The following titles are books that we had available to the attenders of the 2013 XP-Seminar … we always give two books to each attendee of the seminar. We provide the list now as suggested books for church leaders to read—for enrichment of yourself or your staff.

Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith

Larry Osborne

Zealous faith can have a dangerous, dark side. While recent calls for radical Christians have challenged many to be more passionate about their faith, the downside can be a budding arrogance and self-righteousness that “accidentally” sneaks into our outlook. In Accidental Pharisees, author Larry Osborne diagnoses nine of the most common traps that can ensnare Christians on the road to a deeper life of faith. Rejecting attempts to turn the call to follow Christ into a new form of legalism, he shows readers how to avoid the temptations of pride, exclusivity, legalism, and hypocrisy. Larry reminds us that attempts to fan the flames of full-on discipleship and calling people to Christlikeness should be rooted in love and humility. Christians stirred by calls to radical discipleship, but unsure how to respond, will be challenged and encouraged to develop a truly Christ-like zeal for God.

Amplified Leadership: 5 Practices to Establish Influence, Build People, and Impact Others for a Lifetime

Dan Reiland

If you want your ministry to reach its maximum potential, all that God wants for you, it is essential that you develop strong leaders. In Amplified Leadership, “pastor’s coach” Dan Reiland gives you a proven process for developing new leaders that are established spiritually and trained practically. Not just a checklist of things you should do, Amplified Leadership provides an intentional development process that starts with your relationships and ends with empowered leaders who are ready to make an impact. The ability to develop leaders is a life-changing gift.

Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work

Jim Tomberlin & Warren Bird

Thousands of Protestant churches are perplexed by plateaued or declining attendance, while other congregations nearby thrive. Is there a way for them to combine forces, drawing on both their strengths, in ways that also increase their missional impact? Church merger consultant Jim Tomberlin, with co-writer Warren Bird, makes the case that mergers today work best not with two struggling churches but with a vital, momentum-filled lead church partnering with a joining church. In this new book, they provide a complete, practical, hands-on guide for church leaders of both struggling and vibrant churches so that they can understand the issues, develop strategies, and execute a variety of forms of merger for church expansion and renewal to reinvigorate declining churches and give them a “second life.”

Contagious Generosity: Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Church

Chris Willard & Jim Sheppard

What does it look like when pastors cultivate a culture of generosity in the church by actively teaching and mentoring people in the spiritual act of giving? It’s generosity that’s contagious. A growing number of leaders are beginning to discover that there are key factors that make some churches thrive with abundant resources while others struggle with shrinking budgets. Jim Sheppard and Chris Willard have spent years consulting with church leaders across a broad spectrum of church settings and have gathered their observations into this resource. Contagious Generosity highlights the best practices gleaned from real-life church leadership situations and shows how church leaders can effectively cultivate a culture of generous giving in the local church. It explains why some churches are experiencing unexplainable ministry growth and unprecedented church funding … even in the midst of tough economic times.

Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code: Seven Keys to Unleashing Vision and Inspiration

Samuel R. Chand

Why is it that the best strategic plans and good leadership often are not able to move churches in the desired direction? Sam Chand contends that toxic culture is to blame. Quite often, leaders don’t sense the toxicity, but it poisons their relationships and derails their vision. This work describes five easily identifiable categories of church culture (inspiring, accepting, stagnant, discouraging, toxic), with diagnostic descriptions in the book and a separate online assessment tool. The reader will be able to identify strengths and needs of their church’s culture, and then apply practical strategies (communication, control and authority, selection and placement of personnel, etc.) to make their church’s culture more positive.

Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Like to Attend

Andy Stanley

Deep and Wide provides church leaders with an in-depth look into North Point Community Church and its strategy for creating churches that unchurched people absolutely love to attend. Andy writes, “Our goal is to create weekend experiences so compelling and helpful that even the most skeptical individuals in our community would walk away with every intention of returning the following week … with a friend!” For the first time, Andy explains his strategy for preaching and programming to “dual audiences”—mature believers and cynical unbelievers. He argues that preaching to dual audiences doesn’t require communicators to “dumb down” the content. According to Stanley, it’s all in the approach. Leaders responsible for ministry programing and production will no doubt love Andy’s discussion of the three essential ingredients for creating irresistible environments.

Elders and Leaders

Gene A. Getz

Strong leadership in the church is exactly what God had in mind. However, very few people understand the biblical pattern for church leadership. Gene Getz has written Elders and Leaders to unravel the mystery and alleviate the confusion surrounding this critical topic. In the first part of the book, Getz lays the historical and biblical groundwork for the position of elder. In the second part, he shares how he has applied or has seen these principles applied over the years.

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work

Timothy Keller & Katherine Leary Alsdorf

In a work world that is increasingly competitive and insecure, people often have nagging questions: Why am I doing this work? Why is it so hard? And is there anything I can do about it? Tim Keller, pastor of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church and bestselling author of The Reason for God has taught and counseled students, young professionals, and senior leaders on the subject of work for more than twenty years. With deep insight and often surprising advice, Keller shows readers that biblical wisdom is immensely relevant to our questions about our work. In fact, the Christian view of work—that we work to serve others, not ourselves—can provide the foundation of a thriving professional and balanced personal life. Keller shows how excellence, integrity, discipline, creativity, and passion in the workplace can help others and even be considered acts of worship—not just of self-interest.

In Pursuit of Great AND Godly Leadership

Mike Bonem

Is it possible for church leaders to use biblical and secular leadership concepts in a way that keeps Christ—not the marketplace—at the center of their mission? Drawing on biblical material and business wisdom, In Pursuit of Great AND Godly Leadership explores the critical leadership decisions and practices that shape the success of Christian organizations. These decisions are illustrated in compelling interviews with over forty leaders of churches, universities, denominational bodies, and international ministries. Mike Bonem leverages his background as an MBA-trained manager and an experienced church leader to bridge the gap between the analytical and structured world of business and the faith-driven approach that is essential for healthy churches.

Just Lead!: A No Whining, No Complaining, No Nonsense Practical Guide for Women Leaders in the Church

Sherry Surrat & Jenni Catron

Just Lead! provides practical leadership help for women to develop skills to lead themselves and others with the character, confidence and authenticity of a godly woman. The book shows what holds women back and then focuses the skills women need to lead others effectively. Using this hands-on, practical resource will inspire women leaders in the church to use its ideas to gain strength and lead well.

  • Helps women successfully navigate the transitions necessary to lead well in church and ministry settings.
  • Offers women a practical guide for breaking the “stained-glass window” and becoming effective leaders.
  • Addresses leadership issues such as leading mixed gender teams, earning and giving respect, and navigating through relational landmines.

Leading from the Second Chair

Mike Bonem & Roger Patterson

Leading From the Second Chair will raise awareness of the need for strong leaders in secondary positions. It will describe the value they can bring to their organization and to primary leaders when they are serving at their full potential. It will reshape the way they view their role, with an emphasis on their own responsibility as leaders. It recognizes the unique challenges and frustrations of serving in a subordinate position and equips these leaders with the attitudes and skills that they will need to survive and thrive in this new paradigm. Because of the scarcity of resources for second chair leaders, particularly those in the church, this book will offer a practical way to improve the performance of any organization. This work will extend the theme of an empowered leadership team as we explore how individual clergy and laity can lead effectively.

Leading on Empty

Wayne Cordeiro

A message of revitalization and encouragement for leaders before they leave the ministry. Wayne Cordeiro, author of Doing Church as a Team, found himself paralyzed by burnout. He had been in ministry for thirty years, and ten years after founding what is now the largest church in Hawaii, he found himself depleted. Wayne took a season out of his growing ministry to recharge and refocus on the truly important. He got back in touch with his life, got back in proper balance, and re-energized his spirit through Christ and came back to serve with new passion and joy. Wayne first gave this message at a Willow Creek Leadership Summit, where it was the highest-rated presentation by those in attendance.

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict

Ken Sande

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” But it often seems like conflict and disagreement are unavoidable. Serious, divisive conflict is everywhere—within families, in the church, and out in the world. And it can seem impossible to overcome its negative force in our lives. In The Peacemaker, Ken Sande presents a comprehensive and practical theology for conflict resolution designed to bring about not only a cease-fire but also unity and harmony. Sande takes readers beyond resolving conflicts to true, life-changing reconciliation with family members, coworkers, and fellow believers. Biblically based, The Peacemaker is full of godly wisdom and useful suggestions that are easily applied to any relationship needing reconciliation.

The Post-Black and Post-White Church: Becoming the Beloved Community in a Multi-Ethnic World

Efrem Smith

Efrem Smith, an internationally recognized and innovative African-American leader, offers a workable plan for connecting theology, practical ministry models, and real stories of people in multi-ethnic Christian communities. Using the example of Jesus, Smith develops a theology of multi-ethnic and missional leadership. Embracing urban and ethnic subcultures such as hip-hop, this book provides a rich mix of multi-ethnic church development, reconciliation theology, missional church thinking, and Christian community. This book is written for anyone wrestling with what it means to be a Christian in an increasingly multi-ethnic world polarized by class, politics, and race.

Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page

Larry Osborne

Serving as a church leader can be a tough assignment. Whatever your role, odds are you’ve known your share of the frustration, conflict, and disillusionment that comes with silly turf battles, conflicting vision, and marathon meetings. With practical and accessible wisdom, Larry Osborne explains how it got this way. He exposes the hidden roadblocks, structures, and goofy thinking that sabotage even the best-intentioned teams. Then, with time-tested and proven strategies he shows what it takes to get (and keep) a board, staff, and congregation on the same page. Whatever your situation—from start-up phase, to mid-sized, to mega church—Osborne has been there and walked his board, staff, and congregation through the process. Now with warm encouragement and penetrating insights, he shares his secrets to building and maintaining a healthy and unified ministry team that sticks together for the long haul.

The Unity Factor: Developing a Healthy Church Leadership Team

Larry Osborne

It’s no secret serving on a church board can be a tough assignment. But lay leaders aren’t the only ones who find board meetings to be a harrowing experience—so do many pastors. Larry Osborne was no exception. Six months into a new pastorate, he found himself embroiled in controversy. Old members left as fast as new ones could be added. He and the board seldom saw eye-to-eye on anything. Troubled and confused, he set out to find some answers. What were the secrets of an effective leadership team? Could a pastor lead without becoming a dictator? What would it take to develop and maintain a unified board? Could it even be done?

Now, many years, board meetings and hours of research later, Pastor Osborne applies tested, no-nonsense wisdom to these and other questions. Whatever your situation … whether your church is in a start-up phase, is small and struggling, or is one of a growing number of so-called mega churches, Larry has been there. In The Unity Factor, he shows us what it takes to develop a healthy leadership team with sensible strategies and warm encouragement.

All book descriptions have been copied and/or adapted from