These are five books I read this year that I highly recommend. These books in some way impacted my life both personally and in ministry. Keep in mind these are not books necessarily released in '09, but they are books that finally made it off the shelf and into my lap.
Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith, Glenn Packiam. Let me just say up front. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK if you do not want to have your personal walk with Christ challenged. Glenn clearly has a calling to help connect people to living a personal faith with God. Whether you are a church staffer, a ministry leader, or a person striving to live the walk in the corporate world...this book will revolutionize your faith. I met Glenn at this year's National Worship Leader Conference and was also able to sit down and talk with Glenn when he joined the All About Worship Podcast for an interview. Meeting him before reading the book gave me insights into the story...unfortunately Glenn is NOT available on Amazon. A MUST READ.
Pure Praise, Dwayne Moore. After getting a hold of this book upon the recommendation of the good folks at TheWorshipCommunity.com, I was hooked. This book was an answered prayer for the Grace worship team. I was in search of something that would help our team connect our roles as worship leaders to more than just worship musicians...and this book answered. This is a fantastic resource designed as a nine week daily devotional for really anyone...whether you're a worship team leader, member or just someone interested in stretching your praise life. I've developed a great friendship with Dwayne through Twitter and had the privilege of interviewing him for the All About Worship Podcast here. This will be a yearly read for me personally.
Me to We: A Pastor's Discovery of the Power of Partnership, Alan Nelson. One of the greatest challenges churches face is helping equip it's people to be a part of ministry. Beyond just the equipping aspect comes the heart. How do you help a community move from a "serve me" mentality to a "how can I serve others" focus? This book is a great way to explore these questions with church leadership. Beware...if you are a control freak, you will be challenged to shift from "getting it done" to helping others engage in the mission your church was called to. That means you have to learn how to "let go of the reigns".
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,
Patrick Lencioni. One of the best things our church staff adopted was
reading a book together twice a year. This one was something the
pastoral team went through in hopes of continuing to develop and foster
team unity, vision clarity and fortified relationships. Patrick's
amazing talent at creating a story that helps communicate principles is
extremely helpful for a guy like me. So much easier to read than book
simply telling you what the principles are leaving you to figure out
how to implement. Worth a second and third read.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, Kerry Patterson. This book will identify your personality, guess how you might respond to "high stakes" conversations and pins you to the wall challenging you to make your greatest weakness your greatest strength. Our church staff read through this book Fall of 2008, but it's on my 2009 list because I re-read it early Spring. If you are a part of any team, this book is fantastic for helping communicate with others through difficult interpersonal conversations. Once you've read this book, you will never be able to look at a conflict the same way.
It's been a good year of reading. Looking forward to seeing what books I can plow through in 2010. Got any recommendations?