I love reading books. When I don’t know how to do something or I don’t understand something the first thought that usually comes to me is “I’ll bet there is a great book out there that would help me understand this.” And there usually is. The challenge we now have is not is there a book on a given topic, and the challenge is finding good books on a given topic. Forbes Magazine says “there are there are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the US alone, depending on which stats you believe. Many of those – perhaps as many as half or even more – are self-published. On average, they sell less than 250 copies each.” So needless to say finding a good book is easier said than done.
I understand that books are written with three aims in mind. The first is be helpful and the second appeal to your audience and beyond, third sell more than 250 copies. Of all the books I have read, I have never come across many books that fit the four books below that I think need to be written. I think they need to be written because they would be helpful, but I don’t think they would sell more than 250 copies.
3 Books that Need To Be Written That No One Would Buy
- Sometimes Healthy Things Die. “Why Faithfulness matters more Fruitfulness” – One of the things I used to say all the time is “Healthy things grow” While that may be true I think it oversimplifies what is true in the statement. Healthy things do grow, and I would say this because my goal wasn’t health but growth. Is there anything wrong with more people, more produces more stuff? Not necessarily. I do think that statement for me was geared around fruitfulness more than it should have been. In the scriptures, we see many examples of how farming works. We plant we water God makes it grow. Faithfulness is something we can do by God’s grace. Fruitfulness is something God does for us, through us and sometimes despite us. I want they leaders I am pouring my life into to avoid that mistake and find their worth in being faithful and leave the fruitfulness up to God.
- No Two Kids are the same. “How to parent by principles, not by models” – When I first started off in ministry as a kids pastor, I was a 21-year-old unmarried college graduate. (I hope reading that last sentence was as scary as it was typing it.) I didn’t know much about anything, so I found myself reading lots of parenting books because I didn’t have kids. Even after I got married my wife and I waited a few years to have kids. So I read more parenting books. I found that they were very solution oriented rather than principally driven. I liked solutions better than principles because they were a formula I could follow. Well, four kids later I finally figured out what I’m sure you already know. No two kids are the same. If you parent your kids with formula’s rather than principles there is a very real chance you will drive one or more of your kids away. There is a very real chance you will do what the Bible warns in Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.” What I have learned and am still learning is every kid is different guide them with principles.
- More Pastors and Fewer Leaders – “Why we need more shepherds and fewer CEO’s” – Again I’m guilty here as well. I went through a phase in my life where I read nothing but leadership books. I saw my job as leading kids then as leading leaders, so it was natural for me to want to be a better leader. My emphasis on leadership was perhaps what I needed in that season of my life, but I am pretty sure I overdid it. Today I rarely read books on leadership not because they are inherently wrong but because I have come to realize my primary job is not to lead but to shepherd. What I am becoming more aware of is the reality that the kids, families and leaders in our church need from me is for me to be more conformed to the image of Christ. They need me to treasure Christ first and foremost above all other things. I have come to the slow realization that my effectiveness, my longevity in ministry is not about how good of a leader I am but rather how well do I follow the great shepherd. What my team needs from me is for me to love them in a way that God loves me in Christ Jesus. To love people in that way is not something I can do on my own. It is the by-product of meeting Jesus, of seeing and savoring Christ. For far too many years I functioned as a leader and I was efficient but I’m not sure if I was as effective as I could have been. I am grateful for the grace of God that empowers my efforts and covers my efforts. Looking back and now looking forward I am more convinced than ever that what the church needs today more than ever are more pastors and fewer leaders.