Bill Taylor is one of the founding editors of Fast Company magazine. I was an early fan when it focused more on ideas and new ways of doing things. He has a new book out called Practically Radical and I really enjoyed it. If you are looking for something to stimulate new ideas in whatever you do this this is it. The ideas comes fast and furious and I found myself highlighting a good portion of this book in my kindle. He segments the book into three sections: Transforming Your Company, Shaking Up Your Industry, and Challenging Yourself. Each section is rich although the third section is more about team work and collaboration than personal development. That said if you are an idea person you will be well served to read this.
I am usually not a big fan of Gray’s books. A friend and I call him the Dentist because what he says is necessary but it is sometimes painful to read his stuff. Let’s face it, he is a Professor at Talbot Theological Seminary and those types are more known for information than inspiration. He is getting better at relating to the reader when he writes but many times, these books included, it turns into an information dump. But these books were necessary for the stage that I am at as a leader and where we are at as a church. There is a ton of good stuff in here and the warning he signals about dying churches needs to be heeded by everyone who leads a church. If you are looking to refine your missions and vision as a church I suggest these books.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
When this book came out it was recommended buy everyone and their brother. Partly because Pastor Tullian is the grandson of Billy Graham and partly because he runs in the circles of many of the Reurgent Pastors like Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler. I bought the book because it is supposedly an exposition on Colossians and to be honest it starts out great! He takes us through the story of how his church plant and Coral Ridge Presbyterian merged together and the mess that ensued afterwards. The problem is that he leaves the story hanging and, as far as I have read, doesn’t return to it. As an English major in college the first lesson they teach you in writing is to finish the story. Instead he launches into not so much an exposition but a diatribe on Reformed thinking. To be honest I am tired of the line that if you are trying to please God it is because you are trying to gain God’a favor. It seems they rant on the whole issue of Liberty vs. Legalism and don’t leave any room for obedience. To me it is so narrow minded and got old quickly in this book.
The Seed by Jon Gordon
Jon Gordon is a personal coach and Sales guru. I stumbled across this book somehow and enjoyed it because it is a lot like Patrick Lencioni’s books though not as good. For the typical pastor I wouldn’t recommend it, even though the main characters father is a pastor. There are some good ideas to gleam from this and if you are feeling stuck in what you are doing the process he advocates might do you some good.
Replenish by Lance Witt
Lance used to be the Executive Pastor at Saddleback church and pastor with over 30 years of ministry experience. He writes from personal example how pastor can recover from burnout and offers a plan to stay away from it. It is a lengthy book that is written in short chapters covering the gamut of topics a pastor faces. Some of the chapters are very good and some are a little redundant. The last section focuses on doing ministry as a team and is worth the purchase alone considering most pastors work as lone rangers. If the years of ministry have worn you down I encourage you to read this. It may in fact help replenish your weary soul.