Great Books 2009

Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase detonates anemic Christianity masquerading as the ‘real thing’ and winsomely propels us to what can be and should be if we allow God’s Spirit to be all He can be in our lives. Let it stretch you to greater things!”  —Louie Giglio, Passion Conferences

Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something.

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.

Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less

Dave Browning

Less is more. And more is better. This is the new equation for church development, a new equation with eternal results.Rejecting the “bigger is better” model of the complex, corporate megachurch, church innovator Dave Browning embraced deliberate simplicity. The result was Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK), an expanding multisite community church that Outreach magazine named among America’s Fastest Growing Churches and America’s Most Innovative Churches. Members of the CTK network in a number of cities, countries, and continents are empowered for maximum impact by Browning’s “less is more” approach. In Deliberate Simplicity, Browning discusses the six elements of this streamlined model:• Minimality: Keep it simple• Intentionality: Keep it missional• Reality: Keep it real• Multility: Keep it cellular• Velocity: Keep it moving• Scalability: Keep it expandingAs part of the Leadership Network Innovation Series, Deliberate Simplicity is a guide for church leaders seeking new strategies for more effective ministry.

Reverse Mentoring: How Young Leaders Can Transform the Church, and Why We Should Let Them

Earl Creps

Earl Creps is known for his work in connecting the younger generation of postmoderns with their Boomer predecessors. The author of Off-Road Disciplines, Creps, in this new book, takes up the topic of how older church leaders can learn from younger leaders who are more conversant with culture, technology, and social context. In addition to making the benefits of what he calls “reverse mentoring” apparent, he also makes it accessible by offering practical steps to implement this discipline at both personal and organizational levels, particularly in communication, evangelism, and leadership. Creps’ new book is a topic of interest both inside and outside the church as older leaders realize that they’re not “getting it” when it comes to technologies (iPod, IM, blogging) or cultural issues such as the fact that younger people see the world in an entirely different way. Creps has been personally involved in reverse mentoring for several years and has spoken and written on the subject extensively. He has pastored three churches (one Boomer, one Builder, on X’er) and is currently a church planter in Berkeley, California. He has also served as a consultant and and a seminary professor and administrator, holding a PhD in Communication Studies and a D.Min. from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

Unfortunately for Christ’s church, those of us who’ve been around for a while in positions of leadership find it difficult to listen to those who haven’t, but represent the next generation of the church. What could they ever teach us? No question—this prevalent attitude is much to our disadvantage as we lose touch with the future of Christ’s church. So how can we learn to be quiet for once and listen? And why should we founts of wisdom even consider it? Earl Creps provides us with a compelling answer in reverse mentoring. This is a must read for all generations who love Christ’s church  —Aubrey Malphurs, The Malphurs Group and Senior Professor, Dallas Theological Seminary

The Monkey and the Fish

Dave Gibbons

Our world is marked by unprecedented degrees of multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, social shifts, international collaboration, and technology-driven changes. The changes are profound, especially when you consider the unchecked decline in the influence, size, and social standing of the church. There is an undercurrent of anxiety in the evangelical world, and a hunger for something new. And we’re sensing the urgency of it.We need fresh, creative counterintuitive ways of doing ministry and church and leading it in the 21st century. We need to adapt. Fast. Both in our practices and our thinking. The aim of this book is simple: When we understand the powerful forces at work in the world today, we’ll learn how something called The Third Culture can yield perhaps the most critical missing ingredient in the church today—adaptability—and help the church remain on the best side of history. A Third Culture Church and a Third Culture Leader looks at our new global village and the church’s role in that village in a revolutionary way. It’s a way to reconnect with the historical roots of what Jesus envisioned the church could be—a people known for a brand of love, unity, goodness, and extravagant spirit that defies all conventions. This book is part of the successful Leadership Innovation Series.

As an entrepreneur at heart and a person passionate about what is next, I resonate with Dave Gibbons. His innovative spirit has connected with a vision for what’s next and resulted in The Monkey and the Fish, a book that looks at the world and the church in a revolutionary way. —Bob Buford, Founder, Leadership Network, and author, Halftime

Good News for Those Trying Harder

Alan Kraft

Countless believers are pursuing spiritual growth, only to repeatedly find themselves spinning their wheels and making no progress. Many are driven to just try harder. Others feel a growing sense of failure and distance from God. But for all involved, it’s a frustrating cycle. What can we do when trying harder isn’t working?

Author and pastor Alan Kraft invites us to be still.still enough to hear the twin melodies that comprise the good news of the gospel-brokenness and faith.  These core strains have the power to lift our exhausted heads so we may experience life to the full as Jesus promised.

Discover the power of a broken spirit, embrace the wonder of living by faith, and experience the joy found when you just stop trying.

A Light That Never Dies: A Story of Hope in the Shadows of Grief

William Hendricks

Everyone should read this book. Those currently grieving will find comfort and hope. Those that have been there will find words that describe all they have gone through. Many will find helpful insights into their experience. Those who have not yet grieved over a loved one will be better prepared for that day. Bill Hendricks puts into words an experience that is difficult to describe. I felt like I was there with him. He does not pull any punches about the pain, doubts or hard questions. He has been there, but through it all there is hope. The Light never dies, and we can all take comfort in that thought. —Eric Billman, Madison, Wisconsin