I have read some really good books lately. Here are the last five I've read in the last two weeks. Remember, leaders are readers...
1. Knowing Jesus Through The Old Testament by Christopher J.H. Wright.
This book helps today's Christian understand Jesus in light of the Old Testament. We cannot really know Christ without knowing his story. His purpose, ministry, identity, and values are all wrapped up in the Old Testament.
Critique: Very in-depth. Somewhat devotional but more academic. The writer does a good job of explaining how Jesus ministry was shaped by the Old Testament. He also shows how the OT complements and is as important as the New Testament. About 250 pages.
2. You Were Born For This by Bruce Wilkinson
Dr. Wilkinson tells how God wants to do a miracle through every believer. We just have to be ready for it. In his other book, The Prayer of Jabez, Wilkinson talks about being blessed. This book is about being a vessel God can use to bless others.
Critique: I just finished this book tonight. I walked away from it ready for God to do a miracle through me! A powerful read. You must get this book and let God start working through you. People all around you today need a miracle. God wants to use you to help them and show them Him! About 225 pages. A fast read, but don't go too fast.
3. The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
This book on leadership was formed out of a conference by John Maxwell. The five leadership practices the authors propose are powerful and go hand-in-hand. We must 1) challenge the current methods and not be satisfied with business as usual, 2) share our vision with others and inspire them to join us, 3) we must enabling others to act in the vision, 4) we must model the vision and 5) encouraging those who we lead.
Critique: One of the best books on leadership. I read it all at once - I couldn't put it down. The stories the contributing authors (John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Nancy Ortberg, Patrick Lencioni, etc.) share are very inspiring. About 250 pages.
4. Doing Church As A Team by Wayne Cordeiro
Wayne Cordeiro is the pastor of New Hope Church in Hawaii. He shares great insight about how the church should be done as a team of people. The church is full of gifts and abilities and we as pastors need to learn how to help people join together and build the church. He gives great insight through examples of his church.
Critique: One of the greatest things he said was "church should be a battleship, not a cruise ship". A cruise ship has only a few people working to serve the others there. On a battleship, everyone has a job to do. Great book on using the spiritual gifts of people in the church. About 230 pages.
5. The Peacemaker by Ken Sande
One of the best books on bringing peace and restoration to relationships. Conflicts will happen. The Christian response to conflict is making peace and restoration. Do you know how to do this? Do you know what steps to take? This book will tell you how.
Critique: Great book on restoration. The "4 G's" were really good - 1) Glorify God, 2) Get the log out of your own eye, 3) Gently restore, and 4) Go and be reconciled. About 300 pages. Great workbook and website as well. www.peacemaker.net