I think that I am setting a personal record in reading right now - I have 5 books going at one time. I am not sure how I am retaining anything from any of them, but it is a great way to cover a lot of subjects!
I did manage to finish one of the five yesterday - Communicating For A Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. I will say this up front: I really respect Andy Stanley as a communicator. I think that he is one of the best out there. I have seen him speak in person many times, and he always manages to move me. That said...this book was kind of a mix for me. I really enjoyed Andy's insight on how he puts a message together, and the tips on being a better communicator. He has developed a very unique approach, one point sermons, that is extremely effective. He answered a lot of the questions that I would ask if he would ever have lunch with guy like me (are you out there Andy? :)). Really, really good stuff.
However, some parts of the book did not do it for me. The narrative tale in the first section, while an interesting way to introduce the major points, seemed unnecessary to me. I probably should have just started reading where Andy takes over. That's where the gold is.
The only other slight problem that I had with the book was the perceived message that this is absolutely the most effective method for life change. It could possibly be; however, that's a pretty strong statement to make. I know several extremely successful communicators who take a different approach, and the fruit of their ministry is obvious. Andy even gives props to a few specific communicators - after listing their methods (fill in blanks, using notes, verse-by-verse) as not the best way to do it. I am sure that he did not intend this as a slight to them, but that's how it came across to me.
As a side note: I thought it was interesting that Andy encourages you to listen to and critique your own messages to find your own voice; while Mark Driscoll says to move on after a message and sleep like a Calvinist. I like Mark's approach!
After all of that, I would HIGHLY recommend the book to anyone that is a communicator. It doesn't matter who you are communicating to, we all need to get better and be more effective. And I'm still game for lunch Andy. Call me?