Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: The Conviction to Lead (25 Principles for leadership that matter)

 A lot of us have been waiting a long time for Al Mohler to write this book. If you know anything of his tenure as President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the remarkable events that marked his first years there in particular, then you will know why.

Mohler has written a great volume on leadership that distills Biblical truth, experience and the wisdom of others into 25 very readable chapters. The book is a must read for anyone who leads in any capacity.

Last year I had the opportunity to spend several days with a small group of pastors, all of whom were leaders in their respective groups or geographical areas. This was a game-changer for me. Being together, thinking through issues, sharing strategies, and listening to other leaders reinvigorated my own leadership like nothing has. The Conviction to Lead was like a pleasant walk back into those sweet days.

Tim Challies has provided a list of great quotes from the book and his own review here. I would commend those to you if you want more of a taste. But whether you are a pastor, professor, manager, business owner, small group leader or father, I simply urge you to buy the book and read it. Then start the hard, yet thrilling work of serving others with your gifts of leadership.

(This book was provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dying to Self

My friend, Sheri Russell, sent along this poem to me this week which she copied out of an old Mennonite school book. I thought it quite encouraging and with her permission, share it with you.

It was timely for two reasons. The first was its relation to sermon I preached on Sunday on why delighting in God is the best thing you can do for everyone around you. The second was the stunning revelation from a friend of mine that while preaching recently at a nearby church he was surprised to discover that no one there had ever heard of the Biblical category of death to self. 

When you are forgotten or neglected or purposely set aside,
and you do not sting or hurt at the oversight,
but your heart is happy, being worthy to suffer for Christ,
that is dying to self.

When your good is evil spoken of,
when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, 
and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, 
but take it all in patient loving silence,
that is dying to self.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, 
or any annoyance, when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance,  
spiritual insensibility and endure it as Jesus endured it,
that is dying to self.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate,
any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God,
that is dying to self.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself,
and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly,
finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart,
that is dying to self.

-Author unknown.