This month I’ve decided to say thanks to the people who have fed my hunger for knowledge and personal development this year. The order will be random…and likely incomplete!
Short and sweet with this post…
Go read Andy Stanley’s books and listen to Andy Stanley’s podcasts.
Okay, I’ll give you a bit more…
This year I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Andy Stanley. Andy is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church (and its satellite campuses) in Atlanta, Georgia. I first discovered Andy through the Catalyst podcast (another favorite), which I found through Dave Ramsey.
Andy’s church has a weekly podcast of his sermons, which are excellent. He has a way of engaging his audience with the truth of the Gospel, yet in a welcoming/non-judgmental way. It’s not that his faith isn’t founded on the same bedrock as many other preachers out there. It’s that he presents grace in his approach. He exemplifies grace better than most (though I’m all for a good fire and brimstone sermon on occasion, too!).
Andy is also a phenomenal leader. The son of well known pastor Dr. Charles Stanley, Andy grew up witnessing excellent church leadership. He applies those lessons and his own experiences to lead North Point into what it has become…one of the most influential churches in America today. To that end, Andy also produces a monthly leadership podcast. This is one podcast I never miss! Subscribe now and get all of the back episodes. It’s golden stuff, no matter what kind of organization you’re leading (church, business, military…).
And while he doesn’t walk on water, I have to also mention he’s an excellent writer. I’ve just finished reading one of his earlier (and one of his personal favorite) books called Choosing to Cheat. (This book’s title, along with C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce had to be explained to my wife lest I be in big trouble!)
Choosing to Cheat outlines the struggle between work and family, and how to make the hard choices to be successful at both. You can’t serve two masters, and of course one really is more important than the other. The message here is not new, but the way he frames it is. And then he offers realistic strategies once you’ve realized the choice you have to make. Read this book if you have a family or are married or are even thinking about getting married or having kids! Oh, and if you’re a pastor or have some other divine calling through your work…it should be mandatory.
Okay, I stretched that out long enough. Now go and check out Andy’s stuff!