“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Joseph Addison
2017 can be your best year yet! You can work hard, reach your goals, and truly steward your time well. I believe a great book can motivate you to become the best version of you possible. Over the last 2 years, I’ve read over 120 books and I’ve narrowed this list down to a few of my favorites. Here are 17 excellent books that you will want to read in 2017!
Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church
by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, Brad Griffin
Across the United States, churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults.
Memorable Quote: “The internet can’t help you move into your new apartment. Only a close community will do that.”
Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow
by Carey Nieuwhof
In Lasting Impact, Carey Nieuwhof leads you and your team through seven conversations that will help your church grow and have a lasting impact. Maybe the future belongs to the churches that are willing to have the most honest conversations at a critical time.
Memorable Quote: “If the change inside the church isn’t equal to or greater than the change outside our walls, greater irrelevance is inevitable.”
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg
At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
Memorable Quote: “Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”
A Tale of three Kings: A Study in Brokenness
by Gene Edwards
This best-selling tale is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom. For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope.
Memorable Quote: “He seemed to understand something that few of even the wisest men of his day understood…God wanted a broken vessel.”
When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.
Memorable Quote: “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation.
Memorable Quote: “Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”
Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
by Kyle Idleman
Are you a follower of Jesus? Don’t answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all. Consider it a “Define the Relationship” conversation to determine exactly where you stand. You may indeed be a passionate, fully devoted follower of Jesus. Or, you may be just a fan who admires Jesus but isn’t ready to let him cramp your style.
Memorable Quote: “Fans mistake knowledge OF Jesus for intimacy WITH Jesus.”
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
by James C. Collins
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins.
Memorable Quote: “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity
by Francis Chan, Lisa Chan
In his latest book, Francis Chan joins together with his wife Lisa to address the question many couples wonder at the altar: How do I have a healthy marriage? Setting aside typical topics on marriage, Francis and Lisa dive into Scripture to understand what it means to have a relationship that satisfies the deepest parts of our souls.
Memorable Quote: “Again, our marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are heart problems. They are God problems.”
Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry
by Paul David Tripp
Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy–an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body.
Memorable Quote: “No one celebrates the presence and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ more than the person who has embraced his desperate and daily need of it.”
Seven Practices of Effective Ministry
by Andy Stanley, Lane Jones, Reggie Joiner
There’s no scoreboard in the sanctuary, and the only plate is probably for the offering. But every church leader needs to know how to win, and every congregation needs to know when to cheer. This insightful book speaks to every church leader who yearns for a simpler, more effective approach to ministry.
Memorable Quote: “Nothing hinders morale more than when team members with separate agendas are pulling against one another.”
Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human
by Judah Smith
Jesus is greatly revered, harshly criticized, and sorely misunderstood. Judah breaks down who Jesus is and explains to readers how understanding Jesus more fully will not only enrich their lives, but also give them meaning, as well as save them.
Memorable Quote: “Grace is a person. And his name is Jesus.”
by Jim Wideman
Tweetable Leadership is a collection of more than 500 tweetable truths that are taken from Jim Wideman’s books, blogs, and teachings that will help jumpstart your thinking and learning so you can apply them in your life.
Memorable Quote: “If God leads us in steps, why don’t we think in steps?”
Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance
by Bob Buford
Bob Buford believes the second half of your life can be better than the first. Much better. But first, you need time to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. So he recommends that a reader call “halftime” to reflect not only on where he’s going, but why.
Memorable Quote: If the first half was a quest for success, the second half is a journey to significance.
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No
by Henry Cloud, John Townsend
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.
Memorable Quote: “Forgiveness gives me boundaries because it unhooks me from the hurtful person, and then I can act responsibly, wisely. If I am not forgiving them, I am still in a destructive relationship with them.”
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
by Patrick Lencioni
Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.
Memorable Quote: “Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.”
Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service
by Kenneth H. Blanchard
“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”
Memorable Quote: “As for what I’m doing here, I’m here to show you the three magic secrets of creating Raving Fans, the ultimate in customer service.”
To read how to read 400% more by next year check out this blog post: LINK! With less than 1% of participants reaching their goal on the Goodreads social network this year, I believe part of the problem is a failure in select great books! I’m looking for books to add to my next reading list and must ask, “If we were to round these 17 up to 20, which 3 books would you add to this list?”