Ten Non-Ministry Leadership Books Every Pastor Should Read


Running a church is a lot like running a business, and therefore pastors can learn a lot from the business world. While not everything is applicable, and the focus of a business is a lot different than a church, the two share a common denominator–people. The following list of books will help the pastor as CPM (Chief People Motivator) or CRO (Chief Relationship Officer). And some of these books might simply feed your soul.

 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John Maxwell

Describes what the “effective” leadership style looks like and what it is not.

The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker

Impresses upon the pastor the necessity of working within his strengths and staying focused on doing just a few things, but doing them well.

The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success, by Scott Eblin

Tackles the question: why do so many new executives fail within their first 18 months on the job? Eblin shows the pastor how developing and utilizing others can relieve you of the burden of doing all the work while overall seeing more ministry get done.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni

In this leadership fable, Lencioni, a master storyteller and leadership expert, looks at the complexity of teams and provides a model for becoming an exceptional team leader. Applies not only to business, but to ministry teams of all kinds: elder boards, pastoral staff teams, volunteer teams, etc.

Good to Great and Built to Last, by Jim Collins.

As you begin working on your leadership style and start to develop your team, the next step is to align your church around a common vision.

Leadership Above the Line, by Dr. Sarah Sumner

This character-based model is clear, but her story is truly compelling. Dr. Sarah Sumner introduces a grid called The People Model, which every pastor will find versatile and useful.

Wooden on Leadership, by John Wooden

After coaching for 41 years, America’s favorite coach, Wooden, offers 12 Lessons in Leadership and the Pyramid of Success to explain how he consistently got maximum effort and performance from his players.

Lincoln on Leadership, by Donald T. Philips

Step into history with this look into principles of leadership Lincoln employed during the war. This inspiring read is applicable and accessible for any leader.

The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership, by James Hunter

A businessman escapes the chaos of his crumbling life by attending a leadership retreat at a Benedictine monastery where he meets a monk and former Wall Street legend who teaches him, “The true foundation of leadership is not power, but authority, which is built upon relationships, love, service, and sacrifice.”

Cheri Cowell is the author of the new Bible study, One Story, One Mission, One God: An overview of the Bible in 12 weeks. To learn more visit www.CheriCowell.com.

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