Every year I publish my favorite ten books from the ones I read that year. Many of these books are ministry related while others were written primarily for business leaders. I've always believed that many of the principles of leadership that come out of the business world are transferable to ministry leadership as well so I tend to read in that area quite often. In 2015 I also read more in the areas of theology and apologetics than usual so that will be reflected in this list as well. In no particular order, here are five of the books that made my top ten list for 2015. I'll share the remaining five in Monday's post.
Activating Leadership in the Small Church: Clergy and Laity Working Together (Small Church in Action) by Steve Burt is a very helpful book for pastors and lay leaders in smaller churches. Burt addresses how to recruit, train, and reward the volunteers that are so necessary to smaller churches.
The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision by Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson reconnects theology and pastoral ministry. At a time when so many believers are uninformed about sound theology, this book reminds us that the pastor is the primary source of theology for most Christians. Historically, the pastor was the resident theologian, not the CEO, of the church. This is an excellent read.
Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success is written by Rory Vaden. True success is any endeavor requires discipline. As Vaden explains, we live in an escalator world that seeks shortcuts and quick fixes. These seldom lead to long-term success. One of my favorite quotes in the book is "Success is the aggregate sum total of small, seemingly insignificant choices that when compounded over time create the trajectory of our lives." Discipline and integrity will inform those small choices.
John Kotter, the guru of change, has written a great book titled
The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. Focusing on the eight steps in the change process, he describes true stories of how people actually led change in their organizations through these steps. One of my favorite stories was the "Gloves on the Boardroom Table." This book will help you if you need to bring change to your church.
The latest from John Maxwell is Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters. Anyone in ministry or in a leadership position wants to live a life that matters. We want to know that we have made a significant impact on people and our organizations. Such a life does not usually occur by accident. Maxwell teaches us the intentional decisions we need to make in order to live such a life.
Watch for my post next Monday for the remaining five books.