Each year seems to have more and more tasks with less and less time to accomplish them. All too often important but non-urgent activities like reading get put aside—and then abandoned altogether. But each year there are a handful of books that are just too good to miss. That's why we do The Leadership Book Awards. We know you're busy. That's why we comb through stacks of titles, and enlist the help of our contributing editors, to determine which few titles are worth your valuable time. We trust this year's winners will nurture your soul while equipping you for more effective ministry.

The Leader's Inner Life

Best of The Best:
Pastoral Graces
Reflections on the Care of Souls
by Lee Eclov (Moody)

"Oh, my, a book on the pastorate that is about, well, pastoring, shepherding! It's a rare breed in our ambitious and managerial age. But it's a biblical breed who knows that the minister is, from first to last, a minister of God's grace."—Mark Galli

Our Very Short List:
Pursuing Growth through Trials, Challenges, and Disappointments
by Wayne Cordeiro (Zondervan)

"There are a lot of books about how to 'do church.' Sifted is a very rare opportunity for self-assessment."—Bob Buford

The Power of Habit
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg (Random House)

"I keep thinking about what Duhigg taught me about the way organizational habits are changed, and trying to think how I can leverage that valuable insight to the benefit of our congregation."—Lee Eclov

Adventures in Churchland
Finding Jesus in the Mess of Organized Religion
by Dan Kimball (Zondervan)

"Dan Kimball continues to inspire and equip those of us who are trying to reach the post-Christian part of our culture."—Eric Bryant

Dangerous Calling
The Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry
by Paul Tripp (Crossway)

"With probing insight and robust realism, Tripp takes an honest look into the challenges that are unique to, or intensified by, pastoral ministry."—Tullian Tchividjian

The Leader's Outer Life

Best of The Best:
Center Church
Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City
by Tim Keller (Zondervan)

"This book is thorough in providing an overview of the issues faced by the mission-focused church. It covers all the challenges yet does so in a way quickly grasped and applied."—David Fitch

Our Very Short List:
Deep & Wide
Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
by Andy Stanley (Zondervan)

"Deep and Wide pulls back the curtain for all of us to see what is required behind the scenes to build a prevailing church. I was both challenged and inspired by this book."—Bill Hybels

Pursuing God's Will Together
A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups
by Ruth Haley Barton (IVP)

"Ruth mines riches from Scripture, blends them skillfully with the best traditions, and produces a magnum opus for hearing God in community."—Mark Buchanan

Your Church Is Too Safe
Why Following Christ Turns the World Upside-Down
by Mark Buchanan (Zondervan)

"Buchanan starts with a distinct advantage—he's a real writer, a wordsmith who makes his points in arresting ways. His take on church life, coupled with the experiences of his church, makes him a sensitive and thoughtful companion in thinking about the stretches churches need to take."—Lee Eclov

Vision: Lost & Found
The Story of a Church That Got Stuck but Didn't Stay There
by Tim Stevens (Exponential)

"We love a story shared with transparency and vulnerability. This book is packed with enlightening insights into revitalization, the great need of the Church!"—Wayne Schmidt

Winter 2013: Callings  | Posted
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