Five Books for Church Leaders

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I took part in an interview where I was asked about five books that I would recommend to church leaders. I have read a bunch of great books over the last couple of years, which made it tough to narrow it down… but I would love to hear your thoughts on my list (and yes, they are affiliate links, help a brother out?):

  • Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne. This book was a great reminder that the church is made up of multiple streams, each of which add to the richness of christendom. The book challenges us to play nicely with those from other streams, and refrain from being pharisaical in our passion for the stream we find ourselves in. I found this book to be a refreshing, and quick, read that forced me to rethink some of my own pharisaic tendencies.
  • Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet. This book is a must have for anyone involved in church revitalization. While not written from the perspective of a church, David Marquet totally transformed the culture of the worst performing nuclear submarines in the US Navy by empowering those around him to lead. I have frequently used this book in my coaching relationships, as it lays out a fantastic example of how to lead culture change.
  • The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. Lencioni’s seminal work outlines how to create a healthy organizational culture. We all know how badly the church world needs this.
  • Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley and Center Church by Tim Keller. While these are two very different books, they both do a great job of explaining why North Point and Redeemer do church the way they do. While Time and Andy are both clear that you need to adapt the principles in these books to your church, let me reinforce it ahead of time: do not read these books if you are looking to be just like North Point or Redeemer. You can’t be just like North Point or Redeemer… you are in a different context.
  • The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. The reason I love this book is because pastors are creatives. We may not want to admit it to ourselves, or anyone else, but we are regularly creating things on demand. Whether it is a sermon, a lesson, or a new program, we need to understand how best to create healthy rhythms and practices that support our creativity.

What five books do YOU think every church leader should read?


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.