9 Books Finished. 19 More To Go.
I set a goal for myself, at the beginning of the year, to read 28 books. These 28 books are in addition to my daily Bible reading. The goal of reading these books was not to plow through them or read them as fast as possible but to read these books and find something in each book to apply to my life.
Here are the nine books I have read so far this year.
StoryBrand by Donald Miller StoryBrand is a book that is helping me in regards to my role as the pastor of New Covenant. The whole point of this book is to clarify your message so that others know what you are saying. Reading this book has shown me the importance of being intentional with the message I want others to hear.
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown I really enjoyed reading this book. Brene is a gifted writer, intelligent, and to the point. I especially liked the chapter entitled "People are hard to hate close up. Move in." I wrote a blog post about this a few months back and you can check it out HERE if you are interested.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp As a parent, I have a desire to learn more about being a wise and prudent parent. This book encouraged me to direct and lead my children in the ways of God. Since God is love, all of my thoughts, motives, and actions toward my children should be motivated by love! Easy concept. Not always the easiest to do!
Holy Roar by Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead This book is about the 7 Hebrew words that describe worship in the Old Testament. I liked this book because Darren writes about the meaning of the Hebrew words and Chris Tomlin gave examples of how these words have been used in his music and ministry. My favorite word was "halal." Halal means to be clamorously foolish! I will praise God and if others think I am foolish than that is ok with me. (If you are looking for a quick read, this book is the one for you! Seven chapters but they are only 7-10 pages each. Fun and quick read!)
Move by Greg Hawkins I took pages and pages of notes when I read this book. In fact, the staff of New Covenant are in the process of reading through these notes and re-imagining how we approach ministry in the church. The whole premise of this book is how do we help people move to the next step that God has for them. If someone is at A, how do we help them get to B? If they are at B, how do we help them get to C? It's been a fun study and there is so much more learning and growing ahead.
The Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight The staff of New Covenant read through this book last year and finished it up this year. The Jesus Creed is basically this: Love God and love others. The chapter that I found very transformational in my life was the "Jesus Creed as the table." Jesus associated with the sick. The Outcasts. The prostitutes and tax collectors. The religious and irreligious. My mission after reading this chapter is to invite the sick to my table. My wife and I have purposed to open our lives up to those in our community. It's been rewarding and frustrating but it has definitely been the right move.
Multiply by Francis Chan This book is great if you want to be a disciple of Christ who makes disciples. Multiply is very informative and basically gives you an overview of the Bible and your place in it as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Each chapter is rich in content and also provides questions throughout the chapter for discussion and reflection. I am, along with other leaders, taking a group of teenagers through it right now and it is a wonderful disciple-making tool.
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster If I could recommend only ONE of these books to you it would be this one. Hands down. This line right out of the gate had me hooked, "Hurry is not of the devil; it is the devil." We are a hurried and distracted society with no time for what is really important in life. Foster encourages us to celebrate disciplines! Not discipline as in punishment but the disciplines of fasting, prayer, meditation, silence, solitude, and so many more. This world is a distracting place to live. Take some time to read this book. You will find peace and balance in your life like never before.
Great by Choice by Jim Collins Jim Collins is one of my favorite authors on the topic of leadership. He tells some great stories and gives great examples of how greatness is a choice. Not greatness in the sense of popularity or fame but in doing your best in everything. The 20-mile march sticks out to me the most in this book. Without going into a lot of detail, this 20-mile march helps you, and your organization, move forward during difficult and chaotic times. These are uncertain times but we can definitely navigate them with a degree of certainty.
And there you have it! These are the 9 books that I have read so far this year. Only 19 to go!
How about you? What have you been reading?
Until Monday, Josh