It’s always fascinating how many secular authors somehow stumble upon God’s wisdom and package it as their own in successful books. Even more interesting is how many Christians will taut this author’s wisdom and not even recognize they have been reading scriptures with the same wisdom for decades.
At times though, we suggest a secular book because it helps frame godly wisdom in the current culture. For some people, that helps them understand a little better how to use God’s wisdom in their own lives and ministries.
The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle is one of those great secular books that can do just that for your youth (or any) ministry. It is considered a classic on how to create a healthy culture that encourages growth, innovation and success. Of course, ministries measure those things a bit differently than businesses. The attitudes and skill sets Coyle teaches, however, will work just as well for creating a healthy, vibrant youth group as they do for businesses.
Although, I have no idea of the author’s religious background, a lot of his advice could be taken from the pages of scripture. For example, his analysis of a successful leader. “He’ll tell you the truth and then he’ll love you to death” or “he fills their cups” or “you can’t say ‘thank you’ too much”. Much of his advice comes from observing successful cultures and finding what they have in common.
There are books that have bits and pieces of great information. This book is filled to the brim with it. It pulls together the wisdom from a lot of successful leaders (who may or may not have been Christian) and synthesizes the commonalities in how they created cultures in their organizations that led to growth, innovation and success. I took pages of notes of important concepts and I rarely do that with any book – secular or Christian.
This book would be amazing for ministers and volunteers to read together and discuss. What changes do you need to make to your youth group (or any ministry) to not only make it more godly, but also more effective? Which principles in the book are actually godly wisdom re-framed in some way? What other bits of wisdom can be found in the Bible that aren’t in this book that will help your teens and your ministry build stronger spiritual foundations and grow to their godly potential? These are critical questions those involved in your ministry need to discuss. This book can be a great catalyst – especially when paired with the Bible – to begin having those important conversations.
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