“You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.” - Charlie “T” Jones
I believe that not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. I read. A lot. Reading is especially important for ministry leaders who wish to grow in their leadership capacity and knowledge base. I read 57 books in 2017. Here are some of my favorites and my recommendations for you to read in 2018.
1. Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger
This was the best book I read in 2017 (by far). It is now one of my top ministry favorites. If you read one book in 2018, this is it. Bolsinger does an excellent job of framing the challenge that ministries face in our culture. He explains what it is going to take for The Church and individual churches to thrive (or at least survive) in our context.
2. Shaped by the Gospel by Tim Keller
This is really volume one of a three-part series. Keller does groundbreaking work here in defining where churches should be positioned in relation to both tradition and our culture. A meaty, short read. I underlined almost half of the book!
3. Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
I’m convinced that most planning efforts in the church fail because of poor strategy or no strategy. This is a must-read for those leaders who feel the need to lead their ministry in a visionary revitalization and actually get stuff done. This is not a specific ministry book but is super useful for ministry leaders.
4. Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
Also not a ministry book, but the implications for ministry are tremendous. Most ministries do a poor job of communicating who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Miller provides both a framework and a process for doing just that.
5. Simple Church by Them Rainer & Eric Geiger
If you haven’t read this best selling classic - read it. If you have read it - read it again. I re-read this book at least once a year and refer to it several times a month.
Now - you tell me…What books should I be reading in 2018?