In an appeal for deeper and wider reading among leaders, John Coleman highlights the importance of reading in the lives of Steve Jobs, Sir Winston Churchill, and General David Petraeus. He then persuades us with three benefits:
1. Reading improves intelligence and leads to innovation and insight: it increases vocabulary, world knowledge, abstract reasoning skills, and creativity (especially for those reading in many fields)
2. Reading makes you more effective in leading others: it enhances verbal intelligence, deepens empathy, and ramps up productivity, often leading to pay rises and promotions.
3. Reading relaxes and improves health: reading for six minutes can reduce stress by 68%, and may even fend off Alzheimer’s!
As, despite these attractions, people are reading less widely and less deeply, Coleman closes with five ways to help us improve personal literacy and, therefore, leadership skills. Read the whole article here.
The missing ingredient in many sermons
“Like cooking, preaching can become bland. It can fail to have that freshness worthy of the gospel table. There are many reasons why. One could identify a lack of preparation, lack of understanding, poor delivery, and shallowness. We would not disagree that under-cooking the homiletical meal is a problem. But there is something else that can make preaching bland: the deadly reality of not being personally wowed by the subject.”
Femininity: June Cleaver, Clair Huxtable, or the Valiant Woman
Trillia Newbell shares a little of her personal journey to a biblical view of womanhood.
Depression: Helpful things to say and do
Ways to capture and hold attention
Sam Crabtree: “Capturing and holding attention is simultaneously an art and a science. To the degree that attention-grabbing is a science, is learnable, is transferrable—here are 24 suggestions that come to mind.”
Being a pastor and speaking out in today’s culture
Michael Milton offers four guidelines. And Sam Logan offers four more for Christians who want to speak about President Obama or any other politician for that matter.
The Bachelor Pastor: Premarital reflections on singleness, ministry, and purity
This is a great blog post: “I have waited 44 years to write this. It is my last sermon as a single man. This coming Saturday I will marry the love of my life, Miss Jennifer Terrell.”
In a recent Entreleadership podcast, Dave Ramsey talked about his hiring principles and process. Some of the bullet points:
- The #1 hiring mistake is not taking enough time in the interview/hiring process
- Every year we increase the time we spend in hiring and every year our turnover goes down and productivity goes up
- Some of our people were interviewed 10 times over a period of 6 months.
- Sometimes we hire someone in less than 30 days but that’s very unusual.
- If you don’t spend enough time in hiring someone, you’ll eventually spend much more time in dealing with their short-comings, and hiring their replacements
Ramsey then spoke of the two essential Christian characteristics of every hire:
- Opportunistic motivation: People who are fired up and excited about working really hard for a growing and expanding business.
- Philosophical motivation: People who see this work as a Christian ministry of hope to needy people.
“If people just buy into one of those, we’re in trouble,” warns Ramsey. And what’s the most common missing element? “Most get the philosophical motivation but not the opportunistic.”
Some want to work in Christian ministries but think that means work rate and work standards don’t matter so much as in the private sector. Ramsey tells potential hires: “We work hard, really hard. We view part of our spiritual walk to be excellent in the marketplace. If you can’t cope with Superbowl level of play you aren’t going to be happy here.”
The podcast goes on to a fascinating interview with Clint Smith, CEO of myemma.com, a business that helps 40,000 business around the world with email marketing. His hiring process has 14 steps!
Churches, Christian ministries, Christian employers and business people, we have much to learn!
Listen to the podcast on iTunes here (it’s about #9 on the list).
Silencing the Devil
R.C. Sproul Jr. with a courageous post on the difficulty of recovering from sin in the ministry.
Why most pastors won’t tell the truth
Adam McHugh on why it’s so difficult for pastors to be open and vulnerable with their congregations.
Be careful with “How-to” sermons
Joe Thorn: “The gospel is what gives power to any practical advice we may give in a sermon. A how-to sermon is powerless without a who-did foundation.”
The child isn’t the one that needs killing
So many great lines in this article. Here’s one: “We need to stop focusing on saving the baby OR the mother. We should focus instead on saving the baby AND the mother.”
Report highlights consistent pattern of hostility toward Christian in US.
Be counseled by Thomas Chalmers
12 counseling principles from a Thomas Chalmers sermon.