Gospel Based Self-Improvement

A discussion of What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0310494222″ cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41zcXWkOwFL.jpg” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ width=”332″]There are a ton of books, within your average Christian bookstore, that seem to focus on how to improve yourself and your life.  What’s interesting and intriguing, is not that these books exist but that so many of these books have little to nothing to do with scripture and the gospel.  Therefore, it is a joy and welcomed pleasure when a book comes out that effectively deals with improving your skill and approach to productivity that it is based entirely on a proper theological understanding of scripture in both its foundation and approach.  Considering this book is based on scripture and the best practices available, it must be at the top of your reading list as a follower of Christ who desires to serve Him and His kingdom in the most effective ways possible.

Within What’s Best Next, the reader will be drawn to a plethora of scriptures that lay the foundation not only for work in general but the reason it exists and the goals (as a Christian) we should have for it.  Perman says that he wants “to show you that serving God in the things you do every day and going beyond to be engaged in God’s global purposes is the life of greatest joy and peace — not seeking personal peace, affluence, wealth, or success.”  Simply put, What’s Best Next does what no other book on productivity can do, it deals with the reasons God gave us work and that the very goal of it is not for us, but for Him and His glory.

Unfortunately, as Perman understands all too well, there is a disconnect for many Christians and churches when it comes to this topic.  He says that, “there is a shortage of teaching in the church on how to get things done, and we are all suffering for it.”  We are not only suffering as individuals and businesses, but we are suffering when it comes to kingdom impact.  A large part of this ineffectiveness is due directly to our ability to manage our own lives.  He says, “the importance of these things becomes even more clear when we realize that our ability to lead, manage, spend undistracted time with friends and family, and do everything else we do depends largely upon a skill that goes underneath all of those things and makes them all possible — the cross-functional skill of knowing how to manage ourselves.”  When we are unable to do this, we are unable effectively determine the most important items that lay before us.

At the heart of his message, Perman is focused on gospel driven productivity.  To define or understand this, he says at its very essence, “we are to use all that we have, in all areas of life, for the good of others, to the glory of God — and that this is the most exciting life.”  This is a life based on love, a love for God and a love for others.  The manner in which we handle and approach our work is not for ourselves, but it is actually putting others first.

Not only does Perman’s book have an amazing theological approach to productivity, his book dives deep into the best practices available as he pulls from his own experience and from others such as Drucker, Covey and more.  In addition to this, he looks at wonderful examples from presidents, heads of state and many others.  He is keenly aware that we must develop and grow in order to become and do what we were intended to become and do.  “Brilliant insight, hard work, and good intentions are not enough.  Effectiveness is a distinct skill that must be learned.  Some people are more inclined to it than others, and everyone is naturally built to be capable of effectiveness, but effectiveness is something we learn like reading.”

I believe those that know and follow God should have a theological understanding and gospel centered approach to all that they do and especially for your work and careers.  If we are going to be effective for the kingdom with the entirety of our lives, both at home and work, then we better understand what we have been called to and how to do it.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  I want you to know that not only have I read it, I have given it to several friends.  I have given it to friends who have no job, friends who have started new jobs and friends that are CEO’s and business owners.  In fact, I have asked one of these CEO / business owner friends of mine to buy the book for every person in their business.  And if this were not enough, the author makes a weekly newsletter, blog and more available through his website that will continually help you grow, improve and function within this world.

This book is a five out of five stars for both content and its theological approach.  You will be truly blessed if you take the time to read, understand and implement the material found within its pages.

Value(d) Books:

Note: ordinarily, we focus on highly discounted books, but we decided these books were important spiritual growth titles that complimented this week’s featured book selection. 

  1. [easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”what’s best next” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″]What’s Best Next[/easyazon_link] by Matt Perman.  Available at amazon.com for $15.92 (hardback) or $7.99 (Kindle Edition).
  2. [easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”Explicit Gospel” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″]Explicit Gospel[/easyazon_link] by Matt Chandler.  Available at amazon.com for $9.99 (paperback) or $9.39 (Kindle Edition)
  3. [easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”The Underestimated Gospel” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″]The Underestimated Gospel[/easyazon_link] by Multiple Authors.  Available at amazon.com for $11.19 (paperback) or $7.99 (Kindle Edition)
  4. [easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”The Unadjusted Gospel” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″]The Unadjusted Gospel[/easyazon_link] by Multiple Authors.  Available at amazon.com for $14.02 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle Edition)
  5. [easyazon_link asin=”B00IFG0EPM” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”capstrepor09-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me[/easyazon_link] by Kevin DeYoung.  Available at amazon.com for $11.99 (hardcover) or $9.99 (Kindle Edition)
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