I didn’t grow up a reader. I would have much rather spent my time outside throwing a football or playing basketball. Even to this day, reading doesn’t come easy. I still have to force myself to make time for reading.
It’s funny though, because after I finish a book I never think, “Well that was a waste of time!” There’s always something to learn, something to gain, and some way to grow forward.
For the last several years, I’ve resolved to read more. It may be cliche, but I believe whoever said, “Readers are Leaders.”
99% of the books I’ve read have come from the recommendation of others. So, I thought I’d share my recommendations of the top 10 books I recently read (within the past year) that have impacted my life the most.
Some of these are church planting books (that’s the stage of life I’m in), while others are leadership books or spiritual growth books, but they all are good books!
(in no particular order)
1. Divine Mentor – by Wayne Cordeiro
All of us believe that God’s Word is valuable, but does our behavior match up with that belief. Divine Mentor takes you on an inspirational journey about what it means to sit at the feet of the Savior. I love the way the author speaks in a personal way of the Bible heroes as personal mentors.
It’s a refreshing read! And one I’ll revisit again soon.
2. For the City – by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter
For a number of years people flocked away from major cities choosing to settle down in the suburbs. Recently, that trend is reversing. Patrick and Carter share their respective stories about how they intentionally decided to reach the urban centers of their cities.
It’s outside the box, and leaves you contemplating how you can better reach your city for Christ.
3. Planting Missional Churches – by Ed Stetzer
Ed and Daniel Im have recently republished this book with additional chapters. I hope to read it soon. My old copy is still a great read though. Stetzer is the go-to guy for church planting. He’s a practitioner and a statistician so his insights are valuable.
This book challenges you to examine if you’re missional or just mission-minded. It’s one thing to care about missions. It’s another thing to purposefully seek to reach the people God has placed in your life.
4. The Leadership Ladder – by Steve Ogne and Ken Priddy
Leadership Ladder is a great, practical book that gives lots of examples of approaches to discipleship. It layouts a strategy for moving people towards leadership in the church. We can’t be content with leading followers. We must change our target to leading leaders. That’s when things start getting exciting!
5. Tribal Church – by Steve Stroope
Steve Stroope has a track record of leading well. This book is basically a behind the scenes look at the ministry of LakePointe Church in Rockwall, TX. Steve addresses how to lead various tribes like: your family tribe, small group tribe, new members tribe, elder tribe, etc.
After reading this book, I felt like I had just had a 5 day one-on-one personal conversation with pastor Steve.
6. Seeking Allah Finding Jesus – by Nabeel Qureshi
This book was amazing! Nabeel shares his captivating, personal story of how he, being raised a devout Muslim, became a follower of Christ. You’ll laugh with him and cry with him. This book is as real as it gets. We sometimes forget the sacrifice that some people have to make to bear the name of Jesus.
The side benefit of this book is you walk away with a greater understanding of what Muslims believe, and how you can better share Jesus with them.
7. How Christianity Changed the World – by Alvin J. Schmidt
Have you ever wondered how hospitals were first started? What about schools, science and social programs? When did the women’s rights movement actually begin? This book uncovers how many of our modern institutions were first created by Christians seeking to share the gospel with the sick, poor, uneducated, underserved, and overlooked.
Jesus really did change the world. And even more so than you might think! This is a must read.
8. Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission – by Darrin Patrick
Church Planter calls out the man of God in the church leader. Not just for church planters, this book would benefit any church leader. It’s a book that brings you back to ground zero when you’re getting distracted by all the “stuff.”
9. Start with Why – by Simon Sinek
We spend a majority of time thinking about and planning WHAT we are going to do. Simon turns the tables and challenge the reader to star with WHY. Why do we do what we do? If you don’t have a good why, then why do it at all.
Inspiration and vision all flow from understanding WHY. If you’re a leader in any shape or form – you need to check this out.
10. Viral Churches – by Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird
By the name, this sounds like a book that wants to help your church grow fast. That’s not what this book is about. The basic idea is multiplication. How can we multiply ourselves as a disciple, as a leader, and ultimately as a church. Stetzer and Bird make the strong case that if we want to see a sweeping revival in our land, then we must plant lots and lots of churches!
The authors are practical, theoretical, and witty. I really enjoyed it.
I’m curious…what book have you recently read that has made an impact on you? I’d love to hear your recommendations. Share below!
Thanks for the recommendations. This is the 2nd time I’ve had Divine Mentor recommended in the past couple weeks. I will have to try and read that one in the next couple weeks. In regards to what I’ve read lately that I would recommend is:
1. Being a Dad who Leads by John MacArthur
2. Seal of God by Chad Williams
3. The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn
All 3 are very differently authored and have contrasting style’s of writing but all of them are certainly worth reading.
Most of all, I have really enjoyed reading “His Book” the Bible lately. Dusting it off back in the summer of 2016 on a mid-year resolution is what ultimately led me to Salvation and new faith in Him as a gift of His grace. There have been times recently, I just can’t seem to quench the thirst of knowledge recorded in those scriptures and to watch the power of the Word and begin to understand and bear witness to Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” That verse holds very real practicality in my life for many reasons, but most of all, because the Lord began to confront me of my desperate need of Him as I began to read it. While I have read some awesome books lately, none of them satisfy quite like this one.
Your absolutely right Derek! Nothing replaces spending time in Gods Word! I’ll have to check out a few of your recommendations as well. Thanks for sharing.