I love books. C.S. Lewis once said that the only books we get to read in heaven are the ones we give away on earth. I don’t know if that is true but I wanted to share the books that had the largest impact on my life last year. By no means are these all the books that I have read, they are just my top ten.
1. Spiritual Leadership, by Henry Blackaby. One of the most profound books on leadership I have ever read. I longed for a resource that gave me spiritual metrics for success in leadership that went beyond ‘nickels and noses’ on Sunday mornings. It is applicable for business and any organization.
2. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Chris McDougal. A fascinating book about extreme running and the aboriginal cultures around the world.
3. Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement, by Will Mancini. This booked launched a soul searching quest about why I am pastoring my current church. I leaned I was singing the wrong genre of music. This book launched our changing our vision from a “church for the unchurched” to a restoring community. We even changed the name of our church from Harbour Pointe Church to Restoration Church Mukilteo.
4. The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, by Scot McKnight. A good book about how we have let our culture and a casual reading of scripture affect how we allow the Bible to form our lives. I loved the chapter about women teaching men. I loved this book.
5. Coal Black Horse, by Robert Olmstead. A beautiful and lyrical novel about a boy and a horse that embark on an epic journey during the Civil War to find his father and bring him home to the family. One of the most haunting books I have read in a long time.
6. The Reason for God, by Timothy Keller. A brilliant writer and caring pastor of a dynamic church in New York City. I have rarely read a book that combined intellectual vigor and a pastoral heart like Keller’s book. If you have anyone who struggles with intellectual arguments against the Christian faith and want a gentle and accessible resource get this book.
7. Deep Church, by Jim Belcher. This book spanned the dichotomy between modern market-driven, felt need, attractional approach to doing Church with the traditional, stable, historic, profound but sometimes stuff-shirt style of many churches. I loved reading that there is a “Third Way.” We don’t have to do either. We can be relevant and profound at the same time.
8. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath. I learned how to communicate change personally and organizationally in this book. Very easy and entertaining to read. Every pastor and organizational leader should read this book. Even PTs would benefit reading it.
9. Eat this Book, by Eugene Peterson. An excellent book about getting the Word of God into your life. I can’t get enough of Eugene Peterson. Not many Christian thinkers make me ponder and wonder at the deep things of God like Peterson. Only Dallas Willard gives me more pause.
10. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas. I have read many of Bonhoeffer’s books over the years, but I was not prepared to be moved in my heart by reading this book. I love historical biographies. I am reading two right now. I love reading about WWII. This book combines biography, history, theology, and even romance. I am confessing something that I have only told my wife. I cried when Bonhoeffer died…and I knew it was coming! An amazing book.
So, I recommend these to you. Buy them, borrow them from your local library, download them to your Kindle or….help a brother out and invest in my heavenly library by asking me to give you one of them. I will be honored to do so.