About the ‘Great Books’ List
Each year for the XP-Seminar, we cull the book world for great books on personal enrichment, management and leadership. There are …
Classics—never forget about the great ones!
Business books—our friends in the business world have lessons to teach us.
Christian books—national thought leaders writing on vital topics.
All are offered at the XP-Seminar Free Book Table. So that we won’t force you to pay for extra weight in your luggage, we limit each person to four free books, sometimes more!
Enjoy the list. See if there is something here that will help you grow to the next level!
Great Books 2018!
Crisis Leadership: Personal Accounts From Leaders Who Found Their Way and Thrived
Scott Barfoot and David Fletcher–Editors
Crisis Leadership takes a fresh and compelling look inside the hearts, minds and personal stories of nine remarkable leaders who battle challenging crises in the frontlines of life and ministry. This short read is packed full of vital wisdom, hope and encouragement to help you be even more effective in your place of leadership.
Rich Birch Unreasonable Churches: 10 Churches Who Zagged When Others Zigged and Saw More Impact Because of It
In an era when 94% of churches are losing ground against the growth of the communities they serve, there is a new breed of churches who buck the trend.
Unreasonable Churches tells to stories of 10 churches who stopped copying the models of other churches and tried something new. You’ll be inspired to consider how your church could see great impact by blazing new trails!
Thriving in the Second Chair
Serving in paid and unpaid capacities, including laity, ordained clergy, bivocational, licensed local pastors and other ministry leaders, second chair leaders play a critical role in churches across the world; yet they are not the lead or senior pastor. They are “the boss” to many yet are not ultimately in charge, leading many second chair leaders into frustration rather than joy and grace.
Author Mike Bonem’s Thriving in the Second Chair, a follow up to Leading from the Second Chair, emerged from his own journey as a second chair leader and offers a map of the “springs” that enable second chair leaders to thrive rather than just survive. Bonem points readers beyond their external circumstances to the ways they can act and think differently, highlighting ten key factors that will help second chair leaders to experience lives and ministries that are fulfilling, vital, and sustainable.
Thriving in the Second Chair is a practical, relevant, and thoughtfully crafted resource for those leading a ministry beyond their control, laying the groundwork for them to find refreshment and vitality in their life and ministry.
Everyone’s a Genius: Unleashing Creativity for the Sake of the World
Church consultant and author, Alan Briggs, guides the church leader on a profound yet simple methodology on identifying the unique God-given abilities of their parishioners, and empowering them to their best use.
With every church member comes a unique set of skills and abilities. The church leader is charged with the weighty task of uncovering and validating all of them.
While some have easily identifiable skillsets, author and leadership consultant, Alan Briggs, believes that bringing out the abilities of the overlooked–those with a unique skill-set that aren’t as easily identifiable–remains a key component that will determine the church’s impact in this generation.
While well-intentioned, spiritual-gift-inventories have largely focused on how your spiritual gifts can be assimilated into the serving needs inside the local church, but Everyone’s a Genius reframes how God-given genius can help us join God’s mission to restore all things. This is a simple, yet inspiring, look into how we can more effectively challenge those in the church pews to leverage abilities for the sake of impacting the world for Jesus.
The Church Safety & Security Guidebook
Created specifically for churches, The Church Safety & Security Guidebook is a step-by-step manual designed to improve your readiness to respond to crisis situations.
A dozen scenarios help your church develop “what-if” questions, and rehearse response procedures and training exercises. Scenarios include:
- an active shooter
- domestic disputes
- a missing child
- medical emergencies
- severe weather threats
Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them
When it comes to adultery, never say, “It won’t happen to me.”
Just when you think your marriage is safe from adultery is when you may be the most vulnerable.
With eye-opening stories, clinical insights, and up-to-date data, Dave Carder reveals what adulterers learned the hard way—and what they want the rest of us to know to save us the pain.
Dave Carder, counselor and author of the bestselling Torn Asunder (100,000 in print), is a sought-after expert on issues of adultery. Here he helps you make your marriage adultery-proof by showing you:
How attractions can lead to affairs Ways you may be vulnerable to affairs The common ingredients of adultery How to restore intimacy to your marriage How to make wise, protective decisions
Marriage is too sacred to be taken casually. Affairs are a very real threat, and they can destroy lives and families. For this reason, Anatomy of an Affair should be on every church leader’s and marriage counselor’s required reading list, and in the home of every married couple.
Bigger, Faster Leadership: Lessons from the Builders of the Panama Canal
Renowned leadership consultant, Samuel R. Chand details the account of the construction of the Panama Canal, and draws parallels between it and successful leadership methodology.
“More passion isn’t the answer, and bigger dreams aren’t always the solution. Every leader is asking two questions: How can we grow? How can we grow faster? The only way organizations can grow bigger and move faster is by accelerating the excellence of their systems and structures.”
—from Bigger Faster Leadership: Lessons from the Builders of the Panama Canal
An epiphany during a visit to the Panama Canal led Sam Chand—one of the country’s most respected voices on ministry and marketplace leadership—to bold new insights on the life cycles of business or church organizations.
Simply: The size and speed of an organization are controlled by its systems and structures.
Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth
Do you want to be a better leader? Raise the threshold of your pain. Do you want your church to grow or your business to reach higher goals? Reluctance to face pain is your greatest limitation. There is no growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain. Bottom line: if you’re not hurting, you’re not leading. But this book is not a theological treatise on pain. Rather in Leadership Pain Samuel Chand—best-selling author recognized as “the leader’s leader”—provides a concrete, practical understanding of the pain we experience to help us interpret pain more accurately and learn the lessons God has in it for us. Chand is ruthlessly honest and highly practical as he examines the principles and practices that make our pain a means of fulfilling God’s divine purposes for our churches, communities, and us.
The Other Side of Leadership: Understanding the Forgotten, Lesser-Known Side of Leading a Ministry
Get ready to embark on an expedition with a fresh approach to leadership. You will discover contributing factors that may be slowing, stopping, or even reversing progress in your church, ministry, or organization.
The Other Side of Leadership takes you beyond the standard concepts to lesser-understood approaches to enhance effectiveness and avoid pitfalls.
You will learn about the three aspects of the Other Side of Leadership that will equip you with:
Strategies for highly effective thinking, both individually and corporately, to gain and handle truth accurately and holistically.
Skills to understand and connect with people to unite leaders and followers toward a common cause.
A course of action to successfully follow through on plans with maturity and tenacity.
Disruption: Repurposing the Church to Redeem the Community
Current church planting, growth, and development strategies cannot be sustained.
We need to work smarter in our rapidly changing world.
We must become disruptive.
And yet we typically hesitate to embrace change. We like our traditions. We prefer our familiar patterns and comfortable ruts.
Still, America has dramatically changed. And make no mistake, such change is affecting the church, and more change is coming. So the way we understand things must also change. We must disrupt the status quo, create new patterns, embrace new models, and promote new forms to advance the gospel in our increasingly diverse and cynical society.
In Disruption, thought-leading author and pastor Mark DeYmaz presents a proven, practical guide to help you rethink your approach to church. Whether your congregation is currently growing, plateauing, or declining, if you are a church planter or pastor, or a denominational or network leader, this book is for you. Mark will help you understand why we need to challenge conventional wisdom, learn what new practices to establish and how current metrics are not the primary measure of a church’s influence.
The Mythical Leader: The Seven Myths of Leadership
In The Mythical Leader, Edmondson exposes some of the most common misunderstandings of leadership, shares stories from his own experiences, and will help church leaders develop healthier patterns to improve their individual leadership.
While most people may have a preliminary understanding of many of these myths, they often are not lived out with a great degree of depth in the life of the church leader. Don’t fall prey to these myths! If gone untreated they can be the very thing that prevents a good leader from leading well.
People Patterns: Discovering Giftedness in the Sunlight and Shadow of Relationship
There are Five People Patterns of how we talk to ourselves and relate to others. We all have Sunlight and Shadow in our lives. Artists and great authors have painted pictures with oils and words to show the light and dark in human relationships. Rembrandt van Rijn, the great Dutch artist, often painted using a strong light source, creating deep shadows on his subject. Some of the uniqueness that is you is easy to see. Another part of you is much harder to understand.
To see our Sunlight and Shadows, we can use the Five People Patterns: Mentor—coach and develop others; Administrator—set rules for successful living; Catalyst—spur others on to new levels of success; Relational—bring harmony and compassion to others; Overseer—keep people on track and organized. As sunlight falls on you, others can easily see who you are. In deep shadows, it is far harder for others to see you. In the same way, we reflect our personality to others in the Sunlight Pattern. In the sunlight we show our strengths for all to see. Our Shadow contains our weaknesses and limitations, things that are awkward or harder for us to do. In the bright sunlight we see our strengths and in the shadows we see our limitations. Sunlight and Shadow form the People Pattern.
Empowering Leadership: How a Leadership Development Culture Builds Better Leaders Faster
A major problem in the local church today is lack of leadership. Simply put, we have more needs than we have leaders to meet those needs. So, how do we train better leaders faster?
The truth is, very few churches really have a well-thought-out leadership development plan. Growth requires continually adding healthy new leaders, who carry the church culture forward and embody its core values. Everyone knows it, but how do we achieve it?
In Empowering Leadership author and leadership consultant Michael Fletcher says leaders like this can’t simply be bought, nor can they be hired from someone else’s leadership assembly line. Developing leaders at every level, to create an environment that attracts potential leaders, and to build better leaders faster, an organization needs more than a pipeline. It needs a culture that develops leaders organically.
Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership
It’s increasingly clear that leadership should be shared for the good of the organization and for the good of the leader. The path is littered with too many burned out best and brightest, too many beleaguered institutions and stunted organizations. The church is no exception: pastors are fried and congregations are stuck, and the work never lets up. But what does it actually mean to share leadership? And how do we avoid burning out whole teams instead of single leaders? How does team leadership bless and not frustrate a congregation?
Researchers and practitioners Warren Bird and Ryan Hartwig have discovered churches throughout the United States of various sizes and traditions that have learned to thrive under team leadership. Through practical insights, compelling research and real-life stories, they help you overcome barriers and build teams of mutual support and meaningful, sustainable action. This empowering vision for church leadership culminates with five disciplines that can take your team from struggling to thriving together.”
Be Mean About the Vision: Preserving and Protecting What Matters
Almost every organization has a vision. Few ever accomplish it. Even after short-term success in it, fewer stay true to it over time. Be Mean: Relentlessly Protecting the Vision is about regaining or sustaining the trajectory of the vision over time. It’s about staying true to the vision. Lovejoy explains that this requires understanding the importance of vision, developing a vision we’re willing to die for, and keeping the vision from being compromised or even hijacked.
Though many books have been written on the subject of developing mission or vision statements, there have been few written on how to sustain or protect the vision over time. Shawn has dealt with hundreds of leaders in ministry and has seen countless struggle with keeping everyone on board with the mission and how to align the rest of the organization with the vision. Shawn Lovejoy walks the church leader through the experiences that have taught him to Be Mean, and shows us a strategy of Relentlessly Protecting the Vision.
The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health
Acclaimed church leader, blogger, founder and chief strategic officer of The Unstuck Group, Tony Morgan unpacks the lifecycle of a typical church, identifies characteristics of each phase, and provides practical next steps a church can take to move towards sustained health.
Think about your church for a moment. Is it growing? Is it diminishing? Is it somewhere in between? Acclaimed church leader, blogger, and founder and chief strategic officer of The Unstuck Group, Tony Morgan has identified the seven stages of a church’s lifecycle that range from the hopeful and optimistic days of launch, to the stagnating last stages of life support.
Regardless of the stage in which you find your church, it carries with it the world’s greatest mission—to “go and make disciples of all the nations . . .” With eternity at stake the Church should be doing most everything within its power to see lives changed forever. The Church should strive for the pinnacle of the lifecycle, where they are continually making new disciples and experiencing what Morgan refers to as “sustained health.”
In The Unstuck Church, Morgan unpacks each phase of the church lifecycle, and offers specific and strategic next steps the church leader can take to find it’s way to sustained health . . . and finally become unstuck.
The Unstuck Church is a call for honest an assessment of where your church sits on the lifecycle, and a challenge to move beyond it.
Passing the Leadership Baton: A Winning Transition Plan for Your Ministry
Successfully handing off the leadership baton to the next leader is essential to give our organization the best opportunity to thrive after our time of service. A smooth handoff requires meticulous planning and forethought. Yet most leaders put off even thinking about leadership transition until they are faced with a situation where they have no choice but to make a change. The results of not planning ahead can be devastating for both you and your beloved organization. Passing the Leadership Baton will help you manage the emotional transition yourself while fully supporting the next leader. Creating a seamless succession can be a challenge, but done successfully, it may very well be one of the greatest rewards you’ll experience as a leader.
Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow
You’ve probably noticed … Churches aren’t growing. Young adults are walking away. Volunteers are hard to recruit. Leaders are burning out. And the culture is changing faster than ever before. There’s no doubt the church is in a moment in history for which few church leaders are prepared. You can look for answers, but the right response depends on having the right conversation. In Lasting Impact, Carey Nieuwhof leads you and your team through seven conversations that will help your church grow and have a lasting impact. What if …
- Having the right conversations could change your trajectory?
- There was more hope than you realized?
- The potential to grow was greater than the potential to decline?
- Your community was waiting for a church to offer the hope they’re looking for?
- Your best days as a church were ahead of you?
Maybe the future belongs to the churches that are willing to have the most honest conversations at a critical time. That’s what Lasting Impact is designed to facilitate.
I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian
Thom S. Rainer
Could you be the answer to the problems you see? Every day we are faced with the needs of those around us. Emotional. Physical. Spiritual. What are we to do about it? Are these problems for our pastors to address or is there a way for the church member to make an impact that will last? Bestselling author Thom S. Rainer answers these questions by offering nine simple traits that you can incorporate into your life no matter your background, stage of life, or sense of capability. You can do it. Now it’s time to just stand up and say you will!
Eldership Development: From Application to Affirmation
There have been many great books written on the need for biblically qualified elders in the church. They do an excellent job unpacking the pertinent scriptures and theology to explain both why we need elders and what they should look like, act like, smell like, etc. once we actually have them. This is not one of those books.
Rather, “Eldership Development-From Application to Affirmation” seeks to show you the actual process that one church uses to develop their elders over a two year period. Think of it like a case-study. You’ll see the prerequisites and the application that potential elders fill out, and even the questions asked during the interviews. You’ll get an in-depth look at the two-year process, all the way to the final moment when you affirm the new elder on stage in a gathering. Along the way, the author stops to explain from experience why he made the decisions he made on everything from book assignments to awkward questions in an application.
After you’ve read the books that tell you why you need church elders and what the Bible teaches, consult this book to build your own Eldership Development program at your local church. This field tested guide is meant to save you time and energy as you train up your church elders.
Defining the Executive Pastor Role
What is an Executive Pastor? Are you wired to be an XP? How is an XP different than an Associate Pastor? Should XP’s have a degree in pastoral ministry, business, or both? Does your church need an XP? What should a church look for in seeking to fill this often overlooked, undervalued, yet critical position? These and other questions are the focus of this short work on defining the Executive Pastor Role. Written with a brevity designed to allow you to read or skim quickly, you’ll still find enough depth to provide meaningful direction and insight. Current and future XP’s should read this book for definition. Potential XP’s should read this book to clarify their calling. And church leaders considering hiring an XP should read this book before beginning their search.