Wednesday, March 18, 2009

book reports..

I just thought I'd take a couple of minutes and share about a couple of books that Liz and I have been reading. I feel like we have so much to learn, and although at the end of the day a book is just a book and doesn't hold a candle to shared practical experience, never the less I've found some of what I've been reading lately to be very insightful.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
by Patrick Lencioni

Skillfully written. Not only does the author incorporate his entire process of team evaluation into the narrative in a practical and completely readable way, but he does it with attention grabbing flare. I feel, after reading this narrative, that I have a much better understanding of team management and operation.

It's not that this was written for dim witted people or the slow of learning. But the presentation of it as a narrative seems to be a great mechanism to reach those who are perhaps unteachable. There are a lot of people in management who are far less concerned with the team and far too concerned with controlling the team. Often they have no interest in learning, in fact they seem too often to feel that they have nothing to learn.

Kevin, Marcia, Elizabeth and I will all be reading this book and going through some exercises outlined in the book to help build us as a team and give us the tools for effective communication.

Passing the Baton: Church Planting That Empowers
by Tom A. Steffan

Reading this book, it is clear that it is written from vast experience and study. Steffan elaborates on the vital importance of relationship building and working as a learner when involved in long term ministries. Throughout the book, the necessity of planning and focused approach that is both practical and appropriate to the target audience is outlined in great detail.

Although the book is subtitled: "Church Planting that Empowers", it is far from limited to those involved in direct church planting ministries. I would strongly recommend that anyone involved in ministry take the time to read this. There are some wonderful insights and experiential illustrations that we can (and should) all learn from. Steffen touches on a great deal of areas in ministry that can be, and often are, stumbling blocks. The importance of clear and culturally relevant communication is so often overshadowed by our own agendas and cultural self-interest.

This book we were asked to read prior to our first meetings at NCEM headquarters in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan next month. From what I understand, we will be discussing the implications of the methods outlined in Steffan's book and how they can be applied to our ministries here among Canada's First peoples.


Mike Matthews said...

Amen, Grant and Liz! Glad to read your report of the book. It is, indeed, a good practical help in the arena of church planting. And, by the way, you folks have one fantastic blog site.
It was a pleasure meeting you at Timber Bay. I trust you've had some time to "rest" from all your travels.
Mike Matthews

The Fawcetts said...

Greetings Mike! We had such a wonderful week with you and John - perhaps we can do it again sometime!!

We're rested up - but the traveling continues - haha. It's all a part of the great adventure!