Archives For chris lautsbaugh

Top Reads of 2011

December 5, 2011

It has been said that “readers make leaders.” I believe reading and listening to books is a huge way we can be intentional about our growth as individuals and leaders.

One of the most popular portions of our family ministry website, has been the page where I list the books I have read throughout the year. In 2011, I read or listened to 75 books.

In this post, I have chosen my top reads to review for you.

To see more about these books, click on any of the pictures. You can even order them straight from this page and have them in time for Christmas!

Switch – Dan & Chip Heath
A fascinating book on something most of us hate. Change.

The 1,2,3 Money Plan – Gregory Karp
One of the best and most practical money books I’ve read. (I have read a lot!)

“Poor people are lazy.”
“You must eat snakes and play with lions(if you live in Africa).”
“Americans are fat.”

People are famous for making assumptions and stereotypes. Often they are extremely painful.

We recently had a time on our missions campus of sharing different perspectives from various cultures. We laughed, we cried, and we felt each other’s pain.

I’m reminded of three things that I know to be true. It is also these three things that I need to be challenged to regularly apply in my life in missions.

1. Avoid Assumption
I know plenty of lazy rich people and even a few thin Americans!

No one enjoyes being boxed in by assumptions. When they happen in a cross cultural setting, it is easy to become isolated and critical. Victory comes when we don’t see each other by our nationality, skin color, or economic status; but rather as people.

What cultural things to we impose on other believers as law?

As a missionary working in Africa, I am constantly faced with things people believe the Bible says. They tell me things are this way and it is the truth. Only, they are not in the Bible.

Missionaries, TV preachers, and the internet have promoted certain cultural viewpoints or personal convictions as doctrine in an attempt to disciple people.

This is what Paul is combating in Galatians. The early church was struggling to define Christianity. What activities were required? Did people have to become Jewish in order to be a first century believer?

Galatians 2:1-14(link – click on this and read the passage.)

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

November 23, 2011

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it brings to mind things that we are grateful for. As an American, still celebrating the holiday while in South Africa, I want to remind my countrymen to be grateful.

When someone hands you a gift, the appropriate response in almost any culture is to say; ‘thank you.’ You receive the gift and treasure it. You treat it with respect. Your feelings towards the giver are affected, causing love and gratitude to flow.

In the United States, something we often do to express gratitude for something someone has given is to write a note. In this note, we express appreciation for what has happened. This is a thank you note.

We do not feel a need to climb the ladder to achieve some elusive spiritual platform. We simply respond with gratitude, desiring to get to know the Giver of the gift. We do this because we want to. The gift of God does not come with strings attached.

Being Intentional About Growth

November 21, 2011

What do you pursue in order to stimulate growth in your life?

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, estimates that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. If we are willing to put in that kind of time we can master our craft.

Over the past 18 years, I have spent a lot of time in a Bible School that journeys through all sixty-six books in only nine months. Every year, day after day; I have spent a significant amount of time in the Word of God.

Eighteen years on, I can see the difference. I can’t totally explain it, but when I am teaching things are different. Passages come back to my mind faster. I am able to draw on the depth of study to answer difficult questions. There is a well that God can dip into to bring things back in a timely fashion.