2010 was a great year with regard to incredible books for church leaders. We've seen proven additions from Bruce Wilkinson, C. Peter Wagner and John Maxwell, among others. As the old saying goes, all leaders are readers, and that's especially true of growing church leaders. With that in mind, here's the Top 10 Books of 2010 for Church Leaders:
#10: You Were Born For This by Bruce Wilkinson - Anyone can do a good deed, but some good works can only happen by an act of God. Around the world these acts are called miracles-not that even religious people expect to see one any time soon. But what would happen if millions of ordinary people walked out each morning expecting God to deliver a miracle through them to a person in need? You Were Born for This starts with the dramatic premise that everyone at all times is in need of a miracle, and that God is ready to meet those needs supernaturally through ordinary people who are willing to learn the "protocol of heaven."
#9: How to Become a Fierce Competitor: What Winning Companies Do and Great Managers Do in Tough Times by Jeffrey J. Fox - Economic downturns separate the winning companies from the struggling. And as best-selling author Jeffrey J. Fox shows, tough times also give solid companies, strong managers, and potential rainmakers the opportunity to seize market share. In this eminently readable, practical resource for business leaders and managers, Fox explains exactly how the savvy few who rise to the top stay focused and alert, get new market share, hire good recently fired talent, increase investments into customer service, speed innovation, train all customer facing people, make acquisitions, get rid of underperformers, build brand names, pay for measurable performance, and lots more.
#8: Rework by Jason Fried - Jason Fried and David Hansson follow their own advice in REWORK, laying bare the surprising philosophies at the core of 37signals' success and inspiring us to put them into practice. There's no jargon or filler here just hundreds of brilliantly simple rules for success. Part entrepreneurial handbook for the twenty-first century, part manifesto for anyone wondering how work really works in the modern age, REWORK is required reading for anyone tired of business platitudes.
#7: The Confession by John Grisham - For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn't understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn't care. He just can't believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed.
#6: Outrageous Advertising by Bill Glazer - Here is an OUTRAGEOUS idea – it's easy to make a lot of money from advertising. That's right, easy money! This book, OUTRAGEOUS ADVERTISING THAT'S OUTRAGEOUSLY SUCCESSFUL, explains in certain terms how to advertise and make money. No more guesswork. That's OUTRAGEOUS by itself! Lots of advertising programs claim to want to help you stand out. This one works. This is material you can use immediately. Presented by Advertising Guru Bill Glazer, who has spent years teaching this at seminars, implementing it in the trenches in his own Baltimore menswear business, and providing it to dozens of clients in all industries,
#5: The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE by Thomas J. Peters - This book from Tom Peters is packed with insight that immediately applicable to us as church leaders. Over 160 short chapters on 'getting the little things right.' As church leaders, we know that the little things matter - they matter to assimilation, they matter to leadership and, of course, they matter to theology. While a few chapters only apply to big business and Tom's language can be a bit salty from time to time, the gold that is found from mining this book makes it more than worth it for any Senior Pastor. If you've never read a Tom Peters book, this one is also a great one to start with.
#4: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell - You have a good idea but can't convince your peers of its merit. You crafted a groundbreaking strategy, but the team trudges on in the same old way. Certain people move forward in their career while you seem to be stuck. If this describes you or someone you know, the problem is not the quality of what you have to offer. The problem is how you connect with people to create the results you desire.
#3: Bod 4 God: The Four Keys to Weight Loss by Steve Reynolds - The media labeled Steve Reynolds, The Anti-Fat Pastor after he lost more than 100 pounds and launched a stunningly successful weight-loss program in his church and community. In Bod 4 God, Pastor Steve reveals the four keys that have unlocked the door to health and fitness for him and for countless others who have dedicated their bodies to God! Steve had been overweight all of his life-he weighed over 100 pounds in the first grade! After playing football during high school and college, he vowed never to exercise or run laps again. That was one promise he kept, ballooning to 340 pounds and staying there for years. Now, in Bod 4 God, he shares the simple lifestyle changes-both inside and out-that led to his incredible weight loss, and he invites readers to change their lives forever by committing their bodies to God's glory! In addition, Steve shows local churches how to impact the health of their entire community, by hosting Losing to Live events, such as weight-loss competitions and team-driven fitness campaigns.
#2: Wrestling with Alligators, Prophets and Theologians by C. Peter Wagner - For the past half-century, C. Peter Wagner has been at the leading edge of the key spiritual paradigm shifts which have been accompanied by major moves of the Holy Spirit. In the 1960s the missionary movement in South America was at its peak-and Dr. Wagner was there. In the 1970s he was a recognized authority in the church-growth movement. In the 1980s he taught a popular course at Fuller Seminary with Vineyard movement leader John Wimber that advocated praying healing for the sick, spiritual mapping, identificational repentance and spiritual warfare; Dr. Wagner coined the phrase "Third Wave" to describe this fresh move of the Holy Spirit-the impact of which is still being felt today. In the 1990s he became a leader of the New Apostolic Reformation, and in the new millennium he has championed the Dominion Mandate, adopting the Seven Mountain (or 7M) template for reclaiming the culture for God's Kingdom.
#1: The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner - In these turbulent times, when the very foundations of organizations and societies are shaken, leaders need to move beyond pessimistic predictions, trendy fads, and simplistic solutions. They need to turn to what's real and what's proven. In their engaging, personal, and bold new book, Kouzes and Posner reveal ten time-tested truths that show what every leader must know, the questions they must be prepared to answer, and the real-world issues they will likely face.