Monday, June 1, 2015

9 Books For Pastors To Read This Summer

One of my favorite bloggers, Trevin Wax, recently wrote a post highlighting ten books he recommends his readers digest this summer. I liked the idea and thought I would offer ten books worth reading this summer with an emphasis on pastoral ministry.

The following list is in no particular order. Happy readings!

1. Death by Love: Letters From the Cross by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

The book that opened my eyes to gospel-centered ministry was this one. The premise of the book is a series of letters written to real members who are facing serious challenges. Each chapter applies the atonement to those situations - redemption, Christus Exemplar, etc.

2. One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World by Tullian Tchividjian

If you want to understand the beauty of grace, I highly recommend this book by Billy Graham's grandson.

3. A Necessary Grief: Essential Tools for Leadership in Bereavement Ministry by Larry Michaels

Most pastors are inadequately trained in grief counseling. This is an excellent resource to help pastors in that regard.

4. What Every Pastor Should Know: 101 Indispensable Rules of Thumb for Leading Your Church by Gary McIntosh and Charles Arn

Most pastoral ministry books are either introductory (here is how to do funerals, etc.) or statistical (after an extensive survey we found this . . .). This book is different. It bypasses the basics of ministry (funerals, weddings, etc.) and focuses on the practical side of leading in ministry. It is extremely practical and insightful and I would consider it a must-read for all pastors.

5. From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology.

Your preaching will improve once you understand the meta-narrative of Scripture. This is a helpful book in that regard.

6. Neighborhood Mapping: How to Make Your Church Invaluable to the Community

Ministry is work. We cannot expect people to come to us, we must now go to them. This is a very practical book in that regard.

7. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham

Though I don't agree with every conclusion of Dr. Bauckham in this work, it is an excellent academic work that convincingly shows the reliability of the four Gospels. It is an excellent resource to have on one's bookshelf.

8. The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters by Albert Mohler

Pastoral ministry has three main priorities: preaching, pastoring, and leading. Most ministers favor one over the others. In this book, Molher, a proven leader himself, provides helpful insight into the skill of leadership that many pastors neglect but must excel at.

9. Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit

Pastors should read more than just theology and commentaries. For those familiar with JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, you will enjoy this book which explores many of its themes. I appreciate Tolkien's genius even more having read it.
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