Summer Reading

I heard someone say recently, “Leaders read.”  I enjoy reading and I encourage others to read.  I usually have a half dozen books going at any one time.  And I also have a couple dozen books sitting by my night stand on my “next” list.  I

About every other year, I poll folks on what they are reading.  This year I asked CFM ND’s and my coaches for suggestions.  Far from extensive and certainly not comprehensive, the list I compiled from those who responded had some tried and true books as well as current best sellers.  If the one suggesting the book had a comment, I included it.  I hope this helps to expand our minds and broaden our understanding when we are sitting by the pool this summer.

Devotional/Spiritual Development

  • Creation and Fall by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  • Temptation by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.     Love the Bonhoeffer books, but they are deep.
  • A Million Ways To Die by Rick James.
  • The BIBLE by The Holy Spirit.  Okay, you knew someone was going to suggest this!
  • Forgotten God by Francis Chan.
  • Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos.
  • Heaven by Randy Alcorn.
  • Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis & John Eldredge.
  • The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.  A new favorite.
  • A Praying Life by Paul Miller.  It motivates people to pray as a child of God, not as an orphan.
  • Seasons of the Soul: Stages of Spiritual Development by Bruce Demarest.
  • God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts.

Character development

  • The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson.
  • Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner.  A great biography of sorts about a Jewish woman’s (now a professor at Duke) conversion to Christ. Very insightful, very “real” and relatable, well written, and fun to read.
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.  A somewhat more mature Miller, still funny, but wanting to make a difference in the world.
  • What’s so Amazing about Grace by Philip Yancey. You can’t go wrong with any Yancy book!
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.
  • When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper.

Ministry/Leadership Development

  • The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman. A classic we can’t forget.
  • The Reason for God by Tim Keller.  A new take on apologetics.
  • Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership by Gary McIntosh and Samuel Rima.
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni.
  • The Power of Who by Bob Beaudine.
  • Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.
  • Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.
  • A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge.
  • George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the 18th Century Revival, Volumes 1 and 2. by Arnold Dallimore.
  • Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks.  An oldie but goodie that I try to read every year.
  • Communication for a Change by Andy Stanley.  A book that has shaped my communication and teaching.
  • UnChristian by David Kinnaman.  Very challenging on my perspective of ministry.
  • Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad? by Timothy George.  Very accessible book about the differences between Islam and Christianity. Great primer on why the trinity matters. Stresses that Christianity speaks of a God who loves and that is not possible for the god of Islam.
  • The Art of Leadership by Max DePree. Great principles of leadership from a gifted and character-filled CEO. Easy read.
  • Pillars of Grace by Steven Lawson.  A good review of church history from a Calvinist perspective.

Some other lists:

Finally, would you be interested in knowing what I have read and enjoyed this year?

  • I Once was Lost by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp.  Five thresholds the non-believer must cross to come to faith.
  • Switch by Heath and Heath listed above.  Our team had great discussions about this book.
  • The Annals and The Histories by Tacitus.
  • David Copperfield and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.  Enduring classics.
  • Central Europe by Lonnie E. Johnson.
  • And I am reading Pensees by Blaise Pascal now.

I have been more purposeful in reading classic literature over the last few years.  The enduring values and characters with noble purposes has simply been enriching.


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