The series on leadership and NVC updates will continue this week as well. However, it's also that time of year again…time for the "best of" lists. Here are some of the books and miscellany I enjoyed particularly this year. There are other books read, and other resources implemented, but these were some of my favorites. I welcome yours.
- Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne. Quite simply one of the best, accessible leadership books around. The focus is on building healthy leadership teams as a/the highest priority of your ministry. Without health in leadership teams, the other stuff really won't happen. I agree completely. I nodded my neck sore reading it, and will vouch for North Coast's implementation of it's principles.
- Confessions of a Reformission Rev by Mark Driscoll. A church-planting memoir, the planting of Mars Hill Church in Seattle is a fascinating, humorous, frightening, and triumphal story of God's work in one of America's most difficult cities to evangelize. I had read this book shortly after it came out, and recently reread it. It's a must-read for church planters who really want to get a biographical look at the grand journey.
- Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion, by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. A practical apologetic rebuking the Emergent church movement. If you have some concerns about the Emergent movement or if you just want to hear another voice, this is a good read from two thoughtful young guys. I'm one who is sympathetic to some of the concerns raised by the Emergent movement, but one who believe it's quite dangerous to the Church in it's newer forms.
- Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ Through Community, by James Wilhoit. I loved this book. It's a wonderful mixture of theological rationale for spiritual formation and how-to knowledge for those seeking systematic ways to shape people into the image of Christ over time. His version of the spiral curriculum became a key component in my doctoral project, and will be a part of NVC's spiritual formation processes.
- Why Jesus?, by William Willimon. I love nearly everything Willimon says or writes. This is his newest, and Why Jesus addresses many of the biggest questions surrounding the nature and supremacy of Christ in language that is easy to understand. Any time a book helps you see Jesus in new ways and will help others do the same…it's a winner. Willimon simply deserves to be on here for lifetime achievement as well. His writings have had a significant influence on my ministry over the years.
- Conspicuously absent from the list…books on preaching. 2010 was an off (or at least quiet) year in preaching books in my opinion. There were new editions of Craddock and Long that came out…but we need some new voices in preaching that really have something to say. Get writing friends 🙂 If there was a book on preaching you particularly enjoyed, please drop it in the comments section.
- Ipad. It replaced my paper planner and news source. I now preach from it, read all books on it, and waste immense amounts of time on it with sheer glee.
- Kindle for IPad. Kindle still rules the E-book world. Their books are still a hair cheaper, but the feature that allows you to view highlights and notes online is priceless for preachers who can cut and paste them into Word docs or Powerpoint slides. IBooks looks cooler. But, it's all hat, and no cattle–fewer, more expensive books, and no online feature. Kindle doesn't look as flashy…but has more game. It's the Pittsburgh Steelers of the E-book world. My wife also has a Kindle, and we get to share libraries.
- GMail. I know this one sounds duh. But, I vowed to become a black belt at GMail and after many months of finding my groove and adapting it for Spivey life, it transformed my ability to work on-the-go. GMail smokes any other email/task/chat/etc. program out there. And, it's free
- Evernote. Great way to organize life for those who embrace David Allen's Getting Things Done time managment principles. If you haven't read Getting Things Done, you need to. Evernote is available and syncable in virtually every format you can imagine to. So, life is easy to manage and keep current.
Give me some of your best of 2010.