7 Must-Read Books for Church Leaders
This was a breakthrough year for me as a leader.
I’ve always been a visionary type leader with a natural focus toward the future. The challenge for me has always been implementing my vision.
I think this is always the challenge for a visionary. Maybe you can relate.
The million dollar question is: “How do you actually get there?”
Well, this was a big year for me because I learned a system for implementing ideas and it dramatically impacted my ability to execute vision.
Where did I learn this system you ask?
If you’re like me, most of your good ideas or breakthrough moments don’t exactly come in a vacuum. They come in the interplay between your own reflections and the ideas of other people. Breakthrough ideas often fall at the intersection of your own problem solving and other people’s ideas, usually books.
As a leader, if you’re not regularly reading great books you’re missing an opportunity! There’s a reason that the old adage says “Leaders are readers.”
So, as we close out 2017, maybe you’re thinking, “I want to read a few great books in 2018.” I like the plan. Let me share a few of the good ones I read this year.
The first book I’ll mention is the book that taught me how to implement vision. This book has been an absolute game-changer for me.
If you are more of a process person, this book might be a whole lot of “Duh” for you but if you are a big-picture, abstract, focused on the future visionary type, this is a must read.
This book helped me improve my productivity as a leader and teacher.
If you are someone whose work requires deep thought, focus, creativity or deadlines, this book is fantastic. I would consider sermon prep as deep work and the model that Cal Newport proposes in this book has helped me greatly.
I highly recommend it.
Ok, first off, yes, this is my senior pastor but no, I am not getting any sort of kickback from this recommendation.
Here’s the thing, so many leadership, business and even ministry books these days are all about bigger, faster, more effective, more excellent, more growth, more campuses, etc. The beauty of Jeff’s message is that one of the greatest gifts you can bring to ministry is good old fashioned faithfulness.
I strongly believe that this is a message we need to hear in our culture. I’d highly recommend this book if you are involved in ministry as a staff member or a volunteer.
A few of my co-workers have been asking me to read this book for years and I finally did. It is fantastic, particularly if you work with people.
It is basically a book about shame, what it is, how it affects us all and how to lead and parent without resorting to shame. I really think everyone should read it.
Brennae Brown has other, newer books, but I think this one is her best.
This is a year in which I’ve tried to become more conversant and more gracious in the way I understand and speak about controversial issues. Both of these books are about LGBT people and the church.
The reason I included both of them is that each is written by a Christian who takes a different side of the debate and does so with grace, conviction and intelligence.
While my theological position hasn’t changed as I’ve read these and many other books on this topic, my heart has. I’m more compassionate, more gracious, more understanding and also more educated on the strong and weak arguments on both sides of the divide.
I read this book a couple times this year.
I’m a big fan of Tim Keller’s tone as a writer and speaker. We also used this book as a template for a teaching series on the Gospel of John.
I highly recommend then and pretty much anything else that Keller writes.
Well there you go, a few books that impacted me this year. Hopefully one or more of these sparked some interest. You can also check out some of my previous recommendations here.
Also, I’m always interested in adding to my “To Read” list. I’d love to hear about books that have impacted you recently.
Feel free to leave some recommendations in the comments below.
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