A review of Home Run: Learn God's Game Plan for Life and Leadership
by Kevin Myers and John C. Maxwell
Review by Anna Herring

In Home Run (FaithWords, 2014), Kevin Myers and John Maxwell take a frank look at our tendency to take shortcuts in life and leadership. In the language of the book's dominant metaphor, we want to run to third base first. But drawing on Romans 12:1-2, the authors explain why and how to run the bases in the correct order.

They begin at home plate, where we all step up to bat. Home plate is where we need to learn foundational spiritual practices, like Bible-reading and prayer.

First base is where we must succeed with solid character. They underscore that failing on seemingly small issues of integrity can have a negative lifetime impact. If we cannot win with ourselves, we will never make it to second base.

Second base is where we strive to win with others. God designed us to be in relationship, yet our selfishness tends to sabotage our connections with others. Myers describes four actions that work in every relationship: value others more than yourself, give more than you take, forgive what you can't forget, and let God change people.

Third base involves our careers or lifestyle. This is where we must gain competence. Unfortunately, our culture often promotes a succeed-at-all-costs mentality, which can result in broken relationships (second base) and lapses in character (first base).

In order to score a home run, the authors stress we must do everything for God's glory, not our own. It is accomplished through discovering God's purpose for our lives, giving ourselves to others, inviting others into the journey, and helping others discover their purpose in God's plan.

Our culture often promotes a succeed-at-all-costs mentality, which can result in character lapses.

Personal stories and biblical lessons help enhance the lessons of the bases. The authors demonstrate how your life can align with God's will if you follow God's plan. Perhaps most powerful are the stories from Myers who shares his personal shortcomings and how they affected his family and church. This vulnerability allows readers to establish a personal connection with the author.

The book provides a great map for succeeding in your personal and professional lives. It skillfully introduces theologically-based instruction for those that may be unfamiliar with biblical content, while weaving in personal stories. Myers clearly communicates how running the bases out of order can cause disappointment and frustration while Maxwell provides snippets of leadership insight that encapsulate the book's wisdom. Home Run makes an excellent, accessible leadership study for businesses or small groups.

What's Best Next

How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
By Matt Perman (Zondervan, 2014)

The Facts: Theology and practice are often pitted against each other. But Matt Perman, a theologian and entrepreneur, sees them as complementary. Perman explains that Gospel Driven Productivity (GDP) honors God and helps us love others. He starts with the core principles of what the gospel is and what true effectiveness means, then moves to concrete applications and systems. The reader is left with both an ideological foundation and a clear plan of action for becoming more productive.

Perman refuses to sacrifice theology for practicality or practicality for theology.

The Slant: It's not often you read Jonathan Edwards quoted side-by-side with Peter Drucker or John Piper referenced next to Jim Collins, but that is what Matt Perman does in What's Best Next. Throughout the book Perman refuses to sacrifice theology for practicality or practicality for theology. Those in ministry will find the book refreshing since so often they are forced to choose one or the other. Rather than propagating this dichotomy, What's Best Next weaves the two together into a means of service and ministry. Perman's philosophy of GDP should allow ministers to rest easy knowing they are honoring God while thinking clearly and strategically about getting things done.

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