Review of Killing Cockroaches and Other Scattered Musings

Killing Cockroaches by Tony Morgan

I just finished up Killing Cockroaches on the Kindle and started wondering if I was going to be the first Kindle review of Killing Cockroaches?  Of course, you may be wondering why I am holding up a paper copy of Killing Cockroaches but you will just have to wait and read my review of the Kindle coming up for that explanation.

Killing Cockroaches is in a crowded field of church leadership books, written by Tony Morgan from NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC.  At the moment, there are so many books on leadership that I was thrilled to see Tony’s book written and presented in a slightly different format than the traditional chapter by chapter method.  If you love reading blogs like I do, then you will love this book… basically 131 (if I counted correctly) blog posts rolled into one leadership book, all tied together on an overall theme of how not to waste time doing the things you don’t need to be doing in the first place.

Basically we can waste much of our time each day just walking around killing cockroaches (or putting out fires), or we can choose to use the skills and talents we have been given to use in the most efficient way possible.  Tony did several one on one interviews with people in leadership roles in their respective areas which gave you a good sense of how and why other leaders spend their time killing cockroaches as well.

The Little Things about Killing Cockroaches

Some of the other little subtleties I liked about the book were the comic strip of cockroaches running around the book (if you flip through the book like you are trying to make a comic strip move, the cockroaches run around the edges of the book), and the “posts” or chapters were organized in alphabetical order.  I also appreciate the “notes” area in the back, that was very helpful, but I would have loved to have a list of just url’s of all the websites Tony listed throughout the book.  There were tons of them, and somehow I hadn’t been to a good majority of them before now.

Killing Cockroaches: Kindle vs Paper

There actually were a few differences in reading the paper copy of the book and the e-ink version on the Kindle.  Mainly, the thing I liked about the paper version is what I didn’t like about the kindle version.  The cockroaches along the side of the book on the Kindle are translated where they show up in the middle of the page along with Tony’s name and the book name.  This just became an annoyance because it would split a page where there were only a few sentences on one page and then a graphic of the book name, and a cockroach.  This is probably more a Kindle issue than anything else.

Top 10 Highlights from Killing Cockroaches

There were so many little zingers in this book it could be a line by line tweetathon if someone was reading it out loud, but some of the points I took away were:

  • Churches that embrace change value some things over others
  • change will flow naturally when we empower people to create rather than telling them what to do
  • If you’re trying to reach the unreached, remember – your competition isn’t other churches.  Instead it’s everything that’s competing for someone’s time and attention
  • Being a bit different is an important ingredient to success
  • Your leadership will only go as far as the relationships you’ve built… and no further
  • some would note that we are not here for or to entertain but it has to be relevant to their lives and enjoyable
  • make sure the guests know, we’re glad you decided to join us, we were expecting you, you matter to us and, more importantly, you matter to God
  • competition isn’t the church down the street, it’s any other experience your guests have had
  • the sacred cows (like church bulletins): We do it because we’ve always done it… are we worshiping our sacred cows or Jesus?  Does it still add value?
  • before you can move others, you must first be moved

If you are intersted in other reviews from other bloggers, Tony has compiled a good list here, Killing Cockroaches Reviews.

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