[dropcap]S[/dropcap]uccess expert Brian Tracey believes that reading a book a week will make you an international expert in your field in 5 years (provided you read the right books, of course). Rick Warren has said that he reads a book a day. Warren Buffet, well known for his skill in investing, reports that he spends 80% of his day reading. Why do these experts read so much? Because reading gives you knowledge and from knowledge, comes wisdom. Reading also reveals other people’s important perspectives, demonstrates history, improves writing skills, and is pretty inexpensive entertainment. Through reading, we find valuable insight into the culture we live in and the people who drive it. Best of all, reading can help you understand God’s Word better. Of course, you must choose your books wisely, but great books will give you a great education, no matter what field you are in. If you are a worship leader or a worshipper, here are 21 books you might want to add to your reading wish list.
Dr. Dave Early authored an inspiring book on prayer which might just spark a revival in your quiet time. Prayer: the Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders is easy to read, engaging, and provides several models of prayer that will help you get excited about talking to God. Dr. Early points out in this book, if the Son of God needed to spend time alone in prayer, how much more do we need to spend time alone in prayer?
For a more solemn discussion of prayer, S.D. Gordon has written a wise book entitled Quiet Talks on Prayer. Gordon’s book will help you align your prayers with God’s will for your life.
Spiritual Warfare is often a taboo topic in mainstream churches, but it is real and it does affect the life of every believer. Spiritual Warfare by Jerry Rankin provides real life examples from the perspective of a missionary, from the evident supernatural manifestations to the day to day effects in our modern society. This book offers practical, Biblically based methods for dealing with spiritual warfare that is relevant to our culture, including prayer.
Other disciplines are important, too. If your spiritual walk needs a boost, try some of these disciplines to wake it up. John Ortberg’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast by Kristin Feola, and Richard Foster’s classic, Celebration of Discipline: the Path to Spiritual Growth will get you on your way to a more intimate walk with God. For more information on fasting, explore the books by Franklin Jentezen and Elmer Towns.
If you feel like God is distant or your spiritual walk has become stale, The Lazarus Life by Stephen W. Smith may help you breathe new life into your devotional time. See how the resurrection of Lazarus parallels the life of every believer and how it can bring newness to your relationship with God.
We can all become bogged down by the stress of life, the pain of grief, or just plain tiredness. But we don’t have to stay there. Ann Voskamp helps us find joy in daily living in her book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Ann explores gratitude and every day blessings as a means of transforming the life we live every day.
Dr. Vernon M. Whaley wrote an excellent book explaining what corporate worship is and how to do it well. The Dynamics of Corporate Worship gives a historical overview of church worship, principles and examples of worship, and how to make worship a genuine expression of love to God. To explore the connection of worship and evangelism, see Vernon Whaley’s books, co-written with author and professor David Wheeler, entitled The Great Commission to Worship and Worship and Witness.
Rory Noland opened up discussion on the arts in church—and the artist—with his book, The Heart of the Artist in 1999. Since then, he has continued the discussion with new books on the arts and worship, including his latest release, Worship on Earth as It Is in Heaven: Exploring Worship as a Spiritual Discipline and The Worshipping Artist: Equipping Your Ministry Team to Lead Others in Worship. See how Rory Noland strives to keep worship relevant to all generations while maintaining Biblical integrity, artistic diversity, and joy in public and private worship.
Being a worship leader not only means worship, it also means being a leader in the church. Stretch your leadership skills and gain new insights with John Maxwell’s book, Mentoring 101.
MaryKate Morse shares a fresh insight on Christian leadership by focusing on our physical presence. This discussion will help you understand the body language of leadership, why others may seem intimidating, and why your voice isn’t being heard. Take a good look at your leadership presence with Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space, and Influence.
If you are called up on to preach the Word of God, take the time to invest in methods that will reach today’s media-hungry culture. Leonard Sweet leads the way with Giving Blood: A Fresh Paradigm for Preaching. Another book that just might transform your preaching is Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication.
We can all benefit from a Bible reading tune-up! Check out How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, a classic by Gordon Fee, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation by Blomberg and Klein, and Grasping God’s Word: A Hands On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible co-written by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays.
All this reading will keep you busy and up to date on your preaching, worship, leading, and spiritual life, but don’t forget to set aside time each day for the best book. God gives us His very Word so we can know His heart, His love, and His redemption. When you make your reading list, keep the Bible at the very top.
Amanda is a toddler-chasing, coffee drinking, fashion boot-wearing, Fit-bit addicted, Jesus-loving, American Baptist licensed pastor, and wife and mom to 5 small children. A life-long aspiring writer, you’ll find Amanda’s music and writing here and there, on Yahoo Shine, iTunes, a few blogs, and notes to her children’s teachers. She spends her free time absorbed in fashion, watching Pirates of the Caribbean, Googling, attempting clean eating, all while spreading autism awareness, encouraging adoption and foster care, championing the underdog, and of course, juicing.
Amanda spends her afternoons teaching some pretty lively piano lessons to students of all ages and ability, and her evenings working towards a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Church Music from Eastern University and a cosmetology license from Metro Beauty Academy. Her favorite places to be are the local zoo, the church piano bench, Facebook, and anywhere her family is.