Top 6 Books to check out in 2017

  1. Purple Cow and 2. Tribes by Seth Godin.  

I think these books should be read back to back.  To me, they are two sides to the same coin.  As I prepared to start RE.THINK Church, one thing our team desired was to not be just like every other church in NWI. Don’t get me wrong, we are FOR every church. We want to complete the Church, not compete with the Church.  In order to set ourselves aside, I started down this path of pursuing how to be different. I asked myself “ How does RE.THINK become the church that will get noticed the way a purple cow would standing in a field among black and white cows?”

“Purple Cow” and “Tribes” are a crucial read for anyone who wants to lead.  The author, Seth Godin, implores his readers to lead differently and be bold about it. The future will not be filled with people who simply settled for a paycheck. The future will be held by those of us who daringly pursue what is there for us?  What are you daringly pursuing?

I think these two books will help any leader who is attempting something new and daring.  I read these books and was so encouraged about the future, not only of my own adventure with RE.THINK Church, but also about what the future of business and marketing could be.

Don’t settle for what will be handed to you or what is presented to you. Challenge it. Pursue something else. There must be something better. I think Seth Godin is an amazing clear voice in this niche area to help this movement.

The book “Tribes” explains how to avoid the pitfall of over priced, over saturated marketing.  The author hints that people are becoming more and more tribal in the way we live. With such things as Crossfit, coffee, schools, places we live and work, society is starting to move toward informal tribes. The strange thing about tribes is that we still need people to lead.  Seth urges leaders to stand up and take their place.

I think the best method to reading these books is to read them as part of a group.  Find two or three other like minded people who are pursuing similar paths. Spend time reading and discussing each chapter in order to learn from each other.

3. The Power of the Other  by Dr. Henry Cloud

Dr. Henry Cloud does a great job laying out for us the types of relationships we have with others.  He also explains why we need the right kind of people in our corner encouraging us toward our goal. In those moments when we want to give up, having the right people in the right corner is so crucial.  

If you find yourself in the middle of a challenging season, read this book. If you find yourself in a time of ease, read this book and prepare yourself.  You won’t regret it.
4. Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment by Scott Sauls

I love this book.  I read through it quickly and now I am going back through this book a chapter a day.  I can’t get enough of the truths, insights and perfectly timed challenges.  

Scott is a pastor in Nashville, TN. He writes compassionately and challenges Christ followers like myself to befriend people groups that are outside my comfort zone.  I think any and every Christ follower who actually takes seriously the words of Jesus, “love your neighbor as yourself” should read this book.   

5. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

This. Book.  The words and insights go against everything I experienced working in the corporate world about becoming a commodity for everyone.  Attempting to be everything for all people will kill us, so don’t.  McKeown does a great job explaining that essentialism is about the disciplined pursuit of doing less, doing the essential thing.  In the end, we’ll see a deeper reward and more production. Isn’t that what every leader desires?  As I read through this book, I was challenged in so many ways to be in relentless pursuit of less, but better.  

The line that made me read this book through was the line about “most people want to make a millimeter of progress in a million directions”.  What would it look like if we did the opposite of that statement?  I believe this world would be better. I believe that we can do it as well!

6. George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.

I love history. This book was a great book for me to read and simply absorb. I sat in awe as I read. How in the world did these individuals figure this whole espionage thing out?  How did they topple an empire?  Here we are centuries later living in the fruits of their sacrifice. As I write this blog, I’m sitting in a Starbucks drinking an Americano. That statement right there wouldn’t be possible if these individuals didn’t figure out the spying game. This book inspires me to figure something out now that seems impossible.  Not just for my own sake, but for the sake of the future generations.

I think these books have the potential of inspiring us to have the best year possible even though we’re four months into 2017.  I hope we can dig deep, get some wisdom and pursue a path that might not seem clear right now, but we know it’s the right path to go down.  The path that seems ‘easy’ might need to be avoided. It might lead us to mediocrity. It most likely will lead us down a path of repeating the same crap over and over again.  What seems impossible to us right now, might actually be what we need to head into.  In 2015, I had to repent of unbelief that God wanted me to start a church from scratch, that He could use me.  I thought I could, but honestly didn’t really believe that God wanted to or could use me.  These books, among others, inspired me to repent of my unbelief and to pursue the best path as RE.THINK Church matures who knows what is down this path of uncertainty and potential.  My hope is that we’ll become a tribe pursuing something bigger than ourselves and better than the paths that seem easy and convenient.  Chase after something better!

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