I actually never had any intention of reading this book. The cover and title of this book is very intriguing. It draws you in. You want to know more, right? That was the case when I first saw this book in the bookstore several years ago. I opened it up and started skimming the chapters.

Drama Coach?


Production Assistant?

Ummmm, that’s okay, I don’t do really do children’s musicals and that’s what this book seems to be about. I have a lot of books on my list to read and this one wouldn’t be the best use of my time.

That was my first experience with this book.

I think I even discouraged someone from reading this book at some point. I told him that it wasn’t really a book about leadership, but about leading children’s ministry productions. Sorry Larry Shallenberger.

I’ll say it. I was wrong.

Some time later, Larry Shallenberger asked for people to review this book for his blog tour. I think I agreed because he offered to send me a free copy of the book. I’m glad I offered to review the book because it ended up impacting me in a significant way.

LTWGMYThis IS a leadership book that happens to tell a story as a narrative that illustrates the lessons being taught. The story happens to be about a Children’s Musical Production. While skimming the book originally, I missed the point and made incorrect assumptions.

More importantly though, this book spoke to some of the areas where I’ve felt “stuck” as a leader. It spoke to my frustrations as well as some of the frustrations my team had been feeling. There are many different styles to leadership and no one possesses them all. One of the reasons I felt stuck was because I wasn’t allowing my team to lead the way God made them. This then didn’t allow me to lead the way God made me.

As I read this book I often found myself nodding in agreement, “Yes! This makes perfect sense!” I also found myself getting really hopeful about the way things could be if people on a team actually led this way. There were plenty of light bulb moments. I spent a significant amount of time with my staff exploring the concepts and it helped us understand why some things weren’t working. This book actually led to a major staff transition where I was able to hire staff in an entirely new way. I hired several new staff not based on an existing model, but positions that aligned with the way people were gifted. It led to me having the best staff I’ve ever worked with.

This book is worth the read. Whether you lead children’s ministry or not, the concepts are the same. Consider your staff roles differently and you might be surprised by the ministry you’re able to build.


This post is part of a larger series on moving your ministry forward using the often neglected tool - the checklist. In this series, we unpack how a system of checklists can actually help us take our ministry to new levels. Plus, we want to share dozens of actual ministry checklists you and your team can implement right away. Click on the link below to explore this topic and pick up some helpful resources!