Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Must Read Book Combos

I love to read. It’s just the way that I’m wired. I know plenty of people don’t enjoy reading; all I can say is oh well...

I’m semi committed to trying to read 52 books a year. I haven’t got there yet (mainly because studies keep me away from novels most of the time). I managed 46 in 2007, 36 in 2008, and am on target for another 36 or so this year.

Here are some book combos you might enjoy over the summer. I’ve tried to group some of the best books I’ve read this year together in groups of three. The intention being that the books while different from each other are complimentary in regards to broader themes and input.

I would 100% recommend every book on this list to all pastors and leaders. None of them are duds.

Why don’t you try a combo this summer?

Leadership & Management

How to Get Things Done – David Allen
(Fantastic book about managing your things to do list and responsibilities in life)
Communicating for a Change – Andy Stanley
(Excellent read about how to communicate more effectively, especially in regards to public speaking / preaching)
Death by Meeting – Patrick Lencioni
(Are you in too many meetings, running to many meetings, find most meetings pointless? This book will help you refine your meetings and increase productivity and effectiveness)

Biblical Grand-Narrative

The Lost World of Genesis One – John Walton
(A must read for all pastors, this book looks at Genesis chapter 1 as temple inauguration, massive implications in regards to creation, evolution, and how we deal with the creation account of Genesis)
The Drama of Scripture – C.G Bartholomew and M.W Goheen
(Excellent read and explanation of the big story of the bible. This is the big story in which every other story fits, every sermon is back dropped by, and ministry shaped)
Surprised by Hope – N.T Wright
(Wright as usual is outstanding. Surprised by Hope looks at life after life after death. A MUST read in regards to heaven, recreation and eternal life)


Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger – Ronald J Sider
(Deals with the realities of poverty for so much of the world; what will the Christian response be?)
A Life Stripped Bare – Leo Hickman
(A light hearted look at one man’s attempts to live an environmentally ethical life a big city)
Freedom of Simplicity - Richard Foster
(Outstanding challenge from Foster in regards to simplicity in our lifestyle choices and attitudes. One of my best reads this year)

Spiritual Disciplines

Fasting – Scot McKnight
(Inspired me to fast with renewed vigour, understanding and passion. Excellent explanation of what fasting is, is not, and why anyone would fast)
Off Road Disciplines – Earl Creps
(This is a great book about some alternative disciplines that are helpful in growth in life such as reverse mentoring. Senior Pastors, you want to read this)
Freedom of Simplicity – Richard Foster
(Outstanding challenge from Foster in regards to simplicity in our lifestyle choices and attitudes. One of my best reads this year)

Church Culture

The Church in Emerging Culture – Leonard Sweet
(Four different perspectives on the church in today’s culture, great lessons to be learnt from different perspectives)
Everything Must Change – Brian McLaren
(Essential read, some timely challenges to the message and mission of the church in the 21st Century)
The Essence of the Church – Craig van Gelder
(Brilliant book about what the church is. Discusses nature, then ministry, then organisational life of the church. Too often as leaders we discuss church around the wrong way)
Deep Church – Jim Belcher
(Offers a third way between emerging church and traditional church. If you’re in or lead Pentecostal church (like me) then reality is you are already a mix off all of the above. Worth a read for sure)


Random Designer – Richard Colling
(Discuss the compatibility of evolution and creation)
Saved from Sacrifice – S. Mark Heim
(Challenges traditional views of atonement theory, excellent read for all pastors)
Theology for the Community of God – Stanley Grenz
(Outstanding, outstanding, outstanding, everyone should at least read one book on systematic theology in their life, this is it!)

What books would you recommend I read?


Danielle said...

Read "Scared" (Tom Davis) fiction with a conscience. Totally breaks your heart for what breaks Gods all over again. Find out more at
"Irresistable Revolution" (Shane Claiborne) living as an ordinary radical - challenges the way you do nearly everything! Great book!

Joseph McAuley said...

Thanks Danielle, I'll have a look at Sacred. Lisa read Irresistable Revolution earlier in the year, it's on the list. Sounded very good.