Book Reflection: Good To Great

Category: By Christian

Reading business books can be a risky deal for someone in ministry, especially in a culture where ministries often reflect the consumer-obsessed culture that we find ourselves in. Thus, I don't read too many business books. I chose to read Good to Great by Jim Collins along with his monograph for Social Sectors however, because this book was based on very extensive research. It is also one of the most quoted books in business and success seminars so I figured I'd just read the book instead of paying a bunch of cash to go to one of the hype fests.

One of the aspects of G2G that really appealed to me was that Collins and his team did a ton of research in order to determine their findings. There are a lot of business books out there that are pretty anecdotal with little meat, but this one is almost scientific in terms of how much work and intentionality they put into the effort. The result is that the product is meaty and has to be taken seriously.

There were some aspects of G2G that I felt were very pertinent to ministry. The very first chapter outlines the characteristics of the leaders who headed up the companies that were identified as attaining greatness. The top two traits? Humility and work ethic. The authors lay out case studies where people without these traits were able to build companies into good companies, but they were not able to help them reach sustained greatness. It is a huge challenge to leaders both in ministry and in business to cultivate humility and work ethic over and above all of the other things that we often try to build up. In the weeks since I read G2G, humility and work ethic have become a sort of mantra for me because they are great characteristics and they jive well with how God would have Christians carry themselves.

The other section that I found particularly prophetic for ministry was the section about technology. One of the big ideas happened to be that technology can accelerate greatness, but it cannot make up for inadequacies within an organization. I have seen ministry after ministry hold up some type of technology as savior with the expectation that the technology would make them more relevant or effective. Some of the biggest problems with churches in our day and age however are that they have organizational and paradigmatic issues that are keeping them from being what God wants them to be. This, however, is a discussion for my next book reflection.

I'll spread the love. If you can find G2G on the cheap or at a library I'd suggest giving it a read.

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