The Me I Want To Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You
John Ortberg (Zondervan 2010)
I met John Ortberg in the gym at the Town & Country Convention Center in San Diego. He was speaking later at the National Pastor's Convention. I wasn't. But we were both pumping iron and we are both Presbyterian. That gave me enough juice to just go ahead and awkwardly approach him while he wiped his best-selling author brow and ask (already knowing) "Are you John Ortberg?" To John's credit, he was unbelievably gracious and actually spent most of the conversation wanting to find out about my ministry and the church I was serving. I saw in that little moment why he was such an effective leader and teacher. He was genuine and engaging, and actually cared about what I had to say even though he didn't know me from Adam.
So, when I saw that John had written a new book, I went ahead and bought it. I'm glad I did. The same genuine and engaging spirit that I saw in the gym is mirrored on the pages of The Me I Want To Be.
There are more than few Christian self-help books out there by really famous pastors. Some of these want to teach you how to have your best life... or something. This isn't one of those books. The purpose of The Me I Want To Be is to help Christ-followers work toward authenticity--to live congruent lives--to be the same on the inside as on the outside. Each of us has an image of ourselves that we believe we are projecting to the world. Sadly, these projections are not often based in any kind of reality--unless reality is something that exists only in our own minds. But there is a true and real "me" that exists, Ortberg asserts, and this real "me" is the person that God has always intended for me to be. And I can reconnect with this person only when I am actively engaging in spiritual formation.
I am inserting this Amazon link here just to spite Zondervan a bit, the poor dears.
Zondervan has created a partnership with The Me I Want To Be and Monvee.com--a new spiritual growth assessment tool and they have created an entire curriculum for churches and small groups to use. Leave it to Zondervan to leave no stone unturned in the potential money-making dept. Still, I have to say that this was a great read from Ortberg. It was not cheesy, full of awesome, practical stuff and it was grounded in Scripture, which I tend to appreciate an awful lot. Additionally, included in the book was a code to get a free online spiritual growth assessment from Monvee.
I'll have to report separately on that--I hope I don't find out I'm not really a Christian. That would not be good.