About LifeandLeadership


What IS was prepared with one mission in mind:

To provide substantive resources that help church leaders live and lead more effectively.

It began in 2000 as a simple website to present a few consulting models and ministry links. In 2012, it expanded to this format. Here I blend twenty years of congregational ministry and over a decade of college/seminary teaching and consulting into a resource for practicing church leaders, ministry students, and those who train, coach, and mentor others. (see BIO)

What IS…

  • An annotated, continuously updated, and web-interactive guide to resources on the life and leadership of those who serve churches. It summarizes and/or categorizes over 1,500 books. Numerous Ministry Resource Guides are divided by topic (see either the Quick-list or the Index). Each guide usually begins with a brief essay, followed by a categorized menu to help you go straight to your subject of interest. Books are listed under the categories, often in recommended order, with thumbnail descriptions and a link to a separate page for each book. Each book page features an expanded description and comparison to similar resources, followed by the publisher’s description and author bio. It also features a picture of the book and direct links to several major online bookstores. The book pages are also extensively cross-referenced for browsing of related resources.
  • A platform for my voice on issues of life and leadership as it pertains to ministry - Here I express my passion for both life and leadership of those who serve churches. I have no profound statement on how the two are connected, but simply find that each subject naturally bleeds into the other, thus I use the Updates & Insights, Twitter, and Facebook to post regular reflections as well as advice/opinion columns. The Updates and Insights summarize these into one place periodically.
  • A mobile-friendly resource. The site is useful at home or office, but also on the road, at the airport, in the library, or at the bookstore.

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What is NOT…

  • A boring list of books. It is a collection of helpful guides to the better books on a subject, with enough description for you to know the essential content and compare related tools. The site is deep enough to browse for hours at a time, but is also lean enough for you to find what you need quickly.
  • A blog on the latest and greatest titles. It is indeed current, and in most cases will list the newer books. But the purpose is not so much to feature new books as it is to carefully place books in subject categories that allow honest comparison with others on the same subjects. More importantly, it seeks to demonstrate how each book enhances life and leadership.
  • A series of book reviews. The site does not provide “reviews” in the technical sense. It categorizes, summarizes, and reflects on the helpfulness of books for life and leadership, and most often includes only what I want to say for these purposes. My viewpoint bleeds through, which is unavoidable, but I try to be fair to the authors and appreciate the “wisdom of many voices.”
  • An on-demand bibliographic service – If you wonder what I would suggest on a topic, it’s already on the site. If you would like to request that I consider adding a resource guide on another topic, use the contact form.
  • The final answer to all your needs in life and leadership - This ought to go without saying, and I chuckle over putting it in writing. I do not have all the answers. No one does. I have noticed over the years that I am fairly good at knowing “where to go for what,” and part of my academic call is to stay abreast of good materials. The site is simply a way of putting this information into a usable format for as many as possible. If it helps leaders to be more effective and confident, it  serves its purpose.

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Who Is It For? is targeted to three groups:

  • Practicing Church Leaders - The subjects and resources listed in the guides are of interest to those in the trenches, especially with established congregations (though church planters will also find help). I spent over 20 years as a senior minister in churches ranging in size from 80 to 800. For over 15 years, I have trained ministers on both college and seminary level. I also maintain an active consulting practice, including interim ministries. I understand church leaders, and my heart goes out to them, whether paid and unpaid, trained or untrained, new or long-term, ordained or not. This site is for you.

The design is simple…

  1. You need a resource.
  2. You go to either the Quick-list or Complete Index and find your topic.
  3. You browse through the Resource Guides to find the best book or books for your needs. The goal is to help you make an informed selection in a timely manner. The Resource Guides may also expose you to the range of issues on that subject.
  4. You access your favorite bookstore and order the book.
  5. You are better equipped for your ministry.

See also How to Use The Site.

  • Those in Ministry Preparation - College and seminary students, ministry interns, and others need guided recommendations. I use this site extensively in my own classes. The Resource Guides and Book Summaries not only direct students to good tools, but also provide some level of education about the topics. One special benefit is for the growing number of students enrolled in online courses. This site is perfectly suited to the distance learning experience.
  • Ministry Professors, Intern Directors, Consultants, and Coaches - Bibliographies are standard fare in academia. The site content actually began from my own class bibliographies. Like me, most professors prepare their own lists, and this site certainly will not eliminate that need. It is my hope, however, that academics in practical ministry will adopt this as a major tool for their classes, and supplement/interpret as needed. It is easy for students to use, and the Resource Guides and Book Summaries are well-suited for features in class (e.g. on-screen projection). The site has much the same value for intern directors, consultants, and coaches who need to make targeted recommendations.

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Who Writes the Material?

Aside from the publisher’s descriptions, the standard author bios, and other places as noted, I write all the material. As the site grows, so will the list of content providers, including approved reviewers, editorial features, podcasts, interviews, etc.

The sole authorship is a plus and a minus. The plus is you know the content is mine, and can recognize it as such, limitations and all. If you read through the BIO you will see I bring reasonable credentials to this work. Even so, there is the minus that the content is only mine. It is far from all you need. Part of the reason for linking to the bookstores is to allow you to read the comments of other reviewers.

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How Can I Use the Site?

There are several ways, and all are described in more detail in How to Use the Site, which includes links to instructional videos.

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How Can I Follow the Site?

There are four ways:

  • Visit often – Obviously, I want people to visit the site, so drop in as often as you like. Make the site one of your favorites or perhaps even your homepage, send yourself calendar updates reminding you to visit (OK, that’s a little over the top :-)). Seriously, visit often.
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed - Here you will find links to the RSS feeds for all features of the site the are regularly updated.

How Can I Participate in the Site (e.g. Comments)?

There are several ways.

  • “Like” and “Share.” Most pages on the site provide links for you to Facebook “like,” Tweet, Google “recommend” or share on a number of social networks. Feel free to do this as often as you “like.” :-) Seriously, the more you interact in this way, the greater the distribution of site content and awareness among church leaders who may need it.

What Are The Terms of Use?

Click Terms of Use to learn more.

What Is Your Privacy Policy?

Click Privacy Policy to learn more.

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