Collapse of Distinction – Scott McKain

collapse_of_distinctionThis book caught my eye in the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program that I am a part of.

I loved the title of this book and honestly I really enjoyed the concepts of this book.  McKain spends a great deal of time showing the reader that most businesses, and in my case, most churches, don’t offer anything different. 

I have heard it said that people who follow where everyone else is going can only expect to get to, duh, where everyone else is going.  This book offers practical ideas on how to take your business, your customers, your networks, your group to a place of a new distinction. 

McKain points out that it is all about differentiation.  If you don’t have distinction in what you do, no one will see you.  No one will go looking for you.  He points out many examples from Apple to Southwest Airlines and all the places in between who are different from those who sell the same things they sell. 

Here is probably my favorite quote from the book:
“We’re often a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to knowing what would really make a difference for the very people we seek to serve.”  

We need to learn about our audience.  What do they desire?  What do they wish to see happen? 

For me, this means looking at the way people do church and figure out what works (or more specifically, what connects) and then go and improve on that. 

What does it mean for you to succeed in what you do?  What kind of picture comes to mind?

3 out of 5 stars.

Sacred Marriage

sacred_marriageThis book took me a while to get through likely because 1) it was required reading for marriage counseling and required readings mess with my mind and 2) because of Gary Thomas’ writing style (he writes in a very straightforward and dry way that leaves me yearning for some humor or life. 

Despite going into this book with my eyes clouded because of the above mentioned issues, I enjoyed this book.  He has some very great ideas about marriage and the holiness that can be attained through it.  I now see that our pastor was right when he recommended this to us.

Some of the jewels from the book are as follows:
 – “To spiritually benefit from marriage, we have to be honest.” (13) 
 – “If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question – stay single.  Marriage takes a lot of time.  But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married.  Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.” (21)
 – “I wouldn’t be surprised if many marriages end in divorce largely because one or both partners are running from their own revealed weaknesses as much as they are running from something they can’t tolerate in their spouse.” (97)
 – “Yes, we need a changed partner, but the partner that needs to change is not our spouse, it’s us!” (101)
 – “Creating a family is the closest we get to sharing the image of God.” (241)  

Although this book points more to the idea that marriage is not about holiness but about happiness, the author does let you know that if you and your spouse are seeking holiness together, ecstatic joy could be right at your doorstep, however, it could be found where you least expect it.

links

Some links for you to take a moment and look through:

  1. Violins and hip hop.  How can this be leveraged in a church setting? 
  2. What you do after you do your thing (in this case specifically, it is preaching) can be just as important as what you do preparing.  Check it out at Furtick’s blog here
  3. I love Seth Godin‘s blog.  Probably my favorite.  Check out his ideas here on what to do now if you can’t find a job or if you are not in a job you truly desire for your life.
  4. I am a big fan of jazz and blues music.  Check out a clip here that rivets my soul to desire excellence in those artforms. 
  5. Speaking of jazz and the blues, Steven Furtick shares some great ideas here that he has about leadership taken from those artforms. 
  6. Contextualization is the key to success.  Is your preaching killing your church plant? 
  7. I just saw this and thought that it would be beneficial for those in leadership.  Its long but what I have read so far is really good. 
  8. I really want to read this new book by Driscoll.  One of the funniest titles I have seen for a book. 
  9. I love movies and I love speeches that inspire.  Combine those and you get this

the church

There is nothing like the local church when it’s working right.  Its beauty is indescribable.  Its power is breathtaking.  Its potential is unlimited.  It comforts the grieving and heals the broken in the context of community.  It builds bridges to seekers and offers truth to the confused.  It provides resources for those in need and opens its arms to the forgotten., the downtrodden, the disillusioned.  It breaks the chains of addictions, frees the oppressed, and offers belonging to the marginalized of this world.  Whatever the capacity for human suffering, the church has a greater capacity for healing and wholeness.

Still to this day, the potential of the local church is almost more than I can grasp.  No other organization on earth is like the church.  Nothing even comes close.” 
– Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership (23)