Book Reviews, Ministry

E-Book Review: “Hanging Up the Leisure Suit”

What did your church do for Easter this year? Was it the same sort of program, if not the same program that they did last year? Does your midweek adult Bible study service look the same as it did fifteen, twenty, or thirty years ago?

Don’t get me wrong, if something that your church does works and has great results year after year, it may only need the occasional tweak to keep it effective. But many of us are repeat offenders. We repeat, repeat, repeat, and we keep on doing repeating, with no end in sight, just like this run-on sentence, and with no results, because we are just plain stuck.

If you think you might be stuck or if you’re are confident that you are, there is hope for you. Tony Morgan just released the second installment in The Leisure Suit Series of free e-books: “Hanging Up the Leisure Suit.”

The book is an easy, short read, so I do not want to spoil too much here. It’s packed with helpful information and direct challenges. The first issue helped us recognize if we are stuck. This issue gives us a plan to get unstuck, and it deals a lot with systems. Here are some of the thoughts that grabbed me as I read it.

We have to mind the gap between the knowledge of our vision statements. “It’s possible for everyone to know the vision but still not have any clue what they’re supposed to do to help make the vision become reality. So how do you “mind the gap”? By focusing on specific strategies and systems that are established to accomplish the vision.”

It’s important to have systems. Systems are biblical, with examples all over the Old and New Testaments of their use and effectiveness.

Tony spends a lot of time consulting churches and helping them become more effective. He gives us a free first lesson when he talks about six key elements of a healthy organization.

Anyone who has taught Sunday School or Bible studies or preached for a decent amount of time will tell you that it seems like their message falls on deaf ears. Sometimes we forget that teaching alone will not effect life change. We need to have other systems in place that help people put to action what they have learned from teaching. “Remember, your message has the potential to shift thinking. Your systems have the potential to shift behaviors.”

Another great part of this resource is that it comes with discussion questions for each chapter of the book.

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My personal plan for The Leisure Suit Series is to take my church leadership through each issue of this series, talking about it month after month. We’re a 80+ year old organization with a lot of history. But in the last 10 to 20 years it has seen great decline. I came to this church 14 months ago, I knew in my heart that God has something great in store for these people and this community. I appreciate that someone else wants to help us go forward as much as we want, and is willing to put something like this in our hands to get unstuck.

You can get your copy of “Hanging Up the Leisure Suit” and other resources from Tony Morgan’s website:

Tony Morgan serves on the leadership team of West Ridge Church near Atlanta. He’s also a strategist, writer, speaker and consultant who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. More important, he has a passion for people. He’s all about helping people meet Jesus and take steps in their faith.