People ask me frequently “What do you recommend for…” I decided to curate a list of my favorite recommended resources. Some of these are free, some of them cost a little bit and others are a serious investment. However, each of these are things I have purchased, used and consider essential to ministry.
I plan on adding to the list when I come across I resource I recommend in many different situations.
My Ultimate Recommendation List
Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley
I wrote off Andy Stanley for years. And I will eat my own shoe now. This book is an incredible story about what it takes to lead churches unchurched people love to attend. Part of it is the story of Northpoint and the story of what what led Andy to start Northpoint. Through this story, the reader sees the vision and values of leading a church in both excellence and evangelism.
Church Unique: Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture and Create Movement by Will Mancini
I think this is the book that changed everything for me in ministry. There was a time when I was hesitant towards any contemporary idea of purpose/vision etc. After reading this, I realized how wrong I was. It is absolutely essential any leader have a clear idea of where they are going and the ability to lead people along with it. Anything else is just shooting from the hip.
The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day: John Maxwell
Here is yet another book/resource I swore I didn’t need. This is the single best personal leadership development book I have read. It is a 5 day a week devotional all focused on building biblical leadership skills. My Dad tried to get me to read John Maxwell for ages and I refused. I am currently reading through it a 2nd time and I love it even more. This book sharpens anyone skills while growing them closer to the Lord through scripture, prayer and reflection.
Slideology by Nancy Duarte
Nancy Duarte is the master of modern visual storytelling and presenting. This book talks about to creative effective visual presentations people will want to learn from. I used this when I had to shift my preaching from just listening to a multi-media based sermon style. It was a life saver.
Desiring the Kingdom by James K. A. Smith
I believe there are only a few books that adequately describe the theological situation of American postmodernity. This book is possibly the best. Smith asks questions about what truly motivates us and how the church is forming the idea of “the good life” in the heart of every person.
Leadership andChurch Size Dynamics by Tim Keller
I recommend this .pdf to people at least once a week. I think it is essential reading for anyone in church leadership. If you are a pastor, staff member or volunteer leader, you need to read this.
Resonate by Nancy Duarte
This book used to cost money! I have actually bought it in three different formats, but now she has released it as a free online tool. The online version is an amazing learning experience, but if you want to go old school you can buy a paper copy on Amazon.
One New Thing by Darren Herbold
This .pdf features 11 church leaders answering the question “What is the one new thing that has helped your ministry excel over the last year?” The answers are golden and it is a tremendously helpful read. You can get the file for free in exchange for your email address. It’s worth it.
This is Your Life by Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt is the Godfather of modern podcasting. I have gone through seasons where I don’t listen to his show regularly, but then I binge on a trip and listen to 6 in a row. I think I have learned the most from Michael, more than any other podcaster, and I am thankful for his continued production.
If you preach frequently, you rarely get to interact with other preachers. This show interviews preachers from around the country about their process of preparation. Every episode is different, yet familiar.
Seedbed is a publishing house, website and center of a new Wesleyan movement. I am honored to be part of the larger seedbed family and they consistently put out great content.
99u is part of the Behance/Adobe family and is a great website on creative thought. They write about productivity, the process of creation and what innovation focused movement looks like. I read it every day.
Carey is the pastor of Connexus church near Toronto. He writes several times a week and his posts always hit the nail on the head. He has a great view of current culture and innovative leadership.
These are a relatively new resource online. They are rarely free. I have found the investment is worth it. Most give a free trial for you to check things out.
The Rocket Company
The Rocket Company focuses on training church leaders for best practices. They are based in Atlanta and I love their products. I have purchased most of them and they have always been worth the money. The Rocket Company is best known for these products;
Preaching Rocket (I’ve wrote about Preaching Rocket here and here)
The Systems Bundle