Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Books I want to read

I'm always collecting book recommendations (some of them from blog readers-- thanks!), and I have a running list in my PDA/Entourage notes of books I want and/or plan to obtain and read. Here is the list of books I hope to read over the coming months:
  • One Size Doesn't Fit All: Bringing Out the Best in Any Size Church by Gary McIntosh-- McIntosh is one of the leading experts in “church growth” theory and practice. I respect his knowledge of trends and growth issues immensely.
  • Built to Last by Jim Collins-- this is a “prequel” of sorts to Collins' Good to Great, which is a great book on leadership. Built to Last should be good on many of the same issues.
  • The E-Myth by Michael Gerber-- this one was recommended, but from the looks of it from Amazon it has shadows of some of Collins' usefulness; that is, business principles apply in a limited way to the church, but they are still helpful.
  • Before You Move: a Guide to Making Transitions in Ministry by John Cionca-- I read Cionca's book Red Light, Green Light years ago, and have found it to be one of the most helpful books on ministry transition I've ever read (before or since). I have lamented its falling out of print for years, and I cling to my copy dearly. It looks like Cionca has revised and added to that book in this edition. This could emerge as a big recommendation from me on transition.
  • Eating the Elephant: Leading the Established Church to Growth by Thom Rainer-- this man is one of my heroes, especially in the area of writing great resources for the church based on careful and useful research. This book focuses on revitalization in the church, so it is something especially interesting to me.
  • The Half-Empty Heart by Alan Downs-- this one came recommended out of my “Marriage and Family Counseling” class in seminary, and has a lot of promise as a useful resource for many of the relationships I minister within, now and in the future.
  • The Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzero and Warren Bird-- the latest addition to the list, this one focuses on the need for emotional health (in addition to spiritual health) for a church to have true vitality. This is another one that has a lot of promise regarding revitalization and the aspects of church ministry I am interested in.
Of course, these will have to be read in addition to the required reading for seminary and the reading I do for teaching at Wildwood Christian School. I'll probably get through most of these between now and the end of the year; by then, of course, there will be another list this long or longer! The writer of Ecclesiastes knew of what he spoke when he said, “of making books there is no end...” (Ecc. 12:12).

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