I mentioned in a previous post that you need to keep your leadership skills sharp in order to lead well in any capacity. It's been said, and I fully agree, that "Leaders are Readers." So here are a few of the things I've been reading and listening to that help keep me sharp. Add some of them to your rotation of learning materials, and I'm sure you'll be better off for it!
Unseminary - This is a MUST-READ/Listen to! Both a blog and weekly podcast, Rich Birch continues to deliver fantastic content that all leaders need to be learning from!
What I like about it:
Andy Stanley Leadership - Again, this is a MUST-Listen to for anyone in ministry. If you're a fan of the NorthPoint's methodology or not, this podcast gives you a monthly audio lesson on leadership that you can use regardless of your circumstances or philosophy of ministry. If you're not listening to this, you are missing out!
Jesus Culture Leadership - this one is a stretch for me - and that's a good thing! The Jesus Culture people have a great heart for reaching people for Christ, but their style and possibly some of their theology don't exactly mesh with mine. But like they say, you'll never learn anything from people just like you. They are definitely aiming for the young leader, and I think that is awesome! I like their passion and it helps me stretch in areas I wouldn't go otherwise. Check them out
Phil Vischer - I stumbled on this gem while looking for kidmin podcasts... totally not a kidmin podcast! His panel including Skye Jethani and Christian Taylor lead to very provocative discussions on atheism, homosexuality, evangelicalism, and what it means to live out your Christian life. Phil has had some great guests on his show too that add to the variety! If you're looking for a change of what you're currently listening to, this is the one to check out!
Viral Churches - new to my collection, this book takes a great look into how churches are multiplying and the different ways that they look. Stetzer and Bird take an analytical view at different methodologies and seeing what are happening in congregations around the USA. I'm only about 1/3 through and I'm hooked and incredibly inspired to spread the Gospel through new (and current) venues that are open to me.
The One Thing - Short, sweet and intensely practical! How many times have you finished a day/week/month/year of work and been disappointed that you weren't able to accomplish what you shooting for? I read only one chapter at a time because there was so much for me to digest! Can you actually multitask? Is there such a thing as a work/life balance? Can you have successful habits? If you have any aspiration to do anything, you need to read this book! You can't read it and not glean gobs of practical wisdom.
David and Goliath - Don't read this as a commentary on the biblical story by the same name - you'll be disappointed and confused! Instead the insight that Malcolm Gladwell brings into how so many underdogs in society are able to "beat the odds" against giant foes will cause you to look at your problems in a new way! Gladwell's 'bait and switch' storytelling technique had me guessing on every page.
Futureville - Skye Jethani (remember him from the Phil Vischer podcast) has wrote a very readable book about how we view the future affects what we do in the present and how often Christians have lost the biblical view of vocation, resurrection and why it's bad for us. This will be a book I'll reference more and have already handed it out to congregants to take a read. An academic book, this isn't and you'll probably finish it in 2-3 sittings, but I think it's great! Get your copy right away!
What are you reading and listening to these days? Share in the comments and help us all grow more!
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.