Building Fires

Here is another little tidbit from John Maxwell’s latest book Everyone Communicates Few Connect

Mr. Maxwell writes of the importance of marrying passion with the vision.  “A vision without passion is a picture without possibilities.”  It is difficult to be passionate about something that we haven’t personally experienced.  This is why the best sermons, the best songs, the best poems and stories are always born out of a personal experience.  Mr. Maxwell gives four questions for the communicator (minister) to ask concerning vision and passion.  These are good questions to ask ourselves as we prepare to minister.

1. Do I believe what I say? 

2. Has it changed me?

3. Do I believe it will help others?

4. Have I seen it change others?

If we can answer yes to all of these questions, we have married passion to our vision.  When we do this in ministry we will, as Mr. Maxwell so capably says, “do more than just light a fire under people; we will build a fire within them!  If you have that fire, it will ignite in others.”

A fire underneath somebody causes them to move for a moment.  They may get stirred up while you preach or sing, but is it lasting?  But when the fire gets inside them, that is a different story.  A fire on the inside will make a lasting change!

Where are you building fires?  Underneath or within?

If God is going to use you to set the hearts of men on fire for Him, He will have to set you ablaze first!

Stay Hot!

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell

Confession: I read John Maxwell books religiously as a teenager. I bought everyone and read them as quickly as I could, marking the pages until they were a jumbled mess of unrecognizable scribble. Then I stopped. I begin to feel like I was reading the same simple principles over and over and was wasting my time (I was right and wrong.) Everyone Communicates, Few Connect is the first book written by Mr. Maxwell that I have read in several years, and I am glad that I did!

Mr. Maxwell makes a strong case for the distinction between communicating and really connecting. One sentence sums the message of the book up nicely, “Connecting is everything when it comes to communication.” Now, how do we do that? This book is packed full of principles and practices which can be applied at every level of communication; one-on-one, group, and audience.

Whether you are a detail/list person like me, or someone who enjoys stories and illustrations, you will find Everyone Communicates, Few Connect an easy and enjoyable read. And if you study and apply the principles and practices contained in this read, you will be well on your way to really talking instead of just blowing hot air. As you read, you will quickly pick up on your strengths and your weakness for connecting. I was greatly challenged in several areas by this book and I am sure that you will be too.

Thomas Nelson Link

Amazon Link

Disclaimer: Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” by John C.Maxwell. Opinions expressed are my own and not those of Thomas Nelson.

Pulling Revival From My Hat

I am currently reading John Maxwell’s latest book Everyone Communicates Few Connect.  I will be giving a review of the book for Booksneeze this weekend or early next week, but I want to take a moment now to share a brief story that Mr. Maxwell tells and some thoughts that I had.  This what Mr. Maxwell had to say…

“A few years ago, I was being interviewed on a television talk show.  The host held up a couple of my books and said, “John, I’ve read several of your books, and they are all so simple.”  His tone of voice, body language, and mannerisms made it clear to me and the audience that he did not mean it as a compliment!

My response was straightforward: “That’s true.  The principles in my books are simple to understand.  But they are not always simple to apply.”

First of, all I must admit (sorry Mr. Maxwell) that I have been that television talk show host.  I read a lot of Mr. Maxwell’s books  in my teen years and skipped several of his books because I thought they were too simple.  But he is exactly right, it is the application of those principles that is important, and having the discipline to apply the principles is not always easy!

Second, let me apply this to the Church and our desire for revival, victory over sin, and lost souls to be saved.  I think that sometimes, perhaps without realizing it, we look for some magical formula that will bring the results that we are looking for; some complex mashup of the right programs, the right atmosphere, the right charisma, the right social issues, etc.  Instead, the answer is right in front of us in the simple principles taught in the Word of God.

Read & Study your Bible.

Pray.

Fast.

Serve Others.

Worship.

Share the Gospel.

Fairly simple principles to understand.  Not always easy to put into practice.

ABRACADABRA!  Hmm…didn’t work.  I better go pray!