Master of One by Jordan Raynor

Find & focus on the work you were created to do!

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Too many of us are overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overstressed. This book offers a better way—the path to becoming a master of one:

I'd had the opportunity to experience author Jordan Raynor's first book, Called to Create, a couple of years ago when the publisher sent me the title to review.

That book was a pleasant surprise, because although it focused mainly on the world of entrepreneurship from a Christian standpoint (not necessarily something I was interested in), it really inspired me to think about how I could incorporate more creativity into my own life.

I'd briefly noticed that the author lived with his family in the same part of the state we reside in and thought that was kind of a neat coincidence, but it wasn't until a full year later that I realized Gv's Awana teacher Kara from the previous six months (whom Gv absolutely adored) was this author's wife!

What a small world!

Then this year, Gv's beloved Awana teacher had the chance to be in charge of her own daughter's class (which was disappointing, although completely understandable). Imagine my surprise when I went to pick Gv up that first night and learned that "Mommy, guess what? Miss Kara's husband is my teacher this year!!"

Well, "Mr. Jordan" has turned out to be just as kind and caring as his sweet wife and the Raynors have just been a wonderful blessing to our family.

Since I'd enjoyed Jordan's previous book so much, I was excited when he gifted me with a copy of his latest title after I retrieved Gv from class one night.

I had planned to race through it that next weekend (he writes in such an easy style and seamlessly peppers his books with interesting stories of real people -- famous and not -- who are wonderful examples for all of his topics), but had soon worn out my highlighter, which made me realize that this book deserved more than just a quick read-through...

I gave up on the tab thing when I ran out of them. It didn't matter -- since so many pages had highlights, they weren't all that difficult to locate!

Like Called to Create, this new title is probably most intended for those in the business world, but I think Master of One is even more applicable to every Christian's life than the previous book, regardless of the reader's career field.

Master of One focuses on how today's Christians have so much going on nowadays that we are becoming a society of "jacks-and-jills-of-all-trades and masters of none."

Raynor makes the case for changing that trend and instead suggests we pursue a singular craft to become exceptional at.

He shows how this is one of the most important ways for us to shine God's light and reflect Him to others and then goes on to highlight many high-impact individuals who have chosen to focus on and excel in their unique gifts, including C.S. Lewis, Mister Rogers, Chip Gaines, Tony Dungy and even figures from the Bible. 

Like his previous title, Raynor has divided this book into organized sections. In these three parts, he looks at the purpose, path, and promise of the mastery concept. I feel like these sections pretty much detail the why, how, and results of embracing this lifeview.

Some of my favorite notes from section one include:

  • The author's statement that "When we work with excellence, we have the great privilege of being able to glorify God and proclaim his excellencies to the world around us."
  • The point that happiness follows service.
  • How much we need to do our work with excellence in order to fulfill Jesus' commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves (which is our ministry).

My biggest take-away from section two centers around this quote: "Our one thing ought to be where our passions and gifts collide with the greatest opportunity to love and serve others through masterful work."

And probably what I love most about what Raynor says in section three can be summed up by the thought that things don't have to be "Christian" in order to glorify God.

While I certainly love listening to practically any song by this guy, or this group, or reading through this favorite series of mine, I have always appreciated coming across "secular" things out there in the world that turn out to reflect God in more subtle ways. 

Or, as the author states towards the end of the book, "When we focus on getting masterfully good at our one thing, we win the respect of the world...And this gives us unparalleled opportunities to shine the light of Christ to the world." 

Each chapter ends with a helpful summary, key Scripture verses, and action steps to take -- which you can record in the free, downloadable Master of One Notebook that the book directs you to!

It doesn't matter what vocation you are pursuing, if you are a Christian who wants to live your life for God, then this is a book you need to have! (Even a homeschooling mom and skating coach!)

It would also make an amazing gift for a recent college graduate, or anyone considering a big change in their work situation.

Grab your own copy here and begin living your best life for God today!

Could you say that you are truly exceptional at any one thing, or are you like me and feel like you're just "pretty good" in several areas?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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