the shape of leadership

Recommended Reading for Ministers

Three books for your fall reading list

Influence Magazine on September 15, 2020

Leading Small Groups That Thrive

Ryan Hartwig, Courtney Davis, and Jason Sniff (Zondervan)

Anyone who has led a small group knows it can be an immensely rewarding and intensely frustrating experience. In Leading Small Groups That Thrive, Ryan Hartwig, Courtney Davis, and Jason Sniff identify five things small group leaders can do to “maximize the benefits that result from thriving, transformational group experiences”: 1) articulate purpose, 2) set the stage, 3) cultivate shared ownership, 4) stimulate meaningful conversations, and 5) embrace difficult conversations. The book is research-based, eminently practical, and well worth reading.


Stay Salt

Rebecca Manley Pippert (The Good Book Company)

“There are two kinds of people in the world,” writes Rebecca Manley Pippert: “the found, and those who haven’t come home yet.” God desires all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and uses ordinary believers, not just pastors and evangelists, to help the lost come home. In Stay Salt, Pippert offers seasoned advice about the means, message and method of personal evangelism. Relying daily on the Holy Spirit, believers can build authentic relationships with unbelievers in which spiritual conversations arise organically.


Wisdom From Babylon

Gordon T. Smith (IVP Academic)

American Christians are accustomed to wielding tremendous power — socially, politically and economically. As the U.S. becomes increasingly secular, however, we need to learn how to influence from the margins. In Wisdom from Babylon, Gordon T. Smith turns to the biblical prophets, as well as minority Christians, for insight about how to do this. These voices teach believers how to be in the world, but not of the world — that is, “fully present but not aligned with the values of the society in which they are located.”

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2020 edition of Influence magazine.

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