My article for Catalyst on The Five Components of Effective Delegation is now up at their site. Here’s the start:
WITH SO MANY THINGS ON OUR TO-DO LISTS AND SO MANY NEW THINGS COMING AT US EVERY DAY, HOW DO WE STAY ABOVE WATER AS LEADERS?
One common answer is delegation. That’s good advice, but it’s often incomplete. The problem is that we often aren’t taught how to delegate effectively. As a result, when we finally overcome the mistake of not delegating at all, we easily end up making the other mistake of delegating in the wrong way. Unfortunately, this mistake can be even worse! Bad delegation results in frustration, confusion, and discouragement for the people we delegate to.
So how do we delegate in a way that works? That is, what does real delegation actually look like, and how do we do it?
If you are a Christian, and you refrain from committing adultery or using profanity or missing church, but you don’t do the hard work of thinking through how to do justice in every area of life – you are failing to live justly and righteously.
Catherine Strode Parks and her mom, Linda Strode, have done the church a great service by writing the excellent book A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day.
There has been a growing proliferation in the last few years of books applying the gospel to all areas of life. But this is the first I’ve seen applying the gospel to the issue of planning a wedding. This is significant because marriage is intended as a display of the relationship between Christ and the church. Hence, of all areas of life that the gospel needs to be applied to, the way to plan a wedding needs to be a central one.
Catherine and Linda have done this at long last, and have done an excellent job. The book is very theologically solid, while at the same time going into the practical details of wedding planning.
Further, while learning about planning a gospel-centered wedding, you also learn a lot about the gospel itself. In fact, this is perhaps the only book on the planet on planning a wedding that is both practical and edifying! But that’s what happens when you rightly apply the gospel to any specific area of life — the gospel itself is seen to shine brighter.
For that reason, the importance of this book goes beyond the fact that it sounds the call for Christ-centered weddings and how to plan them effectively, as crucial as that is. It is also a model for how to apply the gospel to every area of life, and that applies to everyone.
It is also very well written and fun to read, and so hopefully this will not be the last book from Catherine.
Here’s what Tim Challies had to say about the book, which summarizes the main point and thrust of the book very well:
It’s your big day, at last! This is the day you’ve waited for, the moment you’ve dreamed about. But what if you’re not meant to be the star of the show? This book will prove to you that Jesus Christ is meant to be the center of your wedding, and, best of all, it will help you put him there.
This is the marketing philosophy that Steve Jobs learned from Mike Markkula in the early days of Apple, as summarized in Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs. It clearly continued to guide Jobs’ thinking through his entire career and very much goes to the core of what sets Apple apart.
First of all, though, a point on business in general: “You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.”
That is foundational to the next three points, because if you are only doing your business to make money, then it will be impossible to have the genuine passion for meeting customer needs that is essential for creating a long-lasting, effective company that people actually like. The foundation of effective marketing is one thing: to care.
Now, the three points on marketing.
- Empathy. Have an intimate connection with the feelings of the customer. “We will truly understand their needs better than any other company.”
- Focus. “In order to do a good job of those things that we decide to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities.”
- Impute. “People form an opinion about a company or product based on the signals that it conveys.” Thus, “if we present [our products] in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.” Hence, even the experience of opening the box is intended to “set the tone for how you perceive the product.”
They capture the vision of the book and this site perfectly.
Stephen asked great questions and the interview was a lot of fun! We talk about how this book is different from other productivity books on the market, why we need to start with God in our definition of productivity, the place of generosity in our productivity, and much more.
The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority. ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Here’s another way to say it: God doesn’t call us to defend the status quo. He calls us to defend and pursue what is right. Sometimes, that’s the way things are currently done. But many times it isn’t.
We need to be able to identify the difference, and have the courage to create change where it is needed.
It is fantastic to see this! Here’s the brief description:
We are excited to announce gospelinlife.com, our new site for all sermons, books, articles, and resources from Timothy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and Redeemer City to City. The new name reflects our conviction that the gospel changes everything in life.
This site comes to you thanks to a generous gift and a significant effort by our team. All our content is easier to search, preview, share and order. We will continue to enhance and add to this resource site, including more free resources, sermon videos, and study materials. The vast majority of all resources are available immediately via digital download.
Catalyst is the best leadership conference for young leaders who love the church. If you’ve never been to Catalyst before, it’s unlike any conference you’ve ever been to. It’s exciting, innovative, and yet grounded in excellent content and substance. Here’s a short description:
Catalyst unifies change makers — equipping you with impactful content and experiences that transform thinking, provoke action and cultivate community. We’re challenging leaders who love the Church to break the bounds of an ordinary existence and find the courage to embrace and radiate bold change.
Main speakers this year include Andy Stanley, Matt Chandler, Craig Groeschel, Tim Keller, John Perkins, and more.
If you come on October 1st, the day before the main conference starts, you can attend Catalyst Labs. I’ll be doing a lab session and would love to see you. The title of my session is: All the Good You Can: How the Gospel Changes the Way You Lead, Get Things Done, and Change the World.
I believe it is possible to change the world, and that God in fact calls us to do so. It isn’t just an inspirational idea or a dream of people who like to think in big terms without doing the hard work to create that change. But we do need to understand changing the world in a God-centered way, and we need to understand how this affects the way we lead and the way we get things done. God has a particular way in which he wants us to change the world. We need to know what that is and how it affects everything we do. So that’s what I’ll be talking about in my session.
(And here’s a great, quick video on the vision for the conference:
In the video I talk about the essential relationship between doctrine and practice, how this was exemplified by the great evangelical social reformer William Wilberforce, workplace Christians as the often overlooked engines behind the spread of the gospel today.