Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leading Up: The Story of a Book

photo by toastytreat87
A few years ago, I joined the pioneering cohort of the YMCP. Nervous and idealistic, I was so eager to learn and grow in my ministry abilities. The entire experience turned out to be far more transformative than I ever imagined, reshaping my entire way of being in the world. I met some wonderful ministry friends who continue to encourage me as they follow Jesus in their respective corners of the world.

Part of the cohort involved sharing presentations. We came with almost anything--an idea, a sermon, a personal reflection, an event proposal, whatever--and presented it to the cohort. In my journals, I had written down a few ideas for potential books over the years. These book ideas stemmed from my own (limited) experience as a pastor and leader in ministry, tackling some issues my ministry friends were facing, but no one had written anything on it yet.

One idea stood out in particular: leading up. How do you have influence and clout with the leaders around you without becoming manipulative, political, or insubordinate?

So I took a chance, made some chapter outlines, and presented a book idea to the cohort.

They tore it apart.

Initially, I murdered all of them in my heart. Then I realized that the input they offered was not only wise and loving, it made for a stronger and more compelling book. The germ of an idea now had some roots to keep it growing.

So, I wrote a book.

Leading Up: Finding Influence in the Church Beyond Role and Experience stems from the courage of my ministry friends willing to speak the truth in love. Published by The Youth Cartel, it's literally a dream come true.

From the back cover:
Far too many church leaders find themselves frustrated, floundering, or fired because their dreams for the church reach beyond the job description they were hired to fill. Whether you’re a pastor, an intern, or a volunteer, you’re not the one in charge of the congregation. Thankfully, neither is your boss; Jesus is the lead pastor for every church. His Spirit moves in each of us, and those gifted in leadership can find Christ-honoring practices for leading up--having influence that goes beyond role or experience. This isn’t about manipulation or rebellion, but about humbly participating in the mission of God in your church. 
Leading Up is a leadership fable that unpacks both a paradigm and practical tools for leading up in your church. Logan is a young pastor with a big vision for Evergreen Community Church, but cannot seem to move any of his ideas beyond wishful thinking. At a significant breaking point, a mentor comes alongside to guide Logan on his journey of leadership, transforming both of these leaders and the church in the process. Logan's affecting tale will offer compelling insights for any church leader wanting to expand their leadership skills.
Leading Up will be available by the close of 2012. I want your help and partnership. You can support this in three ways:

1. Pre-Order the Book: We'll have the book available in a variety of ways (iTunes, kindle, good ol' fashioned ink-and-paper). You'll have the opportunity to pre-order it before the official release. If you buy the book before the release date, you'll get a discount on the final price! It's gonna be a small book too, so buy a few for stocking stuffers for the pastors and church leaders in your life.

2. Write a Review. If you have a blog, get a copy of the book and review it! The first five people who email me about writing a review for their church/ministry/leadership blog, I'll send 'em a free electronic copy of Leading Up before the release date. A few guidelines:
  1. Be honest in your review. If you loved it and it changed the way you lead, share it. If you thought it was just okay, share it.
  2. Link back to both this blog and where the book can be purchased (Amazon, The Youth Cartel store, etc.) somewhere in your review.
  3. Write a review for Amazon.com. You can just copy/paste your blog post if you'd like, but give it a review and a rating.
  4. Do all of the above within the first 3 days of the book release. The first week of a book's sales are incredibly vital to its continued sales, so writing the review before the book releases would rock.
3. Tell Everyone. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogs, text messages, random phone calls to strangers. Tell pastors, volunteers, interns, college students, seminary students, Starbucks employees, the person sitting next to you on the plane or bus, anyone who can read a book. Whatever the medium, let's tell people about Leading Up.

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