Each year I set out with a task to create and compile a reading list. While the term may be cliche, I really do believe that the best leaders are readers. Prior to seminary, my list was somewhat expansive. However, since starting seminary over a year ago, my reading requirements for school have taken a toll on my reading list. However, I have still been able to get around to some great books and would recommend the following.
Books That Should Make Your 2016 Reading List!
The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt – Edmund Morris
I was out to dinner with the CEO of my company, Faithlife, and during our conversation he recommended The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Bob expressed how much he appreciated Teddy Roosevelt. A practice I’ve always had is to jump on any books recommended to me from my bosses, so I got this book on my Kindle and jumped into the life of Teddy Roosevelt. What I found was incredible. A child who was prone to sickness and suffered life threatening bought’s with sickness multiple times rises to become a historical pillar of the U.S in both political and military categories.
Doing Theology: Reformed Theology – Dr. Michael Allen
While I typically refrain from including Seminary books in my list, I had to include Dr. Michael Allen’s book on Reformed Theology. Dr. Allen masterfully takes Reformed theology and breaks it down into its most core and important aspects. Further, it is written in a way that will appeal to both the serious theology scholar and the brand new Christian. While I would align myself with the reformed tradition, I believe this would be a great book for anyone who wants to learn more about the reformed tradition even if they may not fall in that camp.
Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently
A core function of my job is communication. Whether it is communicating in a small room teaching a workshop or in front of 5,000 people sharing how awesome and life changing Logos Bible Software is, I am communicating a specific message to a particular group of people. This book was recommended to me from my supervisor, and needless to say it has been a game changer. John Maxwell masterfully teaches us the basics and fundamental’s of not just communicating, but connecting. So, if you are a business or ministry leader, or have a desire to become one, this book is a must read.
The High-Definition Leader: Building Multiethnic Churches in a Multiethnic World – Derwin L. Gray
If you are a ministry leader, pastor, church planter, or someone who is dreaming about being a church planter, this book needs to jump to the beginning of your reading list. Derwin unpacks the biblical mandate to plant Multiethnic churches by taking us to the scriptures and showing us that this concept is not new. Rather, this multiethnic fusion has been the heart beat of God from the beginning and the Apostle Paul reflects this by planting multiethnic churches! In the midst of our current cultural climate with racial tension daily increasing, this book is incredibly timely and provides us with a framework of how to begin the process of racial reconciliation.
Evil and the Justice of God: N.T Wright
The thought of unpacking N.T Wright for my own personal reading apart from seminary initially was unthinkable. However, I realized that I needed to continue to unpack Wright’s literary works and this particular book was incredibly timely considering the long list of tragedies that have been taking place in our world. As a Christian I believe in the sovereignty of God and also know that after Genesis 3 sin destroyed our relationship with God and infected us with a desire to destroy and pursue our own selfish desires. Needless to say, the impact of sin on our society and the public has caused many to question the faithfulness of God and also how a good God can allow evil to take place in our world. Wright lays out a theological foundation that will help us to engage with this topic and starts by helping us understand the character and nature of God which includes His Justice and how it interacts with evil.
I hope some of these books make your 2016 reading list. I’ll be posting my 2016 reading list over the next week. What books are on your list? Let me know in the comments section on this post, twitter, or Facebook!
And don’t forget, the best leaders are readers!