Two Totally Different Books

I have read two books so far this year and the contrast between the two is amazing. The first book I read this year was “Courageous Leadership” by Bill Hybels. It was a good read, but to be honest, I didn’t connect with it in the way that I thought I would.

I just completed “Searching for God Knows What” by Donald Miller. I was able to connect with this book on a greater level of both understanding and connectivity then “Courageous”. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, in a recent personality profile exam, I was classified as an “expresser” (imagine that). My guess is that Donald Miller would also fall in this category. Hybles on the other hand is clearly a “Driver”. If you are not familiar with the 4 categories, “Driver’s” and “Expressers” tend to not mix very well. Expressers tend to dream, while Drivers tend to be, well, driven.

What struck me most about these 2 books though was how very different the message is. In a way, “Searching” might be the “anti-courageous”. This has nothing to do with leadership, but everything to do with our need for formulas, bullet points and step-by-step plans. Donald Miller does a nice job of outlining some of the dangers of doing this. Hybels is more or less describing the blue print for building successful church staffs, churches and leaders. Not bad, but the “expresser” in me struggles with the fine line between strategic leadership and leaving room for God to be…well…God.

These are just my thoughts. I enjoyed both.  Both were effective. I found different elements in both that were rich. Now I am really going to throw this off course by reading “Velvet Elvis” by Rob Bell. More to come…..

5 Replies to “Two Totally Different Books”

  1. faithwalk

    lol… yet sad… leaving room for God to be God… definitely a problem for the highly structured church types.
    We went through the transition from smaller church ( 150 people Sunday 50 on Weds ) where the Holy Spirit was free to move ( there were some awesome times! )
    to big church ( 1,300 + on sunday )…
    where the Holy Spirit was structured right out of our midst and left, so many people fell through the cracks; it was very sad.

    Back to the need for TRUE community among believers!

    Bless you!


  2. myderbe

    I’m reading that book by Miller right now. I’m enjoying it and the fresh perspective he offers in it. I think it’s really good for people like me, who have grown up in church and in Christianeze and Christian thought, to read Miller. He stretches me.

  3. Aaron

    Susan – I felt bad thinking that when I read it because “who am I to judge or know”, but that was just my gut reaction to the book. Hybels has blessed many lives and led many to Christ through his ministries, churches and outreach. I myself have benefited from many of the Willow Creek Association books (Ortberg especially). True community, intentional community is so important!

    Myderbe – I really liked “Searching” as much if not more then “Blue Like Jazz”. The lifeboat analogy is just huge. So simple, yet so, so true. The alien that visited while watching the basketball game chapter was hilarious!

  4. myderbe

    Aaron, we just read that chapter on Sunday. (My husband and I are reading it together, so it’s taking forever to read.) Very funny. I also think the whole thing about Adam and Eve and being naked is hilarious and so true. That they put on clothes after the Fall does seem to be a pretty big point that is not often mentioned.

  5. Audrey

    I am in the middle of “Searching.” In our never ending quest for the “easy way”, the formulas are so attractive. If we would just do XXX then YYY…..we’d know God the way we want to. The problem is this: The more we try to define Him, the smaller He becomes. He fits so nicely into our formulas, especially if we extrapolate from Scripture the things we need to make the formula work!

    I love to sit back and watch my God be God. He’s so, oh so, so, so much bigger than all we can imagine. No matter how purpose driven my life. No matter whose prayers I pray. No matter which 12 steps I’ve taken. In the end, I still need redemption. I will continually search for God; knowing he’s there in every step. My passion for that only gets stronger and there is NO formula for harnessing that!

    I am also in His grip.

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