When I first started trying to live on mission, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. All I knew was that my imagination had been captured by a bigger vision for what life, faith, and ministry could be.
I love this story. Maybe you’ve heard it:
A young woman was preparing a ham dinner. After she cut off the end of the ham, she placed it in a pan for baking.
Her friend asked her, “Why did you cut off the end of the ham?”
She replied, “I really don’t know but my mother always did, so I thought you were supposed to.”
Later when talking to her mother she asked her why she cut off the end of the ham before baking it, and her mother replied, “I really don’t know, but that’s the way my mom always did it.”
A few weeks later while visiting her grandmother, the young woman asked, “Grandma, why is it that you cut off the end of a ham before you bake it?”
Her grandmother replied, “Well dear, otherwise it would never fit into my baking pan.”
As pastors, we want to lead people into a transformed life of discipleship and mission. But often people aren’t quite as interested or excited about discipleship and mission as we hope they would be.
As I’ve pastored churches as well as coached and consulted with all kinds of churches, I’ve noticed there is something built in to almost every church I’ve ever encountered that sabotages their best disciple-making intentions.
Reading, both widely and deeply, is a vital discipline for any leader. But reading is especially important for the Christian leader, because our way of leadership (following Jesus) isn’t just pragmatic. It’s a inherently theological pursuit that demands we reflect deeply on our relationships regularly.
We asked our team to give us a few favorite books from 2018, and we’ve got a list below, in no particular order. (Note: these aren’t necessarily books that were released this year, just books we happened to read this year.)