Top 10 Must Read Books for Pastors


I’m not a pastor but I sure do know your world because I’m married to a pastor.  Steve and I got married at age 21 and he was already the lead pastor in a tiny country church. We’ve served churches here in the states and overseas. Our churches have ranged from 36 people to 5,000 and almost every size in between. I’ve thought back over the 36 years and some of the most impactful books my husband Steve has read and, of course, I’ve added some of my own thoughts.

  1. Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning – Because it’s too easy to confuse your identity with your role. Even though you’re a pastor, you’re God’s beloved child.
  2. Radical – by David Platt – Because it will lift your focus beyond your church. It’s always tempting to focus only on your church. David invites us to lift our focus to the global church.
  3. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell – Because you always need to be growing as a leader. No matter how many times you read this book, you’ll find a new truth relative to leadership.
  4. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell – Because you always need to be growing as a communicator. No matter what role you serve in ministry – you need to be able to connect when you communicate.
  5. 52 Weeks With Jesus by James Merritt – Because you want to re-fall in love with Jesus. At the end of the day, whether the attendance is up or down and he offering plates are full or empty – it’s about Jesus.
  6. The Me I want to Be – by John Ortberg – Because you want to keep growing as a person. And, Joh Ortberg is an amazing writer!
  7. Reaching For the Invisible God – by Philip Yancey – Because some days you’ll struggle with doubt. Read this and keep this book on your shelf because even if you’re not struggling with doubt, someone in your congregation is!
  8. Daring to Live on the Edge by Loren Cunningham – Because money will always be a problem.  The stories in this book will grow your faith and challenge you to trust God with your finances.
  9. The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson – Because you need to cultivate your prayer life. Mark is an amazing writer and will inspire you to greater prayer.
  10. Stories I Couldn’t Tell While I was a Pastor by Bruce McIver – Because you need a good laugh! Steve and I both laughed our way through this book!

Becky Harling is an energetic speaker, author, and coach, inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential.  Becky’s life experience as a Pastor’s wife, Women’s Ministries Director, survivor of breast cancer and childhood sexual abuse, all bring depth and realism to her message.

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