books for spending your Christmas money

Making my Christmas list was rather difficult in the midst of a year-long Road Trip! What do you get the man who has no room in his Nissan-home? Books ended up as a large portion of the list, since there’s not much else I can take with me.

And as it turns out, Santa read my list, and I did get a lot of books this week. Some of ’em were books I knew I’d like, while others were rather “experimental.” But I hear a lot about the lack of Collegiate-focused books during my trip, and I love finding good principles in unexpected places.
I thought my new books might interest you, as well – hopefully you’ve got some Christmas cash to spend! Here are the first of the tomes I found under the tree this year. More to come tomorrow.

These two are admittedly out-of-the-blue, just-found-it-on-Amazon volumes – I think I just searched “college ministry” one day. But both look pretty interesting, in fact. Despite some theological differences, I betcha I find some helpful notions, too. The authors are college chaplains in mainline denominations, and those venues (campus administration and the mainline denoms) do seem to provide fertile ground for research, writing, and thinking.

Ed Stetzer, head of Lifeway Research, is one of the giant church-thinkers these days, and I’m excited to read this book to learn “how 300 churches turned around and yours can too.” But this sort of book also helps on the Road Trip, by suggesting churches to visit next semester as well as giving characteristics to notice in the churches I do explore. That’s the same reason I’m excited about Jim & Casper. Like its quasi-sequel, I Sold My Soul on eBay, this book should give me more to think about while spending a year as an official Church Visitor. Finally, Colleges That Change Lives, despite making some unique choices for its “top 40,” will give me even more suggestions for next semester’s venues.

Tim Elmore mentioned these two new books at Ivy Jungle, and his title-dropping is good enough for me. (I foolishly ignored his repeated recommendations of Good to Great for years. Boo!) Plus, the first book deals with helping employees connect with what they were made to do. While they’re certainly not our employees, students, student leaders, and adult volunteers have dreams, too. That’s a theme that has fascinated me of late. Meanwhile, Microtrends studies the impact small communities of people can have on the world. Sound like something we hope for?

More books tomorrow! [Here’s that post.]

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