RECOMMENDED READING

Church Health

Make or Break Your Church in 365 Days

by Paul D. Borden
Pastors, of even lengthy tenure, often overlook the most basic essentials of effective leadership and ministry that are seldom taught in seminaries.

Assaulting the Gates: Aiming All God’s People at the Mission Field

by Paul D. Borden
Many churches want to make the transition from an inward to an outward focus, from catering to the needs of members to reaching out into the world to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Too often they try to accomplish this radical change by taking half steps and partial measures, initiating a new program here or adding a new staff members there. Yet this kind of change requires more. To succeed in changing its core focus this way, a congregation must learn strategic thinking; it must commit itself to seeing the big picture, and to taking the steps necessary to paint that picture afresh. Everyone, including pastors, lay leaders, key teams and groups, and the congregation as a whole must be involved in a process of transformation.

Taking Your Church to the Next Level: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

by Gary L. McIntosh
All local churches experience a predictable life cycle of growth and decline. But if a church is on a downward trend, how can it turn around? Taking Your Church to the Next Level explains the impact of age and size on churches and outlines the improvements that must be made at each point for a church to remain fruitful and faithful to its mission. McIntosh deftly describes the cycles of fruitfulness and the importance of continual improvement to diminish destructive forces that keep a congregation from its mission. Church leaders, pastors, and all who care about the church and desire to see it experience biblical growth will benefit from the sage wisdom offered in these pages.

The Apostolic Congregation: Church Growth Reconceived for a New Generation

by George G. Hunter III
Apostolic congregations are churches whose every program exists for the purpose of presenting the gospel to non-Christians, and making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Mission/Vision

Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement

by Will Mancini
Written by church consultant Will Mancini expert on a new kind of visioning process to help churches develop a stunningly unique model of ministry that leads to redemptive movement. He guides churches away from an internal focus to emphasize participation in their community and surrounding culture. In this important book, Mancini offers an approach for rethinking what it means to lead with clarity as a visionary. Mancini explains that each church has a culture that reflects its particular values, thoughts, attitudes, and actions and shows how church leaders can unlock their church’s individual DNA and unleash their congregation’s one-of-a-kind potential.

God Dreams: 12 Vision Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church’s Future

by Will Mancini
God Dreams shows how to reclaim the role of long-range vision today by providing 12 vision templates, each with biblical, historical and contemporary illustrations. These vision starters will dramatically accelerate your team’s ability to find complete agreement regarding your church’s future. God Dreams explains how to overcome the fruitless planning efforts that many church teams experience.  With a tool called the Horizon Storyline, leaders can connect short-term action steps with the long-range dream, while leveraging the power of storytelling to make the plan “stick.”  This tool will galvanize a diverse team of ministry leaders and volunteers with unprecedented enthusiasm.

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

by Patrick M. Lencioni
The Advantage is a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides. An organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified. Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where people never want to leave.

The Body of Christ: A new way of seeing and understanding the Church

This book traces out, from Genesis to Revelation, the beautiful story of God’s love in wanting to unite his spiritual and eternal nature with the mankind, finally succeeding with the Incarnation of the Eternal Word and the emergence of the Church as “extension” of Christ.

Church Polity/Governance

Winning on Purpose

by John Kaiser
Kaiser helps pastors and church boards understand the role of not merely managing ministry but of becoming leaders of the organizations’ Mission and Vision to help churches fulfill the purpose to “Equip the Saints to do the work of the ministry.”

Leading Leaders: Empowering Church Boards for Ministry Excellence

by Aubrey Malphurs
The key to effective leadership in the vast majority of today’s churches lies as much with their governing boards as it does with their pastor. But many churches are lead by those who volunteer to chair committees because there is a need, yet they have no leadership training to speak of. How can well meaning but sometimes ill prepared lay people guide the path of a church body? The secret lies in offering effective, practical training. Leadership expert Aubrey Malphurs provides this in Leading Leaders. Filling a gaping hole in leadership literature, Malphurs offers work able strategies to train laypeople to successfully lead their churches.

Leadership

Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

by Robert E. Quinn
Deep Change is a survival manual for finding our own internal leadership power. By helping us learn new ways of thinking and behaving, it shows how we can transform ourselves from victims to powerful agents of change.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
To have clarity in values, mission and vision are essential but the breakdown comes in implementation. Execution will give insight into getting results.

Personal Development

Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving

by Bob Burns and Tasha D. Chapman
The authors uncover five key themes that promote healthy, sustainable ministry that lasts–spiritual formation, self-care, emotional and cultural intelligence, marriage and family, leadership and management. These themes are unpacked from the vantage point of ministry on the ground. Questions for personal evaluation and reflection are included throughout the book to bring home the significance of each section. This is the perfect companion for a peer cohort of pastors to read together.

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

by Kerry Patterson
This book gives you the tools to prepare for high-stakes conversations, transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue, and make it safe to talk about almost anything. Get unstuck with best practice skills for high-stakes interactions. The authors they began by researching the behaviors of top performers. They found that most of the time, top influencers were indistinguishable from their peers. But as soon as the stakes grew high, emotions ran strong, and opinions differed, top performers were significantly more effective. What the authors observed during this study and captured in this runaway bestseller is a distinct and learnable set of skills that produce immediate results.

Small Group Ministry

Sticky Church

by Larry Osborne
In Sticky Church, author and pastor Larry Osborne makes the case that closing the back door of your church is even more important than opening the front door wider. He offers a time-tested strategy for doing so: sermon-based small groups that dig deeper into the weekend message and tightly Velcro members to the ministry. Beyond sermon-based small group ministry Larry Osborne will challenge churches to align current ministries to the target audience.

Assimilation

Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church

by Nelson Searcy
Built on Nelson Searcy’s Assimilation Seminar, Fusion offers you a step-by-step, biblically-grounded, tested and proven plan for establishing a relationship with newcomers that starts with the first seven minutes of their visit and ultimately prompts them to become fully developing members of your congregation. This innovative, practical guide is full of how-to information, testimonials from newcomers-turned- members and from participating church leaders, examples of assimilation materials and check points to make sure you stay on track. Here is help for setting newcomers on the path toward true life transformation and spiritual maturity.

Outreach/Evangelism

The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated

by James Emery White
In this hard-hitting examination of our churches’ current evangelism methods, which often result only in transfer growth–Christians moving from one church to another–rather than in reaching the nones, James Emery White calls us to discover the mission field right outside our doors. The pastor of a megachurch that is currently experiencing 70 percent of its growth from the unchurched, White knows how to reach this growing demographic, and here he shares his ministry strategies with concerned pastors and church leaders, answering questions like:  Exactly who are the unaffiliated? · What caused this seismic shift in our culture? · How can our churches reach these people?

Re-Imagining Evangelism

by Rick Richardson –
Sometimes talking about Jesus with your friends can feel like trying to close a deal on a sales call, pushing something on people they may not really want. But what if you thought of it more like inviting them on a spiritual journey? Imagine being free to be yourself and free for the Spirit to work in you. Imagine that it doesn’t depend on you alone but that you can be an important part of a witnessing community. Imagine telling people stories instead of trying to download content. Here is your invitation to reimagine what evangelism could be for you.

The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside your Door

by Jay Pathak
What if Jesus meant that we should love our actual neighbors? When Jesus was asked to sum up everything into one command, he said to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most of us have turned this simple idea of loving our neighbors into a nice saying, putting it on bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets and then going on with our lives without actually putting it into practice.
What would happen if every follower of Jesus took the Great Commandment literally? Is it possible that the solution to our society’s biggest issues has been right under our noses for the past two thousand years?

8 to 15, The World Is Smaller Than You Think

by Tom Mercer
On the average, each of us has 8 to 15 people, whom God has supernaturally and strategically placed in our relational world so that He might use us to show them His love. The Greeks used one word to describe this personal world-oikos. This book is not about programs or events, but a new way to view the world around us. The oikos principle is one that Jesus designed, modeled and taught, for one purpose, to change the world-a world that might just be smaller than you think!

Organic Outreach for Churches: Infusing Evangelistic Passion in Your Local Congregation

by Kevin G. Harney
Nearly all churches and ministries consider themselves dedicated to evangelism, and many explicitly include outreach in their mission statements. But few are actually bearing fruit. Kevin Harney diagnoses this problem and offers guidance for multiplying the outreach impact of churches. Organic Outreach for Churches provides direction for local congregations to weave evangelism into the fabric of the church. Commitment to the Great Commission is not simply about sending money and prayers to missions or holding occasional events to reach out (although these things are good). Organic outreach happens when evangelistic vision and action become the domain of every ministry and the commitment of every person in the congregation. This will not happen accidentally. There is huge spiritual and practical resistance to such changes. But the only way evangelism will become an organic part of a church is when every leader and each member is gripped by a commitment to proclaiming the gospel. This book is a roadmap for pastors and leaders who wish to infuse evangelistic passion into every aspect of their church’s life.