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Great Books 2011

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Great Books 2011

The Imitation of Christ

Thomas à Kempis

Only the Bible has been more influential as a source of Christian devotional reading than The Imitation of Christ. This meditation on the spiritual life has inspired readers from Thomas More and St. Ignatius Loyola to Thomas Merton and Pope John Paul I. Written by the Augustinian monk Thomas à Kempis between 1420 and 1427, it contains clear instructions for renouncing wordly vanities and locating eternal truths.  No book has more explicitly and movingly described the Christian ideal: “My son, to the degree that you can leave yourself behind, to that degree will you be able to enter into Me.” With a new Preface by Sally Cunneen, author of In Search of Mary: The Woman and the Symbol.

“God is our home but many of us have strayed from our native land.  The venerable authors of these Spiritual Classics are expert guides–may we follow their directions home.”
–Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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

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?” Pete and his wife felt that way.

After a particularly difficult year, they were just about ready to call it quits. With refreshing candor, Briscoe asks, “Don’t we all draw back and question the very premise of our faith”? How about you? Are you experiencing your own trial in the “dry land” of life? If so, you’re not alone. But take heart. Help is on the way. According to Briscoe, there’s a flood coming. A flood of God’s Spirit to rain down on this world. A tsunami of praise that’s rising up across the globe. “For the sake of your soul and the strength of your church, it’s time to be submerged in the life-giving waters of God’s global passions,” he writes. 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.

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.

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

Jim Collins

Building upon the concepts introduced in Good to Great, Jim Collins answers the most commonly asked questions raised by his readers in the social sectors. Using information gathered from interviews with over 100 social sector leaders, Jim Collins shows that his “Level 5 Leader” and other good-to-great principles can help social sector organizations make the leap to greatness.

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

Mark DeYmaz

Through personal stories, proven experience and a thorough analysis of the biblical text, Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Churchillustrates 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.

Elders and Leaders: God’s Plan for Leading the Church – A Biblical, Historical, and Cultural Perspective

Gene Getz

Strong leadership in the church is exactly what God had in mind. However, very few people, Gene Getz believes, understand the biblical pattern for church leadership. He 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.

“Several reviewers compare ‘Elders and Leaders’ by Gene Getz to another book on church eldership called ‘Biblical Eldership’ by Alexander Strauch. As with Strauch, Getz presents the biblical texts very well. He also includes writings of the early church fathers up to the 3rd century. What Getz does differently than Strauch is that he keeps the ‘pure text’ work to the front of the book so elders of all size and type churches can read this as ‘pure’ biblical exegesis. Later Getz draws conclusions which come from pastoring large, elder-led churches for over 3 decades” –Brad Smith

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

Edward Gilbreath

Merit Award, 2007 Christianity Today Christianity and Culture Book What is the state of racial reconciliation in evangelical churches today? Are we truly united? In Reconciliation Blues journalist Edward Gilbreath gives an insightful, honest picture of both the