The Bible says in Ecclesiastes that of the writing of books there is no end. I’ve worked in publishing and love books. It was very natural for me to want to resource people with books, and we were pretty selective about the books we gave out. “Hit the Bullseye,” by Paul Borden, got my juices flowing after I became bishop. I’m guessing that we gave away a couple hundred copies of that book.
We took the pastors of our largest churches to the Drive Conference in Atlanta, Ga., where Andy Stanley is the pastor. We thought they could benefit from that. But we didn’t forget the pastors of medium and smaller churches. We resourced people to get to Brad Powell’s conference in Michigan, and to Hit the Bullseye conferences. We resourced our cluster leaders with some of that training. That was something Pat and I did very intentionally–resourcing ministers and laypersons with particular things that reinforced what we said, and getting people to seminars and conferences.
Of course, it’s one thing to read the books and attend the seminars. It’s another thing to put it into practice. For a lot of people, there’s a disconnect. They get inspired by the book or conference, but it’s hard to put it into practice. I think a lot of our pastors struggle with some very sinful attitudes and mindsets in a lot of churches. And so they get excited, but come back to their churches and face open sin, and that discourages them.
We’ve been pretty liberal in providing resources–CDs, tapes, DVDs, conferences, books. I think it’s important to invest in our guys, our leaders, our sharpest and most talented guys.