I say that a lot.
I often have students ask me what they should read. So, I thought I would put together a list of the 10 books that have had the most influence on my life. I would like to hear your list too.
1. Just Like Jesus [Max Lucado]
I know Max Lucado might not be that popular among the trendy, hipster, new church world. But, when I went to college I hated to read. I only finished one book during my time in high school. You can’t survive that way in college. The problem was…I didn’t like the books that the professors asked me to read. I decided that in order for me to enjoy reading I had to start with something simple and intriguing. Someone pointed me to Max Lucado and Just Like Jesus was the first book that grabbed my attention. I love to read now because of Max Lucado books. I would highly recommend his stuff.
2. Intimacy with the Almighty [Charles Swindoll]
Swindoll is old school. (You’ll notice that most of the books on my list are either by old school authors or dead authors…a couple are not) This book began a process that God has had me working through for the past 10 years of ministry. Intimacy with the Almighty comes before ministry. I still struggle with this principal and that is why this book is the only book that I have read more than twice. I find myself picking it up off my shelf from time to time and reading it in a sitting (don’t worry is short and sweet).
3. Seizing Your Divine Moment/Chasing Daylight [Erwin McManus]
In 2003 I was about to be fired for the 2nd time in less than 2 years by an established church board when I had the amazing opportunity to attend Mosaic in LA and meet Erwin McManus. He was gracious enough to talk to Nicole and I for a few minutes. I told him about our situation and he said to me, “You need to decide whether or not you are a starter or a sustainer and then go from there.” This book helped me realize that I’m a starter and was the catalyst that helped Nicole and I launch Impact in the fall of 2004.
4. Leadership and Self-Deception [Arbinger Institute]
This book helped me realize how each of us place each other into boxes. This is paralyzing and destructive. Great book on leadership!
5. Return of the Prodigal Son [Henri Nouwen]
I’m not sure what else to say except this book saved my faith. That might sound extreme but it renewed and revived me.
6. In the Name of Jesus [Henri Nouwen]
Probably the best book I’ve ever read on leadership. It took me from an imperialistic view of leadership to a relational view of leadership.
7. Velvet Elvis [Rob Bell]
This book and so many other things that Rob Bell has written and spoken has reminded me that questions are good. There’s always a truth laying just beyond the surface.
8. The Cost of Discipleship [Dietrich Bonhoeffer]
It took me 6 months to read this book. It was heavy. Deep. Painful. It challenged me to move beyond the surface.
9. The Circle Series [Ted Dekker]
I never liked fiction until I was introduced to Ted Dekker. This series gave me a glimpse of God’s heart for me and His Kingdom that I had never dreamed of.
10. Mystery of God’s Will [Charles Swindoll]
My view of God’s will was so selfish. I wanted God to submit to my will rather than me submitting to His will. This book helped me rethink God’s will for my life and for his creation.
I’m sure there are several other books that had a huge influence on my life and the way I do ministry. But these 10 are forever marked in my mind. To see some other books I’ve read you can view my online bookshelf HERE.
What are your top 10?