This was a good week reading. I had several hour stretches a couple of times, so I was able to settle in on a couple of things. That can be nice.
First, I got to finish the cover article for this month’s The Atlantic, a piece on China’s factory boom (“China Makes, the World Takes“) by James Fallows. Interesting and eye-opening stuff. Fallows, The Atlantic’s national correspondent, explores the complex interface between the West’s global corporations and China’s manufacturing industry, offering implications for the future of US/China relations. Well worth the read. While we’re on The Atlantic, these items in “The Agenda” were especially good: An argument that earlier primaries will be a good thing and a piece comparing changes in the relative religiosity of America and Europe and the impact on political life.
I also finished Take the Next Step: Leading Lasting Change in the Church, by Lovett H. Weems, Jr. I appreciated his approach. Weems is nice because he has engaged so much of the writing on leadership–both church-related and secular–and distills the lessons for church leaders, integrating them into his presentation of his own perspective. Dr. Weems is a United Methodist ordained elder who served as president of St. Paul School of Theology (UMC) for several years prior to moving to Wesley Theological Seminary (UMC) in Washington, D.C., where he directs the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. I would recommend this book. It is relatively short yet manages to cover a good deal of ground and presents a helpful approach to congregational change that holds together the challenges and hard work of leading change as a pastoral leader with the reality of history, traditions, and personalities of congregations. His is a bridging approach in which the vision for change incorporates, honors, and intentionally builds upon the past in order to be faithful for the future. If you are a pastor or ministry leader, check it out.
I’m getting back into The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. I’m about half-way through. About a year ago it fell victim to my penchant for setting a book aside due to reading overload (getting into 5 or 6 books, then getting paralyzed with the choices and setting some aside for a while). I’m enjoying some fiction after a mad dash through 3 church leadership and ministry books in 2 weeks for continuing education (Church Leadership, by Lovett Weems; The Great Omission, by Dallas Willard; Take the Next Step, by Lovett Weems).
Finally, a couple of things that caught my attention online:
For news, I get the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, ESPN, and Slate on my iGoogle homepage, among others. I can’t remember highlights from those this week and don’t feel like hunting around at this point, but maybe for future editions.
Thoughts or suggestions on reading?