Pathways to Discipleship

Last week I had the chance to hang out with my friend Heather Zempel the Discipleship Pastor at National Community Church.  Heather has a strong passion for group life and is a great thinker in the area of discipleship.  When she first went on staff at NCC her lead pastor Mark Batterson empowered her to think through how discipleship should best be accomplished.  This led her on a quest to study church history and discover how the church has grown disciples down through the ages.  Her insights are facinating and in this short video she gives an overview of what she learned on this journey.  Trust me you will enjoy the content in this brief clip.  Also Heather has captured these lessons in dyanmic new workbook that has just been released with Lifeway titled Sacred Roads.  If you’re looking for a fresh new study for your small group give Sacred Roads a try.  Make sure you check out  Heathers blog by CLICKING HERE and follower her on twitter @heatherzempel.

On My Bookshelf

I have a friend who every time he sees me asks, “So what are you reading?”  He doesn’t ask for accountability reasons, he asks because he’s really interested.  I love running into him because I know the quesiton is coming and this keeps me accountable to continue reading and growing.  So today I want to share with you what I am currently reading.  I’ve also included a bonus link with each book if you want to explore the book or the subject further.

Leaders at All Levels, by Ram Charan.  This is actually my second reading of this book this year.  This has become one of my favorite leadership development books.  I’m having my Leadership Development Coaching group read it as a part of the process we are working through.  Check out an excerpt from this book at THIS LINK.

It’s Okay To Be The Boss, Bruce Tulgan.  I currently have my Team (The Develop Team) reading this book together.  I have to be honest, I don’t agree with everything Tulgan espouses about leadership but because I disagree it’s forcing me to think through and defend what I believe about my leadership system.  Check out this video of Bruce sharing his top finding after years of studying management CLICK HERE.

Relational Intelligence, Steve Saccone.  A friend highly recommended this book to me (I wonder what he was trying to tell me???)  I’m halfway through and really enjoying this read.  Beginning in January I’m taking six young staff members from Seacoast through this book.  This book comes with a free online assessment you can check it out at this LINK.  Download a FREE chapter at this LINK.

Activate, Nelson Searcy.  If you are looking for a well thought out small group system this is a great read.   I am currently reading this book along with our All Access Interns.  I must say it has generated some lively discussion.  We have found points in the book that have really challenged us and some that we totally disagree with.  But even if you don’t agree with everything in the book Searcy’s well thought out system will inspire you to put together a systemactic approach to your small group ministry.  Read more about what Nelson has to say about small groups at the following LINK.

What Got You Here Wont Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith.  One of my mentors Ray Snyder, who is an Executive Coach, highly recommended this book to me a couple of weeks ago.  I’m just now getting into it, but he told me he requires every CEO he coaches to read this book.  Enough said…I bought it!  Want more on this check out this 13 page interview with Goldsmith at this LINK.

What are you reading right now?

Leaders are Readers

We’ve all heard it said, and it is so true… Leaders are readers.  If you want to continue to grow as a leader then you must always have a book by your bedside, in your car, in your briefcase and in your bathroom.  But if you’re strapped for cash and can’t run down to Barnes and Nobel to refresh your library check out the first three on this list for some FREE reads!

  • Heard all the buzz about Seth Godins book Tribes, but still haven’t read it yet?  Here’s your chance to download it FREE.  Just click on THIS LINK and start reading within minutes!  If you are a leader and want to increase your influence in this new day and age you have to read this book.
  • On his blog Lead Change Group Mike Henry shared a link to a free audio download of the book Tribal Leadership.  Read Mike’s review of the book HERE and then download it free HERE.
  • Melanie posted a link this week on one of my posts with this little piece of gold for your worship leaders.  This is a 72 page research paper by Joel French entitled Worship Leader Mentorships.  In this paper French gives some great detail about mentoring young worship leaders.  You can GET IT HERE FREE.  Thanks Melanie!
  • And finally WWBR – What Would Bill Read?  Here is Bill Hybels recommending reading list for leaders.  CLICK HERE print and post this list by your computer and over the next 2 years start checking off the list as you read them one by one.  This would be a great personal leadership development plan for any leader.

Are there other free book resources for leaders that you’re aware of?  Share the wealth and let me know

New Resource for Small Group Coaches

I’ve spent this weeks posts expressing the importance of the role of the Small Group Coach.  While it’s an extremely important position there seems to be a shortage of resources for coaches.  That’s why I teamed up with Doug Franklin and Leadertreks to create a tool for small group coaches. Growing Small Group Leaders not only provides tools for small group coaches but also provides a system for coaches to follow.  In this very practical manual you will find a Style Assessment that help coaches discover their leadership style so they can lead with their strengths and be aware of their weaknesses.  This resource, which emphasizes the coaches role in caring for the souls of small group leaders, instructs coaches how to conduct one on ones, leader huddles and group visits.  growingsmallgroupleaders_sm

This manual also includes six coaches huddles with topics such as:

  • Characteristics of a healthy small group
  • Building spiritual friendships
  • Developing your leadership confidence
  • And more.

All of the worksheets, handouts, and assessment are provided not only in the manual but also on a CD so you can make reproducible copies for your leaders.  We hope this resource will be a useful tool in your small group tool box and help you develop more effective small group leaders for your church.   We’re excited about the response to this resource, Doug informed me that it’s the #1 selling resource in this months Leadertreks catalog.  If you’re interested in Growing Small Group Leaders Leadertreks is offering my blog readers a 10% discount, just enter the code Mac10 when you order.

What other resources do you think are needed for small group coaches?

A Word from Reggie McNeal

I was with Reggie McNeal recently and had the opportunity to ask about his new book Missional Reniassance.  Reggie is challenging churches to get in on the fresh movement of God and develop a new scorecard.  In the video below Reggie explains a few of the changes that need to be taking place in today’s church culture.  (A big thanks to Eric Swanson who did some outstanding, creative flip video work on this one.)

Reggie McNeal from Maclake on Vimeo.

Leadership Lessons from a Mobster

Michael Franzese one of the most successful mobsters since Al Capone, has turned his life around.   As one of the rare people who quit the mob and lived to tell about it, Franzese has a unique perspective on business and leadership.  This past week I had the opportunity to ask Michael a few questions. michael-f

MAC: You have a new book out titled I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t RefuseI can safely say that recommending a mobster’s book to a group of pators is a first for me.  How would a pastor benefit from reading your book?

MICHAEL: A clear distinction is made between the Machiavellian way of doing business and leading (the end justifies the means, win at all costs,) which is the way of the world, and King Solomon’s way, which directs us to operate with integrity. It would be extremely beneficial for a pastor to understand the Machiavellian philosophy so he can easily identify all those who operate within it and inform his congregation as to the inevitable pitfalls and traps that they will be subjected to.

MAC: You share a lot of business and leadership principles in the book.  Which one would you say is most important for church leaders?  Why?

MICHAEL: Solomon’s way to lead with integrity of course. That failure at some points if handled properly can ultimately lead to success, even in the church.

MAC: You seem to be a man on a mission.  What is the mission you feel God has given you since your life has turned around?

MICHAEL: To be an encouragement to those that feel they’re unworthy or too bad of a person, or who believe they have fallen so short of God’s love and grace they can not be used to fulfill God’s plan and purpose for their lives.

MAC: What do you hope this book will accomplish in the lives of the readers?

MICHAEL: Help them to be better equipped to deal with business and life to a certain degree. To find the right principles. To learn how to accept failure and to deal with success in the right way. To go on to be more effective administrators and leaders in the business world always guided by integrity.

MAC:  By the way I’ll Make You and Offer You Can’t Refuse is a Nelsonfree book.  Instead of being locked into one format, with Nelsonfree you buy one format and you get two more for free – an ebook and an audio version.