LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

So Many Books, So Little Time

I used to feel pretty guilty about all the books I wasn’t reading. Three or four times a week, someone says to me, “You’ve got to read this book. It’s unbelievable.” Pile on the guilt—I don’t have time to read your life-changing book. I’ve decided that living in guilt is no way to move forward. So I’ll politely decline a recommendation, and give away books that are given to me that I know I won’t read in the next couple decades. I do most my reading online, and use Evernote to clip quotes or ideas that I want to retain.

Another tool that has been really helpful comes from a group called Leaders Book Summaries. Guess what they do? They summarize books. It was started by Dave Frederick…a pastor who believes in the church and believes in leadership. He understands the dilemma we all face between the tyranny of the urgent and the growth we all want as leaders. So he reviews a couple books every month–and sends subscribers a 10-15 page summary, as well as a 2-page “nutshell.” I’ve read several–and they are spot on! Instead of wading through content to get a few nuggets of great stuff…Dave’s team takes the time to whittle down the content so there is gold in every paragraph.

His team issues thirty (30) summaries of leadership books each year–written by both secular and religious authors. Some recent examples include…

  • Your Life in Rhythm by Bruce Miller
  • The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal
  • Leading from the Second Chair by Mike Bonem & Richard Patterson
  • Unusually Excellent by John Hamm
  • You Lost Me by David Kinnaman
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • The Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzero

It costs $6.95 month (or cheaper if you pay a whole year in advance). That ends up being about $.22/day for 30 book summaries (and they are even providing readers of LeadingSmart.com with a free month.)

One cool option they just added: Your church can subscribe for $30/month—and every staff member or leader from your church can become a member at no additional cost.

Quit walking around feeling guilty about not reading enough books and do something about it.