10 Books that Will Sustain Your Ministry

Hand going through bible
Yesterday, I was thinking about what books I would love to share with people at North County in some venue. Then, my mind shifted to ministry, preaching in particular…and I thought, "If I could put together a pack of books (other than the Bible) for a young minister that would be genuinely helpful to him or her as they started in ministry, what would I include?" I know there are books I'm supposed to put in there…but I decided to put together a list of the books that have actually helped me most…other than Scripture. Here they are…in no particular order.

Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster. The single
greatest book on Christian spirituality I've ever read. I read it once
every 18 months or so, and it continues to change my life.

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, by Edwin Friedman. Leaders that can't lead courageously will eventually turn a church into an asylum. Churches need courageous leadership more than ever.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins. I nodded my neck sore reading this business classic, whose principles fit like hand in glove into church life. If he had compared churches instead of companies, it would have been the best-selling church leadership book of all time.

Courageous Leadership, by Bill Hybels. The 3 c's, Character, Competency, Chemistry, became a mantra for building a healthy staff team.

Practicing the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence. This is what the human life is all about. It's short, simple wisdom that will guide you day by day on communing with God at all times in all places.

Getting Things Done, by David Allen. If can't get thing done, you'll lose people's respect and be less effective than you could be. As the Texans say… "get er dun."

The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. For the good times, and the tough times.

The Way of the Heart, by Henri Nouwen. Unbelievable book on contemplative spirituality.

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. Nothing need be said.

Preaching, by Fred Craddock. Learn from the master. All you Long, Buttrick, and Lowry fans…step off….actually, I like Long, too.

Did I miss any? Any you want to add?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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2 thoughts on “10 Books that Will Sustain Your Ministry

  1. I have read most of these, but mostly I loved hearing about the best books for ministry. Thank you for sharing these with us. One of the best, recent books I read was “A Work of Heart” by McNeal. Check it out.

  2. I would recommend the following:
    Prayer Driven Church by Ray Fulenwider
    Simple Church by Thom Rainer and someone I can’t remember right now.
    7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones.
    Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley.
    God of the Towel by Jim Mcguiggan (old version).
    Together Again by Rick Atchly and Bob Russell.
    books on Jesus and Paul by Charles Swindoll.
    And God Came Nearer, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, and 6 Hours One Friday by Max Lucado.