Top Tens – Books (of all time)
It’s difficult to boil down to a short list the books that have most influenced my thinking and practical theology-leadership. The following is a stab at that task. Next year I may change my mind and have a fairly different list, who knows. I do highly recommend these books each for their own reasons. I have been a reading Christian for over 24 years and this list has survived the test of time and my personal scrutiny.
I didn’t bother to list publication dates or publishers because I believe they are all still in print and I recommend if you desire to purchase them you take the easy route and go through Amazon.com (www.amazon.com). I have found Amazon a quick and easy way to get books no matter how obscure they may be.
Knowing God (J.I. Packer, IVPress)
If I were king of the hill I would make this required reading by all Christians. Granted, this is no lightweight read I can only take in a few pages at a time, but it does wonders for my soul as much on my tenth reading as my first. It’s a book that would serve as a tool for a new believer in Christ as well as a challenge to the most seasoned veteran in the Church.
What’s So Amazing about Grace (Phillip Yancey)
I read a lot of books. My goal is a book a day approximately. I do this by more skimming than word for word reading or studying a book. This is the first book I carefully read in a couple of years. I laughed at points, I cried and I found myself coming to the conclusion that what the modern church needs desperately is an understanding of grace. I suspect many who follow Christ the most outwardly enthusiastically are the least schooled in the ways of grace.
Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness (Jerry Cook)
Jerry Cook said in this book what I always believed in my heart about the philosophy of ministry of a Spirit-led Christian and church life. Simply put, he put my heart into words. If you’ve read any of my books you will see a fair bit of Jerry bleeding through into my thinking. I have given away hundreds of copies of this book since it first came out over twenty years ago.
Corporate Lifecycles (Ichak Adizes)
How and why corporations grow and die and what you can do about it. Adizes is a Santa Monica-based change management consultant that has written the ultimate book on organizations that are seeking to make their way through cycles of growth without killing themselves or the organization in the process. As I read this book at several points Adizes so accurately describes me and the organization I lead it is almost scary. This is mandatory reading for our uppermost level pastors at VCC. Any leader in a rapidly growing organization ought to run not walk to the nearest bookstore and begin to read this one.
At the writing of this (January 1999), this book is temporarily out of print and about to be re-released in an updated form. You may still be able to order it or purchase it through Amazon.