Monday, May 17, 2010

A Great Read

I do a fair amount of reading. There are books that I read by assignment and books that I read by choice. The latter, must meet a couple of requirements before I'll open the cover and, subsequently, continue reading.

First, the topic has to be practical - something that I can apply to my life and ministry, if not today, then tomorrow. I'm not looking for instant gratification, I'm looking for instant application.

Dick Hardy delivers in his book 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask By keeping his finger on the pulse of what it is to be a pastor, Hardy offers practical advice in six areas that pastors encounter nearly every day. From Leadership to Hospitality and Staffing to Discipleship, Hardy challenges pastors to take an honest look at their ministry as well as themselves and make some important evaluations

As I read, I found myself getting excited as I imagined how best to implement the ideas and suggestions Hardy so graciously gives the reader. "We could do that." "Yeah, I could be better in that area." Those are just a few of my thoughts through the pages of the book. Challenging.

Second, in order for me to keep reading, the author's tone needs to be conversational. Hardy writes as though he is sitting with the reader, having an invested conversation in the reader's ministry. This book was written by a man with a heart for God, people and your ministry.

It isn't often that I endorse a book; however, Hardy's book is a must-read for all pastors. Our ministries, people and, ultimately, God's Kingdom will benefit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Repeating the Important

I recently attended a conference that featured a variety of well-known speakers. One of these speakers was the legendary, Zig Ziglar. I was looking forward to hearing him; however, what I didn't know was that he had fallen a few years ago and has suffered short term memory loss. He speaks with the help of his daughter, who does her best to keep him on track.

With his impaired memory, Zig would keep returning to and reiterating one topic, loving and cherishing your spouse. At the time, I could feel the crowds uneasiness as Zig would repeat what he had just said moments earlier. I felt sad, knowing the history of this great orator and then to see him in a diminished capacity.

Over the last 2 days since the conference; however, I have been contemplating a new perspective. While it wasn't Zig's intent to repeat the same thing over and over, it may have been God's intent to drive a message home to the thousands attending that day.

Success isn't measured by wealth, possessions or even talent. It is measured by God and our relationships with our spouse, family and friends. Are you chasing the important? That is a question worth repeating everyday!