Thursday, January 3, 2013

My top 10 books for 2012 (1-5)

Today I will complete the list of my top ten books I read in 2012.  If you didn't see 6-10 you will find them on yesterday's post.

5. The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity written by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duff takes the reader behind the scene at the relationships that exist between today's living presidents and reveals stories of past presidential relationships.  Former presidents can be an asset to the current president or a real thorn in that person's side.  If you are as interested in politics as I am you will want to read this fascinating book.

4. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World is written by Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  He notes that in our global economy it can be difficult for our message to be heard, but through social media anyone has an inexpensive way to reach out with their own message.  This book is filled with practical advice for anyone who has a product to sell or a message to proclaim making it a good read for both business and ministry leaders.

3.  In my opinion, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential is John Maxwell's best book since he wrote The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  No leader can take his or her organization further than he or she has travelled.  For any organization to grow, those leading it must grow first, and this book takes the reader on such a growth journey.  This book doesn't say do these three things and you will grow; it provides laws of growth that one must follow each and every day to experience the kind of growth necessary to continually lead effectively.  This book will be re-read in 2013.

2. You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman.  Church leaders often ask me why their church cannot attract young people, and this book explains it as well as any you'll read.  The author and his team interviewed hundreds of young Christians to find out why they have left the institutional church in which they were raised.  What he found out will disappoint many readers because the reality is the church has driven many of them away as if it intended to do so.  Fortunately, this book also provides helpful suggestions for things the church can do to encourage young adults to return.  This book needs to be studied in depth by the entire leadership team of many churches.

1.  My favorite read of 2012 was Conviction to Lead, The: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters by Albert Mohler.  Numbers one through three were almost a toss-up, but I ended up choosing this book as my number one simply because Mohler brings a topic into the leadership discussion that is often missing: conviction.  Frankly, I don't always agree with Mohler on various topics, but in this case I believe he is on target.  He writes The leadership that really matters is all about conviction.  The leader is rightly concerned with everything from strategy and vision to team-building, motivation, and delegation, but at the center of the true leader's heart and mind you will find convictions that drive and determine everything else.  Unless a leader leads from the convictions he or she holds they may go through all the right motions, but they will lack passion and a proper direction, and I see that in too many ministry leaders today.  I believe this is an important book for every leader to read and study.

Well, there are my top ten for 2012.  I found each of these books interesting, informative, and helpful.  If you are interested in what I am currently reading as we begin a new year I have started reading Why Jesus?: Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality by Ravi Zacharias, Small Is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas by Seth Godin, and Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith by Douglas Groothuis.  The last one may take a while!  Will any of these make my top ten list next year?  We'll know the answer to that question about this time in 2014.  In the meantime, invest in your personal growth through the reading of good books.

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