I finshed It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get it and Keep it by Craig Groeschel this morning and loved it. Craig is one of those guys who is really easy to read – partly because he is so honest, he says it as he sees it.
He takes the challenge of talking about it – the thing that some people and churches have – seemingly regardless of size, denomination, style, structure. The thing that all of us in church life long for. He starts with the near impossible task of trying to define it.
The majority of the book is taken up with trying to highlight what contributes to it. His short list includes:
- Divine focus
- Unmistakable camaraderie
- Innovative minds
- Willingness to fall short
- Hearts focussed outward
I especially resonated with the last three. As we start a new year, we’re going to be taking on some Ministry Apprentices – young adults who want to take a year to serve in our ministry. I want them to be bold, to get on and go with what God is calling them to do, not to be worried about failure, I want to challenge the perception that we can’t fail.
In our youth ministry we’re at a time where we’re looking outwards, as a large church we can be great at just trying to teach and disciple our young people, and to some degree being happy with the 150 teenagers we see each week, and yet there are over 400 teenagers in our local area who don’t know Jesus – let’s reach them.
To do all of that we mustbecome kingdom focused – not a Tonbridge Baptist Church kingdom, or a Chris Kidd kingdom, but a Jesus kingdom in Tonbridge. It’s why I love hanging out with other church youth leaders because together we can accomplish so much more.
I loved the little profiles from leaders such as Mark Batterson, Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, and Tim Stevens to mention a few. They bring real practical depth to Craig’s writing.
The last two chapters focus on our personal response as church leaders, and that all important need for our heart to be focused on the right things. Again Craig is disarmingly honest, which is refreshing and needed.
This was a book that left me itching to get off my holiday and back to work and to our ministry – always a great sign in a book.