Pastors' Library

Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders
Dave Earley, Living Ink Books, Chattanooga, TN, 2008, ISBN 9780899570327, 193 pages, $12.99, softcover

Dave Earley seeks to remind readers of the absolute necessity of prayer for those in leadership. In this short but powerfully practical book, he identifies 9 prayer principles:

1) Value the power of prayer. Prioritize prayer. Prayer puts us in tune with the Lord and provides such a powerful weapon that spiritual leaders who want to impact others dare not neglect it.

2) Make time to pray. Set a definite time each day to pray, and pray several times during the day. Determine the amount of time you are to spend in prayer and set a definite place to pray.

3) Pray for those you serve. Effective leaders value those they serve and never underestimate the importance of those around them. Persist in prayer for others until results come and remember to pray for the lost.

4) Train others to pray for you. Encourage others to pray for you; establish a prayer partner and covenant to pray for each other.

5) Turn your problems into prayer. The time to pray most earnestly is when troubles surround us. Cry to the Lord for His mercy to meet the difficulties.

6) Fast and pray. Many biblical saints fasted when they were face with a pressing need. Fasting clears the mind and allows us to pray more earnestly.

7) Possess a bold faith. No problem is too small or too large for God. Dare to pray for the things that others might thing impossible or impractical. Scripture is replete with examples of those who exercised bold faith and their prayers were answered.

8) Built on the basics. The Lord's Prayer and the acrostic ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and supplication) make good starting points for prayer.

9) Apply best practices. The author suggests having a prayer retreat to persevere in prayer. Earley recommends praying with the Scriptures and taking a prayer walk.

Each of the sections contains an application worksheet for readers to examine their own prayer lives and document their progress. Early wraps up the book with a similar worksheet covering the whole text. This book, while targeted to individuals, would also make an effective study for leadership retreats and seminars.

Glen Jones

Target: Spiritual Leaders
Type: Prayer
Take: Highly Recommended

 

Conviction without Compromise: Standing Strong in the Core Beliefs of the Christian Faith
Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2008, ISBN 9780736922203, 394 pages, $14.99, softcover.

Some teachings of Scripture are so essential that they leave no room for compromise. One must believe them for eternal salvation. To deny these teachings puts one in danger of eternal separation from the presence of the Lord. Other teachings of Scripture are important but are not essential for eternal salvation. Even when we cannot compromise the clear teaching of the Word, we can still disagree in love.

Geisler and Rhodes point out that certain teachings are necessary for salvation: The tri-unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the deity of Christ; His humanity; human depravity; the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ; His atoning death; His bodily resurrection and priestly intercession; and salvation by grace through faith.

Other important doctrines are not necessary for one to be a Christian. These include the form of church government, the mode of baptism, the nature of communion, music in the church, the day of worship, the order of Christ's Second Coming, and the role of women in the church.

Essential doctrines must never be compromised, even for the sake of unity. Believers must earnestly contend for the essential doctrines, but to contend does not mean to be contentious.

The nonessential doctrines (teachings) should never divide believers. We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable. In short, Christ must always display a spirit of love even when we address essential and nonessential teaching of Scripture.

The book is guided (and even subdivided) by three core statements: "In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, charity."

Glen Jones

Target: All Believers
Type: Bible Doctrines
Take: Highly Recommended

 

Activate: an Entirely New Approach to Small Groups
Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas, Regal Publishers, Ventura, CA, 2008, ISBN 9780830745661, 223 pages, $12.99, softcover.

Searcy and Thomas believe they have developed an innovative system to engage believers in small groups. First, they state that group organizers must think how group dynamics can serve those within the group (not necessarily reaching outside the group). A larger group tends to make task assignments less demanding. Most people feel more at ease in large groups. Small groups do not necessarily have to be composed of those who already know each other; groups build friendships.

Secondly, once the group has been organized, they encourage leaders to have a definite agenda: start and stop on time, offer new topics each semester, and allow groups to grow through "stress and release" cycles.

The authors suggest requirements for group coordinators, group leaders, team leaders, and a group coach. Goals for each of the leaders are given. These leaders, of course, will have to be trained. Group organizers may want to consider how to divide the groups: women, men, married couples, mom's groups, athletic groups, professionals, and others.

After the organizational structure is in place, leaders need to begin promoting the groups to the church membership. The authors suggest that groups should consider having the members sign a covenant agreeing to faithfully attend, build relationships, and serve within the group.

Glen Jones

Target: Small Group Leaders
Type: Small Group Formation
Take: Recommended

 

Handoff: The Only Way to Win the Race of Life
Jeff Myers, Legacy Worldwide, Dayton, Tenn., 2008, ISBN 9780981504902, 168 pages, $12.99, softcover.

What does it mean to be a leader in today's society, especially in the United States? This question haunts so many of the older generation as they observe the direction that the next generation of this world is heading. Is it possible to effectively impart the truths and experiences that we have known and learned too the members of the next generation, the future leaders of this country and world?

In his latest book, Handoff, Dr. Jeff Myers, a professor of communication and leadership and president of Passing the Baton International, Inc., gives a personal account of how the wisdom of those before him was passed on to him and how he has learned practical, effective ways that we can "pass the baton" of the race of life to the next generation.

Myers builds on the comparison of life to a relay race. In a relay race, you can only win if you pass the baton to those who come after you. Discipleship works the same way-the process is not complete until you pass on the Truth of Christ to those in your sphere of influence.

Although Handoff is a small book (each chapter is not much more than 5 pages), it is full of leadership and mentoring jewels. In these pages there are concepts that will renew the reader's passion for walking along side the people of the next generation.

Handoff gives a practical approach to encouraging the next generation to follow us as we follow Christ, just as the Apostle Paul says to "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1).

This is an excellent book for leaders in the Church to discover truths on leading the next generation towards a path of using their gifts to glorify Christ. With mounting evidence that the Church in America is in decline, Myers' message is perhaps more important now than ever.

Mark Livesay

Target: Leaders
Type: Leadership / Discipleship
Take: Highly Recommended

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