March 15th, 2011

6 Rhythm Strategies For Church Leadership

This January, Bruce Miller released an important new book entitled, Your Church in Rhythm.

Rather than writing a review, I am simply posting the foreword I wrote for the book. I was delighted that Bruce asked me. This is one of the few books, like Church Unique, that transcends models. Yet it explores an important gap on leadership writing in the church today.

If genius is the ability to illuminate the obvious, then Bruce Miller is a genius. The insights in this book just might transform how you lead for the rest of your life.

This moment, you are whirling unaware in patterned motion as planet earth spins like a bike wheel and pedals its orbit around the sun. Inside of you and all around you, reality dances to the cadences of a creator’s music. When God painted this world, his favorite brushstroke was rhythm.

Yet we are tempted to miss a large context of our lives. Rhythm to us is like water to a fish. As such, the reality of rhythm becomes something we take for granted. It’s always there but rarely explored.

Hence, this book is a wake-up for every leader who has left rhythm an unexamined feature of life in general and church life in particular. I know I’ve been guilty.  The alarm clock’s ring left a powerful question- both challenging and haunting- echoing in my mind: “What if, in our casual awareness of rhythm’s ever-present dynamic, we have missed the deepest wisdom of leadership?”

Prepare to be struck by the peril of ignoring rhythm. Guilt, busyness, stress and even despair can win the day in our “rhythm-dumb” approaches. Among many strategies stained with artificial idealism, Bruce will debunk the kingpin- the notion of “balance” that marks many of our mental models in ministry.

As you dive into this book, I am particularly excited to commend its content on three additional counts.

First, the principles of this book are incredibly actionable. Bruce boils down six simple and compelling strategies that you can take and use everywhere you go. Don’t be surprised when you get up from your favorite reading nook to find these six new tools strapped to your pastoral tool belt.

Second, the principles of this book are universally applicable. There is no time or place and there is no theological conviction or leadership style where rhythm doesn’t apply. If you, like me, are tired of the myriad of  “how-to-do-church” books, then be happy! Your Church in Rhythm delivers 24-karate gold by transcending models, methods and trends.

Third, the author of this book is a one-of-a-kind kingdom laborer. As a leader, Bruce couples the mind of a military strategist with the heart of a willing foot soldier.  As a follower of Jesus, he fuses intensity with integrity, and honesty with optimism like no one I know. Over the last twelve months, I have enjoyed getting to know Bruce and his team. They glow with a rare spirit that is “All in” and “All together” for Jesus.

Now, with the turn of each page, journey into this lost river of wisdom. From wet feet to waist deep, you will discover that which is at once strangely familiar and yet completely new.

The six strategies that Bruce covers in the book are:

  1. Release expectations
  2. Seize opportunities
  3. Anticipate what’s next
  4. Pace your church
  5. Build mission-enhancing rituals
  6. Oscillate intensity and renewal

Here is a little snippet of Bruce’s motivation for writing the book:

I highly encourage you to check out this book: Your Church in Rhythm.

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