Last year, Reading Wars, Philip Yancey’s July 20 blogpost, stirred a commotion about how social media and the Internet train you to read short passages, distracting you from the deep reading of books. Christian Women's Leadership Center responded with the 9 Books–9 Months Leadership Challenge, which provides a platform for women to reflect deeply about the book and the online training they receive each month.
Dr. Gail Hallman, adjunct faculty at Grand Canyon University, took the challenge and said:
Anything worth doing is worth doing well! The 9 Books–9 Months Leadership Challenge was fun and it was challenging, but it was definitely worth the time. The courses focus on leadership, giving you the skills, confidence, and support to enact true change that will impact you personally as well as the group or ministry you lead.
Skimming a book just to check off reading for the day produces little learning. While it may put ideas into your brain, how does it change you? Educators define learning as a change in behavior. In our leadership courses, you will change and grow as you complete each four-week course.
You are presented with short teaching videos and short reading assignments from a pdf version of a book you will read thoroughly. You will reflect on these assignments both individually and with a group of women who take the course with you. You are encouraged to set aside one hour a day to read, learn, think, and reflect. Pat Thorn, a certificate program graduate, said, “The questions and surveys helped me process the information, challenged me to look honestly at myself, and guided me to get in alignment with God’s heart.”
For just $30 a month, you’ll read one book per month while completing the Leadership Certificate Program. You’ll get to network with other Christian women, and you’ll reflect on how you can apply principles you learn in your own work or ministry environment. And you can do it in your pajamas at any time of the day or night! There are no set times when you must be online.
How can you get started?
Start this month with your children, grandchildren, or another special child in your life as they go back to school. You’ll be expecting them to read books. So how can you model the value of books to them? What will you be reading? Be specific and tell them what you are reading and how it adds value to your leadership style. They’ll be using technology. Be relevant and tell them about your online leadership training and how it allows you to have your own virtual class with women around the country.
When those children finish this year of school, you too will finish nine courses and receive your leadership certificate, but more than that, as Pat Thorn said, “I took these courses to become a better leader, and in the process, I became a better follower, a better communicator, a better planner. I became a woman God can use.”
Take the 9 Books–9 Months Leadership Challenge from September 2018 through May 2019.
Here are the nine books you’ll read with the course names they represent:
The Story of Lottie Moon (WMU Publishers), by Cathy Butler
Upside-Down Leadership (New Hope Publishers), by Taylor Field
Intentional Living (New Hope Publishers), by Andrea Mullins
More Than Money: Being a Steward of All God’s Given You (New Hope Publishers), by Calvin T. Pertain
Real Women Leading with Proverbs 31 Values (New Hope Publishers), by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder
The Team that Jesus Built (New Hope Publishers), by Janet Thompson
The Care Effect: Unleashing the Power of Compassion (New Hope Publishers), by David Crosby
5 Leadership Essentials for Women (New Hope Publishers), by Linda Clark
Servant Leadership (New Hope Publishers), by Rhonda Kelley
Philip Yancey, “Reading Wars,” July 20, 2017.
Michael Simmons, “Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah All Use the 5-Hour Rule—Here's How It Works,” Business Insider, July 10, 2017.