5 books that helped me be a better leader!

I’m not sure about you but I know I can always be a better leader. Even after being a lead pastor since 2006 I still need to learn. We are all different and learn differently. In high school, I didn’t really try much and I bought into the idea that I just wasn’t that smart and I couldn’t focus when reading. I did this thing when I was younger called “Hooked on Phonics”. HA!

Little did I know that when I graduated I started to have this desire to learn about different things. I did what I never really did before, I started to read. I started reading especially when it came to me being a young leader because of the book of Proverbs. I wanted to be wise. I wanted to have wisdom. I wanted to explore new ways of doing things. I’m constantly asking questions, seeking wisdom and learning how to be a better leader. I want to share with you about 5 books that I think anyone can read that will help you be a better leader, co-worker, friend, husband, wife, and Christian.

This year I have set a goal to read 12 books and put things into practice with what I read. Maybe 12 for you is not that much but maybe 12 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:

Does Prayer Change Things?, R.C. Sproul This is a very small book that really looks into the question we have all asked. Does prayer change things? I really like this book and believe that if you are Christian this book will help you focus on why you should pray. R.C. Sproul reminds us that prayer has a vital place in the life of a Christian.

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 Urgent. God Is on the Move. Now 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. I know some may skip over this because in the Church realm Andy Stanley can be viewed in many different ways. I’m not saying I agree with everything BUT I am saying that this book has helped me focus on what matters. This insightful book speaks to every leader who longs 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 ministry that is extremely focused!

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.

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!

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