The strength of our Book Reviews collection lies in the categorical breakdown that we have created for you below. We have divided the most common ministry design issues into categories so that you can more easily find the solution that you are looking for. Our eventual goal is to have an in-depth review for every book that will give you further assistance in discovering the reading pathway that can lead you to the solutions to the ministry issues you may be facing.



  • Amplified Leadership: 5 practices to establish influence, build people, and impact others for a lifetime

    by Dan Reiland. Publisher: Charisma House.
  • AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything

    By Kyle Idleman

    “We’ve all had “aha!” moments in our lives, times when a sudden revelation surprises us with insight. According to pastor and bestselling author Kyle Idleman, we can experience this same kind of “aha!” in our spiritual lives. With everyday examples and trademark testimonies, Idleman draws on Scripture to reveal how three key elements can draw us closer to God and change our lives for good.
    Awakening to the reality of our true spiritual condition, we see ourselves and our need for a Savior with renewed honesty. This realization leads to action, obeying God’s commands and following the example set by Christ. As we see in the transformation of the prodigal son, the result is a life-changing, destiny-altering collision—an AHA moment that leads us home to our loving Father.–

    Kyle Idleman is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the fourth-largest church in America. Author of the award-winning and bestselling book Not a Fan, he regularly speaks at conferences and events around the world. He and his wife DesiRae have four children.”
  • Building a Discipling Culture (Building a Discipling Culture: How to Release a Missional Movement by discipling People like Jesus did.)

    by Mike Breen. Publisher: 3DM
  • Carving the Table

    By Greg Blake

    The memoirs of the Chief Encouragement Officer Greg Blake. Perhaps you have seen him in action, now read whats behind the CEO of Pepworks International.

    When we first got married  my parents bought us a old dining table that had come out of a bakery in NY. We bought an old fashioned icepick and thought it would be a great practice to have people carve their name in our table when they came for a visit….well 41 years later we are still continuing the tradition. We have hundreds of signatures. My 4 kids have bought an old table and are continuing the practice with their families. We even have sanded out the names of old boyfriends who didn’t make the cut!
    (I just finished my memoirs called Carving the Table (available in ebook format on Amazon) Click Here to get a copy!
    When folks visit our church for the first time, Debbie and I invite them over to our home on a Friday evening (Family Night) to get to know them better. Very non-threatening. We will also find out their occupation and will do our best to match them with another couple with the same occupation so there is an immediate connection.
    Have had numerous couples join because of the personal interest in their lives. I tell people that you can’t get to know people in the foyer of a church Sunday morning doing small talk.
    Unfortunately today we have become too busy to invest our lives in others and ultimately eternity.
  • Connected Community

    by Ken Hemphill. Publisher: Auxano Press.

    Focuses on the importance of God’s plan for the church.

  • Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery

    By David Watson and Paul Watson

    “It is hard to deny that todayÆs world can seem apathetic toward Christians. Some may look down at their iPhones when we mention God, motion for the check when we bring up church, or casually change the subject when we talk about prayer. In a world full of people whose indifference is greater than their desire to know Christ, how can we dream of growing the church?

    In Contagious Disciple Making, David Watson and Paul Watson map out a simple method that has sparked an explosion of homegrown churches in the United States and around the world. A companion to Cityteam’s two previous books, Miraculous Movements and The Father Glorified, Contagious Disciple Making details the method used by Cityteam disciple-makers. This distinctive process focuses on equipping spiritual leaders in communities where churches are planted. Unlike many evangelism and church-growth products that focus on quick results, contagious disciple-making takes time to cultivate spiritual leadership, resulting in lasting disciple-making movements. Through Contagious Disciple Making readers will come to understand that a strong and equipped leader will continue to grow the church long after church planters move on to the next church.

    Features include:

    • Engagement tools for use in the field
    • Practical techniques to equip others to make disciples”
  • Core Convictions

    by Ken Hemphill. Publisher: Auxano Press.

    Focuses on basics for believers.

  • Creating Community: 5 Keys to Building a Small Group Culture

    by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits. Publisher: Multnomah.

    Provides a detailed process for establishing a discipleship program in your church.

  • Disciple-Making Pastor, The: Leading Others on the Journey of Faith

    by Bill Hull. Publisher: Baker Books.

    Focuses on Biblical foundations for developing others spiritually.

    Click to see full review


    To persuade the reader to make disciples and to count the cost for doing so.


    The author establishes the need for disciple-making pastors, the challenges facing those who decide to make disciples, the theology of disciple-making, the role of the pastor, and instructions for making it happen in your church.


    This book was first published in 1988 and revised and published again in 2007. I find it to be as insightful today as the first time I read it years ago. The “further reflections” section at the end of each chapter contains helpful lessons from the reflections of the author. He makes a strong case for his arguments and his seasoned look back at his earlier writings is a help too.


    Who will benefit?

    Pastors and his staff.

    How does it benefit?

    Inspirational, Instructional and Motivational. It can help you think through your philosophy and processes for making disciples.

    Where does it fit in the ministry design process?

    Planning and design stage.

    Aha Thought:

    Page 129 & 130 Under Further Reflections: “The most important role of a disciple-making pastor is to develop his or her relationship with Christ. The danger is to focus on being successful in leading others, and if you have any time left, you can attend to your own soul.”


  • Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work

    By Timothy Keller

    “Tim Keller, pastor of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church and the New York Times bestselling author of The Reason for God, has taught and counseled students, young professionals, and senior leaders on the subject of work and calling for more than twenty years. Now he pulls his insights into a thoughtful and practical book for readers everywhere.

    With deep conviction and often surprising advice, Keller shows readers that biblical wisdom is immensely relevant to our questions about work today. In fact, the Christian view of work—that we work to serve others, not ourselves—can provide the foundation of a thriving professional and balanced personal life. Keller shows how excellence, integrity, discipline, creativity, and passion in the workplace can help others and even be considered acts of worship—not just of self-interest.”

  • Finishing Well: The Adventure of Life Beyond Halftime

    By Bob P. Buford

    Author Bob Buford called them “code breakers”. They are people age 40 and older who have pioneered the art of finishing well in these modern times, and who can teach us to do the same, starting today. Buford sought out 60 of these trailblazers—including Peter Drucker, Roger Staubach, Jim Collins, Ken Blanchard and Dallas Willard—and has recorded their lively conversations in these pages so that they can serve as “mentors in print” for all of us.
    “Twenty years from now,” Buford writes, “the rules for this second adulthood as a productive season of life may be better known. But for now, we’re out across the frontier breaking new ground.” Buford gives you a chance to sit at the feet of these pioneers and learn from them about Finishing Well so that you may shift into a far more fulfilling life now, no matter your age. A life of significance that will be a legacy for future generations too.

  • Follow Me: What’s Next for You?

    by Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson. Publisher: Willow Creek Resources.

    Follow up book to Reveal: Where are you?

  • Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church

    by Nelson Searcy. Publisher: Regal.
  • Growing True Disciples: New Strategies for Producing Genuine Followers of Christ

    by George Barna. Publisher: WaterBrook Press.

    Examples of methods that work and don’t work.

  • Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples

    by Robby Gallaty (Author)


  • Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help

    By Edgar Schein

    “• A penetrating analysis of the psychological and social dynamics of helping relationships

    • Named one of the best leadership books of 2009 by strategy+business magazine

    Helping is a fundamental human activity, but it can also be a frustrating one. All too often, to our bewilderment, our sincere offers of help are resented, resisted, or refused—and we often react the same way when people try to help us. Why is it so difficult to provide or accept help? How can we make the whole process easier?

    Many different words are used for helping: assisting, aiding, advising, caregiving, coaching, consulting, counseling, guiding, mentoring, supporting, teaching, and many more. In this seminal book on the topic, corporate culture and organizational development guru Ed Schein analyzes the social and psychological dynamics common to all types of helping relationships, explains why help is often not helpful, and shows what any would-be helpers must do to ensure that their assistance is both welcomed and genuinely useful.

    The moment of asking for and offering help is a delicate and complex one, fraught with inequities and ambiguities. Schein helps us navigate that moment so we avoid potential pitfalls, mitigate power imbalances, and establish a solid foundation of trust. He identifies three roles a helper can play, explaining which one is nearly always the best starting point if we are to provide truly effective help. So that readers can determine exactly what kind of help is needed, he describes an inquiry process that puts the helper and the client on an equal footing, encouraging the client to open up and engage and giving the helper much better information to work with. And he shows how these techniques can be applied to teamwork and to organizational leadership.

    Illustrated with examples from many types of relationships—husbands and wives, doctors and patients, consultants and clients—Helping is a concise, definitive analysis of what it takes to establish successful, mutually satisfying helping relationships.”

  • How to Recruit, Retain and Motivate Volunteers

    by John Finkelde

    Improve your volunteer management skills while increasing your church volunteers base with this proven step-by-step guide.Imagine … a large group of volunteers who love serving.

    Now … imagine those volunteers recruiting their friends to serve too.

    Even more … imagine turning those volunteers into high performing leaders.


    Not impossible at all if you use the solid, actionable steps in this practical guide to recruiting and motivating church volunteers.

    Each chapter presents powerful concepts and practical steps you can take to:

    Lead a recruitment drive that delivers fast, dramatic results.

    Train volunteers utilizing current best practices that enable them to love serving.

    Build a leadership pipeline that gives you a constant flow of fresh talent.

    Discover and actually apply contemporary motivational methods in real life situations.

    Turn church volunteers into high performing leaders of volunteers.

    Draw upon John Finkelde’s 30 years of experience as a pastor and start increasing your volunteer base today.”


  • Innovating Discipleship: Four Paths to Real Discipleship Results

    By Will Mancini

    Is God calling you to re-dream and re-invent beyond the ministry models that were handed to you? If so, this short read will bolster your courage and stoke your imagination. The author uncovers the primary obstacle in the minds of pastors that keeps discipleship stuck – revealed through thousands of hours of coaching with church leaders. He calls it the “default vision switch.” More importantly, Innovating Discipleship gives you a simple and powerful tool to guide you, step by step, into the freedom and confidence of real discipleship, for your time and your place. In the end, there are only four paths to getting the results you have always wanted. Which path will be right for you?

  • Insourcing: Bringing Discipleship Back to the Local Church

    By Randy Pope

    The author shares his church’s discipleship process.

  • Leading the DiscipleShift: Becoming a Disciple-Making Church

    by Brandon Guindon (Author) , Lance Wigton (Author) , Luke Yetter (Author)

    Equip church leaders with the tools and insights needed to rally people around renewed purpose. Drawing from biblical principles and the experience of Real Life Ministries, this workbook guides users to evaluate the power of ministry alignment and personal influence for the sake of each church’s God-given mission to make disciples.

    * 9 weeks of material designed for a church staff or ministry leadership team
    * Each week includes four personal exercises and one collaborative session for a team meeting
    * A thorough outline of practical steps for leading a new or established church toward a unified mission of disciple-making
    * Interactive workbook includes assessments for areas of ministry and leadership

  • Making Change: A Transformational Guide to Christian Money Management

    by Ken Hemphill. Publisher: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

    Focuses on the basics of financial stewardship.

  • Making Friends for Christ: A Practical Approach to Relational Evangelism

    by Wayne McDill

    “Making Friends for Christ is a practical approach to relational evangelism. It combines a theological and biblical rationale with practical counsel and dozens of real life stories. The new edition is a major revision, enlarged and updated for twenty-first century challenges. Pastors, church planters, and missionaries will find it most helpful. Laymen who have been frustrated with their attempts at witnessing are finding it opens a new way of thinking about reaching their friends and relatives for Christ..”

  • Membership Matters: Insights from Effective Churches on New Member Classes and Assimilation

    by Chuck Lawless. Publisher: Zondervan.
  • Metamorpha: Jesus As A Way of Life

    by Kyle Strobel. Publisher: Baker Books.

    Re-examines traditional thinking about spiritual growth.

  • Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal about Spiritual Growth

    By Greg L. Hawkins (Author), Cally Parkinson (Author)

  • Multiplying Missional Leaders

    by Mike Breen. Publisher: 3D Ministries.
  • One on One Evangelism: How to Make Friends for Jesus

    By Lee Moseley

    “For a number of reasons, evangelism is often fraught with anxieties and fears. At the same time, sharing your faith is one of the most fulfilling and exciting things that you will ever do. As a “friend of sinners,” Jesus spent half of his ministry time in one-on-one discussions with others. This is the primary model for evangelism that our Lord has provided for us. In One-on-One Evangelism, Lee Moseley offers a fun and simple model for spreading the gospel. It’s as simple as being a friend. After reading this book, you will one day look back, and say, “I never dreamed it was so easy. There is nothing I like to do more than get with people and become their friends. Absolutely nothing!”

  • Personality Type and Religious Leadership

    by Roy M. Oswald. Publisher: Alban Institute.
  • Podcasting Church

    By Paul Clifford


  • Protégé: Developing Your Next Generation of Church Leaders

    by Steve Saccone. Publisher: IVP Books.
  • Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches That Make Disciples

    by Jim Putman. Publisher: NavPress.

    Focuses on a successful discipleship model for your church.

  • Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ

    By Dallas Willard

    “As Christians, we know that we are new creations in Jesus. So we try to act differently, hoping this will make us more like Him. But changing our outward behavior doesn’t change our hearts. Only by God’s grace can we be transformed internally. Renovation of the Heart lays a biblical foundation for understanding what best-selling author Dallas Willard calls the “transformation of the spirit”—a divine process that “brings every element in our being, working from inside out, into harmony with the will of God.”
    This fresh approach to spiritual growth explains the biblical reasons why Christians need to undergo change in six aspects of life: thought, feeling, will, body, social context, and soul. Willard also outlines a general pattern of transformation in each area, not as a sterile formula but as a practical process that you can follow without the guilt or perfectionism so many Christians wrestle with.
    Don’t settle for complacency. Accept the challenge Renovation of the Heart offers to become an intentional apprentice of Jesus Christ, changing daily as you walk with Him.”

  • Reveal: Where Are You?

    by Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson. Publisher: Willow Creek Resources.

    Survey results at Willow Creek Community Church. www.revealnow.com

  • Sentness: Six Postures of Missional Christians

    By Kim Hammond and Darren Cronshaw

    Ever wonder why people fall asleep in church?

    “It happens. We’ve all seen it. We shuffle into rows of seats that grow more comfortable with every new fundraising campaign. We slouch down and settle in for an hour or so, as singers and storytellers and preachers and teachers take their turns filling our ears. And almost without fail, at least one of us nods off while listening to the greatest story ever told.

    The church was not meant to be like this. The church was meant to be on its feet, in the world, making all things new. The church was meant to be sent.

    Kim Hammond and Darren Cronshaw want to help us—all of us—rediscover our sentness.

    Dive into Sentness, and explore the six postures of a church that’s keeping pace with God’s work in the world. Rediscover the gospel that first quickened your pulse and got you up on your feet, ready to go wherever Jesus called you. Get Sentness, and prepare to get sent.”

  • Shaping of Things to Come, The: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church

    By Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost

    “In a time when the need for and the relevance of the Gospel has seldom been greater, the relevance of the church has seldom been less. The Shaping of Things to Come explores why the church needs to rebuild itself from the bottom up. Frost and Hirsch present a clear understanding of how the church can change to face the unique challenges of the twenty-first century. This missional classic has been thoroughly revised and updated.”

  • Simply Strategic Volunteers: Empowering People for Ministry

    by Tony Morgan & Tim Stevens. Publisher: Group.

    101 ideas for enlisting church family in ministry.

    Click to see full review


    To challenge and teach leaders how to help “volunteers use their strengths to benefit” your ministry and their “spiritual growth”.


    They provide 99 “solutions” to help you “recruit, train, motivate, and keep volunteers” in your ministry.


    This book focuses on leading people from a consumer mentality and posture to one of service and “contributors” mentality. The 99 topics can be very catchy and helpful when creating a God honoring culture in your church.


    Who will benefit?

    Everyone that is in leadership in your ministry.

    How does it benefit?

    It will help them initiate and develop a servant-leader culture in your ministry that translate into reaching souls for Christ and discipling them.

    Where does it fit in the ministry design process?

    the development of your philosophy of ministry.

  • Smart Volunteer Management: A Volunteer Coordinator’s Handbook for Engaging, Motivating and Developing Volunteers

    By Patricia Lotich (Author)


  • Spiritual Profiling: How Jesus Interacted with 8 Different Types of People. . . and Why it Matters for You

    By Thomas O. Hovestol (Author)


  • Splash Discipleship

    by Ken Hemphill. Publisher: Auxano Press.

    Focuses on what to do after you lead someone to Christ.

  • Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership

    By Ryan T. Hartwig & Warren Bird

    “It’s increasingly clear that leadership should be shared—for the good of any organization and for the good of the leader. Many churches have begun to share key leadership duties, but don’t know how to take their leadership team to the point where it thrives. Others seriously need a new approach to leadership: pastors are tired, congregations are stuck, and meanwhile the work never lets up.
    But what does it actually mean to do leadership well as a team? How can it be done in a way that avoids frustration and burnout? How does team leadership best equip the staff and bless a congregation? What do the top church teams do to actually thrive together?
    Researchers and practitioners Ryan Hartwig and Warren Bird have discovered churches of various sizes and traditions throughout the United States who have learned to thrive under healthy team leadership. Using actual church examples, they present their discoveries here, culminating in five disciplines that, if implemented, can enable your team to thrive. The result? A coaching tool for senior leadership teams that enables struggling teams to thrive, and resources teams doing well to do their work even better.”

  • The Catch: Mega Growth Strategies for Ministries of Any Size

    by Deborah Anderson-Singleton

    Ideas to help a ministry, regardless of size, reach their community and make disciples

  • The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives

    by Peter Scazzero (Author)

    One churches journey into disciple making, with all the wins and losses they experienced.

  • The Externally Focused Life

    by Rick Rusaw (Author), Eric Swanson (Author)

    The authors challenge us to find more than purpose…to uncover the joy in a lifestyle of authentic Christian service.

  • The Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community

    by Eric Swanson (Author), Rick Rusaw (Author)

    The Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community is designed for church leaders who want to transform their churches to become less internally focused and more oriented to the world around them. The book includes the clear guidelines on the ten changes congregations must adopt to become truly outwardly focused. This book is not about getting all churches to have an annual day of community service as a tactic but changing the core of who they are and how they see themselves as a part of their community.

  • The Greatness Principle: Finding Significance and Joy by Serving Others

    By Nelson Searcy (Author), Jennifer Dykes Henson (Author)

    The authors believe that greatness, growth, and significance in the kingdom of God is found on the path of service. They seek to motivate readers to take the next step on their journey toward maturity in Christ. The authors teach if you’re not serving, you’re not growing.

  • The Leadership Baton: An Intentional Strategy for Developing Leaders in Your Church

    by Rowland Forman. Publisher: Zondervan.
  • The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For?

    by Rick Warren. Publisher: Zondervan.

    Focuses on discerning God’s calling on your life.

  • The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Communit

    By Hugh Halter (Author), Matt Smay (Author)

  • Transformational Discipleship

    by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley, and Philip Nation

    “How are we doing? The church, that is. And how are we doing it? Congregations have long measured success by “bodies, budget, and buildings”–a certain record of attendance, the offering plate, and square footage. But the scorecard can’t stop there. When it does, the deeper emphasis on accountability, discipleship, and spiritual maturity is lost. Ignoring those details, we see fewer lives transformed, Christian influence wane, and churches thin out–a situation that is all too familiar across North America today.

    It is time to take heart and rework the scorecard.

    According to Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer, the authors of Transformational Church, “Too often we’ve highlighted the negative realities of the declining American church but missed the opportunity to magnify the God of hope and transformation.”

    Based on the most comprehensive study of its kind, including a survey of more than 7,000 churches and hundreds of on-site interviews with pastors, Transformational Church takes us to the thriving congregations where truly changing lives is the norm.

    Stetzer and Rainer clearly confirm the importance of disciple making for all through active biblical engagement and prayerful dependence on God alongside of ever-increasing, intentional participation in mission and ministry activities. As the church engages these issues, the world will see the change:

    * More people following Christ
    * More believers growing in their faith
    * More churches making an impact on their communities

    The transformation starts now.”

  • Transformational Groups: Creating a New Scorecard for Groups

    by Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger

    “God declared through the Apostle Paul that the church would be a place of transformation. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we find, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. Despite this, the church seems increasingly to be a place where transformation fails to occur.

    Surveying the landscape, however, there are some bright spots where churches are faithfully producing transformed disciples. Furthermore, as shown in Scripture and supported by new research, God designed such transformation to often happen in the context of smaller groups of people.

    But what characteristics are true of churches that are making transformed disciples through group-based ministry-whether small groups, missional communities, Sunday school, or some other expression of groups?

    In Transformational Groups, Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger have created a new scorecard that will provide a map to transformational success for your church’s groups ministry. Using data from the largest survey of pastors and laypersons ever done on the condition of groups in the church, they define a simple process to lead your groups from where they are to where God wants them to be.”