book review | Bittersweet

I need writers who are honest. I’m not looking for propaganda or a pep rally, because I prefer voices I can trust. If I can tell that a writer is being honest with me about her life, then I can trust her to tell me things about my own life that I’d otherwise not be willing to hear. Shauna Niequist is an honest writer, and I’m so glad she came out with a second book. Bittersweet is a book about the danger of a life that has no trials – or perhaps the myth of such a life – and a celebration of the things that grow in us through difficulty. This is dangerous turf, if you ask me, because if ever there were a topic that has produced too much cheap, meaningless, sentimental crap, this might be it. But Bittersweet delivers something way more satisfying than that.
Read More

free stuff!

Most of you know that we offer training events throughout the year at GCC for pastors and church leaders.  Check out for details.  Every one of these events offers practical advice from the lessons we're learning in ministry.  We've got another round of workshops coming up on June 25-26, and I'm making you a special offer.  

If you're a pastor or church leader who's planning on coming, I want you to bring a friend.  Specifically, bring an 18-25 year old from your church who is or will be leading in ministry.  They don't have to be a staff member or intern.  Just someone who gets the fact that you don't have wait until you're 40 to serve and lead.

One of the biggest gifts I've received while at GCC is the encouragement and empowerment that leaders who are older than me have offered.  Guys like Butch Whitmire, Rob Wegner, Mark Waltz, Tim Stevens, and Mark Beeson have made sure young guys like me have a seat at the table and a role to play.  There's a wealth of potential in the young adults in your church, and I'd bet money they're just waiting for the invitation to throw themselves into ministry.

If you've got someone in mind, email  Share a little about your church and the 18-25 year old you'd like to bring.  Don't forget to tell me which workshop you're attending, too.  You've got until Friday.  Then I'll pick one of the submissions, and the 18-25 year old will get a free registration for the event.  I hope this helps you make an investment in someone who could have an impact on the Church for decades to come!  

speaking of heroes...

The danger in praising your bosses publicly is that you'll be accused of sucking up, but I really don't care. 

I've met lots of pastors and leaders from lots of churches.  I grew up in church.  I went to a Christian college.  I traveled with the illustrious Bethel College Chapel Band.  I've been to every church leadership conference there is.  And I've never met a team of leaders stronger than the guys I follow everyday at GCC.

Mark Beeson, Tim Stevens, Butch Whitmire, Mark Waltz, and Rob Wegner make up our Senior Management Team, the lead team of pastors who drive our day to day ministry.  They're as humble, faitfhul, courageous, brilliant, and hard working as any leaders I've known.  I'm profoundly grateful for the privilege I have to learn from and follow them.  And you'll soon have a chance to soak up everything they've got to offer.  

Leadership Live is a two day event (May 6-7) where you'll be a part of a small group of 24 who spend two days with our SMT.  Ask any question.  Learn anything you can.  If I were you, I'd jump on this.  

Click here for details and registration.