The Purpose Driven Church - The classic work by Rick Warren ( still as fresh today as it was when it was written 13 years ago. I first read this book as a sophomore in college. Two years later I was helping a friend implement it's principles in a church of 17 that we saw grow to over 120 two Easters later. I still love the picture of "riding the wave that God gives you".

7 Practices of Effective Ministry - The most recent book on my list. Andy Stanley ( and Reggie Joiner's book gives clear handles on essential principles for effective ministry. Just for fun I'll include them here:
  • Clarify the Win (Define what is important at every level)
  • Think Steps, Not Programs (Don't start anything you don't need)
  • Narrow the Focus (Do fewer things for a greater impact
  • Teach Less for More (Say only what you need to say)
  • Listen to Outsiders (Focus on who you're trying to reach)
  • Replace Yourself (Learn to hand off what you do)
  • Work on It (Take time to evaluate your work)

Leading Beyond the Walls - Probably the least well known book on the list. This book has shaped my leadership more than any book, save for the two listed above. Written by Adam Hamilton of Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City (, this book gives practical leadership wisdom in essential areas such as:

  • Pastoral Care
  • Follow-Up
  • Marketing
  • Excellence
  • Worship
  • Preaching
  • Weddings & Funerals
  • Dealing with Opposition
  • Casting Vision
  • Staffing
  • Avoiding Burnout
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