Archives For Books & Media

CraveableJesus was irresistible. Yes it’s true that the Jewish leaders stirred the crowds to demand his crucifixion. But why? A big part of their motivation was jealousy. They no longer had a monopoly on the religious devotion of the people because this Jesus guy had come along and was stealing the show… and the crowds.

There was something different about Jesus. He was the life of every party He attended. He was always the giver, the encourager, the healer. And as a result of His character, people wanted to be around Him. The disciples left their old lives behind to follow Him and He taught them to live lives much the same as His, to make Jesus irresistible to their friends.

My friend, Artie Davis, is an irresistible guy. His enthusiasm is contagious. His love is deep, his vision is big, and his heart for people is huge. He’s highly qualified to have written and just released his new book, Craveable: The irresistible Jesus in me. My endorsement appears on the cover and says,

Artie Davis has written an excellent book about a much-needed subject—how to…

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Unpacking in our new home in a new state far from our families, I opened a box marked Fragile in big black letters. Inside, buried under bubble wrap, I found my framed wedding vows. While I searched the master bedroom for the perfect spot where the frame could hang, I read what I had committed to Kyle on our wedding day. Just as it had when I had first written the words, my heart stopped on one line.

I vow to support the ministry that God gives you.

An Overarching Willingness

When I wrote those vows in the weeks leading up to our wedding, I read them several times, each time imagining myself speaking them on our wedding day and, each time, hesitating at the promise to support Kyle’s calling into ministry. Although they were weighty, the other lines about faithfulness and commitment felt right to me; I could confidently make those promises to Kyle. I considered scratching the ministry line because it seemed out of place for wedding vows, but my heart felt unsettled at that prospect, too. I couldn’t pinpoint the difficulty surrounding this…

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CallingWe all wrestle with the same daunting questions about our lives: Why am I here? Do I have a unique, God-created role to play in His Kingdom during my lifetime? If so, how do I discover what it is? Calling’s Way charts out the process one goes through to fully discover, experience and optimize their God-given calling in their lifetime. It’s written to leaders in the church who have a desire to understand this process and guide others through it. If any organization should creatively integrate this kind of understanding and guidance into helping people, it’s the church. Calling’s Way is written from the author’s experience of facilitating more than 600 one-on-one, two-day LifePlan sessions over the past 20 years.

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Cant We All Just Get AlongFamilies are complicated. Just think of your own extended family. It’s a mess, right? Churches are made up of multiple messy families. Worse yet, those families are expected to work together as a great big extended family. And the pastor is supposed to preside over it all. Oh yeah, and the pastor’s own nuclear family is a part of this great big family. So should we be surprised when there are problems? This book will explain how to navigate the treacherous waters of family systems and make your church stronger in the process.

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Who Do You Think YOU Are?

Who Do You Think You Are? is an exploration of the issue of identity and an encouraging examination of what it means to be “in Christ.”

Drawing from nearly two decades of pastoring, Mark Driscoll knows that underlying most individuals’ struggles in life is the issue of their identity. “The fundamental problem we have in this world,” he says, “is that we don’t understand who we truly are—children of God made in his image—and define ourselves by any number of things other than Jesus. Only by knowing our false identity apart from Christ, in comparison to our true identity in him, can we finally deal with and overcome the issues in our lives.”

Here’s what Pastor Rick Warren has to say about this book…

The key to understanding your true identity is shaped by your relationship with Jesus Christ. ‘In Christ’ you are completely acceptable, extremely valuable, eternally loved, totally forgiven, and fully capable. Pick up a copy of Who Do You Think You Are? and learn the truth about who you really are.

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MoveMove. A word that captures the discipleship passion all pastors share: to help move their people’s hearts and lives to a deeper love of God and others. Now MOVE For Church Planters provides a powerful, condensed summary of how any church—and, in particular, newly established churches—can be more effective at discipleship. This concisely written eBook is based on the top findings for church planters to emerge from REVEAL, an unprecedented survey launched by Willow Creek Community Church in 2004 that now represents the input of close to half a million people in 1,500 churches. And it includes a never-before-available bonus: an interview with Willow Creek’s senior pastor, Bill Hybels, who—based on nearly four decades of ministry experience—shares what he would do, the same and differently, if he were starting a church today. Bill’s counsel, plus the insights provided by churches of every size, denomination, and geographic area, make MOVE For Church Planters a must-read for those dreaming about the promise of the new churches they are in the process of planning, launching or growing to their greatest potential.

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A Righteous BroodBottom Line: You won’t have a missional church unless the families in your church learn to go on mission together.

Most parents have huge hopes for their children. Peace, safety, ample provision, happiness and the American Dream. But God has a bigger dream for your family that should make you rethink everything. People are leaving the church in droves. Three out four children will also choose to opt out Americanized Christian religion. Why? It doesn’t capture the heart, stretch the mind, or call for any substance. Fortunately, God’s story is big enough and the “Family” remains His best way to inspire, include and disciple the missional life in our children. A Righteous Brood is a prophetic call, but also a practical guide to making the home the front line of mission.

Inside A Righteous Brood, Hugh Halter will take you behind the scenes of this family as they planted two churches. With a severely disabled son, a 50 hour-a-week job as a house painter, and two other children in hockey six days a week, Hugh will get beyond the fluff and help you see God’s power behind a family that…

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Spectrum-of-InvolvementA supplemental eBook for Missional Moves (Exponential Series, Zondervan)

As church leaders, we know people won’t become disciples by sitting through services or just studying the Bible in classrooms. Jesus showed us that mission is the context for making disciples who can make disciples. Every church leader faces huge barriers like busyness and fear, keeping our people away from mission.

They don’t teach you this stuff in seminary. You only learn this through blood, sweat and tears on the frontlines. Granger Community Church has seen thousands move out on mission, culminating in redemptive movements locally and globally. From Monroe Circle Community Center, a hub for neighborhood renewal in the inner city, to a movement of more than 1.000 reproducing churches in India that includes more than 120,000 people.

Practical Help to Help People Move Deeper Into Mission
In this eBook, through the story of Granger Community Church, you’ll discover practical help in mobilizing people toward mission in incremental steps. People need a series of steps into deeper engagement with mission. You’ll discover hard-fought lessons like:

  • How to develop a spectrum of involvement across local, regional, cross-cultural and global engagement.
  • How to include people from all…

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SwitchOne of the books that has been on my reading list for two years is Chip and Dan Heath’s Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. I read it over the Christmas break, and wish I hadn’t waited so long. It’s one of the best books on change that I have ever read.

The Heath brothers draw from an extensive set of research studies, mostly in the field of psychology, to explain why people act in certain ways when confronted with the need to change. This sounds very dry, but the genius of Switch is that the Heaths have created a simple and memorable framework that is easy to read and captivating. They deal with both the emotional and logical issues that can cripple change efforts both at the personal or organizational levels.

One thing that makes Switch so captivating is the stories of change. As I’m writing this review, I’m remembering that the size of the bucket doesn’t affect the amount of popcorn eaten by a movie-goer and the implications this has for change efforts. I’m thinking about a community revitalization effort in rural North Dakota that was started by teens, a…

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There are certain things that I write about and talk about that are harder than others. The most difficult things to discuss for me are the personal, intentional decisions that I made to have an affair. Selfish. Cruel. Mean. Dark.

There are some things in life we can chalk up to circumstances. There are some things that we can attribute to someone else’s choices. But then there are the things in life that we choose that cause tremendous hurt and damage and have severe consequences. Those are what haunt me the most. My thoughts are typically “If I would have just chosen to do that one thing differently.” “Things could have been so much different if I would have done this…” Haunting.

I heard someone say one time in reference to making mistakes “You can stub your toe a hundred times, but you can only cut your throat once.” For me, I had two decision points…one that was near fatal, and one that decimated not only my family, but also another family and an entire church.

About eight weeks before the affair started,…

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