up with their reading.” Hmmm. . . . Furthermore, studies show that active readers are likely to have annual incomes more than five times greater than those who spend little or no time reading. Do I have your attention yet?

Up until a few years ago, Rick Warren read a book every single day. Abraham Lincoln, who only had one year of formal education, credited his appetite for reading with his success. Teddy Roosevelt was rumored to actually read two books a day. Thomas Jefferson had one of the most exhaustive personal libraries of his time prior to donating it to the Library of Congress (which many joked Roosevelt had read). If not clear yet, the theme here is that in order to be a great leader, you absolutely must be a great reader.

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Links for Your Weekend Reading

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.

book

Michael Hyatt on If you want to be more productive, get more sleep.

Brandon Cox on You can have growth or control, but you can’t have both.

Our gut reaction to rapid growth is to immediately try to control it. We need more systems. We need more machinery. We need to stabilize the institution. I know… let’s form some committees…

Rick Warren on How to handle growing pains in church.

There is no growth without change. And there is no change without loss. And there is no loss without pain. A church that wants to grow without going through growing pains is like a woman who says, “I want to have a baby but I don’t want to go through labor.” Is the pain worth it? Yes, it’s worth it. People need the Lord and as long as one person doesn’t know Christ we have to keep reaching out. As your church begins to grow you’re going to face a lot of different criticisms. But there are three really common ones to prepare for starting with these three.

Ronnie Martin on Pastor, stop lying.

Here’s my concern: are we being honest enough with others to let them bear our burdens? Or does outward silence indicate inward boasting? When burden-bearing only goes one way, it ceases to be burden-sharing. Inevitably, we will fail to carry this weight on our own. I believe my friend succumbed to this temptation. But I didn’t realize it happened to me, too.

Daniel Darling on What Pastors Owe Their People.

As Dan points out, pastors owe it to their congregants to preach the whole counsel of God—including the tough passages.

Join Mike Leake & Tim Challies for 31 days of purity.

The 31 Day Purity Challenge will be similar to the other prayer challenges. I’ve written about half of them and Tim has written the other half. We will also have a few guest posts (from some people that you might know). Each day we’ll have a scripture passage, a short devotional, and then a prayer. Tim and I will post them on our respective sites and they’ll also be posted to our Facebook group.

This group, though, is different than the others. We are encouraging you to commit to 31 days of detox as well. This challenge will actually benefit you more if you can find a group of guys at your church to do this together. But we also have the Facebook group to assist in this. As we are praying we are also committing to aggressively pursuing purity in our lives.

Ray Ortlund on Faithful pastor, you’re not crazy.

A text message came in from a pastor friend.  I’ve known him for decades.  He is the kind of man for whom the adjective “saintly” was invented.  He pastored a thriving church for many years.  Then someone on staff stabbed him in the back and rallied others to get him thrown out.  The objections to his ministry had no substance.  “The issues” were not the real issues.  As Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, said to me once, “Some try to pull down a prominent man, not because they themselves wish to take his place, but because doing so gives them a feeling of power.” My friend had met with someone from his former church, wishing to reconcile.  But the person blew him off.  All that the meeting accomplished was to re-open an old wound. So here is what I want to say to my friend: You’re not crazy.  This has been happening to God’s men since Cain and Abel.  It is one way you identify with Jesus himself.

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Cheap [Leadership] Kindle Books 11.11.13

Here are some great books for cheap on kindle today (All books are $2.99):

All of these are solid leadership books.

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.

book

  1. If you want to be a great leader, you must have vision.
  2. Donald Zimmerman on How to structure your worship ministry. This makes me appreciate Paul Ingram all the more.
  3. Personal branding for introverts.
  4. Tim Challies on Do you have a personal relationship with Satan?
  5. Great leaders are rarely normal, well-adjusted people.
  6. Garrett Kell on How to destroy your marriage before it begins.
  7. Hannah Joiner on Secrets for dads with daughters.
  8. Stop trying to date yourself. Great word for singles.
  9. Chan Kilgore on What he wished he would’ve known about leadership, parenting and satanic attacks when he started pastoring. If you are a pastor or thinking about it, this is a great series of blog posts.
  10. Will people have a chance to repent after they die?
  11. Trevin Wax on When your kids say “Dad, I know all the bible stories.”
  12. What one pastor wish he would’ve known about critics and parenting when he started pastoring.
  13. Thom Rainer on 7 tips for introverted pastors.
  14. The most important interview Rick Warren has ever done. I watched this last night and was blown away while watching it. Really a moving interview.
  15. How to not make a hiring mistake.

An Awkward Interview on a New book

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.

book

  1. Anthony Bradley on Millennials leaving the church.
  2. Brian Howard on How to build the perfect church staff.
  3. Rick Warren’s first sermon since his son’s suicide.
  4. Steven Furtick on Fences bring freedom.

How to write a worship song:

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.

book

  1. Luke Simmons on 10 things I learned from preaching on homosexuality.
  2. 11 traits of church that will impact the future. This list is gold.
  3. Joe Carter on 9 things you should know about pornography and your brain.
  4. Busyness is not a virtue.
  5. Julian Freeman on Top preaching mistakes. I am definitely guilty of some of these from time to time. Great article.
  6. Ed Stetzer on New Research: Top parental traits.
  7. Ben Sharpo on ESPN Apologizes For Commentator’s Christian Worldview On Homosexuality.

A Conversation on Submission

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
  1. Tim Stevens on You have to give up to go up. Great leadership principle.
  2. Rick Warren on Picking great books.
  3. Preaching for the home run. My preaching professor told me, “Don’t preach for the home run, just preach to get on base.”

Links of the Week

  1. John Piper on Race and the gospel. John Piper also wrote a book on this topic called Bloodlines that is very helpful on the topic. 
  2. Rick Warren on Breaking growth barriers for church growth
  3. A helpful review of The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
  4. Russell Moore on Should Christians boycott Starbucks. I’d say no, but that’s my answer to most boycotts. Never saw a boycott in the NT and the church seemed to explode. 
  5. When parents ask the wrong questions
  6. Shawn Lovejoy on 12 secrets every leader should know
  7. J.D. Greear on 35 things I wish I knew when started pastoring
  8. Workaholism.
  9. Bob Franquiz on 5 ways to keep growing after Easter
  10. 10 tips on preparing and preaching on Easter.

Links of the Week

  1. Jeff Vanderstelt closed our series Uprising at Revolution and what spiritual power means, how to tap into it and how it can change a city. Definitely worth a listen.
  2. Hollywood is suddenly hot for the Bible.
  3. Does Joel Osteen not know or not care?
  4. Tony Morgan on Knowing who should be on a senior leadership team.
  5. Involving children in a missional community.
  6. Rick Warren on 3 ways to overcome loneliness in ministry.
  7. On mission this Halloween.
  8. Ed Stetzer on What to do with “issue Christians.” Great advice here.
  9. Church attendance ceilings.
  10. Grace Driscoll on Being a Pastor’s wife.