6 Best Books I Read This Year

Ever had a book sound great?  You pick it up, or buy it online only to find out after a few chapters that it wasn’t worth your money? I have!  Let me save you the trouble by recommending some great books on Leadership and Missions that are a definite good investment.

Prov 1:5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—

Here is a short  summary of the best 6 books I’ve read in the last year and how they have influenced me.   I hope you will glean from these “mentors” as much as I have.

insanityInsanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken

We live and work in a world where persecution of Jesus followers is on the rise.  Nik Ripken lived and worked in a country where sharing the gospel meant you could be killed.  His words of wisdom and faith challenged me to overcome my fears in new ways.  He writes on page 38 “The ultimate goal of persecution is to silence witness.”  Throughout his book Nik gives a bold challenge to walk in obedience by actively sharing our faith even when we are “sheep among wolves” as Jesus said we would be.  Challenging and inspiring, this is not an easy book to read, but a powerful and helpful one those of us who work among the unreached.

Jesus Journey by Trent Shepherd Jesus Journey

If you need a fresh look at the gospels from a new perspective, this is a great book.  Trent helps us to see the humanity of Jesus with fresh insight- what did he feel, what were his relationships really like, what was it like for him in his humanness?  Each chapter takes the reader to a story from the gospels and sheds light on who Jesus is within that context.  If you are longing to know Jesus more, this book will help to guide you.  In my devotional life, I enjoy reading books like this for encouragement and help as I draw near to Jesus, seeking greater intimacy with the one I love.  Jesus Journey was helpful to me in this way.

Essentialism Essentialism by Greg McKeown

This book was recommended to me and a group of leaders I work with by an organizational and leadership consultant who wanted us to do less but see more fruit for our efforts.  It is not written from a strictly Christian perspective but many of the insights in the book truly align with God’s word.  Greg first describes what it means to live as an essentialist person and leader.  He then writes about how to understand what are “trivial many” activities and what are “vital few” things that really take us forward in our destiny and vision.  This book has had a significant impact on me!  It’s an easy read, but one of those that will shift your paradigms and how you think about your life.  It helped me to narrow my focus, do what really matters, and to be less busy overall while being more productive and fulfilled.

The Broken Way by Ann Voscamp Broken Way

If you’ve never read Ann Voscamp, let me highly recommend her to you!  She is honest, real, and a beautifully descriptive writer.  I love her vulnerability and openness about her own journey.  It brings encouragement and strength to my journey too.  On page 20 she writes “Brokenness happens in a soul so the power of God can happen in a soul.” In this book she talks about grief, pain, and brokenness in all of our lives and what to do with it as we walk this journey with Jesus.  I came away encouraged to embrace my grief and brokenness rather than trying to run from it and with a new ability to see how God was using it in my life.  Great book!

Necessary Endings Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud

I listened to this book on audible.  Henry Cloud is another one of my favorite authors.  His wisdom and insights for leadership and living emotionally healthy lives always impact me.  This book was no exception.  He writes about the importance of ending things that no longer give life, and helps us see that this is normal not horrible.    He talks about how to discern when the season for something that had worked well in the past is over, and when it needs to end in order for new things to emerge and grow.  This book helped me look at this issue in both my life and organization and take courageous steps to move forward rather than being stuck.  If you feel like things aren’t moving forward, or you are stuck in a relationship, mindset or system, this book will really help.

Pursuing God’s Will Together by Ruth Haley Barton Pursuing God's will

This past year was an important decision making year for our ministry.  We were beginning a transition to a new leadership. We needed discernment, to hear from God.  How would we hear from God in unity and reach a decision in a timely way about the upcoming transition? This book walked me through step by step with great insights and ideas.  Highly recommend the book and process she outlines!

Enjoy as you read!  These books will enrich, inspire and guide you well.  Would love to know what you think of them or if you have already read them, what you thought!

 

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