best12of2012

Happy New Year! Another January 1st has come and gone! I trust you had a refreshing Christmas that included some reflection on the Son of God intervening in our story.

In this post, I want to temporarily step away from my focus on our EFCC Core Values and look back at 2012 – not the events – but the 12 Best Books of 2012. Disclaimer: these are the best twelve books that I read. If you’ve read better books, please share it below in the comments. :-)

Maybe we will ask you to review one of your choices yourself for our blog!

So, in no particular order, here it goes:

Difficult Conversations (Stone, Patton, Heen). This is a very insightful book on how to discuss “what matters most”. This is really practical wisdom on why some conversations “go sideways” and how to remedy that.

Tribal Leadership (Logan, King, Fischer-Wright). Excellent book on improving your organization’s culture. You may see your workplace or church as you read!

The Advantage (Patrick Lencioni). I love Lencioni’s stuff and this is a great summary of his best. He focuses on organizational health – his “6 critical questions” is worth the price of the book alone!

Pastoral Graces (Lee Eclov). Written by the author of our EFCC Minister’s Manual, this is a fabulous reminder of how we as pastors practice grace.

The King Jesus Gospel (Scot McKnight). This is a powerful reminder that Luther (or the apostle Paul) was not the first guy to preach the gospel – that there is more to the gospel than just personal salvation/justification by faith.

The Rise of Christianity (Rodney Stark). Stark explains how an “obscure, marginal Jesus movement became the dominant religious force in the western world in a few centuries”. This is social history at its best and has huge implications for how we might want to be the church in the 21st century!

Why People Don’t Believe (Paul Chamberlain). This is an excellent response to the militant atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens etc.) who want to argue that Christianity is a dangerous blight on the world.

Generous Justice (Tim Keller). Keller provides a great biblical case for believers loving and caring for the marginalized.

Gospel Truths (Greg Strand/EFCA). Our friends in the EFCA have written a beautiful exposition of our Ten Article Statement of Faith!

Accidental Pharisees (Larry Osbourne). Larry’s newest book – wow, you will love it, you will hate it – if you don’t see yourself somewhere in it, then read it again! (This one was just reviewed in more depth here.)

Sticky Teams & Sticky Church (Larry Osbourne). I combined two books into one point because they both contain indispensable, practical wisdom for church leaders. These are great books for your board to read and discuss together!

With (Skye Jethani). I have saved the best for last! This look at how we relate to Jesus is a must read for all believers! Jethani pokes and prods at what drives my faith/relationship with God – encouraging, freeing and convicting all at once – did I say it already? A must read!

Well there you have it…my top 12 of 2012! May we see our God work among us in power in 2013!

Serving with you,

Bill Taylor

4 replies
    • Communications
      Communications says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Able. My fear with all of this is that my reading list is going to extend well beyond the years I have left on Earth! :-)

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