Great Books 2012

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.

Written to offer practical solutions for senior pastors, executive pastors, key laypeople, and leaders of other Christian entities, In Pursuit of Great AND Godly Leadership clearly shows the ways that secular practices can be imported into their organizations. Bonem addresses a variety of topics such as planning, finances, personnel management, measurement, team dynamics, and organizational change. In doing so, he points to the AND that every spiritual organization should strive to achieve.

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

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.

Discusses how to diagnose the state of a church’s culture Reveals what it takes to put in place effective strategies for creating a more positive church culture Author served on the board of EQUIP (Dr. John Maxwell’s Ministry), equipping five million leaders world-wide. This important book offers a clear guide for understanding and recreating a healthy church culture.

Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward

Henry Cloud

“If you’re hesitant to pull the trigger when things obviously aren’t working out, Henry Cloud’s Necessary Endings may be the most important book you read all year.” —Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover

“Cloud is a wise, experienced, and compassionate guide through [life’s] turbulent passages.” —Bob Buford, bestelling author of Halftime and Finishing Well; founder of the Leadership Network

Henry Cloud, the bestselling author of Integrity and The One-Life Solution, offers this mindset-altering method for proactively correcting the bad and the broken in our businesses and our lives. Cloud challenges readers to achieve the personal and professional growth they both desire and deserve—and gives crucial insight on how to make those tough decisions that are standing in the way of a more successful business and, ultimately, a better life.

Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

Richard Foster

Too often, our study of the Bible focuses on searching for specific information or some formula that will solve our pressing needs of the moment. But what if we approached the Bible differently, and instead of transforming the text to meet our needs, allowed it to transform us?

That’s exactly the idea behind Life with God, Richard J. Foster’s much-anticipated book on the Bible. Foster, bestselling author of Celebration of Discipline and general editor of The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible, claims that God has superintended the writing of Scripture so that it serves as the most reliable guide for Christian spiritual formation. According to Foster, the Bible is all about human life “with God.” As we read Scripture, we should consider how exactly God is with us in each story and allow ourselves to be spiritually transformed. By opening our whole selves—mind, body, spirit, thoughts, behavior, and will—to the page before us, we begin to grasp all the Bible has to teach about prayer, obedience, compassion, virtue, and grace and apply it to our everyday lives to achieve a deeper relationship with God.

With a wealth of examples and simple yet crucial insights, Life with God is an indispensable guide to approaching the Bible through the lens of Christian spiritual formation, revealing that reading the Bible for interior transformation is a far different endeavor than reading the Bible for historical knowledge, literary appreciation, or religious instruction.

On the Verge: A Journey Into the Apostolic Future of the Church

Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson

The church is on the verge of massive, category shifting, change. Contemporary church growth, despite its many blessings, has failed to stem the decline of Christianity in the West. We are now facing the fact that more of the same will not produce different results. Our times require a different kind of church—an apostolic, reproducing, movement where every person is living a mission-sent life.Many of the best and brightest leaders in the contemporary church are now making the shift in the way they think, lead, and organize. Motivated partly by a vision of the church as ancient as it is new, and with a driving desire to see Biblical Christianity estab