This summer, our focus has been on helping you lead well. We posted about leading ourselves, our families, our ministries, through transformation, and leading through conflict and adversity. Last week, we shared with you some of our favorite Podcasts to help you grow and mature in your faith, marriage/family, and ministry. This week, our focus is Books. Check out the five that we think you should read this summer.
1. Pioneering Movements, Steve Addison
God’s mission needs movement leaders. Jesus pioneered something completely new in human history—a dynamic missionary movement intent on reaching the world. His mission is as clear and as relevant today as in the days of the early church: to make disciples everywhere, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded. But the potential of the church remains untapped. What does it take to lead movements that successfully carry out this mission? In Pioneering Movements, Steve Addison identifies what it takes to follow Jesus’ example. Building on his previous books Movements That Change the World and What Jesus Started, he reveals the apostolic qualities and behaviors of biblical, historical, and contemporary pioneers who can guide church and ministry leaders today. This is a book for those who are called to embrace the mission-driven work that Jesus and his disciples began—making disciples of all nations, in all places.
2. Switch on Your Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf
According to researchers, the vast majority–a whopping 75-98 percent–of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. In fact, fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses in our bodies, activating more than thirty different hormones! Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses.
Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives readers a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns, declaring that we are not victims of our biology. She shares with readers the “switch” in our brains that enables us to live happier, healthier, more enjoyable lives where we achieve our goals, maintain our weight, and even become more intelligent. She shows us how to choose life, get our minds under control, and reap the benefits of a detoxed thought life.
3. Deep Roots, Wild Branches: Revitalizing the Church in the Blended Ecology, Michael Adam Beck
What is the future of the church in North America? Churches are closing faster than new ones can be planted. Existing churches engaged in effective evangelism beyond the tired tactics of attractional approaches are increasingly rare. One of the major pitfalls of the past few decades is “either/or” thinking—either attractional or missional; traditional or contemporary; old or new. In Deep Roots, Wild Branches, missiologist and church planter Dr. Michael Beck contends we must cultivate what he calls a “blended ecology” of church that has both deep roots and wild branches. Beck introduces us to present-day models and examples that don’t leave traditional forms behind, but harness the power of “both/and.” It honors vintage models while blending fresh expressions of real evangelism.
4. Canoeing the Mountains, Tod Bolsinger
Explorers Lewis and Clark had to adapt. While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting. You may even feel that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along. Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. He offers a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world. If you’re going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind canoes and find new navigational tools. Now expanded with a study guide, this book will set you on the right course to lead with confidence and courage.
5. Anxious Church, Anxious People, Jack Shitama
The key to effective church leadership is the ability to be a non-anxious presence.
This is not a technique. It is a way of being. It is deceptively simple but tremendously difficult. Yet, if you are willing to take the journey, you can lead change in even the most challenging contexts. Read this book and you will understand:
•The process that keeps churches anxious and stuck.
•How leadership through self-differentiation gets churches unstuck.
•How to develop as a non-anxious presence so you can lead change anywhere, but especially in an anxious church.
Anxious Church, Anxious People is based on a family systems approach to congregational leadership. It is for church leaders who are willing to learn more about themselves and their family of origin so they can be a non-anxious presence. It will resonate with those who have tried everything else and realize that they cannot change others, but can only change themselves. It makes family systems concepts accessible and practical through the use of examples from personal experience.