2022 Top Books for Preachers and Church LeadersFeb 17, 2022
Every year I like to ask other pastors and church leaders about their best book recommendations. What comes from it is a mix of new books and old books. The reasons for their recommendations vary and I always have a few to add into the mix.
So if you're looking for some books to add to your reading list, consider these ones that come recommended from fellow ministers of the gospel.
2022 Top Books for Preachers and Church Leaders
Pastors and Their Critics: A Guide to Coping with Criticism in the Ministry by Joel R. Beeke and Nick Thompson
From Amazon: "Every pastor knows what it's like to be criticized. But how does he respond? And how does he offer constructive criticism of his own?
With wisdom, charity, and a wealth of personal illustrations, Joel Beeke and Nick Thompson answer these questions and more. The Bible is full of critics, and it gives us practical principles for responding to criticism, offering criticism, and creating a healthy church culture. As Beeke and Thompson unfold a theological vision for coping with criticism in the gospel ministry, you will be strengthened, encouraged, and equipped."
Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity by Eugene Peterson
From Amazon: "American pastors, says Eugene Peterson, are abandoning their posts at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Instead, they have become a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. Pastors and the communities they serve have become preoccupied with image and standing, with administration, measurable success, sociological impact, and economic viability.
In Working the Angles, Peterson calls the attention of his fellow pastors to three basic acts--which he sees as the three angles of a triangle--that are so critical to the pastoral ministry that they determine the shape of everything else."
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer
From Amazon: “'Who am I becoming?'
That was the question nagging pastor and author John Mark Comer. Outwardly, he appeared successful. But inwardly, things weren’t pretty. So he turned to a trusted mentor for guidance and heard these words:
'Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life.'
It wasn’t the response he expected, but it was—and continues to be—the answer he needs. Too often we treat the symptoms of toxicity in our modern world instead of trying to pinpoint the cause. A growing number of voices are pointing at hurry, or busyness, as a root of much evil."
Sabbath by Wayne Muller
From Amazon: In today's world, with its relentless emphasis on success and productivity, we have lost the necessary rhythm of life, the balance between work and rest. Constantly striving, we feel exhausted and deprived in the midst of great abundance. We long for time with friends and family, we long for a moment to ourselves.
Millennia ago, the tradition of Sabbath created an oasis of sacred time within a life of unceasing labor. Now, in a book that can heal our harried lives, Wayne Muller, author of the spiritual classic How, Then, Shall We Live?, shows us how to create a special time of rest, delight, and renewal--a refuge for our souls.
Another Gospel?: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity by Alisa Childers
From Amazon: "A Movement Seeks to Redefine Christianity. Some Think that It Is a Much-Needed Progressive Reformation. Others Believe that It Is an Attack on Historic Christianity.
Alisa Childers never thought she would question her Christian faith. She was raised in a Christian home, where she had seen her mom and dad feed the hungry, clothe the homeless, and love the outcast. She had witnessed God at work and then had dedicated her own life to leading worship, as part of the popular Christian band ZOEgirl. All that was deeply challenged when she met a progressive pastor, who called himself a hopeful agnostic."
Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
From Amazon: The New York Times bestselling book about the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin “should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country, and ourselves” (The Washington Post).
Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
From Amazon: "A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on an unforgettable spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell."
When Narcissism Goes to Church by Chuck DeGroat
From Amazon: "Why does narcissism seem to thrive in our churches?
We've seen the news stories and heard the rumors. Maybe we ourselves have been hurt by a narcissistic church leader. It's easy to throw the term around and diagnose others from afar. But what is narcissism, really? And how does it infiltrate the church?"
Holiness of God by RC Sproul
From Amazon: "Central to God’s character is the quality of holiness. Yet, even so, most people are hard-pressed to define what God’s holiness precisely is. Many preachers today avoid the topic altogether because people today don’t quite know what to do with words like “awe” or “fear.” R. C. Sproul, in this classic work, puts the holiness of God in its proper and central place in the Christian life. He paints an awe-inspiring vision of God that encourages Christian to become holy just as God is holy. Once you encounter the holiness of God, your life will never be the same."
Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
What is your must-read book for other pastors and church leaders?
I'd love to hear from you. Send me a tweet and let me know what book you hope other pastors and church leaders will read this year.
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