When it comes to reading I’m not the best. I don’t necessarily love to read so when I do I want to read books that are beneficial and will help me grow as a leader. This year I have set a goal to read 10 books and put things into practice with what I read. Maybe 10 for you is not that much but maybe 10 for you may seem like too much. Whatever is the case, I encourage you to be constantly learning as a leader! I know some will look at the variety of names and would not read a particular book because you may not agree with one thing or another. I have found that God has used the books below to help me grow as a leader and find biblical truth to help me lead well. Here are a couple books that have helped me tremendously grow as a leader in the past:
- E.M. Bounds, Power of prayer. The Power of Prayer Devotional is a collection of messages from the manuscripts of Edward M. Bounds. For every day of the year, Scripture verse is followed by a meditation from the author, and ends with a powerful prayer.
- Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, Jim Cymbala. The Times Are UrgentGod Is on the MoveNow Is the Moment to …ask God to ignite his fire in your soul! Pastor Jim Cymbala believes that Jesus wants to renew his people―to call us back from spiritual dead ends, apathy, and lukewarm religion.
- 7 Practices of Effective Ministry, Andy Stanley. There’s no scoreboard in the sanctuary, and the only plate is probably for the offering. But every church leader needs to know how to win, and every congregation needs to know when to cheer. This insightful book speaks to every church leader who yearns for a simpler, more effective approach to ministry. An engaging parable about one overwhelmed pastor is followed by an overview of seven successful team practices, each one developed and applied in a ministry setting. Reinforced by relevant discussion questions, these clear, easy, and strategic practices can turn any ministry into a winning team.
- Building Your Leadership Resume. Johnny Hunt. Johnny M. Hunt often shares his unique Christian testimony: a shy, rebellious kid whose alcoholic father left a wife and six children to fend for themselves, he did not embrace faith until after he was married. So when Johnny talks about investing in people, earning respect, living intentionally, daring to dream, and being courageous, his words ring especially fresh and true.
- The Most Excellent Way to Lead: Discover the Heart of Great Leadership. Perry Noble. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a new parent, a CEO or a small group leader, this book will encourage you to see every opportunity in life as a chance to lead in the most excellent way. Speakers often use the words vision, boldness, and influence to describe the characteristics of effective leaders. In The Most Excellent Way to Lead, Perry Noble makes the case that the heart of great leadership lies elsewhere. Perry, despite being voted least likely to succeed in high school, beat the odds against him. He credits this achievement to the leadership principles he has learned from the Bible. Surprisingly, the essence of leadership that produces genuine growth is buried in a Bible chapter often read at weddings.
If you are a young leader or even an older leader, know that God has given people wisdom. Many times I have heard people say “I wish I could ask ___________________ a question”. The reality is that many people we look to as great leaders have written books. Pick up a book and see what people have to say. If you want to be someone who isn’t among the crowd and if you want to stand out, you constantly have to be doing something different!