“Lay it Down: Living in the Freedom of the Gospel” by Bill Tell (NavPress) – Lay it Down is a bold declaration of the overwhelming grace of God. For a generation of Christians who have learned a gospel of performance and striving, Lay it Down offers the good news of the grace that is already ours in Christ.

“Ministry Mantras – Language for Cultivating Kingdom Culture” by J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt (IVP) – Drawing from a wealth of personal experience and keen biblical insight, J.R. and Bob provide some wonderful culture building “hooks” for ministry leaders. The chapters are short, the ideas worth chewing on and the book a treasure-trove of discussion worthy topics.

“Moving On – Surviving the Grief of Forced Termination” by Deanna Harrison (a Books Mind) – Writing from her own experience as a pastor’s spouse, Deanna is transparent about the intense grief that accompanies a force termination from a ministry role. This is for any pastor, any church member and anyone who knows a minister who has been terminated. A must read!

God of the Mundane

God of the Mundane – Reflections on Ordinary Life for Ordinary People” by Matthew Redmond (Kalos Press) – this is a must read for pastors, not only to help reframe the current cultural expectations that afflict many non-pastor types but also to create a new paradigm for their own lives as “ordinary” pastors doing the mundane work of ministry.


“Tranquility – Cultivating a Quiet Soul in a Busy World” by David Henderson (Baker) – the encouragement to reframe our concept of time – and the ever-present lack thereof – is crucial to living purposefully and artfully in this world of hurry. A great help for all in ministry.

Imperfect Pastor

“The Imperfect Pastor” (Previously released as “Sensing Jesus”) by Dr. Zack Eswine (Crossway) – this is a must read for all pastors, and for those who care about them. The insights from Zack’s own ministry life, and from helping to train pastors, are deep and lasting.

“The Sacred Wilderness of Pastoral Ministry” by David Rohrer (IVP) – a new publication in the tradition of Eugene Peterson. This book promises to be a source of refreshment in the midst of all the usual books on “how to” do ministry.

“Addiction and Virtue” by Ken Dunnigton (IVP Academic) – this exploration of the inadequacies of the current models for understanding addiction (disease or choice), is a helpful resource for the pastor or church leader who struggles to counsel those trapped in the addiction cycle. It is also extremely insightful for the pastor or church leader who struggles themselves with knowing how to come to grips with the experience of addiction. (It is a heavy read!)

“Spiritual Influence” by Mel Lawrenz (Zondervan) – I have really appreciated Mel Lawrenz’s insights from The Brook Network, and am finding his work in this book on leadership to be refreshing. It is not your typical book on how to be a good Christian leader. It is about the type of life and character one must have to influence others positively for the kingdom.

pastoral graces

“Pastoral Graces” by Lee Eclov (Moody) – In very clear and earthy ways, Lee Eclov offers wisdom about pastoring that comes from years of practice. It is a great read that will feel like a cup of grace to pastors everywhere.

Dangerous calling

“Dangerous Calling” by Paul David Tripp (Cropssway) – This is one of the most significant books on the realities and risks of pastoral ministry in print today. I have found it to be both refreshing and scary. It wil take the skin off…but a vital read for all pastors.


“The Surprising Grace of Disappointment” by Dr. John Koessler (Moody) – a thought provoking and hopeful look at the clash between our expectations and God’s Faithfulness.

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