5 Books for Leaders to Read this Month

I’m often asked about books I’m reading or enjoying. I used to write long book reviews for books, but that takes a long time and I don’t like reading long book reviews. I want to know what it is about and if someone liked it.

So, if you’re looking for a book to read next, here are five you might want to consider:


The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matterss by Sinclair Ferguson

If you are like me, you have no idea what the marrow controversy is and why it matters. I didn’t before reading this book, but wow, it is packed with good gospel truths. I probably highlighted half of this book and got so much out of it as it relates to understanding God’s grace, being set free from legalism and performance based Christianity.

This is a heady book, so be ready. But it is incredibly worth reading.

generational-iq_0Generational IQ: Christianity Isn’t Dying, Millennials Aren’t the Problem, and the Future is Bright by Hadyn Shaw

If you listen to experts and statisticians, you will hear someone say, “The church is dying. Millenials aren’t going to church.” Are churches dying? Some are. Are millenials going to church? Some are.

This book was helpful on two levels. One, as a pastor, this is a great book to understand how different people in your church relate to each other and to God. Depending on when someone was born has an enormous influence on how they relate to God, how they worship, and how they view the Bible and community.

Two, as a parent it is easy to think my child will connect to God the way that I do. Shaw walks through multiple ways for parents to understand why their child is so different from them when it comes to spirituality.

If you have a millenial child or want to reach millenials, this is an incredibly helpful book.

bookYou Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith

I love the idea of habits and how people make changes that stick. This book took a totally different approach on that topic by looking through the lens of the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we pick up from the world around us and how those stories make an impact on our life and spiritual habits. For parents, there is a lot in this book about how to pass your faith on to your child.

bookAmerican Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard

This one is obviously different than all the others, but really interesting.

Let me make a confession first. It is really popular right now to read history books. I love history and I try, but I never make it past page 50. This one was different.

Woodard looks at the idea that America was never a united nation, that we were settled by 11 different nations in different regions. The ones who settled New England or the Deep South still impact how the people and cultures work in those areas, how they handle business, think about government and laws, etc.

On a personal note, this book also helped me to see why some people move to Arizona and don’t stay, and also about 28 states I never want to live in.

bookThe Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it by Henry Cloud

This one is a book I will re-read. The ideas in this book are so powerful. We often underestimate the power others can have on us and the power we can have on other people.

Cloud walks through what healthy relationships and healthy attachment looks like, what prevents you from it, and how some relationships you have you need to end or put boundaries around.

He also helps you to see if you are creating unhealthy relationships in your world. Bill Hybels said at this year’s leadership summit that this was the best book he read all year.

Happy reading!