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I thought so highly of The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley that I bought a copy for each staff member, each of my children and my wife. There’s an endorsement! Stanley claims the best question ever (no – it’s not WWJD?) would have prevented your greatest regret and that it will foolproof your life. At about 45,000 words, it is a relatively small book and for that reason, if I tell you the question I’ve given away the guts of the book – and that’s not fair to Stanley or his royalties, so let me just tell you why, at less than $10 per book, you should want to give this book away by the caseload to those you love and care for as I did.

  • One simple question will address every decision you’ll ever need to make — it’s not just about morality and ethics, but applies to business decisions, personal decisions and any other decision you must make
  • You already know the answer when you ask the question, so it’s not hard to answer
  • The question will shine a blazing spotlight on any self-deception you’ve created
  • The question is no gimmick — it really is a thoughtful question
  • Everyone can benefit by using the question, but the question is especially helpful as a check and balance for anyone in ministry who holds decision-making authority

Stanley finishes the book with a number of great observations about our use of time, two of which are:

  • the sobering one: There is no cumulative value to the urgent (or even trivial) things that we allow to interfere with the important things, and
  • the encouraging one: There is a cumulative value to investing small amounts of time in certain activities over a long period.

So, for instance, whatever I frittered my time away doing instead of say, exercising or studying or being present with my family, has no value. You probably can’t even really remember what you did instead of the more worthy things. However, reading a book a month on a topic will make you an expert in that topic in a relatively short time. The Best Question Ever is not about time management, but it is about the many decisions, big and small, that we make each day.

I saw this book on my bookshelf last week and pulled it off to read while flying to BC. I benefited from it just as much as I did the first time I read it several years ago. If you want to live a significant life, however you define that, this simple question will keep you on track.

Read it.

Thoughts on The Best Question Ever

  1. Elizabeth Sharpe

    Thank you John for this reference. I will pick it up and read it. I will read it because I know you are a credible resource. I know that because you faithfully and excellently work every day on behalf of charities in Canada to provide high quality advice and resources. I find CCCC offers the best member value of any non-profit organization I have ever been part of.


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