Personal

BOOK REVIEWS

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.


MANAGMENT |

PERSONAL

  • 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time

    By Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram

    Be present, connect more effectively, all while being as productive as possible

    5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There’s Never Enough Time teaches you to shift into the right gear at the right time so that you can grow in your relational intelligence and increase your influence. This revolutionary text introduces you to the five different gears, or mindsets, that carry you through various facets of your day. These include:

    • First gear—when you fully rest and recharge
    • Second gear—when you connect with family or friends without the involvement of work
    • Third gear—when you are socializing
    • Fourth gear—when you are working and multi-tasking
    • Fifth gear—when you are fully focused and ‘in the zone,’ working without interruption

    Using these gears consistently allows you to bring a new level of relational intelligence to your life that offers a competitive advantage in our task-driven world.

    All too often people go through life without truly connecting—and can, as a result, miss out on experiences and relationships that have the power to bring them great joy. By understanding how the five gears presented in this engaging book work, you can improve your ability to connect with the world around you.

    • Explore why some people stay disconnected from the people and events around them, and why others always seem to have a deep connection to their friends, family, and surroundings
    • Learn how to set triggers and markers that help you shift into the right gears at the right time, which will increase your relational dynamics and make you more productive.
    • Create positive change in the dynamics of your relationships
    • Improve your respect and influence—and learn a sign language that, when used, can change your perspective and your world.

    5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There’s Never Enough Time is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to live and lead connected.

  • Book Review: For the Love of God’s Word

    By Andreas Kostenberger and Richard Patterson

    This book is a revision of “Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology”. The authors sought to make the revision an easier read for lay people. I believe they have accomplished their mission. I believe you will find this book easier to understand and it will increase your Bible knowledge. I appreciate the last chapter “Getting Down to Earth: Using the Tools, Applying the Word. The authors want the reader to answer the question “what will you take away from reading and processing this book?” They want the reader to apply what they have learned from the book so we will allow the scriptures to change our lives, including those with whom we share what we have learned. “The final chapter aims to help you put what you’ve learned from reading this book into practice.” I suggest you pick up a copy today and introduce your church leaders to it. It may really help you in your disciple making efforts.

  • 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.
  • Christian Liberty: Living for God In A Changing Culture

    by Rex M. Rogers. Publisher: Baker.

    Focuses on personal management in the face of a changing culture.

  • Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem

    by Kevin DeYoung

    The author, Kevin DeYoung, rejects the “busyness as usual” mindset, arguing that a life of constant chaos is far from what God intends. He helps us figure out a better way forward as he strikes a mature and well-reasoned balance between doing nothing and doing everything. With his usual warmth, humor, and honesty, Kevin deftly attacks the widespread “crazy busy” epidemic and offers up the restful cure we’ve all been too busy to find.

  • Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

    by Francis Chan. Publisher: David C. Cook.

    A call to love God.

  • Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues With Timeless Truth

    by R. Albert Mohler Jr.. Publisher: Multnomah.

    Suggestions for Christlike living in an immoral culture.

  • Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance

    by R Albert Mohler Jr. Publisher: Multnomah Books.

    Adresses the questions about how to act in a culture that has abandoned morality.

  • Discover Your Mission Now

    By Dave Ferguson

    “Written by Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson and Tim Sutherland. Edited by Eric Bramlett. You were made with a mission in mind! As a follower of Jesus, He has an exciting part for you to play in His mission of changing the world. In Discover Your Mission Now you will come to a crystal clear understanding of the Jesus mission and your part in it. You will gain an understanding of the five consistent missional practices that Jesus lived out in His life. These five simple to understand, but challenging to live out daily missional practices are designed to bless the places that you are sent and people in your life. As you begin to live out these missional practices, you will not only discover your own mission in life but that you are changing the world around you.”

  • Discover Your Purpose, Design Your Destiny, Direct Your Achievement: Proven Strategies for a Productive, God-Centered Life!

    by William D. Greenman. Publisher: Destiny Image Publishers.

    Focuses on discovery of our purpose for living and the development of a plan to fulfill that purpose.

  • Every Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation

    by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey. Publisher: Waterbrook Press.

    Explains a Biblical perspective of sexual temptation.

  • 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.

  • From The Gardon To The City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology

    by John Dyer. Publisher: Kregel Publications.

    This book assists the reader to discern the power of technology to be used as either a blessing or a curse.

    Click to see full review

  • Help, Hope and Healing for Your Marriage

    By Clint and Penny Bragg

    I believe whether your marriage is healthy or in crisis or somewhere in between you will receive encouragement, instruction and insight to help you build or restore your marriage. If you are looking for help, hope and healing for your marriage you have come to the right book. This couple, Clint and Penny Bragg, uses scripture and their personal story to guide you toward God’s solutions to the challenges of married life.
    Here is a summary of the process they recommend.
    Start by honoring the process
    Identify your roadblocks
    Build a strong foundation
    Develop connections with forgiveness and faith
    Deepen your discussions
    Agree on your standards of communications and behavior
    Pray continually
    Guard your marriage gates
    Retrofit your relationship
    Establish your mini marriage retreats to get and stay fit
    Mending your marriage is an ongoing process

    Pick up a copy today and begin your personal journey through the process to mend and/or strengthen your marriage.

    Click on this Link to purchase your copy on amazon.

  • 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 Say No to a Stubborn Habit

    by Erwin W. Lutzer Publisher: David C. Cook.

    Focuses on how to develop personal discipline

  • How to Survive a Difficult Pastorate

    By Chris Bonts (Author)

     

  • Intentional Living: Choosing to Live for God’s Purposes

    by Andrea Jones Mullins. Publisher: New Hope.

    Focuses on our individual role in God’s plan for mankind.

  • It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It

    by Craig Groeschel

    “When Craig Groeschel founded LifeChurch.tv, the congregation met in a borrowed two-car garage, with ratty furnishings and faulty audiovisual equipment. But people were drawn there, sensing a powerful, life-changing force Groeschel calls “It.” What is It, and how can you and your ministry get — and keep — It? Combining in-your-face honesty with off-the-wall humor, Groeschel — one of today’s most innovative church leaders — provides profile interviews with Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, Tim Stevens, Mark Batterson, Jud Wilhite, and Dino Rizzo. This book tells how any believer can obtain It, get It back, and guard It. “

     

  • Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow through Challenge and Adversit

    by Steven Snyder (Author)

     

  • Left Behind in a Megachurch World: How God Works through Ordinary Churches

    by Ruth A. Tucker. Publisher: Baker Books.

    Focuses on finding your place in God’s economy

  • Living Purely In An Impure World

    by Jim Binney. Publisher: The Counselor’s Pen Publications.

    Focuses on sanctification

  • Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God

    By Paul David Tripp

  • Marriage on the Rock: God’s Design for Your Dream Marriage

    by Jimmy Evans. Publisher: Majestic Media.

    Provides fresh ideas for creating a healthy marriage that honors God

  • Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry

    By Perry Noble

    Stressed out? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Good news—you’re not alone!

    No one ever said life was going to be easy. Between financial struggles, marital issues, health scares, and the regular, run-of-the-mill problems of everyday life, it’s easy to feel weighed down and trapped by your circumstances. In times like these, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel and quit. Well, don’t do it!

    Perry Noble has stood at the edge of the abyss himself, and in Overwhelmed, he shares the keys to unlocking the chains of anxiety and despair once and for all. Building on the premise that when we shift our focus from our circumstances to Christ, everything changes, Perry walks readers through a life-altering plan for overcoming stress, worry, depression, and anxiety so we can be free to enjoy the abundant, joy-filled lives we were created for.

    God knows we’re frustrated. He knows we’re tired. He knows we’re struggling. But He also knows how things are going to turn out. He is greater than anything you are going through . . . so don’t give up on God. After all, He’s never given up on you.

  • Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack Their Shepherd

    By Kent Crockett

    “Who are the pastor abusers? They are mean-spirited church members who criticize and bully their pastor with the goal of forcing him out of the church. While most church members are supportive of their minister, pastor abusers are usually only a small group, and are often running the church. Can anything be done to stop them? What can a pastor do when he is under attack? What are the minister’s options after being fired or forced out of the church? Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack Their Shepherd is a survival manual for pastors, explaining what is happening behind the scenes and the driving forces behind the attacks. Over 30 abused pastors were interviewed and their quotes are listed in every chapter. Helpful advice is given, telling pastors how to respond to the harassment. This book lists the pastor’s four options after leaving the church, along with a listing of ministry and secular job websites. READER COMMENTS: A reader in Idaho: Your book describes exactly what is happening in our church. You can rename the book with our church name in front of Pastor Abusers. A pastor in Maryland: A must read for every pastor and should be required reading for seminary students. An anonymous pastor: The information in Pastor Abusers was extremely helpful as we trudged through the most difficult, painful experience of our lives.”

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

    By Michael Hyatt

    Step by step guide for developing your social media communication

  • QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life

    by John G. Miller. Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group.

    Focuses on personal development

    Click to see full review

    Purpose:
    To help leaders and their organizations produce accountability and responsibility in their own lives and among their employees by asking better questions.

    Content:
    The author addresses numerous “wrong” questions such as “Why do I have to do everything around her?” and “Why are we always so short-staffed?”  He then presents the “right” questions.  “What can I do about the problem?” or “How can I meet the need?”  He deals with the blame game and other poor practices often displayed in life.

    Analysis:
    This is a good, short book with brief answers and antecdotes to assist you in changing the culture of your work place to one of accountability and personal responsibility.  It relates to the ministry by teaching personal accountability in solving problems that arise from people’s actions.

    Application:
    Who will benefit?
    Leaders of all kinds and places

    How will it benefit?
    Realignment with personal responsibility

    Where does it fit in the ministry design process?
    Development stage of your culture design

    Aha Thought:
    “Blame and ‘whodunit’ questions solve nothing.  They create fear, destroy creativity, and build walls.  Instead of brainstorming and working together to get things done, we blame-storm and accomplish nothing.  There’s not a chance we’ll reach our full potential until we stop blaming each other and start practicing personal accountability.
    ‘What can I do today to solve the problem?’
    ‘How can I help move the project forward?’
    ‘What action can I take to own the situation?’
    Try these questions instead of the ‘Who?’ questions at the beginning of this chapter and see how fast you can break the Circle of Blame in your organization.” (P. 46-47)

  • Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream

    By David Platt. Publisher: Multnomah Books.

    Multiple altar calls will occur in those that dare to open these pages.

  • Respectable Sins: Confronting The Sins We Tolerate

    by Jerry Bridges. Publisher: NavPress

    The author exposes our bias toward certain sins and what to do about it.

  • Shape: Finding & Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life

    Eric Rees. Publisher: Zondervan.

    Follow-up to Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren that focusses on implementation.

  • Sifted: Pursuing Growth through Trials, Challenges, and Disappointments (Exponential Series)

    by Wayne Cordeiro, Francis Chan and Larry Osborne. Publisher: Zondervan
  • Significant Work: Discover the Extraordinary Worth of What You Do Every Day

    By Paul Rude

  • Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul

    By Bill Hybels

    “Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Overscheduled. Sound familiar? Today’s velocity of life can consume and control us . . . until our breakneck pace begins to feel normal and expected. That’s where the danger lies: When we spend our lives doing things that keep us busy but don’t really matter, we sacrifice the things that do.
    What if your life could be different? What if you could be certain you were living the life God called you to live—and building a legacy for those you love? If you crave a simpler life anchored by the priorities that matter most, roll up your sleeves: Simplified living requires more than just cleaning out your closets or reorganizing your desk drawer. It requires uncluttering your soul. By eradicating the stuff that leaves your spirit drained, you can stop doing what doesn’t matter—and start doing what does.
    In Simplify, bestselling author Bill Hybels identifies the core issues that lure us into frenetic living—and offers searingly practical steps for sweeping the clutter from our souls.”

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

    By Thomas O. Hovestol (Author)

     

  • Stories of Sifted

    By Eric Reiss (Author), Todd Wilson (Author)

     

  • The 2 Degree Difference: How Small Things Can Change Everything!

    by John Trent, Ph.D.. Publisher: B&H Publishing Group.

    Focuses on Biblical principle of change that enables us to discern God’s Will & do it.

  • The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage

    by Gary Chapman

    An explanation of the seasons experienced in marriage

  • The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior

    by Wayne Cordeiro. Publisher: Bethany House.

    This book zeros in on our personal relationship with God and the effect it is to have on others.

  • The Minister’s Salary: And Other Challenges in Ministry Finance

    By Art Rainer

    Should I opt out of Social Security? How much housing allowance do I take? Do I have enough for retirement? Should I ask for a raise? Why should I even care about my financial picture? The Minister’s Salary was written to shed light on some of the issues that seem to most burden ministers. With simplicity and clarity, it provides a holistic look at key financial issues. The Minister’s Salary is an excellent, concise resource for anyone seeking answers to some of the most common financial questions asked by ministers.

  • The Ministry of Marriage

    by Jim Binney. Publisher:The Counselor’s Pen Publications.

    Instruction for understanding the Biblical roles of husband and wife

    Click to see full review

    Purpose:

    To establish the Biblical foundation for marriage and to address the repair of those relationships that have strayed from that foundation.

    Content:

    The author gives hope for every marriage by teaching God’s purpose for marriage and His empowerment of His design if we are willing to live by it. He defines marriage, needs, love, our actions and attitudes in relation to these and others along with dispelling myths about marriage.

    Analysis:

    This is a trustworthy author and the instruction is wonderful. Grab a copy today and start reading then encourage others to read it.

    Application:

    Who will benefit?

    Pastors, counselors and many others.

    How does it benefit?

    II Timothy 3:16: it will help you understand what is right, what is wrong, how to make it right and how to keep it right.

    Where does it fit in the ministry design process?

    Discipleship structure for building healthy marriages among your congregation.

    Aha Thought:

    Marriage is a Ministry not a selfish campaign to gain access to and for your personal pleasure.

  • What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary: 25 Lessons for Successful Ministry in Your Church

    By James Emery White

  • When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Finding Authentic Restoration in the Age of Seduction

    By Beth Moore

  • Why Faith Makes Sense: Reasons You Can Believe God Is Real

    by Will Davis, Jr.. Publisher: Revell.

    Help for confronting the unbiblical beliefs of our culture.

  • Your First Year in Ministry – What they didn’t teach you in seminary

    By Glyn Norman (Author)

     

  • Your Intentional Difference: One Word Changes Everything

    By Ken Tucker, Todd Hahn and Shane Roberson

    “Most people do not know what their I.D. is. . .No, not their identification, but their Intentional Difference. Eighty-five percent of what we are capable of doing, most other people can do just as well. Ten percent of what we are capable of doing, some others can be trained to do. But five percent. . .five percent of what we are capable of doing, only we can do the way we do it. This is our Intentional Difference. If we spent 95 percent of our time in our five percent, we would change the world while increasing our own level of success. Your Intentional Difference is the key  and this book will show you how to identify what it is, how to own it, and then how to apply it to your daily activities so that it becomes a habit, so that you can live more frequently, and more consciously, in your five percent zone.”

  • Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow

    By C. Peter Wagner

    “Find Your Gifts and Use Them to Serve God’s People
    The Bible tells us that God has given every believer one or more spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ. But how can Christians know which gifts they possess? This revised edition of C. Peter Wagner’s bestselling spiritual gifts resource will help you learn about your own gifts and empower your congregation or group to use their specific gifts. In this comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide and accompanying spiritual gifts inventory, you will also discover:

    · The 28 gifts listed in the Bible and how to distinguish them
    · The difference between gifts, talents and roles
    · How you can know your individual gifts and use them effectively
    · Five steps to help you build God’s kingdom through your gifts

    You Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow will help you and your group use the gifts God has provided to you so that your church will flourish.”