I love the way this book is laid out. I’m not sure what I like more: the chapters that are like blog posts in book form or the built-in cock roach flip book (nice touch). The short chapters are setup more like a blog than a book. Someone described it as a great bathroom book. I would say that’s pretty accurate. There were several pages that I dogeared and underlined.
Some of the highlights that kind of stuck out to me, without giving away too much, are:
- 10 ways to sink your sermon series – for pastors and creative teams, this is worth the price of the book alone. Great insights that we’ve seen play out at CCC and some new ideas to consider that we haven’t tried yet.
- Reading Tony’s chapter on The Lost Generation (18-34 year olds) had me yelling “preach preacha!” One insight from there: “most churches focus their ministry on people that are twenty to thirty years older than this demographic.” No wonder this demographic is leaving the church.
- Exceeding expecations – he addresses the first time guests and their experience in coming to church. Some convicting and practical applications on exceeding expectations in helping to ensure that someone’s first visit to your church is one where they want to come back.
- There are several quick chapters on “making church boring” and effective communication. I loved those chapters and would echo his sentiments there. Why is it that some churches seem to go out of their way to make church boring?
- The chapter on worship music is a must read for every worship leader and pastor. Some great conversations, statements and questions there. One part that made me think (and laugh) was this: “When are any Christian musicians going to start writing lyrics that connect with the average Joe? For example, I can’ imagine hearing two men say to each other, ‘I just want my lifesong to sing to God’ and the reply, ‘Yes, I just feel like my heart is crying out.’….I understand that poetry and lyrics are cool and all, but you know what I’m saying…”
- Chapter on God’s Will when considering a move or next steps in ministry. Tony gives his process/questions that he and his family used in making the move from Granger to Newspring.
Bunch of other insights, but I’ll let you pick up your own copy and read it yourself. Thought there were a lot of applications for any ministry or business leader. Oh, one more thing, if you happen to meet Tony, you should give him a big hug…he loves that kind of stuff 🙂
Next up on my reading list: IT by Craig Groeschel (great book so far, can’t put it down) and Living Your Strengths by Winseman, Clifton & Liesveld (haven’t started that one yet)