One of my goals for 2008 was to read more.  I normally read 20 to 30 books each year
& this year I decided to shoot for one a week.  And as of July 20th, I am about one-third of the way through my 31st book, Historic Leadership by Chris Lowney.  Lowney was a Jesuit seminarian who left to become a managing director at JP Morgan.  There is a conference I’m going to Cambridge next month and Lowney is one of the presenters.

Speaking of Cambridge, I wanted to mention another book I just read…Not the Religious Type by Dave Schmelzer.  I first got to meet Dave around the time we were first planting our church here in Ithaca.  The Vineyard used to hold young leader meetings & bring in the likes of Dallas Willard, Gene Getz & Brian McLaren.

Dave had started his plant a few years previous & since he was also in a major college town, I loved getting his perspective.  Then a few years ago, Dave passed out a cd of a talk get had given recently.  James & I listened to it on a car ride to Columbus and immediately said, “we need to have people at our church hear this!”  So, I got permission from Dave & then proceeded to make a lot of copies of the cd & gave them to anyone interested.  And so many of the people who heard the talk said, he could just as well be speaking about Ithaca instead of Cambridge.

Well, if you didn’t get a copy of the cd, now you can get the book!  A church in a place like Ithaca or Cambridge is going to look a lot different than say a church in the bible belt, or even say rural NY State (if it is actually going to be able to connect with the people that live there that is).  We often have people asking why we do what we do, & note how different we are from other churches (even other Vineyards).  While I love those types of conversations, Not the Religious Type is something I’ll be referring people to pretty frequently.