Each year some excellent leadership books are published. Of course, so are some mediocre ones. That's why we do the annual Leadership Journal Book Awards. We comb through stacks of ministry and leadership books, and, with the help of our contributing editors, we select the ones we believe are worth your valuable time. We offer them in two categories: The Leader's Inner Life and The Leader's Outer Life. We commend these titles to you as you develop your leadership gifts to further the ministry God has entrusted to you.

The Leader's Inner Life

Best Of The Best:

In Search of Deep Faith
A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness, and Heart of Christianity
by Jim Belcher (IVP)

"In Search of Deep Faith creates a love for courageous Christians of history, connects these discoveries to the challenges of today's world, and charts a course through the European continent that I would love to trek."—Paul Atwater

Our Very Short List:

One Way Love
Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World
by Tullian Tchividjian (David C. Cook)

"What separates Christianity from every other religion is grace. Many leaders are far better at showing grace to others than they are to themselves. This book helps us marinate in a deep sense of God's amazing grace."— Kara Powell

Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore
And How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Church Irresistible
by Thom and Joani Schultz (Group)

"As the title of their book suggests, Thom and Joani Schultz don't mince words about the church's failure to connect with outsiders. But after serving the church for decades, they've earned the right to be heard. Their call to "bring church to the people" will resonate with leaders who sense yesteryear's methods are no longer working"—Drew Dyck

Crazy Busy
A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem
by Kevin DeYoung (Crossway)

"This is not a how-to book on time management. Rather, DeYoung, a pastor, writer, and father of five, offers personal reflections to help readers strike a balance between inactivity and chaos."—Drew Dyck

Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
by J.D. Greear (B&H)

"J.D. is clear on the gospel, humble and humorous. If you want to be missional and faithful, reaching out while holding fast, this book will encourage you."—Mark Dever

The Leader's Outer Life

Best Of The Best:

I Am a Church Member
Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference
by Thom S. Rainer (B&H)

"One thing all Christians can be sure of is that Jesus loved the church and was committed to the church. Thom Rainer has given us a simple tool that has the potential to foster generations of health and productive service in churches of every size and denomination. (We are thinking about making this a gift to every new member.)"—Paul Atwater

Our Very Short List:

Straining at the Oars
Case Studies in Pastoral Leadership
by H. Dana Fearon III and Gordon S. Mikoski (Eerdmans)

"An excellent book full of practical advice for young ministers in areas of pastoral ministry that are never taught in seminary."— Dave McDowell

Innovation's Dirty Little Secret
Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail
by Larry Osborne (Zondervan)

"Osborne's insights, birthed in the living laboratory of the local church and articulated by a thoughtful practitioner, transcend the formulaic while equipping the ministry leader for increased innovation."— Wayne Schmidt

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