Dave Ellis, Falling Awake: Creating the Life of Your Dreams.
His twelve strategies (beginning with “determine what you want”) are worth the price of the book alone. It’s not an explicitly religious book, but it’s full of wisdom that can help people of faith, and particularly leaders. When I’m anxious about a circumstance or project, I go through the twelve strategies and ask myself questions such as, “What do I want?” “How can I take responsibility here?” “How can I contribute in this situation?” It helps me step back and get more neutral so I can think creatively. Get the book in paper or pdf here or in paper from Amazon.
If you’ve been to one of my workshops, you know this already. There’s no faster way to jot down an idea, especially when you are away from a traditional keyboard. I keep a supply in my purse clipped with a (brightly colored!) binder clip. They are cheap, and you can sort them easily. One more benefit: Handwriting is a complex brain activity, and I’m convinced we all need to keep doing some writing with a pen every day. I like unlined blank cards.
Insight Timer app
I’ve gone back to meditative prayer, just five minutes a day. This smartphone app gives me a gentle way to come back. You can choose which kind of bell you want. I’ve also used it with groups to bring people back from a time of meditative silence. (Free in iTunes and the Play store). If you don’t have a smartphone, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Orcas Island, WA, has a centering prayer timer on their site for five-minute and twenty-minute segments.
Last, but not at all least. I don’t mean to be corny or obvious. I simply continue to find the Scriptures a rich resource. Even when I was preaching every week, I tried to read something daily that had nothing to do with sermon preparation. I’m reading Luke right now. I found Elizabeth’s words to Mary inspiring yet again: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 1:45) I’m a fast reader, so I’m trying to slow myself down, and read just a paragraph or so at a time, and meditate and reflect on what I’ve just read.
And here’s a post sharing some of my old favorite books.
What ministry resources (of all kinds) are you finding helpful?