Today we have the opportunity to get to know a bit about Warren Bird, Ph.D. His background is that of pastor and seminary professor. He did research and development for the Canada-based Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada, and then in 1996 to 2006 he helped lead the Asbury Theological Seminary-based Beeson Institute for Advanced Church Leadership. Along the way he has served on advisory boards for several magazines and several other book projects.
From there he came in 2006 to oversee Leadership Network’s research department and is also executive editor of Leadership Network Advance. He is currently writing a book on successful pastoral succession (his 26th), and has authored more than 200 magazine articles and reports. Warren and his wife Michelle live just outside New York City.
If someone came to you and said they were thinking of writing a book, what advice would you give them?
I’m currently writing my 26th book, so I get that question almost weekly! I’ve actually written several blogs of general advice. Click here to view a blog that lists them all on one page.
Name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Why and how did this person impact your life?
I am such a privileged person. Hundreds have made an impact on me long distance by their writings. I especially love reading the stories of churches and Christian leaders. I often tweet about those books and on occasion I blog about them, most recently reading the biography of Jerry Falwell and the memoir of his long-time colleague Elmer Towns, as preparation for an interview I did recently with Jonathan Falwell.
I’ve also had the privilege of serving under many great leaders, all of whom have greatly mentored me. I could name a long string of pastors from my childhood to present, along with several district superintendents from my days as lead pastor. Among my longest-term employers, it’s been a privilege to work under Carl George, Dale Galloway, and my current boss,..
Whether in person or vicariously from a distance each of these impacted my life by helping my character to become more like Christ, my faith to increase, my vision to enlarge, my skill set to broaden and mature, and my contributions to make a greater difference.
Explain the impact, if any, that technology (including social media, the Internet, digital publishing, etc) has made on your organization or you personally?
The internet has revolutionized my world. When writing my first books, I would block out a day every few months to go to the New York City public library to look up various facts and references. Today I can find them online. Years ago there were many Christian magazines I read cover to cover. Now I read many of them online. Years ago I had to wait for books and journal articles to pull together certain trends and information bites. Now I read about them as they happen through Google Alerts.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as an author?
I continue to be a reader – starting each day with the Bible, so that I hear from God. But I also make time to learn from others, always working through a good book, with an awaiting stack of others on queue. As an author, I continue to go out of my way to improve, especially by seeking critique from others: how could this be better, more clear, more helpful, more relevantly stated?
When you hear from your readers, what do they want to know?
Those who know me personally marvel that I married so well (my wonderful wife, Michelle, is a treasure). Those who know me more generally tend to ask a specific question about a subject I’ve written about. I receive many emails each day and also phone calls. I wish I could respond to all of them. My joy in writing is to know that something I’ve done is helping others to make more and better disciples of Jesus Christ.