What good books are you reading?

Brian Hammons


Leaders always need to read.  We must constantly keep in tune with what’s going on in our church, our world, and with the people we care for.  We must keep seeking new ideas, new insights, new ways of doing things that will energize our work – for the benefit of ourselves, yes, but most importantly for the benefit of the mission of those we lead.  To grow.  To be more fruitful.


                Bishop Schnase continually inspires and challenges with his reading list.  Several months ago he shared through a Review article and blog what he was reading at the time.  Leadership books, of course, both religious and secular context.  But many other things too to stretch the mind and heart with ideas, examples, inspiration, and just entertainment.   Bishop Schnase often shares some of those ideas in his messages and meetings he leads.


                So, what are you reading that helps in your leadership?  I asked that question recently in a meeting of the conference Lay Ministry Team.  Your district lay leaders and other LMT members are very busy, yet I was impressed with the number and variety of books they rattled off as meaningful to them at that time.  The Bible, of course is a given – we all must continually be studying scripture, seeking God’s word for our lives through the written word. 


                Here are several books that were mentioned.  You can find the entire list, with author, on the conference website, www.moumethodist.org, under the tabs “Laity Leadership”, “Lay Leader”,  and “Reading List”.  Also listed there are all 7 books for the LLD course.   Many other books would be on a comprehensive list of recommendations, but these are simply some that leaders mentioned they are reading now.  Here they are:


Journey in the Wilderness – New Life for Mainline Churches;  Reaching People under 40 while Keeping People over 60;  Five Practices of Fruitful Living;  Simple Church;  Winning on Purpose;  Good to Great and the Social Sectors;  Decision Points;  Next Christian;  Momentum for Life;  Slow Fade;  Tribal Church;  The Jesus Manifesto;  The Future of the United Methodist Church;  The Race to Reach Out;  Change Reaction;  The Reason for God – Belief in an age of Skepticism;  Three Cups of Tea;  The Source;  and Crazy Love.


                I’ve read some of these, and others I look forward to getting.  Frankly, I get more books than I can read (both in print and on Kindle), and my stack of books “in progress” keeps growing.  Hopefully you also find yourself seeking new ideas, new insights, and new ways of doing things through reading, and then sharing with others.  That’s one of the ways God is stimulating a “New Thing” through your leadership, through your church, to reach people for Jesus Christ and transform the world.


                THANKS again for your leadership in your commitment to grow in faith and fruitfulness. 


So – what good books are YOU reading these days?