Review: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World

Jab, Jab, Jab,  Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Telling my story in the social world is critical to my job. I am a pastor of a young church. We are a mobile church (we don’t have our own building), so in some ways we have a more permanent place online than other places. I have read a number of other social media books geared to faith-based institutions but they have all fallen really flat.
Vaynerchuck’s book is AWESOME! This is the most helpful text I have read by far. We have a compelling story to share and he helps you frame it for the particular social media networks to make impressions, engage your community and make an impact. It also have some really wonderful case studies as examples.
I am now excited to pass it along to some others for them to look at. If you are wondering how to get more purchase in the social space this is a must read.

View all my reviews

fussy baby=reading time

The past couple of days Bethany has been fussy.  I don’t think she feels that great and maybe a new tooth is coming.  So I have been us more than usual.  So i have taken this time to read more and so in the past 2 days I have read 3 rather good books.


The first, Momentum for life,by Mike Slaughter.  Mike is the Pastor of Ginghamsburg church.  It is a good read that is made better if you know how Mike practices what he preaches.  The book is all about living FULLY into the calling that God has in store for your life.  Through DRIVE (Devotion to God, Readiness for life long learning, Investing in key relationships, Vision for the future, Eating and exercising for life).

Mike walks readers through the fact that if you are going to lead others you have to be able to lead yourself first.  If you are looking for a way that focuses you into a life of renewed energy.  Give it a read Continue reading “fussy baby=reading time”

A Good summer read

While we were in Disney a couple of weeks ago I took “The Sweet Taste of the Bilge” with me on my kindle.  I was looking for a good summertime kind of read and I got it.  If you are looking for a book that will transport you to palm trees and the lapping ocean this would be a good pick for you. M. T.  Harbor has an easy to read style that grooves with his roll with the tide outlook on life.  He sprinkles in some satirical jabs here and there that are sure to make you smile.

The book follows George Forder after getting let go from his longtime employer.  In the search for work he finds himself connecting up with his previous employers and being courted to be a part of some “big project”.  George takes the plunge and finds himself trying out SCUBA and sailing on his dream boat. The book is full of colorful destinations and characters.

This is a perfect read while swinging in a hammock, dipping a toe or two in the water or just dreaming about doing so.

Check it at at amazon here

Love Wins: Thoughts

Rob Bell just released a new book a couple of weeks ago.  It is all about Heaven and Hell.  It takes some of the thought about both and examines them and then moves into some new territory for most.  I don’t want to post a review here, or my thoughts about where Bell goes with the book because I don’t know that this is the best part of this book.  Bell throws out the thought that though there is a hell there is also a possibility that there is no one in it.  That God’s love wins totally and completely.

I don’t think that this is the strongest book Bell has written.  And I am a Rob Bell fan.  I loved Velvet Elvis and Sex God was a great book too.  But I thought that this one fell short on writing style, but given the topic I am sure that it may have been harder and less seductive than say, Sex God.  But, I have notices that there have been a ton more blogs and rants flaming Bell for his views on this.  They blast him for the universalism that this text treads on.

My hope is that this book is not a time to take sides and throw verbal grenades at one another.  But, that we are able to come together and use this a a jumping off point for conversation.  Bell gets us away from the little red guy with a pitchfork images of hell and the heaven where we all just hangout in the clouds and play out harps.   He paints a picture for many of a heaven worth wanting, a hell worth fearing and a God worth trusting.

Bell has asked the hard questions and taken a stab at answering them.  He has given us something to work with.  Lets use it for a platform of conversation and not as a foundation to draw up battle lines.

Get a copy and take a read for your self or borrow my kindle copy

Review: Next Christians (finally)

Have you grown up in the church and want to see it succeed in the years to come?  Have you been hurt by the church or people who call themselves Christian? Are you tired of searching for a faith community, but only finding worship and churches that seem to be out of touch?  Have you ever had a conversation about the future of the church and someone said “we just need more technology and guitars to get young people to come?” If you answered yes to any of these questions then it would do you well to pick up a copy of Gabe Lyons book The Next Christians.

Pretty much read this unless you think that the church is perfect and doesn’t need to change a thing.

I received my free copy of Lyons’  book The Next Christians in late January from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group. Because of work being crazy I haven’t been able to get the review out as soon as I would have liked, but also it took longer than expected to read the book because it was packed with great stuff.

In the text Lyons looks at some of the traditional ways that Christians have addressed the tension between living a life of faith and the stumbling blocks that society places in front of us.  Lyons outlines two main schools of thinking when it comes to this topic.  There are the “Separatists” who distance themselves from society.  I feel like this group has a very “us” vs “them” view of the world.  This insider/outsider view is not at all helpful in sharing the Good News because the mentality to some degree is that I am saved and it would be nice if you were too.

The second group are the “blenders.”  The blenders engage culture and blend into it.  The danger here is that theology and beliefs get sacrificed and watered down because of the blending.  I would say that this is where many young people would place themselves after reading the work of Christian Smith (Soul Searching) and Kenda Creasy Dean (Almost Christian).

Lyons then proposes that both views fall short and then says that there is a third way that is emerging.  The Next Christians are Restorers.  This group works hard at restoring the church back to what it was meant to be.  Throughout the years the church may have lost its way and has been missing the mark.  This new group understands that faith in action and service is essential to restoring the church.  Lyons takes a good chunk of the latter part of the book to give real examples of restorers in action.

From my perspective as a Methodist pastor this new way would make John Wesley proud.  He said that “there is no holiness apart form social and personal holiness.”  As a practical theologian I feel like John would have fit right in with the restorers.

Well, that’s enough from me about the book.  Go and get a copy here


Next Christians (in progress)

I am reading another book for the Blogging ofo Books program that I am involved with.  This is actually the very first non Mark Batterson book that I am read.  It is entitles The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons.  he is the author of the very good book “Unchristian.”  I am loving this book so far but it is taking me a lot longer than i thought to read it because it is so darn rich with content.  Lyons writes about the emmergance of a new kind of Christian that has a vision for the restoration of the Christan faith.

If you are a church leader pick this book up now rather than waiting on me to finish it.  There is a ton of stuff going on a t work right now for me and I have 3 other books (one month to live, communicating to teenagers, momentum for life…and the Bible) I am plowing through right now in my spare time.  I am also devouring new church development stuff on the web too.

I will post a review when I am finished, but hold tight.  Thanks

Soulprint: Review

I received my free copy of mark Batterson’s new book Soulprint a on Wednesday December 29th from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group.  I had set a goal in my mind to have it read and a review posted by the beginning of the year. Batterson made it easy to meet that goal.

In this book readers are seeking to answer the question of “Who am I?”  As we seek to live lives of purpose and fulfill the plans God has for us we must first answer this question.  Sure, we are all called to live lives devoted to God, but that is only half the story.  Each and every one of us is unique and different from anyone else on the on the planet or who has come before us.  With this in mind Batterson writes of each one of us having our own soulprint, like a finger print that is at the core of who we are.

Throughout the book King David is a companion on the journey.  Readers take a closer look at some of the defining moments of David’s life.  These are moments where David discovers his soulprint and lives into being the person he was made to be.

This is a great book to take a look at in the new year.  With resolutions flying about this book may give some guidance to discovering your soulprint. Batterson writes that he felt like he was at a loss as a preacher because he has to use a manuscript.  Because these carefully written sermons make up the foundation of the book it is easy to read, filled with practical application and contains wonderful illustrations.  The discussion guide in the back of the book is great for personal reflection or group study.

I was expecting a lot from this book as I have grown to like Mark’s writing more and more.  Soulprint didn’t disappoint.  Pick up a copy. It is set to release January 18th.

Click here to check it out on Amazon