Giveaway: The Gospel Project Experience


As many readers here know, I’m a huge fan of The Gospel Project from Lifeway. Led by general editor Ed Stetzer and my friend Trevin Wax (the project’s Managing Editor), The Gospel Project is designed to unify your church under a single Christ-centered curriculum, at every age and stage.

If you’re not sure what it is, take a look at my notes from the initial launch event back in March 2012; you should also check out their site (which includes a number of free lessons to sample!).

On May 17-18, LifeWay is hosting The Gospel Project Experience – a conference that will focus on the main events of the gospel through times of vibrant worship and engaging messages.

The purpose of The Gospel Project Experience is to walk participants through the entire gospel story (incarnation, life of Christ, death, resurrection, and second coming). J.D. Greear, David Nasser, Ed Stetzer, Trevin Wax and Ken Whitten will each speak on one of those five gospel themes. Matt Boswell will lead worship for the event.

For those who are currently using or considering LifeWay’s Gospel Project Bible study, there will be break-out sessions that help train and inform participants on how to get the most out of the Bible study. But even if you are not using The Gospel Project, you are invited to attend. The Experience will inspire you and your congregation to live out the implications of the gospel in your community.

So, the kind people at LifeWay are letting me give away two individual and two small group simulcast registrations—that’s four winners in total!

Enter to win using the handy dandy Punch Tab app on this post (RSS readers, you’re going to need to click through to see it) and answer the question:

How does your church create an environment of intentional discipleship?

The contest ends February 23 at 11:59:59 EST. Winners will be selected at random and notified via email.

Book giveaway: Brothers We Are Not Professionals


“This book changed my ministry.”

That’s what one pastor friend of mine told me about Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper. I had with me at the time, intending to read it on the trip home, I never got around to it.

If I’d been wiser, I would have started that night. What I love about this book is the unashamed, unyielding commitment to a God-centered vision of ministry, one that seeks to make less of us so that we might make much of Jesus.

I really appreciate how Piper puts it here:

Let us declare boldly and powerfully what God loves most—the glory of God. Let us guard ourselves from the ocean of man-centeredness around us. “Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?” (Isa. 2:22). The foundation, the means, and the goal of God’s agape for sinners is His prior, deeper, and ultimate love for His own glory. Therefore, brothers, tell your people the great ground of the gospel: God loves His glory! (p. 9)

Today I’m giving away a copy of the updated and expanded edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals to one reader, courtesy of B&H Publishing and The A Group.

To enter, leave a comment with a quote from a book that’s shaped your thinking on Christian life and ministry.

The contest closes at 11:59:59 (ET). The winner will be contacted via email.

Faithful leaders, personality and free books for you

What’s one of the greatest challenges a leader—especially a Christian one—faces?


Because God has uniquely wired each of us with particular skills, abilities and personality types and traits, every leader tends to look a little different. Some are the super-confident, assertive alpha types. Others are incredibly engaging, leading powerfully through charisma and influence. Others still are a little more reserved, and their leadership shines through in how they relate to others moreso than what they say.


These are not bad things by any means. However, a leader always needs to be aware of how his personality is influencing the culture of his organization—whether a church, non-profit or corporation. Albert Mohler explains this exceptionally well in one of my favorite new books on leadership, The Conviction to Lead (a book I reviewed not too long ago):

…faithful leaders understand that while they will influence the organization with their personality, they must never allow personality to be the defining mark of leadership.

There are two dangers here. The first is the well-known “cult of personality,” in which the persona of the leader becomes the hallmark of the organization. Personality cults take over the culture of the organization, with the leader sometimes becoming more prominent than the organization itself. The other danger is that the leader will rely on personality as a substitute for conviction or competence. Personality is important, but it will fall flat when conviction wanes or competence is lacking. (108)

These dangers are so important for us to understand.

We can all point to examples of organizations where the personality of the founder or leader has overtaken the organization’s culture. And we can all just as easily enough think of examples of either fairly charismatic leaders or ones who lead through fear and intimidation because they’re simply not very good at their jobs.

The point of saying this (and of course Mohler’s writing it) is not to take an opportunity to point at someone else and say, “I’m glad I’m not like that guy!”

We have to remember that personality needs to be both cultivated and stewarded carefully. A leader’s personality can and should influence an organization’s culture. But leaders must be mindful of the negatives they bring to the table as well—because those will spread through the culture as well (and possibly faster than your positives).

Courtesy of Bethany House, today I’m giving away five copies The Conviction to Lead to readers of this blog. To enter, just use the handy-dandy Punchtab app below and answer the following question in the comments:

Who is the best leader you’ve met? Why?

The giveaway closes tonight at 11:59:59 pm (ET) and winners will be contacted via email shortly thereafter.

I’m giving you a whole pile of books for Christmas!


Updated with new titles from Cruciform Press and Crossway Books!

One of the things I’m most grateful for about this blog is the opportunity to share great books with you—and this Christmas, I have the privilege of giving some of you a ridiculous pile of great books! In partnership with the fine folks at David C. Cook, Baker Books, Thomas Nelson, New Growth Press, Cruciform Press and more, I’m giving away the following:

  1. Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation and the End of Poverty by me
  2. Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World by me
  3. Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church by Chandler, Patterson and Geiger
  4. For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter
  5. Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You by John MacArthur
  6. Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ by Mark Driscoll
  7. God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children by R.C. Sproul
  8. Pleasing God: Discovering the Meaning and Importance of Sanctification by R.C. Sproul
  9. Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free by Tullian Tchividjian
  10. Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan
  11. Through the Eyes of C.H. Spurgeon edited by Stephen McCaskell
  12. The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters by Albert Mohler
  13. The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon
  14. The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments by Marty Machowski
  15. Gospel Deeps by Jared C. Wilson – new addition!
  16. Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp – new addition!
  17. The Shepherd Leader at Home by Timothy Z. Witmer – new addition!
  18. Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Philip G. Ryken – new addition!
  19. “But God…”: The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel by Casey Lute – new addition!
  20. Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage by Joel Beeke – new addition!
  21. Innocent Blood: Challenging the Powers of Death with the Gospel of Life by John Ensor – new addition!

… and don’t be surprised if you see some more books added to the list before the giveaway is through!

Best of all, three of you will be receiving this fantastic collection of books! You read that right—there are three sets to win. To enter, all you need to do is use the PunchTab widget below and answer the following question in the comments:

What’s God been teaching you in 2012?

This contest ends on Friday, December 21st at midnight. Thanks to all who enter!

Faith, work, and Every Good Endeavor

every good endeavor

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the relationship between our work and our faith. Some place too high a value on vocational ministry, as if it were somehow above working as a plumber, teacher, or accountant. Others seem to act as though our faith shouldn’t impact our vocation. Many struggle to wonder whether their work matters at all.

But there has to be a way for us to take seriously the call of Scripture. When Paul wrote exhorting bondservants (or slaves) to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” I think he meant it (Colossians 3:23). In whatever we do, we work for the Lord. We serve God just as greatly as baristas and bathroom attendants as we do clergy and counsellors.

It’s no surprise, then, that I’m pretty excited to be digging into Tim Keller’s new book, Every Good Endeavor. Here’s one of my favorite passages from the early pages:

Everyone imagines accomplishing things, and everyone finds him- or herself largely incapable of producing them. Everyone wants to be successful rather than forgotten, and everyone wants to make a difference in life. But that is beyond the control of any of us. If this life is all there is, then everyhting will eventually burn up in the death of the sun and no one will even be around to remember anything that has ever happened. Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavors, even the bet, will come to naught.

Unless there is a God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor  even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever. (p. 28)

WTS Books is offering an amazing 70 percent discount on your first copy of Every Good Endeavor right now (subsequent copies are 48 percent off). You can also get the it over at Amazon, among other retailers.

Courtesy of the fine folks at Dutton, I’ve got two copies of Every Good Endeavor to give away today. If you’d like to win, here’s what I’d like you to do:

  1. Tell me how your faith impacts your work
  2. Share this post with your followers on Facebook or Twitter (if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate you letting me know in your comment as well)

I’ll be picking the winners today after 5 pm EST. Winners will be selected using and notified by email. Whether you win or lose the giveaway, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of this book. What I’ve read so far has been terrific.

Creatures of the Word and The Centerpiece of Ministry


I’ve just started to crack into Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson and Eric Geiger’s new book, Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church (B&H Publishing) and it looks to be nothing if not challenging.

The Church cannot have anything but the gospel at its center—if it does, it’s not the Church:

Our churches must be fully centered on Jesus and His work, or else death and emptiness is certain, regardless of the worship style or sermon series. Without the gospel, everything in a church is meaningless. And dead.

Creature of the Word looks at the gospel as the centerpiece of the Church—what every aspect of our ministry must be consumed by—and outlines practically how church leaders can maintain the centrality of the gospel. Check out the trailer:

[tentblogger-youtube 90PTFJZs6rM]

I’m pretty excited to see how this book impacts its readers—and I want to give you a chance to read it.

Courtesy of my friends at LIfeway, I’ve got three copies of the book to give away, and each copy comes with a bonus:

Winners will receive one copy of Creature of the Word and an individual registration for the Creature of the Word simulcast on October 23rd at 8-11 am CT (9-12 ET).

Chandler, Patterson and Geiger will each teach on a different topic from the book and will answer viewer questions at the end of the simulcast.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

I want to know how you and/or your church is striving to make everything it does about Jesus. What’s something that’s happened in your context that’s been really encouraging in this area?

To enter, use the handy-dandy PunchTab widget on the page:

Contest ends on Saturday, October 13 at 5 pm (ET). Hope you enjoy the book!

I’m Giving Away a Personal Library (and some other keen stuff, too!)


Summer’s nearly done, the school year is gearing up again, and I want to help you kick off the fall right. That’s why I’m giving away a whole heap of books (and another cool item, too) courtesy of my friends at Zondervan, New Growth Press, Crossway and more.

This week, I’m giving away two prize packs featuring the following titles:

PLUS—Cruciform Press and 8Bit are offering two special prizes! The prize pack winners can choose one of the following:

Enter using the handy-dandy Punchtab tool below (RSS readers, you’ll need to click through to enter). The contest closes on August 31 at midnight. Enjoy!

I’m Giving You a Library for Christmas!

Updated with new prizes from David C. Cook and Zondervan!

One of the things I’m most grateful for about this blog is the opportunity to share great books with you—and this Christmas, I have the privilege of giving some of you a ridiculous pile of great books! In partnership with the fine folks at Crossway, Bethany House, Baker Books, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson and Super Big Robot, I’m giving away the following:

  1. Gospel Wakefulness by Jared C. Wilson (reviewed here)
  2. Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
  3. What is the Mission of the Church by DeYoung & Gilbert
  4. Earthen Vessels by Matthew Anderson (reviewed here)
  5. God Wins by Mark Galli
  6. Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll
  7. The God Who is There by D.A. Carson
  8. Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith
  9. Chaos & Grace by Mark Galli
  10. The Rizers: Rise Up! (CD)
  11. BASIC: Fear God featuring Francis Chan (DVD)—New addition!
  12. Forgotten God by Francis Chan—New addition!
  13. Letters to a Young Pastor by Calvin Miller—New addition!
  14. For Calvinism by Michael Horton—New addition!
  15. Historical Theology by Gregg Allison—New addition!

Best of all, three of you will be receiving this fantastic collection of books and music! You read that right—there are three sets to win. To enter, all you need to do is use the PunchTab widget below (which accepts email addresses now, by the way!) and answer the following question in the comments:

What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

This contest ends on Friday, December 16th at midnight. Thanks to all who enter!

The Essential Edwards Giveaway!

Today I’m giving away some great books—The Essential Edwards Collection by Owen Strachan and Doug Sweeney!

Jonathan Edwards was a colonial, philosophical preacher and theologian. To many he stands as the preeminent theologian and thinker of the American tradition. This series of five books covers Edwards’ life and major writings opening an accessible window into the heart and mind of the man credited for starting the First Great Awakening.

By way of introduction, presentation and reflection, the authors unearth the choicest treasures of Edwards’ writings for lay people to discover. Eminently readable and understandable, The Essential Edwards Collection proves you do not need to be a scholar to enjoy and benefit from the writings and life of Jonathan Edwards.

This set includes all five books of The Essential Edwards Collection:  Jonathan Edwards Lover of GodJonathan Edwards On Beauty,Jonathan Edwards On Heaven and HellJonathan Edwards On the Good Life, and Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity.

To enter, use the Punchtab widget below (RSS readers will need to click through to the site) and answer the question:

Which book in the set do you want to read first?

Contest ends at midnight on Friday and the winner will be notified via email.

The Next Great Book Giveaway!

About a month or so back, you might recall that we had a pretty great book giveaway here on the blog—and today we’re going to do it again! In partnership with my friends at Crossway Books, I’m giving away the following:


  1. The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis, a 10-week Bible study by Nancy Guthrie
  2. Welcome to the Story: Reading, Loving, and Living God’s Word by Stephen Nichols
  3. King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex, and Power by Phil Ryken

These books are sure to be a great blessing to you, your friends or your church. You can enter the giveaway using the handy-dandy PunchTab widget below. (RSS Readers, you’ll need to click through to the post to see widget.)The question for the giveaway today is:

Where have you seen Jesus in the Old Testament? What did you learn?

Contest ends Friday, July 8, at midnight. The winner will be contacted via email. Thanks for entering!

I’m Giving Away A Reformation Study Bible!

It’s the last Friday of June and the last day of my time off from work (until August, that is). So to celebrate, I want to give YOU a present. That’s why I’m giving away a brand new Reformation Study Bible in the ESV translation. Produced by Ligonier Ministries and featuring the work of more than fifty scholars, this Study Bible features thousands of in-depth (and accessible) study notes, 96 theological articles, 19 in-text maps, colored maps, and 12 charts designed to help you better understand the Scriptures.

This Bible also includes a free trial subscription to Tabletalk Magazine. Every issue is packed with great articles and devotional materials that are sure to be a blessing to you.

I’ll be using Punchtab for this giveaway as the first time around it went really smoothly overall. (RSS Readers, you’ll need to click through to the post to see widget.)

The question for the giveaway today is:

What’s your favorite book by R.C. Sproul and why?

Contest ends at midnight. The winner will be contacted tomorrow via email. Thanks for entering!

The Great Book Giveaway!

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to give readers some (in my opinion) pretty fantastic books—and this week, I wanted to up the ante a bit!

So this week, I’m giving away two sets of books, featuring the following:

  1. Recovering the Real Lost Gospel: Reclaiming the Gospel as Good News by Darrell L. Bock
  2. Reverberation: How God’s Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People by Jonathan Leeman
  3. Collected Writings on Scripture by D.A. Carson

These books are sure to be a great blessing to any reader. And with Fathers’ Day coming up, they’re bound to make a great gift for the Scripture-loving Pastor Dad in your life! You can enter the giveaway using the handy-dandy PunchTab widget below. With all that out of the way, have at it and good luck!