Great Books 2007

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

Mike Bonem & Roger Patterson

This book 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. Leading Congregational Change discussed the importance of a “vision community”–a diverse group of key members who discern and implement the vision for a congregation–to guide the transformation of a church. This work will extend the theme of an empowered leadership team as we explore how individual clergy and laity can lead effectively.

“If you are a second chair leader, are considering a second chair role, or work with a second chair leader, this book is a must read! Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson have done a superb job of defining the living paradoxes a second chair leader deals with day in and day out. Don’t consider a second chair role without reading this book first.” –Warren Schuh

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

Shane Claiborne

Many of us find ourselves caught somewhere between unbelieving activists and inactive believers. We can write a check to feed starving children or hold signs in the streets and feel like we’ve made a difference without ever encountering the faces of the suffering masses. In this book, Shane Claiborne describes an authentic faith rooted in belief, action, and love, inviting us into a movement of the Spirit that begins inside each of us and extends into a broken world. Shane’s faith led him to dress the wounds of lepers with Mother Teresa, visit families in Iraq amidst bombings, and dump $10,000 in coins and bills on Wall Street to redistribute wealth. Shane lives out this revolution each day in his local neighborhood, an impoverished community in North Philadelphia, by living among the homeless, helping local kids with homework, and “practicing resurrection” in the forgotten places of our world. Shane’s message will comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable . . . but will also invite us into an irresistible revolution. His is a vision for ordinary radicals ready to change the world with little acts of love.

Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens

Neil Cole

Churches have tried all kinds of ways to attract new and younger members – revised vision statements, hipper worship, contemporary music, livelier sermons, bigger and better auditoriums. But there are still so many people who aren’t being reached, who don’t want to come to church. And the truth is that attendance at church on Sundays does not necessarily transform lives; God’s presence in our hearts is what changes us. Leaders and laypeople everywhere are realizing that they need new and more powerful ways to help them spread God’s Word.

According to international church starter and pastor Neil Cole, if we want to connect with young people and those who are not coming to church, we must go where people congregate. Cole shows readers how to plant the seeds of the Kingdom of God in the places where life happens and where culture is formed – restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, parks, locker rooms, and neighborhoods. Organic Church offers a hands-on guide for demystifying this new model of church and shows the practical aspects of implementing it.

Off-Road Disciplines: Spiritual Disciplines of Missional Leaders

Earl Creps

In Off-Road Disciplines, Earl Creps reveals that the on-road practices of prayer and Bible reading should be bolstered by the other kinds of encounters with God that occur unexpectedly–complete with the bumps and bruises that happen when you go “off-road.” Becoming an off-road leader requires the cultivation of certain spiritual disciplines that allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to arrange your interior life. Earl Creps explores twelve central spiritual disciplines–six personal and six organizational–that Christian leaders of all ages and denominations need if they are to change themselves and their churches to reach out to the culture around them.

Earl Creps has written a deeply personal and challenging book—one that caused me to think about my own spiritual journey. Too many of us have made spiritual formation a series of activities and programs; Earl takes us off the map of common practice and into the places where the Spirit is at work. It reminds us that true spiritual formation pervades our lives and the ministries we serve, providing a helpful balance of being and doing. It will be a great encouragement to all who read it—Ed Stetzer, author, Breaking the Missional Code

Leadership is an Art

Max DePree

Perhaps we should banish all of our management books except Max De Pree’s gem, Leadership Is an Art. The successful Herman Miller, Inc., chairman . . . . writes only about trust, grace, spirit, and love . . . . such concerns are the essence of organizations, small or large—Inc. magazine

This book has long been a must-read not only within the business community but also in professions ranging from academia to medical practices, to the political arena. First published in 1989, the book has sold more than 800,000 copies in hardcover and paperback. This revised edition