Some pastors are feeling overwhelmed by new projects, multi-media production, congregation anxiety, church finances, and everything else. Some days it feels like you’re doing twice as much work as you used to. I also know that many pastors have some days free that didn’t use to be free. If you find yourself trying to use these free moments to catch up on reading or learning something new, here is a list of books you can start reading today.
Building a Discipling Culture
This book by Mike Breen is a great guide. All great leaders are concerned about culture. What is the culture of your church? Jesus spent time creating a culture for His followers. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves abandoning that culture for flashy marketing tactics. Mike Breen gives us practical advice on how to build that culture back up in our local context. Discipleship is what helps the church be flexible enough to last through difficult times.
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
Eugen Peterson describes discipleship in a very profound and relatable way. This, like Breen’s book, will help guide our churches back into the structure that Jesus laid out for the disciples and all of His future followers. Where Breen’s book seems more structured and practical. Peterson takes us in a slightly different direction. He writes in a way that speaks to your soul a little more. This is not as much about leading people as it is being a disciple yourself.
Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission
Recently leaders in the church have begun to realize how important it is for us to properly address mental health. For a long time, many in society and the church have misunderstood what mental illness is all about. In our current circumstances, mental health will play an even bigger role in our ministry and mission. Many are suffering in silence during social distancing. Many who desperately need the church and the love of Christ in their lives. We as leaders can use this time to better understand what is really going on, and what our role actually is.
Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation
The “Us vs. Them” problem only seems to be getting worse. When we generate from the caves of our living rooms, will we be more accepting and loving towards those who may think differently? I hope so. The reality is, that many of us will only become more set in our ways. This amazing work by Miroslav Volf gives us the theological bedrock to build a proper theological framework on how to lead our congregations in the seasons to come.