Issue No. 335 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting reminds you that books are powerful and thoughtful gifts at Christmas and year-round. Merry Christmas! (Watch for my year-end “Book-of-the-Year” pick on Dec. 31.)
St. Stephen Delivers Another Gut Check
Perhaps my best recommendation for a new book is this: I will read it again soon.
On this 24th day of December, if you’re still looking for a Christmas gift book that will pack a punch, order Broken and Whole: A Leader’s Path to Spiritual Transformation, by Stephen A. Macchia.
Oh, my. Steve has been nosing around our churches and ministries—especially our board meetings. But the good news: instead of meddling, he ministers. When you read Chapter 4, “The Tight Grip of Pride and Closed-Fisted Greed,” you’ll discover a new standard of leader/author transparency.
Steve bares it all—and his authenticity ensured I would read every chapter: slowly, prayerfully, confessionally. Oh, my.
I usually bounce around a book—based on the most interesting chapter titles. But every chapter title competed for my attention. You must read:
• “Impatience Isn’t a Virtue”
• “The Pitfalls of Needing to Be Wanted”
• “Befriending Brokenness and Inviting Redemption”
Macchia exegetes 1 Corinthians 13 with…(what picture will help you get this?)…maybe after a huge NFL middle linebacker whacks your body to the ground, he then lifts you back up—and you look into the healing eyes of Jesus Himself.
Yet “St. Stephen” doesn’t mince messages:
“Basically, I’ve come to grips with the reality that I am who I am. I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus. I have made many positive contributions as a leader. I’ve served faithfully as a pastor in a large and healthy church. I’ve experienced effectiveness as a leader of a one-hundred-year-old organization that grew significantly in my tenure. I’ve mentored many young and aspiring leaders. I’ve even founded a ministry that’s been richly blessed by God.
“But I also make mistakes. I blunder. I think horrible thoughts. I’m an internal quagmire more often than I desire and in continual need of God’s grace. I know what it feels like to be a manipulator, and when not kept in check I can drive myself and others crazy with my perfectionistic tendencies. I’ve been deeply hurt by past failures. I’ve been disappointed by the attitudes and actions of others. And I see these same things in many others who are in leadership positions in the body of Christ.”
He adds, “I’ve discovered that when I’m authentic, honest and transparent about all my realities as a leader, I can relax more in the presence of those who previously intimidated me.”
Every Christian leader—every Christ-follower—will relate to the powerful stories that launch each chapter and the probing “Spiritual Leadership Audit” questions that conclude each chapter. Whew! Broken and Whole is a must-read.
P.S. Buy at least two books: several for the growing leaders on your Christmas list, and one for yourself. Merry Christmas!
To order from Amazon, click on the graphic below for Broken and Whole: A Leader’s Path to Spiritual Transformation, by Stephen A. Macchia.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) In his chapter on “The Maddening Manipulation of Self and Others,” Macchia addresses our rudeness (“love is not rude” per 1 Cor. 13) and suggests we memorize a phrase to halt rudeness. “When you see rudeness in your attitude, actions or words, very simply say, ‘Isn’t that interesting’ and then reflect on what’s being provoked in you that’s prompting a rude response.” Think back to the last time you were rude to another person. Do you need to confess your brokenness?
2) As a leader or manager, what responsibility do you have for the people in your department or organization? Are they growing? What books will you give them in 2016 to encourage their growth?
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As we cycle through the 20 buckets, here are some insights from Chapter 5, The Book Bucket, in Mastering the Management Buckets:
In the Book Bucket, I encourage leaders to create the context for the next book they recommend. “Last quarter we added another weapon to our arsenal when we read XYZ. This quarter’s book builds on that methodology and zeroes in on one of the critical balls in the Customer Bucket. Please note that there’s a $10 Starbucks gift card in your book. Get out of the office for a few hours and enjoy some reading with your favorite beverage.”
Broken and Whole, by Steve Macchia, is a great example of an author who writes books that are in perfect alignment with each other. I’ve also reviewed and recommended these books by Steve:
• Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way
• Wellspring: 31 Days to Whole-Hearted Living
• Spiritual Discernment Retreat Guide
• Becoming a Healthy Team: 5 Traits of Vital Leadership
For more insights from the Book Bucket, visit this webpage.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting is emailed free two to four times a month to subscribers, the frequency of which is based on an algorithm of book length, frequent flyer miles, and client deadlines. We do not accept any form of compensation from authors or publishers for book reviews. As a board member and raving fan of Christian Community Credit Union (a non-profit), we proudly list the credit union as a sponsor at no charge.