Here’s my first Leading Edge blog post! Thanks for subscribing! I thought I would start my blog with the 4 books I recommend to every church leader. We all learn to lead in different ways. Conferences are great. Mentoring is essential. Experience is invaluable. But reading is one of the key ways I learn and most leaders learn. I can’t encourage you enough to make the discipline of reading a priority.

The books I share below are books that I actually took our leadership team through and we used to develop our ministry. These books prompted hours of prayer and reflection on my part which led to leadership retreats, meetings, and eventually new ways of doing church. I especially recommend these books for anyone who has recently become a lead pastor or started a church or is ready to turn their church around. I believe these books, though some have a church focus, have many applications to non-profits and businesses as well.

#1 Church Unique – How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement by Will Mancini. You can see by the title and subtitle how critical this book is. When I first became the Lead Pastor of Pantano I took my executive team through this book and we develop our “vision frame.” The vision frame is the clarity of your vision surrounded by a frame that covers your mission mandate, your values and motives, your key strategies and the mark or measurements of success. This has provided us a guide and blueprint for moving our church toward truly impacting our culture.

See the Church Unique Visual Summary pdf on the Leading Edge website under resources.

#2 The Advantage – Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Lencioni. In 2012, God made it clear to me that the health of our staff and church was to be a priority. That same year The Advantage was published – thank God! Lencioni maintains that organizational health is dependent on a cohesive leadership team that has and communicates clarity. I took our executive team through the book and we developed our playbook from the 6 questions that create clarity.  

Click here and go to “Free Tools and Resources” for a summary of the principles or disciplines of The Advantage. See our Pantano Christian Church Playbook 2.0 pdf on the Leading Edge website under resources.

#3  Deep and Wide – Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend by Andy Stanley. This is a must read book if you want to reach unchurched people while serving those who already follow Jesus. This book provides inspiration as well as practical strategies to help people find God and a church community. I’ve had all my key leaders read and discuss this book!

#4 The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by McChesney, Covey and Huling. Our entire leadership now focuses on one big WIG (Wildly Important Goal) at a given moment. That’s the first discipline. But big important goals don’t just happen. Execution is actually rare in most organizations. The other three disciplines help you execute: acting on lead measures, developing a scorecard and then creating accountability. We practice this for every WIG and the results have been stellar. See the overview video here, the content overview here and the summary of The Four Disciplines of Execution pdf on the Leading Edge website under resources.

I would read the books in the order I listed them. But make the commitment to actually do the work each requires. And honestly, it will take you a long time, likely years, to actually do what these books suggest. But the results are so worth it.

And please share with us some of your “must read” books and why they are a must read!

I want to invite you to subscribe to my new blog – Leading Edge. I’ve called it this because being a leader is in fact living on the edge! Everyday, as leaders, we face new and sometimes uncharted challenges. For leaders to be effective we must continually be learners and that’s the heart of what Leading Edge is all about. I’ve committed myself to being a lifelong leadership learner and I want to share with you some of what I’m  discovering and using.

My blogs will be a combination of offering best leadership practices, conversations on the character of a leader and lots of encouragement for leaders of churches, schools, non-profits, social agencies and businesses. I want to help you lead well and stay on the leading edge. I’ve found I have a gift for being able to sort through the massive amount of resources and ideas for leaders and I want to help direct you to the topics and tools that will be the most helpful and useful.

Why another blog? There’s one reason. I believe with all my heart that God wants to bring his influence into our world. That influence is what the Bible calls the Kingdom of God. Jesus asked us to pray: Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And healthy, effective, wise leaders of character are essential for creating organizations and platforms that help people bring God’s influence into our world. I believe, more than ever, our churches, non-profits and businesses need the best leaders possible to make a positive difference both now and for eternity.

With just over 40 years of leading in various venues and cultures, I want to encourage you and help you lead better. And I want to learn from you so I can continue to grow and lead better! I’m looking forward to your feedback.

Subscribe to the Blog

I’ll post my blogs every 2nd and 4th Monday. I’ll try to keep the blogs to about a page with an occasional one being a bit longer! Click here to subscribe!  And of course you are free to unsubscribe at any time. In fact if you don’t find the blog helpful, take a moment to let me know why; to help me figure out how to be more helpful to others. Either way, I won’t be offended! And please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe too!

The Leading Edge Website

This website will supplement what I include in my blog. I’ll post additional or supportive content on the website that you can reference. The resources will include things like book links, podcasts, extra notes, charts, pictures or any resource that will help you lead better.

I look forward being on the leading edge with you,