Live Love Lead by Brian Houston

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It’s rare to come across a book that is filled with equal parts inspiration, knowledge and story.

Live Love Lead by Brian Houston (senior pastor of Hillsong Church) is one of those books.

Houston pulls back the curtain and let’s readers see behind the heart, vision, and past of his life as well as the life of Hillsong Church, which are inextricably linked. With vulnerability, compassion, and love, Houston combines story with teaching and inspiration to bring to life a book that is faith inspiring.

As he says in the introduction, “It is my firm belief that following Jesus is the only journey in life worth taking. After seeing the way God changes hearts, meets impossible needs, heals incurable diseases, and restores people, I am convinced beyond a doubt that God didn’t create us to live mediocre, settle-for-less lives.”

Perhaps what I loved most about this book was his willingness to show readers his scars. Ministry,even leading a church like Hillsong, comes with deep pains, wounds, and scars. And he didn’t hold back showing them to us, admitting his own mistakes, and writing with vulnerability. I can trust a guy who shows us his wounds and admits his mistakes.

If you are a pastor, leader, or a follow of Christ, I would strongly suggest reading this book. I’m looking forward to seeing Hillsong and Brian Houston in Minneapolis on Sept. 22 and can’t wait to hear more from a man I now deeply admire.

Live Love Lead Testimony video:

Read Less For More

Recently, my old boss and still current mentor Don Graffam gave me some notes I had given up regarding goals I was setting for 2011. On the sheet, it said: “Read less books and spend more time with God reading scripture, praying, and meditating.”

Last year, with my current boss Ray Zaffke, one of my personal goals was to “Read less books and spend more time with God.”

In other words, I’ve felt the need to create the same goal two years in a row because I haven’t done it, specifically the reading books side. On the positive side, I’ve vastly improved the amount of time I spend listening to God and reading scripture, but I haven’t decreased the amount of books I’ve read.

Guess what? I’m going to make it a goal again! 

But this year, I’m serious about it. For too long, I’ve known the amount of books I’ve read (100-120 a year) isn’t the best for my personal development. There comes a point when too much is too much, and it’s not effectively doing what books are supposed to do: To help people grow, change,  learn, and be challenged and inspired. 

So, this year, I’m going to READ LESS FOR MORE. Here’s the plan.

* I’m going to read 4-5 books a month (Not including the books I read to reference for messages and speaking).
* I will typically read one ministry book, one spiritual growth book, one leadership book, and one to two random books (fiction or non-fiction).
* I’m going to write a review of every book I read on this blog, to help me slow down and reflect on what I’ve read.
* I’m going to choose the books at the beginning of the month and let you know which ones I’m going to read.

And during it all, I’m going to read through the bible in a year using this bible reading plan.

By doing this, I hope to reflect, savor, and chew on the words of the books I’m reading more. In other words, I want to read less for more impact, more change, more inspiration, and more growth.

So, for the month of January, here the five books:

giveandtake-cover1. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant

Inn Secret

2. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret by Larry Osborne

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3. The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley

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4. Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson

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5. GIlead by Marilynne Robinson

What are you planning to read this month?