Books We Recommend

Recommended Reading

Sharing her personal journey while also offering practical help for others faced with a difficult job loss, Lost & Found invites readers to consider the steps necessary to move beyond the moment of loss toward a place of purpose with a renewed identity as a beloved child of God.

Through his own story, the stories of others, and wisdom from Scripture, Westfall shares with readers the peace of acceptance, the pleasure of release, and the power of risk. Joy can be ours, even after devastating events. This book lights the way to a bright and new beginning.

A compassionate pastor equips readers with biblical wisdom, encouragement, and strategies to get past what they’ll never get over.

In Game Plan, Buford gives you a practical way to move from success to significance and create an individual strategy that can get you where you want to be five . . . ten . . . twenty . . . thirty . . . or more years from now. If you sense it’s time for a positive change in your life, Game Plan gives you the tools to uncover your best self, aim for your highest dreams, and make your career and personal life more meaningful and fulfilling than ever.

In Halftime, Buford focuses on this important time of transition—the time when, as he says, a person moves beyond the first half of the game of life. It’s halftime, a time of revitalization and for catching a new vision for living the second half, the half where life can be lived at its most rewarding. As Buford explains, “My passion is to multiply all that God has given me, and in the process, give it back.”

In Game Plan, Buford gives you a practical way to move from success to significance and create an individual strategy that can get you where you want to be five . . . ten . . . twenty . . . thirty . . . or more years from now. If you sense it’s time for a positive change in your life, Game Plan gives you the tools to uncover your best self, aim for your highest dreams, and make your career and personal life more meaningful and fulfilling than ever.

Beyond Halftime invites you to slow down and take time to listen—really listen—to the voice of your heart and the rhythms of your life. The discoveries you’re about to make during this vital phase of your life can’t be rushed. Enjoy this wise guidance on the things that matter most in moving from gaining success to leaving a legacy. Your most rewarding years lie ahead of you. Welcome to the journey.

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.

Your Ministry’s Next Chapter is just like talking to a close friend, someone who is willing to share his life secrets with you, providing a candid look behind the cosmetics of the pastoral persona. If you are a pastor in or near mid-life, you’ll find yourself in it. Read this book before you retire on the job.”

For over twenty years the Leadership in Ministry workshops (LIM) has trained leaders from across the country in a different way of thinking about the ministry of leadership. Grounded in Bowen Family Systems Theory, the workshops challenge and equip pastoral leaders to lead from the self with a deep understanding of the emotional process that influences relationship systems.

In The Hidden Lives of Congregations, Christian educator and consultant Israel Galindo takes leaders below the surface of congregational life to provide a comprehensive, holistic look at the corporate nature of church relationships and the invisible dynamics at play. 

Extraordinary Leadership examines organizations as emotional systems through the lens of Bowen theory. The types of questions addressed include: What is an emotional system? How do leaders handle themselves in stirred up organizations? What are high-level and low-level leaders? Do organizations need principles? What about difficult people? What is a relationship master?

This revolutionary book, based on the innovative Bowen Family Systems Theory, is truly the first self-help guide that shows how to improve and fully develop our individual selves by improving our relationships–from friendships and family to the workplace–and how we use them.

A Play-Full Life explores the ways of being and becoming informed by the life-giving and balance-inducing power of play. Whether subjective play, informal social play, or even professionals at play, play is fundamentally an attitude to life that goes beyond specific activities. A Play-Full Life empowers Christians to explore the meaning of a Sabbath-like life speaking of simplicity, serenity, and sensing the fullness of life.

The majority of North American Protestant congregations and denominations, says Hamman, have experienced significant losses since the 1960s. Moreover, the dynamic and growing churches that are changing their traditions experience the loss of what was familiar to them. In many churches, losses past and present remain unnamed and unmourned.

Whether they leave out of preference for another ministry or due to serious conflict, pastors who relinquish parish ministry face misunderstanding and even hostility. Pastors in Transition brings clarity to this little-examined aspect of the pastorate by examining the main reasons why pastors in five Protestant denominations have left parish ministry.

This is a book written by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates which focuses on the classification and categorization of personality types. The book contains a self-assessed personality questionnaire, known as the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, which links human behavioral patterns to four temperaments and sixteen character types. Once the reader’s personality type has been ascertained, there are detailed profiles which describe the characteristics of that type.

For the past twenty years Keirsey has continued to investigate personality differences, to refine his theory of the four temperaments and to define the facets of character that distinguish one from another. His findings form the basis of Please Understand Me II , an updated and greatly expanded edition of the book, far more comprehensive and coherent than the original, and yet with much of the same easy accessibility. One major addition is Keirsey’s view of how the temperaments differ in the intelligent roles they are most likely to develop

Quiet Conversations explains practical examples of attitudes and behaviors that provide a way forward for weary ministry leaders–and those not yet at that stage. “Quiet Conversations” has been lauded by “weary” and “not weary” pastors alike for the simple, and yet profound, insights it provides about what works and does not work in parish ministry.

Though some conflict in the church may be normal, there are some types of conflict which are abnormal and abusive. Within some congregations, there are personalities who seek to unsettle the relationship between minister and congregation. In this engaging and useful book, G. Lloyd Rediger offers strategies to prevent abuse, support clergy, and to build healthier congregations.

With this book, internationally respected consultant Peter Steinke goes deeper into the requirements of effective congregational leadership. Born from the wisdom of Steinke’s distinguished career, this new volume will both enlighten and embolden leaders. Steinke inspires courage in leaders to maintain the course, unearth secrets, resist sabotage, withstand fury, and overcome timidity or doubts.

Discover why working relationships may be “stuck” in certain behaviors. Psychologically sound, theologically grounded, and practically illustrated with case studies, How Your Church Family Works will help you better understand how your congregation works and how to keep it healthy.

In this sequel to How Your Church Family Works, Peter Steinke takes readers into a deeper exploration of the congregation as an emotional system. He outlines the factors that put congregations at risk for anxiety and conflict. Learn ten principles of health, how congregations can adopt new ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, as well as how spiritually and emotionally healthy leaders influence the emotional system.

“Broken” is an inspirational book about how God wants to reach out with arms of grace to the wounded, calling the prodigals home. He also desires to bring full restoration to ministers who have fallen into sin. This book will not only help individuals who have gone through various kinds of failure but will offer guidance for pastors, church leaders, and counselors as they help those who have failed in some area of life and come into a place of hope.

Emotional Vampires will help you cope effectively with the people in your life that confound you, confuse you, and seem to sap every ounce of your energy. Bestselling author Dr. Al Bernstein shows you how to recognize each vampire type–antisocial, histrionic, narcissists, obsessive-compulsives, paranoids–and deal with them effectively.

Practical suggestions on how to avoid and overcome the destructive interpersonal conflicts many churches have experienced with leaders, members, and pastors.

Church Coup is the firsthand account of a seasoned pastor who experienced a devastating conflict. He exposes why such struggles occur while suggesting biblical, concrete solutions for their resolution.

This book is an effort to provide practical help to pastors and church leaders in understanding and working with the sociology of church life. Politics and power are inevitably a part of human relationships, and the church needs to be informed and wise in understanding these dynamic forces.

For those of you currently in the ministry, you will have an opportunity to gain perspective, to see what has been underfoot and perhaps unnoticed, and to laugh and cry with one who has been ordained for more than half a century.

This book is perhaps one of the most readable and usable discussions available of the importance of spiritual and emotional maturity with regard to the role of leadership.

This book will challenge congregational leaders to consider a different perspective that can bring about a change in thinking about the nature of congregational leadership.

Leaders Who Last draws upon the author’s own pastoral experience and leadership, plus a significant analysis of leadership in both families and churches over generations. 

To lead effectively we must understand the impact of powerful emotional forces on people’s behavior, especially in anxious times.

The substance of this book is based on twenty-five case studies of clergy exercising faithful ministries with positive results that were attacked by a small group of antagonists in their congregations.

The author examines the depth of the pain that the antagonists are able to inflict. He brings forth the damaging effects of Chronic Stress, Emotional Memories, Burnout and Post Traumatic Stress Injury.

In The White Shirt, a young man named Cyrus leaves a secure career and ventures out into the world to find his true calling. Along the way he learns how to create a simple strategy to succeed, why it’s important to share a career plan with the right people the right way, and most importantly, how it comes together faster with a friend by your side.

Roll Up Your Sleeves is a not a clinical approach to managing stress, but more of a collection of common-sense approaches that is helpful for leaders in their leadership and life.