2020 has changed everything. As leaders respond to the rapidly changing world, the old adage, “leaders are readers,” has never been more true. With fewer sports on the television and with more time at home, I was able to read more than usual. Below is a list of the top ten books (in no specific order) that are shaping my leadership in the church, workplace, and home.

  1. Future Church: Seven Laws of Real Church Growth by Will Mancini: There may not be a more timely book release in 2020 than Future Church. Functioning as a prelude to Church Unique and God Dreams, Mancini exposes how past measures of church growth aren’t fully faithful to God’s call for the church and lays out a better scorecard that should guide church leaders in a post-COVID world.
  2. Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church by Paul David Tripp: I don’t know if I read a more convicting book this year than this one. Tripp provides unbelievable insights on the conviction and culture that ought to exist in a healthy biblical leadership community.
  3. Replicate: How to Create a Culture of Disciple-Making Right Where You Are by Robby Gallaty and Chris Swain: Often I am asked “What makes Replicate’s model of discipleship so special?” This book is the answer. Replicate’s discipleship model has transformed my life, my family, and the churches that I have led.
  4. Before You Vote: Seven Questions Every Christian Should Ask by David Platt: Though the topic of this book is on voting, the insights David Platt shares are so helpful and gives you a great framework on how to weigh complex issues and make wise decisions when what’s best isn’t black and white. This book has not just helped improve my decision-making in politics, but other areas as well.
  5. For: A Growth Strategy for Word, An Even Better Strategy for Life by Jeff Henderson I have referenced this book as often as any on this list because it has changed the way that I view communication to our congregation and our customers. This book provided a new lens through which to view communication.
  6. Deep Discipleship: How the Church Can Make Whole Disciples of Jesus by J.T. English: This book does a great job discussing discipleship philosophy and strategy in the church. True to his Village Church roots, English does a great job emphasizing the importance of theological training in the local church’s discipleship efforts.
  7. Younique: Designing the Life that God Dreamed for You by Will Mancini: This book did a great job going past the common calling that all Christians share (e.g. make disciples, etc.) and helps leaders identify their special calling that aligns with the gifts that God has given them. This has become my new go-to book for leaders who want to better understand their gifts and what their ultimate contribution could be.
  8. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer: This book was so good for my soul. Comer does a great job of identifying the serious problem that hurry causes and how we can eliminate it from our lives.
  9. Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller: This book was profoundly simple and practical. Miller’s simple framework was so helpful that I put it into practice before I finished the book and will continue to do so for years to come.
  10. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck: If you have read any leadership book that mentions the importance of mindset, you will almost certainly see this work cited. Dweck identifies two types of mindsets that people have and depending on which one you choose makes all the difference.

Honorable Mention

Here are a few other books that I really enjoyed this year.

  1. Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work by Liz Wiseman
  2. Master of One: Find and Focus on the Work You Were Created to Do by Jordan Raynor
  3. The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave by Robbie Kellman Baxter
  4. Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters
  5. Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization by Aaron Dignan
  6. Leading Small Groups That Thrive: Five Shifts to Take Your Group to the Next Level by Ryan Hartwig, Courtney Davis, and Jason Sniff
  7. The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey
  8. Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step StoryBrand Guide for Any Business by Donald Miller
  9. Family Discipleship: Leading Your Home Through Time, Moments, and Milestones by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin
  10. Master Your Next Move: The Essential Companion for the First 90 Days by Michael Watkins and Michael D. Watkins


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