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As a pastor/church leader, there is always a growing list of things that need to be done throughout the course of the week: prepare the sermon(s), visit the sick, write an encouraging note, manage the staff, lunch meeting(s), counseling, and a host of other unknowns. So, when someone adds to the list that you should not forget your primary calling to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” it can cause you to pull your hair out. With an already busy schedule, now you have to find time to sift through thousands upon thousands of books and programs to even try to begin to do that effectively.
I understand the frustration because I’ve been there.
The crazy reality is that once I did the sifting and started the equipping, I found that my list of things that needed to be done, eventually, got shorter because leaders stepped up to do the work of the ministry that I was called to equip them for.
But because you’re in the midst of the daily struggle, below are four resources that maybe you can use so at least you can skip the time-consuming sifting process and get right into the equipping/developing aspect. Each of these books targets a different area of the individual being equipped: Head, Heart, Hands, and Feet.
Every church leader (and church member) should have at least a basic understanding of Christian doctrines. Unfortunately, if you were to do a basic theological test in the congregations across the Western World, most active church members would fail it. There’s also a FREE companion workbook that goes along with this resource that pushes a potential leader to dive deeper into the material. Note: If there is a particular doctrine that you happen to disagree on with the author, then tell your congregant that and explain why you don’t adhere to that particular perspective.
Heart – On Being a Servant of God
Warren Wiersbe’s On Being a Servant of God has a been around for quite some time, but it is still just as valuable today as it was when it was first published. The theme of the book revolves around the idea that we, as humans, get a part in God’s big plan and that the world does not (although many of us wish it did) revolve around us. Wiersbe’s warm, conversational style of writing makes it feel like you are sitting down with a mature friend for a cup of coffee to glean a few nuggets of wisdom. Help cultivate a servant’s heart in your leaders by having them read this and put the principles into practice.
Let’s be honest, when you became a pastor/church leader, there were aspects of your leadership skills that needed some tweaking. It’s ok, I am STILL IN NEED of a leadership tune-up which why I love Brad Lomenick’s book. No matter where you, your staff, or your leadership team is in the personal leadership development process, H3 Leadership asks the right questions to get you thinking about developing the right habits for a healthy lifestyle of leadership.
First of all, this isn’t a book focused on how to get quick and shallow numbers to your church. Carey’s primary focus is to help senior leaders engage their team(s) with questions about the changing landscape of ministry in our society. The discussion questions at the end of each conversation are powerful tools to allow leaders to have conversations that are, in many contexts, almost impossible to have without serious repercussions. But with Carey’s apologetic style, your leaders will hear and receive truths that they might not have accepted otherwise. Personal Testimony: As soon as I finished the book with my leadership team, with ages ranging from 45-75 (after taking 9 months to go through it), they overwhelming said, “Can we go through this again soon? We feel like there so much more we need to discuss.”
What are some of your must reads for leadership development? Share in the comments below.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope that you’ve been encouraged and equipped with practical resources to help you lead well in your ministry context.