the shape of leadership

Summer Reading Recommendations

Three books for leaders

How to Get Unstuck

Matt Perman (Zondervan)
We all want to be more effective in life and ministry, but all of us also get stuck at some point or another. In How to Get Unstuck, Matt Perman offers a “God-centered, gospel-driven” perspective on productivity — defined holistically as “a flourishing life, not just doing better at work.” He sketches “successful practices” for getting unstuck, but those practices are built on the foundation of this insight: “operate from a center of sound principles. Use those principles to set your priorities. And then organize and execute your life around those priorities.” This is a helpful book for Christian leaders both inside and outside the church.

The Gospel at Work

Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert (Zondervan)

By some estimates, Americans spend 90,000 hours on the job over the course of their lifetimes. That’s 45 years of 40-hour workweeks for 50 weeks of the year, minus two weeks of vacation, of course. In The Gospel at Work, Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert offer a Christian understanding of the work that takes up so much of our time on earth. Their “big idea” is this: “You work for the King, and that changes ... everything!” Pastors discipling church members for their lives in the workaday world will find this book to be a helpful theological and practical resource.


The Power of Moments

Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Simon & Schuster)
“We all have defining moments in our lives,” write brothers Chip and Dan Heath. These are “meaningful experiences that stand out in our memory.” Why? Because they elevate our lives above the daily grind, give us insight into ourselves and our world, cultivate legitimate pride in our achievements, and/or connect us with other people. “Defining moments shape our lives,” the Heaths write, “but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them.” Though written from a secular business perspective, The Power of Moments has obvious implications for ministry and is well worth reading.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2018 edition of Influence magazine.

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