I love to read.  Here are a few of my favorite books that I’ve read this fall/winter.  Enjoy and happy reading!

Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels (Tullian Tchividjian; Crossway 2010).   Pastor Tullian moves artfully through the book of Jonah, pointing out gospel landmarks and Jesus-sightings along the way.  Surprised by Grace is moving and powerful as it reminds us that it’s grace all the way down – God’s unthinkable grace to Jonah; His scandalous grace to the Ninevehites; God’s amazing grace to you and me;  His immeasurable grace both to reckless rule-breakers and legalistic rule-makers.  Wherever we are, we are people in need of God’s grace!   A heart-stirring reminder that we are all in need of the gospel.  My grade: A


Leaders Who Last (David Kraft; Crossway 2010).  According to some research, only 30% of Christian leaders finish well (that is, they don’t leave ministry because of moral failure, burnout, apathy, or the like).  Kraft’s work here offers some basic principles on Christian leadership that lasts.  In three sections, Leaders that Last examines the foundations of leadership, the formation of a leader, and the fruitfulness of a leader.  A good read on why leadership matters and how to make it count.  My grade: B+


The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of the Leaderless Organization (Brafman and Beckstrom; Portfolio 2008).  A really interesting read on organizational structure and leadership. Traditional organizations are often hierarchical and authoritarian.  Like spiders, if you cut off a leg (or department), it’s weakened; if you cut off it’s head (leader/board), and it’s dead.  Other organizations, however, resemble a starfish, which reproduce a new leg when one is severed (and in fact the severed leg becomes a new starfish!).  These organizations are decentralized.  Rather than organized around structural authority, starfish organizations share a common ideology and a common DNA (core values) which reproduce along relational networks and is often the work of a catalyst – a movement maker who gets things started, and then gets out of the way, rejecting any authoritarian role.  A lot of interesting examples here.  If you’re interested in leadership and organizational life, it’s a fascinating read.  My grade: A


Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement (Dave and Jon Ferguson; Zondervan 2010) – A how-to manual for starting a missional church movement, Exponential offers a practical guide for reproducing leaders, churches, and networks of churches. Reproduction must be an intentional and systematic effort built into the DNA of a church. Relying on their experiences at Community Christian Church and NewThing, the Ferguson brothers provide an inspiring and useful examination of what makes movements move.  Inspiring and useful, my grade:  A

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