Books Recommended in 2011

///Books Recommended in 2011

Books Recommended in 2011

The following titles are books that we had available to the attenders of the 2011 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.


Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church: Mandate, Commitments and Practices of a Diverse Congregation

By Mark DeYmaz 

Through personal stories, proven experience and a thorough analysis of the biblical text, Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church illustrates both the biblical mandate for the multi-ethnic church as well as the seven core commitments required to bring it about. Mark DeYmaz, pastor of one of the most proven multi-ethnic churches in the country, writes both from his experience and his extensive study of how to plant, grow, and encourage more ethnically diverse churches. He argues that the “homogenous unit principle” will soon become irrelevant and that the most effective way to spread the Gospel in an increasingly diverse world is through strong and vital multi-ethnic churches. —Amazon Review

The Christian Atheist:  Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist

By Craig Groeschel 

“The more I looked, the more I found Christian Atheists everywhere.” Former Christian Atheist Craig Groeschel knows his subject all too well. After over a decade of successful ministry, he had to make a painful self admission: although he believed in God, he was leading his church like God didn’t exist. To Christians and non-Christians alike, to the churched and the unchurched, the journey leading up to Groeschel’s admission and the journey that follows—from his family and his upbringing to the lackluster and even diametrically opposed expressions of faith he encountered—will look and sound like the story of their own lives. Now the founding and senior pastor of the multicampus, pace-setting, Groeschel’s personal journey toward a more authentic God-honoring life is more relevant than ever. Christians and Christian atheists everywhere will be nodding their heads as they are challenged to take their own honest moment and ask the question: Am I putting my whole faith in God but still living as if everything was up to me?  ~Amazon Review

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

By Samuel R. Chand

Often church leaders confuse culture with vision and strategy, but they are very different. Vision and strategy usually focus on products, services, and outcomes, but culture is about the people—a church’s most valuable asset. Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code offers a practical resource for discovering the deficits in an existing church’s culture and includes the steps needed to assess, correct, and change culture from lackluster to vibrant and inspirational so that it that truly meets the needs of the congregation.  ~Amazon Review

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

By Daniel H. Pink

According to Pink, everything we think we know about what motivates us is wrong. He pits the latest scientific discoveries about the mind against the outmoded wisdom that claims people can only be motivated by the hope of gain and the fear of loss. Pink cites a dizzying number of studies revealing that carrot and stick can actually significantly reduce the ability of workers to produce creative solutions to problems. What motivates us once our basic survival needs are met is the ability to grow and develop, to realize our fullest potential. Case studies of Google’s 20 percent time (in which employees work on projects of their choosing one full day each week) and Best Buy’s Results Only Work Environment (in which employees can work whenever and however they choose—as long as they meet specific goals) demonstrate growing endorsement for this approach. —Publishers Weekly

Elders and Leaders

By Gene Getz

Discovering God’s wonderful plan for leadership in the church. Strong leadership in the church is exactly what God had in mind. However, very few people, Getz believes, 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. Elders and Leaders tackles a culturally sensitive topic with thorough scholarship and practical wisdom. The book will appeal to a broad audience of church people sensing the need for direction for their church. A perfect resource for the emerging generation of church leaders as they tackle the complex challenges of a postmodern culture.  ~Amazon Review

Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great

By Jim Collins

The monograph offers a simplistic insight into why not-for-profits are run differently than for profit enterprises. It is a must read for business persons who are invited to serve on not-for-profit boards. Jim Collins gives the business person a place to go to understand how the characteristics of effectively managed businesses finds its place with the philosophical purposes of the not-for-profit. I will add this work to my recommended reading list and will continue to share it with my clients in positions of leadership in the not-for-profit sector with a recommendation they gift a copy to all new board members. —Amazon Review

The Imitation of Christ

by Thomas a Kempis

This classic, second only to the Bible for religious instruction and inspiration, has brought understanding and comfort to millions for centuries. Written in a candid and conversational style, the topics include liberation from worldly inclinations, preparation and consolations of prayer, and the place of eucharistic communion in a devout life.  —Amazon

Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Role, and Realizing Your Dreams

By Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson

The mission of an organization either hangs together or falls apart at the critical interface between first and second chairs. This helpful volume from seasoned practitioners identifies and addresses the character, competencies, and chemistry that make for effective second chair leadership. It’s a book for you, no matter which seat you’re in.  ~Reggie McNeal, Author

Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church

By Reggie McNeal

In Missional Renaissance, Reggie McNeal shows the three significant shifts in thinking and behavior that churches need to make that will allow leaders to chart a course toward being missional: (1) from an internal to an external focus, ending the church as exclusive social club model; (2) from running programs and ministries to developing people as its core activity; and (3) from professional leadership to leadership that is shared by everyone in the community. With in-depth discussions of the “what” and the “how” of transitioning to being a missional church, readers will be equipped to move into what McNeal sees as the most viable future for Christianity.  ~Amazon Review

Money—God or Gift

By Jamie Munson

There are many excellent books on money, generosity and stewardship…but few are as succinct and practical as this book. Taking his cues from Luke 12, Jamie skillfully addresses many of the hot-button questions and issues regarding money in the church. The very fact that he addresses the question of owning a flat-screen TV demonstrates that he is in touch with the most basic questions that the average American is asking or at least thinking. Get this book. If you’re a pastor, buy copies of this book for your leaders and make it available for your people either via a bookstore/library or by using it in your small groups.  ~Amazon Review

The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church

By Reggie McNeal 

In this provocative book, author, consultant, and church leadership developer Reggie McNeal debunks old assumptions and provides an overall strategy to help church leaders move forward in an entirely different and much more effective way. In The Present Future, McNeal identifies the six most important realities that church leaders must address including: recapturing the spirit of Christianity and replacing “church growth” with a wider vision of kingdom growth; developing disciples instead of church members; fostering the rise of a new apostolic leadership; focusing on spiritual formation rather than church programs; and shifting from prediction and planning to preparation for the challenges of an uncertain world. McNeal contends that by changing the questions church leaders ask themselves about their congregations and their plans, they can frame the core issues and approach the future with new eyes, new purpose, and new ideas.  ~Amazon Review

Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical’s Inside View of White Christianity

By Edward Gilbreath 

Edward Gilbreath is one of the nation’s foremost journalists on Christianity and race.  Reconciliation Blues is a spellbinding first-person look into his world as he navigated white evangelicalism.  In the process, we are provided with both a powerful teaching tool and an eye-opening journey into what is white about American Christianity.  People of all backgrounds will learn much by reading this engaging book. —Michael O. Emerson, Professor and Author

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

By Larry Osborne 

There is something dysfunctional about most church boards, councils or governing committees, and to those trapped in the current systems it often seems that not much can be done about it. But in this book Larry Osborne offers a number of great insights into how a church board or a church staff can be coalesced into a great team, with the individual members working in unity for common goals rather than fighting each other for scarce resources. —Amazon Review

The Surge: Churches Catching the Wave of Christ’s Love for the Nations

By Pete Briscoe & Todd Hillard

According to the way that we normally measure “success” and “progress,” things seem to be going in the wrong direction, writes author Pete Briscoe. Western Christianity, as a whole, is losing ground. The data indicates that the North American church is following the footsteps of our European spiritual ancestors into post-Christian society. Briscoe calls this time in history “Dry Lands.” And its symptoms include Christians feeling spiritually thirsty and tired, like they’ve been wandering through brush and thistles. They may even start to wonder, “Does it really matter? Is it really worth it?” The Surge provides encouragement and hope to Christians who feel too weary to continue. It’s a book for people who live in a “dry land”—and desperately need God to refresh them. —Amazon Review

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

By Chip Heath and Dan Heath 

The Heath brothers address motivating employees, family members, and ourselves in their analysis of why we too often fear change. Change is not inherently frightening, but our ability to alter our habits can be complicated by the disjunction between our rational and irrational minds: the self that wants to be swimsuit-season ready and the self that acquiesces to another slice of cake anyway. The trick is to find the balance between our powerful drives and our reason. The authors’ lessons are backed up by anecdotes that deal with such things as new methods used to reform abusive parents, the revitalization of a dying South Dakota town, and the rebranding of megastore Target. Through these lively examples, the Heaths speak energetically and encouragingly on how to modify our behaviors and businesses. This clever discussion is an entertaining and educational must-read for executives and for ordinary citizens looking to get out of a rut. —Publishers Weekly


By | 2016-10-12T11:00:39+00:00 December 17th, 2012|Books|

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XPastor is a ministry designed to help Executive Pastors and others in similar roles. Staff and volunteers who make management and leadership decisions in the church will also profit from our articles. We offer articles on our website as well as online courses and our annual XP-Seminar.