Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Are You Reading in April?

In the last couple of weeks, I have been able to squeeze a couple of new books into my life that I would recommend you to pick up.

notemergWhy We Are Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Moody, 2008).  For quite a while I have tried to ignore the emergent church movement as a distraction that I didn't have time for.  Then my youngest son came home from a youth retreat wanting to buy a DVD series by a well-known emergent church leader.  I decided that I had better start getting better informed.  During my doctoral studies a few years back, I did some more through research of a much more technical nature (e.g. Reclaiming the Center by D.A. Carson, et al.).  Recently I came across this little gem by DeYoung and Kluck, two young guys (one a pastor and the other a sports writer) who should be interested in the emergent church movement but who have serious concerns about it.   This collaboration of two entirely different writing styles makes this an excellent and, I believe, and even handed introduction to the subject. They give credit where credit is due and express concerns that I agree need to be addressed.  This is the book I would recommend if you are wondering what the emergent (or emerging) church is.

gogiverThe Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann (Portfolio, 2007).  A short but powerful business book.  I read it this morning before I went to work. Mind you, I got up at 5:30 because I couldn't sleep.  Let me just offer up the five main keys to business success according to the authors:

1. The Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
2. The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
3. The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other peoples' interests first.
4. The Law of Authenticity: The greatest gift you have to offer is yourself.
5. The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

Intrigued and want to find out more?  Go out and order this book. 
Personally, I am excited about putting these principles into play here at The Voice of the Martyrs, not only because the concepts make business sense, but I believe that they are scripturally sound.  The call of this book is to service and generosity.  I am already planning some changes and new initiatives based on these principles.  One of them I am considering would be what we might call a "Shepherd's Kit" - a package of free, quality resources that we will offer to church leaders across Canada as a gift from people in their congregation and The Voice of the Martyrs.  Watch for it in an upcoming newsletter!


Anonymous said...

Of course I don't know what the book authors say about this 'business plan'. I have seen a church operate as a business and that had little to do with what I read about the church in the Bible. We are hung up on success whereas the Lord warned us that the gate is narrow and few find it. Being faithful is what is required. Operating in business mode can lead us to forget who is really head of the church and that we are servants. We can get caught up in plans and programmes and not depend on the Lord. Now I am probably way off base with what the book is saying.
I would like to recommend The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies, a Canadian author with a great website. Eunice

Glenn Penner said...

I understand your caution, Eunice. Certainly, churches are not businesses in many ways, but I have found that there are helpful principles in some of these books that help us to obey biblical principles more effectively. You will have noted that I mentioned that what made these principles helpful to me was that I believe that they are scripturally sound. Discernment iw always needed and is, indeed, required. There are aspects of a number of business models that I find quite unbiblical and hence, I do not follow them.