Jeff Henderson at Buckhead Church (a North Point campus) recently posted his top 10 books he read in 2009. You should read the post HERE. I respect the heck out of Jeff & he is an amazing leader and learner & I am thankful to learn so much from him. So I am all about reading the books he says were his top 10 of the year & then I am waiting with bated breath for him to put out his 2010 reading list.
Anyway, I'm going to post my top 10 books I read in '09. I think you should read them all! I'll post them from #10 down to my #1 best book I read this year.
(3 books tied for 10th. I know that's like cheating, but I really can't separate them.)
#10 Crazy Love – Francis Chan
This is just classic Francis Chan! It's basically his heart in a book form. And I love his heart so I loved the book. It's an easy read. I recommend you listen to it via audiobook on your iPod with Francis reading it.
#10 Jesus Wants to Save Christians – Rob Bell (& Don Golden)
Tied for #10 is also this awesome book. I had listened to Rob's 7 part series by the same name back in '07 or maybe even '06. So, I honestly didn't plan on reading the book since I assumed I heard him say everything in that series. SO glad I read the book though! It is awesome & a great reminder of so many fundamental things. It's also an easy, quick read that we should all read ANY TIME we think we are already being generous to the poor. This will wake us back up. (Thanks for letting me borrow it, Brian!)
#10 The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why - Phyllis Tickle
Almost like a short Christian history book. The brilliance of it is how Tickle uses facts from our history to give us a great idea of where we're heading in the future. Every 500 years there is a colossal shift in the Church & even in the culture at large. We are in the middle of one now & this is a great book to read if you're unfamiliar with what's going down in the world & how Christianity is changing. The Great Emergence will be just as colossal a shift as the Great Reformation was 500 years ago!
#9 Death By Church - Mike Erre
My friend, Jason told me about his friend Mike Erre and that I should check out some of his books. This one just came out this year & I flipped through it & was very intrigued. Now after reading it I'm stoked I decided to read it!! Mike's chapters on the Gospel is worth the price of the book (and then some for me). My understanding of the Gospel is so much better after Mike's great book. I really get the connection of the Kingdom and the Church and the Gospel. The Missio Dei makes a lot more sense now. I think Mike has trouble seeing how some church "models' can advance the Kingdom and the Mission, but overall this is an awesome book!
#8 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
This is actually the 1st fiction book I have read since I was like 14! And I have read hundreds since then... just have had no time for fiction. But I finally decided to get with it & see what the rest of our Western culture was raving about with this amazing series and probably THE GREATEST fiction writer of our generation (I'm still partial to Stephen King from my middle school years, but whatever). We desperately need some authors in the Church who can tell stories half as well as J.K. Rowling... Hopefully they'll start writing & talking soon.
#7 Think Orange – Reggie Joiner
The only reason this book isn't ranked higher is because it really fits a niche of church leaders... specifically church leaders who work in family ministry (children & student minisry). It's not necessarily a book everyone's gotta read right now. (Although I do think EVERY parent in the world should read this book, but... I just know they won't. How am I ever going to have time to read when I'm a parent?)
This is FINALLY Reggie's manifesto for Family Ministry. Finally it's all in 1 book. This is going to be the "Bible" for peeps in children's ministry & student ministry for at least a decade. It's a ground-breaking book.
#6 Choosing to Cheat – Andy Stanley
I needed this book. Thanks for writing it, Andy. EVERY single one of us will either cheat our spouse or our job. The choice is ours. I'm gonna make dang sure I cheat my work... not my wife. And that is hard because I am so freaking driven. I could pour myself into my ministry 24 hours a day because I love it so much. I've made some changes since reading this book. I don't ever want my wife to be stuck holding the rock. (thanks for the word pic, Andy... I think it may have made me cry?)
#5 The Truth About You – Marcus Buckingham
I am a Buckingham disciple. As much as I know how to be anyway. I am sold on his philosophy of Strengths based everything. This book though is so awesome because it's finally written on a simple popular level! ANYONE can pick this book up and read it and understand it in no time. Then you can make the changes necessary to play to your strengths all the time. It's extremely practical and he's the king of giving you action steps, etc... (Even comes with a pimp DVD and strengths note pad to carry around in order to discover your strengths.)
#4 The Pleasures of God – John Piper
I always have to read some Piper. I can't explain what he does for my soul. No other author connects me to the greatness and glory of God like Johnny P. He's my homeboy. This is like Piper's manifesto on God. It's crazy thick with like a million annotated footnotes... almost 400 pages. But it is a worthy read. Such an amazing theology book on God. It's essential Piper. (Probably my 3rd fav Piper book behind Desiring God and Let the Nations Be Glad!)
#3 The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul By Restoring Sabbath – Mark Buchanan
Sabbath has been a passion and a curiosity of mine for about 4 years now. It's like a whole new world I'm discovering. I've written about it several times like HERE & HERE. What I did not expect with this book is that Buchanan would be a flipping BRILLIANT author and storyteller. You will not want to put this book down! There's something so compelling about it. It just draws you in! Almost like a Harry Potter book. And if you don't currently enjoy a sabbath (and even if you do) you need to read this book!
(2 books tied for my #1 book of the year)
#1 The Secret Message of Jesus – Brian McLaren
This book was HUGE for me. I might point back to this book in 10, 20, or 30 years. After reading this I understand Jesus WAY better. I understand the Bible, specifically the Gospels WAY better. I feel like for the 1st time I really GET (not in an arrogant way) Jesus' teachings (and all the seeming contradictions, etc...) For the 1st time I really GET the Kingdom of God. I had missed it. So many of us have missed it. This book will help believers "get it" and advance the Kingdom of God in our world!
#1 Good to Great – Jim Collins
yeah, I know, I know, I just got around to reading it this year… I know it's a "must read"... but I've had SO MANY "must reads" to read. And now I can side with all of you and really proclaim that this book is a "MUST READ" for anyone who is a leader in a church or a company or a business or any kind of non-profit! I mean WOW! I took like 20 pages of notes on this bad boy. Collins is a guru at taking solid research and converting it into principles for leading an organization!
There you go... my top 10 (12 really). I might write another post about ALL the books I read in 2009 and talk a little about the ones that didn't make the top 10 list.
So, have you read any of these books? Do you have any thoughts?
And I'm most excited to know WHAT WERE YOUR TOP 10 BOOKS FROM 2009?