1. What particular need are you addressing?
I believe that the texture and velocity of the movement of Christ depends on the texture and velocity of the leaders leading it. The texture of our souls and our character matters more than anything else, and I just don't see enough focus in leadership put on what kind of person we are becoming. As ministry leaders, our primary conversation ought to be about the formation of our character. I've heard people ask what is the chief end of the Christian life, or what is the goal of the Christian life. And then of course there are many answers - like "to make disciples" or to "evangelize the world" or to "love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with God." There are many good answers that are pretty much all encompassed into conversation. But the real essence of what the movement of Christ is all about is this - our goal is to be formed into the image of Jesus Christ for the sake of others. That's it. That's the chief end. And that's about our texture. But man, that's not what we seem to be most focused on. And then by velocity, I don't mean to simply imply speed as if to say the faster we go the better. In this book, I'm addressing core components that help us advance the mission of God further and faster, but again, all rooting ourselves in who we are becoming for the sake of others. It all starts with character, and from that place the mission and movement of Jesus advances. And the church NEEDS to be focused more on that, especially when it comes to the formation of young leaders.
2. What is distinctive about this idea and/or your approach to leader development and formation?
Well, The Protégé Playbook offers an approach to people investment. In other words, how are we allowing other people to invest in our lives, and then how are we going about investing in the lives of others. This is essential to advancing the movement of Christ in our world. Truth is, the transforming power of the Gospel travels from person to person, one life to another life. And again, it just doesn't seem like we hone in that all too well across the board. We give tons of energy in the church world to the Sunday experience, and by all means, we should. It's very important. However, when I look at Jesus' ministry, that wasn't where he spent most of his energy. I know, I know. People say, "It was a different culture." But I don't buy that because when you look at pretty much everything Jesus did, taught or said, we don't apply that same principle. So when we take an honest look at Jesus, at least from my vantage point, he was relational and personal and incarnational. He walked with people in the every day grind of life. He talked to them on dusty roads and at the side of wells. He spent time in people's homes and in honest conversations about what really matters in life. And so in essence, he lived his life as a mentor and disciple-maker. And that's the heartbeat of this book. It takes the reader on a six week journey into discovering how this all plays itself out in life. By the end of the reading experience, my hope is that people will have clearer picture about how to invest their life, where to spend their time, and what to actually do with people who desire to be mentored. And along the way, we travel into areas that are important to guide people into as they seek to grow into Christ-like character.
3. What are the top few things you want readers to take away from your book?
The Protégé Playbook isn’t just a book of potentially good ideas or methods. It's an arsenal of time-tested development tools that I’ve used personally in working with emerging leaders for the last decade. I've tried to wrap 10 years of learnings in my experience into this little book. My hope is that people would walk away (1) with a vision to become someone with something to say, (2) with increased awareness of their own growth areas and then to be able to identify specific action steps for growth to happen, (2) with a deep conviction that leaders should not do life or leadership on their own, and that they need guidance from people who have been where they want to go, (3) with a renewed conviction about what drives healthy leadership and to know how to better become a relationally healthy leader, and finally (4) with increased knowledge on how to get on the path to become a leader who is experiencing real transformation at a character and soul level. That's the kind of leaders we desperately need leading local churches and ministries around the globe. And that's why I wrote this book, to help advance THAT conversation.