On April 5th of this year I picked up a book I had bought months before. Little did I know how much of an impact it would make on my life. I read it in less than 24 hours. Why? Because I couldn’t put it down! Because it answered a number of questions I didn’t realize I was asking for years as a pastor and leader. It raised issues in my own life I didn’t even know were there. It provided words and direction that filled my heart with inspiration and drive. It gave me the answer to the “How?” question I’d been wondering for years. As a pastor my job description is pretty explicit in the scripture. “Equip the saints for works of service.” Sounds easy right? I was trained and have a four-year degree on how to equip people biblically. I know how to disciple people, teach them how to study the Bible, how to apply the scriptures to their lives, etc. – but it wasn’t until April 5th, 2014 I began to see my purpose as a pastor as much more; I saw my role much more clearly as a leader. I can disciple people without ever equipping them to be leaders. I can encourage people to serve, but am I training them to lead others? I’ve always been told that great leaders “replace themselves.” But what does that really mean and how do I do it? Am I raising, training, and equipping people to lead or am I being, as Jim Collins in Good to Great calls it, “a genius with a thousand helpers?”

Thus began a journey to fill my life. I set a goal to read 26 books my first year of committed reading; I read 52 by years end. My goal is to read one book a week on various topics: leadership, parenting, Christian-based, business, marriage, etc. But as you can imagine, read a book a week leads to a lot of information in your mind that you have to get out! While it leaks through my conversations and teaching, I want to use it more. One of the core values of our family is “Be Helpful.” I realize that many, if not most, will not have the reading habits I have set in place. So perhaps I can be of help to you. I’ll do the reading, the summary, and the recommendations; you can choose which you read.

I hope this blog’s new purpose will be helpful for you, your family, your ministry, your business, and for those who will be impacted through what you learn.

Grace & peace,

Michael

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