Leaders and the Unknown

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Leaders are the ones who run headfirst into the unknown. They rush toward the danger. They put their own interests aside to protect us or to pull us into the future. Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours. And they would never sacrifice what is ours to save what is theirs. This is what it means to be a leader. It means they choose to go first into danger, headfirst toward the unknown. And when we feel sure they will keep us safe, we will march behind them and work tirelessly to see their visions come to life and proudly call ourselves their followers. -Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Yesterday was such a great day for me and at Revolution
  • After 3 weeks off from preaching (2 that were planned and 1 that wasn’t), I got to preach
  • I love that part of my job and miss it when I don’t do it
  • I wrapped up our series Breathing Room with a very personal sermon on how to balance work, life and relationships
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here 
  • So excited though for what is next for our church
  • My wife Katie and I will be teaching the next 3 weeks together as we kick off our series Beautiful
  • The more I read on women and body image, the sadder I get because it is so far away from what Scripture says about women
  • Body image, modesty, thinking rightly of yourself and those around you, treating each person correctly is something men and women struggle with
  • Yet, the truth of how we are to live in this area is laid out in the very first verse about men and women in the Bible
  • In fact, it is one of the most used and quoted bible verse, it is one that most people know and yet very few actually believe
  • After we finish Beautiful we will kick off a 4 week series called Fight
  • So excited to talk about manhood for 4 weeks
  • I get to do a wedding this Friday night
  • Love being a part of the beginning of a couple’s life together
  • The party of the reception isn’t a bad thing either
  • Started reading Simon Sinek’s new book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, really good
  • I loved his first book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • His new one is a little slower than his first one, but then his first one was pretty ground breaking
  • Still a good one though
  • I realize that doesn’t sound like a great recommendation
  • Just finished working with an editor to finish up my book proposal
  • This has been a long 2 year process to reach one of my life goals
  • We’ll know soon enough if it is going anywhere
  • Say a prayer for Revolution as we kick off Beautiful on Sunday
  • I believe these next 3 weeks have the potential to be incredibly freeing to a lot of women (and men)
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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • The weekend that was my weekend was crazy
  • Definitely a reminder that you have no idea what a day or weekend can hold and how one moment can change everything
  • Saturday afternoon, the kids were playing in their rooms and all of a sudden I hear crying, Gavin walks out and says his arm hurts
  • It should’ve hurt since he broke it
  • Thankfully his adrenaline kicked in so there wasn’t any blood curdling scream
  • We hopped into action, got him the emergency room, spent all night at the hospital as he had surgery around 8pm
  • Needless to say, right now feels like I am sleep walking through life
  • Just a draining weekend on all accounts
  • Because of this, I ended up not preaching
  • The timing is totally God’s providence as we are using a series from North Point and had the ability to simply show the next sermon by Andy Stanley in the series
  • I’ll be honest, I was torn
  • It’s something all men feel
  • I told one of our elders who was with us Saturday night at the hospital, “The irony of feeling torn between working (preaching on Sunday) and being with my family is what my sermon is about this coming Sunday.”
  • He told me it would make a great illustration
  • If you missed yesterday as we looked at how to find Breathing Room in your finances, I’d encourage you to listen to it here
  • We are also kicking off a brand new series in 2 weeks called Beautiful
  • This is the first time geared towards women
  • Super excited about the content Katie and I will be sharing, but also some of the creative stuff we’ll be doing for it
  • Before the craziness, Katie and I got to have an awesome date night on Friday night
  • We went to Time Market to spend some tim reading, drinking coffee and hanging out
  • Such a cool place
  • While sitting with Gavin in the hospital, we got to watch some good football
  • The nurses were stunned at how much he knew about football
  • They even gave him a football to hold
  • Might be an obsession we share
  • Speaking of that, thankful for the teams that won yesterday because I think there will be some killer games next weekend
  • Shaping up to be a good super bowl
  • Started reading Simon Sinek’s new book Leaders Eat Last last week
  • So far so good
  • His last book was incredible
  • Well, off to start a normal week and (hopefully) preach this coming Sunday
  • Say a prayer for me and my family if you think of it
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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.

Tuesday Morning Book Review || Start with Why

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Every Tuesday morning, I review a book that I read recently. If you missed any, you can read past reviews here. This week’s book is Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (kindle version) by Simon Sinek.

As of today, this is the best book I’ve read all year. This is a book that if you are a leader, you need to read.

The thrust of the book is what Sinek calls The Golden Circle of “Why, what, and how” (see image below).

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Most pastors struggle with this concept. They can talk all day about “what” their church does. They can even tell you the inner workings of “how” their church works. Very few can tell you “why” they do anything. And, if they are seeing the results (“what”) based off of why.

In fact, this is what many churches and pastors do at conferences. They hear a speaker talk about “what” they do a their church, go home and copy it. That church grew because they preach through books of the Bible. That church grew because of video sermons. That church grew because of louder music. Yet, they never ask “why” did that church do that in the first place? What made them have to do that? That’s what the why is.

This book came at the right time for me and was a great reminder. Revolution Church is about to turn 5 years old in a couple of weeks. We are beginning plans to plant our first church in the next year. Our missional communities are growing, more leaders are getting developed. Everything is working. We are seeing results. At this point, it is easy for a church to drift and get fuzzy as Sinek calls it.

Here’s a video of Sinek talking in this topic at TED: