A BOOK REVIEW
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less invites the reader into a “whole new way of doing everything.” Essentialism is a discipline. Essentialism is figuring out what is essential and eliminating everything that is not.
I found this book to be packed full of great leadership skills and insight on how not just to do things right but how to do them best. As a pastor, I would highly recommend this book to other pastors and pastoral/elder leadership teams. If we want our churches to impact our community and if we want to make a marked difference in the lives of others, we must be churches of essentialism!
Author Greg McKeown offers several great illustrations as well as comparisons on how both essentialists and non-essentialists operate and ultimately fail or succeed. The book begins by stating that “the way of the essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better.” I immediately began to think of some of the most successful ministry stories I’ve read about or witnessed and how those organizations, pastors, teams, and churches were focused churches who didn’t try to do many things “okay” but rather pursued a few essential core goals in ministering to others.
Each chapter of this book is filled with steps not on “how to get more things done” but rather, “how to get the right things done.” Our time and energy is best spent on those things that maximize our energy, time, and contributions. Some of my favorite quotes from the book include:
“Getting used to the idea of ‘less but better’ may prove harder than it sounds, especially when we have been rewarded in the past for doing more . . . and more and more.”
“Instead of asking, ‘what do I have to give up?’ ask, ‘what do I want to go big on?’”
“The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.”
I believe that God calls each of as leaders within the church to give our best. If we want to do it right, we must keep focused and learn to be ministerial essentialists. If we want to make a difference, we need to define exactly what that means to us and see it through until we have made our greatest contribution and left behind our largest impact. Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review and I highly recommend this book to all leaders and to anyone wanting to create a life that matters.