I was looking at my bookshelf the other day and realized that this year was a fairly good reading year for me. So, I started trying to remember what I read and how I liked what I read. So, I’ve decided to share that here. I was going to post my thoughts all at once, but when i was done writing I had six pages of text! That’s way too much to read so I am going to post them one section at a time.

Book Reviews to come in the next few days:

Organic Community by Joe Myers
This, along with Joe’s first book (The Search to Belong), has been one of the most helpful books I have read when it comes to leadership. I personally believe that if we let the stuff that Joe writes about sink it, it will dramatically change the way we approach community and leadership. His chapter on power was worth the price of the book. I think the problem people find in this book (and his second book) is that he seems to be dealing with small issues. But, I’ve come to realize that its these small issues that make a huge difference to how people see and respond to our leadership as pastors.

Giving and Stewardship in an Effective Church by Kennon Callahan
If I could recommend 10 books to a church planter this would be in the top 5. I know the title makes it sound old school and out of date. But that is so far from the truth! I personally believe that one of the biggest issues in the “emerging church” or “missional church” is our horrible way of dealing with money and offering. We’ve made it an embarrassment to what we do instead of an incredible opportunity to generously give to what we care about. In this book, the best thing that Ken does is share how people respond to language when it is used in the invitation to give. Seriously, get this book. I believe that if you buy into what he is saying it will change not only your church budget but it will give you a language to invite your people to be generous well beyond your budget. (Note: Ken has a different writing style. It takes getting used to. If you want to really learn about these issues join me in Atlanta in February at his conference.).

Intuitive Leadership by Tim Keel
Tim is one of those guys who, within the first 10 minutes of meeting him I knew was the real deal. In getting to know some poeple who are well-known in our small world of church ministry, I am sometimes so dissappoitned as i realize these people are really more interetsed in being known than they are pastoring people. Tim is one of those guys who I could tell just loves his church and loves his people. I loved this book because his story and my story are not too far off (though, they do depart in some major ways). I am not sure if this book gave me any big new insight, but man was it encouraging and I’d recommend it to anyone (I’d especially recommend it to anyone who is trying to figure out what in the heck postmodernism is and what it means for the church).

Effective Church Leadership by Kennon Callahan
Ken Callahan is a 70 year old who gets what it means to be missional and I don’t think he even knows it. He doesn’t really know too much about emergent. He doesn’t have to. He just gets it. This book addresses the tensions that many of us are feeling, “how do we structure and cultivate a missional environment?” He gives some good (not perfect, but good) advice and thoughts on just that in this book.

Twelve Keys to an Effective Church by Kennon Callahan
Lest anyone think that I think Ken can do no wrong let me say this. This book is fairly outdated. The title says it all does it not?! But, let me also say this, chapter 1 is worth the price of the book and the other chapters are worth it to if taken with a grain of salt.