I have read thousands of books during my life. Probably 90 percent of them have been non-fiction books. The picture with this blog post is a good representation of the stacks of books in my office when I lacked the shelf space for them.
As I begin the four-year Legacy Season of my ministry this month, and prepare to lead/teach seven Congregational Champions Retreats this fall--see www.CongregationalChampions.info--I have picked out 27 books that have had a direct impact on my approach to consulting and coaching with congregations and those who work with congregations as a third-party provider.
You can see these 27 books and brief comments about them HERE. I will likely add more to the list.
I begin the list with the three books I have written because as any author knows the "blood, sweat, and tears" you put into writing books also organizes and impacts your own learning and knowledge base in wonderful ways. Many "Ah Ha's!" take place while writing.
I then move on to my primary mentor--Lyle E. Schaller--and choose three books of the 55 he wrote, plus one written as a tribute to him. I had the privilege of contributing significantly to one of the chapters in the tribute book. I began reading Lyle in the 1960s while in college. Almost 40 years ago I began seeing, hearing, and in dialogue with him for the next 30 years. I was pleased to have him in my home on one occasion. I hosted him at events I helped sponsor numerous times.
Many people know of my affinity for the congregational life cycle that began more than 40 years when I read an article by Carl Dudley that equated the aging side of the life cycle of a congregation to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of death and dying. I include two books that impacted my thinking on the congregational life cycle.
I must say that a management consultant, researcher, and writer [all the same person] who wrote about organizations, but understood organisms very well had a key influence on solidifying my philosophy at mid-career. This person is Jim Collins. I have included five books by him.
Others you can see for yourself. Many of these books you may have read, or you may have read books that address similar themes.
For the people coming to my Congregational Champions Retreats this fall I have pointed them to three books that will prepare them for our dialogue. the are Good to Great and the Social Sector, Hopeful Imagination, and StrengthsFinder 2.0.
By the way, there are still a few seats left in the fall retreats. Read about them at www.CongregationalChampions.info.