Book Review: Axiom by Bill Hybels

The cover describes this book as ‘a truckload of weighty wisdom in 76 portable proverbs’. It’s not wrong!

This is a MUST read for leaders and would-be leaders everywhere. Why would you not want to learn from Bill Hybels? It’s obvious but I think Mr Hybels has earned the right to say a few things and that we should listen. Every proverb has the potential to help you…depending where you are on your leadership journey.

It is a simple set up. Thoughts, wisdom, ideas, challenges covering 4 key leadership areas. Read the proverb, think about it, digest it then ask yourself – what do I need to learn from this?

Here’s my favourite 6….(not in a particular order)
No.12 Take a Flyer – if your setting could stand a few sparks of God-ordained excitement: take a flyer! It might yield the breakthough you need
No.16 Six-by-Six Execution – what are the six most important challenges that I am facing in the next six weeks? I have adopted this idea…I love that it creates intentional neglect. And it gets things done too.
No. 49 Is it Sustainable? – when the team present new initiatives then there are 3 questions to ask: is it kingdom-advancing? can we launch it well? is it SUSTAINABLE? Whatever it is you are going to do, don’t be afraid to ask if you will actually be able to keep it going.
No. 50 Don’t Screw Up – love this one. After advice like ‘think it through’, ‘cover the details’, ‘do the follow-up’ Bill Hybels would add one more DON’T SCREW IT UP!! Leaders build credibility by not screwing up.
No. 56 Speed Versus Soul – good Pastors are to grow their souls, their relationship with God and those closest to them. Is my soul line going up or down? How is it between me & God? How about my relationship with my wife, close friends and family? The challenge is that if it doesn’t look good – what adjustments to your schedule, to the pace of your life are you willing to make to get it heading in the right direction again.
No. 64 What Life are you Waiting For? – Life is not a rehearsal. This is the only leadership life we get. It is the game, not a warm up. So…what life are we waiting for?

Get your copy here. Read it. Tell me which one is your favourite?

Other books by Bill Hybels…
Holy Discontent
When Leadership & Discipleship Collide

What Are You Reading At The Moment?

Went to Borders the other day. Love going there. Never really get to fully appreciate it when the girls are with me but I did get the opportunity to browse and checked out a few books that look interesting even alllowing for the pile I still have left over from last year!

Leaders are readers. You want to gain some knowledge then you need to be reading and I don’t mean just general fiction. You need to read stuff that will challenge you, inspire you, stretch you, teach you something. Start small. Don’t be intimidated by how much others read – have your own plan, set your own goal and go for it!

This is the last 10 books I have read – what do you think?
Vintage Jesus
Turning Points
Starving Jesus
Wake Up Dead Man
Sticky Church
Moving in the Spirit
Meatball Sundae
Holy Discontent

After any good recommendations. Come July I will be switching my emphasis from reading my Bible in BIG CHUNKS to reading from an ever increasing pile of books.


Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing…Day 26

I think it was Stephen Covey who articulated this. It is such a truth that I think I am now getting a real grasp of. Problem is that it’s a really easy statement to make but a really hard one to keep. So many things do battle for my time and attention, it can be difficult to stay strong on the main thing.

Yesterday I posted about how seeking God is great but that the rewards come by working wholeheartedly. That’s when we prosper.

Then I read the post by Mark Batterson – read it here. This part in particular resonates strongly with me…what we need to do is refocus on doing the rights things: meditate on God’s word, pray through, obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, genuinely love people. And when you do the right things, everything takes care of itself. This is exactly where I am at right now. I am so excited about what God is doing, would love to see more people at Xcel Darlington and can easily get caught up in the numbers game but just know that if we keep doing the right things God will honour that and we will prosper.

If I was becoming obsessed with numbers it was only because my heart is to reach people, make an impact in Darlington and see lives transformed as they discover the reality of living life the way God created it to be lived. Listen to me – making excuses.

I recognise that I must keep praying, meditating, believing God as well as the strategy, the study and the thinking side of Church. You cannot do one without the other but as Bill Hybels says…when leadership and discipleship collide (the process of growing people under Gods grace) always err on the side of what’s needed for discipleship.

We plant, we water…but God brings the increase. Bring it on. This Sunday is going to be incredible Xcel Darlington.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

On the first Sunday of every month I do a leadership session. It’s just a small group of Xcel Darlington partners but they are there because the want to grow, develop as leaders and hopefully, become the people God needs them to become to take Xcel Darlington where God wants to take it!

They have been reading Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels. That book affected me. That’s why I recommended it. It challenged me on how I view leadership.

In the book he talks about ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’. Asked the team to think about some ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ for Xcel Darlington. Wondering how brave they have been. How far will they go? Will they be BIG enough? Will they be truly AUDACIOUS? Hope so. Whatever – I am looking forward to discovering what they think could happen in the future of Xcel Darlington.

The next 3 months are going to be amazing – truly believe that Xcel Darlington has the potential to explode over the next 90 days.

What would your ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ be?
Where do you think your church has the potential to go in the next 90 days?

Book Review: Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels

You know that feeling. Something inside you just won’t go away. It keeps niggling at you. The only response is to act, do something, to make a move in some way. This is what Bill Hybels describes as your Holy Discontent.

As someone who doesn’t struggle with vision, I love books like this. They remind you, like a slap around the head, what you are supposed to be doing with your Christian walk. Not just living the comfortable life waiting for heaven but acting when you see something you just can’t stand anymore. You know…it’s not about us!

Whatever it is for you…don’t resist it. Bill Hybels says that you should ‘feed it’ not hide from it. Don’t insulate yourself from what wrecks you. Instead, increase your exposure. Then he says you need to ‘fight for it’. Just because it’s difficult, maybe even impossible or tough times hit you doesn’t mean you stop. It means you fight. It’s got to be worth the risk.

The next is the exciting part…follow it! Any holy discontent has the potential to morph. If it does then just ‘follow it’ where it takes you. I love that thought.

One intriguing idea in the book is when he talks about something called the ‘fundamental state’. This is when a person is gripped by a powerful passion that they literally enter into a completely different state of mind. ‘Normal state’ is being self-absorbed. The fundamental state cares more about getting the right results not what people think. Interesting?

Looking for volunteers? Want to help people discover their holy discontent? What to ignite some new passions in people – then I recommend you read this book and more importantly, you get everyone else to read it too. Get your copy here.

‘A bad day lived from the energy of your holy discontent is far better than the best day lived anywhere else.’

[What’s yours?]

Book Review: When Leadership & Discipleship Collide

Another book in the Leadership Library. I found this little book packed with some insightful thoughts from leading Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek. If anyone has earned the right to comment, I think he has.

The general thought of the book is that sometimes the tried and tested ‘leadership laws’ are not the right answer for a Christian leader and that discipleship is a better route. After all, Jesus seemed ‘willfully to violate well-known, widely accepted laws of leadership.’

Hybels then lists some of these…picking the wrong team, losing momentum, not taking advantage of good PR opportunities, stirring up unnecessary controversy, not leveraging his influence …etc.

The idea behind this book is easy to grasp – it’s clearly in the title. People need to be led but sometimes by entering their world, giving of yourself and loving them through circumstances is the best answer. When leadership & discipleship collide…decide on discipleship every time. Defer to the Bible.

Why? Walking the path that God paves for you only happens when you do this. The Holy Spirit will prompt you. After all, as it says in the book ‘when we get it right, and especially when we don’t, we impact people’s eternities.’

A recommended read for all Christian leaders. A great reminder that God always knows what is best for people and that it may not always be according to the leadership laws we know and trust in so much. Get your copy here