5 Books (That Are Responsible For Me)

5 Books (That Are Responsible For Me)

I’m a reader.

And I’m not nearly the reader I used to be. When I was in my early 20’s and going through one of the biggest times of personal and spiritual development, I found myself coming back time after time towards the same handful of books. I don’t know how many times I read each of them, but as I grow older I realize how each of them played a serious role in who I am in my late 30’s, In many ways, these books are responsible for me. They formed me, forced me to grow and expand, and taught me so much. In many ways, they made me who I am now. They helped me understand my own scripture and prayer life and helped me learn what it looked like to live as a Christian in the world.

5 Books (That Are Responsible For Me)

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
There was a time in which I pretty much duct taped my first copy of “Pursuit” to my Bible. It was making the rounds at my college at the first part of an intentional discipleship relationship with a campus pastor and the word got out. Many of the folks I was around back then could trace their own path of following Jesus off this book. I recommend it constantly. I’ve ended up keeping around 5 copies around my office to give to people. In fact, I’ll give any of my copies away with the exception of that first copy. It’s downright sacred.

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
This is the first of Richard Foster books on my list. We used it in college ministry and I had a fantastic co-leader that outlined the entire book for everyone. I thought the outline was so awesome I went out and bought a copy of the whole book. Celebration taught me about a HUGE amount of Christian  Practices outside of my own personal experience.

Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster
After I read Celebration of Discipline, I started hunting down every Richard Foster book I could find. It was a little tough in the pre-Amazon era, but my part-time job at bookstore helped. If I have to think about one of the biggest pivotal shifts in my life, it was discovering and interacting with the larger, historic Christian faith. And I read about it for the first time in Streams of Living Water.

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
Richard Foster started me down a trail of reading and working through other Christian traditions. The Practice of the Presence of God is a 17th-century Catholic monk. I read and reread it for an entire summer. It helped me learn to not be so forceful in my own devotion and how rest factors into our own life with God.

Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas
Resident Aliens was a pretty big personal shift for me. It made me fall back in love with the church and dream of the possibilities it as. Before this point, my spiritual development had primarily been personal, and in some ways had decently given up on any sort of gathered expression of faith.

All of these books have been important for me. If you are wanting to dive deeper into your own relationship with Jesus, or just learn new things, you won’t go wrong with any of them.






Why You Need a Production Calendar (Part 2) | Productive Pastor 90

Why You Need a Production Calendar (Part 2) | Productive Pastor 90

This episode we are going back in time and bringing new content into a conversation that has been the MOST DOWNLOADED episode of Productive Pastor.

How often do you strategically think about your communication? Maybe you have a list, or maybe you want to take things a little deeper. If that’s you, we’ve got some great information for you today.

This episode is sponsored by the awesome folks at TrainedUp.church. Make sure to check them out for the best mobile volunteer training system out there. If you didn’t catch it, we recorded an episode earlier this year with their founder Scott Magdalein.

The List

All You Need To Know About Whiteboard Markers. 
Yes, I have been getting into this article a little too much. But if you are a whiteboard dork, I know you will as well.

The Jocko Podcast and Barbell Logic
Both of these shows have been getting major airtime in my truck this year. I am interested in the primary parts of both of these podcasts, but I am super interested in the conversation about discipline that is an underlying current in both podcasts.

Production Calendars (Part 2)

Over the last few months, as I was dealing with a tremendous amount of anxiety over what ministry looked like, I remembered a strategy that had given me tremendous margin in the past. I had stopped using a production calendar. And I realized it was time to get back on board with the idea 100%. Since then, I have significantly more margin because I have streamlined my entire communication process. Let’s just back into the original conversation started in episode 17; Why You Need a Production Calendar.

  1. This takes a simple list and fast-forwards the creation of margin.
    As leaders, we are creating tons of content. A production calendar moves you into the realm of deliberate communication strategy and out of a reactive mode. High impact material needs to be groomed. Significantly.
  2. You need a creation schedule and it needs to be calendared.
    The further we are able to step back, the farther you can plan into the future. You are giving things the ability to be edited and molded into their ideal version. It can be a newsletter article or a weekly update email. it will communicate better if it is sculpted out.
  3. Communication, no matter if it is specific or recurring, need a strategic release sequence.
    This means you figuring out when the best day/time to write is.
  4. There are many ways to do this.
    You can go full out digital or totally paper. Just don’t get caught in the app trap. Pick out a method and stick to it.

There are four stages we can all find ourselves in right now.

  1. We are actually thinking about strategic communication and calendar for the first time.
  2. We want to step beyond just having stuff on a calendar for a release date.
  3. Let’s take one thing, like our weekly emails and email systems, and develop them deliberately.
  4. We want to strategically order all of our communication.


Resources Mentioned:

The Simple Content Creation Method + How to Publish More Than You Thought Humanly Possible by Anne Samoilov   

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

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