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Friday, March 25, 2011

Journeys to Significance

Journeys is a very personal book for me. I have been living with the concepts in it for over 16 years now. It has literally taken more than a decade and a half of experience and study, as well as reading the book of Acts over 100 times, to feel right about publishing these thoughts. Hopefully all the seasoning and maturing of the concepts in this book are evident. I wanted to write a book that could benefit leaders that truly desire to follow Jesus and grow in life so that their end is stronger than their start.

Because of this investment of my life, I feel very connected to this book.

Here are a few reasons why the book is valuable:

1. It provides a clear Biblical framework for apostolic movements using the book of Acts. There is some debate whether or not organic church results in movements. Some say movements are not a biblical idea. This book will answer some of that question with clear demonstration from the New Testament. It will be hard to argue with the idea that the NT church spread virally and became a movement in a short time. This book not only demonstrates that but provides insightful applications for how and why.

2. It provides a path that Christian leaders must follow to grow in significance and finish well, no matter what kind of leader you are or what kind of church you serve. Building upon the life-long research of a great scholar, Dr. J. Robert Clinton, you will see phases of leadership development that are consistent with most of our paths. You will also see what kind of processes we all must face to become the kind of leader God can use in significant ways. In a real sense, this book puts flesh and blood on Clinton's research and demonstrates clearly what a leader who finishes well must face. I was so grateful when Dr. Clinton gave me a positive endorsement. He said of the book:
"The strengths of this work, apart from the good overview of Paul’s life and ministry, are the post chapter sections dealing with lessons—first observations from Paul’s life and then often valuable personal lessons from the author’s life. Neil gives the best interpretation of Paul’s progress of ministry breakthrough insights that I have seen."
3. It provides potential solutions to questions in Acts that have not been satisfactorily answered in the past. This book will surprise you with observations that have not been given in other literature. Not all the solutions are dogmatic, but this book honestly deals with tough questions that typically are avoided. I have attempted to supply solutions that make some sense and add to the compelling narrative of Dr. Luke's book.

4. It shows that a mature leader can do less activity but accomplishes greater impact by investing in and empowering others and then releasing them into the work. You will be able to follow Paul's own learning curve and see how he discovered ways to reach people much more extensively and with more lasting results. His lessons become ours, as we follow Paul the way he follows Christ.

5. It makes Paul a real human leader that we can actually follow. Rather than a sinless-superhero that we cannot relate to, he becomes a person with the same kind of tests and temptations we all face and he can actually provide an example for us to follow. You do not have to be an apostle or a theologian to learn from Paul's example. Anyone who follows Christ will be able to learn from Paul's life played out so dramatically in the New Testament.

I do hope you like it.

Pressing on,

Neil

5 comments:

Eric Wilbanks said...

Dr. Clinton's "The Making of a Leader" is one of my favorite books of all time. That alone makes me extremely excited about your new book. Organic Church is also in my top ten of all-time favorites. I don't see how I can possibly not read this book ... thank you for all you do!

Alan said...

Have ordered it from Amazon, here in the UK, but there is some delay, apparently, in delivery here. Anyway, looking forward to reading it...and thank you!

Neil Cole said...

Please let me know what you think after you've read it.

Thanks,

Neil

Lance Ford said...

Neil,
Looking forward to reading it, Bro. Bobby Clinton was one of my favorite profs during my time at Fuller. He personally helped me enormously in processing some major life change decisions that are paying off this very day. Thanks for writing this one.

Ralph Yoder said...

Just the book I need to read at the stage in my life. It's on my Amazon wish list.